Book Review: Kill the Father, by Sandrone Dazieri

Publisher:  Simon & Schuster UK

Publication date:  

9th February 2017 (Hardback) | 5th January 2017 (Kindle)

kill-the-father-my-review

kill-the-father-coverKill the Father is a wily old fox of a book. Its unwavering intense plot artfully clashes with moments of irrational analysis and a conspiracy on ambitiously immoral scale.

And what flawed characters we have – all the better to love them more! For starters, there’s the human husk that is Dante Torre and the terminally-haunted Deputy Captain Columba Caselli. Both of whom are compelled to attack a case that would prove to be so challenging it may cost them their lives. 

The catalyst that pitches this unlikely pairing together is the rising chill of unease surrounding a missing child and his brutally murdered mother. The authorities have hauled the boy’s father in for the heinous deed, but the chief officer of Rome’s mobile police squad asks his trusted Deputy Captain to step out from her sick leave to ‘unofficially’ poke around the investigation, as higher ranking officials threaten to close it down before considering all the options.

Columba’s only instruction is to deny knowledge of her involvement as she enlists the assistance of ‘the boy in the silo’, the famous Dante Torre, known to have escaped the clutches of an evil kidnapper known as ‘The Father’. After being kept captive for eleven years his personal, harrowing experience will prove to be invaluable as the child’s disappearance resembles ‘The Father’s’ handiwork, a reality that hits like a kick to the gut.

For all his eccentricities I love Dante. The way he channels his crippling claustrophobia and obsessions into spotting details others have missed is remarkable. His mind works in astonishing ways but it’s surprising he can still walk, let alone solve a case of this magnitude, as he practically eats cigarettes, inhales more coffee than fresh air, and rattles like a maraca from consuming a random concoction of pills dictated by his changeable self-medication.

Columba endeavours to resist the PTSD that causes involuntary havoc at the most inopportune moments and spends a lot of time either contemplating a past event referred to as the ‘Disaster’, or her resignation from the department. Part of her time is spent running around in a hospital gown with just her police issue boots for protection, or meeting with unsavoury characters whose uncharacteristic behaviour surprises even her. After that she pretty much does as she pleases.

These two make a tenacious double-act, although they behave like estranged siblings as they strive to endure the grim awkwardness of their situation and each other! Preferred emotional reactions to life threatening situations are restricted to a few finely-tuned sardonic words, so their personal space remains intact. 

The impact and ingenuity of Kill the Father took my breath clean away. With each new chapter a wealth of complexity is waiting to be unwrapped as the shadow of ‘The Father’ grows longer. You can’t help but root for the good guys as they battle their vulnerabilities, a merciless motive, and countless obstacles in their relentless pursuit for justice.  

One particular observation during an interview with the parents of missing child was quite arresting:

It’s as if the two of them had been hollowed out from within by some disease, the kind that takes you apart bit by bit without ever finishing you off completely.

Rating:  4.5/5

(My thanks to the publisher and Emma Finnigan for arranging a copy of this brilliant title. It goes without saying that it’s my pleasure to provide this unbiased review.)

kill-the-father-book-summary

(Courtesy of Amazon UK)

In this fascinatingly complex thriller, two people, each shattered by their past, team up to solve a series of killings and abductions…

When a woman is beheaded in a park outside Rome and her six-year-old son goes missing, the police unit assigned to the case sees an easy solution: they arrest the woman’s husband and await his confession. But the Chief of Rome’s Major Crimes unit doubts things are so simple. Secretly, he lures to the case two of Italy’s top analytical minds: Deputy Captain Colomba Caselli, a fierce, warrior-like detective still reeling from having survived a bloody catastrophe, and Dante Torre, a man who spent his childhood trapped inside a concrete silo. Fed through the gloved hand of a masked kidnapper who called himself ‘The Father’, Dante emerged from his ordeal with crippling claustrophobia but, also, with an unquenchable thirst for knowledge and hyper-observant capacities.

All evidence suggests that ‘The Father’ is back and active after being dormant for decades. Indeed, he has left tell-tale signs that signal he’s looking forward to a reunion with Dante. But when Columba and Dante begin following the ever-more-bizarre trail of clues, they grasp that what’s really going on is darker than they ever imagined.

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At the time of writing this review for the hardback copy the Kindle version was just £0.99p – TOTAL BARGAIN so I purchased a copy too!

kill-the-father-author-profile

(Courtesy of Amazon UK)

Sandrone Dazieri is the bestselling author of eight novels and more than fifty screenplays. Kill the Father, the first in a planned series featuring Colomba Caselli and Dante Torre, is his UK debut.

