Anne Bonny #BlogTour #BookReview Then She Vanishes by Claire Douglas 4* #CrimeFiction #Thriller #Mystery #CoastalCrime #Psychological

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Then She Vanishes by Claire Douglas
Review Copy

Synopsis ~

THE ONLY THING THAT WILL SHOCK YOU MORE THAN THE FIRST CHAPTER . . .
IS THE LAST. . .

Jess and Heather were once best friends – until the night Heather’s sister Flora vanished. The night that lies tore their friendship apart.

But years later, when a brutal double murder shakes their childhood town, Jess returns home.

Because the suspect is Heather.

What happened to the girl you used to know?

My Review ~

The prologue begins in March 2012. An individual with a shotgun in their hand  and murder on their mind. We then watch on as a man and woman are shot in cold blood and at close range. But the killer knew there was a witness and just casually left the scene of the crime. Why did they murder the people? What is their motive?

We are then introduced to Bristol and Somerset Herald journalist Jessica Fox. She is writing up the murders of mother and son Clive Wilson (58) and Deirdre Wilson (76). The suspect is local woman Heather Underwood (32), but she is in critical condition after administering a near fatal gunshot wound to her chest.
The name Heather Underwood leads Jessica to one question and one question only…
‘Is it my Heather?’

It then becomes clear that Jessica is acquainted with the suspected perpetrator and her family. But will this help or hinder Jess in getting close to the family and uncovering their secrets?
The family background of both Heather and Jess is detailed over the following story and weaved within the narrative. The biggest question remains on everyone’s mind…

‘Why would someone want to kill an old lady who never hurt a fly’

I did find the title had a slow (ish) start after the opening murder scene description and had moments of slow burn throughout. That being said I love the coastal location. The idea of secrets from the past and the intense ‘why she did it’ as opposed to ‘who did it’. 4* 

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Claire Douglas
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Anne Bonny #BookReview Forget Me Not by Claire Allan 4* #CrimeFiction #Psychological #Thriller @AvonBooksUK

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Forget Me Not by Claire Allan
My Own Copy ~ Paperback

Synopsis ~

I disappeared on a Tuesday afternoon. I was there one minute and the next I was gone. They’ve never found my body…

It’s six in the morning during the hottest summer on record when Elizabeth O’Loughlin, out walking her dog, comes across Clare, a victim of a horrific knife attack, clinging onto life at the side of the road.

Clare dies minutes later, but not before whispering her haunting last words to Elizabeth.

When it becomes clear that Clare’s killer has more than one murder on his mind, Elizabeth has to take drastic action or face losing everything.

But what if she can’t stop a killer determined never to be forgotten?

My Review ~

‘Someone had wanted this woman very much dead’

The title deals with the aftermath of a violent and sadistic murder. Elizabeth O’Loughlin stumbles upon the victim in the throes of bleeding out, whilst walking her dog. She is left emotionally and mentally disturbed by what she saw… And what the victim said…
“Warn them”

When the woman in later identified we follow not only the witness statements and local police officer DI Bradley. But we follow the lives of her two closest friends, one of them Rachel, is grieving particularly heavy and her friends death leads her to question those closest to her.

We also begin to learn of Elizabeth’s past life and the story of her family. When she begins to receive threatening notes, we know that someone close to Elizabeth, means her harm.

‘Laura sends her love’

The title deals with the impact of violent murder on those left behind in its wake. The past collides with the present in this gripping Irish crime fiction title. 4*

‘Every action has consequences. Every inaction, too.’

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Claire Allan
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Anne Bonny #BlogTour #GuestPost Trust Me, I’m Dead by Sherryl Clark #NewRelease #CrimeFiction #Thriller #DebutNovel #DebutAuthor @Verve_Books @sherrylwriter

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Trust Me, I’m Dead by Sherryl Clark
Synopsis ~

SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2018 CWA DEBUT DAGGER FOR UNPUBLISHED FIRST NOVEL

She hasn’t seen her brother in years. Now, he’s dead.

When Judi Westerholme finds out her estranged brother has been murdered, she assumes it’s connected to his long term drug addiction. Returning home, she is shocked to discover he had been clean for years, had a wife – now missing – a child and led a respectable life. But if he had turned his life around, why was he killed in a drug deal shooting? And where is his wife?

Desperate to know what really happened, Judi sets out to uncover the truth, even though it means confronting her own traumatic past.
But she’s not the only one looking for answers…

With a gutsy, unapologetic protagonist, Trust Me, I’m Dead is a gritty and bold crime thriller that explores the sacrifices people will make for their families.

Guest Post ~

Writing about families and siblings

Our family is like any other – full of ups and downs, slights and offences, great memories and lots of fun. I’ve discovered over the years that my sisters, brother and I seem to have the same sense of humour – I’m not sure how that happened or if it’s usual! I’ve written poems about my family, but I haven’t put them in a novel.

But other people’s families? They’re loaded with story ideas! I still remember years ago being told by a friend that they refused to spend Christmas Day with their family because ‘we all hate each other’. At the time, it stunned me. Now I know this is not unusual at all. While there are a lot of novels about parents and children, abuse and estrangement, and long-held hatreds, I was more interested in siblings. I was especially interested in the saying, You can choose your friends but you can’t choose your family.

Sibling relationships seem to fall into two camps in the stories I hear. One camp is where everyone is friends. The other camp is full of envy, jealousy, comparing achievements and failures, and stewing on old grievances. I wondered about families where the parents were unloving, and how siblings might band together, support and strengthen each other and, if that failed, how the guilt and remorse might echo down the years.

We put such demands on each other. And where one sibling absolves the other of responsibility and simply asks for help, what might make the answer No? If you’ve been madly trying to pretend there is nothing wrong with you, while you push people away and refuse to commit, you might even push your own brother away when he needs you.

