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CTM = Crime, Thriller, Mystery Genre Authors

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» Listings for August 2013

  1. Emma Clapperton Beyond Evidence
    My Rating: 4/5

    Synopsis: In an alley way of the back streets of Glasgow there lies a decomposing corpse of a slain female baking in the midday heat. No one has found her yet, but medium Patrick McLaughlin knows she is there. It is not the first time he has dreamt of death... and he soon finds out that it is not to be the last.

    Meanwhile, the local police start to request DNA samples from twenty something men in the bustling city of Glasgow where several bizarre murders have taken place.

    Through a hunch and in the belief that the terrifying dreams hold the key to the identity of the murderer, Patrick works alongside the police to track down the predator before they can strike again. 

    The nightmares do not ease up and begin to tear at Patricks sanity and in the midst of the investigation, at what cost would Patrick have to pay to stop the killer striking again?

    His friends? His family? His life?

  2.  Casey Kelleher HeartlessMy Rating: 4/5

    Synopsis: Free from prison… but still trapped in a nightmare...

    Having been locked up for a murder that she didn’t commit, Sophia O’Hagan is now determined to take back what’s hers. Sophia has been robbed of eight years of her life: a life that she should have spent with her beloved Tommy. Now, Tommy has gone and Sophia’s family has been torn apart. She knows that she will never know true freedom until she confronts the painful ghosts of her past.

    Kat's Review: I was extremely excited to get an early copy of the new release (due out 7th September 2013) by Casey Kelleher. The synopsis was enough to whet my interest, but within a few chapters I needn’t have worried as the story completely drew me in.  The beginning starts us off with Tommy and his twin brother Jonathan as youngsters. At around the same time, young Sophia is battling with her current home situation. One situation is what enables the three to meet, but they have no idea how much them meeting will change all their lives.

    Casey Kelleher seems to be improving her talent with each book she writes and it seems that this current book has taken her into the next league of her career. The story instantly drew me in and the one thing I really noticed was the difference in the characters. Casey has self-published up until now, but with this latest one it puts other (currently published) authors to shame. She has managed to depict the ‘evil’ characters as just that, pure evil!

    There was only one thing that I think could have helped the book and that is a timeline. We see Sophia as a young girl and then many years later as a young adult. Although the timeline would have helped, this certainly didn’t detract from the story. The plot kept winding up the tension and I literally didn’t want to put this one down. After reading this book, I can honestly say that Casey Kelleher has now placed herself firmly in the world of British Crime Authors; one which I think is totally deserved. 

    The characters are brilliant and although this book does have a conclusion, I can actually see a second book coming from this (maybe that’s wishful thinking). Overall, this book is everything you want from a gritty British Crime book and I don’t think any of her fans will be disappointed. I for one will b crossing my fingers and excitedly waiting for the next one.  

  3. My Rating: 4/5

    Synopsis: When Gabby first met Elliott she knew he was the man for her. In twenty years of marriage she has never doubted her love for him - even when he refused to give her the one thing she still wants most of all. But now their two daughters are growing up Gabby feels that time and her youth are slipping away. For the first time in her life she is restless. And then she meets Matt . . .

    Intoxicated by the way this young, handsome and successful man makes her feel, Gabby is momentarily blind to what she stands to lose on this dangerous path. And in one reckless moment she destroys all that she holds dear.

    Consumed by regret, Gabby does everything she can to repair the home she has broken. But are some betrayals too great to forgive?

    My Review: I was looking forward to reading this latest release by Jane Green and as usual she hasn't disappointed. Gabby and Elliot are a normal couple, and it' clear from the outset, still very much in love. Gabby and her friend Claire often have discussions regarding women who risk it all by having an affair. We meet Gabby and Elliot and get a real feel for their everyday life along with their two teenage daughters. At first glance it seems like they are one of the few couples that are rock solid.

    However, as time progresses we learn more about Gabby and after a while I could almost feel her lack of confidence in herself. On a girls night out she meets a young man called Matt and at that point it seems her life is altered. As soon as she meets Matt, I could feel Gabby changing. Jane Green has that knack of making the reader really feel what the character is experiencing. In this  case you can see what is happening in front of us, which is a slightly older woman being flattered and given attention. Matt has the ability to make Gabby feel a little bit dangerous and reckless.

    Initially, I wasn't sure how the story was going to play out, but wasn't expecting what occurred. This is a story that is probably a real possibility for many women out there and although I know that what Gabby was doing was dangerous, I totally understood why she did it! The actual story isn't particularly anything original, but Jane Green has managed to create a wonderful story out of something so ordinary; and more to the point, a story I didn't want to put down. 

