#Review 4* #NewRelease Now You See by @maxmanningcrime @Wildfirebks @headlinepg #CrimeFiction 99p #Ebook

Now You See by Max Manning

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…

My Review:

This is a debut novel featuring DCI Dan Fenton. The plot follows a series of brutal and ritualistic murders. That are then depicted online.
Which creates a nightmare for the police officers trying to track down the killer!
The novel opens with an image of a dead woman, but with no body! The Police must wait until the body is discovered to see if there is any viable forensic evidence. All attempts at tracing the internet account leads to dead ends!

There are alternative chapters with the killer’s narrative running alongside the police who are desperate to track him down. When the victims begin to pile up and they have absolutely no connection whatsoever! The team are baffled! Who is the killers target? What message is he trying to send?
The killer comes out with some chilling thoughts, written almost as one liners or quotes! They make your blood run cold!

“That’s the beauty of the relationship between predator and prey. It’s not personal”

The killer seems determined to use the murders as a form of entertainment. Draw an audience and saviour the attention.

The first victim is 27-year-old nurse, Lauren Bishop. Who had her throat slashed on her way to a night shift. Her ex-boyfriend immediately becomes the prime suspect! But he is quite the interesting character himself. Adam Blake, was a journalist and has some hidden trauma in his past.
Did this tip him over the edge into murder? Did he finally snap?

The protagonist police officer, also has a complicated past and it becomes apparent that, there is so much more to Dan Fenton than meets the eye. When someone close to him is targeted personal, he is removed from the case.
So in a bizarre twist of fate Blake and Fenton end up working together under the radar…….

This is a clever debut novel and I would definitely read more in the series! My only wish is that the novel had been slightly darker in its theme! It bordered upon it, but I never felt terrified of the killer! But I am left in no doubt that this will come in time as the foundations of a dark edgy thriller are all clearly there! 4*

Max Manning
To view my Q&A with Max and access his social media links see here:


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!

Now You See by Max Manning

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) 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
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!!!!!!!



#Review 4* #RightBehindYou by @LisaGardnerBKs @headlinepg @bookbridgr

*I received an arc via the Bookbridgr website, in return for an honest review*

Right Behind You by Lisa Gardner
(FBI profiler book 7)
Thirteen-year-old Sharlah Nash knows that the first time her brother killed eight years ago, he did it to save their lives.

Now retired FBI profiler Pierce Quincy and his wife Rainie Conner have offered Sharlah a new life of safety. She desperately wants to believe this is her shot at happily ever after.

Then two people are murdered in their local convenience store and Sharlah’s brother is identified as the killer.

Telly Ray Nash is on the hunt for Sharlah and as the death count rises it becomes clear that nothing and no-one, including Pierce and Rainie, will stop him getting to her.

Now, Sharlah has one chance to take control.

She can run for her life… or turn and face the danger right behind her.

My Review:

This is such an unusual crime fiction read. What I thought would present as a simple case and investigation, actually was a manhunt with clever clues woven into the plot.
It is action packed and would suit the reader, that likes to feel they are in on the pursuit of the criminal.

The novel opens with 13 year old Sharlah Nash, currently awaiting adoption by retired FBI profiler Pierce Quincy and his wife Rainie Conner. Sharlah has a second chance at life, but it hasn’t always been so easy…….

Sharlah and brother Telly Ray Nash, were raised in abject poverty. With trailer trash parents, a father a junkie abuser and an alcoholic mother who did little to protect them. Ultimately the situation comes to a head one day when Telly is forced to protect his younger sibling, resulting in the deaths of their parents.
No charges were ever filed but the children were separated and Telly labelled bad news!

There is news of a local crime scene at a gas station, with two victims left dead. Everything points to a young male perpetrator with no known motive. When a link is established to Telly, they trace his most recent foster parents, only to discover them dead also. What follows is a man hunt full of twists and turns.
Did Telly shoot his foster parents? If so why? What drove Telly to murder so coldly?

Telly Ray Nash’s childhood, mental state and motives are fully explored. There are a wealth of labels and terms thrown around with no clear diagnosis criteria. I felt this dampened the character at first, he came off as a text book killer rather than a human with emotions, vulnerabilities and childhood trauma. Sharlah’s mental health state is rarely debated and I felt this let down the whole mental health narrative.
Their childhood is fully detailed and makes for shocking reading, how do children like this ever stand a chance?

There are a series of professionals brought in to assist the man hunt and give advice on Telly’s state of mind. I found it quite emotional to read the part where it details the bullying Telly had withstood at school. No wonder some kids just snap?

