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 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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#Review The Woman In The Window by @AJFinnBooks 4* #NewRelease #Psychological #Thriller @fictionpubteam @HarperFiction

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The Woman In The Window by A.J. Finn
Synopsis:

What did she see?

It’s been ten long months since Anna Fox last left her home. Ten months during which she has haunted the rooms of her old New York house like a ghost, lost in her memories, too terrified to step outside.

Anna’s lifeline to the real world is her window, where she sits day after day, watching her neighbours. When the Russells move in, Anna is instantly drawn to them. A picture-perfect family of three, they are an echo of the life that was once hers.

But one evening, a frenzied scream rips across the silence, and Anna witnesses something no one was supposed to see. Now she must do everything she can to uncover the truth about what really happened. But even if she does, will anyone believe her? And can she even trust herself?

My review:

I have seen the online hype for this novel and read the synopsis. It was a novel I HAD to HAVE! After several trips to the book store and returning empty handed. I finally found a copy. This novel is described as in the style of Hitchcock and certainly has a synopsis that is reminiscent of one of his most famous movies.
I was very intrigued!

Due to a chronic pain condition, I spend most of my time indoors. I rarely leave and even rarer socialise. This is the how/why to my never ending TBR pile. I devour novels to starve off the boredom.
I had to learn more about this fabulous bestseller, everyone is raving about.

The novel is told in diary style, opening in October and the following weeks. Our protagonist Anna, is a nosey neighbour. She is more on the scale of obsessive nosey neighbour. She knows who everyone is and has even taken to googling the neighbours for further details. But when new neighbours arrive at number 207, it will unravel Anna’s carefully organised little world.

Anna is a lonely woman, in a huge four floor, New York house. She has a womanising tenant named David and a cat named Punch. She clearly has some form of trauma or emotional pain in her background. But we must wait for Anna to tell us.
Anna is on a long list of medication, drinks wine by the bottle daily and has a wild imagination. Which makes her one hell of an unreliable narrator. But she is unbelievably addictive.
I was hooked to the page and desperate to know how the plot unravelled.

Anna is separated from her husband Ed and he has custody of their daughter Olivia. She speaks to them daily via the telephone and through the novel we learn more of their history as a couple. I found Anna to be very self-destructive and desperate for company. She spends hours in her home, watching old back and white movies or absorbed in her online community Agrora, for fellow suffers of agoraphobia.

The new family in the neighbourhood are Alistair and Jane Russell, with their teenage son Ethan. Anna’s house directly looks onto theirs and she becomes obsessed with watching them at the window, through her Nikon camera lens.
I had a feeling this would end badly. But for whom?
When Ethan makes attempts to befriend Jane, she lets down her guard. He’s just a kid and she is a trained child psychologist. She sees a lonely vulnerable child and he probably sees a lonely vulnerable adult. In one sense it is a meeting of minds.

When Ethan’s mother Jane pops over one day, they begin talking and drinking, as women often do. It isn’t long until Anna and Jane have confided in one another. Anna of her PTSD and agoraphobia and Jane of her controlling marriage. They play chess and drink more wine and I wondered if Anna had finely found a real friend. That is until one night, shortly after, a scream is heard, and Anna becomes convinced Jane has come to harm.
What follows is revelation upon revelation.

As Anna’s past and present collide in a dramatic and well woven plot. I trusted her less and less. Her backstory only makes you empathise with her struggles and in turn you begin to make excuses for her irrational behaviour. I found myself trying to pick apart the narrative to fathom the truth, I was at an absolute loss. Anna is complex and strong minded, yet she draws you in and won’t let go.

Q&A with author of the #BastardsOfLondon series @AnbelleBryant @HQDigitalUK

Q&A:

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

A) I’ve always been a writer, from early grade school and all through college, but when I decided on a profession, I chose teaching. Being an educator didn’t change how I felt about historical romance though and I’ve read hundreds of novels with simpering females to know someday I wanted to write a romance differently.

My new Bastards of London series is a good example of that goal. Not only are the heroes strong and defiant, but so are the heroines. Sometimes it’s the heroines who rescue the hero, from himself, harm or poor judgement. My heroines are determined and intelligent and you’ll find that in all of my novels, most especially the gritty, edgier setting of this series.

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

A) My brain must be 75% imagination because I have so many ideas screaming to be heard, it gets very noisy at times. I usually have a scene, piece of dialogue or plot twist which motivates the story. I’m a pantser (flying by the seat of my pants) not a plotter, so I go wherever the characters lead me.

