Mystery/Suspense

#BlogTour & #BookReview
Killing Time by Mark Roberts
@MR_CrimeWriter @Aria_Fiction @HoZ_Books

Synopsis:

Before night falls, someone will die…

A young Czech girl, missing for eight days, is found in a deserted playground. Starving and terrified, she may be alive but the horrors she’s survived have left her mute.

DCI Eve Clay is on her way to try and interview the girl, when another case is called in. Two Polish migrant workers have been found dead in their burnt out flat. But this is no normal house fire. The men’s bodies had been doused in petrol.

Then Clay uncovers a sinister message at the scene: killing time is here, embrace it. It’s clear this is only the beginning, but how long does Eve have before another life is taken?  


Book Rating: 7/10

Disturbing, menacing, and tortuous!

Killing Time is a complex tale that immerses you into the hunt, evidence collection, and investigation of a serial killer with a penchant for fire.

The prose is dark and eerie. The characters are devout, fanatical, and manipulative. And the plot is an incredibly twisty tale that delves into a world filled with deception, mental illness, obsession, malice, hatred, religious indoctrination, violence, and murder.

Killing Time is the fourth novel in the DCI Eve Clay series, and even though I found a few parts a little hard to follow in the early part of the story and could never pinpoint why it was set in the future rather than present day, it was still an entertaining, fast-paced, gripping read that fans of police procedurals will certainly enjoy.

 

About the Author:

Mark Roberts was born and raised in Liverpool. He was a teacher for twenty years and now works with children with severe learning difficulties. He is the author of What She Saw, which was longlisted for a CWA Gold Dagger.

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This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                                      

 

 

Thank you to Aria, an imprint of Head of Zeus for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

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#BookReview
The Cursed Wife by Pamela Hartshorne
@PamHartshorne @PGCBooks @panmacmillan

 

Synopsis:

She is living a lie, And lies can be deadly.

Mary is content with her life as wife to Gabriel Thorne, a wealthy merchant in Elizabethan London. She loves her husband and her family, is a kind mistress to the household and is well-respected in the neighbourhood. She does her best to forget that as a small girl she was cursed for causing the death of a vagrant child, a curse that predicts that she will hang. She tells herself that she is safe.

But Mary’s whole life is based on a lie. She is not the woman her husband believes her to be, and when one rainy day she ventures to Cheapside, the past catches up with her and sets her on a path that leads her to the gibbet and the fulfilment of the curse.

The Cursed Wife is a page-turning, psychological thriller set in Elizabethan London.


Book Rating: 7.5/10

Atmospheric, gritty, and haunting!

The Cursed Wife is a well-paced, historical thriller set in England in the late 1600s that’s told from two different perspectives. Mary, a considerate, helpful, young woman with a past steeped in misfortune and deception. And Cat, a selfish, unscrupulous young lady driven by impulsiveness and jealousy.

The writing is immersive and eerie. The characters are tormented, hardened, and resourceful. And the plot, using a back-and-forth style is evocative, taut, and twisty from the very first page until the spine-chilling ending you won’t see coming.

The Cursed Wife is an intriguingly dark and sinister novel that sweeps you back in time and transports you from the opulent manor houses found in the English countryside to the dingy, dangerous London docks in an engrossing tale rife with desperation, survival, manipulation, abuse, deviance, violence, class disparity, and murder.

 

About the Author:

Pamela Hartshorne is a historian as well as an award-winning romance author. She lives in York, England and continues to draw inspiration from her PhD research to write about the 16th century, in fact or fiction. Time’s Echo, her first  novel written under her real name, was shortlisted for awards on both sides of the Atlantic

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This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                        

 

Thank you to Publishers Group Canada for providing me with a copy of this story in exchange for an honest review.

 

  

#BookReview
The First Family by Michael Palmer & Daniel Palmer
@danielpalmer @StMartinsPress

Synopsis:

A riveting new medical thriller from the critically acclaimed novelists.

