The Elisenda Domenech Investigations Series by Chris Lloyd #BlogTour #GuestPost

Delighted to be the next stop in The Elisenda Domenech Investigations Series blog tour. For my stop a have a great guest post by Chris Lloyd.

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Author Information

Chris was born in an ambulance racing through a town he’s only returned to once and that’s probably what did it. Soon after that, when he was about two months old, he moved with his family to West Africa, which pretty much sealed his expectation that life was one big exotic setting. He later studied Spanish and French at university, and straight after graduating, he hopped on a bus from Cardiff to Catalonia where he stayed for the next twenty-four years, falling in love with the people, the country, the language and Barcelona Football Club, probably in that order. Besides Catalonia, he’s also lived in Grenoble, the Basque Country and Madrid, teaching English, travel writing for Rough Guides and translating. He now lives in South Wales, where he works as a writer and a Catalan and Spanish translator, returning to Catalonia as often as he can.

He writes the Elisenda Domènech series, featuring a police officer with the newly-devolved Catalan police force in the beautiful city of Girona. The third book in the series, City of Drowned Souls, is published on 6 February 2017.

Website: http://www.cityofgooddeath.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/chrislloydbcn

Five Favourite Ways to get Ideas

 

It’s quite difficult to pin down how I get ideas, in much the same way as actually getting the little tinkers is. They’re not always the most cooperative of beings, so when I think of my favourite ways of getting ideas, there’s always that disconnect between the ways I’d like to get them and how I actually do get them. I’ll let you work out from the following which ones are which.

 

  1. Any time I can’t get a hold of pen and paper. I might have mentioned elsewhere on this blog tour that I’ve got a rubbish memory, so I have to write down everything that comes to me, otherwise it’s lost in the blink of a thingumajig. So I’d just like to thank my imagination for being most active when it’s physically impossible for me to note any of its fervid musings down. Best place/worst culprit for this is the shower first thing in the morning, when my subconscious is working overtime and the thoughts come jumbling into my head far too fast for me to remember them all. The number of bestsellers that must have disappeared down the plughole doesn’t bear thinking about. Other good places are the cinema or watching live music. Unfortunately, the cinema-owners/bands on stage take a rather self-centred view when I ask them to stop for a mo while I look for a piece of paper.

 

  1. I think it’s this switching off other day-to-day thoughts and either being lost in my head or being transported by something completely different that opens the door to ideas. The secret is to be receptive to them and allow them time to swirl around in my brain. I sometimes get a mental image of some scruffy old-timer (that’s me) panning for gold in a western movie, absently whooshing bits of rock around in a pan of water before ending up with a glittering nugget or two. Often, sitting at my desk and allowing my mind to wander without worrying too much about getting words on screen can do that for me. I’d like to say walking has the same effect, but that’s not always the case; I end up getting distracted by all the sights and sounds and smells around me – they’re all useful for flavour but they’re not strictly the ideas I’m hoping for. Oddly, driving is better. I think the fact of having to concentrate on traffic frees my mind of normal day-to-day worries and opens the door to ideas. It’s just a question of knowing what does that for you and putting yourself in the position for it to happen.

 

  1. A way of getting ideas that I’ve found really useful is to sit on my own in a café and people-watch. It’s in that environment when people often reveal themselves: how they look for a table, the fuss or otherwise in sitting down, how decisive they are, how they talk to the waiter. Then, what they do if they’re on their own (they’re most probably writers watching everyone else), and how they interact with their companions if they’re not alone. If they’re near enough to catch a snippet of their conversation, something in that might trigger a train of thought in me, but I prefer it if I can’t hear them. That way I can imagine their world, their conversation and their thoughts without real life getting in the way. It’s wonderful for discovering not just characters, but what those characters’ stories might be, and for setting off a thread in my mind that can lead to a plot, or at least a strand or a character, for a book.

 

  1. For practical reasons, the next one’s a bit harder for me to do, but if you set your stories in a real place, there’s nothing better than actually going there and pounding the streets, picking up on the feel of the place you’re writing about. My books are set in Girona, in Catalonia, so I can’t get there as often as I’d like, but when I do, I spend days roaming the city, looking at shops and restaurants, squares and alleys, soaking up the atmosphere and imagining the stories that could take place there. I find it important to know where my characters buy their bread or sit for a coffee, who they might see, the smells they’d get and the conversations they’d have. That all helps not just to cement their characters and to picture scenes, but it opens the flood gates to all sorts of ideas. Just one small moment of something I’ve seen can send my mind waltzing off down some exciting new avenue. I think people there have got used to some foreign bloke wandering around taking pictures on his camera and stopping every two minutes to write something down. And when I can’t get there, I look through my notes and photos at home and let my memory take over – it’s surprising how many new ideas can come to you in quiet moments of retrospection, even with a memory like mine.

