The Kind Worth Killing – Peter Swanson

Psychological Thriller 5*'s

Psychological Thriller
5*’s

The magnificent Strangers On A Train has had a makeover – here we have two strangers, Ted Severson with at least one too many Gin Martini’s inside him and Lily Kintner who joins him in an airport lounge. The conversation starts and Lily proposes that they tell each other only the truth…. After all they will never meet each other again. During the flight from Heathrow to Boston the conversation continues, aided by another drink or two and Ted confesses that he wants to kill his wife, she’s been unfaithful and if he divorces her she will get the proceeds of his hard-work. To his, and my, surprise she offers to help stating…

After all, some people are the kind worth killing, like a lying, stinking, cheating spouse. . . .”

Following the trip Ted and Lily plan to meet, and an assignation is set in an anonymous bar, in a town where neither are known. Ted goes home to Miranda and to the more mundane issue of the restoration of the dream house that he is funding all the time deciding whether he will meet Lily or not.

Lily was late, and as I slowly sipped my Guinness, I became convinced she was not going to show up. I felt a strange combination of relief and disappointment. If I never saw Lily again my life would return to normal. Could I honestly say I would still murder my wife without her help and her encouragement?

A Kind Worth Killing took a few pages to truly captivate me, but once it did I was blown away by the seemingly endless twists and turns and the play the author makes on your emotion all of which are at such a frequency that had me struggling to catch my breath.

The story is told mainly by Ted and Lily and it is via their individual view of the situation that the reader is able to piece together a far bigger picture than first appears to be the case. Later on a detective’s viewpoint is thrown into the mix adding yet more shades to this murky, disturbing and thoroughly enthralling tale. The story was far deeper and darker than I expected and you will struggle to find a character to admire in the whole of the 325 pages, but if you are anything like me you will be interested in what makes them tick!

This book has an almost cinematic feeling and I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see this as a film in the not too distant future.

I’d like to say an enormous thank you to the publishers Faber and Faber for allowing me to read this stunning thriller which was published on 19 February 2015. I was clearly wrong for resisting The Girl With A Heart For A Clock, Peter Swanson’s first novel and will be remedying this very soon.

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Five of the Best (February 2011 to 2015)

5 Star Reads

As I have now been reviewing for over five years I thought I’d highlight my favourite book for each month from 2011 until 2015 to remind myself of the good ones. When we are talking five years ago, they must be good if I still remember them! Here is January’s top five in case you missed it: January 2011 to 2015 but now to February!

2011

Read while holidaying in the Bahamas was another great read from one of my favourite authors, Kate Morton with The Distant Hours.  This wasn’t as popular as her previous two novels The Distant Hours and The Forgotten Garden but I liked the change in style and time period.

The Distant Hours

Blurb

Edie Burchill and her mother have never been close, but when a long lost letter arrives with the return address of Milderhurst Castle, Kent, printed on its envelope, Edie begins to suspect that her mother’s emotional distance masks an old secret. Evacuated from London as a thirteen year old girl, Edie’s mother is chosen by the mysterious Juniper Blythe, and taken to live at Millderhurst Castle with the Blythe family. Fifty years later, Edie too is drawn to Milderhurst and the eccentric Sisters Blythe. Old ladies now, the three still live together, the twins nursing Juniper, whose abandonment by her fiancé in 1941 plunged her into madness. Inside the decaying castle, Edie begins to unravel her mother’s past. But there are other secrets hidden in the stones of Milderhurst Castle, and Edie is about to learn more than she expected. The truth of what happened in the distant hours has been waiting a long time for someone to find it . . . Amazon

2012 yr

In February 2012 I read Dead Scared by Sharon Bolton, the second in the Lacey Flint series.  This series quickly became a fixture on my ‘must-read’  list and I eagerly await the latest addition as soon as I’ve read the last.

Dead Scared
Blurb

When a rash of suicides tears through Cambridge University, DI Mark Joesbury recruits DC Lacey Flint to go undercover as a student to investigate. Although each student’s death appears to be a suicide, the psychological histories, social networks, and online activities of the students involved share remarkable similarities, and the London police are not convinced that the victims acted alone. They believe that someone might be preying on lonely and insecure students and either encouraging them to take their own lives or actually luring them to their deaths. As long as Lacey can play the role of a vulnerable young woman, she may be able to stop these deaths, but is it just a role for her? With her fragile past, is she drawing out the killers, or is she herself being drawn into a deadly game where she’s a perfect victim? Amazon

2013yr

In February 2013 I read Human Remains by Elizabeth Haynes which features Police data analyst, Annabel, in a disturbing dark thriller.