Cam Hilliard is, in addition to being the President’s sixteen-year-old son, a chess prodigy. A year into President Hilliard’s second term Cam inexplicably stops playing the game he loved and becomes withdrawn. The First Lady is convinced that the senior White House physician is wrong in diagnosing Cam’s issue as a psychological one, and she demands that Dr. Lee Blackwood be brought on to provide a second opinion. Lee’s opinion is dismissed, until Cam’s spleen ruptures and it becomes obvious that something is horribly wrong.

Lee informs the President and First Lady that to make a diagnosis they need to find other people with the same symptoms to conduct additional testing. From there, it’s possible to identify the gene defects and correlate those to the missing enzymes. Only then can a diagnosis be made and treatment begun. For now, they must face the harsh reality that Cam’s genes are producing a mutation that appears to be entirely new to science.

As Lee delves into this medical mystery, he comes to believe Cam is not the first case of this presentation of an inborn error of metabolism. But when two young people Lee has found, each with exceptional gifts, are murdered, Cam’s condition suddenly takes on a terrifyingly new dimension. Is someone out to murder the President’s son? If so, why? As Lee searches for answers he will uncover unimaginable secrets and dark betrayals that breach the highest levels of security.


Book Rating: 7.5/10

Descriptive, entertaining, and action packed!

The First Family is a scientifically intriguing medical thriller that takes you into the heart of the White House and delves into the effects of alternative medicine, training, and practice on higher-level cognitive skills.

The writing is crisp. The characters are intelligent, protective, and relentless. And the plot is an engaging tale about greed, corruption, friendship, politics, mysterious illnesses, violence, and murder.

The First Family doesn’t keep you on the edge of your seat or feature a lot of suspense, but it’s still a compelling read that fans of stories filled with Secret Service drama, medical analysis and scientific jargon will definitely enjoy.

 

About the Authors:

Michael Palmer, M.D., 1942-2013, was the author of Political Suicide, Oath of Office, A Heartbeat Away, The Last Surgeon, The Second Opinion, The First Patient, The Fifth Vial, The Society, Fatal, The Patient, Miracle Cure, Critical Judgment, Silent Treatment, Natural Causes, Extreme Measures, Flashback, Side Effects, and The Sisterhood. His books have been translated into thirty-five languages.

He trained in internal medicine at Boston City and Massachusetts General Hospitals, spent twenty years as a full-time practitioner of internal and emergency medicine, and served as an associate director of the Massachusetts Medical Society’s physician health program.

 

Daniel Palmer is the author of four critically-acclaimed suspense novels. After receiving his master’s degree from Boston University, he spent a decade as an e-commerce pioneer. A recording artist, accomplished blues harmonica player, and lifelong Red Sox fan, Daniel lives in New Hampshire with his wife and two children where he is currently at work on his next novel.

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Thank you to St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                            

 

#BookReview
Find Me by J.S. Monroe
@JSThrillers @HarlequinBooks

Synopsis:

A young man embarks on a desperate search for the truth in this chilling, razor-sharp thriller

Five years ago, Rosa walked to the pier in the dead of night, looked into the swirling water and jumped. She was a brilliant young Cambridge student who had just lost her father. Her death was tragic, but not unexpected.

But is that what really happened?

Her death was ruled a suicide. But Rosa’s boyfriend, Jar, still can’t let go. He sees Rosa everywhere—a face on the train, a figure on the cliff. He is obsessed with proving that she is still alive. And then he gets an email.

“Find me, Jar. Find me, before they do…”

As Jar digs into the past, he enters a dark underworld where nothing is as it seems and no one can be trusted. He is soon thrust into the heart of a larger intrigue that may finally shed some light on Rosa’s death…even as it dangerously threatens his own life.


Book Rating: 8/10

Gritty, dark, and disturbing!

Find Me is a complex, creepy thriller that takes you into the life of the tormented, grief-stricken Jar as he embarks on a relentless and harrowing journey to discover, once and for all, the true fate of his girlfriend Rosa who allegedly committed suicide five years prior.

