Anne Bonny #BlogTour #BookReview The Key To Death’s Door by @MTilburyAuthor 5* #CrimeFiction #Thriller #NewRelease @Bloodhoundbook Ebook 99p

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The Key To Death’s Door by Mark Tilbury
Review copy
Synopsis:

Looking for a dark and compelling psychological thriller?

If you could discover the murderous truth of a past life and seek justice in this one, would you?

Teenager Lee Hunter doesn’t have a choice when he nearly drowns after spending the night at a derelict boathouse with his best friend, Charlie Finch. After leaving his body and meeting a mysterious light, Lee is sent back to relive the final days of another life. A life that ended tragically.

After recovering from his near death experience, Lee begins to realise that he is part of two lives linked by the despicable actions of one man.

Struggling against impossible odds, Lee and Charlie set out to bring this man to justice.
Will Lee be able to unlock the past and bring justice to the future?

The Key to Death’s Door is a story of sacrifice, friendship, loyalty and murder.

My Review:

‘The day before I died started off pretty much like any other’

This novel has a unique plot, with a slight supernatural/horror twist. The novel tells the story of the two lives of Lee Hunter. It has various themes within, but the concept of teenage protagonists is the clear winner for me.

The novel opens with Lee in the present day/life. He lives with a single mum and has a best friend named Charlie. The pair are planning a night out, at a derelict boathouse. The each tell their parents they are spending the night at each other’s houses, to prevent any suspicion. There is a strong bond between the boys, despite their different childhoods. As someone with five brothers, I found Lee and Charlie to be very believable characters. Despite the darkness of the novel, there are moments where the banter between the boys made me laugh out loud! But the darkness of Charlie’s life always lingers in the background of every scene.

Charlie’s dad Daryl is what can only be described as, a thoroughly vile man! He is loathed by Charlie and the reader at his mere introduction. Daryl Finch is a sick and twisted man, but to discover how much, you must read on.

When the night at the derelict boathouse, leads to the boys being stranded from the shore. They attempt to swim to safety.
Lee finds himself in danger in the water and then he blacks out……

When Lee wakes, he is in the body of a man named Paul Collins. He has the knowledge of his past life, his mum and best friend Charlie. But he also has the knowledge of his new family and new best friend Bobby Lomax. Paul lives on a farm, with his parents and dog Sally. His sister Susan has recently moved in with her new boyfriend Daryl.
Daryl is here, and he has a new family to terrorise!

The family are taken hostage by an enraged Daryl. The time you spend at the farm is truly terrifying and I found myself reading with both my hands over my face! I often recoiled at the things Daryl said. The language is as coarse and vile as the man himself. But it adds to the realism. After all, when you take a family hostage and demand access to their bank accounts, you need to incite fear and obedience. Manners are not required.

The time slip, eventually reverts back and Lee awakens in his past life, with Charlie at his side. He vows to get revenge!

‘I’ll get him if it’s the last thing I do’

The theme of brotherhood and strong male bonds, adds to the intensity of the read. The personal experiences of domestic violence and savage cruelty are sickening.
Yet for many victims, it is the reality they have known.

‘What I need and what I got were about as distant as the earth and the sun’

A cracking crime fiction read, and I sincerely hope to never encounter a man like Daryl in real-life. 5*

They say truth is always stranger than fiction, don’t they?’

2017 Author pic
Mark Tilbury
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The novel is available via Kindle Unlimited or on Ebook for just 99p
Happy reading!

Anne Bonny #BookReview Presumed Dead by @MasonCrossBooks 4* #CrimeFiction #NewRelease #CarterBlake @OrionBooks @orion_crime So why are they convinced she’s still alive?

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Presumed Dead by Mason Cross
Carter Blake Book 5
Review copy
Synopsis:

‘What do you know about the Devil Mountain Killer?’

THEN

Adeline Connor was the Devil Mountain Killer’s final victim. After she was gunned down, the murderer disappeared and the killing spree ended.

NOW

Carter Blake has been hired to do what he does best: to find someone. But this time he’s hunting a dead girl – Adeline Connor’s brother is convinced she’s still alive.

