Anne Bonny #BookReview The Absolution by @YrsaSig Yrsa Sigurdardottir 5* #Psychological #Thriller #ChildrensHouse #Series #FreyaAndHuldar @HodderBooks @HodderFiction

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The Absolution by Yrsa Sigurdardottir – Children’s House #3
Translated by Victoria Cribb
My Own Copy ~ Hardback

Synopsis ~

The new novel from the internationally bestselling, prizewinning, queen of Icelandic crime.

All he wants is for them to say sorry.

The police find out about the crime the way everyone does: on Snapchat. The video shows the terrified victim begging for forgiveness.
When her body is found, it is marked with a number 2…

Detective Huldar joins the investigation, bringing child psychologist Freyja on board to help question the murdered teenager’s friends. Soon, they uncover that Stella was far from the angel people claim – but even so, who could have hated her enough to kill?

Then another teenager goes missing, and more clips are sent. Freyja and Huldar can agree on two things at least: the truth is far from simple. And the killer is not done yet.

A brilliantly suspenseful story about the dark side of social media, The Absolution will make you wonder what you should have said sorry for…

My Review ~

‘Say You’re sorry’

The Absolution is a thoroughly modern novel, dealing with the themes of online bullying, stalking and revenge! It is action-packed and a neat edition to the Children’s House series. I am a huge fan of this series and have read The Legacy #1 and The Reckoning #2. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the latest.

The novel opens with a vicious attack on a young teenage girl. It is a scene that plays out perfectly as if it was in a teen horror movie. The victim alone, late at night in an empty cinema theatre. Huldar arrives and finds plenty of blood, but a missing body. The CCTV footage later reveals just what took place…

‘What can she have done to the man to deserve that?’

Freyja is brought in to help interview the teenage friends and potential enemies of the victim (Stella). She is moved (and so was I) when she interviews Adalheidur, a female student and victim of Stella’s relentless bullying. The social media bullying narrative is fully explained and the cruel harsh reality of the abuse is laid bare.
There is a narrative from another bullying victim David’s perspective. Hearing the vile threats/abuse and knowing he is at the edges of suicidal ideation, is absolutely heart-breaking! As a parent, my heart was ripped out for these kids. Scary to admit that the perpetrator’s are often just kids themselves also.

There are chapters from the killers point of view, where the killer attempts to justify their actions of murder as revenge. After reading of the harsh venom thrown towards the victim’s, you do begin to understand the killer’s psychology. After all, wouldn’t most of us snap under this kind of daily rigorous abuse?

The novel has dark theme’s as listed above, but in this modern era it is a story we see played out multiple times in the local and national media. Kids bullying kids, to the point of vicious and graphic assaults.
A dark and scary theme, very well done! 5*

YS
Yrsa Sigurdardottir
Twitter
My Review of The Legacy – Children’s House #1
My Review of The Reckoning – Children’s House #2
My Review of Someone To Watch Over Me
My Review of The Undesired
My Review of Why Did You Lie?

Anne Bonny #BookReview The Whisper Man by @writer_north Alex North 5* #NewRelease #Psychological #Thriller @MichaelJBooks #TheWhisperMan

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The Whisper Man by Alex North
Review Copy

Synopsis ~

If you leave a door half-open, soon you’ll hear the whispers spoken . . .

Still devastated after the loss of his wife, Tom Kennedy and his young son Jake move to the sleepy village of Featherbank, looking for a much-needed fresh start.

But Featherbank has a dark past. Fifteen years ago, a twisted serial killer abducted and murdered five young boys.

Until he was finally caught, the killer was known as ‘The Whisper Man‘.

Of course, an old crime need not trouble Tom and Jake as they try to settle in to their new home.

Except that now another boy has gone missing. And then Jake begins acting strangely.

He says he hears a whispering at his window . . .

My Review ~

The whisper Man opens with a chilling prologue that reads like a confession…
‘I told you so many times that there was nothing to be afraid of. That there was no such thing as monsters
I’m sorry that I lied’

The novel opens in July, with Tom and son Jake planning on moving to a new area ten months after a tragic accident. Jake is a lonely and solitary child with imaginary friends. He appears to talk often only to himself, or is he?

‘Featherbank
It sounded like a place we would be safe

However, Featherbank has quite the disturbing history. 15yrs ago five young male victims went missing and only four returned. Frank Carter would befriend his victims, targeting neglected and vulnerable boys. He would talk to them at their bedroom window, hence the nickname The Whisper Man.
But did Frank have an accomplice?