The prose is intense and tight. The characters are skeptical, focused, resilient, and in some cases depraved. And the plot, told from multiple perspectives, quickly unravels as it spins you through an intricately-crafted story filled with unforeseen twists, well-timed surprises, mind games, espionage, murder, perversion, evil and pure wickedness.

Find Me is a unique, riveting tale with explicit sexual imagery and demoralization that will not only entertain, but will also confound, shock, disturb, and even frighten you.

 

About the Author:

J.S. Monroe is the pseudonym of the British author Jon Stock. Jon is the author of five spy novels and a new standalone psychological thriller, Find Me, to be published in 2017 under the name of JS Monroe. He lives in Wiltshire with his wife and three children.

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This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                            

 

Thank you to Harlequin Books for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

#BookReview
The Good Liar by Catherine McKenzie
@CEMcKenzie1 @SimonSchusterCA

Synopsis:

One explosion. Three women. Countless secrets. From bestselling author Catherine McKenzie comes a suspenseful, unsettling novel about what lurks in the wake of tragedy.

Everybody hides. Everybody lies.

On October 10th, three women’s lives are forever altered by a terrible accident.

Cecily was supposed to be in the building that exploded in Chicago and killed her husband. A photo taken of her as she watched the horrifying scene quickly brings her unwanted media attention as the “poster child” of the haunting event. Cecily has secrets she’s desperately trying to hide but cannot find a way to divert the media’s attention from her and her family.

Franny lost her birth motherCecily’s best friendin the destruction shortly after the two met. A year later, she and Cecily team up to help families obtain financial compensation for their loss, but their budding friendship is derailed when it starts to become clear Franny’s story doesn’t quite add up. How did she manage to track down her mother? And why did her mother keep Franny a secret even after they’d met?

A thousand miles away in Montreal, Kate is trying to create a new life. But what led her to leave Chicago in the first place? Will she succeed in moving on from her mistakes or will Kate be drawn back into her old life?

With surprising twists and turns, The Good Liar is a riveting read by a masterful storyteller that will make readers wonder how far they’d go to hide their own secrets.


Book Rating: 10/10

Thought-provoking, intricate, and masterfully crafted!

The Good Liar is a perfectly executed, character-driven psychological thriller that highlights how devastating, damaging, and dangerous secrets can truly be and has you quickly questioning whether a good liar is one who lies out of benevolence or spite.

The writing is polished and fluid. The characterization is exceptional with a cast of characters who each draw your curiosity, loyalty, sympathy, and doubt. And the plot told from multiple perspectives and using a mixture of narrative styles creates tension and suspicion as it unravels piece-by-piece all the deception, secrets, histories, personalities, and relationships within it.

The Good Liar is one of the best psychological thrillers I’ve read this year. It’s a clever, twisty, skillfully paced page turner that will have you on the edge of your seat from the very first page and will leave you surprised, shocked, satisfied and ruminating the weight grief, guilt, insecurity, and obsession have over our reactions to tragedy.

 

About the Author:

Photograph by Jason Mott

A graduate of McGill University in History and Law, Catherine McKenzie practices law in Montreal, Quebec, where she was born and raised. Catherine’s novels Spin, Arranged, Forgotten, Hidden, Smoke, and Fractured are all bestsellers and have been translated into numerous languages.

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This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                        

 

Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

#BookReview
Such Dark Things by Courtney Evan Tate
@Court_Writes @HarlequinBooks

Synopsis:

A modern-day Fatal Attraction meets The Girl on the Train, by New York Times and USA Today bestselling new adult author Courtney Cole, now writing dark psychological suspense under the name Courtney Tate Evans.