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Book Review: The Night Stalker (Detective Erika Foster Book 2) by Robert Bryndza

Publisher:  Bookouture   |   Publication date: 2nd June 2016

The Night Stalker My Review

The Night Stalker by Robert Bryndza - Kindle CoverResilient DCI Erika Foster returns from her EPIC ordeal in The Girl in the Ice to tackle the elusive serial killer journalists have branded The Night Stalker. It’s the name they have conjured up to sensationalise the nature of this criminal’s grim method of dispatching people.

The Night Stalker is targeting people who meet certain criteria, in other words our Stalker has taken their actions very personally. As a result they have successfully discovered a callous way of disposing of their chosen victims under the cover of darkness, armed only with a plastic bag (and the encouragement of an anonymous chat room ‘friend’).

The brief, yet insightful, chats between Night Owl and Duke tell of the suffering both of them have endured during their lives, as they share a bond where they can unburden themselves but retain the protection of online anonymity.

Dealing with a killer who is convinced they have a perfectly legitimate reason to take another person’s life and who leaves no major clues to their identity, the case won’t be a walk in the park – but if it that was the case we wouldn’t be sitting on the edge of our seats, would we?! And so Erika once again battles with her superiors concerning her opposing ideas surrounding the her ideas of a suspect, the inner politics of the of the force and her personal methods, all of which grate on those higher in the ranks and regularly see her in the firing line, not ideal when a promotion dares to raise its tempting head.

Erika’s approach means she’ll find herself in hot water, allowing the emotion of the two year anniversary of her husband’s death to be explored further when she is officially taking a ‘holiday’. This unbearable time sees Erika receiving unwelcome contact from the killer. Let’s be honest that’s a tad freaky and our DCI knows she has to do something, even if her boss doesn’t always endorse her actions.

Whilst this was nothing short of gripping, I found the explosive grit of The Girl in the Ice was replaced by more intense character psychology in The Night Stalker. Everyone’s little nuances came alive in this investigation, as they were written with depth and controlled with the perfect timing. Moments when killer’s frustration peaked as their ‘acts of kindness’ produced a different result to the one they had imagined were gruelling, for both the killer and the poor person on the receiving end. If a writer can play with your mind to make you feel a warped kind-of sorry for a serial killer (AND their cheerleader in places) then they’re obviously doing their job right!

The Night Stalker offers such an intriguing invitation it would simply be rude not to read it. Yes, people expire in an unpleasant manner and there are aftershocks from multiple diverse issues. No, it’s not always a comfortable ride, but the combination of mountainous tension and a thoroughly ‘human’ element creates a terrific crime thriller in every conceivable way.

Rating: 5/5

P.S. There’s enough background info cleverly incorporated so that this can be read as a standalone, should you wish.

(My thanks to Bookouture for the digital copy of this title, via NetGalley.)

The Night Stalker Book Summary

(Courtesy of Amazon UK)

If the Night Stalker is watching, you’re already dead…

In the dead of a swelteringly hot summer’s night, Detective Erika Foster is called to a murder scene. The victim, a doctor, is found suffocated in bed. His wrists are bound and his eyes bulging through a clear plastic bag tied tight over his head.

A few days later, another victim is found dead, in exactly the same circumstances. As Erika and her team start digging deeper, they discover a calculated serial killer – stalking their victims before choosing the right moment to strike.

The victims are all single men, with very private lives. Why are their pasts shrouded in secrecy? And what links them to the killer?

As a heat wave descends upon London, Erika will do everything to stop the Night Stalker before the body count rises, even if it means risking her job. But the victims might not be the only ones being watched… Erika’s own life could be on the line.

The global bestselling author of The Girl in the Ice is back with a heart-racing, electrifying thriller. If you love Angela Marsons, Rachel Abbott and Peter James, you’ll be hooked on Robert Bryndza.

Watch out for more from DCI Erika Foster.

She’s fearless. Respected. Unstoppable. Detective Erika Foster will catch a killer, whatever it takes.

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The Night Stalker Author Profile

Rob Bryndza Author

Originally from the UK, Rob lives in Slovakia with his Slovak husband and their two crazy dogs. He originally trained as an actor, but was bitten by the writing bug in his mid-twenties and hasn’t looked back.

His debut novel, The Not So Secret Emails of Coco Pinchard became an Amazon bestseller, and has grown to a best selling series of five books.