But this town doesn’t want an outsider digging up old business. And as Blake gets deeper into the case, it starts to become clear that the murders didn’t ju st stop fifteen years ago.

The killer is on the hunt again.

My Review:

This is the fifth novel in the Carter Blake series. I must confess that it is the first novel by Mason Cross that I have read. I think the novel can be read as a stand-alone, I thoroughly enjoyed it as such. Carter Blake is different to the usual kind of protagonist I read within the crime fiction genre, as he is much more action based. He is likeable and comes over brilliantly on the page.
Carter Blake gets the job done!

The novel opens in the present day, when Blake attends a funeral at Ravenwood. At the funeral he comes across Lauren Day, she is mother to his old school friend Karen. Karen Day went missing in 1995, after leaving work, she was never seen alive again. Her body was discovered after a storm and the family were able to gain some form of closure. Blake as a young teen was part of the search teams and it has been a case that has always stayed with him. Lauren informs him, that she now runs the Missing Foundation, to help other families in their search for truth and justice. Lauren asks Blake to look into a case for her. . .

“He says he saw his sister. Alive” – Lauren

The case in question has ties to the Devil Mountain killer. A serial killer in NEC Georgia that murdered nine victim’s execution style. The crimes took place between Aug 2002 – Oct 2003. There were five male victims and four female victims. The victim in question, is Adeline her body was never discovered but she was declared dead. Her murder was tied to the case, when the killings ceased. Lauren pleads with Blake to meet with her brother David Connor and offer his expertise.

Blake establishes contact with David Connor and a meeting is scheduled. Blake makes his way to Lake Bathany the nearest town to Devil’s Mountain. He hopes to establish contact with the local Sheriff’s department and solve the mystery once and for all. Is Adeline dead or alive? Who is the mysterious woman David saw?

The rural location is described brilliantly, and the author really sets the scene, of the small town where the plot will take place. However, once Blake arrives it is not to any form of welcome. The local police are hostile and dismissive of Blake and David. It would appear the town would rather David left, so they could all move on.
But what does David have, to move on to?

Deputy Isabella Green and Deputy Haycox are wary of the newcomer to town. But they both have a vested interest in the Devil’s Mountain Killer case. So, over time they become more intrigued by his presence in their town.

‘Small towns have long memories’

Blake meanwhile is finding nothing but dead ends and old leads. Even David’s description of seeing his sister is doubtful. How can he be so sure?

‘Adeline Connor was dead and gone. So why did her brother think he had seen her alive and well in downtown Atlanta’ – Blake

This novel is jam packed with secrets, suspicion and mystery. There are twists and turns galore! The action-packed ending was so cleverly constructed, it may leave some fans of crime fiction on the fence. But this little crime fiction addict LOVED it! 4*

MC
Mason Cross
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Presumed Dead is released today!

Anne Bonny #BlogTour #BookReview Turn A Blind Eye by @VickyNewham 5* #CrimeFiction #NewRelease @HQstories @fictionpubteam #DIMayaRahman #Series #London A Dead Girl. A Wall Of Silence. . .

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Turn A Blind Eye by Vicky Newham
Review copy
Synopsis:

A dead girl.
A wall of silence.
DI Maya Rahman is running out of time.

A headmistress is found strangled in her East London school, her death the result of a brutal and ritualistic act of violence. Found at the scene is a single piece of card, written upon which is an ancient Buddhist precept:

I shall abstain from taking the ungiven.

At first, DI Maya Rahman can’t help but hope this is a tragic but isolated murder. Then, the second body is found.

Faced with a community steeped in secrets and prejudice, Maya must untangle the cryptic messages left at the crime scenes to solve the deadly riddle behind the murders – before the killer takes another victim.

Turn a Blind Eye is the first book in a brand-new series set in East London and starring DI Maya Rahman.

My Review:

DI Maya Rahman is a breath of fresh air, she brings a diverse edge to crime fiction and paints the picture of a truly modern London. I think the author has done an outstanding job, of covering various aspects of a diverse society. At times it is hard to believe this is a debut novel, as it is so incredibly well put together.

