Lost Connections by Jim Ody

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Book Description:

What would you do if the most important person to you had been kidnapped? One minute your daughter is there, and the next she has been bundled into a van right under your nose. They want something of your father’s. You don’t know what that is, and your father mysteriously disappeared over 7 years ago. Going to the police is not an option. And the answers will slowly appear in the most unlikely of places.

As single-parent Eddie’s world falls apart, an unlikely alliance forms between friends and neighbours who put their differences aside, to help get his daughter Daisy back. As the mystery unfolds a huge secret is uncovered that not only will affect Eddie and his family, but the whole of mankind…

My Thoughts:

Lost Connections is my first introduction to this authors work.

This story itself is one very much of mystery and suspense. The reader is in the same position as Eddie, wondering why someone would abduct his daughter. There is a lot of mystery and un answered questions surrounding Eddie’s father, which the story flicks between past and present so that we gradually get to know more about Eddie’s upbringing and events from the past.

It kind of felt like one of those National Treasure films starring Nicholas Cage. It isn’t just about Eddie getting his daughter back, it is also about Eddie uncovering secrets about his father which in turn helps him to understand his troubled relationship that he had with him.

Lost Connections is ideal for readers who like a good solid suspense novel at a slower pace. With likeable and some not so likeable characters, it has something for everyone. Look forward to reading more by the author in the future.

Goodreads rating 3/5 stars.

Lost Connections is available to purchase from Amazon.

The Burden Of Truth by Peter Best #BlogTour

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Book Description:

A gripping suspense novel that takes you around the world 

Egocentric Brent Sandler knows he needs to change his life for the better.  He’s hit rock bottom, penniless and in deep trouble as he discovers an awful tragedy lying in wait. The problem is, he knows this tragedy is all down to him and his past actions. Now he’s determined to put things right as the consequences of these actions are rapidly making their mark. 

Meanwhile in Bodhgaya India, Peter Cannon has just made a shocking discovery that will change his life forever. Like Brent, he must come to terms with his guilt. But his past, his secret and the woman he loves are slowly hunting him down.

And if they find him, questions will be asked.

The tale of The Burden of Truth is a suspenseful thriller of how these two men are pulled apart and then drawn together as each man tries to fulfil his own quest for happiness. But they are soon to find out this quest is thwart with love, as well as danger, and both are lurking just around the corner.

My Thoughts:

I have to firstly admit that The Burden Of Truth would not be my first choice of read. Having said that though, I am glad it is one that I have read.

I’m not quite sure what genre I would use to describe it as parts feel like a thriller and other parts felt like one of self discovery. It’s certainly a new one on me but it actually works.

The story is split between India and England. I liked the vast contrast of the countries which adds to this books appeal. The whole Buddhism thread for one certainly interested me as it’s something that fascinates me.

Peter and Brent are interesting characters. Both men I found quite selfish to start with and it did take a while for them to both grow on me. I think readers will be able to relate to them but may not want to admit that they can!

Without a doubt this is a very well written story. It’s one that will pique readers interests and hold it there until the end. I have to say the ending was my favourite part and it certainly left me wanting to see what else the author has in store for us readers.

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

Goodreads rating 4/5 stars.

The Burden of Truth is out now and available to purchase from Amazon.

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Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead by Owen Mullen #BlogTour @OwenMullen6 @Bloodhoundbook

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Book Description:

Gavin Law was a whistleblower.
Now he’s missing.
Just another case for Glasgow PI, Charlie Cameron, until he discovers there is more to Law and his disappearance than anyone imagined.
Wallace Maitland, the surgeon responsible for leaving a woman brain-damaged may have abandoned his sacred oath and become a killer. Did the hospital which refused to accept responsibility for the tragedy have Law silenced permanently? Or, with his wife little more than a vegetable, has David Cooper, believing he has been betrayed yet again, taken justice into his own hands?
Charlie comes to realise the world of medicine can be a dangerous place.
Across the city, East End gangster, Sean Rafferty is preparing to exploit the already corrupt city council in a multi-million pound leisure development known as Riverside. The project will be good for Glasgow. But not everybody is keen to work with Rafferty.  
With more than money at stake, Sean will do anything to get his way.

