Anne Bonny #BlogBlitz #GuestPost Heart Swarm by @allanwatson12 @BOTBSPublicity #NewRelease #Mystery #Thriller

cover
Heart Swarm by Allan Watson
Synopsis:

Heart Swarm – Prepare to be Scared…
It feels like history is repeating itself when out-of-favour detective Will Harlan gets summoned to a crime scene in the village of Brackenbrae after a young girl is found hanging in the woods.

Five years ago Harlan headed up the investigation of an identical murder in the same woods; a mishandled investigation that effectively destroyed his credibility as a detective. The new case immediately takes a bizarre twist when the body is identified as the same girl found hanging in the woods five years ago.

The following day a local man commits suicide and the police find more dead girls hidden in his basement. The case seems open and closed.

Until the killing spree begins.

Harlan finds himself drawn into a dark world where murder is a form of self-expression and human life treated as one more commodity to be used and discarded.

The only clue that links everything is a large oil painting of ‘Sagittarius A’ – a massive black hole at the centre of the galaxy orbited by thirteen stars daubed in blood with the words –

Heart Swarm

Guest Post:

The Loneliness of a Long Distance Writer

Writing is almost as much about ritual as it is about imagination, sweat and sheer willpower. You’ll find most writers have their own personal charms to get them in the zone. For some this can simply be a glass of wine, or a coffee with a chunky Kit-Kat, while others can’t get down to work without whale song piping from their speakers sometimes preceded by ten minutes of meditation, breathing exercises and yoga. Anything goes. It’s all about tricking the brain into opening up and spilling out those precious pearls of perfect prose. Um… alliteration can also be a useful tool.

To get the creative juices flowing, my own ritual revolves around a fusion of music and light. The light provided by four strategically placed Philips Hue globes, tweaked via the supplied app to give a soft focus fairy-grotto ambience. Candles or draped strings of coloured LEDs left over from Xmas work wonders, too. The music is basically whatever iTunes Playlist takes my fancy at the time. Add a glass of gin and a smoke to the mix and I fall into automatic writing mode.

You think this sounds over the top? In that case I’m so glad I never mentioned the glass shelf positioned above my screen where a collection crystals and polished agates are aligned with geometric precision against a phalanx of collectable Zippo lighters, providing me with a focal point to gaze into infinity when considering the merits of the humble colon over the more elaborate semi-colon.

So what happens when the writer gets uprooted from their cosy life-support pods and forced to work in unfamiliar surroundings? For the past six years I’ve been mostly working away from home, living out of a suitcase in a succession of bland and soulless hotel rooms. In theory there’s nothing stopping me getting on with whatever book I’m writing, but getting the magic to seamlessly flow from my fingertips to the screen when away from home isn’t so easy.

Sure, I can stick on my headphones and drip-feed my favourite songs into my bloodstream. I can bring along a string of Xmas lights and drape them over my laptop. I can even keep myself supplied in gin – but there’s always something going on the background to distract and derail my normally dependable train of thought.

Sometimes it’s an inconsiderate clown in the room upstairs Morris-dancing with wooden clogs. Other times it’s the badly hung curtains (six degrees off kilter, I checked with a spirit level app), or weird-shaped stains on the carpet (one definitely resembled a silhouette of Barbara Cartland). After this comes the unpredictable sound of flushing behind the bathroom wall or the hotel air con deciding to impersonate a B52 bomber. And that’s without going into how distracting it can be when the people through the wall decide to have mattress-busting noisy sex without first asking if I mind or not.

Now, instead of slavishly devoting myself to ensuring those pesky sub plots converge properly or trying to subtly drop in a red herring without it stinking up the place like a two-week-old kipper or simply determining a minor character’s fate (pause to check current body count), I find myself looking at Facebook and Twitter. Distractions within distractions, and minor character is getting impatient awaiting his fate as I procrastinate over a picture of a friend’s grilled prawn curry. I quickly decide to kill off minor character to cover up my own ragged attention span. Minor character isn’t happy and says he’ll be talking to his Union Rep. I now realise I’ve been hitting the gin too hard.

