The Two O’Clock Boy (DI Ray Drake) by Mark Hill

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Book Description:

TWO CHILDHOOD FRIENDS… ONE BECAME A DETECTIVE… ONE BECAME A KILLER…

One night changed their lives
Thirty years ago, the Longacre Children’s Home stood on a London street where once-grand Victorian homes lay derelict. There its children lived in terror of Gordon Tallis, the home’s manager.

Cries in the fire and smoke
Then Connor Laird arrived: a frighteningly intense boy who quickly became Tallis’ favourite criminal helper. Soon after, destruction befell the Longacre, and the facts of that night have lain buried . . . until today.

A truth both must hide
Now, a mysterious figure, the Two O’Clock Boy, is killing all who grew up there, one by one. DI Ray Drake will do whatever it take to stop the murders – but he will go even further to cover up the truth.

Discover the gripping, twist-filled start to a fantastic new London-set crime thriller series starring morally corrupt DI Ray Drake – the perfect new addiction for fans of Luther.

My Thoughts:

The Two O’Clock Boy is a story that swaps between present day where DI Ray Drake is trying to find out who is behind the deaths of people that grew up all in the same children’s home, as well as to a specific year in the past when the victims were children in the home.

Connor was a character who grabbed my interest straight away. There was lots about him that I was intrigued about. The way he just turned up and how he basically became top dog in the home straight away. There was so much about this boy’s past that I wanted to know. You could tell there is good in there some where, yet there was a certain coldness that sent chills down my spine.

I also took to Drake in the story. Drake is certainly not your typical DI that you will find in crime novels. He has recently lost his wife and his relationship with his daughter is fragile to say the least. All is not what it seems where Drake is concerned and I absolutely loved his character.

There is so much I want to say about this novel but if I do it will give major spoilers away for anyone who hasn’t read it. It’s one of those stories that leaves you wanting to tell the whole world about it just so you can talk about it.

The Two O’Clock Boy is a tense and chilling read. There are some great surprises in store and I thought the whole story line was an absolute cracker. It has left me very excited as to the possibilities of where the author is going to take me on this series and I can not wait for more.

My thanks to Netgalley and Little, Brown Book Group UK for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads rating 4/5 stars.

The Two O’Clock Boy is already out to buy for kindle and available to pre order for paperback which is due out on the 6th of April 2017, both formats can be found on Amazon.

Medea’s Curse by Anne Buist

 

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Book Description:

Forensic psychiatrist Natalie King works with victims and perpetrators of violent crime. Women with a history of abuse, mainly. She rides a Ducati a size too big and wears a tank top a size too small. Likes men but doesn’t want to keep one. And really needs to stay on her medication.

Now she’s being stalked. Anonymous notes, threats, strangers loitering outside her house.

A hostile former patient? Or someone connected with a current case? Georgia Latimer — charged with killing her three children. Travis Hardy — deadbeat father of another murdered child, with a second daughter now missing. Maybe the harrassment has something to do with Crown Prosecutor Liam O’Shea — drop-dead sexy, married and trouble in all kinds of ways.

Natalie doesn’t know. Question is, will she find out before it’s too late?

Anne Buist, herself a leading perinatal psychiatrist, has created an edge-of-the-seat mystery with a hot new heroine — backed up by a lifetime of experience with troubled minds.

My Thoughts:

After reading the blurb for this book I couldn’t wait to read it.

Natalie is a great protagonist. Her job is certainly not the easiest of ones and reading of her chats with her patients at times was very harrowing. You can tell she really cares about the women that are her patients and even though she has to go behind the actions of their crimes to find out the truth, it can’t be easy to not judge someone, especially a mother who has killed their child.

I like how Natalie doesn’t really rely on anyone. She has a man in her life. Probably not one that’s suitable, but it doesn’t matter to her, I think she just prefers the benefits it brings.

The story does jump around quite a bit which did make me struggle to keep up with what was going on. One minute I would be reading of Natalie with one of her patients the next Natalie would be with her ‘boyfriend’ or somewhere else and I have to admit I don’t think it flowed as well as it could have done. If it had flowed better I think the story would have grabbed me a lot more than it did.

The story line itself is a really good one and when the connections start to fall into place for Natalie, it makes for quite a sinister read.

Medea’s Curse has all the elements of a great book. It’s still a decent read but for me if the story had just flowed better, it would have been an outstanding read, instead of ending up being an okay one.

My thanks to Legend Press for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads rating 3/5 stars.

Medea’s Curse is out on the 3rd of October and available to pre order from Amazon.

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The Meddler by Donna Maria McCarthy

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Book Description:

A tale rich in characters and magic, Meddler not only delivers joy but also tragedy. This is the story of a creature bound by a fantastic mind that can predict, pre-empt and ultimately bring about futures, by meddling.

A group of people, brought together through hardship and scourge, come to know him as their own, and the gothic town of Hares Folly will never be the same.

This story is abundant with humor but also with sorrow, and has taken the form of a fairy tale, but purely for adults, and allows us a little magic that, perhaps, is lost for us when we inevitably take on responsibility.