Human Remains

Blurb

When Annabel, a police analyst, discovers her neighbour’s decomposing body in the house next door, she’s appalled to think that no one, including herself, noticed that anything was wrong.
Back at work, she feels compelled to investigate, despite her colleagues’ lack of interest, and finds data showing that such cases are common – too common – in her home town. As she’s drawn deeper into the mystery and becomes convinced she’s on the trail of a killer, she also must face her own demons and her own mortality. Would anyone notice if she just disappeared? Goodreads

2014yr
February 2014 was full of some of my favourite books of the year with many strong contenders so I have decided pick one of the two five star reads by a debut author; A Pleasure and a Calling by Phil Hogan.  For some reason this book has been given a new wacky cover which I don’t like so I’m featuring the old one!
A Pleasure and a Calling

You won’t remember Mr Heming. He showed you round your comfortable home, suggested a sustainable financial package, negotiated a price with the owner and called you with the good news. The less good news is that, all these years later, he still has the key.
That’s absurd, you laugh. Of all the many hundreds of houses he has sold, why would he still have the key to mine?
The answer to that is, he has the keys to them all.
William Heming’s every pleasure is in his leafy community. He loves and knows every inch of it, feels nurtured by it, and would defend it – perhaps not with his life but if it came to it, with yours… Amazon

2015yr
The end of February 2015 reading has seen a clutch of five star reads with a number of contenders for the top spot but I have decided to plump for an author whose fourth book was as ingenious and as satisfying as her previous three; Rachel Abbott with Stranger Child.

Stranger Child

Blurb

One Dark Secret. One act of revenge.
When Emma Joseph met her husband David, he was a man shattered by grief. His first wife had been killed outright when her car veered off the road. Just as tragically, their six-year-old daughter mysteriously vanished from the scene of the accident.
Now, six years later, Emma believes the painful years are behind them. She and David have built a new life together and have a beautiful baby son, Ollie.
Then a stranger walks into their lives, and their world tilts on its axis.
Emma’s life no longer feels secure. Does she know what really happened all those years ago? And why does she feel so frightened for herself and for her baby?
When a desperate Emma reaches out to her old friend DCI Tom Douglas for help, she puts all their lives in jeopardy. Before long, a web of deceit is revealed that shocks both Emma and Tom to the core.
They say you should never trust a stranger. Maybe they’re right.

5 Star Reads

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Friday Finds (February 27)

Friday Finds Hosted by Should be Reading

FRIDAY FINDS showcases the books you ‘found’ and added to your To Be Read (TBR) list… whether you found them online, or in a bookstore, or in the library — wherever! (they aren’t necessarily books you purchased).

I went to the local charity shop and found a copy of A Quiet Belief in Angels by R.J. Ellory which had been on my wishlist for some time.

A Quiet Belief in Angels

Blurb

In 1930s Georgia, 12 year-old Joseph Vaughan hears of the brutal murder of a young girl, the first of a series of killings that will take ten lives in the subsequent decade. Compelled by fear and duty, Joseph and his friends establish The Guardians, a group of children determined to protect the people of Augusta Falls. Goodreads

I just had to treat myself to The Telegraph Book of the First World War edited by Gavin Fuller after reading a magnificent review of this FictionFan’s Book Reviews

The Telegraph Book of the First World War


Blurb

One hundred years on, the First World War has not lost its power to clutch at the heart. But how much do we really know about the war that would shape the 20th Century? And, all the more poignantly, how much did people know at the time?
Today, someone fires a shot on the other side of the world and we read about it online a few seconds later. In 1914, with storm clouds gathering over Europe, wireless telephony was in its infancy. So newspapers such as the Daily Telegraph were, for the British public, their only access to official news about the progress of the war.
These reports, many of them eye-witness dispatches, written by correspondents of the Daily Telegraph, bring the First World War to life in an intriguing new way. At times, the effect is terrifying, as accounts of the Somme, Flanders and Gallipoli depict brave and glorious victories, and the distinction between truth and propaganda becomes alarmingly blurred. Some exude a sense of dramatic irony that is almost excruciating, as one catches glimpses of how little the ordinary British people were told during the war of the havoc that was being wrought in their name.
Poignant, passionate and shot-through with moments of bleak humour, The Telegraph Book of the First World War is a full account of the war by some of the country’s most brilliant and colourful correspondents, whose reportage shaped the way that the war would be understood for generations to come. Goodreads

