#BlogTour Pretty Little Things by T.M.E. Walsh

prettyfin

Today it is a pleasure to host the BlogTour for Pretty Little Things by T.M.E. Walsh. It is truly a wicked psychological thriller, in every sense of the word. Walsh really knows how to keep readers hooked.

About the Author

Tania (T. M. E.) Walsh is the author of the DCI Claire Winters series. Tania began writing full time after becoming a casualty to the recession in late 2008.

The first DCI Claire Winters book, ‘For All Our Sins’, was originally published in February 2011. When the rights reverted back to the author, the novel then underwent a re-write.

Tania went on to successfully self-publish ‘For All Our Sins’, and the second novel in the series, ‘The Principle of Evil’, in 2013. Both novels appeared in the various best-selling Amazon Kindle charts, before being picked up by HQ Digital – a division of HarperCollins – in 2015.

‘For All Our Sins’ was published in September 2015, ‘The Principle of Evil’ in February 2016, and ‘Trial by Execution’ followed in February 2017, all published by HarperCollins.

Tania lives in Hertfordshire with her husband and young daughter.

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Visit tmewalsh.com

Buy Pretty Little Things

About the book

It’s bad when the girls go missing. It’s worse when the girls are found.

Six months ago, Charlotte almost lost everything. Now, she’s determined to keep her daughter, Elle, safe. So when local girls close to Elle in age and appearance begin to go missing, it’s her worst nightmare.

Charlotte’s fears are confirmed when a frantic search becomes a shocking murder investigation. The girls’ bodies have been found – half-buried, and with traces of mud and wildflowers under their fingernails.

As Charlotte’s obsession with keeping her daughter close pushes her marriage to the brink, local DI Madeleine Wood embarks on a gruelling search for the killer. And, as they dig deeper into the lives of the people they call friends and neighbours, they uncover secrets more terrible than they ever imagined…

Review

Nice one.

Seriously, it’s a wicked plot. The solution comes completely out of left field, it’s a bit like being slapped unexpectedly up the side of the head with a really fat wet kipper, and then just standing there completely dumbstruck. *Bows down to the author*

It’s fair to say that things haven’t been the same for Charlotte since she was involved in a nearly fatal accident a few months ago. Her face is scarred, which makes her feel insecure, and her memory is as reliable as a leaky tap. The difference is you can fix or replace a tap, whereas Charlotte can’t be fixed and sometimes has no idea whether she is coming or going.

Her insecurities and post-traumatic stress have become consistently worse, especially because she refuses to seek any medical attention. Her husband has started to look elsewhere for comfort, her daughter resents the control issues her mother has, and Charlotte herself has become too attached to the man who saved her life.

Everything comes to a head when the corpses of young girls are found. There is a predator on the loose and Charlotte is determined to make sure her daughter doesn’t become one of his next victims, because the killer has already struck too close to home for comfort.

Walsh writes a compelling piece of crime with fascinating characters, and the plotting is done with an almost criminal air of nonchalance. With a kind of cheeky disregard for what the reader might have been expecting, which is incredibly clever from a plot perspective.

I will definitely be reading more by this author in future. I always appreciate a devious mind and a storyteller who is willing to bend the rules in order to deliver a read one won’t easily forget. It messes with your head, but in a nice evil way.

Buy Pretty Little Things at Amazon Uk or go to Goodread for any other retailer.

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#BlogTour Dead Girls by Graeme Cameron

Today it really is my absolute pleasure to take part in the BlogTour for Dead Girls by Graeme Cameron. Dead Girls is the sequel to the successful psychological thriller Normal. When I read Normal in 2015 I knew Cameron was one of the as yet small group of writers willing to extend and break the boundaries of the crime genre.

About the Author

Graeme Cameron is the bestselling author of Normal and its sequel, Dead Girls. He was born, raised and remains in Norfolk, where he juggles writing with a career in the motorsport industry. He is assisted in procrastinating by four children and such high-octane pursuits as photography, boardgaming, toy restoration, crochet, and bingeing on Netflix

Follow @GNCameron @HQStories

Visit graeme-cameron.com

Buy Dead Girls

About the book

I may not remember everything, but I know he won’t hurt anyone else. I won’t let him. 