“Telly Nash, armed with a bat, slugged his mother out of the park then whacked his father till all went dark…”

There are chapters from Telly’s point of view that help the reader establish his true motives. It becomes clear Telly had a deep bond with his foster mother and felt deep pain at the loss of his relationship with his sister. Maybe Telly isn’t what they think?
But the situation takes a drastic turn when Sharlah decides to assist Telly and in doing so runs away………

What will become of Sharlah? Can/will Telly protect her?

An action packed, man hunt story! Perfect for fans of the movie The Fugitive! 4*

Lisa Gardner
Authors links:
Twitter: @LisaGardnerBKs
Website: http://www.lisagardner.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LisaGardnerBks/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18282.Lisa_Gardner

***This book is currently on #Kindle Ebook offer for just 99p***


#BlogTour #Review Q&A #MyMothersShadow by @nikola_scott @Headlinepg 5*Genius

*I received an arc via the publisher in return for an honest review*

I must also add an apology, for some reason I have only just noticed that I have a date mix up! Sincere apologies to the author and the publisher.

My Mother's Shadow jpeg
My Mother’s Shadow by Nikola Scott

Hartland House has always been a faithful keeper of secrets…

1958. Sent to beautiful Hartland to be sheltered from her mother’s illness, Liz spends the summer with the wealthy Shaw family. They treat Liz as one of their own, but their influence could be dangerous…

Now. Addie believes she knows everything about her mother Elizabeth and their difficult relationship until her recent death. When a stranger appears claiming to be Addie’s sister, she is stunned. Is everything she’s been told about her early life a lie?

How can you find the truth about the past if the one person who could tell you is gone? Addie must go back to that golden summer her mother never spoke of…and the one night that changed a young girl’s life for ever.

My review:

I wanted to read this novel, as it is debut and I always like to support debut authors. What I will say is, this novel absolutely blew me away! I was left emotional and teary, just staring at the book and thinking ‘I can’t believe this is a debut novel!’. It had me gripped from the start and is loaded with scenes that pull at the heart strings!
I cannot recommend this novel enough!

The novel is set between two eras, with two central protagonists. In 1958 the protagonist is Liz. A young woman, coming of age and also enduring the agony of losing her mother. Liz’s story pulled at my heart strings immensely as I was only 21yrs old when I lost my own mother! I felt I could relate to her pain and anguish at watching someone you love dearly, slowly wither away in front of your eyes. “I envy them, all those families with all their jolly children” Liz’s parents decide to shelter her from the trauma and agree to send her to Hartland House for the summer. She realises this means she will no longer be able to read with her mother, offer her comfort or be there with her, when death surely comes……..

“But most of all, I know it is death himself, who has started his slow, inevitable descent on this house, who is hovering above our roof and telling everyone that we are not good company”

I read the passage where Liz reads with her mother one last time with tears in my eyes. I was with my own mother at the end and this novel transported me right back to that room. But these weren’t tears of grief/pain, these were tears of a mother I loved so much.

“Saying goodbye to someone you love is like a small death in itself”

“Death is eyeing up our house. That she wants me to be free, at least for a while”

So Liz reluctantly makes her journey to Hartland House, for a summer she will never forget……….

The second protagonist is Addie, Addie is set in the present era and the eldest child of Liz’s. The family is in turmoil as the gather for the year anniversary of Liz’s death. Liz having died in an accident. The family has so many unique characters and is so realistic. The father Graham, is not dealing with the death well and has his own health issues to contend with. Little sister Venetia, is heavily pregnant and quite the madam. Venetia is a hotshot architect and used to getting her own way or dictating to others. There is a younger brother Jasper who is a high-flying surgeon. They each deal with their grief differently and I found this again to me reminiscent of my own mother’s death. We each assigned ourselves roles to play and this in a way enabled us to help each other through our grief. Addie had a strained relationship with her mother, often feeling less loved than her siblings or a career failure. Sadly, I could also relate to this……

“That’s how things had been, between my mother and me”

As the family and Mrs Baxter, a family friend gather round the house there is a knock at the door. Standing on the doorstep is a woman, with a revelation that will shake everything that Addie holds dear to its core.
A revelation that leads right to her roots and Liz’s time at Hartland House………………

Summer July 1958 Liz having nearly arrived at Hartland House, becomes acquainted with the other youngsters. Liz meets Beatrice, Harry, John, Felicity and will. The group are all in their 20s and spend their summers boating in the lake and on the estates grounds. The lady of the house is Janet Shaw, and quickly settles Liz in.
They begin preparations for Liz’s 17th birthday, with excitement.

