Anne Bonny #BlogBlitz #BookReview and Q&A. Under The Woods by @KerryAnn77 KA Richardson 5* #CrimeFiction #NewRelease #ForensicFiles #AuthorTalks @Bloodhoundbook ‘All round this is a fantastic read!’ EBook just 99P

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Under The Woods by KA Richardson
Review copy
Synopsis:

Looking for a fast-paced crime thriller?
Then you’ll love the gripping Under The Woods.

When a homeless woman, Cheryl Whiffen, hears voices in her head telling her to do bad things, she can’t help but obey.

But when Cheryl becomes the victim of a serial killer who is collecting angels, this time the voices can’t help her. She is deemed not worthy of being an angel and the killer has to find another way to dispose of her body.

TJ Tulley has connections in the police force – her brother Jacob is a digital forensic analyst and her soon to be sister-in-law is a CSI. She knows many of their colleagues so when someone breaks into her house at the riding stables she owns, it’s not a surprise when the police dispatch CSI Jackson Doherty.

Is there a link between a suspicious fire at the stables and the serial killer?

As TJ and Doherty get closer to the truth they don’t realise the danger they are in. He is a killer – he’s angry at their investigation and he’ll do just about anything to protect his angels…

My Review:

I really admire this authors series and I was on the previous blog tour for Watch You Burn. They are police procedurals with a strong ethos on forensics. This novel is #4 in the forensic files. One thing I also love about the author is the way, in which she creates her characters. They come across authentic and she is not afraid to tackle difficult characters to create. Which in this novel, is the character of Cheryl Whitten a local homeless lady.

The prologue opens from the killer’s perspective, which is creepy and eerie. You almost feel like a voyeur watching a serial killer perfecting his craft. The killer talks of ‘his angels’ and ‘his treasure’ but what he is in fact referring to is society’s throwaway women, he has captured and killed. We become aware he is visiting the burial site of one of his previous victims, a beautiful drug addict turned ‘angel’.

Meanwhile, in Darlington it is the Christmas party for the forensics team. TJ Tulley has been dragged along as her brother Jacob’s designated driver. Jacob is a digital forensic analyst and the party is in full swing. It is at this party that TJ first meets loveable rogue Jackson Docherty. Jackson has an eye for the ladies, shall we say!

We later learn that TJ is the proud owner of Rainbow riding stables in Durham. However, the stables doesn’t come without its downsides. She must deal with local farmer and neighbour from hell Neil Brown. He is a brutish man and regularly openly berates TJ. He is an all-round pain in the backside. But you get a sense it is a simmering tension, waiting to bubble over into violence.

TJ herself has previously been the victim of a violent assault. Which has left her with chronic pain and physical suffering. The man who assaulted her was caught and committed suicide in his prison cell, adding further anguish to TJ’s recovery. Despite the trauma of her attack, TJ sees the positive in life and agrees to allow ‘difficult teens’ to assist at the stables. Which includes her attackers son Matthew. I really admired TJ’s ability to overcome the difficulties she has faced in life.
But I then began to wonder, were they just about to get a whole lot worse. . .

Cheryl Whiffen is a local homeless woman, she hears voices and they torment her every waking hour. When we meet her, she is hungry cold and feeling the strain of life on the streets. Her only friend in the word is a fellow homeless lady named Sally. When Cheryl goes missing, Sally is the only person to notice her absence. Can Sally get the police to take the case seriously?

‘She was definitely not, and never would be, one of his angels’

I think the author has done a fantastic job of her portrayal of not only homeless people, but of mental health conditions and how they manifest. I have worked in adult mental health and in facilitates which have re-homed mentally ill people from the streets. I think what the author did was give them a personality, a background etc. Allow the reader to see them as they truly are, people that matter! People that have lived through horrific life experiences, you hope to never endure.

But back to the case in hand, Jackson is at the scene of a dead body. A male drug addict found in the woods and partially eaten by his own dog.
Is this the killer that lurks amongst the pages?

There are chapters from the killer’s perspectives as he sets his victims tasks, of which they must complete. This element reminded me of the horror movie Saw. It was petrifying yet you couldn’t help but read on!
Especially the parts about the killer’s own childhood!!!!!!!