    I am rarely disappointed with a Jane Green book and this one is no different. I wouldn't say it's the best she has ever written, but was a book that I was thoroughly absorbed in. I'm already looking forward to the next book!

  4. My Rating: 5/5

    Synopsis: SHE THOUGHT SHE'D SEEN THE BACK OF THE DELANEYS. HOW WRONG COULD SHE BE . . . Annie Carter should have demanded to see their bodies lying on a slab in the morgue, but she really believed the Delaney twins were gone from her life for good. Now sinister things are happening around her and Annie Carter is led to one terrifying conclusion: her bitter enemies, the Delaney twins, didn't die all those years ago. They're back and they want her, and her family, dead. This isn't the first time someone has made an attempt on her life, yet she's determined to make it the last. Nobody threatens Annie Carter and lives to tell the tale . . .

    My Review: Well I have to start off this review by saying that if you haven't read the other Jessie Keane books in the series (and you plan on doing so), then please do not read this review. Obviously if you are on the first or second book, there will inevitably be spoilers in this review! I was really looking forward to reading the next book in this series, especially with all the drama that has gone on in the past. We start off by seeing the Delaney twins making plans, yet as far as Annie Carter knew the Delaney twins were dead and buried. Of course, nothing is simple in Annie's life, yet when things start getting dangerous a little closer to home she realises things are not that easy any more. She has her adult daughter Layla with her and her safety always comes first.

    The one thing I love about this series is Annie Carter herself. She makes a brilliant lead character and I have always loved her and her husband, then ex-husband Max. One thing I forgot is just how damn good looking these two are (in my head of course). They are typical characters for the sort of lives they lead and they have to be hardened to things that normal people couldn't cope with. The time frame for the Carter's has now moved on to the eighties, and we also get to see Annie's friend Dlly again, albeit briefly.
     
    The story was gripping from the very beginning as you wonder whether the Delaney's will actually make good on their plans. Added to this, we get to know Layla as a young adult and this is something that I think makes a great platform for a continuation of the Carter series of books (YAY). I have no idea if we will get to see any of the Carter's again but I can live in hope:-) In this latest offering, we see the plot move between London and Ireland and it's done (as usual) seamlessly. Jessie Keane has once again created a brilliant, gripping and thrilling book which I didn't want to put down. The Carter's have become one of my favourite series and I cannot wait for the next Jessie Keane book. It seems like the more she writes, the better she becomes. I can honestly say that if you haven't read Jessie Keane before then you are seriously missing out.
  5. Leigh Russell Cold SacrificeMy Rating: 3/5

    Synopsis: When Henry's wife is stabbed to death, he pays a prostitute to give him an alibi. Her body is discovered, strangled, and the police realise they are dealing with a serial killer who will stop at nothing to cover his tracks. While they are hunting for evidence, another prostitute is brutally murdered. On the track of a vicious killer, Ian doesn't realise he is risking the life of his young colleague, Polly

    I have been reading Leigh Russell since book one in the Geraldine Steel series. Something I will point out is that book one in that particular series was a little, shall we say, ‘lukewarm’. However, I could see it being a great series and it turns out I was right. Leigh Russell then went on to create a series that seems to get stronger with each book she writes and is now writing some of her best stuff featuring Geraldine Steel. One thing I mentioned in the early books was the colleague that worked alongside her Ian Peterson. He piqued my interest and I wanted to see more of him. Fast forward a few years and here we are with Ian Peterson featuring as the lead in the first of the series.

  6. Milly Johnson Its Raining MenMy Rating: 3/5

    Synopsis: Best friends May, Lara and Clare are desperate for a holiday. They have been dreaming of a little cottage in the middle of nowhere, long walks in the country and just a bit of time away from it all. But when they arrive in Ren Dullem, a small Yorkshire seaside town, it seems it is not the place they thought it was…

    May can't wait to get away from men after being cruelly deceived. Then in Dullem she falls hook line and sinker at first glance for one of the inhabitants - but he's already taken…

    Lara is living with James and his awful step-children who taunt her with tales of his younger, prettier ex whom they adored - the woman who Lara walks in to find James in bed with despite all his protestations that he wouldn't touch her again with a barge pole. Reeling from the hurt, she needs the sea air of Dullem to heal her. What she doesn't need is to be constantly in battle with the owner of the holiday cottage - a man who is every bit as bitter and resentful and untrusting of the other sex as she is.

    Clare's kind, steady boyfriend Lud wants her to go and live abroad with him for two years, but she's just been offered the promotion of a lifetime. It gives her the excuse she needs to end the relationship and find some single excitement which happens to turn up in the form of a very bad boy who is everything Lud isn't - impulsive, wild and dangerous. Will this holiday be the break they all need? Or will the odd little town with all its secrets bring them all to breaking point…?