The first novel in the Maya series, centres around a case involving a strangled headmistress, in East London. The novel has added depth, by the bizarre and ritualistic elements attached to the case. Cryptic messages, prejudice and community secrets all play their part in making Maya’s case, a tough one to crack.

The novel opens at kala Uddin mosque in Bangladesh, December 2017. Maya is attending the funeral of her brother Sabbir.
We become aware he was burned alive in his flat. But are unsure why/how.
His death is an emotionally charged mystery, right from the opening pages.

‘Sabbir has endured a lifetime of anguish and was gone forever’

After returning to the UK, Maya quickly becomes aware of the case of the murdered head teacher. Fearing press intrusion and the investigation being turned into a sham. She agrees to return to work a day early from her leave.
Maya makes her way to the crime scene.

At the scene Suzie James, press nosey parker from the Stepney Gazette, is quick to fire off questions. Giving Maya little time to be brought up to speed. It would appear Maya was correct in her earlier predictions; the press is out for blood.

Maya is met by DS Maguire a new detective with the MET and a fast-tracked officer. His lack of experience shows, and it falls to Maya to show him the ropes. At the scene Dr Clark talks them through the victim’s presentation. The head teacher appears to have been strangled, it is a disorganised crime scene and she shows signs of defensive wounds. There are no signs of sexual assault and the motive for the attack is unknown. The head teacher has had her wrists bound, post death. The detectives are baffled as to why? It is at that point, they notice the ancient Buddhist precept left by the body.

‘Adinnadanna veramani sikkhapadam samadyani’
‘I shall abstain from taking the ungiven’

The cops interpret the note to mean that the victim may have taken something without any desire for thanks or for no benefit. But what/how/why? Remains a mystery.
Was the head teacher involved in some form of coercion, manipulation or exploitation? If so where is the evidence?

The head teacher presents as living the perfect life, prior to death. She had been a fundamental part of turning the failing Mile end high school around. She is well liked and respected in the community and worked well to unite the various cultures. Her husband is left so devastated at the news of her death, he has to be sedated.
Who wanted this woman dead and why?

‘People can be extremely good at keeping secrets when they need to be’

The novel has flashback scenes to Maya’s own school days. Coincidentally at Mile End high school. They give an insight into what it would have felt like to be part of a very small minority and referred to as ‘the Bangladeshi girl’. I think this added depth to Maya’s character and added to the whole theme of multiculturalism within the novel.

From further research into the Buddhist precepts, the police team learn that the one left by the victim, is the second precept! How do the precepts relate to the case and what do they mean?

1) I shall abstain from causing harm
2) I shall abstain from taking the ungiven
3) I shall abstain from sexual misconduct
4) I shall abstain from false speech
5) I shall abstain from all that clouds the mind

When the team learn that recently copious amounts of data had been being erased and they also learn the heads ex-husband is a Buddhist, the case really heats up! Everyone’s past will out in this investigation.

The novel is layered with the secrets of the past, I was hooked at reading them and found myself trying to read the book as quick as possible.
A diverse cast, a clever plot and set in the multicultural location of Tower Hamlets, London.
I look forward to the next in the series and wish the author all the best with the release of her debut novel. 5*

VN
Vicky Newham
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Especially my blogger buddy for the day over at Live And Deadly
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Anne Bonny #BookReview Now We Are Dead by @StuartMacBride 5* #MacBrideMafia @HarperFiction @fictionpubteam #CrimeFiction ‘A complex crime fiction novel, packed with all the feels and some naughty giggles!’

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Now We Are Dead by Stuart MacBride
My own copy
Synopsis:

She can’t prove he did it. But she might die trying…

From the Sunday Times No.1 bestselling author of the Logan McRae series, comes a standalone spinoff featuring DS Roberta Steel.

Revenge is a dangerous thing…

Detective Chief Inspector Roberta Steel got caught fitting up Jack Wallace – that’s why they demoted her and quashed his sentence. Now he’s back on the streets and women are being attacked again. Wallace has to be responsible, but if Detective Sergeant Steel goes anywhere near him, his lawyers will get her thrown off the force for good.