Farmer Brown’s son goes missing. Jackson faces harassment from an ex-lover named Nicki, who is a total bunny boiler. Someone is watching TJ, casually stalking her every move. Sally struggles to get the police to take Cheryl’s disappearance seriously. This novel is packed with various spin-off stories within.

The characters are authentic, their choices questionable but realistic.
All round this is a fantastic read! 5*

Q&A:

Q) Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your current series the forensic files?

A) My name is Kerry and I live in north east England with my husband Peter and our 2 Dogs, Tala and Riley. I used to work as a csi and still work for the police albeit in a different role now. My csi background and passion for forensics is a massive inspiration when it comes to writing. The Forensic Files can be read as a series or as standalones as the characters change in each novel though there is always some overlap. They’re crime novels that are heavy on the forensics and that side of the police investigation.

Q) In my review I talk about the authenticity of your characters. Are they inspired by real-life people? Where do you find your inspiration?

A) The characters are not based on any one person but may well feature traits from a few different people all melded together. I find inspiration in pretty much everything from children’s laughter to rain on the windows, but I do love a good people watching session and often build descriptions whilst sitting in coffee shops. Often an outfit or a pair of shoes seen while doing this may feature in one of my novels.

Q) The character of Cheryl Whitten as a homeless lady with mental health problems, is very accurate. Did you research homelessness or mental health problems?

A) Cheryl was a complex character to write – it did involve research into mental health – primarily multiple personality disorder and schizophrenia – and also homelessness though in my current role for the police I have some interaction with that side of things. I loved her character though – I felt bad for having to kill her off.

Q) The reason I adored the characterisation of Cheryl and Sally so much, was your ability to bring them over on the page as real people. Not a label or a stereotype, but real people with stories behind their eyes. Is this difficult to achieve as a writer?

A) That’s a tough question haha. Most characters come to me screaming loudly to be heard and desperate to tell their stories – I like them to be as real to the reader as they are to me so I get to know them first. I write a character profile for the main characters whether bad or good. This involves things like how I see them, eye colour hair etc, their hobbies, likes/dislikes and friends/enemies etc. Because I get to know them before I start, I feel I get a good handle on them being real to me. And that’s important – I love and live and breathe these characters for the time I write them so if I didn’t know them fully then they might come across as flat or 2-dimensional. This process works for the most part thought there’s always the odd one who throws you a curve ball you don’t see coming – which is also insanely interesting and fab! I love it when they surprise me!

Q) TJ Tulley comes across as a street smart and savvy woman. Yet there is this element of her that is willing to take grief from her neighbour from hell. I found this quite symbolic of how women are often expected to take a certain degree of insulting remarks or insinuations. Was this intentional?

A) Subconsciously perhaps – most of us are willing to take a lot of crap in real life before we stand up and say enough is enough. Not sure exactly why that is but with TJ, it was important to me that she not be a ‘wet lettuce’ kind of woman. She is strong – has gone through so much and still is. I think she balances what’s worth worrying about with what’s not quite well.

Q) The character of Jackson added at times a spin on the above question. As He is expected to put up with a female character infatuated with him. Even though her behaviour becomes more and more irrational. It was an interesting dynamic that draws you to the characters and their histories. What made you decide to give Jackson his stalker?

A) When I first began writing about Jackson in watch you burn, I knew instantly he’d have his own story. He has a one night stand – the first in many months for him which is unusual – he’s trying to settle down and not be a player – Nicki unfortunately didn’t like the idea of a one night stand and is rather persistent. I’ve seen this quite a lot through work – where one party in the relationship just can’t let go or sees it completely different to the other. Jackson needed a challenge to overcome as well as TJ did and I think Nicki was definitely erring on the more Challenging side!

Q) finally, what can we the readers expect from the next book in the series and are we allowed any information?

A) The next book doesn’t have a title yet (sometimes these come straight away and sometimes they reveal themselves a bit later) but it’s set in Edinburgh and feature more of Ali and Alex’s family – specifically his brother Mark who is younger than them. Mark is lovely – he’s buried himself in working as a detective for so long he’s almost forgetting there’s more to life than just work. He’s got some flaws – claustrophobia being one. And he’s not a big believer in things like psychics – until one shows up in his life. It’s about darkness and shadows, murders in the vaults under the city and family dynamics. I’m loving writing it.