My Thoughts:

Having read the authors debut novel, The Hangman’s Hitch, as well as her latest offering, with out a doubt this is one talented writer.

With The Meddler not being my usual sort of genre, the best I can liken it to is Tim Burton’s dark and magical films. If Tim Burton wrote novels, I swear this would be it! It was almost like a mixture of Monster Inc versus the wonderful Disney fairy tale films sprinkled with tales from The Brothers Grimm.

The Meddler is a Gothic fairy tale that can be enjoyed by teens and adults alike. It made me feel like I was back at school again, sat on the floor for story time and being totally captivated by the word’s coming out of the teachers mouth. Only now I’m an adult and I am totally captivated by the word’s that are in front of me that I am reading.

Hares Folly is a town whose residents lives are going to change after being visited by the Meddler and his side kick Reuben, an ‘old dragon’. I loved the relationship between these two characters and at times they reminded me of an old married couple.

To be honest there are just so many magical and wonderful characters that I would be here all day discussing them all. This is such wonderful book that it has to be read to be fully appreciated how special it is.

The story itself is a dark one, yet it had me feeling so many emotions. It will certainly have you reminiscing of your childhood and the fairy stories and characters that you grew to love and have never forgotten. This is one that you wouldn’t want to read with your children though! Instead it’s one that can be selfishly devoured by yourself and as it’s timeless, can be enjoyed time and time again.

The Meddler is without a doubt a wonderful and magical novel to lose yourself into. The authors writing style truly is captivating, in parts it felt like a riddle and rhyme all rolled into one. The author is certainly proving herself to be the queen of story telling.

If like me, you’ve never truly grown up and always enjoyed a bit of story telling but more on the darker side, The Meddler is an absolute must read.

My thanks to the author for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads rating 5/5 stars.

The Meddler is out on the 1st of October and available to purchase from Amazon.

A Very Coco Christmas: (Prequel Short Story) (Coco Pinchard Series) by Robert Bryndza

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Book Description:

A Very Coco Christmas is all about that first time you come home for Christmas with a new boyfriend who you just know your family will hate…

This happens to eighteen-year-old Coco Pinchard, who has fallen hopelessly in love with Daniel Pinchard during her first term away at Aberystwyth University. He is most definitely a bad boy from the wrong side of the river.

When Coco returns to London to spend Christmas with her snobbish parents, they don’t approve of Daniel, going as far as trying to set her up with the dull Kenneth, son of their friends Adrian and Yvonne, who will be joining them for Christmas. Coco refuses and sparks begin to fly!

A Very Coco Christmas is a prequel to the Coco Pinchard series, but it can also be enjoyed as a stand alone story. It is set in 1985, and there is a great deal of nostalgia for when Christmas was a lot simpler and less commercial.

We also see Coco’s disastrous first meeting with Ethel, her future mother-in-law. It’s a cosy, funny, novella with snow, romance, and a Christmas lunch involving an escaped live turkey!

My Thoughts:

Yes I know it’s not Christmas yet but being a big fan of Coco, I wanted to get a quick fix.

This is a prequel to the full length Coco Pinchard novels. The author takes us back to when Coco is eighteen and hasn’t long since met Daniel the man she goes onto marry.

If you’ve read the books in this series then you will know what a fabulous read your in for. Even though this is a short story, I didn’t stop laughing and grinning from the beginning to the very end. Only problem is it’s left me desperate for more.

Ethel has to be my favourite character in this series as she is just totally bonkers. Even the younger Ethel is just as funny as the older Ethel in the full length novels. When Coco meets Ethel for the first time, it really makes for some laugh out loud reading. I could really envision Daniel and his family and his mothers turkey called John Paul.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading of the Christmas lunch that ends up being a bit of a disaster. It felt like we were getting front row seats seeing it all first hand ourselves. It’s one of those meals that would probably be very uncomfortable for everyone involved but as an outsider it makes for some hilarious reading.

Another laugh out loud read with plenty of sparkle.

Goodreads rating 5/5 stars.

A Very Coco Christmas is available to purchase from Amazon.

 

 

Candles and Roses: a serial killer thriller by AlexWalters

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Book Description:

Candles and Roses: a chilling serial killer thriller from a critically acclaimed author.

Who will live and who will die? 

DI Alec McKay is a man haunted by the loss of his daughter.  As he obsesses over a missing person case that is going nowhere, McKay’s investigation is interrupted when bodies start appearing on the Scottish Black Isle. Soon McKay and his team start to identify a disturbing pattern behind the killings.

Why are candles and roses placed around the bodies?

What is this twisted murderer trying to achieve?

While the police follow their own leads, a young woman who discovered the first victim begins an investigation of her own.

As the case unfolds McKay will be forced to face his own demons.

To catch the killer McKay must discover the true motive and untangle the web of truth and lies.

Candles and Roses is the first book in the explosive new DI McKay Series.

My Thoughts:

Candles And Roses is the first novel in the DI McKay Series and as first novels to a new crime series goes, it’s a pretty darn good one.