5. The middle of the night. This sort of brings me back full circle. I suppose it’s natural that at night, when your mind begins to switch off from the day-to-day reality, it opens itself up to ideas, but that’s not always so convenient. I also find the hardest thing is to know when to allow my mind free rein and let it wander through the thoughts that come into it, and when to stop and write down the ideas before I lose them – it’s a fine line that’s not always easy to get right. And why haven’t I included this in the first point about when I can’t get to pen and paper? That’s because I’ve rigged up a small book light on the bedstead and keep a notebook on the bedside table so I can write everything down – I know that if I don’t do it, I’ll have a memory in the morning of what a brilliant idea I’ve had, but no clue whatsoever what the brilliant idea was. And if you ever need any more proof that writing is fundamentally wrong for you, then that’s it.

 

 

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Summary:

An intense and brilliantly realised crime thriller set in the myth-soaked streets of Girona

 

A killer is targeting hate figures in the Catalan city of Girona – a loan shark, a corrupt priest, four thugs who have blighted the streets of the old quarter – leaving clues about his next victim through mysterious effigies left hung on a statue. Each corpse is posed in a way whose meaning no one can fathom. Which is precisely the point the murderer is trying to make.

 

Elisenda Domènech, the solitary and haunted head of the city’s newly-formed Serious Crime Unit, is determined to do all she can to stop the attacks. She believes the attacker is drawing on the city’s legends to choose his targets, but her colleagues aren’t convinced and her investigation is blocked at every turn.

 

Battling against the increasing sympathy towards the killer displayed by the press, the public and even some of the police, she finds herself forced to question her own values. But when the attacks start to include less deserving victims, the pressure is suddenly on Elisenda to stop him. The question is: how?

 

Information about the Book

Title: City of Good Death (Elisenda Domènech Investigations #1)

Author: Chris Lloyd

Release Date: 13th July 2015

Genre: Crime Thriller

Publisher: Canelo

Format: ebook

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25897153-city-of-good-death

Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B010MALNYY

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Summary:

Be careful what you dig up… 

Still recovering from the tragedy that hit her team, Elisenda takes on a new case. Except it’s not new. On an archaeological dig by the coast a body is uncovered, seemingly executed with a spike thrust through the base of the skull – an ancient tribal ritual. It soon becomes clear that this body is neither ancient nor modern, but a mysterious corpse from the 1980s.

Assigned to the case along with her team, Elisenda soon uncovers a complex world of star archaeologists, jealousy and missing persons. They find a dark trade in illicit antiquities, riddled with vicious professional rivalries. And even though she’s staying close to the crime scene, Elisenda is also never far from enemies of her own within the police force.

Just as the case seems to become clear it is blown wide-open by another horrific murder. Elisenda must fight her personal demons and office politics, whilst continuing to uncover plots and hatreds that were long buried. How far will she go to solve the crime? Is her place in the force secure? And can she rebuild her life?

The atmospheric second crime thriller featuring Catalan detective Elisenda Domènech, for readers of Val McDermid and Ann Cleeves

 

Information about the Book

Title: City of Buried Ghosts (Elisenda Domènech Investigations #2)

Author: Chris Lloyd

Release Date: 30th May 2016

Genre: Crime Thriller

Publisher: Canelo

Format: ebook

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30288458-city-of-buried-ghosts

Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Buried-Ghosts-Inspector-Domènech-Thriller-ebook/dp/B01FDKKTBG

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Summary:

When a child disappears, the clock starts ticking
Detective Elisenda Domènech has had a tough few years. The loss of her daughter and a team member; the constant battles against colleagues and judges; the harrowing murder investigations… But it’s about to get much worse.

When the son of a controversial local politician goes missing at election time, Elisenda is put on the case. They simply must solve it. Only the team also have to deal with a spate of horrifically violent break-ins. People are being brutalised in their own homes and the public demands answers.

Could there be a connection? Why is nobody giving a straight answer? And where is Elisenda’s key informant, apparently vanished off the face of the earth? With the body count threatening to increase and her place in the force on the line, the waters are rising…

Be careful not to drown.

The stunning new instalment of the gripping Elisenda Domènech crime thrillers for readers of Ian Rankin, Henning Mankell and Andrea Camilleri.