Thus was born Trust Me, I’m Dead. I initially read an article about someone who died and left behind an audio cassette of secrets that changed everything his family thought they knew. In my novel, I have a sister and brother, Judi and Andy, and a family history that both binds them and pulls them apart. The background to the story is Melbourne’s gangland wars, where families were murdered in revenge – even small children saw their parents killed. It was a horrific period in the city’s recent history that continues to echo, and became the perfect setting and plot stirrer for my characters and my novel.

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Sherryl Clark
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TRUST ME, I'M DEAD Blog Blitz schedule

Anne Bonny #BlogTour #GuestPost by Patricia Macdonald #TheGirlInTheWoods #Psychological #Thriller #NewRelease @blackthornbks

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The Girl In The Woods by Patricia Macdonald
Review To Follow

Synopsis ~

“I have to tell you something. I did something bad.”

Fifteen years ago, Blair’s best friend Molly was murdered.
Fifteen years ago, Adrian Jones went to prison for it.
Fifteen years ago, the real killer got away with it.

And now, Blair’s terminally ill sister has made a devastating deathbed confession, which could prove that the wrong man has been imprisoned for years – and that Molly’s killer is still out there. Blair’s determined to find him, but the story behind Molly’s death is more twisted than she could imagine. If she isn’t careful, the killer will ensnare her and bury Blair with his secret.

Guest Post ~

Readers often ask me where I get my ideas for my books. In truth, I am always searching for the odd news story which piques my interest and engages my emotions. The inspiration for one of my books, NOT GUILTY, was a tiny article about a man who put a new, in ground pool in his backyard, even though he could not swim. When his toddler fell in, the man instinctively jumped in to save him, and drowned. I kept asking myself why anyone would do something so reckless and potentially dangerous—excavate a deep pooI in their yard when they had small children, and couldn’t swim. It seemed an improbable idea on which to base a book, but I found that I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I finally decided to use it. It was both satisfying and difficult to create that murderous plot, but I was happy with the results.

If only there were a reliable source that I could consult whenever I needed inspiration! Just as important as inspiration, I need a story that will continue to interest me for the year or so which it takes to produce a book. It ought to be simpler than it is. I write suspense novels, so my story always centers around a crime, and the crime is always murder. But even though the news is full of murders, very few of them are sufficiently interesting to make me want to write a book.

It’s easier to say which crimes wouldn’t interest me than which would. I am never attracted to murders committed for financial gain. Greed seems a pitiful reason to kill. I’m not interested in the Mob, or gang warfare. Anything having to do with drugs puts me to sleep. And as much as I enjoy a good serial killer on the page or in a film, I never want to write about one. Their victims should be apparently unrelated, so that the investigators have to search for a pattern. I adore the search, but am invariably disappointed when the killer is finally cornered, and the trigger is revealed. It’s a letdown to learn that our diabolically clever criminal is some loser killing random girls who resemble someone that rejected him in high school.

No, I want something tortured and shameful as a motive. I want a tormented psyche formed by thwarted desires and family secrets. This is where the writer in me has to get busy. In addition to the killer, I have to create other characters who are also plausible as potential villains. This entails creating family histories for multiple characters who might have the motive to inspire mayhem. Luckily, this is part of the work which I enjoy.

Once I have my crime and my killer, I need an opening which will hold the reader’s interest while I set up the pieces of my chess game, if you will. My latest book, THE GIRL IN THE WOODS, opens with a deathbed confession. I always wanted to write about a deathbed confession, not only for the drama and the emotion of it, but because most of us have misapprehensions about the legal value of a such a confession. There are actually very interesting limits to its usefulness. This gave me two avenues to pursue, the psychological and the legal. I like to think that these dovetailed nicely in THE GIRL IN THE WOODS. I felt as if I met the challenges of this plot, but now, alas, it is behind me. Once again, I am searching for that rare and elusive source of inspiration, which will make me want to write again.

Pat Macdonald
Patricia Macdonald
Website
Goodreads

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Anne Bonny #BlogTour #CharacterProfile Lost You by @HaylenBeck #Psychological #Thriller @HarvillSecker @vintagebooks You’re searching for your son. But she found him first.

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Lost You by Haylen Beck
Review To Follow

Synopsis ~

When a little boy goes missing, his mother desperately wants to find him . . . before someone else does. Perfect for fans of Lisa Jewell, Shari Lapena and Cara Hunter.

Libby would do anything for her three-year-old son Ethan. And after all they’ve been through, a holiday seems the perfect antidote for them both. Their hotel is peaceful, safe and friendly, yet Libby can’t help feeling that someone is watching her. Watching Ethan. Because, for years, Libby has lived with a secret.

Just days into their holiday, when Libby is starting to relax, Ethan steps into an elevator on his own, and the doors close before Libby can stop them. Moments later, Ethan is gone.

Libby thought she had been through the worst, but her nightmare is only just beginning. And in a desperate hunt for her son, it becomes clear she’s not the only one looking for him.

Who will find him first?

Character Profile ~ Anna 

Anna

Anna Lenihan lives in a mobile-home village over in Lafayette. She tries to make it feel like a home. She mows the lawn in summer, sweeps up the leaves in the fall, and shovels snow in the winter. She’s been working tables at the Flatiron Bar & Grill for nine months, and had just started to make a hole in her debts. But then her boss calls her in to his office and tells her he has to let her go.

And now she’s been fired, for no concrete reason other than ‘last one in, first one out’, she doesn’t know what to do.

Then someone finds her and offers her a chance to start again, an opportunity to make some money and get out of the mobile-home village for good.

That’s when Anna meets Libby…

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