#BlogTour Last Request by Liz Mistry

Today it’s my pleasure to take part in the BlogTour Last Request by Liz Mistry.

About the Author

Liz Mistry has signed a three book deal for a new series with HQ Digital, a Harper Collins imprint. The first in the series is Last Request, which will be released in October 2019. It features a feisty mixed-race DS called Nikki Parekh and is set in Bradford.

Follow @LizMistryAuthor on Twitter, on Goodreads, Visit lizmistrycrimewriter.wordpress.comBuy Last Request

About the book

When human remains are discovered under Bradford’s derelict Odeon car park, DS Nikita Parekh and her team are immediately called to the scene.

Distracted by keeping her young nephew out of trouble, Nikki is relieved to learn the investigation has been transferred to the Cold Case Unit, and she can finally focus on her family.

But when the identity of the victim is revealed, she’s soon drawn back into the case. The dead man is a direct link to her painful past.

As the body count begins to rise, Nikki must do everything she can to stop the killer in their tracks before anyone else gets hurt – even if it means digging up secrets she had long kept hidden…

Review

This is the first in a new crime series by Mistry. Her main character DS Nikita Parekh pulls no punches and is a determined fighter for her family, herself and for the victims she encounters. She is torn between family loyalty and problems, and her career. At times she is like a demented ping-pong ball bouncing back and forth from one thing to the other.

Kudos to Mistry for bringing an important point to the table about the lack of awareness the wealthy or any social class above the working class, especially those living in poverty, have when it comes to living a daily struggle. If you have never lived from payday to payday, struggled to feed yourself and loved ones or as in this case, had to face the miscreants of society on a daily basis – then you have no business judging those people or have the right to a sanctimonious opinion.

DS Nikita Parekh and her family have to deal with these kind of situations on a daily basis. It’s a dog eat dog world and she struggles to keep her loved ones out of the clutches of the type of criminals who think nothing of maiming and disfiguring kids and young people.

To make matters worse her the majority of her colleagues treat her with disdain, especially when she becomes the main suspect in a murder case.

It’s a fast-paced urban crime series with a strong female lead. Mistry doesn’t shy away from uncomfortable truths our society has to deal with. The way she melds fact, fiction and realism results in a gripping read.

Buy Last Request at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: HQ Digital; pub date 16 Oct. 2019. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour The Art of Murder by J.S. Strange

Today it’s a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour The Art of Murder by J.S. Strange. This is the second book in the Jordan Jenner Mystery series.About the Author

J.S. Strange is an author from Wales, United Kingdom. He writes crime, mystery and horror. His first novels, published in 2016 and 2017, were set in an apocalyptic London. Murder on the Rocks, was the first in a cozy crime mystery series, featuring a leading gay male detective.

Murder on the Rocks was written by Strange for many reasons. One of those reasons was a lack of representation within the crime genre, particularly with detectives and sleuths. Strange created Jordan Jenner, a private investigator, who lives and works in Cardiff. Murder on the Rocks was written with the intention of shining light on Cardiff, and bringing Cardiff, and furthermore, Wales, into the crime genre.

Strange’s previous works, such as ‘Winter Smith: London Burning’, also explored LGBT themes, and featured socialite Winter Smith escaping a zombie apocalypse. ‘London’s Burning’ became an Amazon best-seller in LGBT fiction.

When Strange doesn’t write, he works in television. He also presents a radio show all about the paranormal. He has an enthusiasm for Britney Spears and cats.

Strange’s new novel, The Art of Murder, is set in Wales and is the second in the Jordan Jenner series. The murder mystery is available now.

Follow @JackSamStrange  and @PantherPubs on Twitter, on Amazonon Goodreadson Instagramon Facebook, Visit jacksamstrange.comBuy The Art of Murder

About the book

The second in the Jordan Jenner Mysteries series. The follow up to Murder on the Rocks.

Artist Xander Draper is being threatened by a dangerous group. With PI Jordan Jenner’s help, Xander hopes to remain unscathed.

But when Xander is murdered, his body displayed as his final exhibit, Jordan realises the extent of the trouble Xander was in. Now, there are people following Jordan. They know his name, and they want him dead.

Meanwhile, Jordan’s brother Ashley has returned, and he has a secret. As time runs out to solve the murder of the famous artist, Jordan begins to fear his brother may be responsible.

A classic cosy mystery set in the heart of Cardiff. A perfect read for fans of Agatha Christie. A murdered artist. A brother with a deadly secret. A group intent on killing. The Art of Murder is the second in the Jordan Jenner Mysteries series, a cosy murder mystery set in Wales.

Review

This is the second book in the Jordan Jenner Mystery series, the first is Murder on the Rocks. Both of the books can be read as standalone novels.

This time Jordan is drawn into the dubious world of art and crime. Into a world of secrets, deals and betrayal. Unfortunately Jordan finds himself on the mister popular of the month list with a local gang. Of course he is completely unaware of this fact, but when the local goons start turning up with less than honourable intentions, Jordan soon figures out he might be in over his head.

Then to put the cherry on top of his sundae his brother turns up with a boatload of trouble in tow.

It’s noted as a cosy crime mystery and yet this book in particular also has the feel of gritty urban crime with a gangster vibe at times. It’s brutal and not very cosy with plenty of action and perhaps less focus on the sleuthing aspect the first book in the series had.

The one thing I will say is that the author needs to make sure cosy isn’t interpreted as simplistic from a language and writing point of view. His readers have warmed to his main character and enjoy the crimes he wanders into, albeit often without any help from himself. Perhaps Jordan Jenner is moving in the direction of Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, as opposed to the world of cosy crime.