In addition to his recent number one romantic comedy Miss Wrong and Mr Right, Rob is excited to embrace the darker side of life, and has signed a three-book deal with Bookouture to write a crime thriller series, featuring Detective Erika Foster:

THE DETECTIVE ERIKA FOSTER SERIES…

Robert Bryndza's Books

CONNECT WITH THE AUTHOR:

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*BLOG TOUR* Book Review: Play Dead (Detective Kim Stone Book 4), by Angela Marsons

When Kim Nash of Bookouture asked if I’d be interested in taking part in a Blog Tour for Angela Marsons’ fourth book, Play Dead, I can say with all honesty that I bit her hand off – in fact, she probably still has the marks (sorry, Kim). I blame my reaction on the DI Kim Stone Series being SO outstanding. Book #4 is no exception, aaaand here’s my review…

Publisher: Bookouture   |   Publication date: 20th May 2016

Play Dead My Review

Play Dead Kindle CoverPlay Dead is the fourth book in an impressive line up of crime thrillers featuring the indomitable DI Kim Stone. This series isn’t just detective fiction, it’s effective fiction. Its gripping opener and the suspense that followed prevented me from stopping until I’d finished. I consumed it in one greedy sitting, it was just SO good!

Returning from her ordeal in Lost Girls (book three) DI Kim Stone is restored to her optimum ‘don’t even think of messing with me’ self. She and her team are invited to a hush, hush scientific facility in a remote area of the Black Country for a rare training opportunity. It’s certainly an experience they won’t forget, as the scientists studying the effects of human decay under an assortment of circumstances are faced with a cadaver that they can’t account for.

The perpetrator’s signature is particularly brutal and unpleasantly ‘earthy’. As a sickening routine is soon established, we get a sense of their fragile unhinged state from a little voice that raises its head between the main chapters. No one could anticipate just how much their irregular upbringing would influence their twisted ambition in life. I’m not saying any more, as it’s best to allow their peculiar brand of oddness introduce itself!

As Stone’s regular team attacks every lead a pattern emerges to reveal that a newshound she’s locked horns with in the past may hold information crucial to their case. But while the Inspector’s character would audibly growl at the anyone who rubs her up the wrong way, she never allows her resentment to get in the way of any investigation – she’s thorough, just don’t expect the pleasantries. And to further complicate matters, a cold case has come to light that isn’t even within her jurisdiction. A little discreet digging later sees not just one skeleton in the cupboard, but a queue is starting to form.

What I love about Stone’s character is that despite regularly embracing her anti-social side, her own troubled background allows her to relate easily to the majority of the victims and their families. Every investigation invites us a little further into her life and occasionally a softer side peeks out from behind the protective mask she wears on duty. And is that a hint of romance in the air? A little bit of Bryant’s meddling will see his boss bumping into a colleague from a previous investigation at the most inopportune moments, resulting in close encounters of a VERY brief kind!

Well, I’ve discovered three things at the end of this novel: 1. The reasons that prevent our  infamous newshound’s ‘Frosty’ exterior from thawing, whose pushy antics are renowned for getting my favourite DI’s hackles up, 2. Barney (Stone’s dog) is quite possibly the canine equivalent of his owner, and 3. Kim Stone once again excels at being her exceptional and impatient best.

This series already has the edge over most others in its category but that edge just got a whole lot sharper, as Play Dead is breathtakingly superb. But is it really, you ask? ABSOLUTELY. It’s the only series I pre-order without even reading the book summary.

Rating: 5/5

My reviews for the other books in the DI Kim Stone series:

(MASSIVE thanks to Bookouture, Kim Nash and Angela Marsons for providing an advanced digital copy for review and saving a seat on the tour bus, I’m forever grateful.)

Play Dead Book Summary

(Courtesy of Amazon UK)

The dead don’t tell secrets…unless you listen.

The girl’s smashed-in face stared unseeing up to the blue sky, soil spilling out of her mouth. A hundred flies hovered above the bloodied mess.

Westerley research facility is not for the faint-hearted. A ‘body farm’ investigating human decomposition, its inhabitants are corpses in various states of decay. But when Detective Kim Stone and her team discover the fresh body of a young woman, it seems a killer has discovered the perfect cover to bury their crime.

Then a second girl is attacked and left for dead, her body drugged and mouth filled with soil. It’s clear to Stone and the team that a serial killer is at work – but just how many bodies will they uncover? And who is next?

As local reporter, Tracy Frost, disappears, the stakes are raised. The past seems to hold the key to the killer’s secrets – but can Kim uncover the truth before a twisted, damaged mind claims another victim …?

The latest utterly addictive thriller from the No.1 bestseller Angela Marsons.

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Play Dead Author Profile

(Courtesy of Amazon UK. Author Photograph courtesy of Publisher.)

Angela Marsons photoAngela Marsons is the author of Amazon #1 Bestseller SILENT SCREAM.

She lives in the Black Country with her partner, their bouncy Labrador and a swearing parrot.