I decide to go to bed and sleep. Tomorrow is always another day. I might even buy another Philips Hue globe. And a Zippo. It’s the alignment that’s important.

Bioshot12
Allan Watson
Website
Twitter
Facebook

Author Bio:
Allan Watson is a writer whose work leans towards the dark end of the fiction spectrum. He is the author of seven novels – Dreaming in the Snakepark, Carapace, The Garden of Remembrance, 1-2-3-4, Monochrome, Heart Swarm and Wasp Latitudes.

In between the books, Allan wrote extensively for BBC Radio Scotland, churning out hundreds of comedy sketches, in addition to being a regular contributor for the world famous ‘Herald Diary’.

He occasionally masquerades as a composer/musician, collaborating with crime writer Phil Rickman in a band called Lol Robinson with Hazey Jane II whose albums have sold on four different continents (Antarctica was a hard one to crack)

Allan lives and works in Glasgow, Scotland, but has never worn the kilt or eaten a deep fried Mars Bar. He also once spent three days as a stand-in guitarist for the Bay City Rollers, but he rarely talks much about that…

***Don’t miss the other bloggers on the blog blitz***
H E A R T S W A R M B L O G B L I T Z (1)

Anne Bonny #BookReview Resin by @AuthorAneRiel #NewRelease #Literary #Thriller @TransworldBooks Protected Treasured Trapped . . .

cover
Resin by Ane Riel
Review Copy
Synopsis:

The multi-award-winning international bestseller.
Suspenseful and heart-breaking, Resin is the story of what can happen when you love someone too much – when your desire to keep them safe becomes the thing that could irrevocably harm them.
*
Liv died when she was just six years old. At least, that’s what the authorities think.
Her father knew he was the only one who could keep her safe in this world. So one evening he left the isolated house his little family called home, he pushed their boat out to sea and watched it ruin on the rocks. Then he walked the long way into town to report his only child missing.
But behind the boxes and the baskets crowding her Dad’s workshop, Liv was hiding. This way her Dad had said, she’d never have to go to school; this way, she’d never have to leave her parents.
This way, Liv would be safe.

My Review:

WOW! Where to start with this one!!!!!!
The whole novel can be summarised with one word: disturbing!
Which I do not mean in a derogatory manner. The novel focuses around one of possibly the most disturbing families I have ever read! Straight from the opening sentence, you know you’re in for a treat with this one. . . .

‘The white room was completely dark when my dad killed my granny’ – Liv

Meet Liv, your strange, awkward child protagonist. She tells us about the home-made Christmas presents and family hoarding. Even her granny being smothered, set alight and buried is all too nonchalant for Liv. . .
‘After all, none of us is meant to suffer’

The family live on ‘The Head’ a small isolated island, which is linked to the larger island Korsted. But the family are the only occupants at The Head. They steal what they need from others and this is a routine father/daughter night time activity.

‘In time I learned we weren’t like other people’ – Liv

Throughout the novel there are a series of letters from Liv’s mother written to Liv. To be completely honest, they only add to the whole strange/weirdo vibe of the whole family. . .
‘I don’t know whether to call our life a family story or horror story’ – Mum
Even further alarming with words like. . . ‘He may kill me’

This is a family in desperate need of some social services involvement. Immediately!

Liv’s father is Jen Horder and through the novel we learn his backstory and family history. Prepare yourselves!
We also learn how he met and fell in love with Liv’s mother. His mother Else wasn’t too keen on the union between the pair and considering she dies in the opening scenes, I don’t think she was far from wrong!

When Granny Else plans to take Liv away to the mainland for schooling. A premeditated plan is hatched.
One that will see Liv disappear!

‘Live knew that not being seen was a mater of life and death’

This novel is dark, disturbing and yet I could NOT look away from the pages. The scene for which the title gets its name, is beyond my understanding. The last 20/30 pages make for intense reading! I am absolutely HOOKED!