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KA Richardson
Website
Twitter

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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 #BlogTour #BookReview My Little Eye by @crimethrillgirl Stephanie Marland 4* #CrimeFiction #NewRelease 99p Ebook @TrapezeBooks I spy with. . . my little eye. . . my next victim. . .

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My Little Eye by Stephanie Marland
Synopsis:

Can a group of true crime addicts take on the police to catch a serial killer?

A young woman is found dead in her bedroom surrounded by rose petals – the latest victim of ‘The Lover’. Struggling under the weight of an internal investigation, DI Dominic Bell is no closer to discovering the identity of the killer and time is running out.

As the murders escalate, Clementine Starke joins an online true crime group determined to take justice in to their own hands – to catch the killer before the police. Hiding a dark secret, she takes greater risks to find new evidence and infiltrate the group.

As Starke and Bell get closer to cracking the case neither of them realise they’re being watched. The killer is closer to them than they think, and he has his next victim – Clementine – firmly in his sights.

My Review:

This novel has a unique concept on the cat and mouse theme within a detective novel and it works instantly from the opening pages. I love the combination of modern social media and a crime thriller. My Little Eye will have huge appeal to those whom love a modern serial killer thriller.

The novel opens with a brutal scene of a young woman and her killer. The killer has set the scene with low-lighting, red wine and music. This lulls his victims into a false sense of security and adds to his fantasy of ‘wooing’ his victims.
I knew this was going to be dark and scary!

‘Kate Adams had a secret, and secrets are often the things that get people killed’

The two central characters on the hunt for the killer carry their own baggage and personal demons. Clementine and Dom are both determined and driven towards justice, as they attempt to follow the clues and put ‘The Lover’ in jail.
But who will catch the killer first?

Clementine is a university PHD student. Her doctorial study intends to prove that crowd-sourced crime solving would never be achievable. But it isn’t long before she becomes immersed in the online group Crime Stop. The online group is a form of specialised social networking for fans of true-crime. Clementine must navigate the members and provide live updates as the case unfolds. But can she trust the other members? How does she know whom lurks behind the screens?

‘True-crime fans never sleep’

Dom is the MET police officer in-charge of the case. There are already two previous victims, with Kate the third in a series of bizarre and ritualistic murders. The police have no obvious clues to go from, and are hounded by the press at every turn.
Dom is also battling a case from his past.
One that has landed him facing an IPCC investigation.

The online group consists of multiple members, who believe the police are either corrupt or incompetent. Their ‘leader’ Death Stalker sets individual tasks and insists on each member reporting back information or finding themselves kicked out the group. Clementine is faced with the pressures of the groups demands and that also of her professor. I began to suspect Clementine had her own secrets, the more I read on. . .

‘Hiding behind my own careful lies. Trying to understand those of others’

The crime scene is fully described, and this adds an element of realism. It is a dark and savage murder, with creepy love tokens left behind. The various police officers surrounding the case, are held back within the novel. As we learn more about Dom’s past with operation Atlantis. An undercover mission that was tainted before it ever began. I was unsure if I could trust Dom, is he one of the corrupt officers the group speak of?

‘Like a poisonous snake, he requires careful handling’

The novel has alternating chapters between Dom, Clementine and the killer’s perspective. You become aware that the killer is stalking a new victim and my head was full of the possibilities. Who is the killer stalking?

‘Make tough choices or you won’t survive’ – Clementine

Clementine is a constantly evolving character. I loved her background and emotional vulnerability. I felt it added depth to the plot. I was surprised to find her seeking more and more approval from the group. I began to wonder, is Clementine studying the group or are they studying her? The dynamics of the group and their agenda, is a whole novel within itself. I loved the desperate search for the true and their willingness to break new boundaries.

‘Could this group of true crime fans solve a live murder case?’

Perfect for crime fiction fans and fans of novels with a social media aspect!