She first discovered her love of writing at Junior School when actual lessons came second to watching other people and quietly making up her own stories about them. Her report card invariably read “Angela would do well if she minded her own business as well as she minds other people’s”.

After years of writing relationship based stories (My Name Is and The Middle Child) Angela turned to Crime, fictionally speaking of course, and developed a character that refused to go away. She is signed to Bookouture.com for a total of eight books.

TWITTER  |  FACEBOOK  |  WEBSITE

THE DI KIM STONE SERIES ‘LINE UP’:

You can also visit these other fantastic blogs on the Play Dead Blog Tour today:

Crooks on Books

Crime Book Junkie

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Thanks for stopping by!

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Book Review: Chance, by Peter Dudgeon

Publisher:  CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 2 edition  |  Publication Date: 4th July 2015 | Edition: Paperback (review copy)

Chance - My Review

Chance by Peter DudgeonI’m going to come right out and say it – Chance knocked me sideways. It’s one of those books I couldn’t stop myself wanting to read more of.

How utterly cliché, I hear you scoff.  Well, yes. Usually, I can put a book down and wait to return to it until next time, but this one had me reading until half past two in the morning, something I haven’t been compelled to do for quite some time!

Be prepared to run into a few disturbing scenes, all of which channel an all-consuming suspense as an unhinged, cold-blooded killer is casually selecting people to die. Rather, the victims select themselves when they happen across something random, you might say quite by ‘chance’.

The regular characters are introduced little by little in the early chapters with a brief snapshot of their day and are revisited throughout to build a picture of their lives layer upon layer. As we are invited further into their world the story exposes a few skeletons tucked away at the back of a rickety closet or two, and offers a suspect for us to focus on. The victims carefully appear between these chapters of normal life, so everything clicks into place nicely when they overlap one another.

Cassie Janus is undoubtedly the star of the show. She’s one tough kid and can be spotted a mile off, as she’s the one wearing trousers flapping at half-mast. In addition to being bullied at school she bravely suffers with Epilepsy. Her domestic arrangements are at best questionable and a life or death situation quickly draws the attention of social services. But Cassie has a secret that she privately tries to conceal, as her intuitive behaviour allows her to ‘see’ things that no nine year-old should ever witness.

Her seizures open the door to some very bad things. Something she can’t explain is happening and the thoughts won’t stop rattling about in her head. Cassie must find someone to confide in, so she can free herself of the information she can’t understand. The problem is, she has no one to tell.

The victim’s desperate situations are echoed within Cassie and the impact is immense. As the story progresses her relationship with those around her changes, as they react to the ‘knowledge’ she selectively imparts in unexpected ways.

Chance rips your heart out then takes it along for the ride of its life. Seriously, just read it – it’s so cleverly executed. And by the way, that cover is right on the money.

Rating: 5/5

(HUGE thanks to the author for providing a paperback copy of his book for review.)

Chance - Book Summary

“Pray she sees your pain before he ends it”.

A missing convict, a young woman assaulted and killed, an old man murdered in his home – all in different parts of London. With eight million inhabitants, bad things happen to good people all the time, but nine-year-old Cassie Janus knows there’s a connection, because she is the killer … in her nightmares at least.

Cassie has the rare ability to unearth the darkest emotions of others. She sees a past they would rather keep hidden and a future too horrific to comprehend.

Perhaps the killer can be stopped. If only she can make someone – her mother, her friend, her teacher – believe. Her words are dismissed, her sanity questioned. She knows they’ll trust her in the end … but by then, they’ll be facing death.

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Chance - Author Links

Peter Dudgeon

Peter Dudgeon started writing short stories at the age of fourteen, inspired by Stephen King’s early novels. At twenty-two he graduated in English Language and Literature and has since travelled the length and breadth of the UK (occasionally beyond) as a management consultant. He lives in North East Lincolnshire, with his wife, two daughters and a troublesome Labrador.

His debut novel ‘Ticket’ is available via Amazon Kindle

‘Chance’ is available on Kindle and in paperback in Amazon’s store.

The sequel to Chance, ‘Circle’ will be released in Autumn 2015.

TWITTER  |  WEBSITE

Book Review: Dark City, Bill Carson

Publisher: Bill Carson Books   |   Publication date:  24th July 2015  |  Edition: Kindle (Review copy)

Dark City My Review

Dark City by Bill CarsonFor a quick read, crime noir look no further.

The fast-paced Dark City features Nick Harland, an ex-detective turned steely private detective.

With the help of his expectant girlfriend, Anna, he solves nasty crimes and isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty – whatever the cost.

