Anne Bonny #BookReview The Girl With No Name by @Lisalregan #JosieQuinn #CrimeFiction #Series @bookouture ‘Fast-paced, intense and full of baby mama drama!’

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The Girl With No Name by Lisa Regan – Josie Quinn #2
Review copy
Synopsis:

When Detective Josie Quinn is called to a large house on the outskirts of the small town of Denton, she’s horrified by the viciousness of the attack – smashed glass, splintered furniture and blood spattered across the floor. The owner, a single mother, is fighting for her life, and her newborn baby is missing.

A beautiful young woman caught fleeing the scene is Josie’s only lead, but when questioned it seems this mysterious girl doesn’t know who she is, where she’s from or why she’s so terrified…

Is she a witness, a suspect, or the next victim?

As Josie digs deeper, a letter found hidden in the house convinces her the attack, the missing child, and the nameless woman are linked to a spate of killings across the county, and Josie is faced with a heart-breaking decision…

Should she risk the life of one child to save many others? Or can she find another way to stop this killer before any more innocent lives are taken?

My Review:

This is the second novel in the Detective Josie Quinn series. They are fast-paced and full of mystery and intrigue. I really enjoyed Vanishing Girls (book #1) and I’ve recently finished Her mother’s gave (book #3). Josie is a tough, likable and awesome protagonist. She is brilliant to read and leaps from the page.

The novel opens with Josie as the new Chief of police in Denton, US. The novel centres around a vicious attack on single mum Misty Derossi. Who we know from the previous novel, as Josie’s husband’s ‘other woman’. When previously pregnant Misty, is found badly beaten and no baby in sight. The case takes a sinister turn. Who has the baby? Why have they taken the baby?

The novel forces you to suspend your judgement on Misty and actually understand why she is the woman she is. Misty is portrayed as a loud mouthed stripper and homewrecker in the first novel. Yet within this case we learn that there is more to Misty than meets the eye. The novel does detail the various men in her life. But also her desire to make things right for her baby.

When a body is discovered on Luke’s property (Josie’s fiancé) and a mysterious woman inside, wearing his clothes. The case is blown wide open.
There is revelation upon, revelation for Josie to endure. Can she handle everything this case throws at her?

Fast-paced, intense and full of baby mama drama! 4*

LR
Lisa Regan
Twitter
Website

Anne Bonny #BookReview Vanishing Girls by @Lisalregan 5* #DetectiveJosieQuinn #Series @bookouture #CrimeFiction ‘suspenseful and intense’

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Vanishing Girls by Lisa Regan
Own copy from tbr Kindle
Synopsis:

When Isabelle Coleman, a blonde, beautiful young girl goes missing, everyone from the small town of Denton joins the search. They can find no trace of the town’s darling, but Detective Josie Quinn finds another girl they didn’t even know was missing.

Mute and unresponsive, it’s clear this mysterious girl has been damaged beyond repair. All Josie can get from her is the name of a third girl and a flash of a neon tongue piercing that matches Isabelle’s.

The race is on to find Isabelle alive, and Josie fears there may be other girls in terrible danger. When the trail leads her to a cold case labelled a hoax by authorities, Josie begins to wonder is there anyone left she can trust?

Someone in this close-knit town is committing unspeakable crimes. Can Josie catch the killer before another victim loses their life?

My Review:

‘There’s a man in the woods’
The novel opens with a scene of two young girls in the woods, when one is kidnapped. Right away you know this is going to be a gripping crime fiction read! Although you have no idea who the girls are and their relation to the plot.
It leaves you racing through the pages.

Detective Josie Quinn is on paid leave for her recent use of excessive force. But despite her currently situation, she can’t keep her nose out of the investigation for local missing teen Isabelle Coleman. Isabelle is just 17yrs old and has gone missing form the town of Denton. A town of 30K population, where there are approx. six murders a year. Is Isabelle an abduction case or a run away? The press can’t resist the remarks of how Isabelle makes the ‘perfect’ victim. Her perfect face plastered everywhere.

‘Beautiful teenage girls who were abducted were rarely returned alive and unharmed’

Sgt Ray Quinn, Josie’s ex-husband is the only member of the police force to feed her information. Their separation was far from amicable but Ray’s respect for Josie as a police officer goes a long way. It also enables her to stay in the loop.

