Anne Bonny #BookReview Out Of The Ashes by Vicky Newham 5* #NewRelease #CrimeFiction #DiverseReads @HQstories #MayaRahman #Series

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Out Of The Ashes by Vicky Newham ~ DI Maya Rahman #2
Review Copy

Synopsis ~

A tragic accident – or a ruthless killer?
When a flash mob on Brick Lane is interrupted by a sudden explosion, DI Maya Rahman dashes to the scene. A fire is raging through one of the city’s most infamous streets, the site of Maya’s childhood home. And the discovery of two charred bodies in the burnt-out building transforms an arson attack into a murder case.

With witnesses too caught up in the crowd to have seen anything useful, Maya is facing a complex investigation without a single lead. And, when reports of a second, even more horrifying crime land on Maya’s desk, it’s obvious there’s more at stake than she could ever have imagined. She must find the answers – before all of East London goes up in flames.

My Review ~

Out Of The Ashes is the second title in the DI Maya Rahman series. With this novel taking place in the diverse area of London known as Brick Lane. I was really looking forward to digging further into Maya’s personality and past as a character and I was not disappointed at all.

The novel opens with Rosa Feldman a Jewish business owner on Brick Lane. She is swept up with a local flash mob appears, narrowly just missing an explosion on the Lane. DI Maya Rahman and DS Dan Maguire are called to the scene. With two dead victims their investigation, just became potentially a double murder case…
Is this an accident? tragic arson? a terrorist attack? or a hate crime?

Through the story we are introduced to a wealth of interesting and diverse characters. This is clearly a theme that the author is passionate about and it reflects brilliantly on the page. A modern new crime series, with a modern protagonist and for a new era of young modern readers. I think Newham’s creation of Maya, is the perfect character to bring the younger readers to the genre.

Back to the story ~ Although Maya and Dan appear to have only a minor few leads. They lead to much more intriguing mysteries. Such as: a flash mob protest with a anti-gentrification mission. We learn of the various diverse communities. The racism they’ve faced historically and in the current climate.
There is much more depth to Brick Lane, than first assumed.

‘Working class areas of London are becoming the domain of the privileged’ 

The victims lives adds more confusion and complexity into the case. A man found dead, in the arms of a lover, but not his pregnant partner…
We are given some insight into Maya’s past with some interesting breadcrumb clues of her backstory. Why did Maya’s father go missing? And Why is Rosa Feldman convinced that he did not simply disappear?

I raced through the title in just one afternoon. It has various themes that really resonate with the reader. Family loyalty and people just trying to get by, with the support of their local communities. 5*

VN
Vicky Newham
Website
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Anne Bonny #BlogTour Q&A with A.F. Brady @AFBradyNYC #Author of, Once A Liar #NewRelease #Legal #Thriller #Suspense @HQstories

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Once A Liar by A.F. Brady

Synopsis ~

The next gripping thriller from AF Brady…

Peter Caine, a cutthroat Manhattan defense attorney, worked ruthlessly to become the best at his job. On the surface, he is charming and handsome, but inside he is cold and heartless. He fights without remorse to acquit murderers, pedophiles and rapists.

When Charlie Doyle, the daughter of the Manhattan DA—and Peter’s former lover—is murdered, Peter’s world is quickly sent into a tailspin. He becomes the prime suspect as the DA, a professional enemy of Peter’s, embarks on a witch hunt to avenge his daughter’s death, stopping at nothing to ensure Peter is found guilty of the murder.

In the challenge of his career and his life, Peter races against the clock to prove his innocence. As the evidence mounts against him, he’s forced to begin unraveling his own dark web of lies and confront the sins of his past. But the truth of who killed Charlie Doyle is more twisted and sinister than anyone could have imagined…

Q&A ~

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

A.) I am a psychotherapist, I’ve been working in the mental health field for nearly twenty years, and Once a Liar is my second novel. I draw heavily from my experiences working with individuals with mental illnesses when I write my books, which I think lends a unique authenticity to my work.

My novels are set in Manhattan, where I grew up, a place teeming with interesting and diverse people from whom I draw inspiration.

Once a Liar is the story of Peter Caine, a cut-throat Manhattan defence attorney who has recently gained custody of his teenaged son upon the death of his ex-wife. Peter sees little value in other human beings, which has served him well in his career defending the indefensible. When he finds the tables have turned and he is accused of the brutal murder of his on-again off-again mistress Charlie Doyle, Peter desperately tries to prove his innocence, and along his journey, he finds that the damage his heartlessness has done may be too great to overcome.

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

A.) I wanted to write a book from the perspective of a sociopath because I found more often than not, literary and media representation of sociopathic stories are told through the lens of those who have been hurt or victimised by the sociopath. I wanted to dig inside his mind and get unsettled in there.

Peter was born of a combination of people I have known in my career, mixed together with a healthy dose of imagination. While I was writing him, I found myself becoming sympathetic to his situation. He’s a cold and unempathetic man, but he has a past, a history that led to his current condition, and he has a future that he seems willing to take steps to improve. Peter took the reins at some point in the writing process and showed me sides of himself that I didn’t know were coming. It was quite a journey.