His priority is to the missing, the dead and those they leave behind. When a young woman is taken off the streets after a night out, the family enlist Harland’s expertise. But working with the police authorities can be frustrating, especially when those higher up the professional ladder don’t want to play ball. Sometimes this forces you to take matters into your own hands, which is precisely what our PI does when alarms bells start ringing.

There are similarities with this current case and one he worked in the past when he was an officer himself. When Harland discovers that the vile culprit he arrested many years ago has just served his lengthy prison sentence and is back on the streets he vows to bring him in, when he can find him, that is.

As further developments occur, Harland takes things very personally. Undaunted, he endeavours to serve justice by applying his very own unique approach to a situation, even though this often gives him a bigger headache in the long run. There’s a balance to be struck between the type of criminal Harland seeks and the level of persuasion required to deal with them – be warned, it’s not always pretty, he can be quite merciless if you cross him.

This is book 4 of in the series, yet I enjoyed it as stand-alone having never read any of the others. References were made to our PI’s previous life but I didn’t feel I missed out on anything too crucial.

Dark City has more shades of dark than light. It’s not a book that dwells. It just gets on with it, much like its main character.

Rating: 4/5

(Many thanks to the author for providing a digital copy of this book for review.)

Dark City Book Summary

A must read for all those who like to sit uncomfortably on the edge of their seats.

Dark City is the fourth book in the Nick Harland detective series. In this one we follow him on his most perplexing and disturbing case to date, as he tracks down a serial killer from the past.  The book begins with an elderly man being released from prison, after serving seventeen years for a double murder. A few days after his release a young woman is snatched from outside a London pub.

The police seem to be dragging their heels, so the family of the missing girl call on the services of the tough, uncompromising ex murder squad detective, turned Private Investigator, Nick Harland. During his initial investigation another girl suddenly goes missing, he then gets a tip off that Charles Thorpe had just been released from prison. Nick knows the killer, as he was the detective who put him behind bars when he was a detective in the murder squad. And so the hunt is now on for Thorpe, and Nick will not rest until Thorpe is found, and he promises that Thorpe will pay the ultimate price for his crimes this time around.

Much more can’t be revealed, as it would give too much of the exciting plot away.
This is a fast paced dark and gritty story, packed with hard hitting action, highs and lows, intrigue and tension. This story has characters, that are good, and sometimes very, very bad. Dark City is crime noir in the truest sense.

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Book Summary Author Links

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Book Review: Time To Die (Detective Jennifer Knight Crime Thriller Series Book 2), by Caroline Mitchell

Publisher: Bookouture  |  Publication date:  24th September 2015  |  Edition: Kindle (Netgalley review copy)

Time to Die My Review

Time to Die by Caroline Mitchell Kindle Edition

Time To Die is devilishly chilling. To the tempo of Caroline Mitchell’s words, the ordinary becomes the extraordinary, resulting in yet another phenomenal read.

Following her run-in with The Grim Reaper in Don’t Turn Around (Book 1) the determined DC Jennifer Knight is settling in to her new role in Operation Moonlight; a squad of hand-picked detectives forming a team to solve the most inconceivable crimes.

Primarily, the police fight to keep order in our world, but what do you do when the suspects are committing crimes using skills they honed from beyond it? The team from Haven constabulary combines trained officers, whose duty it is to uphold the law by targeting these paranormal parasites.

They have their fair share of hoaxes and time wasters, until occasionally they face a menace more evil than they could ever imagine.

Under the watchful eye of DI Ethan Cole the team is already investigating a cult like group when they are called to attend an apparent suicide, but all is not as it seems and the incident shows up on their radar. They are deployed to apply their specialist skills, which includes the odd psychic ability coupled with some damn fine police work, to find a link to the victim and a mysterious tarot reader who recently predicted his death.

Coincidence? Maybe. That is until more incidents mount up, including one that touches an acquaintance of our Jennifer Knight.  Still the team are no closer to tracing the culprit responsible; as well as having a talent for predicting what the future has in store for our victims, our supernatural psycho can also conceal himself incredibly well and stay one step ahead of the game.

As the race to catch a killer is on, ravens are drawn to our DC Knight. They gather on rooftops to cast a disapproving eye over her progress and unnerve her further with their mocking caws. Well, they do call a group of ravens an unkindness, which is apt under the circumstances. Our fortune teller, who has an affinity for these threatening, feathered creatures, is creepily-insane and targets a certain class of person with his malevolent deeds. If The Raven asks if you’d like a reading, your future is already looking pretty bleak…

Time To Die is an awesome crime thriller, laced with an impressive supernatural essence. What you’ll discover is a thoroughly gripping story to sink your teeth into, one where you’re guaranteed a shock that will unveil itself in the most unexpected way.

