Publisher: Minotaur Books

#BlogTour #BookReview
Go To My Grave by Catriona McPherson
@CatrionaMcP @MinotaurBooks

#BlogTour #BookReview Go To My Grave by Catriona McPherson @CatrionaMcP @MinotaurBooksTitle: Go To My Grave

Author: Catriona McPherson

Published by Minotaur Books on October 23, 2018

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 304

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Minotaur Books, NetGalley

Book Rating: 7/10

 

 

Synopsis:

Donna Weaver has put everything she has into restoring The Breakers, an old bed and breakfast on a remote stretch of beach in Galloway. Now it sits waiting—freshly painted, richly furnished, filled with flowers—for the first guests to arrive.

But Donna’s guests, a contentious group of estranged cousins, soon realize that they’ve been here before, years ago. Decades have passed, but that night still haunts them: a sixteenth birthday party that started with peach schnapps and ended with a girl walking into the sea.

Each of them had made a vow of silence: “lock it in a box, stitch my lips, and go to my grave.”

But now someone has broken the pact. Amid the home-baked scones and lavish rooms, someone is playing games, locking boxes, stitching lips. And before the weekend is over, at least one of them will go to their grave.


Review:

Atmospheric, menacing, and twisty!

Go To My Grave is an ominous, character-driven thriller that delves into the complex dynamics between friends and family and highlights just how parasitic some of those relationships can truly be.

The prose is gritty and taut. The characters are deceptive, plagued, and self-involved. And the plot using a back-and-forth, past/present style does a nice job of building tension as it unfolds a tortuous tale of friendship, lies, secrets, manipulation, jealousy, obsession, revenge, violence, and murder.

There is no doubt that McPherson can weave a suspicious tale that’s dark, gloomy, and tragic and highlights the scheming, selfish, dark side of human nature. And even though I thought the storyline itself was quite clever, unfortunately for me the lack of characters with any sort of moral or ethical conscience in Go To My Grave made it a little hard to like, connect, or even want to root for any of them.

 

This book is available now.

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

                                            

 

 

Excerpt:

Prologue

This is the story of three days last September when eight old friends gathered in a beautiful house by the sea. There was food, wine and laughter, and then the friends went their separate ways. That’s the truth and nothing but the truth. The story is over. We have locked the box, swallowed the key and stitched our lips shut. Will that be enough? I don’t know. It took twenty-five years, after last time, for the stitches to unravel, the key to burn through our guts, the box to rust and weaken. But this time’s different. There’s so much more to lose. I can’t speak for the others but I’ll keep this secret and go to my grave.

 

Thank you to NetGalley, especially Minotaur Books, for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Catriona McPherson

Catriona McPherson was born in South Queensferry. After finishing school, she worked in a bank for a short time, before going to university. She studied for an MA in English Language and Linguistics at Edinburgh University, and then gained a job in the local studies department at Edinburgh City Libraries. She left this post after a couple of years, and went back to university to study for a PhD in semantics. During her final year she applied for an academic job, but left to begin a writing career.

These days, McPherson lives with her husband on a farm in the Galloway countryside, where she spends her time writing, gardening, swimming and running.

 

#BookReview
The Middleman by Olen Steinhauer
@olensteinhauer @MinotaurBooks

#BookReview The Middleman by Olen Steinhauer @olensteinhauer @MinotaurBooksTitle: The Middleman

Author: Olen Steinhauer

Published by Minotaur Books on August 7, 2018

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 416

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Minotaur Books, Goodreads Giveaways

Book Rating: 8/10

 

 

Synopsis:

With The Middleman, the perfect thriller for our tumultuous, uneasy time, Olen Steinhauer, the New York Times bestselling author of ten novels, including The Tourist and The Cairo Affair, delivers a compelling portrait of a nation on the edge of revolution, and the deepest motives of the men and women on the opposite sides of the divide.

One day in the early summer of 2017, about four hundred people disappear from their lives. They leave behind cell phones, credit cards, jobs, houses, families–everything–all on the same day. Where have they gone? Why? The only answer, for weeks, is silence.