His motto, borrowed from his old man, is simple. Never take a no from somebody who can give you a yes.
If that means murder, then so be it.
Charlie has crossed Rafferty’s path before and lived to tell the tale.
He may not be so lucky a second time.

My Thoughts:

Before The Devil Know’s You’re Dead is the third novel in the PI Charlie Cameron series. As there is a character from the first book in the series that is in this book who Charlie has a history with, I would recommend reading the first book at least before reading this one.

It seems to be getting to be the norm in a lot of crime novels to have two threads running alongside each other throughout a story. I have to say this makes a more gripping read and ensures that the author has the readers attention.

Charlie seems to be doing well with the business side of things and his cases certainly make for an intriguing read. His love life sadly isn’t as straight forward. I don’t know if its just me but he brings out the mothering instinct in me, in that I care about his wellbeing and want to see him happy.

The story line to do with David Cooper is one that really got to me. It can’t be easy to go through what him and his wife have and it makes for some thought provoking reading.

Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead is yet another good read in the series. The author manages to keep me guessing and keeps his cards close to his chest so that I never know what quite to expect. This is sure to be a hit with fans of the series, new and old.

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

Goodreads rating 4/5 stars.

Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead is out now and available to purchase from Amazon.

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After She’s Gone by Maggie James #BlogTour @mjamesfiction @TAsTPublicity

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Book Description:

Lori Golden’s family have had more than their fair share of troubles. But through it all, Lori and her sister, Jessie, have always supported each other. Then Jessie is killed. And Lori’s world turns upside down.

Devastated, Lori struggles to cope with her loss, and to learn to live in a world without her bright, bubbly sister by her side. Around her, her already fractured family start to fall apart. And, as Lori and her mother try to pick up the pieces of their shattered lives, secrets long thought buried are coming painfully to light.

Faced with the unthinkable, Lori is forced to ask herself how well she really knows those who are left behind…

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My Thoughts:

I don’t think there could be anything worse than having a much loved member of your family murdered. For Lori and her family though things start to take a very dark and slippery turn that has all their lives in danger.

This is one of those stories where you end up thinking badly of every character as you are constantly second guessing their motives and if they are behind the murder and fires. I do have to admit that I did have a little niggle about a certain character as something didn’t sit right for me with them. The little niggle turned out to be right but the story still holds the odd surprise and I would never have guessed certain parts of it.

I really had a lot of compassion for Lori and her mum. Not only have they lost someone very close, they are having to deal with the fact that there is very little chance that they will ever find a kidney donor for Lori’s mum. They really do have so much to deal with that it didn’t seem fair all the horrible things that were happening to them.

After She’s Gone is very much a story of overcoming a loss and how well you know the people around you. There are quite a few characters that are hiding dark secrets, which as we know always have a way of coming back to bite you and boy do they come back and tear chunks out of some them. This is one very dark story which is full of suspense.

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.

After She’s Gone is out today and available to purchase from Amazon.

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About The Author

Maggie James is a British author who lives in Bristol. She writes psychological suspense novels.

 

Before turning her hand to writing, Maggie worked mainly as an accountant, with a diversion into practising as a nutritional therapist. Diet and health remain high on her list of interests, along with travel. Accountancy does not, but then it never did. The urge to pack a bag and go off travelling is always lurking in the background! When not writing, going to the gym, practising yoga or travelling, Maggie can be found seeking new four-legged friends to pet; animals are a lifelong love!

Author Links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MJamesFiction/

 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/mjamesfiction

Goodreads Author Page: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/828751.Maggie_James

Blog: http://www.maggiejamesfiction.com/blog

Website: http://www.maggiejamesfiction.com

In Plain Sight by M A Comley #BlogTour @Melcom1 @Bloodhoundbook

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Book Description:

No one is safe… not even the police.

DI Hero Nelson is used to violent crime but this one is personal. When he’s called to a crime scene he discovers the victims are two police officers one of whom is a good friend.
Determined to track down the killer, he’s dealt another blow as the body count continues to rise. To catch the killer before he strikes again, Hero calls upon the public for help. But when the criminal ups the ante by taking hostages, he soon regrets his actions.
Can Hero and the police catch the murderer before more innocent victims are hurt?  
Hero must apprehend a killer who is hiding in plain sight before the time runs out.