From NetGalley I have a copy of How I Lost You by Jenny Blackhurst which looks sufficiently harrowing to make my day!

How I Lost You

Blurb

They told her she killed her son. She served her time. But what if they lied?
I have no memory of what happened but I was told I killed my son. And you believe what your loved ones, your doctor and the police tell you, don’t you?
My name is Emma Cartwright. Three years ago I was Susan Webster, and I murdered my twelve-week-old son Dylan. I was sent to Oakdale Psychiatric Institute for my crime, and four weeks ago I was released early on parole with a new identity, address and a chance to rebuild my shattered life.
This morning, I received an envelope addressed to Susan Webster. Inside it was a photograph of a toddler called Dylan. Now I am questioning everything I believe because if I have no memory of the event, how can I truly believe he’s dead?
If there was the smallest chance your son was alive, what would you do to get him back? NetGalley

and finally I have a copy of The Ghost Fields by the wonderful Elly Griffiths which is due to be published 26 March 2015 by Quercus.

The Ghost Fields
Blurb

Norfolk is experiencing a July heatwave when a construction crew unearths a macabre discovery – a buried WWII plane with the pilot still inside. Forensic archaeologist Ruth Galloway quickly realizes that the skeleton couldn’t possibly be the pilot, and DNA tests identify the man as Fred Blackstock, a local aristocrat who had been reported dead at sea. When the remaining members of the Blackstock family learn about the discovery, they seem strangely frightened by the news.
Events are further complicated by a TV company that wants to make a film about Norfolk’s deserted air force bases, the so-called Ghost Fields, which have been partially converted into a pig farm run by one of the younger Blackstocks. As production begins, Ruth notices a mysterious man lurking close to the Blackstocks’ family home.
Then human bones are found on the family’s pig farm. Can the team outrace a looming flood to find a killer? NetGalley

What have you found this week? Do share!

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Silent Scream – Angela Marsons

Crime Fiction 5*'s

Crime Fiction
5*’s

I’ll be honest I wasn’t going to choose this book, after all I follow a number of different crime fiction series and I wasn’t sure that I needed to add another to the list until I saw a number of reviews for this one and decided to see for myself, and boy, am I glad I did. Why? Well DI Kim Stone is a fantastic protagonist, driven seemingly a hard-taskmaster, yet we are shown early on that her team are determined to go the extra mile for her which indicates there is far more to her character. Secondly the mystery element is fantastically complex giving this reader plenty of information to pit her admittedly poor detective skills against.

Set in the Black Country the author gives a good sense of the place with references to the industrial revolution that shaped this area, the book opens with a group of five gather round a shallow grave to bury a secret in 2004.

In the present day Kim Stone is called in to investigate the murder of a retired headmistress, Teresa Wyatt, and her team are soon given direction by their boss. Teresa Wyatt’s was a gruesome murder and seemingly it is a mystery as to why this respectable woman has invited such horror. Led by Kim the team follow a lead to the grounds of a former children’s home which only causes the mystery to deepen.

This is a book that wears its heart on its sleeve, unusual in crime fiction where the focus was as much on the why, as the who. Every element of this book is complex, not least DI Kim Stone but not in the now ubiquitous screwed-up cop but played with far more subtlety. This book isn’t about the main protagonist, or her team, yet it gives us enough feeling of the characters, mainly by showing us in their actions, to make them easily identifiable and leave the reader wanting to know more, absolutely essential for a series to be a success. I want to know more!

With tough issues at the heart of this book Angela Marsons has made a brave move, not every reader wants to go to sleep thinking about the murder of children and yet even the younger potential victims are given rounded characters, not for this author is the stereotypical angelic child who was preyed upon, nor the troubled youngster that invited trouble in return, rather we get distinct and believable characters, both major and minor.