Kevin Moore is one of them. Former military, disaffected, restless, Kevin leaves behind his retail job in San Francisco, sends a good-bye text to his mother, dumps his phone and wallet into a trash can, and disappears.

The movement calls itself the Massive Brigade, and they believe change isn’t coming fast enough to America. But are they a protest organization, a political movement, or a terrorist group? What do they want? The FBI isn’t taking any chances. Special Agent Rachel Proulx has been following the growth of left-wing political groups in the U.S. since the fall of 2016, and is very familiar with Martin Bishop, the charismatic leader of the Massive Brigade. But she needs her colleagues to take her seriously in order to find these people before they put their plan–whatever it is–into action.

What Rachel uncovers will shock the entire nation, and the aftermath of her investigation will reverberate through the FBI to the highest levels of government.


Review:

Intricate, fast-paced, and astute!

The Middleman, the latest novel by Steinhauer, is an intriguing political thriller that takes you into the heart of American politics and immerses you in a story of left-wing ideology and the struggle to maintain morality and induce change without force in a world motivated by violence.

The prose is descriptive and well paced. The characters are passionate, resourceful, and determined. And the plot is an engaging tale about greed, power, deception, abuse, violence, manipulation, murder, and corruption.

Overall, The Middleman is a dark, timely, pensive tale that explores the fine line between good and evil, and highlights just how easily that line can become blurry.

 

This novel is available now.

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

                                        

 

 

Thank you to Minotaur Books and Goodreads Giveaways for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Olen Steinhauer

OLEN STEINHAUER, the New York Times bestselling author of ten previous novels, including The Tourist and All the Old Knives, is a two-time Edgar Award finalist. He is also the creator of TV’s Berlin Station. Raised in Virginia, he lives with his family in New York and Budapest, Hungary.

Photograph by Rana Faure.

#BookReview
In Prior’s Wood by G.M. Malliet
@GMMalliet @MinotaurBooks #MaxTudor

#BookReview In Prior’s Wood by G.M. Malliet @GMMalliet @MinotaurBooks #MaxTudorTitle: In Prior's Wood

Author: G.M. Malliet

Series: Max Tudor #7

Published by Minotaur Books on April 17, 2018

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 281

Format: Hardcover

Source: Minotaur Books

Book Rating: 8/10

 

Synopsis:

Agatha Award-winning author G. M. Malliet has charmed mystery lovers and cozy fans with her critically acclaimed mysteries, and this newest one featuring handsome spy-turned-cleric Max Tudor won’t disappoint.

Newly returned from investigating a murder in Monkslip-super-Mare, handsome Max Tudor wants nothing more than to settle back into his predictable routine as vicar of St. Edwold’s Church in the village of Nether Monkslip. But the flow of his sermon on Bathsheba is interrupted when the lady of the local manor house is found in a suicide pact with her young lover.

Lady Duxter’s husband rallies quickly from the double tragedy―too quickly, it is murmured in the village. Lord Duxter already has offered his manor house to a motley crew of writers, including Max’s wife Awena, for his writers’ retreat, and he insists the show must go on.

When a young girl goes missing and a crime writer becomes a target, DCI Cotton asks Max to lend his MI5 expertise to the investigation.

Many suspects emerge as the scope of the investigation widens beyond the writers to villagers who had crossed swords with the insufferably smug crime author. But Max begins to wonder: was the attack on the writer only part of a broader conspiracy of silence?


Review:

Mysterious, intriguing, and atmospheric!

In this latest novel by Malliet, In Prior’s Wood, we head back to the quaint English village of Nether Monkslip where Max Tudor, the former spy turned clergyman, finds himself once again immersed in a case with DCI Cotton that quickly unravels from a double suicide into an elaborate scheme of deception, lies, infidelity, jealousy, obsession, and murder.