My Thoughts:

In Plain Sight is the third novel in the Hero crime series. It works very well as a stand alone though I would like to get to know Hero better and will be getting the others in the series to read.

Hero is such a great name and I couldn’t think of a better named person being a DI. Certainly solving crimes in a way makes him just that, a hero. He does have a good team that work along side him so to be fair it is very much a team effort.

A story line with police officers being killed while on duty was certainly a harrowing one. I have to admit that this is one part of working in the police force I would absolutely hate, having to inform a loved one of a death. I really couldn’t think of anything worse and my heart was breaking along with the officers families. Also we forget about the big impact their deaths have on their colleagues and this is shown in the story.

In Plain Sight is without a doubt a gripping read with characters that really care about their job and the victims of the crimes. It’s one that can easily be devoured in one sitting and will have you wanting more.

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

Goodreads rating 4/5 stars.

In Plain Sight is out now and available to purchase from Amazon.

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Deadly Game by Matt Johnson #BlogTour #Extract #Giveaway

Today I am delighted to be one of two stops on the blog tour for Deadly Games which is available to purchase from Amazon. For my stop I have an extract as well as a give away for a signed copy of this fabulous book. For the chance to win a signed copy, you will find the link at the end of the extract.

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Extract:

Prologue

1999. Romania

The wind can kill.

Relia Stanga recalled her father’s words clearly as she huddled

against the stone garden wall for shelter.

Winter was around the corner. The east wind was beginning to turn

cold. Soon, she would need to take a chance and wait inside the house

for the factory bus to arrive. In a few short weeks the winds from the

east would bring snow and then, as Father had warned, it would be

certain death to wait in the street for the six o’clock pick-up.

One day, she prayed, summers would no longer be spent cutting and

gathering wood to see them through to the following spring. One day,

there would be food on the table every single day and she would not

have to rely on mother for hand-me-down clothes.

One day … with luck, she would find a new life.

For now, Relia contented herself with wrapping her mother’s

woollen coat tight around her slim figure, lifting the collar and making

herself as small and as tight as possible.

The wall provided the only protection from where she could see the

approach of the bus. Miss the bus, no ride. Miss the ride, no job. Miss

the job, go hungry.

Home for Relia was a small village on the north-east edge of

Romania, near the border with Moldova. She was now seventeen and

had spent the previous day with the men, cutting logs. Huge piles were

now stacked in the village stores and in shelters people had built in the

yards at the rear of their houses. Most of the harvest had been sold.

Father and her brother had left at first light to deliver the last of the

summer maize crop. With the income, they would buy salted meats that

would be eaten once a week with potatoes and root soup.

On their return from the market, the men would be drunk. It was

their release. They would meet friends, gossip, moan about the harvest,

play cards and drink. Sorrows would be drowned with home-distilled

ţuică. Relia’s father made his own from a family recipe using apples

and plums. The women said it was the work of the devil, for the rage it

sometimes brought out in the men.

Father was a hard-working man, a good man. But the drink would

release his pent-up frustrations and anger. Mother would always bear

the brunt of his wrath. The children just kept out of the way. This was

the way of men; they had to vent their rage, and using the women

stopped them from killing each other. This was the way of things, as it

always had been.

But now, Relia had a plan.

Every month or so, the factory would host men from the city. Men

from Brasov and Bucharest. Men who wore suits, drove Mercedes cars

and talked of incredible adventures.

A friend who was a house servant to the wife of the factory owner

told her the men came looking for girls. Relia could barely contain her

excitement on learning these girls secured work in places in the city,

in kitchens or waiting on tables. They had jobs, proper jobs, and they

made enough money to keep some for themselves and send the rest

home for their families.

The men would choose the best-looking girls. To each they would

give a small, yellow ticket. It was their approval to ride in the warm van

on its way to the city – their passport to a better life. The men were due

t o d ay.

Beneath her worn clothing, Relia was possessed of unusual beauty,

and yet they had not noticed her. She was determined that would

change. She was slim, pale skinned, and was blessed with shiny, raven-

black hair that a woman in the village had recently cut into a neat bob.

She had bought a little make-up, and her friend, the servant, had loaned

her a dress that would show off her figure. The next time the men came

to the factory, Relia was to help serve their drinks.