I was gripped by this novel and the fast pace only served to keep me turning the pages frantically, desperate to know the truth which was kept hidden from right up until the moment of the reveal. I for one will be looking out with eagerness for the next in this series and have concluded that of course there is room in my life for one more crime fiction series, especially one as good as this.

I’d like to say a huge thank you to Bookouture for allowing me to have the opportunity to read this book in return for my honest opinion. This book is great, you can read it now as it was published on 20 February 2015.

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Broadchurch: Thirteen Hours – Erin Kelly

Short Story  4*'s

Short Story
4*’s

Well Broadchurch season two is now over although the viewers have been promised another series… I really don’t know where they can take this next but can guarantee that I will be watching.

This the last short book to accompany the series takes the reader right back to Alec Hardy’s entrance to Broadchurch which provides the perfect way of finishing this superb look at the various characters that inhabit Broadchurch.

This book shows us what we didn’t see at the beginning of series one, we see Alec hiding Claire, his ill-health in view, the sleepy town being the perfect place for him to finally uncover the truth of what happened at Sandbrook all in thirteen hours.

I have really enjoyed this series, Erin Kelly has managed to pack lots of detail and depth to each of the characters featured and I for one am going to sorely miss my weekly fix.

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Teaser Tuesday (February 24)

Kindle,jpg

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My teaser this week is from The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson

The Kind Worth Killing

Blurb

‘Hello there.’
I looked at the pale, freckled hand on the back of the empty bar seat next to me in the business class lounge of Heathrow airport, then up into the stranger’s face.
‘Do I know you?’
Delayed in London, Ted Severson meets a woman at the airport bar. Over cocktails they tell each other rather more than they should, and a dark plan is hatched – but are either of them being serious, could they actually go through with it and, if they did, what would be their chances of getting away with it?
Back in Boston, Ted’s wife Miranda is busy site managing the construction of their dream home, a beautiful house out on the Maine coastline. But what secrets is she carrying and to what lengths might she go to protect the vision she has of her deserved future?
A sublimely plotted novel of trust and betrayal, The Kind Worth Killing will keep you gripped and guessing late into the night. NetGalley

My Teaser

Lily was late, and as I slowly sipped my Guiness, I became convinced she was not going to show up. I felt a strange combination of relief and disappointment. If I never saw Lily again my life would return to normal. Could I honestly say I would still murder my wife without her help and her encouragement?

What do you think? Are you keen to know more?

Please share your teasers in the comments box below.

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Musing Monday (February 23)

Musing Mondays

Hosted by Should Be Reading
Musing Mondays asks you to muse about one of the following each week…

Musing Mondays is a weekly meme that asks you to choose one of the following prompts to answer:

  • I’m currently reading…
  • Up next I think I’ll read…
  • I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
  • I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I can’t wait to get a copy of…
  • I wish I could read ___, but…
  • I blogged about ____ this past week…

THIS WEEK’S RANDOM QUESTION: Do you enjoy debating / discussing the books that others are currently reading? Why, or why not?

I do like discussing books that others are reading especially if I have read the book but I am conscious that this is ultimately a book review blog and I would hate to give spoilers to other readers. For that reason some of the discussions need to be done in code!

I am currently reading The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson which was published on 19 February 2015.

The Kind Worth Killing

Blurb

‘Hello there.’
I looked at the pale, freckled hand on the back of the empty bar seat next to me in the business class lounge of Heathrow airport, then up into the stranger’s face.
‘Do I know you?’
Delayed in London, Ted Severson meets a woman at the airport bar. Over cocktails they tell each other rather more than they should, and a dark plan is hatched – but are either of them being serious, could they actually go through with it and, if they did, what would be their chances of getting away with it?
Back in Boston, Ted’s wife Miranda is busy site managing the construction of their dream home, a beautiful house out on the Maine coastline. But what secrets is she carrying and to what lengths might she go to protect the vision she has of her deserved future?
A sublimely plotted novel of trust and betrayal, The Kind Worth Killing will keep you gripped and guessing late into the night. NetGalley

I have just finished Silent Scream by Angela Marsons because I couldn’t resist the frenzy surrounding its release last week, it turns out that the frenzy was justified which is great because I believe we won’t have to wait too long for the next book Evil Games.
My review will follow soon