The writing style is descriptive and light. The setting and mood are authentic and vivid. The characters, including the sharp, handsome hero, are well-developed, quirky, and multilayered. And the plot is a well-paced, witty whodunit that has a nice mix of misdirection, clues, suspects, red herrings, solid deduction, and drama.

In Prior’s Wood is the seventh book in the Max Tudor series, and if you love British cozy mysteries, this novel will not disappoint. It is a fun, twisty, easy read that is refreshing and highly entertaining.

 

This novel is available now.

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

                                        

 

 

 

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

 

About G.M. Malliet

G.M. Malliet is the Agatha Award-winning author of the St. Just and Max Tudor mysteries and the standalone suspense novel WEYCOMBE. She lives on the East Coast of the US but all of her books are set in the UK, her home away from home.

She received an M.Phil. degree from the University of Cambridge and did further graduate work at Oxford University. Upon her return to the US, determined to realize her lifelong dream of being a published author, she worked on her short stories and novels for three hours each day, from 4 a.m. until the start of her day job. After the unexpected success of her first book, she left a career writing for corporations like USA Today and PBS to focus full time on her own writing. With five Agatha and three Anthony nominations, she’s also been shortlisted for the Macavity, Left Coast Crime, IPPY, Daphne, David, and Dilys awards. The audio version of her second novel, read by Davina Porter, was a 2014 Anthony nominee.

Her short stories have appeared in several anthologies, Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, and The Strand. She regards the short story as the most difficult yet satisfying form of writing.

Her series from Macmillan featuring Max Tudor, a former MI5 agent turned vicar of a small English village, debuted in the autumn of 2011. Of the fourth book in the series, Cleveland.com raved: "[Malliet] may be the best mystery author writing in English at the moment (along with Tana French). She's certainly the most entertaining."

Her dark standalone mystery WEYCOMBE appeared in October 2017. The author is donating part of the proceeds from that book to the American Red Cross to aid the victims of Hurricane Harvey and other natural disasters.

She is represented by the Vicky Bijur Literary Agency.

Photograph by Joe Henson.

#BookReview
The Vanishing Season by Joanna Schaffhausen
@slipperywhisper @MinotaurBooks

#BookReview The Vanishing Season by Joanna Schaffhausen @slipperywhisper @MinotaurBooksTitle: The Vanishing Season

Author: Joanna Schaffhausen

Published by Minotaur Books on December 5, 2017

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 274

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Minotaur Books, NetGalley

Book Rating: 8.5/10

 

 

Synopsis:

Ellery Hathaway knows a thing or two about serial killers, but not through her police training. She’s an officer in sleepy Woodbury, MA, where a bicycle theft still makes the newspapers. No one there knows she was once victim number seventeen in the grisly story of serial killer Francis Michael Coben. The only victim who lived.

When three people disappear from her town in three years, all around her birthday—the day she was kidnapped so long ago—Ellery fears someone knows her secret. Someone very dangerous. Her superiors dismiss her concerns, but Ellery knows the vanishing season is coming and anyone could be next. She contacts the one man she knows will believe her: the FBI agent who saved her from a killer’s closet all those years ago.

Agent Reed Markham made his name and fame on the back of the Coben case, but his fortunes have since turned. His marriage is in shambles, his bosses think he’s washed up, and worst of all, he blew a major investigation. When Ellery calls him, he can’t help but wonder: sure, he rescued her, but was she ever truly saved? His greatest triumph is Ellery’s waking nightmare, and now both of them are about to be sucked into the past, back to the case that made them…with a killer who can’t let go.


Review:

Clever, disturbing, and highly suspenseful!

In this debut novel by Schaffhausen, The Vanishing Season, we are introduced to the tenacious, scarred Officer Hathaway and the once heroic now spiritless Agent Reed as they hunt for a serial killer with an all-consuming obsession and a penchant for violence.

The writing is taut and precise. The characters are flawed, complex and intriguing. And the plot is an intense, intricate police procedural full of twists, turns, surprises, cunning brutality, manipulation, and murder.