It’s been two months since a serial killer brutally attacked police detective Alisha Green and left her for dead. Two months since she could effortlessly recall simple things, since her mind felt remotely sound. The nameless killer thinks he knows her, thinks she’s just another dead girl among many. Ali Green plans to show him he’s dead wrong about that.

Ali has two enemies now: the dangerous man she’s hunting and her own failing memory. As explosive new evidence comes to light and conflicting accounts from a witness and a surviving victim threaten both her investigation and her credibility, she begins to question what is and isn’t real. And now Ali has no choice but to remember the past…before it buries her.

A hypnotically gripping thriller that proves internationally bestselling author Graeme Cameron is one of the most unique voices in contemporary fiction today.

Review

This is the sequel to Normal (published 2015). It can be read as a standalone novel, because Cameron fills in enough of the blanks to be able to do that without it taking over this story or being repetitive. It starts off where the previous book ended, which was in the middle of an epic showdown between the discovery of an alleged serial killer, one of his victims and the police.

I absolutely recommend reading the first in this series, but not necessarily because it is the book that explains the events which continue to unfold in this book. I recommend reading it, because it is an exceptional and innovative read that stands out from the crowd. The whole reading experience of Normal takes place through the eyes, ears and narrative of the killer, the killer without a name or identity.

I was surprised the author decided to take this spectacular premise a step further, and yet also intrigued by the idea of how it could be accomplished. Needless to say I wasn’t disappointed. Once again Cameron delivers a sublime plot and intricately planned scenarios, dialogues and characters. At some points it is so convincing I’m not even sure he is absolutely sure or aware of the truth, and he is the one writing the story.

Although Ali is still suffering from the physical limitations caused by the attack at the end of the first book, unfortunately both her long and short term memory are letting her down, she is absolutely certain her theory is correct. No matter what the evidence suggests, she believes Erica is and was a victim, and that somewhere out there That Man is controlling the narrative of the investigation.

It makes her look incompetent and as if she is unable to cope. She knows her gut instinct is the best compass in a situation where her injuries have left her adrift at sea. Is it all in her mind, is she seeing conspiracy theories where there are none? Is Ali just in denial about the fact that a young girl has been traumatised to the extent that she is emulating the man who kept her in a cage?

At the moment Cameron doesn’t get the attention he deserves as a crime fiction writer. He has a natural instinct for creating suspense and tension. At times he makes you want look over your shoulder, just to make sure there isn’t anyone lurking in the shadows. In fact I might just stop using my rear view mirror, just saying.

It is a complex, twisted and fast-paced story. It will keep you on your toes and perhaps make you doubt what you know to be true. One of the most important characters controls everything like a Master of puppets without ever being present at all. I just love the whole premise of this series. it’s a stroke of genius.

Buy Dead Girls at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

Publisher Harper Collins UK, Pub. date 31 May 2018

Read my review of Normal by Graeme Cameron

Paper Ghosts by Julia Heaberlin

paper ghostsAt this point I am beginning to think Heaberlin may have the potential to be a really successful serial killer. Just kidding ( or maybe not, lol).

In both Paper Ghosts and Black-Eyed Susans she shows a frighteningly precise insight into the minds of killers capable of the most heinous of crimes.

I can identify with the main character and her reckless plan, as bizarre as that may sound. Not knowing the fate of your sister, child or loved one is sometimes worse than knowing all the possibly gruesome details of their death.

It all comes down to the desperation and the need for closure. Society teaches us to sit back and let the authorities do their job, however the reality is that they don’t have magic wands and can only follow the leads and evidence they are aware of, and it all has to be within the confines of the law. When the dots can’t be connected a high number of criminal cases go unsolved or remain without enough evidence to charge a particular suspect.

Grace has connected her own dots and the pattern that emerges is a scenario in which Carl is a serial killer, and the man who took her sister from her. She decides to revisit the scenes of old crimes to jog memories in the foggy confused mind of this man she believes to be a cruel killer.

She is playing a dangerous game with a man, who appears to be suffering from dementia, and yet at the same time he seems to be plotting the demise of his next victim. One moment he is clear enough to be a threat to her life and that of other unsuspecting victims, and the next he is saving dogs, cats and also Grace.