Josie accidentally finds herself at the scene of a possible gang shoot-out which coincidentally has links to the missing girl. One of the dead victims Dirk Spencer utters the word ‘Ramona’ before he loses consciousness. But why is Isabelle’s history teacher involved in gang activity? And who is Ramona?
When the forensics arrive, and it is determined that the suspects are the Latino gang ‘The 23’. Who are routinely involved in drug wars, the plot becomes far more layered.
How did Mr Spencer end up in a car full of gangbangers?

Josie refuses to give up her side-line investigation, despite repeated warnings from both her ex and her boss. When she digs into Dirk’s background, she learns he is related to a missing teen. His niece June, having disappeared over a year ago. Dirk made it his personal crusade to save June and now it is Josie’s personal crusade to find the kidnapper. . .

There are scenes from a girl in captivity, as she adjusts to life in her cell. They are harrowing and uncomfortable reading.
‘I want to go home’

When Josie bumps into Misty (Ray’s other woman) we learn two things. a) how Josie and Ray split up and b) exactly how savvy Josie can be. Nobody pushes Josie Quinn around!

When June Spencer is found alive and catatonic from the trauma she has received, you start to believe the case may have its first big lead. But June’s abductor is quickly identified and captured. Yet Isabelle is still out there. . .

Where is Isabelle Coleman?

We then learn more about Josie’s background when she visit’s her grandmother in her nursing home. Her past is complex and layered. Everything I had come to expect from what I knew of Josie so far. With a local outbreak of norovirus, June is admitted to the same care facility and Josie catches her first glimpse of the traumatised young woman, lost inside her own head.

Chief Wayland continues to berate Josie for her interference in his case. Which forces her to reluctantly work with Trinity Payne a reporter with the local press. This added a unique angle on the case. As I could never imagine Josie working with the media. Josie and Trinity are relentless in their pursuit of justice. Although their motives maybe different.
They want to see Isabelle returned.

I don’t want to say too much more for fear of leaving spoilers. But the novel is suspenseful and intense.
The last 25% is sheer brilliance, it reminded me of author Karin Slaughter.
5*

I already have the next in the series, The Girl With No Name waiting patiently on my kindle. So, I shall report back with my review soon. Here is the cover and synopsis. . . .
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The Girl With No Name by Lisa Regan
Synopsis:

Detective Josie Quinn is horrified when she’s called to the house of a mother who had her newborn baby snatched from her arms.

A woman caught fleeing the scene is Josie’s only lead, but when questioned it seems this mysterious girl doesn’t know who she is, where she’s from or why she is so terrified…

Is she a witness, a suspect, or the next victim?

As Josie digs deeper, a letter about a mix-up at a fertility clinic links the nameless girl and the missing child to a spate of killings across the county. Josie is faced with an impossible decision: should she risk the life of one innocent child to save many others… or can she find another way?

LR
Lisa Regan
Website
Twitter

#Review Dark House by @helenphifer1 @bookouture #DILucyHarwin #CrimeFiction #Series #MooreAsylum

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Dark House by Helen Phifer
synopsis:

A shadowy figure in the dark was dragging something heavy behind them. Lizzy pulled the covers over her head, then realised what was being dragged…

For years, the Moore Asylum housed the forgotten children of Brooklyn Bay. But now, a man is found brutally murdered in the derelict building, strapped to a steel trolley, launching a terrifying investigation for Detective Lucy Harwin.

Lucy quickly discovers the victim was once a Moore Asylum doctor, and when a woman also linked to the home is found murdered on her doorstep, Lucy knows she must dig into its history. What dark secrets lie within the asylum’s walls – what was the scandal leading to its closure thirty years ago?

With her own demons to fight, Lucy starts to uncover the heartbreaking tale of the Moore Asylum children, and begins to wonder: who will be the next victim?

My review:

Detective Lucy Harwin #1
A new series by an author whose novels I have previously enjoyed!
I was quite easily #Sold!
I realised the second the series, Dying Breath was due for release and decided to catch up with the first in the series beforehand!
So hold fire, my review for Dying breath, will be following shortly!

The synopsis details the location of Brooklyn Bay and more importantly the crumbling Moore Asylum! Once a home for mentally ill children, the asylum is now a decaying mess left to rot. Much like its patients of 30 years ago. But what was the scandal that finally closed the asylum?