From the outside, Dr. Corinne Cabot is living the American dream: a successful ER physician, she is married to a hardworking and handsome psychologist. Together they own a charming house in the Chicago suburbs. But Cabot has a dark personal past and her memory has holes she tries to fill in. Her sleep is ravaged by recurring nightmares of that night when, as a teenager, she found her father standing next to the bodies of two people he had shot dead. It is what she can’t remember about that night that utterly haunts her. Her father is still alive in jail for that terrible crime. At times now, despite her success, she fears she is truly unable to determine what is real and what is not. Then she starts to suspect that something is amiss with her husband and realizes that nothing–and no one–in her life is as it appears.


Book Rating: 8/10

Suspenseful, unnerving, and darkly erotic!

Such Dark Things is an eerie, sultry thrill ride that takes you on a journey into the life of the overworked, scarred Dr. Corinne Cabot as she struggles to balance a high-pressure career, a marriage under strain, and the secrets and ghosts from her past that continually haunt her.

The prose is dark and tight. The characters are deceitful, overwhelmed, troubled, and at times despicable. And the plot told from multiple perspectives, uses a past/present style to unravel, piece-by-piece, an intense, gritty tale of manipulation, jealousy, abuse, infidelity, revenge, seduction, and murderous obsession.

Overall, Such Dark Things is a sinister, tension-packed, shocking tale with some explicit sexual imagery that delves into the complex relationship between a husband and wife and highlights the devastating and enduring emotional and psychological effects childhood trauma can have on its victims. It’s riveting, disturbing, and undoubtedly hard to put down.

 

Thank you to Harlequin Books for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                            

 

For more information on Courtney Evan Tate, visit her website at: Courtney Evan Tate

or follow her on Twitter at: Court_Writes

#BookReview #Q&A
The Girlfriend by Michelle Frances
@michellefrancesbooks @PGCBooks @panmacmillan

 

Synopsis:

A relentlessly paced domestic noir examining a mother-son-daughter-in-law relationship in a chilling new light.

A girl. A boy. His mother and the lie she’ll wish she never told.

The Girlfriend by Michelle Frances is a gripping debut thriller, based on the fall-out following an unforgiveable lie. It follows the charged relationship between girlfriend, boyfriend and his mother, in a triangle of lies and deceit.

Laura has it all. She has a successful career, a long marriage to a rich husband, and a twenty-three year-old son, Daniel, who is kind, handsome, and talented. Then Daniel meets Cherry. Cherry is young, beautiful and smart but she hasn’t had the same opportunities as Daniel. And she wants Laura’s life.

Cherry comes to the family wide-eyed and wants to be welcomed with open arms, but Laura suspects she’s not all that she seems.

When tragedy strikes, an unforgiveable lie is told. It is an act of desperation, but the fall-out will change their lives forever.


Book Rating: 8.5/10

Riveting, complex, and well crafted!

The Girlfriend is a character-driven, domestic thriller that delves into the embattled relationship that can occur between a mother and her son’s significant other when they’re both ruthlessly determined to be the most important woman in his life.

The writing is precise and intense. The characters are self-absorbed, troubled, devious, and at times despicable. And the plot, told from multiple perspectives, starts with a bang and continues to ratchet up the tension as it subtly unravels all the personalities, histories, and motivations within it.

The Girlfriend is a chilling, intriguing, page-turner that at its core is a novel about family, manipulation, jealousy, deception, and obsession. It’s a wonderful debut for Frances, and I can’t wait to read what she comes up with next.

 

And now a little Q&A with Michelle Francis:

 

This is a different sort of love triangle, the girlfriend, Cherry, isn’t competing with a lover but the potential mother-in-law, Laura. What made you choose this dynamic to write about?

I’ve always been fascinated by the notion that two women who are complete strangers are suddenly thrust together in a very intimate relationship for the rest of their lives – just because one starts to date the other’s son. It’s a bit weird and great territory for emotional stress and anxiety. Will she like me? Will I like her? What about for the next forty years?!

I really wanted to write a book that gave both the mother’s and the girlfriend’s point-of-view as each woman’s love for the same man is, although very different, of equal weight and importance. Pit these two loves against each other and who would win? I wanted to create a story that would get readers talking, debating which of the two women might be the more ‘wronged’ and the more justified in their behaviour.