The Powers That Be won’t listen to her, not after what happened last time. According to them, she’s got more than enough ongoing cases to keep her busy. Perhaps she could try solving a few instead of harassing an innocent man?

Steel knows Wallace is guilty. And the longer he gets away with it, the more women will suffer. The question is: how much is she willing to sacrifice to stop him?

My Review:

I have recently been trying to catch up with the MacBride novels, I have fallen behind with. Last month I reviewed, A Dark So Deadly and I wanted to get this novel read before the latest MacBride novel release (so excited!). I also had my arm slightly bent up my back, by Kate, Eva and Jen aka the #MacBrideMafia. Who have threatened to kick me out the mafia if I didn’t pull my socks up and we all know what that means! Lol
So here are my thoughts on Now We Are Dead. . .

This novel focuses on Detective Chief Inspector Roberta Steel and her fall from grace. Logan McCrae is briefly mentioned, and it would appear Steel is no fan of the man!
I actually found Steel quite difficult to like, but I think this was the point. I don’t think she was supposed to be the most likeable character. Your drawn into the plot and almost begin to sympathise with her work colleagues who have to put up with her. She is moody, difficult and set in her ways. All qualities, I could quite easily say about myself. But we shall glance over that. I don’t think Steel is intended as a protagonist you emotionally connect with. But yet, I did respect her as a copper and if I was a victim, I’d want her on my side.

The novel opens with the arrest of an unknown child shoplifter aged 9/10yrs. The author has added his usual humour into the spin-off crime stories. I did find myself giggling, at scenes in the novel. The writing is just so brilliantly done.

Later at the station Steel faces the sneers and dominance of her fellow officers. I am not sure if this is what makes her so moody or if this is the effect of her grumpy persona. It is like a chicken/egg situation. The look downs from other officers and Jack Wallace using the press to goad her, make her journey back up the career ladder much tougher.

‘Remember: the road to redemption is paved with little victories’

The young shoplifter leads the case to a raid on a flat. Where a young child is discovered. The child is not known to be missing and this develops into a much bigger case.
There is also a spin-off story of a serial masturbator, dressed as various superheroes. Now, as serious as flashing or sexually motivated crimes are, I did find myself giggling as Steel and Tufty attempt to apprehend the local perv.

‘A sex offender in the hand is better than two in the bushes’

There is also the case of Mrs Galloway, a local OAP facing serious and violent harassment at the hands of loan sharks. Steel deals with this in such a manner, that makes you really admire her. Whilst also making you think, being legally right and morally right, are two different things entirely.

The main plot running throughout the novel is the case of Jack Wallace. Who I can’t fully describe because WordPress and Amazon have community standards. But he is vile!
I can really see why he has gotten under Steel’s skin and why she refuses to back away from the case. I had faith, because I knew if I was a criminal (which I am not, just to be clear!) I wouldn’t fancy my chances if Steel was after me!

There is an emotional scene where Steel attends the scene of a young murder victim Sally Gray. It really pulled at my heart and I did begin to slowly realise Steel is human after all.

A complex crime fiction novel, packed with all the feels and some naughty giggles. 5*

SM
Stuart MacBride
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The book that the #MacBrideMafia is getting ‘slightly’ excited about. . . . . . .
TBR
The Blood Road by Stuart MacBride
Logan McRae, Book 11
Synopsis:

What drives someone to murder?

The No.1 Sunday Times bestselling author returns with the much anticipated new Logan McRae thriller.

Some things just won’t stay buried…

Logan McRae’s personal history is hardly squeaky clean, but now that he works for Professional Standards he’s policing his fellow officers.

When Detective Inspector Bell turns up dead in the driver’s seat of a crashed car it’s a shock to everyone. Because Bell died two years ago, they buried him. Or they thought they did.

As an investigation is launched into Bell’s stabbing, Logan digs into his past. Where has he been all this time? Why did he disappear? And what’s so important that he felt the need to come back from the dead?

