Posted in Book Review, Books I have read

The Killer on the Wall – Emma Kavanagh

Psychological Thriller
4*s

Isla was just fifteen when she came across three dead bodies sat up against Hadrian’s Wall. Alongside them was the brother of one of the victims, injured but still alive. Isla ran to get help from her father Sergeant Eric Bell and he made it his mission to find out who committed this atrocity in the small town community of Briganton. Life was never the same again, the scars of the events of 1995 never quite healing.

In the present day Isla is Professor of Criminal Psychology, her way of trying to ensure that future killers are stopped before they inflict any damage. She is currently involved in a project to scan the brains of serial killers to see what, if any difference, she can find to contrast their make-up to the vast majority of the population who don’t feel the urge to kill others.

It is no great surprise that one of the candidates for her study is Heath McGowan the man convicted of the terrible crimes that she discovered. Isla has had to overcome her fear, she does it daily, running the same path along the wall to banish those demons from twenty years ago but will she be able to face up to this particular psychopath? Imagine Isla’s horror shared with the rest of the small community, when another victim is found positioned in a similar pose to those of all those years ago.

The face of the Police investigation should be Eric Bell whose career flourished after he found the killer back in 1995 but I was far more entranced by Detective Constable Mina Arian who wasn’t afraid to follow her instincts in coming up with an explanation why the killings have started again.

As with all her previous books Emma Kavanagh draws heavily on her background in psychology, having gained a PhD in the subject at Cardiff University, and so you can rest assured this is not pop psychology but the real deal. It is this underlying truth that make her books so fascinating. The Killer on the Wall is fundamentally about psychopaths and in part how to first spot them (face it, you will know at least one) and to know that they will lie and cheat to get what they want no matter the cost to others. Fortunately for the rest of us, not all psychopaths need to kill us but nevertheless this is a book that hits that nerve where you realise that even in a community where everyone knows each other, you’re not as safe as you would like to believe.

The plot is not as fast moving as in the author’s previous books but as I’ve mentioned before, I’ve come to appreciate the slower pace which gives you time to reflect on the knowledge gained so far and I firmly believe that it is this pace that gives headroom for those deep-seated fears so the tension comes from as much within the reader as the words on the page – far more scary!!

I’d like to thank Arrow for providing me with an ARC of The Killer on the Wall, this review is my thanks to them and the immensely talented Emma Kavanagh – thank you for providing me with a real mystery set in a small town where everyone is under suspicion whilst the majority are terrified out of their wits.

First Published UK: 20 April 2017
Publisher: Arrow
No of Pages:  384
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Amazon UK
Amazon US

Other Great Reads by Emma Kavanagh

Falling
Hidden
The Missing Hours

Posted in Weekly Posts

This Week in Books (April 12)

This Week In Books
Hosted by Lipsy Lost & Found my Wednesday post gives you a taste of what I am reading this week. A similar meme is run by Taking on a World of Words

My current read is The Killer on the Wall by Emma Kavanagh which will be published on 20 April 2017.

Blurb

The first body comes as a shock
The second brings horror
The third signals the beginning of a nightmare

When fifteen-year-old Isla Bell finds three bodies propped against Hadrian’s Wall, her whole world falls apart. In such a close-knit community, everyone knows the victims, and the man who did it.
Twenty years on and Isla has dedicated her life to forensic psychology; studying the brains of serial killers, and even coming face to face with the convicted murderer who turned her world upside down. She is safe after all, with him behind bars.
Then another body appears against the Wall.
And another.
As the nightmare returns and the body count rises, everyone in town is a suspect.
Who is the Killer on the Wall? NetGalley

The last book I finished was Simon Said by Sarah R Shaber as part of my Mount TBR 2017 having bought the eBook in June 2015.



Blurb

Forensic historian Simon Shaw likes his murders old and cold, and his first case fits the bill. An archeologist friend has found a skeleton with a bullet hole in its skull under historic Bloodworth House, and Simon investigates with his usual doggedness until he discovers that the corpse is Anne Bloodworth, an heiress who disappeared in 1926. Shaw feels compelled to find out who killed her. But this turns out to be more than an academic exercise when someone who wants to hide past secrets tries to murder him! Amazon

Next up I plan to read Little Deaths by Emma Fling which keeps slipping down the TBR.