 

There are times in the book where it’s easy to dislike Cherry and Laura! Did you feel empathy for them even though they both do some pretty bad things?

I find it hard to dislike either of them – particularly in the beginning. I want to shake Cherry and tell her to relax right at the start of the book and stop worrying so much! It’s sad really, she genuinely cares for Daniel (even though she does also like his money) and if she’d just stopped fretting about what Laura thought of her, things might have worked out very differently. And Laura does the most awful thing but she has been told by the doctors that Daniel has days – possibly hours – to live, and I can’t help but understand her actions as she’s about to lose her second – and only remaining – child. Both women have moments of possession and jealously and they are ugly, dangerous emotions that make them do despicable things. But as people I feel sorry for them both in many ways.

 

Part of the fun of The Girlfriend is trying to decide which of the characters’ behaviour is worse! Did you always intend for the story to be so morally ambiguous?

Yes, absolutely! I really wanted to test the characters, to see how far they would go, and importantly, try and make their actions justified – at least in their eyes. I think that in some cases, particularly with Laura, even though she does some awful things, she genuinely believes it’s for the right reason. Sadly, with the combination of both Laura’s and Cherry’s individual backgrounds and the situation they now find themselves in, mixed in with the paranoia and nerves, things start unraveling quite quickly.

 

How was writing for a novel different from writing for film and TV?

Well in TV, someone else does all the work! My work in television has been nearly all in producing and script editing (although I have attempted a script or two along the way). There are lots of key differences. The most obvious is length (!) – a script has about 12,000 words, a novel 100,000. Writing for television is also a very collaborative affair – certainly in the UK. There will be tiers of editors, producers, executives and commissioners, all with an opinion, that the writer will either embrace, or will need to successfully argue is invalid.

Things – mostly – happen on screen fast. A very respected UK producer once told me to ‘burn story’. Help, I thought, if I tell the writer to use that story beat in the first five minutes of the episode, what the heck are we going to do just before the ad break? But actually, it’s extremely liberating. It’s a bit like a natural disaster. The occurrence of one thing will set in motion other things, for example the earthquake will set off the tsunami. It’s the same with story – and more to the point, characters. Making things happen often triggers other things to happen.

I’m stating the obvious here but television is a visual medium. But so is a reader’s imagination. In TV, you would look to cut scenes against one another that can help to tell the story. For example, a cop might be talking to a colleague wondering who could be the culprit. Cutting to a new scene featuring a particular individual can make the audience think that individual is the guilty party. The use of visuals – and descriptive prose – cut against each other can create all sorts of drama. It can build tension, create cliffhangers, increase mystery, explain secrets. This is true of novels just as much as of television.

 

What inspired you to write a thriller for your first novel?

Personally, I wrote a thriller because that was the story nagging at me in my head wanting to be told! The darker side of our psyche and how far we’ll go when pushed fascinates me. Also, the dynamic between mother / son / girlfriend is a universal story that touches on a lot of people. Plenty of my girlfriends had tales of woe about their mothers-in-law. During the course of writing the novel I also heard a radio program about the difficulties some women were having with their new daughters-in-law and one story particularly affected me. A heart-broken woman had phoned in and was in tears speaking of how she was excluded to the extent she hadn’t even known her son and his new wife had not one, but two children. She had discovered that her grandchildren existed by accident. It reinforced to me that it’s a universal relationship that can affect a lot of women and cause a lot of distress – to either party.

 

What was your writing process like?

I tend to see writing a novel as a bit like completing a jigsaw puzzle. After shaping up the characters, I generally start with the foundations of the story, the big plot beats and twists (which I liken to the straight edges of a puzzle). Then I will fill in some of the more detailed beats in the first few chapters only – and then go ahead and write them. Once they’re complete, the characters will be starting to tell me where to go next, and so I’ll write the next section, and this continues until I’m near the end, where hopefully the jigsaw pieces are slotting in faster than I can write them!

