Book Review

The Silent Wife – Karin Slaughter

Today marks a massive highlight in my blogging career for me as I join the blog tour for The Silent Wife by Karin Slaughter, my absolute favourite thriller writer. Many thanks to Karin, to Liz at Harper Collins, and to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours, for inviting me to be a part of the tour, and for providing me with a copy of the book.

BLURB:

Atlanta, Georgia. Present day. A young woman is brutally attacked and left for dead. The police investigate but the trail goes cold. Until a chance assignment takes GBI investigator Will Trent to the state penitentiary, and to a prisoner who says he recognises the MO. The attack looks identical to the one he was accused of eight years earlier. The prisoner’s always insisted that he was innocent, and now he’s sure he has proof. The killer is still out there.

As Will digs into both crimes it becomes clear that he must solve the original case in order to reach the truth. Yet nearly a decade has passed—time for memories to fade, witnesses to vanish, evidence to disappear. And now he needs medical examiner Sara Linton to help him hunt down a ruthless murderer. But when the past and present collide, everything Will values is at stake.

PURCHASE LINKS:

Amazon UK

Amazon US

The Silent Wife Cover

REVIEW:

Well, what can you say about a book that is so great that it leaves you totally lost for words? I finished this book a good few days ago and it has taken this long for me to gather my thoughts enough to write my review. Karin Slaughter is just pure class, and her writing style puts her firmly at the top of my thriller writer list. Her books are instantly addictive and The Silent Wife is no exception.

The Silent Wife sees the return of many familiar faces as Sara and Will’s life together in Atlanta merges with Sara’s old life in Grant County. The dual timeline allows us to see Sara at two very different times in her life – one where we see the tough, resilient Sara we are used to, following her separation from Jeffrey, and another softer side as she shows her vulnerability in her relationship with Will and struggles to come to terms with the ghosts of her past. I loved seeing this side to Sara, as much as I hated to see her hurting so badly. I found it very interesting to explore her relationships with both men and the emotions they stir up in her.

Faith has long been one of my favourite characters from Karin’s books, and I particularly enjoyed her interaction with Lena in this book, and her blatant hatred of a character that, let’s face it, is totally unlikeable, and who we all love to hate. The years have not mellowed Lena and, much like Faith, I found myself really wanting to slap her! She really is a brilliant character to inspire such strong emotions in the reader.

As always, Karin doesn’t pull any punches with the brutality of the crimes featured in her books, or in the detail of the medical exams of the victims. There are some particularly graphic descriptions in The Silent Wife that may not be for the faint-hearted, but they are in no way gratuitous or out of keeping with the story.

As if being part of the blog tour for this brilliant book wasn’t excited enough, Karin was kind enough to take part in a Zoom Q&A session with the bloggers taking part on the tour, which was just amazing. Thank you so much Karin for being so generous with your time, and thanks to Liz at Harper Collins too for making all the arrangements and hosting the chat. It was most definitely the highlight of lockdown for me and a massive boost to my mental health.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Karin-Slaughter-Alison-RosaKarin Slaughter is one of the world’s most popular and acclaimed storytellers. Published in 120 countries with more than 35 million copies sold across the globe, her 19 novels include the Grant County and Will Trent books, as well as the Edgar-nominated Cop Town and the instant Sunday Times bestselling novels Pretty Girls, The Good Daughter, and Pieces of Her.

The Good Daughter and Cop Town are in development for film and television and Pieces of Her is soon to be an eight-part Netflix adaptation, directed by Lesli Linka Glatter (Mad Men), and produced by Charlotte Stoudt (Homeland) and Bruna Papandrea (Big Little Lies).

Karin is the founder of the Save the Libraries project- a non-profit organisation established to support libraries and library programming.

She lives in Atlanta, Georgia.

‘One of the boldest thriller writers working today’ TESS GERRITSEN

‘Fiction doesn’t get any better than this’ JEFFERY DEAVER

‘Passion, intensity, and humanity’ LEE CHILD

Her characters, plot, and pacing are unrivalled’ MICHAEL CONNELLY

‘A great writer at the peak of her powers’ PETER JAMES

‘Karin Slaughter has – by far – the best name of all of us mystery novelists’ JAMES PATTERSON

For information, review copy or interview request

please contact Liz Dawson:

elizabeth.dawson@harpercollins.co.uk / 020 8307 4412

Don’t forget to visit the other blogs taking part in the tour for this fantastic book.