Brilliantly disturbing 4.5*

AR
Ane Riel
Twitter

Anne Bonny #BookReview Jar Of Hearts by Jennifer Hillier #Psychological #CrimeFiction #Thriller @CorvusBooks

cover
Jar Of Hearts by Jennifer Hillier
Review Copy
Synopsis:

Five years ago, Geo’s first love was revealed as a terrifying serial killer.
But he escaped custody and went on the run.
Now, bodies have started turning up, killed in exactly the same way as before.
The message is clear: he’s making his way to her, one murder at a time…

My Review:

I can see this novel being massively popular, as it is a fantastic psychological thriller, written in such an unusual way. It explores the inner torment of repressing the most painful of secrets. The novel opens with our protagonist Geo staring as witness for the prosecution in a case where she herself took a plea deal. Geo’s guilt is never called into question as such, it is more about how much did Geo know?
Why did she keep such heart-breaking and painful secrets?

The novel is told in 5 parts, or stages. As each is labelled as one of the stages of grief. Denial, Anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance each play their part in Geo’s story. It is a story that builds layer upon layer of mystery and intrigue.
Until a phenomenal ending, that will leave readers open mouthed!

Calvin James Geo’s childhood boyfriend is the killer on trial. The Sweetbay Strangler the media calls him. He is found guilty of the murder of Angela Wong, Geo’s childhood best friend. A secret Geo knew and kept for 14yrs.
When Angela went missing, Geo kept her silence but why? Why did Geo enable Calvin? Who then went on to rape and murder three more victims until his apprehension.

Angela’s parents are in the courtroom, as they hear Geo’s evidence. The pain and anger they must feel towards Geo leaps from the page. As Geo avoids all eye contact with them. When Geo completes her testimony, she is taken straight away to serve her 5yr sentence at Hazelwood correctional institute.

Geo may have held onto secrets, but once she is convicted she loses everything she gained in those 14yrs. Gone is the wealthy fiancé and dreams of the all-American dream. Gone is the prestigious career and bright future. Gone is Geo to ‘Hellwood’.
When she arrives, it becomes clear to Geo she is going to have to find a way to survive prison. That prison eats weak and vulnerable people.

‘There are three types of currency in prison: drugs, sex and information’ – Geo

Her prison experiences did remind me of the TV show Orange Is The New Black. As Geo tries to navigate a world she is unprepared for. I almost visualised her as the main character Piper. Whilst Geo survives prison, there are flashback scenes to her arrest and interrogation. We learn how and why geo lost it all and what information she did disclose to the police. We also learn that she is holding something back.

The week before Geo is released from prison, two bodies are discovered in the exact location of Angela’s remains. Although we know it can not be Geo responsible, Calvin remains at large as a fugitive. Is Calvin back? why return to the same town?
Who are the victims and are they connected?

The two victims are a grown woman and two-year-old child. Calvin was never known to harm any young children, which leave the police baffled.
That is until they dig further into the victim’s past!

The detective handling the case is Kaiser Brody. Who attended school with both Angela and Geo. The trio were often seen hanging around together. Kaiser has kept a close discreet eye on Geo during her prison term and continues to do much the same once she is released. But can Kaiser get to the truth? Will Geo confessing her secrets, finally put the past behind her?

This novel brings Geo’s past and present together and builds to a dramatic, action-packed ending! 4*

JH
Jennifer Hillier
Website
Twitter

Anne Bonny #BlogTour #BookReview Now You See Her by @HeidiPerksBooks #NewRelease #Psychological #Thriller @arrowpublishing #NowYouSeeHer

Now You See Her Hi-Res Cover Image
Now You see Her by Heidi Perks
Review Copy
Synopsis:

Charlotte is looking after her best friend’s daughter the day she disappears. She thought the little girl was playing with her own children. She swears she only took her eyes off them for a second.

Now, Charlotte must do the unthinkable: tell her best friend Harriet that her only child is missing. The child she was meant to be watching.

Devastated, Harriet can no longer bear to see Charlotte. No one could expect her to trust her friend again.
Only now she needs to. Because two weeks later Harriet and Charlotte are both being questioned separately by the police. And secrets are about to surface.

Someone is hiding the truth about what really happened to Alice.

My Review:

Now You See Her, is an intense psychological novel. It focuses on the relationship between Charlotte and Harriet. With one simple day, playing a HUGE role in their futures. The two women were once best friends, right up until the moment Charlotte lost Harriet’s daughter Alice (4yrs).