The Vanishing Season is truly a gripping, sinister page-turner that had me on the edge of my seat from the very first page and left me hoping this isn’t the last but only the first case for Hathaway and Reed.

 

This book is available now.

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

                                        

 

 

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

 

About Joanna Schaffhausen

JOANNA SCHAFFHAUSEN is a scientific editor who spends her days immersed in research on potential new therapies for cancer, addiction, and neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease. Previously, she worked as an editorial producer for ABC News, where she advised and wrote for programs such as World News Tonight, Good Morning America and 20/20. She lives in the Boston area with her husband and daughter. The Vanishing Season is her first novel.

#BookReview
Pushing Up Daisies by M.C. Beaton
@mc_beaton

#BookReview Pushing Up Daisies by M.C. Beaton @mc_beatonTitle: Pushing Up Daisies

Author: M.C. Beaton

Series: Agatha Raisin #27

Published by Minotaur Books on September 20, 2016

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 280

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: St. Martin's Press

Book Rating: 7/10

 

Synopsis:

When Agatha Raisin left behind her PR business in London, she fulfilled her dream of settling in the cozy British Cotswolds where she began a successful private detective agency. Unfortunately, the village she lives in is about to get a little less cozy. Lord Bellington, a wealthy land developer, wants to turn the community garden into a housing estate. When Agatha and her friend Sir Charles Fraith attempt to convince Lord Bellington to abandon his plans he scoffs: “Do you think I give a damn about those pesky villagers?” So when Agatha finds his obituary in the newspaper two weeks later, it’s no surprise that some in town are feeling celebratory.

The villagers are relieved to learn that Bellington’s son and heir, Damian, has no interest in continuing his father’s development plans. But the police are definitely interested in him―as suspect number one. His father’s death, it seems, was no accident. But when Damian hires Agatha to find the real killer, she finds no shortage of suspects. The good news is that a handsome retired detective named Gerald has recently moved to town. Too bad he was seen kissing another newcomer. But when she is also found murdered, Gerald is eager to help Agatha with the case. Agatha, Gerald, and her team of detectives must untangle a web of contempt in order to uncover a killer’s identity. 


Review:

Humorous, charming, and suspenseful.

This is a quick, easy read full of familial dysfunction, love entanglements, secrets, lies, greed, and murder.

The plot develops nicely and is full of suspects, clues, mishaps and mayhem. The setting is the quaint villages and towns found in the English countryside, complete with local pubs and manor homes. And the usual cast of flawed, multi-layered characters are back for another round of detection and investigation.

This is the twenty-seventh book in the Agatha Raisin series, and even though it can be read as a standalone novel, you may want to read some of the earlier books in the series to fully appreciate some of the continuing storylines and character development.

 

This book is due to be published on September 20, 2016. 

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

Amazon UKAmazon USAmazon CanadaChapters/IndigoBook Depository

 

For more information on M.C. Beaton, visit her website at: mcbeaton.com

or follow her on Twitter at: @mc_beaton

 

 

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

#BookReview
Sorrow Road by Julia Keller

#BookReview Sorrow Road by Julia KellerTitle: Sorrow Road

Author: Julia Keller

Series: Bell Elkins #5

Published by Minotaur Books on August 23, 2016

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 354

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: St. Martin's Press, NetGalley

Book Rating: 7.5/10

 

Synopsis:

From the small towns of Appalachia they came, the young men who joined the fight for liberty in World War II. Now they are elderly, and some of them―like Harmon Strayer, father of prosecutor Bell Elkins’s former law school classmate―suffer from Alzheimer’s. When Harmon dies in an Alzheimer’s care facility from what appear to be natural causes, Bell confronts a mystery that brims with questions about memory, grief and the lethal cost of burying the past. During a winter of record snow and cold, Bell and the people of Acker’s Gap, West Virginia, face isolation and hardship―and the threat from a killer who preys upon the old and the sick and the helpless.