SM
Stephanie Marland
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Especially the awesome Joy Kluver – my blogger buddy for the day!
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Q&A with @maxmanningcrime #DebutAuthor of #NewRelease #NowYouSee @Wildfirebks @headlinepg @Sourcebooks

I was lucky enough to win a proof via a Twitter competition and wished to re-pay my gratitude to the author & publisher.
Knowing I could not read the novel by its Ebook release on 1st November 2017. I offered Max Manning the opportunity to tell us more about his debut novel.
So here it is!

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Now You See by Max Manning
Synopsis:

Will you look her in the eyes, just before she dies? A terrifying crime thriller that will set your pulse pounding. Perfect for fans of M. J. Arlidge, Robert Bryndza, and Angela Marsons.

I, Killer has posted two photos of his first victim online – Before Death and After Death. They’ve gone viral before DCI Fenton’s team even discovers the body.

Soon, another victim’s photo is similarly posted…and so begins the killer’s following.

DCI Fenton is determined to discover the identity of I, Killer. Then the murderer makes the hunt personal, and Fenton’s search becomes a matter of life or death for him and his daughter.

But as I, Killer‘s body-count rises, his number of online followers is growing – and he loves to give his fans what they want…

Q&A:

Q) For the readers, can you talk us through your background and the synopsis of your new novel?

A) In my late teens I began thinking about becoming a writer and a career in journalism beckoned. I started as a news reporter on local and regional newspapers. Eventually, I moved to Fleet Street, working for several national newspapers including the Financial Times and the Daily Express. I later joined the staff of The Daily Telegraph, where I was employed as a news sub-editor for sixteen years.

My debut crime novel Now You See starts with a killer posting two photos of his first victim on line – Before Death and After Death. They go viral before the police discover the body. Soon, another victim’s photo is posted…and so begins the killer’s following. DCI Dan Fenton teams up with troubled journalist Adam Blake to uncover the killer’s identity. Things turn personal and Fenton, and his young daughter, discover that if you hunt the hunter, you risk becoming the prey. As the body count rises, the killer’s online following grows­ – and he loves to give his fans what he wants….

Q) Can you talk us through the journey from idea to writing to publication?

A) My work as a news reporter involved writing a lot of crime stories, dealing with the police on a daily basis and covering murder trials. I quickly became fascinated by the workings of the criminal, and especially the psychopathic, mind. When I started writing Now You See, I wanted to try to give the reader an insight into the mind of a psychopath. The use of social media is a fantastic communication tool, but it also allows the dark side of human nature to be expressed without the usual social constraints.

After long evenings spent writing in my office/garden shed, I sent the manuscript out to literary agents looking for crime fiction and I was delighted to get an offer of representation from Madeleine Milburn. After working on the manuscript with her, things moved fairly quickly and I was excited to hear that the Headline imprint Wildfire loved Now You See. The next stage involved working on the MS with my editor, Kate Stephenson, and I found it a fascinating process.

Q) What are your favourite authors and recommended reads?

A) There are so many authors I love it is hard to pick one or two, but I’ll do my best. When it comes to series crime I think Michael Connelly’s creation, Harry Bosch, is hard to beat. Connelly is a former reporter and his writing style is lean, but forceful. Another of my favourite crime writers is Val McDermid. The Tony Hill and Carol Jordan series, beginning with The Mermaids Singing, is fantastic. McDermid’s prose is strikingly powerful and a pleasure to read. My recommendations? Read Connelly and McDermid to see how it’s done. I also recommend Susie Steiner and the standalone thrillers of Belinda Bauer. Away from crime, I enjoy reading historical fiction. My all-time favourites include Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies.

Q) What were your childhood/teenage favourite reads?

A) Under the age of ten I devoured all of Enid Blyton’s Famous Five and Secret Seven books and anything that involved adventures in space or pirates. Pirates in space would have been even better. In my early teens I moved on to Tolkien and read The Lord of The Rings during a two-week Easter holiday. I also developed an obsession with science fiction and read everything I could find by Isaac Asimov and Philip K. Dick.