Rating: 5/5 – Yep. It’s safe to say I’d happily recommend it.

(MAHOOSIVE thanks, as always, to the folks at Bookouture and Netgalley for providing a digital copy of this book for review.)

Time to Die Book Summary

Don’t ever cross his palm with silver.
He will reveal your most shameful secrets.
He will predict your death.
He is hiding a secret.
He is hiding a monster.
And all his predictions come true.

Investigating a series of chilling murders, Detective Jennifer Knight finds herself tracking a mysterious tarot card reader known only as The Raven.

As the death toll rises, Jennifer and her team build a picture of a serial killer on the edge of sanity, driven by dark forces. But these are not random killings. And the method behind the madness could be the most terrifying thing of all …

Especially when it seems the death of one of their own is on the cards.

Time to Die is an absolutely gripping serial killer thriller with a breath-taking supernatural twist.

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Time to Die Author Links

Caroline MitchellOriginally from Ireland, Caroline lives with her husband, four children and two dogs in a pretty village on the coast of Essex. Five years ago Caroline and her family encountered real life paranormal activity in their home. Paranormal Intruder is her best selling true story.

Caroline’s new novel, Don’t Turn Around has recently been published by Bookouture in a three book deal as part of her DC Jennifer Knight series. These edge of your seat crime thrillers are infused by Caroline’s experience in both the police and the paranormal. To find out more please subscribe at www.caroline-writes.com.

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To read my 5 star review of Book 1 in the Jennifer Knight series, click the image below…

Dont turn around

 

 

 

BOOK TOUR REVIEW + AUTHOR PROFILE: The Domino Killer, by Neil White

Publisher: Sphere (Little Brown) | Publication Date: 30th July 2015 | Edition: Kindle (Netgalley)

The Domino Killer Banner Blue

I’m delighted to be taking part in Neil White’s The Domino Killer book tour. Today, I review his excellent book – PLUS you will find an author profile for this talented chap at the end of the post.

BOOK SUMMARY:

When a man is found beaten to death in a local Manchester park, Detective Constable Sam Parker is one of the investigating officers. Sam swiftly identifies the victim, but what at first looks like an open and shut case quickly starts to unravel when he realises that the victim’s fingerprints were found on a knife at another crime scene, a month earlier.

Meanwhile, Sam’s brother, Joe – a criminal defence lawyer in the city – comes face to face with a man whose very presence sends shockwaves through his life. Joe must confront the demons of his past as he struggles to come to terms with the darkness that this man represents.

Before long, Joe and Sam are in way over their heads, both sucked into a terrifying game of cat-and-mouse that threatens to change their lives for ever…

Neil White My Review Domino Killer

The Domino Killer is a sinister concoction of ingredients, brewed methodically to perfection.

Joe Parker represents criminals for a living, not all of them as innocent as they plead. As a lawyer, it’s his job to offer the best The Domino Killer by Neil Whitedefence, regardless. His detective brother, Sam, catches the wriggling blighters.

While accepting a new client to defend for suspected arson of his own car, the brothers are drawn into the sociopathic world of a serial killer who has a penchant for young girls and a shedload of misery. As their sister was killed eighteen years previously, the investigation into her unsolved murder is unofficially reopened like an old wound exposing all kinds of nasties and guilt.

First impressions are deceptive in this tale. The story creeps along like a snakes belly, leaving a tricky trail of clues in its wake. Why this viper struck in this way makes no sense; the discovery of a man’s body in a park will lead the brothers and those they care for into a personal hell, where someone is setting them up for a fall in a clever little cascade.

It goes without saying that a lot of people are going to get hurt, as they are manipulated from a shady chat room scene. But what exactly connects each of them? It will take all of the Parker brothers’ resolve to join the dots, especially when suspicion comes knocking on one of their doors.

Sam, Joe and Joe’s assistant, Gina, an ex-copper who worked on his sister’s case, are soon faced with dilemmas galore – their professional ethics tell them one thing, their moral compass will steer them somewhere else entirely.

Trust. Grief. Revenge. The good guys contend with all of this. They are not heroes. They are portrayed as ordinary folk and are therefore guilty of a ‘severe lack of judgement syndrome’. This creates a more plausible and compelling plot, as they’re only human after all.

Can they stop the domino effect before one of them falls? Only if a dark truth from the past is revealed.

Although I did have an inkling of the final outcome it was still well played. It’s the first Neil White book I have read, but it certainly won’t be the last.

Most definitely recommended by me.

Rating: 4/5

Note: Although this is the 3rd book in the Parker Brothers’ series it can be read as a stand alone.

Buy the book:   The Domino Killer  Published on 30th July 2015.