Blurb

It’s the summer of 1965, and the streets of Queens, New York shimmer in a heatwave. One July morning, Ruth Malone wakes to find a bedroom window wide open and her two young children missing. After a desperate search, the police make a horrifying discovery.
Noting Ruth’s perfectly made-up face and provocative clothing, the empty liquor bottles and love letters that litter her apartment, the detectives leap to convenient conclusions, fuelled by neighbourhood gossip and speculation. Sent to cover the case on his first major assignment, tabloid reporter Pete Wonicke at first can’t help but do the same. But the longer he spends watching Ruth, the more he learns about the darker workings of the police and the press. Soon, Pete begins to doubt everything he thought he knew.
Ruth Malone is enthralling, challenging and secretive – is she really capable of murder?
Haunting, intoxicating and heart-poundingly suspenseful, Little Deaths by Emma Flint is a gripping debut novel about love, morality and obsession, exploring the capacity for good and evil within us all. Amazon

So that’s my reading this week; what does yours look like?

Posted in Weekly Posts

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph (April 4)

First Chapter

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, from Tuesday/First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea Every Tuesday, Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea posts the opening paragraph (sometime two) of a book she decided to read based on the opening. Feel free to grab the banner and play along.

This week I have chosen my first paragraph from The Killer On The Wall by Emma Kavanagh an author whose books Falling and Hidden both wowed me!

Blurb

The first body comes as a shock
The second brings horror
The third signals the beginning of a nightmare

When fifteen-year-old Isla Bell finds three bodies propped against Hadrian’s Wall, her whole world falls apart. In such a close-knit community, everyone knows the victims, and the man who did it.
Twenty years on and Isla has dedicated her life to forensic psychology; studying the brains of serial killers, and even coming face to face with the convicted murderer who turned her world upside down. She is safe after all, with him behind bars.
Then another body appears against the Wall.
And another.
As the nightmare returns and the body count rises, everyone in town is a suspect.
Who is the Killer on the Wall? NetGalley

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph ~ Intro

1

22 July, 1996

It began with the bodies.
They had been seated, backs propped up against the tumble down stones of Hadrian’s Wall, faces a bitter white. Their heads were tilted forwards, their jaws grazing their sternums. You might have thought they were sleeping. But there was the colour of them, the rigid emptiness of them, the first shadowy scent of decomposition riding on the promising day to come.
Fifteen year old Isla Bell felt the ground sway beneath her, the village and the moors retreating far far away, so that it was just her and the dead.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

A fairly grim opening I think you’ll agree but what do you think? Would you keep reading?

Posted in Weekly Posts

Weekly Wrap Up (March 19)

Weekly Wrap Up

This Week on the Blog

Well the surprise post of the week was the first one with my review of Anne Perry and the Murder of the Century by Peter Graham garnering a lot of interest and some lively discussions. It seems like I’m not the only one that feels uneasy about a murderer writing about murder although other bloggers love her books, despite her background.

My excerpt post this week was from The Special Girls by Isabelle Grey, the third in the DI Grace Fisher series

On my This Week in Books Post I shared my reads for the week which included my first poisoner book of 2017 by Kathryn Harkup, Louise Walters and Andrée A. Michaud.

My second review of the week was for Cut Short by Leigh Russell which is the opener to the Geraldine Steel series which showed a lot of promise.

Last but by no means least I finally reviewed the first book I’ve read by Yrsa Sigurðardóttir, The Legacy, the first of The Children’s House series.

The week ended on a high note with the latest Put a Book on the Map feature which visited Derby with DI Damen Brook in a post written by the author Steven Dunne and Blogger Mary Mayfield of Our Online Book Reviews.

This Time Last Year…

I was reading the second in the DI Grace Fisher series, Shot Through the Heart by Isabelle Grey. This is a book that goes straight to the action with a tense moment as we follow a man driving through a quiet Essex town on Christmas Day. In the back of his van are presents for his children… and a gun.

You can read my full review here or click on the book cover

Blurb

When a lone shooter claims the lives of five people on Christmas Day before turning the gun on himself, it’s up to DI Grace Fisher to find out, not who did it, but why and how.
Tracing the illegal weapon and its deadly load of homemade bullets, she soon uncovers a toxic web of police corruption, personal vendettas and revenge. But when the enemy is within, who will believe her?
As threats to her safety mount up and the strain of secrecy begins to wreck her friendships, Grace must decide how far she wants to pursue justice – and at what cost. Amazon

Stacking the Shelves

Well the restraint(assisted by the fog) of the last couple of weeks has gone out of the window with a fair few new acquisitions – but oh, they look so good!!