The Silent Wife BT Poster

Blog

The First Lie – A.J. Park

Out Tomorrow

“A. J. Park is a master of suspense who knows how to keep readers hovering tensely over the edges of their seats.” 
Sophie Hannah

THE FIRST LIE COVER

THE FIRST LIE BY A.J. PARK

“This is a real page-turner. I finished it in one go!”
Martina Cole

A husband and wife cover up a murder. But the lie eats away at the fabric of their relationship and things unravel till they can’t trust anyone – even each other.

“A great thriller that will keep you turning the pages late into the night.”
Luca Veste

A freak accident. An impossible choice. But what was the first lie?

When Paul Reeve comes home to find his wife in the bathroom, bloodied and shaking, his survival instinct kicks in.

Alice never meant to kill the intruder. She was at home, alone, and terrified. She doesn’t deserve to be blamed for it. Covering up the murder is their only option.

But the crime eats away at the couple and soon they can’t trust anyone – even one another…

But there is much more at stake than anyone realises – and many more people on their trail than they can possibly evade…

“Fast-moving, gripping, the ground shifting perpetually beneath your feet as you read… I read it in one sitting.”
Alex Marwood

Available as a paperback, ebook and audio book.

Links:

Waterstones Paperback: http://tidd.ly/553cdf07

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2KNl4rt

THE FIRST LIE all quotes

Book Review

The House Guest – Mark Edwards

Happy publication day to Mark Edwards, whose latest thriller, The House Guest, is released today. Many thanks to Mark for providing me with a copy of the book which I received via NetGalley.

BLURB:

A perfect summer. A perfect stranger. A perfect nightmare.

When British twenty-somethings Ruth and Adam are offered the chance to spend the summer housesitting in New York, they can’t say no. Young, in love and on the cusp of professional success, they feel as if luck is finally on their side.

So the moment that Eden turns up on the doorstep, drenched from a summer storm, it seems only right to share a bit of that good fortune. Beautiful and charismatic, Eden claims to be a friend of the homeowners, who told her she could stay whenever she was in New York.

They know you’re not supposed to talk to strangers—let alone invite them into your home—but after all, Eden’s only a stranger until they get to know her.

As suspicions creep in that Eden may not be who she claims to be, they begin to wonder if they’ve made a terrible mistake…

49197789._SX318_

REVIEW:

The House Guest centres around an impulsive decision by young couple, Ruth and Adam, to invite an unknown woman to stay with them while they are house-sitting in New York. As a regular reader of Mark’s books, I was instantly suspicious of Eden’s motives, although saying that, knowing how often Mark throws me for a loop, it wasn’t long before I was distrustful of pretty much every character.

I found this to be a slightly slower burning book than others I have read by Mark, with the tension and intrigue gradually building towards a very dramatic climax. This book has reignited an old interest in cults stemming from my college days, and I am sure will lead to me delving back into reading about them. Hopefully I won’t fall quite as far down the rabbit hole as eccentric Wanda, although I did absolutely love her as a character.

This really is a read in one sitting kind of book, so make sure you clear your schedule and stock up on snacks before diving in.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

5267328Mark Edwards writes psychological thrillers in which scary things happen to ordinary people.

He loves love hearing from readers and always responds. Mark can be contacted in the following ways:
Email: mark@markedwardsauthor.com
Twitter @mredwards
Facebook: www.facebook.com/markedwardsbooks

You can download a free box set of ‘Short Sharp Shockers’ by visiting www.markedwardsauthor.com/free

Mark has sold over 2 million books since his first solo novel, The Magpies, was published in 2013. Since then he has topped the bestseller lists several times. His other novels are Because She Loves Me, Follow You Home, What You Wish For, The Devil’s Work, The Lucky Ones, The Retreat and In Her Shadow. He has also published A Murder of Magpies (a short sequel to The Magpies) and six books co-authored with Louise Voss.