Author Profile

Author links:   Twitter  |  Website  |  Amazon UK

Neil White - Author Profile flattened 3

Thanks for stopping by,

Wendy sig

(My sincere thanks to @Lizzy11268 for organising the Neil White book tour. Thanks also goes to the publisher and Netgalley for providing an advanced copy of this book for review.)

Hunted by Paul Finch (DS Mark Heckenburg 5)

Publisher: Harper Collins UK, Avon  |  Publication date: 7th May 2015  |  Edition: Kindle (via Netgalley)

Heck

DS Heckenburg is back in town in a plot that’ll draw you in, Heck, line and sinker.

HECK IS BACK IN TOWN!

I last encountered ‘Heck’ during his last investigation in the Lakes (in the eerily good Dead Man Walking). Although references are made to this past case and touches on a little on previous history, it’s only briefly. It certainly wouldn’t prevent someone new to this series from enjoying this book. The writer has made it incredibly easy to get stuck right straight in, just like Heck when he’s solving his cases!

The previous book was unnerving, but for me Hunted was so much better. It’s non-stop, it’s grim and it has even weirder perpetrators – the perfect crime combo!

With the level of heinous crimes being committed, the Serial Crimes Unit needs skilled officers like DS Mark Heckenburg: he’s hands-on, a quick-thinker and looks outside the box for answers.

Which is why he’s the first person his boss, DI Gemma Piper, calls on when her mum raises concerns about the death of a member of her golf club. Something seems peculiar to Piper’s mother. One Harold Lansing had recently died in an unfortunate car accident outside his home. However, prior to this he’d been involved in another strange incident where a model aeroplane knocked him unconscious and into water where he was fishing.

Is it coincidence, or something more sinister?

Cue Heck. As ‘odd’ is his speciality, he’s the best officer to apply his unique investigative skills and look for answers.

But what he can offer with his irregular methods solving crime, he loses in subtlety. He makes his way to the local station and in his usual style he quickly manages to ruffle a few feathers, including those of his temporary partner, the young and ambitious DC Gail Honeyford. Needless to say they don’t see eye to eye on the investigation.

As the case progresses, it becomes apparent that more ‘freakish accidents’ have occurred around leafy Surrey than would be considered normal. Once again, our main lead comes into contact with some very unsavoury characters and has a bizarre list of suspects to wade through. Of course, it’s all in a day’s work for Heck. But he should be careful not to draw the wrong kind of attention to himself…

If you like action-packed crime with a showdown or two thrown in, then the stage is set with Hunted. After reaching the end of this gruesome crime-spree in DS Mark Heckenburg’s latest case, I am officially #hookedonheck.

Rating: 4.5/5

(My sincere thanks for the publisher for allowing me to review this title. It’s a little cracker, so thank you.)


You can follow the author on Twitter: @paulfinchauthor  |  Publisher: @crimefix / @AvonBooksUK

What to read more about Heck? Click on the book cover to see my review of ‘Dead Man Walking’:

Dead Man Walking

Don’t Turn Around (Detective Jennifer Knight Crime Thriller Series Book 1), By Caroline Mitchell

Publisher: Bookouture  |  Published 24th April 2015  |  Edition: Kindle (via Netgalley)

Dont Turn Around

An perfectly atmospheric, paranormal crime thriller, that will make you want to look over your shoulder while reading…

If you’re looking for a brand spanking new crime wave-breaker, then look no further than the obsessive-compulsive Detective Constable Jennifer Knight – a determined wearer of killer heels with an intuition like no other on the force.

Despite her somewhat difficult childhood, when her parents both passed away under separate tragic circumstances, she’s a girl made good – it appears that upholding the law is in her blood, as she follows in their footsteps.

Yet she recently moved to Haven CID to escape a shadow she had cast on a previous investigation, although her keen investigative skills remain as sharp as her immaculate dress sense.

During her daily routine, Jennifer is called to interview a suspect known to her from long ago. The crime he’s accused of is out of character, so conducts the interview with the suspect, who is starting to behave rather strangely whilst in custody. As the investigation progresses and alarming comments are made, Jennifer is left wondering if there is something sinister than a knife attack is at work.

The interview disturbed her (well, it certainly disturbed me). But she dismissed it, so there’s no need to raise the cavalry and she goes home to her neat, but empty house. That is until she receives silent phone calls, progressing to a distinct feeling of being watched. Ach, she’s a trained police officer, she can cope – can’t she? Well, that would depend on who’s watching, wouldn’t it?

In the meantime, she goes about her job and attends other scenes of crime where sudden deaths have occurred. Similarities between individual cases her mother investigated many years ago start to brew, and Jennifer feels someone is taunting her. She’s trying to think straight: is it a copycat, or is she being paranoid?