The prologue opens back in September 1975, there are several chapters from this era which slowly unravel the brutality rolled out within the asylum’s walls.
The prologue tells us about Alice (15yrs) and Lizzy (9yrs), their budding friendship and what they witness happen to little Tommy with his ‘treatment’.
Make sure you hug and kiss your children, before you tuck in to read!

The Moore asylum ‘treated’ a wide range of children’s needs. From those who are mentally ill, to those who would nowadays, live with their families in a much more accepting society. I myself, am the mother of an 11-year-old autistic boy. Who has exhausted main stream education settings. I was well aware, as I turned the pages, had he been born within a different era. Life wouldn’t have been so beautiful for him.
The mistreatment and abuse of children in settings, originally designed to protect and nurture them, is mainstream news. It is still happening to this very day!
But back in the 1970s, with fewer safeguards, abuse was rife!

DI Lucy Harwin is called to the derelict asylum, with reports of a dead body at the scene. Lucy, her partner Mattie and pathologist Dr Catherine Maxwell discover that the body appears to have sustained, a death inducing injury, similar to that of a lobotomy!
But who would want to lobotomise an old man? Why choose this location? And who is the victim?

Lucy’s personal life unravels throughout the novel and she makes for a likeable character and protagonist. Lucy is a career copper and has at times put duty before her family. Ultimately paying the toughest price in the breakdown of her marriage. Her teenage daughter now blames her and is rebelling beyond Lucy’s reach.
Lucy has it far from easy………

The case advances at an easy pace, allowing the reader to fully absorb all the details. The past of the asylum is explored and there are chapters from the killer’s perspective. I was gripped on the chapters from September 1975. I was desperate to learn more about the asylum and its former patients/inmates.

When another dead body is discovered, and the victim also has links to the asylum. The coppers know, the answers lie in the past.
How many more lives must be destroyed at the Moore asylum?

This novel is a police procedural, mixed with a creepy asylum backstory. The characters are interwoven perfectly!

HP
Helen Phifer
Authors links:
Website: https://www.helenphifer.com/
Twitter: @helenphifer1

#Review 5* Broken Bones by @WriteAngie Angela Marsons @bookouture #NewRelease #CrimeFiction

*I received an arc via Netgalley in return for an honest review*

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Broken Bones by Angela Marsons (#7 Kim Stone series)
Synopsis:

They thought they were safe. They were wrong.

The murder of a young prostitute and a baby found abandoned on the same winter night signals the start of a disturbing investigation for Detective Kim Stone – one which brings her face to face with someone from her own horrific childhood.

As three more sex workers in the Black Country are murdered in quick succession, each death more violent than the last, Kim and her team realise that the initial killing was no one-off frenzied attack, but a twisted serial killer preying on the vulnerable.
At the same time, the search begins for the desperate woman who left her newborn baby at the station – but what at first looks like a tragic abandonment soon takes an even more sinister turn.

When another young woman goes missing, the two investigations bring the team into a terrifying, hidden world, and a showdown puts Kim’s life at risk as secrets from as secrets from her own past come to light.

As Kim battles her own demons, can she stop the killer, before another life is lost?

My review:

Detective Kim Stone is Back!

The one thing I absolutely LOVE about Kim Stone is how the crimes get under her skin. She will not rest until they are solved and justice is served! This crime novel opens on Christmas day! It has the perfect wintery feel, for a novel you want to be reading as we approach Christmas! Well if your anything like me, anyway! The cases involve the murder of a young prostitute and an abandoned baby.
The cases appears to be two separate incidents, but Kim Stone has a hunch…………..

The prologue tells the story of Lauren Goddard. Having grown up on a rough estate, with a selfish alcoholic mother. Lauren has had it tough! But as she approaches the age of 16 years, she is going to be opened up, to a whole other world of degradation!
That is until she plummets from a roof!!!

The prologue left me reeling and I knew this was going to be an intense read. I feel the author did an absolutely cracking job of portraying women from all walks of life, as they find themselves ladies of the night! There was no judgement in the writing, it was cleverly written with a desire to understand these women rather than judge or stereotype. I commend the author on making those characters feel like real women. Real women, you felt deep sympathy for.

“The low value placed on life on the streets sickened her”

The novel also explores the violent side of sex work. The sleazy punters, the nasty and controlling pimps! The author holds little back. She wants you to see what the ‘profession’ is all about. Loan sharks, drug addiction and childhood abuse all play their own part in the women’s lives.