Mark lives in the West Midlands, England, with his wife, their three children, two cats and a golden retriever.

 

Extracts

An Implacable Woman – K.T. Findlay

K.T. Findlay makes a welcome return today, sharing an extract of his novel, An Implacable Woman. Many thanks to K.T. for allowing me to share this, and to Rachel Gilbey at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to be a part of the blog tour.

BLURB:

If a tooth costs a tooth and an eye costs an eye

When a man hits his wife, then it’s his turn to die

Furious that the courts and police can’t prevent respected surgeon John Kirby from beating his wife, Sally Mellors steps in to save her. Permanently…

But Grace Kirby isn’t the only one who needs saving and Sally quickly discovers she’s taken on a much bigger job than she’d thought.

With her unique ability to blend justice with fun, Sally sets joyfully about the business of removing the monsters from women’s lives, but is she in danger of becoming a monster herself?

As her friends in the police get ever closer, Sally has some serious questions of her own to answer.

PURCHASE LINKS:

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Amazon India

An Implacable Woman 14 April 2020 For Rachel

EXTRACT:

In this extract, Sally is talking to a new friend, little girl Connie, who Sally thinks has fabulous potential as an artist. Unfortunately, Connie has the most ghastly mother who can’t see the good in any of her three children, but especially not in Connie. Sally decides to give the three children a tool they can fight back with…

Roger’s eyebrows shot into his hairline. ‘Mummy tells lies?’

Sally shook her head. ‘Not lies exactly, it’s just that she’s not always right. Watch out now.’

Mrs Taylor pushed aside the last branch, saw her children clustered around Sally, and walked over. She bent over to look at the painting. ‘That’s better than the one you were doing before.’ she said begrudgingly. ‘You might even be able to sell that one.’

‘Then I’ll put it in my next exhibition.’ smiled Sally.

‘Exhibition? Who are you then?’ demanded Mrs Taylor.

‘Sally Mellors, professional artist.’

Mrs Taylor blinked. ‘There’s one of yours in the town library!’

Sally nodded. ‘That would be Harriston then? The autumn leaves on the town street? An oil painting? I bought my new kitchen with that one!’

Mrs Taylor blinked again. ‘You really are her!’ Then she looked back at the painting. ‘I don’t think you’ll get a new kitchen with that one, but you might get a week’s groceries.’

Roger pulled his mum’s blouse. ‘But mum, it isn’t hers!’

 ‘Don’t be silly Roger, of course it’s hers!’ Mrs Taylor snapped, slapping his hand away.

Sally laughed. ‘No, he’s right. Connie painted it. Isn’t it fabulous?’

Mrs Taylor’s face clouded instantly. ‘Connie’s? I don’t believe it!’ She bent down to look at it more closely, then shot back up with a snort. ‘Humph. You painted it, and she signed it. That’s not a nice thing to do to a child, teaching her to lie!’

Sally’s smile vanished. ‘Connie painted the whole thing, in just five minutes too. And it really is as good as you think it is, and it will go in my next exhibition, under her own name.’

Mrs Taylor glared at her. ‘I will not be lied to! We’re leaving. Children, get yourselves cleaned up!’ Then she stalked off to the car where her husband was busy pulling out the lunch things. ‘You can pack that lot back up right now! We’re not staying here tonight!’

Connie looked despairingly at Sally. ‘What’s going to happen?’

Sally rested her hand gently on the girl’s shoulder. ‘I will keep this safe. It will go in the exhibition, under your name, not mine, but it won’t be for sale. I’ll keep it myself, until you’re grown up enough to be able to come to see me. Then you can have it back, and if you want to, I’ll teach you how to be an artist.’

‘Really?’ whispered Connie. ‘Do you really mean that?’

‘Yes, I promise. I really mean it Connie Taylor. Now children, your mother just showed you that while she might think she knows everything, sometimes she’s dead wrong, and it can hurt you. Do you want her to show you again?’

The three children nodded, wide eyed.

‘Okay,’ whispered Sally, ‘your mum told you to get cleaned up, and you already are, right? So you’re waiting for mum and dad to get finish packing before you get in the car? I say again, you’re the ones waiting for her, right?’

Three more nods.