 

Information about the Book

Title: City of Drowned Sould (Elisenda Domènech Investigations #3)

Author: Chris Lloyd

Release Date: 6th February 2017

Genre: Crime Thriller

Publisher: Canelo

Format: ebook

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34106761-city-of-drowned-souls

Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01N7Y2NDN

Robbing the Dead: an edge of your seat crime thriller by Tana Collins

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Book Description:

In a small Scottish university town, what links a spate of horrible murders, a targeted bomb explosion and a lecturer’s disappearance? Is a terror group involved? If so, who is pulling the strings? And what does something that happened over forty years ago have to do with it?

Having recently returned to Castletown in the hope of winning back his estranged wife, DCI Jim Carruthers finds himself up to his eyes in the investigation.

Struggling with a very different personal problem, DS Andrea Fetcher assists Jim in the hunt for the murderous perpetrators. To prevent further violence they must find the answers quickly. But will Jim’s old adversary, terror expert McGhee, be a help or a hindrance?

The first in a new series featuring DCI Jim Carruthers

My Thoughts:

As stated in the description this is the first book in a new crime series.

The story starts off really well with the death of a young man. Obviously someone dying in a crime book has readers interests piqued straight away. I had all sorts going through my head as to why someone would kill him. I think for the police they think it will be some sort of straight forward killing. Boy are they wrong!

The mans murder goes way deeper than just a simple murder. I mean come on where would the fun in that be if it was simple? It soon becomes apparent that things are very far from being straight forward. Even I hadn’t envisioned where this mans murder would take the police and events certainly take a turn in a different direction, a very dangerous one at that.

I always worry how I will take to yet another new detective as there is an abundance of crime books featuring detectives around and being a huge crime fan, I have hopefully read a lot of them. I took quite quickly to Carruthers. I especially liked his working relationship with DS Andrea Fetcher. It’s a very professional one and you can tell just how much respect that they have for each other.

Robbing The Dead is a good solid start to a new crime series. It makes for entertaining reading and I very much look forward to what happens next for them team.

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.

Robbing The Dead is out on the 14th of February and available to purchase from Amazon.

Girl 99 by Andy Jones

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Book Description:

When Tom’s girlfriend walks out on him the day before Christmas, he feels humiliated but not necessarily heartbroken. Sadie wasn’t, after all, The One. If we’re being precise, she was number eighty-five.

And so, for reasons that are only mostly wrong, Tom embarks on a mission to bring his number of encounters up to a nice neat one hundred.

Over the course of his quest he sleeps with a colleague, a colleague of a friend, a friend of a friend, a friend of a friend’s wife, the estate agent selling his flat and several more besides.

Everything is going, if not well, then at least according to plan…and then Tom meets Verity. Whether she’s The One remains to be seen, but she’s certainly more than just another number.

My Thoughts:

I’m getting to be a big fan of this author. My first introduction to his books was The Two of Us which I totally loved. If you’re a fan also, you will actually recognise a couple of characters from that book that appear in Girl 99 also.

Tom is a typical bloke and one that I took to straight away. His mum is no longer around and in a way he is a bit of a surrogate mother to his younger sister, Bianca. The relationship between brother and sister was an especially lovely and realistic one and one that I very much enjoyed reading about. Bianca represents youth and will very much remind readers of what it was like to be a sixteen year old again.

Even though overall Tom is a really nice guy, he is a bit of a player. He already has quite a few conquests under his belt already and when best friend El has a bet with him that he can’t sleep with a hundred women by a certain date, Tom reluctantly agrees. Tom obviously has a few commitment issues and is well within reaching the goal until he falls for Verity.

It’s hard to know what genre this authors books fall into. They feel like a mixture of chick/lad lit as well as contemporary fiction. There is some humour in there but there is always an underlying more serious note in all of the books also.

Girl 99 felt very much like a story of someone who finally grows up. Even though Tom is grown up in his family and work life, his love life has always been quite childish and selfish. In a way the bet takes him on a road of self discovery and it was one that I was more than happy to be a part of.

Yet another highly enjoyable read by an author who is vastly becoming one of my favourites.

My thanks to Netgalley and Lake Union Publishing for a copy of this book. All opinions are my own and not biased in anyway.

Goodreads rating 4/5 stars.

Girl 99 is out today and available to purchase from Amazon.

The Boy Inside by Ross Greenwood #BlogTour

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Book Description:

How can you make the right decisions if everything you’ve been told is a lie?
 
With absent parents and broken friends, twenty-one year old Ben is making choices, which are ruining his life. In jail, again, he and his cellmate, Jake, take a hostage in a futile gesture against a system they can’t control.
 
This powerful, beautifully written novel gives a vivid and realistic picture of those we send to prison.
 
