By Any Means Necessary by Stephen Sayers & David McCaffrey

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Book Description:

A PROMISING BOXING CAREER IN THE PAST.
A HORRIFIC CRIME DEFINING THE FUTURE.
A DESIRE FOR REVENGE THAT WOULD HAVE CONSEQUENCES.

Tommy Myers had been an up and coming boxer with his future before him. He will discover that it’s impossible to make someone suffer without paying a price. His sister was the victim of an unspeakable crime that set her and her brother on a path they could have never foreseen. She will learn that revenge is an act of passion; vengeance is an act of justice. Jack Hudson believes sadism and cruelty are the path to true power. He will be taught that limits are in proportion to your resolve.

FROM THE MIND OF BESTSELLING AUTHOR STEPHEN SAYERS COMES A NEW BREED OF CRIME THRILLER.

My Thoughts:

Tommy Myers is someone who has quite a bright future ahead of him, that is until a certain event sends his life spiralling into a totally different direction.

The story actually starts off with quite a bang in present day, then we are taken back to events building back up to the current day. This way we get a better feel for the characters and what they are dealing with. I couldn’t wait to find out what had happened and how everything was going to pan out.

The two people that really stand out in this story is Tommy and his step sister Karen. These two are brilliant characters, they really get under the readers skin and I for one really cared about what was happening to them both. Karen comes into Tommy’s life when they are both kids. As they get older, even though there is that sense of looking out for one another, there is something definitely stronger going on.

My heart was literally in my mouth whilst reading this. Having the local mobster set his sights on Tommy, I just knew that nothing good could come of it. There are certainly some unsavoury characters throughout this novel, some who made my skin crawl.

There is a certain incident which I have to say was quite hard to read but was very paramount to the whole story and it was written very tactfully. It is certainly a very dark and gritty read that has you in the thick of it all.

Set in the dark and disturbing gangster underworld of Newcastle, this is a gripping and intense read about an unbreakable bond and fighting for survival. By Any Means Necessary holds no punches and sent me hurtling on a roller coster ride of emotions. As the Geordie saying goes, this is a ‘belter’ of a novel.

My rating 4.5/5 stars.

By Any Means Necessary is out today and available to purchase from Amazon.

 

Miss Wrong and Mr Right by Robert Bryndza

 

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Book Description:

‘This is men,’ said Gran. ‘When they vant you, but you don’t vant them, they stay. But let them know you vant them, they no longer need you, and they go! It’s like that movie, Nanny McPhee.’

Natalie Love has worked hard to have it all. She runs a successful London theatre that’s about to host one of Hollywood’s leading stars, Ryan Harrison. She’s pretty sure she’s found her man in yoga boyfriend Benjamin, despite his annoying habit of saying Namaste! every time he speaks. And her eccentric, glamorous Hungarian gran is always on hand to offer sage advice and steaming bowls of goulash.

Life in the bright lights of London has always been Natalie’s escape from her chaotic family in rural Devon and Jamie, the childhood sweetheart she left at the altar fifteen years ago. Until he turns up at her theatre door…

Jamie is in town producing a West End show and with rivalry suddenly clouding old feelings, this isn’t quite the reunion Natalie was expecting.

Will Benjamin prove to be Natalie’s perfect match? With Ryan turning her head, Natalie is more confused than ever. And what about Jamie – could he be her second chance at first love?

Charming, hilarious and totally unputdownable, Miss Wrong and Mr Right will put a huge smile on your face and keep you guessing who Natalie’s ‘Mr Right’ is until the very last page.

My Thoughts:

Having read a couple of the books in the Coco Pinchard series, I knew that I would be in for a highly entertaining read with the stand alone novel Miss Wrong and Mr Right, and as usual the author did not disappoint.

We first meet Natalie on her wedding day when she realises she is too young to settle down and wants to live her life first before considering walking down the aisle. Poor Jamie is devastated but no one can change Natalie’s mind.

Fast forward so many years and Natalie has a successful career running a theatre but unfortunately her love life leaves a lot to be desired. When Jamie reappears in her life, her near on perfect life starts to unravel.

There has to be a special mention to Natalie’s Hungarian Gran. What a fabulously hilarious character she is. I absolutely loved her. She has the most fascinating past, though I have a sneaky feeling that she has a habit of stretching the truth slightly, but for her age she is very forward in her thinking, much to Natalie’s despair at times.