‘Well I bet you each a fish and chip supper, that when she’s finished packing, she’ll call you over and tell you that you’ve made everyone late for lunch.’

The three children looked over at the car where dad was putting the very last bucket into the boot. Mrs Taylor called over to them. ‘Come along children, you’re making us late for lunch!’

Roger’s jaw dropped. ‘How did you know?’

Sally gave him a wink. ‘Remember I asked you to pay attention to everything from now on, and watch what your mother says and does? That’s why. You never made anyone late for lunch, and Connie painted that beautiful painting. Your mum isn’t always right. If you know when she’s wrong, you can take better care of each other. Now, off you go, and God bless. And Connie? I’ll always be here for you when you’re ready! Just remember my name, Sally Mellors.’

Emma rested her chin on Sally’s shoulder as the car drove away up the hill. ‘You’re going to go to hell for that. You do know that don’t you?’

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

A Thoughtful - KT FIndlay above swing bridge 1 - CroppedK.T. Findlay lives on a small farm where he dovetails his writing with fighting the blackberry and convincing the quadbike that killing its rider isn’t a vital part of its job description.

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Book Review

A Creak On The Stairs – Eva Björg Ægisdóttir

I have a fantastic Icelandic thriller for you all today as I join the blog tour for A Creak On The Stairs by Eva Björg Ægisdóttir. Many thanks to Eva, and to Anne Cater at Random Things Blog Tours, for inviting me to be a part of the tour, and for providing me with a copy of the book.

BLURB:

The first in the electrifying new Forbidden Iceland series, The Creak on the Stairs is an exquisitely written, claustrophobic and chillingly atmospheric debut thriller by one of Iceland’s most exciting new talents.

When the body of a woman is discovered at a lighthouse in the Icelandic town of Akranes, it soon becomes clear that she’s no stranger to the area.

Chief Investigating Officer Elma, who has returned to Akranes following a failed relationship, and her colleagues Sævar and Hörður, commence an uneasy investigation, which uncovers a shocking secret in the dead woman’s past that continues to reverberate in the present day…

But as Elma and her team make a series of discoveries, they bring to light a host of long-hidden crimes that shake the entire community. Sifting through the rubble of the townspeople’s shattered memories, they have to dodge increasingly serious threats, and find justice … before it’s too late.

Creak on the Stairs Cover

PURCHASE LINKS:

Amazon UK

Amazon US

REVIEW:

One of my biggest fears is hearing a noise from within the house when I know that I am the only one home. Because of this, A Creak on the Stairs felt incredibly sinister and chilling to me from the very first sentence. Eva Björg Ægisdóttir perfectly captures the claustrophobic feelings that sometimes come from life in a small town where everyone knows everyone. Add to this the long nights and freezing temperatures of an Icelandic winter and you have the perfect recipe for an incredibly atmospheric, gripping noir thriller.

There are a lot of characters to get to know in this book, and at first I must admit I struggled a little to keep them straight in my head. Unless your Icelandic is better than mine, I heartily recommend keeping a snap of the name pronunciation list at the beginning of the book close at hand. It didn’t take long though before I was drawn into each character’s individual story as they are all so beautifully developed, and there is not a single character who comes across as two dimensional or surplus to requirements. I found I had a very vivid image of each of them in my mind after a few chapters.

As secrets are uncovers and revelations made, A Creak on the Stairs moves from a crime thriller to a more emotional, and at times heartbreaking story where there are no winners. I very much look forward to reading more of Eva’s books.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Eva Bjorg AEgisdottir Author PicBorn in Akranes in 1988, Eva moved to Trondheim, Norway to study my MSc in Globalisation when she was 25. After moving back home having completed her MSc, she knew it was time to start working on her novel. Eva has wanted to write books since she was 15 years old, having won a short story contest in Iceland.

Eva worked as a stewardess to make ends meet while she wrote her first novel. The book went on to win the Blackbird Award and became an Icelandic bestseller. Eva now lives with her husband and three children in Reykjavík, staying at home with her youngest until she begins Kindergarten.

SOCIAL MEDIA:

Twitter

Twitter – Orenda Books

Make sure you pay a visit to all the other lovely blogs taking part in this tour.