Tarot Cards

You may not always hold the cards, but sometimes you should heed what they say…

Convincing her colleagues to listen to her theory that an extraordinary crime spree may be taking place will be the biggest battle she will face, and more than just a matter of life and death to those close to her; in addition to her habitual cleaning habit, it’s a battle she could do without.

And trying to ignore what’s appearing on her radar is getting her nowhere; she needs to trust her own instincts to achieve results, as someone IS watching, someone who lets us hear their side of the story during a few sinister visits to the past  – all expertly executed by the writer (excuse the pun).

This dangerous watcher already knows everything about her, but as a reader you’re just half a step behind him. Just be thankful he doesn’t know that you’re there:

…”Turn around pretty girl, come see what I have for you,” he thought….soon he would be able to touch her, to feel the warmth of her blood. And when the time came, no one would stop him.

walking-in-dark-street

Just #DontTurnAround

Soon, Jennifer’s own past catches up with her and she doesn’t even realise until it’s breathing down her neck. I even found myself holding my breath as I waited for the story to unfurl!

Guesswork will only get you so far with this one; I didn’t foresee the destination until I’d arrived. It has a brilliant ending that couldn’t have been better if it had been wrapped up with a bow – I would go as far as to say it’s a TV series just waiting to be made.

With the promise of more books by Caroline Mitchell in the pipeline, I’m looking forward to see just where DC Jennifer Knight’s journey will take us next.

In the meantime, may the police-force be with you…

Rating: 5/5

My sincere thanks to Bookouture, who allowed me to download this superb book from Netgalley 🙂


Caroline Mitchell

Caroline Mitchell, Author of Don’t Turn Around

 

You can follow the author on Twitter: @Caroline_writes

Publisher: @bookouture

Visit Caroline’s blog for more details of this new book and further updates on her writing: http://caroline-writes.com/

 

Silent Scream (Detective Kim Stone Book 1), by Angela Marsons

Publisher: Bookouture | Published: 20th February 2015 | Edition: Kindle (own copy)

The innocence of the life taken was known to them all but the pact had been made. Their secrets would be buried…

Good grief, what a ride!

Silent Scream THIS ONE

Silent Scream is a crime reader’s dream…

Silent Scream is a crime reader’s dream. Pacey and plot driven, it is filled with ‘real’ characters that you gain an immediate rapport with.

The story unfolds in 2004 with five people huddled around a fresh grave on a winter’s night. This was such a great opener, I just had to read on to discover who had succumbed to this awful fate. It didn’t take long for me to become addicted to each and every chapter.

In the present day, when headmistress Teresa Wyatt is found murdered in her own home, a punchy, determined, take-no-messing Detective Inspector named Kim Stone is called to investigate her death.

The enquiry into this seemingly unmotivated attack leads our Detective and her team down a winding historical path. Whilst revisiting the past, the investigation takes them to the scene of an old children’s home in the Black Country where the murdered Principle used to work.

The home had previously been destroyed by fire, but the ground on which it stood had become the subject of a recently permitted archaeological dig: Cue our elusive watcher in the shadows…

With the body count starting to rise, some slightly unorthodox investigative processes are deemed necessary to catch a killer who seems to be determined to see through what they’ve started. But will Stone’s usual resolve be strong enough in order to catch them? Only time with tell if she will succeed – as this case grows darker, the Detective must also confront her own past.  By the end of the story you see that victims and survivors come from all walks of life.

If you’re still thinking you’re in need of a little more atmosphere after all that, the killer also ‘voices’ their creepy motivations periodically. These little snippets are fed to readers at perfect opportunities. And if that doesn’t convince you, there is the most excellent finale.

This is the first book I’ve read with the local Black Country Dialect included in parts of the dialogue and it was conveyed perfectly. It’s a cracking debut and one I would thoroughly recommend.

So, here’s hoping ‘The Scream’ goes on for a very long time.

(Book 2 in this series was published on 29th May 2015 and is even more exceptional. You can read my review here:  Evil Games )

Rating: 5/5


CONNECT WITH THE AUTHOR:

And you can follow the both the writer and the publisher on Twitter:

Author: @WriteAngie  |  Publisher: @Bookouture

TWITTER  |  FACEBOOK  |  WEBSITE

BOOKS IN THE DI KIM STONE SERIES:


Concerning the locality: 

On a personal note, I’m now nick-naming this book Silent Squeal. After working in this area for over twenty years I recognised all of the places in it. It’s such a cracking story, I don’t think I can pass the main murder scene again without thinking about this book…