Review:

This is an atmospheric, character-driven, murder mystery that reminds us that sometimes one reckless event can have long-lasting repercussions.

The plot is well developed, suspenseful, and tragic. The writing is well done and remarkably descriptive. And the characters are highly complex, damaged, and in some cases depraved.

Although this is not an extremely fast-paced thriller, it is definitely entertaining and an enjoyable read.

 

This book is due to be published on August 23, 2016. 

Pick up a copy of this story from your favourite retailer or from the following Amazon links.

Amazon UKAmazon USAmazon Canada

 

 

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

 

About Julia Keller

Julia was born and raised in Huntington, West Virginia. She graduated from Marshall University, then later earned a doctoral degree in English Literature at Ohio State University.

She was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University and has taught at Princeton and Ohio State Universities, and the University of Notre Dame. She is a guest essayist on The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer on PBS and has been a contributor on CNN and NBC Nightly News. In 2005, she won the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing.

Julia lives in a high-rise in Chicago and a stone cottage on a lake in rural Ohio.

#BookReview
Compulsion by Allison Brennan
@Allison_Brennan

#BookReview Compulsion by Allison Brennan @Allison_BrennanTitle: Compulsion

Author: Allison Brennan

Series: Max Revere #2

Published by Minotaur Books on February 2, 2016

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 480

Format: Paperback

Source: Borrowed

Book Rating: 8/10

 

Synopsis:

Investigative reporter Maxine Revere has a theory: that the five New York City murders for which Adam Bachman is being tried are just part of his killing spree. In probing the disappearance of a retired couple who vanished the prior summer, Max uncovers striking similarities to Bachman’s MO and develops a theory that Bachman wasn’t working alone.

Max wins a coveted pre-trial interview with the killer, whose disarming composure in the face of her questions is combined with uncomfortable knowledge of Max’s own past. She leaves the room convinced, but unable to prove, that Bachman knows exactly what happened to the missing couple. The D.A. wants nothing to jeopardize his case against Bachman and refuses to consider Max’s theory. With no physical evidence, Max has to rely on her own wits and investigative prowess to dig deep into Bachman’s past. The picture that Max puts together is far darker and more deadly than she ever imagined.

As Max gets closer to the truth, she doesn’t realize that she’s walking down a road that has been paved just for her. That every step she takes brings her one step closer to a brilliant, methodical sociopath who has been waiting for her to make just one small mistake.

And when she does, he’ll be there waiting.

Max Revere returns in another gripping, pulse-pounding thriller from New York Times bestseller Allison Brennan.

Compulsion is a gripping, pulse-pounding thriller that readers will not want to put down.”-Crimespree magazine


Review:

Allison Brennan has written numerous books and once again has produced a great mystery that’s full of suspense and intrigue. This story is the second book in the Max Revere series.

As in the first novel in the series, Notorious, the characters are complex and interesting and are further evolved throughout this story.

The plot is action-packed, well written, with numerous twists and turns and sub-plots that intermingle to leave you guessing till the end.

This was another great read and I highly recommend it.

 

This novel is available now.

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

Amazon UKAmazon USAmazon Canada

 

For more information on Allison Brennan, visit her website at: allisonbrennan.com

or follow her on Twitter at: @Allison_Brennan

 

 

About Allison Brennan

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Allison Brennan believes that life is too short to be bored, so she had five children and writes three books a year.

Allison has penned more than two dozen thrillers and many short stories. RT Book Reviews calls Allison “a master of suspense” and her books “haunting,” “mesmerizing,” “pulse-pounding” and “emotionally complex.” RT also said that "The Lucy Kincaid/Sean Rogan books are getting better and better!"

COLD SNAP, was a finalist for Best Thriller in the Thriller Awards (ITW) and FEAR NO EVIL (2007) and COMPULSION (2015) won the Daphne du Maurier award. Allison has been nominated multiple times for RWA's Best Romantic Suspense award, and the Kiss of Death's Daphne award.

Allison lives in Northern California with her husband, five children, and assorted pets.

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