“Not everyone is exactly what they seem” – Kai Lord

The abandoned baby strikes at the heart of Kim Stone. Coming from an abused and abandoned childhood herself. It forces her to re-live the trauma. She forms an attachment to the child in one sense and becomes hell bent on finding the mother. However, when three different woman arrive claiming to be the child’s mother. We learn it is much more complex than we could have imagined.

The novel has a mixture of themes that make for interesting and thought-provoking reading!
One thing is for certain Angela Marsons writes a villain, that’ll make your skin crawl! 5*

Angie-Marsons-sidebar
Angela Marsons
Authors links:
website: http://angelamarsons-books.com/
Twitter: @WriteAngie
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7942666.Angela_Marsons
Facebooks: https://www.facebook.com/AngelaMarsonsAuthor

#Review and Q&A, A Daughter’s Courage by @RenitaDSilva @bookouture #HistFic

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A Daughter’s Courage by Renita D’Silva

Synopsis:

How much would you sacrifice to save your family?

1929. When a passionate love affair threatens to leave Lucy in disgrace, she chooses a respectable marriage over a life of shame. With her husband, coffee-plantation-owner James, she travels to her new home in India, leaving her troubled past behind her.

Everything in India is new to Lucy, from the jewel-coloured fabrics to the exotic spices. When her path crosses that of Gowri, a young woman who tends the temple on the plantation’s edge, Lucy is curious to find out more about her, and the events that lead her to live in isolation from her family…

Now. With her career in shatters and her heart broken by the man she thought was her future, Kavya flees from bustling Mumbai to her home town. A crumbling temple has been discovered in a village nearby, and with it letters detailing its tragic history – desperate pleas from a young woman called Gowri.

As Kavya learns of Gowri and Lucy’s painful story, she begins to understand the terrible sacrifices that were made and the decision the two women took that changed their lives forever. Can the secrets of the past help Kavya to rebuild her life?

My Review:

I love the cover of this novel, it is absolutely beautiful. I love that the female is in a traditional sari and appears deep in thought. I think it matches the plot completely!

The prologue opens and sets the location and the atmosphere. Which must take exceptional skill, by the writer. You almost feel as if you are watching the scenes play out rather than creating them in your own head. The novel continues various female’s characters, in various eras.

Kavya a modern day woman and Bollywood star, turns her back on the limelight to return to her mother’s home. Her mother is such a cracking character from the off. Domineering, yet loving. Needy, yet able. With very traditional values. I love that we all know, a mother/grandmother, like Kavya’s mother. When she begins to inform Kavya of a local temple that has been discovered via an elephant charging through the area. The novel, suddenly changes and we see the deep historical knowledge come to the surface……..

The temple, is being claimed by Muslims and Hindus alike, whom all want a stake in the potential treasure unearthed. When Kavya’s mother reveals their potential links to the Temple, Kavya becomes determined to know the truth behind the temple. The temple’s main diety is the goddess Yellamma, patron of Devadasis. Which is illegal in modern day in India, but was a form of prostitution in the name of faith.

Gowri is a young girl, in 1924 and we discover the terrible secrets of the past that led her to the temple and the painful hold it had over her. We hear her thoughts and prayers, her internal struggles with gender/poverty inequality. Gowri longs to be a teacher and seeks to break tradition, she doesn’t want to just be some man’s wife. But fate, plays Gowri a much worse hand and she finds herself in service to goddess Yellamma, as a Devadasis, by the cruel trickery of a despicable man, with no soul……..

Lucy a young British woman in 1927 London, has fallen in love. The only problem is, she fell in love across the class structure, falling for a handsome young gardener named Robert. Lucy is forced into a marriage to James Bell, over the shame she would bring to her family if such a marriage to Robert took place.

Meanwhile, Gowri is suffering under her new regime. The loneliness and despair seeps from the pages. We learn of her only ally in the world her previous teacher and their deep bond. But when her only ally suddenly dies, Gowri is left all alone in the world, with just the men whom frequent her shack………

Sue is a modern day woman, also living in London. She has recently discovered she is pregnant, with a much anticipated child. However, Sue’s husband, a soldier fighting in the middle east, has recently been killed in action. Leaving Sue with no family, no friends and no support. She whiles away the hours reminiscing about her grandmother, a high flying archaeologist. The time they shared after the death of Lucy’s mother at a young age. When Sue hears the story of the Temple, over the radio one day, she feels drawn to the story and the secrets of the past. Amongst the rubble of the Temple, a child’s bones are found…………

This novel is a truly incredible story. A story of women and the different struggles they face, the mistakes made and the prices they must pay, spanning decades and right up to the modern day. What will be made of the secrets of the past, when the women’s lives and history, implode upon them?