McKay I took to straight away. I’m not sure if he is supposed to a bit of a tyrant or not, but I loved his character. Like a lot of crime detectives, his personal life is not the easiest of ones yet he doesn’t let it interfere with his work. He has great rapport with other members in the team and I for one think he would be great to work alongside.

When young women’s bodies turn up surrounded by candles and roses, it is obvious that McKay and his team have a serial killer on their hands. Why these particular women though is what the team are asking themselves as well as was I.

I had absolutely no clue as to who was behind the murders until it was there in front of me. There are quite a few possible suspects that I was constantly second guessing as to who it could be and totally got it wrong. It actually came as quite a shock when it was finally revealed. The author certainly knows how to play with his readers.

Candles And Roses is a gripping crime thriller that certainly kept me on my toes. With a likeable protagonist you can’t help but get drawn into his life and work and can’t wait to read more about McKay and his team.

My thanks to Bloodhound Books for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads rating 4/5 stars.

Candles And Roses is out today and available to purchase from Amazon.

 

Madam Tulip by David Ahern

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Book Description:

Suspense, mystery, action, a little romance and lots of laughs

Out-of-work actress Derry O’Donnell is talented, professional, just a little psychic… and broke. Spurred on by an ultimatum from her awesomely high-achieving mother, Derry embarks on a part-time career as Madame Tulip, fortune teller to the rich and famous. But at her first fortune-telling gig – a celebrity charity weekend in a luxurious castle – a famous rap artist mysteriously dies.

As Derry is drawn deeper into a seedy world of fashion, millionaires, horses and cocaine, she must race to save her best friend from jail and a supermodel from being murdered. Her efforts threaten to destroy her friends, her ex-lover, her father and herself.

Fans of humorous mystery writers Janet Evanovich and Carl Hiaasen will love Madam Tulip.

Madame Tulip is the first in a series of thrilling and hilarious Tulip adventures in which Derry O’Donnell, celebrity fortune-teller and reluctant amateur detective, plays the most exciting and perilous roles of her acting life, drinks borage tea, and fails to understand her parents.

My Thoughts:

Set in Ireland you really get a sense of the wonderful Irish countryside through out this novel. The luxurious castle that Derry finds herself visiting, I especially would have loved to have been able to stay at, though hopefully when there is less mayhem going on there.

Derry is a likeable character who somehow finds herself being talked into becoming a fortune teller. Even though she does have a slight gift, which has been passed down the generations in her family, she probably isn’t the most convincing one, though luckily a few of the characters in the book struggle to see that.

I loved Bella, Derry’s friend, she has a certain energy about her that drew me in. She’s certainly a fun loving gal, who would be great to have around.

Derry ends up finding herself being somewhat involved when a death happens at the hotel and even though she doesn’t want to get involved, after her friend is wrongly arrested, she decides she has no other choice but to try and find out what exactly has gone on and get to the bottom of it all.

Madam Tulip isn’t by any means a fast paced crime novel, I would say it is more bordering on the cozy mystery side of crime. It is more suspense/mystery than action/thriller. I think readers that are looking for an enjoyable but more light hearted crime/mystery will really enjoy this book. I can see it working really well as a series on television.

My thanks to the author for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads rating 3/5 stars.

Madam Tulip is available to purchase from Amazon.

There is Always More to Say: A Never-Ending Story About an Everlasting Friendship by Lynda Young Spiro

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Book Description:

A heartfelt novel about the connections that bring people together.

Soho 1984: Two people meet and their worlds are changed forever. An unexpected meeting – a look that means their lives will never be the same again.

In There Is Always More To Say Lynda Spiro chronicles the lives of the couple through friendships, marriage, fleeting moments and snatched time. It is a passionate account about a connection between two people that never dies even when tested by distance and when life throws the unexpected at their feet.

“The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances. If there is any reaction both are transformed.” C G Jung

My Thoughts:

There Is Always More To Say is not my typical sort of read. It is a fairly quick read with short chapters and it only being 159 pages long in the paperback version.

At the beginning and end of each chapter there are short quotes from a whole array of iconic people which breeds a little positivity through out the book and I very much enjoyed reading ones that I know very well, as well as discovering plenty of new ones.

The story is told in first person by a fifty two year old lady who we don’t know the name of. It felt like someone writing into their diary as each chapter is a different time scale or date. It also felt like she could be writing a letter as each chapter is pretty much aimed at the man she first met twenty years ago who she has since carried a torch for.

This whole novel is very much about meeting your first love and how no matter how many years have gone by, you never truly forget them. I’m sure we all will be able to relate to parts of this novel as well as the woman whose story is being told. In parts it certainly proved to be quite thought provoking.

There Is always More To Say like I said isn’t my usual read. Whilst I wouldn’t go as far as saying I loved it, it is still a good read and which I felt that I got something out of it that I can take away with me if that makes sense.

My thanks to the author for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads rating 3/5 stars.

There I Always More To Say is available to purchase from Amazon.