Once I have a strong beginning, the writing usually comes in pieces. I like to write my scenes in order, so I may take a few days away from my manuscript if I’m having trouble figuring something out.

Once I’ve finished, I send it to HarperCollins for editorial edits, then copy-edits, until publication.

Q) What are your favourite authors and recommended reads?

A) I love Regency romance and rarely step away from the genre so my favourite authors represent iconic historical romance: Lisa Kleypas, Sherry Thomas and Loretta Chase. I recommend every historical Kleypas and Thomas have written. Kleypas has written some of the finest and most clever stories through decades of her career and Thomas’ novels will make your heart squeeze with emotion. Chase’s Silk is for Seduction is another gem, fast-paced, sizzling passion and clever dialogue.

Q) What were your childhood/teenage favourite reads?

A) I read everything I could, history, poetry, romance and adventure. I loved (still do) Alice in Wonderland, Pippi Longstocking, Ann of Green Gables and as I got older, all of Shakespeare, Emily Dickinson and Poe.

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

A) My absolute favourite moment would have to be when I received my first email from a reader who wasn’t a family member or friend. That email made everything real. People buy my books. Read my books. Enjoy my stories! I’m thankful to have had many wonderful writing experiences, but that first email is on the top of the list.

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

A) My mom is my source of support and encouragement for every aspect of my life. Otherwise, I think my belief and determination have served me as the greatest source of support. You must believe in yourself above all else.

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

Anabelle
Anabelle Bryan

Bio:
Anabelle Bryant is the bestselling author of nine historical romances for Harlequin/HarperCollins. Her love of writing keeps her busy in front of her laptop when not in front of a classroom. Into the Hall of Vice is the latest novel in the Bastards of London series, a quartet set in the grittier side of Regency. Visit AnabelleBryant.com and see what she’d up to on Facebook and Twitter.

Authors Links:
Website: http://www.anabellebryant.com
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/AnabelleBryantAuthor
Twitter: @AnabelleBryant
YouTube Channel: http://bit.ly/1r0TjsY
Goodreads:
https://www.goodreads.com/AnabelleBryant
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/anabellebryant/

AB: Thanks so much!!

#BastardsOfLondon Series:

#1#2#3

#1 – The Den Of Iniquity
#2 – Into The Hall Of Vice
#3 – The Last Gamble (available for pre-order) released 11/08/17

I believe these covers are insanely eye catching! They beautifully summarise the era, setting and themes of the novels! #ThoseCovers #ThatCover 🙂

#1 The Den Of Iniquity – Synopsis:

Welcome to the most notorious address in London…

Beneath the airs and graces of the Ton lies The Underworld – London’s most scandalous gambling hall.

The only thing darker and more debauched that the hall itself? The proprietor, Max Sinclair. As mysterious as the corners of the city he stalks, Max has vowed to take revenge against the men who murdered his mother. And The Underworld attracts London’s darkest characters – the perfect partners in crime.

But when Lady Vivienne Beaumont enters The Underworld, Max’s life becomes more dangerous than he ever thought possible.

Enter a world of lust, lawlessness and obsession with The Den of Iniquity, the first in Anabelle Bryant’s Bastards of London series.

Available via kindle for just £1.99

#2 Into The Hall Of Vice – Synopsis:

As joint owner of London’s most notorious gambling hall, The Underworld, Cole Hewitt spends his days surrounded by wealth – and looks every inch the debonair.

But, unknown to most, he was born a bastard – and knows better than anyone the fine line between the elite and the slums.

When he falls for the beautiful Lady Gemma Amberson, sister to the Duke of Kent, Cole knows that his past means he will never be considered worthy of her. But Cole has no intention of being cast aside again.

But Cole’s attraction to Gemma hasn’t gone unnoticed – and there are those who wish to thwart his plans, for the darkest of reasons. Cole may be used to getting his own way. But the question is: how far will he go to get it?

Available via kindle for just £1.99

#3 The Last Gamble – synopsis:

As one of the owners of London’s most infamous and scandalous gambling hall, The Underworld, Luke Reese looks like a man who has it all.

But underneath his swagger lies a pain which no amount of liquor, women or card games can ease. Because, nine months ago, Luke’s son was stolen by his half-brother, Lord Dursley.

Luke knows the agony of growing up without a family, and he will not allow his son to suffer the same fate. So when evidence leads him to Coventry and a mysterious governess named Georgina, Luke doesn’t hesitate in tracking her down.

But nothing is ever as simple as it seems in the London ton. And soon, Luke is facing his most dangerous gamble yet.

Dare he risk losing his heart to find his son?

Available for pre-order via kindle, due for release 11th August 2017.