Who would you rely on if you were locked up?
 
Do we ask the most from the ones who have the least?
 
Life is never easy when you are a boy inside.

My Thoughts:

The Boy Inside is very much a story about how decisions and getting in with the wrong crowd can cause you to go down the wrong route in life.

I actually really liked Ben. He is far from being a bad person, he has just made some bad decisions in life. He really wants to make something of his life and for a while he looks just like that is what he may do. Sadly I think some people are just destined to always making bad choices.

The author takes us through Ben growing up and how he falls into a friendship with Jake who introduces Ben to acts that are against the law. Jake is someone else who hasn’t had the best of up bringing’s and it made me wonder if they had more stability in their home lives if they would have still gone down the path that they chose to.

We get to see how easy it is for people to go from petty crimes to more serious ones. Through Ben and Jake we get to see what life is like on the inside and it is certainly somewhere that I hope to goodness I never find myself.

The Boy Inside is quite a thought provoking read. You can’t help but take to Ben and for his story to really tug at your heart strings. I was really willing for him to turn his life around and badly wanted to grab him from the book and give him a new start in life. If this book doesn’t make you want to keep on the right side of the law then I don’t know what else will.

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 Boy Inside is out now and available to purchase from Amazon.

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Rupture (Dark Iceland) by Ragnar Jonasson

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Book Description:

1955. Two young couples move to the uninhabited, isolated fjord of Hedinsfjörður. Their stay ends abruptly when one of the women meets her death in mysterious circumstances. The case is never solved. Fifty years later an old photograph comes to light, and it becomes clear that the couples may not have been alone on the fjord after all…
In nearby Siglufjörður, young policeman Ari Thór tries to piece together what really happened that fateful night, in a town where no one wants to know, where secrets are a way of life. He’s assisted by Ísrún, a news reporter in Reykjavik, who is investigating an increasingly chilling case of her own. Things take a sinister turn when a child goes missing in broad daylight. With a stalker on the loose, and the town of Siglufjörður in quarantine, the past might just come back to haunt them.
Haunting, frightening and complex, Rupture is a dark and atmospheric thriller from one of Iceland’s foremost crime writers. ‘Traditional and beautifully finessed… morally more equivocal than most traditional whodunnits, and it offers alluring glimpses of darker, and infinitely more threatening horizons’ Independent • ‘Jonasson’s books have breathed new life into Nordic noir’ Sunday Express • ‘Bitingly contemporary in setting and tone’ Express • ‘A modern take on an Agatha Christie-style mystery, as twisty as any slalom…’ Ian Rankin • ‘A classic crime story seen through a uniquely Icelandic lens … first rate and highly recommended’ Lee Child • ‘Chilling, poetic beauty… a must read!’ Peter James • ‘British aficionados of Nordic Noir are familiar with two excellent Icelandic writers, Arnaldur Indridason and Yrsa Sigurdardottir. Here’s a third: Ragnar Jónasson … the darkness and cold are palpable’ Marcel Berlins, The Times For fans of Trapped, Yrsa Sigurdardottir, Agatha Christie and Ann Cleeves.

My Thoughts:

Rupture is the fourth book in the Dark Iceland series and probably best to have read the others prior to this one for full enjoyment.

It was great to catch back up with Ari Thor again and to be transported to the wonderful picturesque setting. For a small place, Ari sure is kept busy with murders and crimes. Not so good for him but it’s great for us readers.

I really enjoyed the different story lines that ran throughout the novel. I always enjoy having the mixture of the investigations as well as the main characters personal life and the author does this really well. Poor Ari though, things never seem to run to smoothly for him!

The Dark Iceland series is one that I think many crime lovers would devour quickly and enjoy. They are not your gritty fast paced crime thrillers but a wonderful atmospheric, who dunnit type of read. Having read all four books in the series I really can’t recommend them highly enough.

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

 

 

Goodreads rating 4/5 stars.

Rupture is available to purchase from Amazon.

Get To Know… Author L J Ross

Delighted to have the gorgeous Louise Ross as my Get To Know author on my blog today.

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Hello! I write Northumbrian murder mysteries under the pen name ‘LJ Ross’. Before becoming a writer, I worked in the City of London as a regulatory barrister, including fighting cross-border financial crime. I spent time in London, Paris and Florence but after a number of years as a lawyer, I decided it was time for a change. I had a small surprise when, a few months after deciding to change career, I found out my husband and I were expecting our son! I was penning my first novel (‘Holy Island’, which went on to become a UK #1 bestseller) while I was caring for a newborn, during those snatched moments while he slept. When I had finished the first polished manuscript, I sent it off to a number of agents and publishers accepting direct submissions and even received a couple of offers. Ultimately, though, I decided to retain creative and economic control by publishing independently through Amazon KDP and – five bestsellers later – the rest is history! Nowadays, I always tell people to follow their dreams because you might just realise them.