The novel is set in Dorset and it really adds to the drama when we learn that another little boy went missing last year. Dorset being a small coastal community, instantly there is speculation that this is an abduction.

Before we can fully begin to get into the drama, the backgrounds of both women are explored. We learn that Charlotte is a single mother to three children. She is Harriet’s best friend and therefore was quick to offer to help her out and mind Alice, so that Harriet could attend her book keeping course. It is the first time Harriet has ever left Alice with another adult and he is understandably nervous and apprehensive.

‘Somewhere along the line she had become the mother she didn’t want to be’

Charlotte makes her way to the local school’s fete with the four children in tow. She meets up with friends Audrey and Karen. When her attention drifts from the bouncy castle for mere moments. Alice is GONE!

PC Fielding and PC Shaw are first on the scene. They immediately organise a search of the area. Charlotte is left devastated and bereft, she questions if Harriet will ever forgive her. This really is every parent’s worst nightmare, from either perspective. To lose a child or to feel responsible for the possible abduction of a child.

In the days following the disappearance more and more speculation and rumour grows. Charlotte is exposed as being on Facebook at the time of the alleged potential abduction. Her friends turn on her and she feels too ashamed to leave her home. There is online venom poured upon her and her own reliability as a mother. In a moment of deep pain, she reaches out to Harriet and her husband Brian. Only to discover they blame her too.

‘This isn’t the first child she’s lost’ – Brian

Brian demands to be the parent that speaks at the press conference and his whole demeanour is controlling and possessive.
I really began to question his role in this disappearance.

I cannot say too much more for fear of leaving spoilers. But this is an intense read.
The role of suspect and victim constantly shifts.
The novel keeps you guessing and guessing. 4*

20151120_Heidi-Perks_015
Heidi Perks
Twitter

***Don’t miss the other bloggers on the blog tour***
Now You See Her Blog Tour Banner

Anne Bonny #BookReview The Good Son by You-Jeong Jeong #CrimeFiction #Psychological #Thriller @LittleBrownUK ‘The Good Son is eerie, dark and creepy’

cover
The Good Son by You-Jeong Jeong
My own copy
Synopsis:

YOU WAKE UP COVERED IN BLOOD
THERE’S A BODY DOWNSTAIRS
YOUR MOTHER’S BODY

YOU DIDN’T DO IT. DID YOU?
HOW COULD YOU, YOU’VE ALWAYS BEEN THE GOOD SON

When Yu-jin wakes up covered in blood, and finds the body of his mother downstairs, he decides to hide the evidence and pursue the killer himself.

Then young women start disappearing in his South Korean town. Who is he hunting? And why does the answer take him back to his brother and father who lost their lives many years ago.

The Good Son is inspired by a true story.

My Review:

The Good Son is a creepy and engaging read. It slowly draws you in to the plot and you HAVE to know more. The central character Yu-Jin is brilliantly written. I cannot wait to read the authors other novels when they are translated into English.

The novel opens with Yu-Jin aka the good son. He is 25yrs old, a model student and athlete. He is also off his meds. . .
He awakens one morning early due to a phone call. But upon awaking quickly notices he is covered in blood. He follows the trail of bloody footprints and find his mother with her throat cut.

He immediately calls the police but realises the situation and what will be interpreted from it. At times his memory is fragmented, and he is struggling to remember what has occurred. This is when we begin to learn more and more about Yu-Jin and what kind of man he really is.

‘After all, being true to life wasn’t the only way to tell a story’

Yu-Jin had recently gotten into law school. He is educated and intelligent but suffers from some form of mental health condition. He has had a troubled childhood and his father and brother’s whereabouts is unknown. He describes his mother as both protective and controlling, yet he maintains an emotional bond. Yu-Jin is a fascinating character, because he is an unreliable narrator of the story. Also because we the reader desperately seek the truth.
Who killed Yu-Jin’s mother? Can Yu-Jin identify the killer?

The Good Son is eerie, dark and creepy.
It’s perfect for fans of the horror/psychological genre. 4*