‘There’s a monster outside my window’
‘It was whispering at my window’

Tom’s past is explored and we fully understand the reasons, he is struggling as a now single father. They move to Featherbank in the September. Unaware that a few months previously a boy named Neil went missing…

‘If you’re lonely, sad and blue, the whisper man will come for you’

A serial killer that targets vulnerable young boys at an impressionable age, using the fact that they are easy to manipulate and ultimately in his control, makes for disturbing reading. Yet despite Featherbank being much more sinister than first expected, I couldn’t take my eyes from the page.

‘A nightmare can never, ever hurt you’

There is a huge revelation on page 188, which will eventually lead us to a gripping ending. I had to read back the last 5/6 pages as I read them in such a rush.
The novel is packed full of eerie occurrence that make you question Jake and Tom’s wellbeing. Are they delusions, manifestations or grief or more frighteningly…. Real!!!! 5*

Alex North’s Twitter

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Anne Bonny #BookReview No One Home by Tim Weaver 5* #DavidRaker #Series #Mystery #Thriller #NoOneHome

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No One Home by Tim Weaver ~ David Raker #10
Review Copy

Synopsis ~

Nine neighbours gathered on Halloween.
But by the next morning, they had disappeared without a trace.
No bodies, no evidence, and no clues.

Two and a half years later, it remains a mystery.
Desperate for answers, the families of the missing turn to investigator David Raker.
How did an entire village vanish overnight?

And is he looking for nine missing people, or nine dead bodies?

My Review ~

‘Welcome to Black Gate’

No One Here is a terrific novel of suspense and mystery. It feels more like a standalone and can easily be read as one. However, the ending reminds us just why this is such a badass series! It is a cliff-hanger that has me buzzing to read the next title in the series.

‘It wasn’t just the Perry’s that had disappeared it was the whole viullage’

The title opens 2.5yrs after the disappearance of the families of Black Gate. An isolated and rural community, with the residents taking no money, passports or clothes. The local police and Raker are baffled as to how they’ve managed to simply disappear.
The missing residents are:
Chris & Laura Gibbs and their 19ur old son Mark.
Patrick & Francesca Perry.
Randolph Solomon (70yrs) & Emiline Wilson (64yrs)
John (68yrs) & Freda (67yrs) Davey.
All residents had been present that evening at the Gibbs family farm for a planned dinner party that evening. Did an organised killer strike? or did one of the group SNAP?

‘It didn’t look like a home anymore it looked like a mausoleum’
Raker begins by searching the premises of Black Gate and data checks on the financial backgrounds of the residents. But Whilst he finds some suspicious clues, it reaches to no concrete motive…

‘The crime itself was like oxygen. When it was there, a case and a story continued to breathe. When it wasn’t, everything withered and died’

There are alternative chapters set in LA following American cop Joline in 1985. An era of sexism within the LAPD. Joline is attempting to locate various criminals, as she has been nudged out of the largest police hunt… the police hunt for The Night Stalker!

There are some characters from Raker’s past involved in his investigations. We are reminded that not only is Raker an esteemed missing persons investigator. But that the cases are ingrained within his personality.
‘This wasn’t just a job to me missing people were my life’

A cracking new edition to the series and I CANNOT wait to read the next title in the series after that jaw-dropping ending!!!!!! 5*

‘Black Gate had started out as one of the strangest disappearances I’d ever come across’

TW
Tim Weaver
Website
The Authors missing persons Podcast
Twitter
My Review of I Am Missing and Q&A with Tim Weaver
My Review of You Were Gone

Anne Bonny #BookReview Stasi 77 By @djy_writer David Young 5* #Historical #Thriller #ww2Fiction #KarinMuller #Stasi #Series @ZaffreBooks

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Stasi 77 by David Young ~ Karin Muller #4
Review Copy

Synopsis ~

A secret State. A dark conspiracy. A terrible crime.

Karin Müller of the German Democratic Republic’s People’s Police is called to a factory in the east of the country. A man has been murdered – bound and trapped as a fire burned nearby, slowly suffocating him. But who is he? Why was he targeted? Could his murderer simply be someone with a grudge against the factory’s nationalisation, as Müller’s Stasi colleagues insist? Why too is her deputy Werner Tilsner behaving so strangely?

As more victims surface, it becomes clear that there is a cold-blooded killer out there taking their revenge. Soon Müller begins to realise that in order to solve these terrible crimes, she will need to delve into the region’s dark past. But are the Stasi really working with her on this case? Or against her?

For those who really run this Republic have secrets they would rather remain uncovered. And they will stop at nothing to keep them that way . . .

A gripping and evocative crime thriller, moving between the devastating closing weeks of the Second World War and the Stasi-controlled 1970s, STASI 77 is David Young’s most compelling and powerful novel yet

My Review ~

Stasi 77 Is #4 in the Karin Muller series. Each title offering up a unique historical theme. Stasi 77 is set between 1977 and 1943. The chapters alternate, which makes the reading feel so very intense. I found the 1943 scenes from the ww2 concentration camps particularly harrowing. But then they are historically accurate and superbly researched. The history of the ww2 concentration camps is supposed to be uncomfortable reading. If the author is doing their job correctly and bringing the horror of the camps alive on the page.