I loved this read. For one it definitely speaks to the random coincidences we sometimes convince ourselves are real connections, thereby creating false scenarios and accusations. Unfortunately for Grace these possible scenarios are based on circumstantial evidence, as opposed to direct evidence.

Heaberlin knows exactly how to create a feeling of suspense and fear. The kind of fear that creeps up on you from behind. You never know whether Carl is going to kill, maim or disfigure his prey, or be a friendly animal loving old man saving Grace from herself and her inner demons.

Even if it sounds like a cliché, if done correctly this would make a great film. It is a compelling and sinister character-driven read. The whole plot is based solely on the interactions between the two of them and the places they visit together. Haeberlin is a master of the mind-screw, building tension and twisted plots. Paper Ghosts is definitely taking a spot on my favourite books of 2018 list.

Buy Paper Ghosts at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

Follow @juliathrillers @MichaelJBooks @PenguinUkBooks

Visit juliaheaberlin.com

Read Black-Eyed Susans by Julia Heaberlin

#BlogTour The Perfect Girlfriend by Karen Hamilton

Around the Bloggerverse in 31 days and today the plane takes a short stop here! The Perfect Girlfriend by Karen Hamilton is the kind of story that breaks into your house, hides under your bed and creeps up on you from behind when you least expect it.

About the Author

Karen Hamilton spent her childhood in Angola, Zimbabwe, Belgium and Italy, and developed a love of travel through moving around so much. This led her to a career as a flight attendant, and it was in the air that she thought of the idea for her debut thriller THE PERFECT GIRLFRIEND, which aims to explore not only obsession, but also the true faces behind those who go to work in uniform. Karen is a recent graduate of the Faber Academy, and has now put down roots in Hampshire to raise her young family with her husband

Follow @KJHAuthor @Wildfirebks @headlinepg #ThePerfectGirlfriend #LoveYouToDeath

Buy The Perfect Girlfriend

About the book

Juliette loves Nate. The fact that he’s broken up with her doesn’t change that.She has a plan to win him back, starting with training as a flight attendant for the airline where he works as a pilot, so she can keep a closer eye on him. Twisting the self-help books she’s read, she takes the mantra ‘in charge of you own destiny’ to new extremes.She is the perfect girlfriend. And she’ll make sure no one stops her from getting exactly what she wants – the perfect boyfriend, the perfect life, the perfect ending.An utterly compelling voice that hooks you into Juliette’s world, a unique insight into the face behind the air hostess uniform from an author with first hand experience, and ultimately a completely page-turning experience make THE PERFECT GIRLFRIEND one to watch

Review

Juliette is in love with Nate. Head over heels, white picket fence and soulmate kind of love. Deeply, Madly, Truly. Well madly is true, because Juliette is madder than a March hare and Nate has no clue that they are destined to be together forever.

She has a plan to convince Nate that she is the perfect woman for him, and nothing is out of bounds to achieve her goal. She neither hears nor accepts the word no when it comes to her future and her plans.

Juliette pretends to be just a normal gal, and pretends to be sane. She keeps up the pleasant exterior, but now and again the true Juliette shines through, which makes some of her friends take a step back and it is the reason Nate broke up with her in the first place. Her place of comfort is to lie instinctively when questioned and cornered. Juliette really does not understand boundaries at all.

This is the kind of story that breaks into your house, hides under your bed and creeps up on you from behind when you least expect it. Hamilton has created the kind of character that makes the reader feel as if they are right there watching the stalker stalk their prey, and she isn’t afraid to give her readers an unconventional ending. The story begins with Juliette, ends with Juliette and is owned completely by Juliette.

I enjoyed the fact the author picked a woman to be the ex who refuses to let go, usually a man is cast in these types of roles. Nobody boils a bunny quite like a lady does. In fact I think all bunnies should run in the opposite direction if they see Juliette coming.

It is a popcorn munching, nail biting kind of read, with an audacious main character, who lets herself be deterred by nothing and no one. Hamilton plays it bold with the narcissistic Juliette. There is no room for mercy or forgiveness, it is selfish and self-absorbed, which makes it a really compelling read. Kudos to Hamilton for pulling it off.