FINAL Creak on Stairs BT Poster

Book Review

Reckless – Gemma Rogers

Today I am joining the blog tour for the thriller novel, Reckless by Gemma Rogers. Many thanks to Gemma, and to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources, for inviting me to take part in the tour, and for providing me with a copy of the book.

BLURB:

English teacher Izzy Cole wanted a fresh start.

A new town, a new home, a new school.

But when sixth former Nicky Stevens sets his sights on her, he begins to reel her in at a time when she’s most vulnerable. Soon Izzy is risking her family, her career and her life as she finds Nicky wants more than she ever planned to give.

PURCHASE LINKS:

Order here

Reckless_ Gemma Rogers_ Final

REVIEW:

Reckless is a cleverly thought out thriller, and I certainly got a lot more than I bargained for when I sat down to read it. It is not filled with the multitude of twists and turns that a lot of thrillers seem to feel the need for these days, but this is not a bad thing. Knowing the “enemy” as it were means that you can become totally absorbed in the sinister, malevolent feel of the book without having half your attention on trying to figure out what is going on.

The two main characters posed something of an issue for me, as I found I quickly formed quite opposite opinions about them, and I am not entirely sure if these were the opinions that the author was aiming for.

On the one hand, we have Izzy, the main character, who, in all honesty, I struggled to like, never mind feel any sympathy for. For a large part of the book, I just wanted to shake her. Maybe it is because I am a similar age to her, and maybe it is because my oldest friend is an English teacher, but I struggled with the serious of insanely bad decisions she made, and the way in which she justified them to herself.

One the other hand, there is Nicky. Manipulative, narcissistic, and maybe even bordering on psychopathic, I found him to be a fascinating character and reading about him was utterly compelling. With Nicky, I found a character who I wanted to know more about, and although we discovered something of his past in Reckless, I would love to know the full story there, as well as what happens to him beyond the end of the book.

Despite my totally opposing feelings about the two main characters, or perhaps because of them, I found Reckless to be a gripping read, and I couldn’t wait to see how events unfolded.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Gemma Rogers 2Gemma Rogers was inspired to write gritty thrillers by a traumatic event in her own life nearly twenty years ago. Stalker was her debut novel and marked the beginning of a new writing career. Gemma lives in West Sussex with her husband, two daughters and bulldog Buster.

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Don’t forget to have a look at the other blogs taking part in the tour for more thoughts on Reckless.

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Guest Posts

A Thoughtful Woman – K.T. Findlay

As part of the blog tour for his book, A Thoughtful Woman, today I have the pleasure of sharing a guest post from K.T. Findlay with you. Many thanks K.T. for taking the time to do this, and to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to be a part of the tour. Before I hand you over to the man himself, here are all the details about A Thoughtful Woman.

BLURB:

They say revenge is a dish best served cold, but where’s the fun in that?

Artist Sally Mellors has planned the perfect revenge, but with two secret agents on her tail, and her best friends running the police investigation, getting away with murder is going to be tricky…

Everybody loves Sally. She’s a funny, generous, warm hearted friend, without a nasty bone in her body.

Isn’t she?

Unknown to her friends, Sally’s discovered another side to herself, cool headed and relentless, as she hunts down the three men who killed her husband. But Sally’s not the only one with an interest in the trio. Unknown to her, two agents have arrived in town, urgently hunting a missing man and his diary, which could blow their organisation apart. Their best leads are the very men that Sally’s hunting, and she’s getting in the way… 

The inspiration behind A Thoughtful Woman.

The justice system is an intriguing beast. We expect it to be fair, which is why we allow it to resolve our disputes instead of simply taking revenge ourselves, but watch an individual case play out in court and it can seem more like a high stakes game between lawyers than the pursuit of absolute truth. And if you think it’s a game, do you still accept the result if you lose? Is that still justice? At what point will a perfectly normal, perfectly decent person snap, and what happens when they do? Is it possible to plunge into the darkness of revenge and remain the normal, decent happy person you were before you started? Sally Mellors is about to find out.

PURCHASE LINKS:

Amazon UK

Amazon US

A Thoughtful Woman - 4 June 2019

Now, I will hand you over to K.T. Findlay to share his thoughts on what it is to be “normal.”