    My Review: I was looking forward to reading the new Milly Johnson as there isn’t one of her books I have yet disliked! This one sounded interesting and I knew that it wouldn’t take me long to get into it, if her past books are anything to go by. I really liked the three main characters Lara, May and Clare. All of them were very different and as they prepare for their holiday you can see why things might go very wrong for all of them.

    As soon as they arrive at Ren Dullem, they realise the place they are staying is not quite what they imagined. Milly Johnson did a stellar job of describing the quaint town and the mad and crazy characters that live there. The only thing that I found different in this book to other’s, is that I didn’t really feel like I had an opinion on the men of Ren Dullem either way. I was so indifferent I surprised myselfJ. By the end of the story I felt a little warmer towards them, but felt like we never really got to know them very well.

    The girls on the other hand I felt we got to see for who they really were. I liked all of them, and felt like this highlighted just what Milly Johnson is fabulous at! She manages to create characters the reader really likes. This current book is no different and as more characters are added in, to weave the tale of the mysterious village, it makes the story so much more interesting. IF I am being 100% honest, there was one slightly ‘magical’ element to the story which just wasn’t to my taste. Thankfully, this didn’t deter from me liking the book. As usual Milly Johnson has created an enchanting book that I’m pretty sure the majority will like. It’s not one of my favourite MJ books, but I enjoyed it all the same.

  7. My Rating: 4/5Mel Sherratt Somewhere to Hide

    Synopsis: Liz, with her young daughter, runs from her husband.  Sixteen-year-old Becky stabs her uncle and makes a run for it. Back in prison after selling her body for drugs, Cheryl will be out soon with no one to turn to. All three are looking for somewhere to stay.

    Following the tragic death of her husband, Cathy Mason opens her home to young women who need a roof over their head and a sympathetic ear. But strange things start to happen - malicious notes are posted through her door, her belongings trashed and a homeless teenager is found murdered. Cathy reckons it’s just part of daily life on the estate but when those she cares about most fall prey to violence, she begins to suspect a past mistake is about to catch up with her - and she’s unsure that she’ll ever be ready for it...

     

    Kat's Review: I recently started hearing more and more about the author Mel Sherratt. Followers to my blog were suggesting I read her and I’m extremely glad I listened to them. Mel self-published her first book in 2011 and went on to become a Kindle bestseller and a best selling book of 2012. It took me no time at all to fall into the pattern and speed of the book and it seems like Cathy Mason has for once bitten off more than she can chew.

  8. Veronica Henry A Night on The Orient ExpressMy Rating: 4/5

    Synopsis: For one group of passengers settling in to their seats and taking their first sips of champagne, the journey from London to Venice is more than the trip of a lifetime. A mysterious errand; a promise made to a dying friend; an unexpected proposal; a secret reaching back a lifetime...As the train sweeps on, revelations, confessions and assignations unfold against the most romantic and infamous setting in the world.

    My Review: I am a pretty big VH fan and was looking forward to her latest release. Especially when learning that this would be set on one of the most romantic places, the Orient Express! When I think of the Orient it automatically conjures up images of beautiful and romantic splendour! I would say the main characters of the book are Adele and her granddaughter Imogen. She sends Imogen on the Orient to collect a painting from a man named Jack. This in itself leads to another thread to the story whioch involves Adele’s past with Jack.

    In addition to Imogen and Adele, we meet a couple that are in a relatively new relationship; Stephanie and Simon along with Simon’s kids. Archie and Emma both win a competition to have the ultimate blind date on the Orient Express, and finally Riley and Sylvie who are an older couple who have been friends for years and are taking their regular ‘birthday’ trip on the Orient. Initially, I was surprised to see so many characters, but this wasn’t a negative as such in my eyes. I liked all of the characters and was keen to see what happened to each of them.

    Veronica Henry has managed to bring the trip and experience on the Orient to life for me. I could almost imagine myself taking the trip alongside these characters, and experiencing all the old fashioned glamour. There were two things that I wasn’t sure about with this book though. The first was the length of it, I have no idea if this was shorter than her usual books; or whether I just read it really quickly but it seemed to be far too short for my liking. The second thing was that although I enjoyed it, I almost felt like it was 4 short stories combined into one book. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but I would love to see books on all the individual characters.

    Overall, another great read by Veronica Henry and one I thoroughly enjoyed. I would love to think there could be a possibility of books following these characters onward (especially Archie and Emma!). Who knows….