In no particular order…

I treated myself to a copy of The Doctor’s Wife Is Dead by Andrew Tierney which looks stunning.

Blurb

A mysterious death in respectable society: a brilliant historical true crime story

In 1849, a woman called Ellen Langley died in Nenagh, Co. Tipperary. She was the wife of a prosperous local doctor. So why was she buried in a pauper’s coffin? Why had she been confined to the grim attic of the house she shared with her husband, and then exiled to a rented dwelling-room in an impoverished part of the famine-ravaged town? And why was her husband charged with murder?

Following every twist and turn of the inquest into Ellen Langley’s death and the trial of her husband, The Doctor’s Wife is Dead tells the story of an unhappy marriage, of a man’s confidence that he could get away with abusing his wife, and of the brave efforts of a number of ordinary citizens to hold him to account. Andrew Tierney has produced a tour de force of narrative nonfiction that shines a light on the double standards of Victorian law and morality and illuminates the weave of money, sex, ambition and respectability that defined the possibilities and limitations of married life. It is a gripping portrait of a marriage, a society and a shocking legal drama. Amazon

Through the post I received a copy of The Cleaner by Elisabeth Herrmann from the publishers Bonnier Zaffre so a big thanks to Emily Burns!

Blurb

Pools of blood, scenes of carnage, signs of agonising death – who deals with the aftermath of violence once the bodies have been taken away?

Judith Kepler has seen it all. She is a crime scene specialist. She turns crime scenes back into habitable spaces. She is a cleaner.

It is at the home of a woman who has been brutally murdered that she is suddenly confronted with her own past. The murder victim knew Judith’s secret: as a child Judith was sent to an orphanage under mysterious circumstances – parentage unknown. And the East German secret police were always there, in the background. . . .

When Judith begins to ask questions, she becomes the target of some powerful enemies.

And nothing will ever be the same again. Amazon

From Lovereading UK I received a copy of A Talent For Murder by Andrew Wilson which will be published on 6 April 2017.

Blurb


‘I wouldn’t scream if I were you. Unless you want the whole world to learn about your husband and his mistress.’

Agatha Christie, in London to visit her literary agent, boards a train, preoccupied and flustered in the knowledge that her husband Archie is having an affair. She feels a light touch on her back, causing her to lose her balance, then a sense of someone pulling her to safety from the rush of the incoming train. So begins a terrifying sequence of events. Her rescuer is no guardian angel; rather, he is a blackmailer of the most insidious, manipulative kind. Agatha must use every ounce of her cleverness and resourcefulness to thwart an adversary determined to exploit her genius for murder to kill on his behalf. Amazon

I also have a copy of What Goes Around by Julie Corbin which will be published in paperback (eBook format already available) on what appears to be the most popular day of the publishing year, 6 April 2017

Blurb

Two women, two secrets, one murder…
If someone took away your perfect life
How far would you go to get it back?

Ellen’s family is her world. So when her husband leaves her for another woman, she is almost destroyed. But not quite, because Ellen has a plan, a way to make those who have hurt her suffer.
Leila is the other woman. She finally has everything she ever wanted. But Leila’s brother has come back into her life, raking up a past that needs to stay buried.

One of them will pay for their actions with their life, but which one? Amazon

Then there’s the NetGalley acquisitions… One of which is The Killer On The Wall from the talented Emma Kavanagh which is due to be published on 23 April 2017.

Blurb

The first body comes as a shock
The second brings horror
The third signals the beginning of a nightmare
When fifteen-year-old Isla Bell finds three bodies propped against Hadrian’s Wall, her whole world falls apart. In such a close-knit community, everyone knows the victims, and the man who did it.
Twenty years on and Isla has dedicated her life to forensic psychology; studying the brains of serial killers, and even coming face to face with the convicted murderer who turned her world upside down. She is safe after all, with him behind bars.
Then another body appears against the Wall.
And another.
As the nightmare returns and the body count rises, everyone in town is a suspect.
Who is the Killer on the Wall? NetGalley

As I will be far too busy reading for the next week to acquire anything new – my other finds will wait until next week.

What have you found to read this week? Do share, as you can see I’m always on the lookout for a good book!

tbr-watch

Since my last post I’ve read 3 books and gained 7 so the grand total is inching upwards to 191
Physical Books – 119
Kindle Books – 64
NetGalley Books – 17