But the deeper Logan digs, the more bones he uncovers – and there are people out there who’ll kill to keep those skeletons buried.
If Logan can’t stop them, DI Bell won’t be the only one to die…

Available in Hardback and E-book 14th June and currently listed for pre-order

 

Anne Bonny #GuestPost by @AuthorMLilly – Vigilantism in fiction #PondScum #RoadRunner #DarkthornSeries @vulpine_press #CrimeFiction #NewRelease

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Pond Scum by Michael Lilly
Darkthorn #1
Synopsis:

My name is Jeremy Thorn, and I’m a serial killer.

Jeremy ‘Remy’ Thorn is a detective from a small town in Oregon. He does his job well and keeps to himself. A past of trauma and abuse, and a compulsive need for balance have shaped him into the person he is today: a decisive, effective killer.

His routine is simple but trustworthy.

Step one: Find two targets. The first, an abomination of a human being whose only contribution to the world is as fertilizer. The second, a detriment to society, perhaps a sidekick or accessory.

Step two: Kill the first. Frame the second.

Easy.

After his latest, and most personal kill, all seems to be going well. He makes it home by morning and continues with his plan as normal, with each perfectly timed maneuver all mapped out. But to his horror, he finds that the man he was trying to frame—a hotshot detective from a major nearby city—has been called in to work the case. And what’s worse … he’s privy to the truth.

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Road Runner by Michael Lilly
Darkthorn #2
Synopsis:

Remy and Todd are just getting comfortable when a series of death threats forces them to take refuge in a tiny town in New Mexico. Against his better judgment, an antsy Remy picks up detective work again and is thrust into a murder investigation. He quickly realizes these murders are no coincidence, and disturbing signs lead him to think they are connected to his unfinished business in Riverdell.

In the midst of yet another battle of wit, resources, mental fortitude, and emotional stamina, Remy is forced to confront the demons of his past and present. He can only hope he has what it takes to finish this once and for all.

Guest Post:

Vigilantism in Fiction
Because it’s Illegal in Real Life

While one of the more popular plot dynamics in fiction—specifically action, crime, and suspense—it can be quite a challenge to piece together a story about vigilantism while also keeping it relevant, believable, and engaging. More specifically, it’s difficult to create a character—a vigilante—who’s likeable and relatable while simultaneously building a life for them in which they subvert the law and perpetuate acts that would certainly be frowned upon in real life.

So how exactly does one create such a character?

My first piece of advice is as complex and as simple as this: Keep them human. Have them do human things. Give them pets, hobbies, and a story. Give them reasons for living outside of their vigilante work. Give them flaws and quirks: a stutter they’re self-conscious about, a phobia of an insect that’s not even indigenous in the area, a deep knowledge of plant life, an obsession with another culture (or many other cultures!).

My second piece of advice is to make the work necessary. In the Dexter series, the protagonist, blood spatter analyst Dexter Morgan, has a drive to kill, but it goes beyond simple desire. He needs it, and his father, Harry, recognized this in him and taught him a set of rules to abide by in order to keep it hidden. This is a unique (and mercilessly engaging) perspective, and it works. If your character kills for sheer pleasure, that’s a fast way to create distance between your character and your audience.

In some cases (and as was the plot device I used in Pond Scum), making the vigilantism a necessity is a matter of making the antagonist absolutely untouchable by the law. Make your antagonist arrogant, witty, and fully aware that they can get away with whatever they please, as long as they can’t get caught legally. These antagonists know that they can manipulate, lie, bribe, blackmail, and coerce their way to whatever end they please, as long as the court system continues to operate how it has been for decades. But they don’t count on someone ignoring that system. They think that, by breaking the rules, they have the edge, but when met with an adversary with a similar disregard for rules, they run scared.

An important part, which often seems like an afterthought, is that of how the character’s vigilantism affects their other relationships. Do they have a significant other? Does that person know about these habits? If so, how does that impact the significant other’s perception of the protagonist? And if not, what measures has the main character taken to keep their operations hidden?

M Lilly Headshot
Michael Lilly
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