“Goodness me, that’s just not normal!”

Well, perhaps before we decide if that’s true, we should make sure we know what the word normal actually means.

NORMAL Definition 1 – A normal variety of something; esp. a sound, healthy, or unimpaired person.

NORMAL Definition 2 – Conforming to the standard or the common type; usual; not abnormal; regular; natural

NORMAL Definition 3 – A person who conforms and blends in with society; one who expresses no elements of individuality; flat and boring; extremely straight and perpendicular person; cannot cope easily with chaos; could also be described as the living dead; does not dare express over the top displays of emotion in case they might be seen to be mad.

The first two definitions are from dictionaries. The third is from “the county of Bonkershire”, a group of people with a variety of mental health issues who are trying to reclaim some of the older, more useful words for madness that have been turned into terms of abuse since they were originally conceived. You can see and hear them talking with comedian Jo Brand in Series 2, episode 1 of Victoria Coren Mitchell’s Balderdash and Piffle TV series.

Human beings are naturally tribal in nature, or at least most of them are. They cluster together into groups, either little or large, and by definition, anyone outside the group is excluded to some degree or another. These groups often come up with various cultural or behavioural elements they require of their members, to consistently prove their loyalty and commitment to the group. These can be as simple as saying hello instead of hi, as arcane as Victorian middle class manners, or enforce critical hygiene practices such as only eating with your right hand, maintain religious orthodoxy as in going to church on Sunday, right the way up to mutilating yourself or your children.

This is normal. Oh dear… There’s that word again!

The word normal can very easily become a weapon when it’s used to place people deliberately outside the group. “You’re not normal!” But all it really means is that “You’re not one of us.”

Perhaps the real definition of normal could be more along the lines of: “That which me and mine sincerely believe, use, eat, drink and do most of the time.” And that makes the word normal very personal indeed, to the person saying it. It makes the third definition in the list at the top of this article perfectly valid, because it’s that group’s definition. Whatever you yourself might think about that!

So it’s very context specific. Normal food for someone living in rural China in the nineteenth century would be quite different to normal food for a German peasant in the same period, which would be different again for a German noble in the eighth century. The word normal only works if you understand the context in which it’s being used.

You might think that this is all a little bit academic, but it can have real world consequences. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, also known as the DSM, is the handbook used in the USA and much of the rest of the world as the authoritative guide  to diagnosing mental disorders. It offers descriptions, symptoms and other criteria for diagnosing mental disorders. Fair enough you might say, but of course it changes quite dramatically over time as society evolves its view as to what it considers to be natural, and what it views as an aberration worthy of treatment.

This is all fertile ground for an author to walk over, because every single character in their books will have their own definition of what normal means to them. Even the best and closest of friends may suddenly discover that their pal has a weird side, and isn’t anywhere near as normal as they thought they were! “I mean, the fellow actually has a monthly bath! Shockingly dangerous… he’ll be dead by Christmas, just you see!”

So while it’s normally not normal to think about normal, it’s good for an author to make sure that their character’s normal. Or not.

Many thanks K.T. for that fascinating insight, and for taking the time to share it with us all.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

A Thoughtful - KT FIndlay above swing bridge 1 - CroppedK.T. Findlay lives on a small farm where he dovetails his writing with fighting the blackberry and convincing the quadbike that killing its rider isn’t a vital part of its job description.

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Blog

One Step Behind Cover Reveal

I have the honour of being involved in the cover reveal for what I think is a brilliant sounding thriller, One Step Behind by Lauren North. Keep reading for all the book details followed by the big reveal!

BLURB:

Jenna is a wife, a mother, a doctor. She’s also the victim of a stalker.

Every time she leaves her house, she sees him. Disturbing gifts are left at her door. Cruel emails are sent to her colleagues. She has no idea who this man is but she feels powerless against him.

Until the day he is brought into her hospital after a serious accident, and Jenna is given the chance to find out once and for all why this man is tormenting her. Now, the power is all hers.

But how many lines is she willing to cross to take back control of her life?