Buy The Perfect Girlfriend at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

#BlogTour A Mother’s Sacrifice by Gemma Metcalfe

Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour for A Mother’s Sacrifice by Gemma MetCalfe. It is a fast-paced emotional read with some astute insights into infertility, abuse and post-partum depression, and woven into this thriller is a real threat. Or is there?

About the Author

Gemma Metcalfe is a Manchester born author who now lives in sunny Tenerife with her husband Danny and two crazy rescue dogs Dora and Diego. By day, Gemma can be found working as a Primary school teacher, but as the sun sets, she ditches the glitter and glue and becomes a writer of psychological thrillers. An established drama queen, she admits to having a rather warped imagination, and loves writing original plots with shocking twists. The plot for her debut novel ´Trust Me,´ is loosely based on her experiences as a call centre operative, where she was never quite sure who would answer the phone…

Follow @gemmakmetcalfe @HQDigitalUK

Buy A Mother’s Sacrifice

About the book

God ensured she crossed my path. And that is why I chose her.

The day Louisa and James bring their newborn son home from the hospital marks a new beginning for all of them. To hold their child in their arms, makes all the stress and trauma of fertility treatment worth it. Little Cory is theirs and theirs alone. Or so they think…

After her mother’s suicide when she was a child, Louisa’s life took an even darker turn. But meeting James changed everything. She can trust him to protect her, and to never leave her. Even if deep down, she worries that she has never told him the full truth about her past, or the truth about their baby.

But someone knows all her secrets – and that person is watching and waiting, with a twisted game that will try to take everything Louisa holds dear.

Review

What the author does exceptionally well is portray the ‘throw the Christians to the lions’ mentality between Louisa, Magda and Annette, especially when it comes to their infertility. Three women who bond because they are in the same boat, suddenly become envious adversaries when Louisa achieves the ultimate goal of a full term pregnancy and a beautiful baby.

This is actually one of the strengths of the story, the way the author doesn’t shy away from the reality of their emotions. Women struggling with infertility do feel envy and anger at women who have what they want. The need to have a child can become all-consuming, sometimes it can even be destructive. Not every relationship can withstand the strain of infertility, IVF and the desire for a child.

Metcalfe combines that sensitive topic with the often taboo topic of mental health, in this case post-partum depression and post-partum psychosis. Again giving the reader an excellent insight into the paranoia, fear and internal turmoil the mother feels in this situation. What is more upsetting is the feeling of powerlessness and loss of control. Everyone treats you like a ticking time-bomb and a child who needs to be sent to the naughty corner. You can feel Louisa being pulled between what she knows to be reality, what others tell her is real and what her paranoia is dictating to her at the same time. It is both frustrating and annoying.

Saying that there are of course two sides to every story, and somewhere in the middle is the truth, so what may seem like meddling and controlling is just concern. If you are on the outside watching your wife or partner go through post-partum depression, then your concern would be for the child and the mother. Their health and safety has to be at the top of the list. Any intervention would appear to be everything but helpful to someone suffering from the worst case scenario, which in this case is a post-partum psychosis.

Louisa has to battle with the trauma of her past and the insecurities of her present to keep her baby and herself safe. The question is whether she is strong enough to fight every single person in her vicinity.

A Mother’s Sacrifice deals with the very sensitive issues of mental health, post-partum depression and infertility. Not exactly easy topics to work with when you’re coming up with a plot for a psychological thriller, but Metcalfe pulls it off and more importantly she leaves a lasting impression. The kind of impression which will hopefully resonate with readers going through similar issues. Not the crazy stalker type of impression of course, but perhaps the sense that it is okay to feel negative emotions and anger when you’re going through difficult emotional upheavals in your life.

Buy A Mother’s Sacrifice at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

#BlogTour Bring Me Back by B.A. Paris

This is a cracking read, so I am delighted to take part in the BlogTour for Bring Me Back by B.A. Paris. Be prepared to doubt everything you read and be suspicious of every character. You just never know who might be lying.