Present The woman on the doorstep reveals herself to be Phoebe Roberts. She has recently discovered some documents that link her to Liz and more importantly to Addie. Documents that detail ‘charitable sisters of hope, Brighton 12 Dec 1959’. Addie is left reeling and feels she needs time to figure it all out. Venetia verbally attacks Phoebe, asking her how dare she show up on the anniversary and calls her a liar. This family is a family in crisis, and it has only just begun………
“A stranger in this house, a stranger in my own life” Addie

July 1958 Liz starts to enjoy life at Hartland House. She regularly writes to her mother and even begins to fall for John. On her 17th birthday party, she receives a call from her mother. Her party is one of cake, dance, love and romance. Only sadly and unknowingly to Liz her mother will pass away that very night………

Present Addie begins to investigate her mother’s history and eventually works with Phoebe to find the answers they so desperately seek. Addie recalls memories of her life and relationship with her mother. She is desperate to know what is this secret and what does this mean for her. What they discover will shake you to your core……….
“I would never forget your birthday, Addie. Never” Liz

That is as much as I can share with regards to the plot, as I do not wish to include spoilers. the chapters between Liz’s past and daughter, Addie’s present unfolds mystery after mystery. This is an incredible debut novel and has some very thought-provoking themes. It covers the victimisation of women in the 1950s/1960s era, with historical accuracy and vivid emotion. It is also a story of the relationships family members have and how grief impacts upon them. This novel is perfect for book groups, there is so much to debate and discuss. I would also additionally add, that if you consider yourself a feminist, you NEED to read this book! There were so many quotes in my notes, as I detailed all the parts I loved. I shall treasure this novel forever. I shall leave you with this quote about death and the loss of a mother, it made me smile, more than you can imagine.

“We should talk about her more” “We should talk about her all the time. It’s the only way to remember people, to talk about them”

5* Genius!


Q) For the readers can you give a summary of your novel and your background?

A) Addie Harington’s relationship with her mother has always been complicated. Forty years of trying to please her mother, brilliant and demanding Elizabeth, have taught Addie to be reticent and wary of other people’s expectations. All this changes on the anniversary of her mother’s death, when a woman appears on her doorstep claiming to be Addie’s long-lost twin sister Phoebe. At first, Addie refuses to believe that her parents have lied to her all her life. But before too long, she and Phoebe embark on a journey into their mother’s past, trying to understand what exactly happened to them in 1960.

Woven into the present-day London plot, diary entries from the late 1950s tell the story of seventeen-year-old Liz, who, reeling from the death of her mother, makes one wrong choice that changes her life and that of her daughters forever.

About me

My life has always revolved around books. I studied English and German literature at university and then became a fiction editor, first in New York and then in London, working mainly with women’s fiction and crime authors. I absolutely loved my job – where else do you get to read and talk about books all day, plus work with fabulous authors! – but I’ve also always had a variety of book ideas rattling around in my head. So when my husband’s job took us to Germany, I decided to change my path and do something different. It takes a little while to get your life and family sorted when you move countries, but eventually everyone was settled at school and nursery. The next day I sat down at the kitchen table and started writing. And that’s where I’ve been ever since

Q) The novel is set at Harland House, is there a real-life inspiration behind the location? *Please add images if possible and I can use them with my Q&A

A)I’ve been a National Trust addict ever since we moved to the UK and we’ve always loved poking around the countryside and old country houses on the weekends. Hartland is loosely based on a beautiful stately home called Polesden Lacey, which is about an hour south of London. It has nothing whatsoever to do with the particulars of my story or the characters, but it was always at the back of my mind when I tried to put myself into the layout and gardens of Hartland.

Polesden Lacey pic
Polesden Lacey

Q) The novel is set in 1958, what pulled you towards this era in historical fiction?

A) The 1950s still feel close to us, with so many immediate family stories and living memories at hand, and it was driven by forward-thinking developments and efforts at modernisation. At the same time the moral attitudes towards women’s roles, emancipation and sexual enlightenment were stuck someplace in the Victorian age. That juxtaposition – being so close to us in years and yet miles away from our own understanding of the world – is an intriguing starting point for a story, I think. And there’s something nostalgic about that time period that adds a lovely texture and atmosphere to the historical setting.

Q) The novel focuses on the mother and daughter relationship. The depths of love and bond, can go either way. With people’s individual experiences very unique. What was it that drew you to the mother/daughter theme?