I was nervous and excited for publication because I knew what a risk I was taking by creating a protagonist that’s hard to sympathize with, but I’m so glad I did. I love stepping outside the box, and my readers have really enjoyed getting inside the mind of a sociopath. It’s unique in that way, but also fast paced and the plot is twisty and complex. It was a pleasure to write, despite getting a little scared of the person I was creating from time to time.

Q) What are your favourite authors and recommended reads?

A.) I love reading books of all genres, and going back to old favourites. I love Jay McInerney, Hemingway (especially Islands in the Stream when it starts to get warm out), anything David Sedaris writes, James Frey, especially A Million Little Pieces, Chuck Palahniuk… I would recommend that everyone read Karoo by Steve Tesich. It’s one of my all-time favourites. I just love the story and the difficult protagonist. I love a journey that’s paved with self-discovery and change.

Q) What were your childhood/teenage favourite reads?

A.) As a kid, I loved Winnie the Pooh, and I still do. I loved Swallows and Amazons (Arthur Ransome), Nancy Drew, the Famous Five (Enid Blyton), all these kinds of adventure stories. My grandparents had troves of old books at their house in Greece, so every summer my brother and I would devour everything they had left over from their own childhoods. And my favourite book growing up was My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell.

Q) What are you currently reading?

A.) I am currently in the middle of several books: American Overdose (Chris McGreal) Picking Cotton (Jennifer Thompson-Cannino and Ronald Cotton), Bright Lights, Big City (Jay McInerney) I reread this one almost yearly, The Plague (Camus) I reread this one almost yearly as well, and I’m just about to start Where the Crawdads Sing (Delia Owens). I’m also reading some manuscripts so I can blurb for other suspense/thriller writers.

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

A.) My favourite moment came earlier this spring when a woman reached out to me via email to tell me that she has a very close friend who was diagnosed with a terminal illness and was beginning a bucket list. One of the items on her bucket list was meeting me. I was absolutely floored that my writing had meant so much to someone. We arranged a date and the three of us sat at a diner in Manhattan and chatted for hours about her life, my books, and the impact I made on her life.

Connecting with readers and telling stories that people feel deep down and relate to on some level has always been my favourite part of being a writer, but this one really meant a lot to me.

We are still in touch and are planning on meeting up at the diner again!

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

My family has been incredibly supportive, especially my husband. He takes on many additional roles in order to allow me to take the time I need to write. He helps me work out sticky plot issues, and he never gets tired of sitting around over dinner discussing things I’m going to do to my characters. My dog is also omnipresent while I’m writing, and it’s gotten to the point that I can’t complete a sentence unless he’s lying with me.

AFB
A.F. Brady
Website
Twitter
Facebook
Instagram

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Anne Bonny #BookReview Dead Man’s Daughter by @RozWatkins 4.5* @HQstories #CrimeFiction #MegDalton #Series #2 #Derbyshire #Thriller

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Dead Man’s Daughter by Roz Watkins ~ DI Meg Dalton #2
Review Copy

Synopsis ~

She was racing towards the gorge. The place the locals knew as ‘Dead Girl’s Drop’…

DI Meg Dalton is thrown headlong into her latest case when she finds a ten-year-old girl running barefoot through the woods in a blood-soaked nightdress. In the house nearby, the girl’s father has been brutally stabbed to death.

At first Meg suspects a robbery gone tragically wrong, but something doesn’t add up. Why does the girl have no memory of what happened to her? And why has her behaviour changed so dramatically since her recent heart transplant?

The case takes a chilling turn when evidence points to the girl’s involvement in her own father’s murder. As unsettling family secrets emerge, Meg is forced to question her deepest beliefs to discover the shocking truth, before the killer strikes again…

My Review ~

‘Please stop. I can feel. I’m still here’

Di Meg Dalton is summoned to Bellhurst House via a phone call from concerned citizen Elaine Grant. What Meg discovers is a distressed and disorientated little girl (Abbie) of 8/9yrs of age. The girl has what appears to be track marks on her arms, yet otherwise unharmed. She claims to be running from her father…

‘Everyone always dies’ – Abbie

When Meg arrives at the family home, she finds the father of Abbie dead with his throat slit. The mother Rachel is aggressive towards Meg, she claims to be the victim of a stalker. With Abbie’s sister Jess having died years ago due to suicide. Meg must ask the uncomfortable questions and seek the truth of just what has been happening at Bellhurst House?

The family background is revealed and as Meg digs deeper and deeper. We learn that this is far from a happy home. But who is the victim and who is the attacker…

‘Child suspects were treated as victims’

There are diverse characters wrapped up in a complex mystery. There are multiple themes that have been extensively researched and HUGE respect to the author for that. Meg Dalton’s character generates more personality in this title. Maybe this is due to the nature of some of the themes. Or just that she is developing well into cracking protagonist. Either way, this is a great second title in the series. 4.5*

RW
Roz Watkins
Website
Twitter
An Extract of Dead Man’s Daughter
My Review of The Devil’s Dice and Q&A with Roz watkins

Anne Bonny #BlogTour #BookReview Have You Seen Her by Lisa Hall 5* #NewRelease #Psychological #Thriller #WhereIsLaurel #HaveYouSeenHer @HQStories

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Have You Seen Her by Lisa Hall
Review Copy

Synopsis ~

Bonfire Night. A missing girl.