Silent Scream

Blurb

Even the darkest secrets can’t stay buried forever…
Five figures gather round a shallow grave. They had all taken turns to dig. An adult-sized hole would have taken longer. An innocent life had been taken but the pact had been made. Their secrets would be buried, bound in blood …
Years later, a headmistress is found brutally strangled, the first in a spate of gruesome murders which shock the Black Country.
But when human remains are discovered at a former children’s home, disturbing secrets are also unearthed. D.I. Kim Stone fast realises she’s on the hunt for a twisted individual whose killing spree spans decades.
As the body count rises, Kim needs to stop the murderer before they strike again. But to catch the killer, can Kim confront the demons of her own past before it’s too late? NetGalley

Up next is The Abrupt Physics of Dying by Paul E Hardisty

The Abrupt Physics of Dying

Blurb

Claymore Straker is trying to forget a violent past. Working as an oil company engineer in the wilds of Yemen, he is hijacked at gunpoint by Islamic terrorists. Clay has a choice: help uncover the cause of a mysterious sickness afflicting the village of Al Urush, close to the company’s oil-processing facility, or watch Abdulkader, his driver and close friend, die. As the country descends into civil war and village children start dying, Clay finds himself caught up in a ruthless struggle between opposing armies, controllers of the country’s oil wealth, Yemen’s shadowy secret service, and rival terrorist factions. As Clay scrambles to keep his friend alive, he meets Rania, a troubled journalist. Together, they try to uncover the truth about Al Urush. But nothing in this ancient, unforgiving place is as it seems. Accused of a murder he did not commit, put on the CIA’s most-wanted list, Clay must come to terms with his past and confront the powerful forces that want him dead. A stunning debut eco-thriller, The Abrupt Physics of Dying is largely based on true events – the horrific destruction of fresh water and lives by oil giants. Gritty, gripping and shocking, this book will not only open your eyes but keep them glued to the page until the final, stunning denouement is reached. Amazon

What are you reading this week? Do share!

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Stranger Child – Rachel Abbott

Psychological Thriller 5*'s

Psychological Thriller
5*’s

Stranger Child is Rachel Abbott’s fourth book but rest assured, she hasn’t run out of good ideas yet.

Emma Joseph is married to David a successful man whose first wife, Caroline, died in a car accident six years before. Emma lives with the reminder of her beauty in a painting and the memories of the long years where she supported him with his grief because David didn’t just lose his wife in the accident before the emergency services arrived his six-year-old daughter, Natasha, disappeared, seemingly into thin air. Finally life is looking up and Emma and David have had baby Ollie and Emma is enjoying motherhood and then one day everything changes,

What would you do if you were at home gazing out of the kitchen window and this happened?

It was a pair of eyes. A pair of eyes that were behind her, watching. Close behind her. In her kitchen. A beam of sunlight burst through the black clouds, hitting the kitchen window and obliterating the reflection as if it had never been there. Emma’s fingers gripped the edge of the sink. Had she imagined it? But as quickly as the sun had come out, it was chased away by the squally clouds and the mirror image returned. Locking eyes with the ghostly reflection that ebbed and flowed as the light outside adjusted from black to grey, Emma groped along the draining board, searching with her fingers for a weapon. Reaching up to the cutlery holder, she felt a sharp pain and a rush of liquid warmth as her fingers grasped the blade of a sharp boning knife, and she followed the steel down to grip the handle with damp, sticky fingers.

It doesn’t take long before Emma calls on her friend DCI Tom Douglas, who readers of Rachel Abbott’s previous books will remember. In my mind’s eye he is dashingly gorgeous and a thoroughly upright Police Officer who really cares about the victims in the cases he investigates. Anyway I digress, Emma soon realises that perhaps in this situation she shouldn’t have involved the Police as things get much, much worse.

I love a good psychological thriller and this one definitely has the thrill aspect at its heart assisted by the fast pace full of tension from the opening sentence.This is one of those books that I shelve under compulsive reading, I know from the start that I’m in for a treat and I just have to keep flicking the pages to see what delightful twist will present itself on the next page, to observe each character adapt as they accustom themselves to new pieces of information the events unfold. One of the things I love about Rebecca Abbott’s writing is that her characters feel realistic because they react like real people even in extraordinary situations, although there are several people in this book that I wouldn’t fancy meeting on a dark night, or even in broad daylight! As in the previous books Tom Douglas is working with Becky Robinson and it is lovely to have such a supportive working relationship within crime fiction and although we only ever get snippets of their personal lives it is clear that Tom is still struggling to come to terms with his elder brother’s death some years before.

