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*

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Vicky Newham
Website
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***Don’t miss the other fabulous bloggers on the blog tour***
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 #BookReview The Good Daughter by @SlaughterKarin @fictionpubteam @HarperFiction #CrimeFiction #Sisterhood

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The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter
Synopsis:

One ran. One stayed. But who is…the good daughter?

Twenty-eight years ago, Charlotte and Samantha Quinn’s childhoods were destroyed by a terrifying attack on their family home. It left their mother dead. It left their father – a notorious defence attorney – devastated. And it left the family consumed by secrets from that shocking night.

Twenty-eight years later, Charlie has followed in her father’s footsteps to become a lawyer. But when violence comes to their home town again, the case triggers memories she’s desperately tried to suppress. Because the shocking truth about the crime which destroyed her family won’t stay buried for ever…

My Review:

The novel opens at the temporary farmhouse residence of the two teen sisters Samantha and Charlotte aka Charlie. Samantha is the older sister at 15yrs old and Charlie is just 13yrs old. When the novel opens in 1989, it is just a mere 8 days after the lives of the family were destroyed in an arson attack at their home. Their father Rusty is a DA and the family often receive violent threats due to the nature of the crimes he defends. The mother is known as ‘Gamma’ due to her doctorate in two science subjects. The family appears from the outside in, to be very loving but with progressive attitudes towards justice and the law.

Then one day two men appear in the kitchen and their lives are changed forever. . .

‘Promise me you’ll always take care of Charlie’
Gamma to Samantha.

The novel then jumps to the present day, 28yrs later. Charlie is now a defence lawyer herself. She makes her way to Pikeville middle school, to return a phone to a one-night stand (a teacher). When shots ring out in the background and Charlie finds herself caught up in a terrifying school shooting. . .

‘The most violent hour of her life had snapped back into her waking memory’

The shooter is teenage girl, Kelly Wilson she is just 16yrs and appears to be suffering from some form of mental break. Charlie and Mr Huckabee attempt to assist Kelly’s apprehension and prevent her from being shot by the police. They find themselves facing obstruction of justice charges and nursing bruises. Why are the police so determined to shoot dead the suspect? Is Kelly likely to see a fair trial in this small community?

‘A just society is a lawful society’

The novel is very thought-provoking with regards to school shootings. The psychology of the suspect and arresting police officers are intriguing viewpoints. The media attention and the desperate search of a motive and all fully explored.

With Kelly found nearly catatonic after arrest. Rusty is keen to act as the defence attorney. Was Kelly a victim of bullying? Any motive will offer little comfort to the families of the victims. Mr Pinkman and Lucy Alexander (8yrs) shot dead on a normal school day, in what appears to be a premeditated act of murder. .

Charlie makes her way to the suspect’s family residence. What she finds, is a family in poverty. A yearbook full of vile abusive bullying. A child with a diminished capacity and a crime just waiting to happen. . .

When Rusty is stabbed, in an attempt on his life. Charlie rushes to the hospital, it is at this point she is urged to call her sister Samantha.

The novel is cleverly written, to combine the crimes of the past with the school shooting of the present. The sisters have a very complex relationship, which has been dictated by the crime that has scarred their lives. Sam is still living with the physical and mental scars of what took place that day in 1989. The chronic pain and daily struggles have taken their toll. The physical symptoms filter over to the psychology of her survival. This novel offers a unique perspective into the story of survivors.

The sisters are strong, determined and educated. Which adds to their journey and makes their story a truly powerful one indeed. The lengths we will go to, to protect those we hold dear, is a fascinating concept for a novel.
I am the oldest female sibling, I have an older brother, five younger brothers and two younger sisters. I like to think I could muster the bravery and physical/mental strength of Sam. But I could also see how this could impact the relationships going forward. If you sacrifice yourself for your sibling, how do they ever return the gratitude? Is it right/wrong to feel morally owed something emotionally or on principal in return?

‘The truth can rot from the inside.
It doesn’t leave room for anything else’

I think this is a very powerful novel and would work perfectly for book groups. There are multiple themes for debate. I myself was quite captivated with the psychology between the sisters and what sisterhood means to various individuals. 4*

KS
Karin Slaughter
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Anne Bonny #BookReview The Whispering Room by @deankoontz 5* #JaneHawk #Epic #Series @fictionpubteam @HarperFiction #Thriller

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The Whispering Room by Dean Koontz (#2 in the Jane Hawk series)
Synopsis:

It’s either fight, or die…

The second gripping thriller in an exciting new series featuring FBI agent Jane Hawk, from the master of suspense and New York Times No.1 bestselling author.

‘Do what you were born to do’

These are the words that ring in the mind of a beloved teacher as she drives a car full of burning gasoline into a hotel. The police believe she was insane, but rogue FBI agent Jane Hawk knows the truth.

In the wake of many similar inexplicable suicides, including that of her husband, Jane picks up the trail of a secret cabal of formidable players who are bent on obtaining world power.

Now Jane has become an unstoppable predator. Those she is hunting will have nowhere to run when her shadow falls across them.