I write everything out by hand first in a series of notebooks and once I’ve completed the day’s word target, I’ll then type them up, doing a mini-edit along the way. I like the sensation of pencil on paper and find it more liberating.

 

The Girlfriend has already been optioned for a film adaptation (congratulations!). Are you excited to see how your story will be adapted for the screen?

Very much so. Having worked in TV for so long, I’m aware of how you can have two different writers take the same source material and end up with two wildly different scripts. I’m excited to see a filmmakers’ take on the novel and watch his or her vision take shape. This also applies to casting – it’s fascinating to try and imagine different actress’s versions of Laura and Cherry!

 

Are you working on another novel and if so can you tell us anything about it?

Yes, it’s another psychological thriller, which is set in the world of the maternity leave replacement. The mum-to-be is a TV producer who tries to like her temporary replacement, but can’t help thinking she’s got a hidden agenda. Is she after her job – or something else entirely?

 

About the Author:

Michelle Frances graduated from Bournemouth Film School in 1996 and then from the Masters programme at the American Film Institute, Los Angeles, in 1998. Returning to London, England, she worked for several years in film and TV as a script editor and producer for both the independent sector and the BBC. The Girlfriend is her first novel.

For more information on Michelle Frances visit her website at: MichelleFrances

or on Facebook at: michellefrancesbooks

 

Thank you to Michelle Frances and Publishers Group Canada for participating on my blog today and providing me with a copy of this story in exchange for an honest review. It has been an honour and a pleasure.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                            

 

  

#BookReview
Find You In The Dark by Nathan Ripley
@NabenRuthnum @SimonSchusterCA

Synopsis:

In this chilling debut thriller, in the vein of Dexter and The Talented Mr. Ripley, a family man obsessed with digging up the undiscovered remains of serial killer victims catches the attention of a murderer prowling the streets of Seattle.

Martin Reese is obsessed with murder.

For years, he has been illegally buying police files on serial killers and studying them in depth, using them as guides to find missing bodies. He doesn’t take any souvenirs, just photos that he stores in an old laptop, and then he turns in the results to the police anonymously. Martin sees his work as a public service, a righting of wrongs that cops have continuously failed to do.

Detective Sandra Whittal sees it differently. On a meteoric rise in police ranks due to her case-closing efficiency, Whittal is suspicious of the mysterious caller—the Finder, she names him—leading the police to the bodies. Even if the Finder isn’t the one leaving bodies behind, who’s to say that he won’t start soon?

On his latest dig, Martin searches for the first kill of Jason Shurn, the early 1990s murderer who may have been responsible for the disappearance of his sister-in-law, whom he never met. But when he arrives at the site, he finds a freshly killed body—a young and recently disappeared Seattle woman—lying among remains that were left there decades ago. Someone else knew where Jason Shurn buried his victims . . . and that someone isn’t happy that Martin has been going around digging up his work.

When a crooked cop with a tenuous tie to Martin vanishes, Whittal begins to zero in on the Finder. Hunted by a real killer and by Whittal, Martin realizes that in order to escape the killer’s trap, he may have to go deeper into the world of murder than he ever thought.


Book Rating: 8/10

Dark, menacing, and gritty!

Find You In The Dark is an engrossing, creepy thriller that delves into the sadistic and disturbing thoughts, motivations, and actions of serial killers and immerses you in all the manipulation, violence, murder, depravity, and pure evil they’re capable of.

The prose is chilling and tight. The characterization is well done with a whole slew of characters that are flawed, vulnerable, and persistent. And the plot, told from multiple perspectives, is an exceptionally suspenseful, twisty, violent, tension-filled thrill ride that keeps you on the edge of your seat from the very first page.

Overall, Find You In The Dark is a fast-paced, unique, ominous tale that reminds you that if you continually dance with the devil eventually you might get burned.