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

A) From the point of sitting down and starting to write to becoming a published author, there are so many memorable milestones. They range from simply pressing the send button to put your manuscript out there, to getting a literary agent and then a publisher. All of them are a cause for celebration in their own way. The moment that stands out for me, up to now, is getting an email from my agent while sitting with my wife in the sunshine in the garden of a café after a day cycling along the north Kent coast. The email confirmed that Now You See had been sold to publishers in the UK, the US and Germany. It was a brilliant moment.

Q) Who has been your source of support/encouragement, throughout the writing process?

A) Once the first draft of Now You See was finished, I was fortunate to have had great encouragement from my agent and my editor. Getting that first draft down on paper is a rollercoaster process and impossible without the support and understanding of those closest to you. Without doubt my strongest source of support, from the moment I decided to write Now You See, has been my wife, Valerie. From first word to last, she has been an invaluable sounding board and tireless reader.

Max-Manning
Max Manning
Authors links:
Twitter: @maxmanningcrime
Website: maxmanningcrime.com

*Thank you for taking part in the Q&A on my blog, I wish you every success with your writing career.

**Now You See, is released in Ebook format tomorrow for just £1.99 on Kindle. The paperback release will be 19th April 2018.**

I am so intrigued and engrossed by this cover & synopsis! The novel is calling to me from the book shelves! I may have to be a #NaughtyBookBlogger. Ignore my own lists and read this one next!!!!!!!

 

 

#Novella 5* #Review #ADeathInSarajevo by @AusmaZehanat @MinotaurBooks

So, to follow on from my #TheUnquietDead #Review by Ausma Zehanat Khan. I have also reviewed the #Novella which picks up right at the end of, The Unquiet Dead.
I am super excited to share this review and my love for this series.
From Anne Bonny Book Review #HappyAusmaZehanatKhanDay 🙂

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A Death In Sarajevo by Ausma Zehanat Khan
Synopsis:

Detectives Esa Khattak and Rachel Getty are asked to help unlock the secrets of a woman killed during the Bosnian war in this captivating story from acclaimed author Ausma Zehanat Khan.

An old friend from Esa’s past has reappeared in his life, reaching out to ask Esa for help solving a mystery about the woman he once loved. But before Esa can travel to Sarajevo to help his friend, he and his partner, Detective Rachel Getty, must make it through a government inquiry that will not only affect their futures on the police force, but also test the strength of their partnership. Ausma’s trademark complex characters, atmospheric writing, and intricate plotting will mesmerize fans and new readers alike.

My review:

Having previously read and LOVED The Unquiet Dead by the same author, I was becoming desperate for my next fix, in the series. I was delighted to see it is scheduled for an October 2017 release via publishers No Exit. I was even more delighted to discover a novella that fits between the two novels. It is possibly the fastest I have ever downloaded an Ebook ever!!!!!!

The novella opens, following on from the previous case in The Unquiet Dead. With the crimes of Christopher Drayton looming over the lives of both community police officers. Esa and Rachel are facing a week long enquiry and their personal lives are being dragged out for all to see. In particular, Esa’s personal faith and beliefs. With the court assessing if fair justice was delivered, as Esa is a practising Muslim himself. Rachel is rather angered and dismayed at this and to be completely honest I was with her 100%. Esa has proven he is a fair and just man, yet time and time again he is vilified for his faith.
Is Esa going to suffer a fall from grace?

The enquiry is wrapped up and Esa receives a call from an old friend. The friend reminds Esa of a town called Waverley and a girl named Amira. The pair arrange to meet in SaraJevo. In SaraJevo, Esa is reacquainted with his old friend Skender. He shows Esa a photo which shows Amira months after she is believed to have died, when serb forces brought down her apartment block. Not only does she appear alive and well, she is dressed in the uniform of the ‘Bluebird Brigade’ an all-female army unit. But where is Amira now? Did she survive? Can Esa solve the mystery?

The novella packs on hell of a punch. It is a moving story with a moral message. Ausma Zehanat Khan knows how to blend historical fiction, with personal stories of those involved, to create heart-breaking reading!
5*

“forgiveness is all we have. It’s what makes us whole”

AZK
Ausma Zehanat Khan
Authors Links:
Web: http://www.ausmazehanatkhan.com/
Twitter: @AusmaZehanat

#HappyAusmaZehanatKhanDay 🙂