What I love about this novel is that it doesn’t feel like your bog standard love story. The author really brings the story as well as the characters very much to life and it has the perfect mix of fun and romance with a realistic storyline that love doesn’t always run smoothly and is far from all hearts and flowers.

There really are some great characters and even though I really liked Natalie, I have to say her Gran and Ryan were my personal favourites. Both characters bring so much fun to the story, though saying that, Natalie’s run in with the Best Hair award pretty much had me crying with laughter and was certainly one of many highlights in this wonderful novel.

Miss Wrong and Mr Right is the perfect read to bring lightness and laughter into your life.

Highly recommended.

Goodreads rating 5/5 stars.

Miss Wrong and Mr Right is published today and available to purchase from Amazon.

Death Stalks Kettle Street by John Bowen

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Book Description:

Some accidents are no accident.

Someone is murdering Greg Unsworth’s neighbours and staging the deaths to look like accidents.

Greg knows the truth, but when he’s grappling with OCD and simply closing his front door and crossing the road are a battle, how is he supposed to catch a serial killer?

From the internationally bestselling author of Where the Dead Walk, Vessel and Cold Sweats & Vignettes comes a cosy murder mystery with a difference…

Meet Greg Unsworth, afflicted with OCD, who begins to realize that a series of fatal accidents on his street are in fact a series of murders. After encountering Beth Grue at the scene of one such crime, the two bond over their shared fears and suspicions, and struggles: Beth has cerebral palsy. When the police repeatedly dismiss their concerns, they take matters into their own hands and attempt to discover the killer’s identity and expose him…

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My Thoughts:

Greg is very much the unlikely hero in this story. When people on his street start to die in what looks like tragic accidents, Greg starts to fear that something untowards is going on. He strikes up a friendship with want to be writer Beth, and they both start to take matters into their own hands.

This is a story where the characters are very unexpected. Greg has OCD which to a certain extent rules his life. Everything has to be in a certain place and at a certain angle. Even just going to the local shop sees him have to do everything in a certain way. He is quite odd yet readers are going to love him. He reminded me very much of Edward who is the main character in Craig Lancaster’s novels. If you loved Edward and love mystery and suspense then you will love this book as it is the perfect mixture.

Beth is yet another unlikely heroine. To be honest her and Greg actually compliment each other really well. They are both likeable characters that readers will love to get behind. As the police are certainly not taking the pair seriously, the amateur sleuths work well together in trying to piece all the evidence together and getting closer to who is behind it all.

This is one of those books where the story and characters are perfect for a television series. I think it would do so well.

Death Stalks Kettle Street is a unique and enjoyable read. With great characters, this is a book I would love to be turned into a series as I want to read more of Beth and Greg. Full of mystery and suspense, it is a story that will keep you guessing until the end.

My thanks to the author for a copy of this book.  All opinions are my own and not biased in anyway.

Goodreads rating 4/5 stars.

Death Stalks Kettle Street is out on the 9th of December and available to pre order from Amazon.

Deadly Alibi by Leigh Russell #BlogTour #GuestPost

Today I am delighted to be on the blog tour for Leigh Russell’s new novel, Deadly Alibi. For my stop the author has very kindly written a guest post on the appeal of crime fiction. Hope you enjoy it as much as me. Deadly Alibi by Leigh Russell is published by No Exit Press and is available to buy as an ebook: bit.ly/deadlyalibiebook

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THE APPEAL OF CRIME FICTION

When I first started writing the Geraldine Steel series of detective stories, crime fiction was really popular. Eight years and fourteen books later, the genre continues to be a favourite for many readers. There are several reasons for this.

Fictional murder investigations present the readers with characters on different sides of the moral spectrum. The ‘good’ characters may be flawed and dodgy in their own individual ways, and the ‘bad’ characters are frequently victims themselves, sufferers as well as perpetrators of evil. But there is a clear moral divide, and readers know who they want to see brought to justice by the end of the book. And yes, it’s about goodies and baddies.

This adds to the suspense, which is a key element in any crime novel. The more evil the killer, the more eager the reader will be to see him or her caught.

In addition to the moral conflict at the heart of any crime novel is the element of puzzle. A lot of readers enjoy pitting their wits against an undisclosed killer, trying to identify who is committing the fictitious crimes before the detective tracks them down.