The bus arrived. It was late, as always, and, as he always did, the

driver drove fast to get the workers to the factory by seven o’clock. Relia

snoozed on the journey. She didn’t mind the potholes, the tight bends,

the heavy braking or the driver swearing. The bus was warm. For nearly

forty minutes she could drift into a world where there was no cold, no

hunger.

When they arrived at the factory gates, Relia looked across to the

owner’s house. On the drive she saw his car – a big four-wheel drive.

Then she saw the Mercedes, a black one, and behind it, a black van. The

city men had arrived.

She checked her pocket, fearing she may have forgotten the powder

and lipstick. It was there. As the factory gate opened, she saw her friend.

There was a smile, then a wink. Today was the day. Today she was to

have her chance.

The day on the factory line passed slowly. Relia was a glue mixer. The

factory made shoes. Leather imported from Mongolia was cut, shaped

and stitched together by hand. Relia helped make the adhesive that

would bind the upper parts of the shoe to the sole. It was easy work.

Day after day she simply poured ingredients into containers in the pre-

scribed measures and mixed them for the correct amount of time and

at the right temperature. It was the heat of the glue room that made the

job sought after in the winter and hated in the summer.

Due to the constituents of the glue, all the workers in the glue section

smelled of fish, a fact that earned them the nickname pesti. Relia knew

that as soon as she finished, she would have to sneak over to the owner’s

house, use her friend’s bath and clean herself. Only then would she be

ready to serve the city men and, hopefully, her freshly scrubbed skin

and hair would be perfumed well enough to mask the fishy smell.

During the day, four girls were interviewed by the city men. Three of

them were selected for employment, given their tickets and instructed

to send messages to their families that they would not be home that

night. In fact, they might never be home again. With one exception,

Relia could not recall selected girls having ever returned to the villages.

Who could blame them? With a new life in the city, money in their

purses and, probably, husbands, there was no reason to come back to

such a lowly life. Some would write, many would send small amounts of

money, but none came back to the poverty of the villages.

The one that had returned had been the wife of one of the city men.

She had spoken of having made her fortune, of the bright lights and

excitement of the city, of girls marrying American soldiers and of the

opportunities available to those willing to leave the villages. As she

spoke, she held the young factory girls spellbound. The older women

weren’t convinced. ‘If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is,’ they

would mutter. But the young women wanted their chance and it was

them the city men came to see.

That evening, Relia avoided the queue for the homeward-bound bus

and crept slowly around the back of the factory. Here, she knew she

could find the gate to the owner’s house. It was locked, as always. The

owners thought all the workers were thieves.

At the arranged time, six o’clock, her friend Elisabeta was waiting.

Elisabeta unlocked the gate from the inside and the two girls then

scurried along the concrete path towards the house. In the half-light

from the windows of the house she could see the garden was green

and luxurious, nothing like the sun-parched yards of the village. It was

the first time she had seen behind the high walls into this secret place.

Only the owners and selected house staff were allowed such a privilege.

Relia had heard the stories and now, with her own eyes, she could see

it was as beautiful as they said. To one side there was even a swing and

a fountain.

Relia paused for a moment to stare. It was just like she had seen in

the well-thumbed magazines that sometimes appeared in the factory

for the workers to look at during their breaks.

Voices came from the house – male voices – laughter.

‘Hurry,’ her friend whispered. ‘We mustn’t be seen here.’

Relia understood. If they were caught, it would be assumed they

were stealing. They would be dismissed if they were lucky, jailed if the

owner called the police. The politia locale were good men, in the main,

but they would always believe a respected factory owner over a poor

village girl.

Elisabeta stopped as they reached the small door that led to the

servants’ quarters. She pressed a single finger to her lips then gently

opened the door.

The first thing that struck Relia was the heat. Even in this part of

the house, it was warm and comfortable. In the village they could only

afford to heat one room. Here, there were radiators in all the rooms, and

even in the corridors.

That evening, Relia enjoyed the longest, hottest bath she had ever

experienced. She scrubbed her hands, her feet, her face, all the while

sniffing herself to check the smell of fish was fading. She washed her

hair four times before she was satisfied the aroma was gone.