The only complaint I have is that the short chapters that break up the 350+ pages meant that I felt like a child again as I murmured to myself, just one more chapter, at least a dozen times after I should have been fast asleep and saying to your colleagues that you’re tired because you read too much the night before didn’t really garner me much sympathy.

If you haven’t read any of Rachel Abbott’s earlier books in this series, you really should although each one can be comfortably be read as a stand-alone as no reference is made to previous cases so once you’re hooked you can start at the beginning.

I was given a copy of this book to read and review prior to the publication date of 24 February 2015.

Rachel Abbott is the UK’s most successful independently published author. She was born just outside Manchester. She became a systems analyst, forming her own software company in the mid-80s and selling it in 2000. She then moved with her husband to Italy and bought a small ruined monastery with its own chapel, restoring it and making it into a home. In 2009 she decided to try writing a novel. Only The Innocent was published in 2011 and was a number 1 e-book bestseller for four weeks from mid-February 2012. Her subsequent books, The Back Road and Sleep Tight, were also bestsellers. Her work is translated into seven languages. Following the report of her million sales in The Sunday Times, Rachel Abbott declared herself ‘astounded’ by the numbers, and by the fact that her first three  books had remained in the Amazon Kindle top 100 for the best part of six months.

Buy your copy from  Amazon

You can also contact Rachel Abbott at the following places and if you act quickly you can join in with her launch party next week which I will be attending to try and win one of the prizes!

Web :               rachel-abbott.com

Blog:                rachelabbottwriter.com

Twitter:           @Rachel__Abbott

Facebook:        RachelAbbott1Writer

The Rachel Abbot Books in order:

Read more about the previous books in the series:

Only The Innocent

Only The Innocent

Blurb

When Laura Fletcher approaches her home in Oxfordshire to find hordes of photographers crowding the gates, she knows there is something terribly wrong. She is faced with the shocking news that her husband is dead –
brutally murdered – and according to Chief Inspector Tom Douglas, there is little doubt that the murderer is a woman.
In a marriage that has taken her from the glamorous five sar luxury of London, Venice and Positano to a bleak and draughty manor house in rural Oxfordshire, Laura has learned to guard her secrets well. She is not alone. It would appear that all the women in her husband’s life have something to hide.
But there is one secret that she has never shared, and when the investigation reaches its dramatic and horrific climax, she realises that she has no choice. She has to give Tom Douglas the final piece of the puzzle. And this changes everything, leaving Douglas with a terrible dilemma: whether to punish the guilty, or protect the innocent.


The Back Road

Back Road

Blurb

A girl lies close to death in a dark, deserted lane.
A driver drags her body to the side of the road.
A shadowy figure hides in the trees, watching and waiting.
The small community of Little Melham is in shock.
For Ellie Saunders, last night’s hit and run on the back road could destroy everything she has. She was out that night, but if she reveals where she was and why, her family will be torn apart. She is living on a knife-edge, knowing that her every move is being observed.
Ellie’s new neighbour, former Detective Chief Inspector Tom Douglas has moved to the village for some well-deserved peace and quiet, but as he is drawn into the web of deceit his every instinct tells him that what happened that night was more than a tragic accident.
As past and present collide, best-kept secrets are revealed and lives are devastated. Only one person knows the whole story. And that person will protect the truth no matter what the cost.

Sleep Tight
click on the book cover to read my review

Sleep Tight

Stranger Child

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Peter James voted best crime writer of all time by WHSmiths Readers

Peter James

Peter James, was voted Best Crime Writer of all time by WHSmiths Readers this week against stiff competition including Ian Rankin, Lee Child, PD James, Patricia Cornwell, Val McDermid, James Patterson, Martina Cole, Agatha Christie and many others.