Another aspect of crime fiction that raises the genre above the level of simple story telling, is the way crime fiction ‘holds a mirror up to nature’. Some of the best crime fiction examines social and psychological issues, as well as simply working out a plot. The book is not just about what happens, but examines why it happens, and how the criminal is able to commit the crime at all.

In my debut novel, Cut Short, my killer is a character who should never have been allowed to live unsupervised in the community. The book poses a question about what we are doing, as a civilised society, failing to support people who are unable to cope alone. Murder Ring examines the issue of gun crime. Many people in possession of firearms are not evil master criminals. They are dysfunctional people, or children, incapable of acting responsibly.

As a crime writer, I have no answers to these problems, but it is important that we as a society take notice of them. Crime fiction is a way of drawing attention to the issues that trouble our society.

But the crimes in my books are ultimately about the way individual people interact with one another. Deadly Alibi considers problems that can arise when relationships between people go badly wrong. Relationships within families tend to be the most intense, and the ones where people are most likely to feel trapped. You can sever all ties with your parents, but you cannot stop them being your parents. You can walk away from a friend, but you are always related by blood to members of your family, even if you never see them.

The death of a parent is probably going to have a long term effect on a child, but the remaining parent is also likely to be deeply affected, as is a possible step-parent. Parents may well feel a sense of responsibility towards their children, but to what extent should anyone feel responsible for a sibling? These are some of the questions that inform the events in Deadly Alibi.

Of course, all this takes place very much in the background of a police investigation into a murder. The main thrust of the narrative is the investigation into first one, and then two murders… and possibly more.

I would like to thank Sarah very much for inviting me to write a guest post for By the Letter Book Reviews.

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After teaching English in secondary school, #1 bestselling author Leigh Russell now writes crime fiction full time. Published in English and in translation throughout Europe, her Geraldine Steel and Ian Peterson titles have appeared on many bestseller lists, and reached #1 on kindle. Leigh’s work has been nominated for several major awards, including the CWA New Blood Dagger and CWA Dagger in the Library, and her Geraldine Steel and Ian Peterson series are in development for television with major television production company Avalon Television Ltd.

Journey to Death is the first title in her Lucy Hall series published by Thomas and Mercer.
Find out more about Leigh on her website http://www.leighrussell.co.uk where news, reviews and interviews are posted, with a schedule of Leigh’s appearances. Contact Leigh via her website, follow her on Twitter, Facebook and follow her personal blog http://leighrussell.blogspot.co.uk

 

The Hidden Island by Angela Corner #BlogTour

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Book Description:

Sex. Drugs. Murder.

Hidden behind the crystal seas and beautiful beaches of a Greek Island dark and dangerous secrets lurk. Beckett has had his fill of adrenaline fuelled criminal investigation and with a broken body and damaged career goes to the Greek Island of Farou to head up the Criminal Investigation Bureau. Serious crime is rare, the weather is great and the beer is cold but his ‘retirement’ is cut short when a pagan cult resurrects and bodies start showing up.

With doubts about his mental and physical ability to do the job, a British police detective is sent to help with the investigation. DI Lee Harper is everything Beckett is not – young, ambitious and by the book.

As well as tackling the new case Beckett must over come the demons from his past.

Family loyalty, power and money are at the source of the investigation where appearance is everything and nothing is what is seems.

Can Beckett and Harper work together to find justice for the victims?

Will the idyllic island ever be the same again?

Sometimes paradise can be hell.

My Thoughts:

The Hidden Island is a crime novel set on the picturesque Greek Island of Farou. Through the story line you actually get the whole holiday vibe through a few of the characters who have come there.

Unfortunately a dead body turning up is not something that is good for the Island. The sooner the murder is solved the better!

Beckett has left the UK I think in the hope of taking things a bit easier. Stepping off the plane to the intense humidity, doesn’t do much to improve his mood. The relationship between him and Harper was just brilliant. The rapport between the two at times had me laughing out loud. Beckett has quite a dry sense of humour and I think is very much set in his ways. Harper is like an excited dog trying to please, though he does seem to enjoy winding Beckett up somewhat.

The Hidden Island is a novel full of mystery and intrigue. Set in a stunning location you can’t help but be drawn into this book and onto the Island. With plenty of secrets and lies, this is one that will keep the reader guessing and with some unexpected surprises, this makes for one highly enjoyable read.