About the Author

B A Paris is the internationally bestselling author of Behind Closed Doors and The Breakdown. Having sold over one million copies in the UK alone, she is a New York Times bestseller as well as a number one bestseller on Amazon and iBooks. Her books have sold in 37 territories around the world. Having lived in France for many years, she recently moved back to the UK. She has five daughters.

Her third novel, Bring Me Back is out 8th of March 2018.

Follow @BAParisAuthor @HQStories #ForgetSleep

Buy Bring Me Back

About the book

A young British couple are driving through France on holiday when they stop for gas. He runs in to pay, she stays in the car. When he returns her car door has been left open, but she’s not inside. No one ever sees her again.

Ten years later he’s engaged to be married; he’s happy, and his past is only a tiny part his life now. Until he comes home from work and finds his new wife-to-be is sitting on their sofa. She’s turning something over in her fingers, holding it up to the light. Something that would have no worth to anyone else, something only he and she would know about because his fiance is the sister of his missing first love.

As more and more questions are raised, their marriage becomes strained. Has his first love somehow come back to him after all this time? Or is the person who took her playing games with his mind?

Review

As per usual you just never know what you’re going to get when you read a B.A. Paris. Well, that isn’t exactly true, you do know you’re probably going to get a boatload of crazy.

Paris doesn’t just cross boundaries, she creates them. Watch her drawing those lines in the sand, the lines others are going to struggle to replicate or mirror, as she runs rings around her readers with this intricate plot. It’s a think outside of the box kind of read.

As a reader you think you have the plot sussed and then the author just whacks you up the side of the head with a completely different solution and scenario.

In this case the #ForgetSleep tag couldn’t be more accurate because your Sherlockian skills and grey cells will be asked to work overtime on Bring Me Back. Is Finn a killer? Did he forget the crime? Is she dead? Or is someone screwing with his already slightly unstable mind?

Finn has spent a lot of time recovering from the dark cloud of suspicion he has hanging over his head. The majority of people think he killed Layla, and it doesn’t help that the new love of his life is the sister of his missing girlfriend. It’s weird right?

Over a decade later the traumatic disappearance is brought back to the surface when a very specific item turns up, something that was really important to Layla and only a handful of people know about. It makes Finn doubt everything, even his relationship with Ellen. It’s as if an invisible person is slowly chipping away at the fake exterior and trying to expose the real Finn. The Finn with anger issues, the Finn who is controlling, and the Finn who lied to the police. Yeh, that Finn.

What happened to Layla is the question of the hour, and what kind of secrets Finn keeps hidden in the dark recesses of his mind. Paris plays with the tension like a predator with its prey. Meanwhile the prey is confused as to what its role is, hence the switch from potential killer to violent abuser to whimpering victim. It’s a bold, riveting read with a surprising conclusion.

Buy Bring Me Back at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

Read The Breakdown and Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris

Now You See Her by Heidi Perks

npw you see herThe only thing worse than losing someone else’s child is losing your own child. You already have the burden of responsibility of your own child, but having the extra pressure of keeping someone else’s child safe is a whole different level of responsibility.

Charlotte is Harriet’s only friend, she is isolated and reclusive. She has also never left her daughter Alice alone with anyone before, which makes it even more tragic when Alice vanishes into thin air at a school fete.

Charlotte is faced with the negative opinions of her circle of friends and strangers. She was distracted, she wasn’t paying attention and Alice did disappear on her watch. So the blame is being placed firmly on her shoulders. Now her so-called friends don’t want to entrust their children to her care in case something happens, again.

Perks takes an awful scenario and turns it into something more insidious. Can one justify doing the worst possible thing to try and protect a loved one? All whilst dragging someone else under the mud and watching them suffocate, as you try and achieve your own goal.

Now You See Her might make you question your sympathy for the main characters, which is the essence of this premise. Perks asks her readers to think about crossing lines and being ruthless. When is it too much and when is an attempt to save your child unforgivable? You might be surprised by this premise and the conclusion you come to. Personally I’m not sure I would have been so forgiving.

Buy/Preorder Now You See Her at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

Pub Date 18th July 2018 Kindle

Pub Date 26 July 2018 Hardcover

Publisher Random House Uk, Cornerstone

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