 

About the Author:


Nathan Ripley is the pen name of literary fiction writer and journalist Naben Ruthnum. His stories and essays have appeared in The Walrus, Hazlitt, Sight & Sound, and Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, among other places. He lives in Toronto.

 

Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                          

 

For more information on Nathan Ripley follow him on Twitter at: @NabenRuthnum

#BookReview
The Hush by John Hart
@JohnHartAuthor @StMartinsPress

Synopsis:

The only writer in history to win consecutive Edgar Awards for Best Novel, New York Times bestselling author John Hart returns to the world of his most beloved novel, The Last Child

Building on the world first seen in The Last Child (“A magnificent creation” —The Washington Post), John Hart delivers a stunning vision of a secret world, rarely seen.

It’s been ten years since the events that changed Johnny Merrimon’s life and rocked his hometown to the core. Since then, Johnny has fought to maintain his privacy, but books have been written of his exploits; the fascination remains. Living alone on six thousand acres of once-sacred land, Johnny’s only connection to normal life is his old friend, Jack. They’re not boys anymore, but the bonds remain. What they shared. What they lost.

But Jack sees danger in the wild places Johnny calls home; he senses darkness and hunger, an intractable intent. Johnny will discuss none of it, but there are the things he knows, the things he can do. A lesser friend might accept such abilities as a gift, but Jack has felt what moves in the swamp: the cold of it, the unspeakable fear.

More than an exploration of friendship, persistence, and forgotten power, The Hush leaves all categories behind, and cements Hart’s status as a writer of unique power.


Book Rating: 6.5/10

Dark, haunting, and unpredictable!

The Hush takes us back to into the lives of Johnny Merrimon and Jack Cross 10 years after we first met them in The Last Child as they face a journey of survival against resentment, jealousy, legal woes, the wilderness, and the unsettled skeletons and secrets of the past.

The writing is gloomy and exceptional descriptive. The characters are steadfast, scarred, and lonely. And the plot, which seems to be heading towards a legal thriller in the first half of the novel quickly veers into a story of tortured spirits, dark magic, and supernatural phenomenon.

I have to say that die-hard fans of John Hart may be a little disappointed in this latest outing which doesn’t leave you on the edge-of-your-seat or delve into the complex nature of the human psyche as we’ve come to associate with his novels. There’s no question that Hart is an incredibly evocative writer, and although The Hush really didn’t work for me if you can approach it with an open mind and enjoy stories steeped in magical realism you may just love it.

 

About the Author:

JOHN HART is the author of five New York Times bestsellers, The King of Lies, Down River, The Last Child, Iron House, and Redemption Road. The only author in history to win the Edgar Award for Best Novel consecutively, John has also won the Barry Award, the Southern Independent Bookseller’s Award for Fiction, the Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Award, and the North Carolina Award for Literature. His novels have been translated into thirty languages and can be found in more than seventy countries.

 

Thank you to St. Martin’s Press for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                          

 

For more information on John Hart visit his website at: johnhartfiction.com

or follow him on Twitter at: @JohnHartAuthor

#BlogTour #BookReview #Extract
Silent Victim by Caroline Mitchell
@Caroline_writes @midaspr

Synopsis:

Emma’s darkest secrets are buried in the past. But the truth can’t stay hidden for long.

Emma is a loving wife, a devoted mother…and an involuntary killer. For years she’s been hiding the dead body of the teacher who seduced her as a teen.

It’s a secret that might have stayed buried if only her life had been less perfect. A promotion for Emma’s husband, Alex, means they can finally move to a bigger home with their young son. But with a buyer lined up for their old house, Emma can’t leave without destroying every last trace of her final revenge…

Returning to the shallow grave in the garden, she finds it empty. The body is gone.

Panicked, Emma confesses to her husband. But this is only the beginning. Soon, Alex will discover things about her he’ll wish he’d learned sooner. And others he’ll long to forget.


Book Rating: 10/10

Atmospheric, menacing, and incredibly riveting!