Anna only takes her eyes off Laurel for a second. She thought Laurel was following her mum through the crowds. But in a heartbeat, Laurel is gone.

Laurel’s parents are frantic. As is Anna, their nanny. But as the hours pass, and Laurel isn’t found, suspicion grows.

Someone knows what happened to Laurel. And they’re not telling.

My Review ~

Lisa Hall is the queen of the suburbia thriller! Injecting terrifying crimes/mystery’s into the lives of those whom appear to have it all.
In Have You Seen Her, we follow the case of a missing 5yr old girl named Laurel. But who is to blame Laurel’s mother of her nanny? And where was her father when she went missing?

‘Someone has taken our baby’

The novel opens with the potential abduction of Laurel at a school bonfire night event. Her parents Fran and Dominic are wracked with guilt and anxiety surrounding the whereabouts of their little girl. Anna has been Laurel’s nanny since she was just 1yrs old and she becomes determined to solve the mystery and bring Laurel home. But Anna has secrets of her own, secrets she’d rather hide from everyone…

‘It can’t happen again’

A series of characters interweave their theories into Anna’s mind and it isn’t long until she is forced to take a long hard look at the people she has been working for. Fran is self-obsessed and erratic after the disappearance, often fearing being blamed more than the possibility her daughter is dead! Dominic… well Dominic would rather be somewhere else! The parents are the type, I love to hate! Nevertheless, this doesn’t spoil the novel. It is one of those titles where it actually enhances the story and makes it feel more believable. Especially given the way the public/media has gone after some missing children’s parents.

‘Find Laurel Jessop’

The mystery continues with various scenarios and events thrown in, which makes for intense reading. The lake is dredged, a man is arrested and the blame game begins…
Who do you trust when you are surrounded by toxic people? 5*

LH
Lisa Hall
Website
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Anne Bonny #BookReview The Angry Sea by @jamesdeeganMC 5* #SAS #Action #Thriller #JohnCarr #Series @HQstories

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The Angry Sea by James Deegan ~ John Carr Series #2
Review Copy

Synopsis ~

Former SAS Sergeant Major John Carr is relaxing on a Spanish beach, when a man with dark eyes attracts his attention. Fixated on a group of young Britons, the man doesn’t notice Carr and soon moves on.

Within the hour, the Costa del Sol will be plunged into one of the most audacious and horrifying terrorist attacks Europe has ever seen.

In a co-ordinated strike, armed men storm both the beach and a cruise ship anchored further up the coast. But the terrorists – hiding personal greed under the veil of religious extremism – have an even bolder plan.

Constrained by the sensitive political situation, MI6 and the Prime Minister must confront the possibility of leading a secret operation against a brutal enemy. And then find the right man to head it . . .

Enter John Carr.

My Review ~

John Carr is back with another action packed read!
The novel opens in open court at the trial of Zeff Mahsoud, whom upon appeal is freed from HMP Belmarsh. The story surrounding Zeff is quite vague initially but then the title jumps ahead three months and we begin to fathom a connection to John Carr.

John Carr is retired from 22 SAS Sqn, leaving at the rank of Sgt Maj. Currently enjoying a holiday with his kids, Alice 17yrs and George 24yrs (currently awaiting selection) at Puerto Banus Beach.
In the distance is a cruise ship and we become acquainted with the ships crew onboard via their narrative. Then a suicide vest explodes, there is an armed man on board; murder and mayhem surely follows…

‘Cruise liners and tourists were just too big and soft and tempting a target’

When a terrorist on the beach opens fire. John and his son George jump into action. As the carnage of hate spills onto the beach, the terrorists locate their target. Under the hail of fire, John and George’s plan is to cease the bullets raining down.

‘Panicking got you killed’

After the attack, it is discovered 50 dead on the ship and approximately 30 dead on the beach. But what was the reasoning? Or was this just a senseless act of violence?
It is then discovered that three female hostages have been taken from the beach. And not just any hostages, one of them is the daughter of the Prime Minister Penelope Morgan.

‘There’s no point in kidnapping the daughter of the British Prime Minister just to kill her’

What is their motive in taking the PM’s daughter? What if you are the most powerful person in the country, but it is your position that may cost your child their life?
The UK government is in a tricky situation, as they can’t be seen to be negotiating with terrorist groups. They also have to plan deniable ops due to international law. John Carr is asked to establish and lead a team of men!

‘Combat was a drug, and he was a recovering addict’

Action-packed, with a cracking protagonist in SAS man John Carr 5*

JD
James Deegan
Twitter
My Review of Once A Pilgrim