Highly recommend 5*

*Having enjoyed the novel so much. I ended up doing some mini research myself!
Devadasi devadasione
Devadasis

Devadsi Temple to Lord Khandoba in Jejuri Maharashtra
Devadsi Temple to Lord Khandoba in Jejuri, Maharashtra

yellama
Goddess Yellamma

Q&A:

Q) The novel covers the history of the Devadasis. When did you first learn of the Devadasis?

A) I grew up hearing of the devadasis (I grew up in India), how they had once been respected and how over the past century, their status had deteriorated. The more I read about their plight, the more upset I was and I knew that one day I would write about them.

Q) The character of Gowri, has a painful internal struggle against gender/poverty inequality. Did you set out to cover these themes? Or was this how the character presented herself to you?

A) It was definitely the latter – Gowri grew on me, she took me over, she dictated her story and I was just the conduit, putting her emotions, her angst into words.

Q) Within the novel there are several female characters from various eras and of either British/Indian culture. The characterisation is fantastic and the reader is drawn to their stories equally. What was the inspiration for the individual women?

A) I wanted to show women through the generations and across continents; I wanted to contrast modern women with women from generations past, women in India with women growing up in the West. I wanted to explore their inner struggles, the choices open to them, the constraints of their respective societies and the consequences wrought by their actions. I wanted to show, with each of the women, how, despite the limitations imposed upon them by either their own actions or by society, they managed to keep their sense of self, fight against their circumstances in their own unique ways.

Q) The elephants charging through the jungle and discovery of the temple. Was this inspired by any one particular event?

A) I read a news article about an elephant that got separated from its herd and went on a mad rampage, causing considerable damage. What if the elephant discovered something? I wondered. Something that had stayed hidden for decades, been claimed back by nature. My imagination took over then, conjured up the temple. And it evolved from there.

Q) This novel has a real ‘female strength’ feel to it. The relationship between Kayva and her mother, made me smile very early on in the story. Also having seen the dedication at the start of the novel. Who are the influences from real life? Does your mother play a role in the creation of the novels and various plots?

A) My mother is definitely my inspiration. She is strong, fiercely intelligent and very loving. I was very close to my grandmother too. She was a little like Kavya’s mother – strident and uncompromising, fiercely protective where we, her grandchildren, were concerned, and hiding a generous, warm and hugely caring heart behind a prickly exterior. She is also my inspiration.

My mother does not read my books until they are done, but she does answer any questions I might have during research, although I don’t give the plot away J

Q) What are your favourite reads in the genre and other genres?

A) Oh it’s hard to choose favourites – there are so many brilliant authors and wonderful books out there. To Kill A Mockingbird is my favourite book of all time.

Q) What were your childhood reads and influences?

A) Andersen and Grimm Fairy Tales introduced me to the magical, beautiful world of stories and I haven’t quite recovered yet J

Q) What has been your favourite moment of being a published author?

A) I love hearing from readers – it is rewarding and humbling to find out how your story has affected somebody else, the emotions it evoked in them.

RS: Thank you SO much Abby, for your beautiful review and for featuring me on your wonderful blog!

Rds
Renita D’Silva

Author Bio:

Renita D’Silva loves stories, both reading and creating them. Her short stories have been published in ‘The View from Here’, ‘Bartleby Snopes’, ‘this zine’, ‘Platinum Page’, ‘Paragraph Planet’ among others and have been nominated for the ‘Pushcart’ prize and the ‘Best of the Net’ anthology. She is the author of ‘Monsoon Memories’, ‘The Forgotten Daughter’, ‘The Stolen Girl’, ‘A Sister’s Promise’, ‘A Mother’s Secret’ and ‘A Daughter’s Courage’.

Authors Links:
FB: https://www.facebook.com/RenitaDSilvaBooks
Twitter: @RenitaDSilva Website: http://renitadsilva.com/
Email: Renitadsilvabooks@gmail.com

**Huge Thanks to the author for taking part in a Q&A, on my blog. I wish you every success, with your future writing career. Although this has been my first of your novels, it definitely won’t be my last!