My Review:

The Whispering Room is the second novel in the Jane Hawk series. The first novel, The Silent corner kicked of the series, to a phenomenal start! I absolutely LOVED the sci-fi twist in a novel in the crime fiction genre. Jane Hawk is a likeable, strong and feisty protagonist.
In the series she refuses to back down, despite being confronted with her darkest fears. . .

‘Cowardice was the default position of the times’

The novel opens with Cora Gunderson, a 40yr old SEN teacher from Minnesota, as she goes about her morning routine. Only this morning, there is the presence of a strange man in her kitchen. Cora has been suffering from migraines lately, she often dreams of fire and has some memory loss. With her current circumstances causing her enough alarm, for her to be documenting her feelings in a journal.

Across the US, ex-FBI agent Jane is preparing to make her move on a journalist. A journalist that had recently written an article on David James Michael aka ‘DJ’ the Silicon Valley billionaire connected to the nanomachine web implants. But Jane has her back against the wall, as she is wanted in connection to several deaths. She is currently listed on the NICI National Crime Information Centre Website, as a fugitive.

‘Killing to save the word – Why is that hard to believe? It’s as old as history’

Jane must also be one step ahead of the individuals she investigates. Everything she has uncovered points to their ruthless and depraved actions and disregard for the law. These individuals are wealthy, powerful and well-connected.

As Cora finishes her morning routine, she prepares for the act before her. by the end of the morning, she will have driven a vehicle engulfed in flames into the Veblen hotel. The fire will leave a substantial death toll and a devastated community. But was it all pre-arranged? Or was Cora mentally ill and hearing the voice of god? Sheriff Luther Tillman is the local police officer frozen out of the investigation. But having personally known Cora, it is a case he can not let go.

Meanwhile Jane is learning more about Lawrence and his involvement with the people she fears are leading the nanomachine project. She also learns he has scrupulous ties to his own wife’s death just a year earlier. Everything Jane learns fuels her desire for revenge and wish to see justice brought to those involved. Using mysterious contacts given to her by the hacker. She must navigate a criminal world, staying under the radar of law enforcement.

‘If her loathing were a poison, they would all be dead’

The lengths the powerful people will go to, to control the free will of others, is truly dark and depraved. In the last novel we learnt of the club Aspasia, where young women have their personalities and memories wiped to ensure they are the perfect sex slave. The club boasts of offering women, who will give complete and utter submission. There are no lengths this organisation won’t go to, to get what they want.

‘Hell had several levels’

Sheriff Luther Tillman continues to discreetly investigate Cora’s actions. What Cora did goes against everything he has ever known. He locates the journals, just before a fire breaks out at Cora’s house and all other evidence is lots. What he discovers, is a series of comments, repeated over and over again. ‘I’ve got ice in my veins’ and talk of a spider in her head laying eggs. Was Cora suffering a mental health breakdown? Or do these phrases offer a clue to her suffering? With the death of a governor and congressman among the dead, Luther has no access to the evidence.
Just the journals and a good old fashioned hunch. . .

‘Taking refuge in the hopeless nature of anything was just a form of cowardice’

Jane follows the clues determined to gather the knowledge needed to penetrate DJ’s security at his personal residence in San Francisco. She comes across clues leading her to the mysterious location of Iron Furnace. With information of a place called ‘the whispering room’ but what does it all mean? And how is it all connected?
‘The early bird doesn’t just get the worm; he gets the worm’s entire family’
Luther follows the trail of a conference recently attended by Cora. Shortly before her symptoms developed. A conference held in the small town of Iron Furnace. . .

‘Play Manchurian with me’

This series is fantastic! It is extremely dark in places yet has a complex and well-planned plot. It has the action scenes of a movie or TV series. With Jane our protagonist hero, on a selfless mission to take down the powerful elite. 5*

I cannot wait to read the next in the series, which is titled The Crooked Staircase.

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Dean Koontz
Website
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The Silent Corner by Dean Koontz (#1 in the Jane Hawk series)
My Review
Synopsis:
‘I very much need to be dead’

These are the chilling words left by a man who had everything to live for but took his own life. Now his widow, FBI agent Jane Hawk, is determined to learn the truth, no matter what.

People of talent, seemingly happy and sound of mind, have recently been committing suicide in surprising numbers. Jane will give up everything to find out why.

Her enemies are devoted enough to exterminate anyone in their way. But Jane is driven by a righteous rage they can never comprehend. Because it is born of love.

Coming soon. . . .
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The Crooked Staircase by Dean Koontz (#3 in the Jane Hawk series)
Due for release in the UK on 14th June 2018
Synopsis:
‘I could be dead tomorrow. Or something worse than dead’

Rogue FBI agent Jane Hawk knows she’s living on borrowed time. But as long as she’s breathing, she’ll never cease her one-woman war against the terrifying conspiracy that threatens the freedom – and free will – of millions.

Battling the mysterious epidemic of murder-suicides that claimed Jane’s husband has made Jane a wanted fugitive, hunted relentlessly by the secret cabal behind the plot. They are determined to see her dead . . . or make her wish she was.