I have to say I was delighted to see this news come through on my twitter feed this morning as because as loyal readers of this blog will know this is my favourite crime series of all times. For once it appears my tastes are in line with the majority (well of WHSmiths voters anyway)

I honestly can’t remember when I picked up the first in the Roy Grace series, Dead Simple, but it was published in 2005 and since my copy has been through the two house moves I’ve undertaken since then I think I was early on the uptake! I do know that for many years I look forward to June not for the better weather, ice-creams, lighter evenings (although I enjoy those too) but because that is the month that the next in the series is published.

This year I have it on good authority that You Are Dead, the eleventh in the series, will be published in May 2015 and you won’t have to wait long see my review here.

So what does Peter have to say about his runaway win?

 “I was amazed – it is truly a list of giants. I am thrilled beyond words.  It is a massive honour, and a wonderful feeling that so many readers out there like my work enough to have voted for me.  I’d like to thank them all so much.”

Geoff Duffield, Commercial Director of Pan Macmillan added: “It’s not a surprise to see Peter voted as the best-loved thriller writer. This accolade is a direct response to his uncanny ability to connect to his readers through his writing, and through Detective Superintendent Roy Grace in particular”.

Why do I enjoy this series so much? Well for me there is always at least one good mystery in each book to solve, not that I ever do, Roy Grace isn’t a maverick detective, obnoxious or an alcoholic, instead he comes across as a very ordinary type of man, the story arc about his missing believed dead wife Sandy along with his now settled home-life with Cleo (what a brilliant choice of name that has no bearing on my love of this series) is neither dismissed nor too big a part of each book and Peter James draws believable characters to populate Brighton. What’s not to like?

Peter’s Roy Grace novels, Dead Like You, Dead Man’s Grip, Not Dead Yet, Dead Man’s Time and Want You Dead all went straight into the bestseller lists at No 1. in the Autumn of 2012, Not Dead Yet toppled the 50 Shades Of Grey trilogy off the No 1 paperback fiction slot, ending its 25 week domination of the chart. His novella, ‘The Perfect Murder’ (2010) went straight in at No 1 in the iBooks chart and spent 40 consecutive weeks in the iBooks Top 10. In 2014 it was adapted into a play called The Perfect Murder which had sell out audiences. Peter’s second play Dead Simple is currently on a sell out 6-month UK tour.

If you haven’t read any of Roy Grace Series by Peter James, you really should so  here are the books in order:

Dead Simple
Looking Good Dead
Not Dead Enough
Dead Man’s Footsteps
Dead Tomorrow
Dead Like You
Dead Man’s Grip
Not Dead Yet
Dead Man’s Time
Want You Dead

Click here to see more information on the top twenty crime writers along with all those authors who were voted for by WHSmiths’ readers. I’m very pleased to see that a fair few of my favourites made the list, are your favourites there too?

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Friday Finds (February 20)

Friday Finds Hosted by Should be Reading

FRIDAY FINDS showcases the books you ‘found’ and added to your To Be Read (TBR) list… whether you found them online, or in a bookstore, or in the library — wherever! (they aren’t necessarily books you purchased).

A quiet week on the book front for me this week with just two finds, both from NetGalley. Burnt Paper Sky by Gilly MacMillan is due to be published on 27 August 2015 by Little Brown Book Group UK.

Burnt Paper Sky

Blurb

Rachel Jenner turned her back for a moment. Now her eight-year-old son Ben is missing.
But what really happened that fateful afternoon?
Caught between her personal tragedy and a public who have turned against her, there is nobody left who Rachel can trust. But can the nation trust Rachel?
The clock is ticking to find Ben alive.
WHOSE SIDE ARE YOU ON? NetGalley

I also have a copy of The Quality of Silence by Rosamund Lupton whose debut novel Sister was a huge hit and although I wasn’t quite as impressed by her second book Afterwards, I’ve been looking out for her next book for quite a while. The Quality of Silence will be published on 2 July 2015 also by the Little Brown Book Group UK.

The Quality of Silence

Blurb

On 24th November Yasmin and her deaf daughter Ruby arrived in Alaska.
Within hours they were driving alone across a frozen wilderness
Where nothing grows
Where no one lives
Where tears freeze
And night will last for another 54 days.
They are looking for Ruby’s father.
Travelling deeper into a silent land.
They still cannot find him.
And someone is watching them in the dark. NetGalley

What have you found to read this week?

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