You can keep up to date with LJ Ross and her books on the following sites:

www.ljrossauthor.com

https://www.amazon.co.uk/LJ-Ross/e/B00SMWDX98

https://en-gb.facebook.com/LJRossAuthor/

https://twitter.com/ljross_author?lang=en

Favourite book as a child?

I had several favourite books as a child, but the main contenders were Enid Blyton’s ‘The Secret of Moon Castle’ and J.R.R. Tolkien’s ‘The Hobbit’ and ‘The Lord of the Rings’ trilogy. I remember being utterly transported into the fantasy world these authors created and I still remember the magic of it, as a grown adult!

Favourite book as a teenager?

As a young teenager, I first read M. M. Kaye’s ‘The Far Pavilions’ one summer while listening to Michael Jackson’s Thriller album – also a new discovery – on a Sony Walkman cassette player (yes, I am that old). I remember spending hours at a time working my way through the nine hundred-odd pages of adventure romance, captivated by her descriptions of the Indian landscape during the twilight days of the Raj. I have re-read the book several times now and it manages to enthrall me every time.

Favourite character?

As a crime writer, it would be a toss-up between Sherlock Holmes and Miss Marple. I have always admired the cold logic of Holmes’ mind and Conan-Doyle has a searing clarity to his writing, drawing out his characters without needing to be verbose. As for Miss Marple – the beauty lies in the element of surprise, because so many people underestimate her skills because they see only the frail exterior.

Favourite book to movie adaption?

I enjoyed Stephen King’s ‘The Shawshank Redemption’ very much, but it would have to be ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’. Gregory Peck’s courtroom turn as Atticus Finch reduces me to tears every time.

Favourite drink or snack while reading?

I’m afraid I conform to the writer’s stereotype because I love a strong coffee and some chocolate to keep me going through a tricky chapter! 

Favourite highlight of your writing career?

I’ve been very fortunate in my career so far and I never take that for granted, but I think I will always remember the feeling when my first book went to #1 in the UK Kindle chart. Magic!

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The Damselfly: A dark and gripping psychological thriller with a shocking conclusion by SJI Holliday #BlogTour

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Book Description:

Katie Taylor is the perfect student. She’s bright and funny, she has a boyfriend who adores her and there are only a few months left of school before she can swap Banktoun for the bright lights of London. Life gets even better when she has an unexpected win on a scratch card. But then Katie’s luck runs out.

Her tragic death instead becomes the latest in a series of dark mysteries blighting the small town. The new school counsellor Polly McAllister, who has recently returned to Banktoun to make amends in her own personal life, is thrown in at the deep end as the pupils and staff come to terms with Katie’s death. And it’s not long before she uncovers a multitude of murky secrets. Did Katie have enemies? Is her boyfriend really so squeaky clean? And who is her brother’s mysterious friend?

With Banktoun’s insular community inflamed by gossip and a baying mob stirring itself into a frenzy on social media, DS Davie Gray and DC Louise Jennings must work out who really murdered Katie before someone takes matters into their own hands . . .

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My Thoughts:

I have read all the books in this trilogy and I am really hoping the author will make it into a series as it would literally be a crime to end it after this one as it is sooooo good!

What I love about these books is that they are all connected by one character, DS Davie Gray, yet he is very much in the back ground in them.

This story is mainly told in alternating chapters between Louise who is also in the police force and Polly who has just returned to Banktoun and works at the local school. Between the two characters we start to unravel the going ons surrounding Katie’s death.

Katie is an A grade student who is set on going to London to university with her boyfriend Neil. She is fascinated with insects which reminisced of The Silence of the Lambs. Her unexplained death sends the small town in turmoil.

There is so many twists and turns in this book. With plenty of people that could be behind Katie’s death the author ensured that she kept me on my toes as to who could have killed her and what a shock it was when I found out as I had no clue. Through Louise and Polly’s character we get to delve more into all the characters and as to what secrets they are hiding.

I have really enjoyed this trilogy and I have to say that The Damselfly is without a doubt the best one by far. If you are after a gripping and enthralling read with a great setting in a small community, I think you will be hard pushed to get a much better one than this one.

My thanks to Black & White Publishing for a copy of this book. All opinions are my own and not biased in anyway.

Goodreads rating 5/5 stars.

The Damselfly is out now and available to purchase from Amazon.

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