PURCHASE LINK:-

Amazon UK

Publication date: 17 July 2020 (ebook); 03 September 2020 (paperback)

Sounds great, doesn’t here? Here comes the cover so you know what to look for.

ONE STEP BEHINDUK

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:-

Lauren NorthLauren writes psychological suspense novels that delve into the darker side of relationships and families. She has a lifelong passion for writing, reading, and all things books. Lauren’s love of psychological suspense has grown since childhood and her dark imagination of always wondering what’s the worst thing that could happen in every situation.

Lauren studied psychology before moving to London where she lived and worked for many years. She now lives with her family in the Suffolk countryside. Her debut novel, The Perfect Betrayal, was released last year.

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Extracts

Spider Games – K.J. McGillick

As part of the blog tour for Spider Games by K.J. McGillick, I have the honour of sharing an extract from the book with you all today. Many thanks to K.J. McGillick for allowing me to share this, and to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to be a part of the tour.

BLURB:

How do you kill a spider?  

Kate O’Brien is pure dedication; she believes in the justice system. This feisty, no-nonsense attorney works herself to the bone every day, tirelessly building her reputation and career. She is on the path to being a legal star. That is until her corrupt law partner, Bill Brown, a criminal defense attorney, achieves a degree of notoriety which attracts the interest of the Drug Enforcement Administration.

When the inconceivable happens, Bill is arrested, charged with multiple counts of drug trafficking and money laundering leaving the law firm in chaos. As Kate slowly digs her way out, what she finds sends her down a dark path that could lead to her imprisonment or death. Bill has meticulously set her up to pay for his malevolent crimes. His cohorts, fearing she knows too much, have marked her for death. Can she stay ahead of the FBI and unravel crimes that reach as far as China and Russia? Or will she need to assume a new identity to save her own life?

A fast-paced thriller that keeps you guessing until the end. Suspenseful crime fiction with twists and turns throughout this masterfully plotted novel keeps you on the edge of your seat. It may be read as a standalone and serves as the first book in the series, A Conspiracy of Betrayal.

SPIDER-GAMES ^

PURCHASE LINKS:

Amazon UK

Amazon US

EXTRACT:

I climbed the steps, making a note we had to get someone to paint them, the peeling paint was an embarrassment. When I pushed through the door, the annoying small bell tinkled, causing Bill to stick his head out from the conference room. This place had gone to hell in a handbasket.

“Good, you’re here,” he said, waving me toward him. “We are back here going over some things.”

“Great, let me just grab a cup of coffee and I’ll be right there,” I said.

“We’ve got a carafe in here and some donuts, just come on back,” he told me.

Things must be pressing as he had his shirt sleeves rolled up and his tie loosened. One to stand on professional ceremony when clients were around, he normally wore a jacket and tie. And except for once, when a client killed himself mid-trial, I had never seen him with his hair out of place. Today he did not exactly look dishevelled, but something was off, he looked frazzled, worn out.

He signalled he was waiting for me to drop what I was doing and join the conversation. This was indeed unusual. Apparently, I didn’t move fast enough for his lordship as I received a subtle eyebrow raise, and with that encouragement; I picked up my pace.

“Kate, this is my old frat brother, Dr. Ashton Mayhew,” he said. “Ashton, this is my law partner, Kate. She will handle the bond hearing today, but I want to sit in on the initial meeting, so we are all on the same page. I’m due back at court in thirty minutes, and I know this may seem rushed but let’s get started.”

From the first moment you walk into a room, people make judgements about you. Are you attractive? Do you look smart and can play a particular part? This was no different. I felt Dr. Mayhew assessing me and I certainly was sizing him up. It was obvious that Ashton Mayhew either came from money or made a lot of it. At somewhere around six feet four, his suit had to be custom made because it fit to perfection. And custom made meant he spent a pile of money on it. He looked like a man who enjoyed taking care of himself, and I would go so far as to say he was a pampered man by the style of his hair and flawless skin.

He stood to shake my hand—firm, but not a double-clasp-fight-for-control handshake like some pushy salesperson or business mogul. But a solid squeeze to make sure the meaning behind it was clear—he held the power. As he sat back down and casually crossed one leg over the other, I could not help but notice his shoes, ones that I had seen in a boutique shoe shop for well over a thousand dollars. He had dropped a pile of money on some orthodontist to ensure that perfect smile. The man was likely the most put-together person I had ever seen, and I had to wonder what the hell he was doing here instead of hiring a white glove expensive criminal defence lawyer for his wife.