Silent Victim is a character-driven, thrill ride that reminds us that skeletons often find their way out of the closet no matter how well they are hidden or buried and highlights just how easily someone’s behaviour can be manipulated, misinterpreted, questioned, and used against them.

The writing is taut and complex. The characterization is spot on with a cast of characters that are distressed, raw and consumed, and a setting, Mersea Island, that is a character itself with its remoteness and isolation. And the plot, told from multiple perspectives, uses a past/present, back-and-forth style to create suspense and tension as it unravels all the histories, personalities, relationships, and motivations within it.

Silent Victim is a without a doubt a clever, masterfully plotted, twisty page-turner that keeps you on the edge of your seat from the very first page and leaves you shocked, surprised, and thoroughly entertained. It’s one of the best psychological thrillers I’ve read in a long time and is definitely a must read!

 

————–

 

Extract:

EMMA 

I am not a bad person, but I’ve done a very bad thing.
A sense of unreality washes over me, cushioning the consequences of my act.
I am a murderer. My soul is damned to hell.
My thoughts are speared by a seagull’s cry as it glides across the dusky sky. It is
mournful in its bidding, and I stand over the ditch, my knuckles white, gripping the shovel
in my right hand. A trickle of sweat rolls down the curve of my back, cooled by the twilight
breeze. From the bottom of the ditch Luke stares with empty eyes, the soil beneath his head
absorbing his blood. My lips part to accommodate my heavy breath while my lungs drive
the panicked rise and fall of my chest. Is he truly dead? Did I really kill him? Legs shaking,
I cling to the shovel – the only thing keeping me standing in this desolate field. The breeze
plays with my hair, blowing dark strands into my eyes and lips. I draw them back behind
my ear as I struggle for clarity. Just how long have I been standing here? The cogs of my
brain whirr, trying to snap back the pieces of the complex edifice that has toppled all around
me. My gaze falls to the shovel where his blood still stains the blade. You need to clean
that off. A voice inside me whispers. But first, hide the body.

My thoughts are cloaked in darkness as self-preservation kicks in. My husband will be
wondering where I am. He might even come looking for me. I should check Luke’s pulse,
call for an ambulance. Deep down, I know it’s too late for that now. The ditch is lined with
freshly shed leaves from the trees that border the field: a suitable resting place, if only for
tonight.
Pressing my boot against metal, I slice the shovel into the earth. I draw up a wedge of
soil, pausing only for a second before flinging it on to his face. As the dirt hits his parted
lips, my stomach rolls over, the gravity of the situation hitting me with the force of a punch.
I fall to my knees and vomit noisily into a patch of dandelions. Digging my fingers into the
earth, I try to ground myself, coughing and spitting until my throat has cleared. I dare not
look at Luke’s body as I stand and brush the soil from my jeans. Picking up my shovel, I
fling dirt into the ditch until my biceps ache. My armpits are damp with sweat; the skin on
my face burning with effort. Opposing thoughts circle my brain, like vultures ready to pick
over the carcass of my actions. I have committed a mortal sin. Hot tears of regret trail down
my face. A thought resurfaces, telling me that I had no choice

 

————–

 

About the Author:

Caroline originates from Ireland and now lives with her family in a pretty village on the coast of Essex. A former police detective, Caroline has worked in CID and specialised in roles dealing with vulnerable victims, high-risk victims of domestic abuse, and serious sexual offences. She now writes full time.
Set in Shoreditch, London, her DS Ruby Preston trilogy is described as terrifying, addictive serial killer thrillers.
Caroline also writes psychological thrillers. The most recent, Silent Victim, has been described as ‘brilliantly gripping and deliciously creepy’. Her new DI Amy Winter series is published by Thomas & Mercer and launches 2018.

 

Thank you to Caroline Mitchell for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                  

 

For more information on Caroline Mitchell, visit her website at: carolinemitchellauthor.com

or follow her on Twitter at: @Caroline_writes

 

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