A) There tend to be so many stereotypical and formulaic views in the public mind with regard to mother-daughter relationships when, in reality, they’re probably one of the most complex, most lovely and most infuriating things we know. I tried to capture some of that, tried to show that none of the relationships in the book are straightforward or black and white. All of them are fuelled by love, regret, guilt and even dislike, and all of them require a tremendous capacity to forgive and understand – just like real life!

Q) The novel also has a theme of past, reflection and the mistakes we make that can echo into generations. Was there a real-life incident that inspired you?

A) The story of the lost sister was inspired by a friend who met a ‘new’ sister for the first time in her forties. It got me thinking about how complicated that encounter would be and how I would feel in a situation like that – again, not something that is straightforward at all. Generally, I find it endlessly fascinating that one (potentially small) moment in time can have such a monumental impact. It’s a thought that haunts you, particularly when facing big decisions in your life, until you remember that not only does it work both ways – a small act of kindness can have an equally powerful effect – but that you can’t really ever control the reverberations of that one moment in time. An excellent premise for a novel, I think!

Q) The protagonist in the novel is shocked to discover a potential sister may exist. Sisterhood is proving to me a very popular theme in novels. I myself have five brothers and two sisters, the relationships are very unique. I would say that my relationships, with my sisters are very emotionally based. The secrets we share and the way we mother each other, since the loss of our mother in 2005. Is it difficult to write about raw emotion? Does it leave you feeling as though you have lived through the experience with the characters?

A) I do often find myself close to tears as I write but it is a cathartic kind of crying. You can allow yourself to feel very deeply but remain within the ‘safe’ structure of your story and because you’re writing it, there’s a sense of control. The research, on the other hand, was much, much harder for me. Reading about forced adoptions, women’s homes, the stern family environment, the absolutely crippling social stigmata these women faced and the horrendous emotional fallout from the separation – all that was harrowing.

Q) Finally, What is next, do you have a future novel planned? Are we allowed any snippets of information?

A) My next project isn’t related to My Mother’s Shadow, although it shares a similar time structure in that it brings together a historical and a contemporary plot. The historical strand is set in the late 1930s where a group of friends come together for a country house weekend at Summerhill before the start of WW II. Summerhill is a beautiful, remote estate on the Cornish coast belonging to the young Hamilton sisters, Madeleine and Georgiana. It promises safety and shelter against the looming threat of war, but before the weekend is over tragedy will have struck and none of their lives will ever be the same. Seventy years later, in 2009, Chloe – a young photographer living in Plymouth – crosses paths with old Madeleine Hamilton, now a famous children’s book artist. An unlikely friendship develops as they uncover an intricate web of love and loyalty, secrets and lies.

Nikola Scott
Credit: Shelley Jager

Authors Links:
Get in touch with Nikola via her website www.nikolascott.com
@nikola_scott (Twitter),
@nikolascottauthor (Facebook),
@nikolascottauthor (Instagram)

*Huge thanks to the author Nikola Scott for agreeing to take part in a Q&A on my blog.



New Release: Ararat by Christopher Golden- Review 5* Genius read!

ararat cover

Ararat by Christopher Golden

The synopsis:

Meryam and Adam take risks for a living. But neither is prepared for what lies in the legendary heights of Mount Ararat, Turkey.

First to reach a massive cave revealed by an avalanche, they discover the hole in the mountain’s heart is really an ancient ship, buried in time. A relic that some fervently believe is Noah’s Ark.

Deep in its recesses stands a coffin inscribed with mysterious symbols that no one in their team of scholars, archaeologists and filmmakers can identify. Inside is a twisted, horned cadaver. Outside a storm threatens to break.

As terror begins to infiltrate their every thought, is it the raging blizzard that chases them down the mountain – or something far worse?

My review:

I wouldn’t usually read about mountaineering, now I am concerned with what I have been missing out on!
The novel centres around a bunch of various specialists within their individual fields. I loved that this group included a mixture of men and women and people of various faiths. The group being diverse gives the plot a realistic/real feel to it. The specialists are exploring mount Ararat and in particular a secret myth that it contains Noah’s Arc within it’s cave systems. The group make a disturbing discovery and find themselves battling an evil entity and eventually themselves.
Their slow descent into turmoil and their focus to add some sense & logic to the situation makes for gripping reading.
The plot also has a very clever ending & I was hugely impressed by this author.
This was my first by this author but definitely wont be my last!

I tried to read this novel, alone in the dark at 5am, with the room only lit by the light from my kindle and I was genuinely too terrified. lol

*I received an Ebook arc copy via Netgalley.

Authors Links:
Twitter: @ChristophGolden