My thanks to Bloodhound Books for a copy of this book. All opinions are my own and not biased in anyway.

Goodreads rating 4/5 stars.

The Hidden Island is out now and available to purchase from Amazon.

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***Cover Reveal*** Born Bad by Marnie Riches

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PUBLISHES: 9th March 2017

’Fast-paced and enthralling’ – C.L. Taylor

The battle is on…

When gang leader Paddy O’Brien is stabbed in his brother’s famous nightclub, Manchester’s criminal underworld is shaken to the core. Tensions are running high, and as the body count begins to grow, the O’Brien family must face a tough decision – sell their side of the city to the infamous Boddlington gang or stick it out and risk losing their king.

But war comes easy to the bad boys, and they won’t
go down without a fight. So begins a fierce battle for
the South Side, with the leading Manchester gangsters
taking the law into their own hands – but only the
strongest will survive…

You can pre order your copy now from Amazon.

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Marnie Riches grew up on a rough estate in Manchester. She learned her way out of the ghetto, all the way to Cambridge University, where she gained a Masters degree in German & Dutch. She has been a punk, a trainee rock star, a pretend artist, a property developer and professional fundraiser. Previously a children’s author, now, she writes crime and contemporary women’s fiction.

Marnie Riches is the author of the best-selling, award-winning George McKenzie crime-thriller series, published by Maze and Avon at Harper Collins. The Girl Who Wouldn’t Die – the first outing for crime fiction’s mouthy, kickass criminologist – won the Patricia Highsmith Award for Most Exotic Location at the Dead Good Reader Awards 2015, whilst the series was shortlisted for the Tess Gerritsen Award for Best Series in the Dead Good Reader Awards 2016. With the latest installment being “The Girl Who Had No Fear”, the books have garnered both a loyal readership and critical acclaim.

Her brand new Manchester series – a must-read for fans of Martina Cole & Kimberley Chambers – is coming in paperback as well as digital format. Born Bad will be released 9th March 2017 and will be available in all good bookshops. It is already available to pre-order via all good e-tailers.

In her spare time, Marnie likes to run (more of a long distance shuffle, really) travel, drink and eat all the things (especially if combined with travel) paint portraits, sniff expensive leather shoes (what woman doesn’t?) and renovate old houses. She also adores flowers.

 

Dark Minds: A charity collection of short stories

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Dark Minds is a collection of short stories by authors such as Steven Dunne, Lisa Hall, KA Richardson, Anita Waller, to name but a few as well as newer talent such as Tara Lyons. All profits from the books will be going to two very well deserved charities, Hospice UK and Sophie’s Appeal. Dark Minds is available to pre order from Amazon on the 6th of December and to purchase on the 13th of December.

Ten Green Bottles B A Morton
London’s Crawling Emma Pullar
The Shoes maketh the Man Louise Jensen
Never tell a Lie Tara Lyons
A Christmas Killing Richard T Burke
By the Water Betsy Reavley
A Cup of Cold Coffee and a Slice of Life Tony R. Cox
Slow Roast Pork S.E.Lynes
A Lawful Killing Ross Greenwood
Sticky Fingers JT Lawrence
You will meet a tall dark strangler Ron Nicholson
The Wages of Sin Lisa Hall
Hidden KA Richardson
The Sydney Dahlia A.J.Sendall
Pop Dead – The Pension Papers Pete Adams
The Sins of Muriel McGarry A.S.King
The Shepherd’s Bothy L J Ross
Life after Life Paul D Brazil
The Smallest Acorn April Taylor
An Onion Joel Hames
I’ve Gone Anita Waller
The Bridge Simon Maltman
The Moth Jar Jim Ody
Jimmy Jimmy Steven Dunne
Be Careful what you Wish for Peter Best
My Own Eggsecutioner Tess Makovesky
One Last Job Alex Walters
A Stranger’s Eyes Paul Gitsham
Dangerous Actions M.A.Comley
Captive Steven Edgar
Left Behind Nick Jackson
Horror Roz White
Mary and Joseph David Evans
Love you to Death Lucy V Hay
Fastball Alex Shaw
The Retreat Jane E James
Out of Retirement Mark L.Fowler
Don’t go to Marsh town, Johnny Ray!Charlie Flowers & Hannah Haq
Everything Comes B.A.Steadman