“I’m pleased to meet you, Dr. Mayhew,” I said as Bill handed me my coffee.

I felt his eyes sweep over me in an appraising manner. He need not have bothered. I was only in for round one, not for the fight.

“Have a seat, Kate, and let’s go over what we have,” Bill said and slid a stapled document my way.

“That is the preliminary police report,” he said.

“I know, I’ve already seen it,” I told him. “What I’d like to discuss is what’s not in the report.” 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Spider Games head shot

K. J. McGillick was born in New York and once she started to walk she never stopped running. But that’s what New Yorker’s do. Right?

As she evolved so did her career choices. After completing her graduate degree in nursing she spent many years in the university setting sharing the dreams of the enthusiastic nursing students she taught. After twenty rewarding years in the medical field she attended law school and has spent the last twenty-four years as an attorney helping people navigate the turbulent waters of the legal system. Not an easy feat. And now? Now she is sharing the characters she loves with readers hoping they are intrigued by her twisting and turning plots and entertained by her writing.

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Book Review

The Guest List – Lucy Foley

I am thrilled to be helping kick off the blog tour for The Guest List by Lucy Foley. Many thanks to Lucy, and to Anne Cater at Random Things Blog Tours, for inviting me to be a part of the tour, and for providing me with a copy of the book.

BLURB:

Another murder. Another mystery.

Guests are called to a remote island off the Irish coast to celebrate the wedding of the year – the marriage of Jules and Will. Everything has been meticulously planned, the scene is set, old friends are back together.

It should be the perfect day.

Until the discovery of a body signals the perfect murder.

A groom with a secret.

A bridesmaid with a grudge.

A plus one with motive.

A best man with a past.

It could be any, it could be all . . . But one guest won’t make it out alive. 

The Guest List Cover

PRAISE FOR THE GUEST LIST

‘It grabs you from the off and keeps you guessing until the very end. A genuine treat of a read.’ Lisa Howells, Heat

“Both a classic whodunnit and a very contemporary psychological thriller that left me guessing right to the end – a wonderful read.’ Kate Mosse

‘Great fun. Lucy Foley is really very clever.’ Anthony Horowitz

PURCHASE LINKS:

Amazon

Waterstones

REVIEW:

I read The Hunting Party last year, and wasn’t sure if Lucy Foley would be able to top it. I mean, once you’ve written a thriller set in the eerie surrounds of a hunting lodge cut off from the rest of the world by snow, where do you go next? The answer, an isolated island filled with its own dangers in the middle of a raging storm. I was instantly put in mind of Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None, and as I started reading, I was already on edge about what was to come.

The author’s style of writing, using multiple points of view, and not only keeping the killer’s identity a closely guarded secret, but also not revealing who the victim is, really builds tension. There is a simmering undercurrent of secrets and lies throughout, and as the storms grows in intensity so too do the revelations that slowly come to light. The storm feels like a character in its own right, making the whole situation feel increasingly ominous.

As the book progressed, I did have my suspicions about who the victim was going to be, although I did change my mind on a couple of occasions. Even as I became more sure about this though, it was still impossible to settle on who the killer might be. The interwoven lives and histories of each of the characters created a story full of unexpected developments, and every time I thought I was making progress in figuring everything out, something else happened to turn my thoughts on their head.

I read this book in one sitting, and I was a scrunched up ball of tension throughout! I love Lucy’s writing and can’t wait for her next book.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Lucy Foley Author PicLucy Foley studied English Literature at Durham and UCL universities and worked for several years as a fiction editor in the publishing industry, before leaving to write full-time. The Hunting Party, an instant Sunday Times and Irish Times no.1 bestseller, was Lucy’s debut crime novel, inspired by a particularly remote spot in Scotland that fired her imagination. Lucy is also the author of three historical novels, which have been translated into sixteen languages. Her journalism has appeared in ES Magazine, Sunday Times Style, Grazia and more.

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Guest List BT Poster