1977 – Schonefeld Airport – East Berlin
Major Karin Muller and Deputy Werner Tilsner from the serious crimes department arrive to find a victim dead from smoke inhalation. The victim is a leading local party official and is found in an abandoned old cotton mill (state owned). Who is the man? And why would somebody want to kill him?
As Karin investigates she uncovers the murder is not only deliberate but methodically planned. The victims fingernail marks leaving a sign of the sheer terror they knew before death brought salvation.

1943 – Oct – Scene from the camps
Three brothers Gregoire, Marcellin and (narrator) Philippe are transported from Buchenwald, in dire and bleak conditions…
‘I’m not a religious man. But if I was – and if I’d done some of the things that have been done to me and my compatriots and fellow prisoners – then I might imagine, one day entering hell. Today, I no longer need to imagine for I have arrived’ – Philippe
We come to learn the back story of the three brothers, who they are , why they are at the camps and the brutality of camp life they must endure.

Karin must navigate a secretive world. Where access to information depends on who you are and what position you hold. Karin comes to realise she doesn’t hold the relevant title or access to information on leading political figures and that continuing such leads, may put her own life in danger.

‘I never knew their names. But I will never, ever forget those faces’ – Philippe

When the ending finally approached and my time with Major Karin of the Kriminalpolizei was drawing to an end. I desperately wanted to read on…

‘My life is over, but I have memories to cherish, and they flicker like a well-worn newsreel’ – Philippe

5*

DY
David Young
Website
Twitter
My Review of A Darker State
An Extract of Stasi 77
My Review of Stasi Wolf and Q&A with David Young

Anne Bonny #BookReview The Island by Ragnar Jonasson 5* #CrimeFiction #Icelandic #Hulda #Triology

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The Island by Ragnar Jonasson
My Own Copy ~ Hardback

Synopsis ~

Four friends visit the island.

But only three return . . .

Detective Inspector Hulda Hermannsdóttir is sent to the isolated island of Elliðaey to investigate and soon finds haunting similarities with a previous case – a young woman found murdered ten years ago in the equally desolate Westfjords.

Is there a patient killer stalking these barren outposts?

As Hulda navigates a sinister game constructed of smoke and mirrors she is convinced that no one is telling the truth, including those closest to her.

But who will crack first? And what secrets is the island hiding?

Haunting, suspenseful and as chilling as an Icelandic winter, The Island follows one woman’s journey to find the truth hidden in the darkest shadows, and shine a light on her own dark past.

My Review ~

The Island is the much anticipated follow-up to The Darkness Hulda Hermannsdottir #2. The trilogy is working backwards and with this title we are transported to the 1980’s and 1990’s with a case from Hulda’s past…

‘I’m so glad you’re home’
The novel opens in 1988 in Kopavogur. We are aware that it is a scene with a babysitter and the 7yr old child they are watching. But we are unaware of who they are and how they fit into the storyline. But as usual, all will slowly be revealed…
‘There were two of them’

The novel jumps to 1987 and we follow a young couple very much in love, that are travelling from Isafjordur to Mjoifjordur. They are telling old Icelandic ghost stories of witch burnings and black magic.
Across Iceland Hulda is being overlooked for promotion and is beginning to feel the burn of being a female in a male dominated career. Especially when the position in question is given to a colleague with less police experience than Hulda.
The team are made aware of a young woman in her 20’s missing from a holiday home in Mjoifjordur. Inspector Andres of the Isafjordur police attends due to the remote location of the area. He finds a deserted holiday home and the body of a dead female.
Was this an accident? A fall? or Murder?

‘Andres had an uncomfortable foreboding that a terrible crime had been committed here’

A potential murderer is quickly identified and the case appears to be solved. But did he do it? Or is the case being solved far too quickly and far too easily?

The novel now jumps to 1997, It is the 10th anniversary of the victim’s death. The anniversary is dragging up feelings of guilt and a desire for the truth to be told. But can the individual reach the police before the killer reaches them…
‘I think it’s time the truth came out’

‘Some crimes are so despicable that revenge is justified’

Hulda is currently alone, with no one in her life. But a search for a father that has never known she existed…
‘She felt so alone in the world, so lonely’

The novel kept me guessing right up to the last pages. I thought I had it all figured out! that was until the author’s big reveal. I absolutely CANNOT wait to read the next title in the trilogy… The Mist (2020 release).
Ragnar Jonasson is so very clever! 5* 

RJ
Ragnar Jonasson
Website
Twitter
My Review of The Darkness