Propelled by her righteous fury, Jane will confront head-on the lethal forces arrayed against her. But nothing can prepare her for the chilling truth that awaits when she descends the crooked staircase to the dark and dreadful place where her long nightmare was born.

Anne Bonny #BookReview A Dark So Deadly by @StuartMacBride 5* Genius! @HarperFiction @fictionpubteam #CrimeFiction #MacBrideMafia

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A Dark So Deadly by Stuart MacBride
Synopsis:

A detective no one believes in. A killer with nothing to lose…

A gripping standalone thriller from the Sunday Times No.1 bestselling author of the Logan McRae series.

Beware of the dark…

Welcome to the Misfit Mob – where Police Scotland dumps the officers it can’t get rid of, but wants to. Officers like DC Callum MacGregor, lumbered with all the boring go-nowhere cases. So when an ancient mummy is found at the Oldcastle tip, it’s his job to track down its owner.

But then Callum uncovers links between his mummified corpse and three missing young men, and life starts to get a lot more interesting.

No one expects the Misfit Mob to solve anything, but right now they’re all that stands between a killer’s victims and a slow lingering death. Can they prove everyone wrong before someone else dies?

My Review:

After seeing various blog posts by the #MacBrideMafia aka Jen, Kate and Eva. I decided to catch up on the most recent MacBride novel’s, I had missed out on due to Mount TBR. A Dark So Deadly, I purchased from Sainsburys for the absolute steal of £2.99. It was calling me from the bookshelves, so I decided to bump it up the TBR. I did not regret it!
I actually spent the entire weekend with the novel in front of my face. Any attempts my husband made to speak to me, were met with one word……. *SILENCE!
*he is not a fan of this response lol

‘They’ll worship you: You’ll be a god’

The novel centres around the misfit mob, a bunch of police officers with disciplinary actions on their police folders or ill health. They are made up of, our awesome protagonist DC Callum McGregor, DC Watt, DS Hodgkin and new to the team DC Franklin. The bosses are DS McAdams and mother aka DI Malcolmson. They are such a unique bunch of characters and truly make this novel. The epic read that it is. I think the author has done a remarkable job of writing the female police officers. They are feisty, no-nonsense and strong women. Callum on the other hand, is far more complex.

DC Callum McGregor is a deeply layered character, that is constantly evolving throughout the novel. There are moments I felt quite sorry for him. He just never gets a break, by that I mean he has the worst luck in the world ever!
Having found himself transferred to the team, just 3wks ago. He is finding it incredibly difficult to settle in. He feels disliked by his colleagues, there are ample rumours he is a dirty cop and shock-horror the criminals don’t like him either!

The novel opens with the dramatic arrest of local youth Ainsley Dugdale. Although the arrest is traumatic for Callum, with him becoming acquainted with ‘the claw’. There are moments where I was actually laughing. It is just so very well written. It is at this moment, on the opening pages, I knew I would love this book.

After apprehending Ainsley, Callum and McAdams are summoned to a crime scene at the tip. With multiple body parts and some mummified remains, police Scotland have seven different murder enquires on there hands. It is at this point the misfits are assigned the mummy. The team have no idea just yet, the depth of this case. The darkness they’ll come to experience and the broken psychology behind it all, make this novel one of my favourites so far this year!

As the team begin to investigate, Callum is given the job of locating museums with a lost mummy. None of the police team suspect that this is a current police investigation. Callum is disliked by his team, who mock him at every given chance. He has a professional standards meeting looming and he must train newest member to the team, the resentful and feisty DC Franklin. Then another mummy is discovered, with a mouth full of NHS fillings, and the case is blown wide open……..

As the novel progresses, we learn the backstories of each of the police officers. Each member of the team has their cross to bear. Whether it be career sexism, disability or terminal cancer, this team is unlike anything, I have ever read before.
There is a scene in the novel where Callum visits young mum Irene Brown. I felt this was a clear and vivid depiction of one woman’s experience of poverty and abuse in modern day Britain. Callum does what he can to attempt to help the young mum and her children; despite the fact that they are no fans of the police.

The mummified remains case has clues that eventually lead to the house of three young men, Benjamin Harrington, Brett Miller and Glen Carmichael. The scene at their house, leads the team to consult behavioural evidence analyst Alice MacDonald. The murders show signs of a ritualised event. The killer using human cadavers as his ‘artwork’.
This is one sick and twisted killer.

The novel also delves into Callum’s personal life and childhood. Callum grew up within the care system, he has experienced much emotional pain and loss. The clever way this element is written, is simply superb. There are several spin-off crimes and plots weaved into this novel. But for me, the firm favourite was Callum’s past.

At just under 600 pages, this is no quick simple read. I read 240+ books a year, this being my 56th of 2018 so far (as of 18/02/18). It is most definitely one of my firm favourites of 2018. I can’t recommend this novel highly enough, I sincerely hope it becomes a series of novels. I MUST also catch up with the Logan McRae series.

SM
Stuart MacBride
Website – With the best author bio EVER!
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