Elisabeta sprayed her sparingly with a body perfume. Relia would

have liked a little more but her friend was insistent. The owner’s wife

gave it to all the female staff so they wouldn’t carry their body odours

into the main rooms. There was one spray-can each per month, and

they were expected to make it last.

When Relia saw the dress Elisabeta had prepared for her, she nearly

wept. It was thin, silk-like and hugged her figure. Although blue, it was

such a dark shade as to almost appear black. The design was sleeveless

and reminded Relia of pictures she had seen of film stars like Marilyn

Monroe. It was sexy.

The dress was a colour all the household staff wore to serve dinner.

But for Relia it had a different purpose. Skin tight, it emphasised her

curves and suggested hidden treasures. On this night, it was to lure the

city men.

At eight o’clock, the head girl sounded the brass gong in the hallway

to signal dinner was prepared. Elisabeta served at table and had

arranged that Relia would support her. The girl who normally filled that

role had agreed to hide in her room for the evening. Elisabeta was sure

her absence would not be noticed, especially when the men saw Relia.

The plan worked. The men fell silent the moment they set eyes on

the new girl in the dark-blue dress. Smiling, the owner asked who she

was, and while Elisabeta explained, the oldest of the city men beckoned

Relia closer. . When the owner had grunted his approval, the old man

immediately asked Relia if she would take up a chance to be his per-

sonal assistant in Brasov.

Relia nodded and then backed away as the men negotiated a price

to secure her services. She heard the figure of two thousand lei being

argued over, before the owner and the elder city man shook hands. The

deal was done. There was much laughter and the men returned to eating

and drinking.

That evening, as the chosen girls waited for the city men’s van to be

made ready, they wrote letters to their families. The factory owner’s wife

had suggested it, and even helped them with the wording.

‘Are you excited?’ one of the girls asked Relia, as the owner’s wife

collected their envelopes and left the room.

But Relia didn’t answer. The owner’s wife had left the door ajar and,

through the gap, Relia could now see her dropping the little stack of

letters into one of the sacks they used for rubbish in the factory.

‘Relia?’ asked her companion, a tiny frown knitting her brow.

Relia shook herself and smiled, but a gnawing sense of worry

remained.

‘Yes,’ she replied. Then, trying to sound more certain: ‘Yes, I can’t

wait.’

To win a signed copy of Deadly Game by Matt Johnson then please click here.

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Six Stories by Matt Wesolowski #BlogTour @ConcreteKraken @OrendaBooks

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Book Description:

1997. Scarclaw Fell. The body of teenager Tom Jeffries is found at an outward bound centre. Verdict? Misadventure. But not everyone is convinced. And the truth of what happened in the beautiful but eerie fell is locked in the memories of the tight-knit group of friends who embarked on that fateful trip, and the flimsy testimony of those living nearby. 2017. Enter elusive investigative journalist Scott King, whose podcast examinations of complicated cases have rivalled the success of Serial, with his concealed identity making him a cult internet figure. In a series of six interviews, King attempts to work out how the dynamics of a group of idle teenagers conspired with the sinister legends surrounding the fell to result in Jeffries’ mysterious death. And who’s to blame … As every interview unveils a new revelation, you’ll be forced to work out for yourself how Tom Jeffries died, and who is telling the truth. A chilling, unpredictable and startling thriller, Six Stories is also a classic murder mystery with a modern twist, and a devastating ending.

My Thoughts:

Six Stories is very different to anything I have ever read. The story is told in the form of podcasts which is something I am very new to but also makes this novel extremely current for today’s world.

Six characters tell their story of events surrounding the unsolved murder of Tom Jeffries. Each story is introduced by presenter Scott King. I think because the presenter kept popping up before each story it made the whole novel feel a bit like something from the show, The Twilight Zone. I just kept getting the same sort of voice popping up in my head and it kind of brought the whole book more to life.

This is totally a new and modern way to tell a murder, mystery story. It’s very unique and really makes it stand out from others in this genre. I really had no clue what to expect as it is such a new reading experience on me but it’s one by the end I really enjoyed. There are even a few surprises in there that I was not expecting but the less said about that the better!

Six Stories is a mesmerising story that you will easily get lost into. It brings past and present colliding together to reveal secrets that I for one could never have guessed. Highly recommended.

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

Goodreads rating 4/5 stars.

Six Stories is out now and available to purchase from Amazon.

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