Although I made this point in my review of Murder on the Rocks I think the sentiment is worth repeating. This is marketed as mystery series with an LGBT main character. Strange doesn’t overshadow the crime element of the read with that fact. Instead it becomes as irrelevant as having a heterosexual main character, which is as it should be. The author helps to fill the niche of diverse fiction by creating a character that people can relate to.

Buy The Art of Murder at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Panther Publishing 1 Oct 2019. Buy at Amazon com.

Read my review of Murder on the Rocks ( Jordan Jenner Mysteries #1) by J.S. Strange

#BlogTour The Stranger Inside by Lisa Unger

Today it’s a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour The Stranger Inside by Lisa Unger.

About the Author

Lisa Unger is the New York Times and internationally bestselling, award-winning author of 16 novels. Her books are published in 26 languages and have sold millions of copies worldwide. Lisa Unger lives in the Tampa Bay area of Florida with her husband, daughter and labradoodle.

Follow @lisaunger @HQStories on Twitter, on Amazonon Goodreads,Visit lisaunger.com

Buy The Stranger Inside

About the book

You committed the perfect crime. But someone knows the truth.

You followed the trial obsessively. Knew the evidence, alibis, and witnesses inside out. You know they’re guilty and can’t believe they got away with it. But where judge and jury failed, someone is determined to see justice done.

Rain Winter left journalism behind to focus on her baby daughter. But when a man acquitted for murder is killed, in the same way as his suspected victims, Rain sees a pattern emerging between a series of cold cases.

Meticulous and untraceable, this killer strikes in the dead of night, making sure that the guilty are suitably punished for their crimes.

As Rain’s investigation deepens, she must face up to dark secrets in her own past and the realisation that the killer may be closer than she thinks…

Review

This is Unger’s best crime story so far. It is crime and suspense par excellence. Unger plays with the concept of guilt, fear, revenge and justice in a way that makes the most peace-loving among us yearn for the chance to rid the world of a bit of evil.

Rain is a survivor. Rain is a loving mother and wife, but Rain is also guilty. She is guilty of letting her friends face a fate worse than death, and indeed for one it does end with death. It’s a past she has hidden away in the recesses of her mind.

Many years after the incident that changed her life forever she finally seems to be at peace. It has taken her a while to build a successful career as a journalist – her baby hiatus is interrupted when someone commits a vigilante killing. Much like the way her own tormentor came to his end.

It awakens a need to dig. A deep urgent need to examine the truth, both her truth and the truth as her friend sees it. Is she really to blame? Someone certainly thinks so. She is the reason two of them experienced hell on earth and why one of them is dead.

I found it both intriguing and admirable how the author manages to write a psychological thriller with this amount of tension and the incredibly violent nature of the crimes without actually going into detail. There are no superfluous scenes of depravity – in fact Unger proves you can do it in such a suggestive way that your imagination fills in the blanks. A far worse scenario and perfect way to awaken hidden fears, as far as I am concerned.

It’s a gripping psychological thriller, a crime that will make you wonder where your own boundaries are. Unger takes a close uncomfortable look at survivor’s guilt, at the way our criminal and justice system fails the victims, and at just how many loopholes there are in systems that are supposed to keep children safe. It is a spectacularly riveting read, and it will be going on my best crime reads of the year list.

Buy The Stranger Inside at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: HQ; pub date 3rd October 2019 – Paperback – £7.99. Buy at Amazon com.

Read my reviews of Ink and Bone and Under My Skin by Lisa Unger.

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#BlogTour A Fatal Secret by Faith Martin

It’s my pleasure to take part in the BlogTour A Fatal Secret by Faith Martin. A police procedural with a mystery, and yet at the same time the author melds important topics like sexism and discrimination into the story.

About the Author

Faith Martin is an English author who was born in Oxford. She lives in an Oxfordshire village. She is best known for her popular detective series, starring Detective Inspector (DI) Hillary Greene. She began her writing career as Maxine Barry. She also writes under the pen names, Joyce Cato and Jessie Daniels

Faith Martin has been writing for 30 years. She signed a massive book deal with the publishers Harper Collins/HQ, who have published her Ryder & Loveday novels. All four novels, A Fatal Obsession, A Fatal Mistake, A Fatal Flaw  and A Fatal Secret are available now.

Follow @FaithMartin_Nov @HQDigitalUK @HQStories on Twitter, on Goodreadson AmazonBuy A Fatal Secret

About the book

Oxford, 1961

A family day out at Briar’s Hall ends in tragedy when a young boy goes missing – and his body is found at the bottom of a disused well in the orchard.

It looks like a simple case of an eleven-year-old exploring where he shouldn’t: a tragic accident. But Coroner Clement Ryder and Probationary WPC Trudy Loveday aren’t convinced. If Eddie had been climbing and fallen, why were there no cuts or dirt on his hands? Why would a boy terrified of heights be around a well at all?

Clement and Trudy are determined to get to the truth, but the more they dig into Briar’s Hall and the mysterious de Lacey family who live there, the murkier things become.

Could it be that poor Eddie’s death was murder? There are rumours of blackmail in the village, and Clement and Trudy have a horrible feeling that Eddie stumbled on a secret that someone was willing to kill for…

Review

This is the fourth book in the Loveday and Ryder series. If you’re a fan of slightly eccentric mismatched detective duos then this will probably be right up your street. This story is like an old-fashioned whodunnit, but with a more modern feel to it.

The book starts with the tragic disappearance of a young boy called Eddie. The search comes to an awful conclusion, but fortunately not one that suggests there is a third party involved. Well not until Ryder and Loveday get involved that is, then the accident starts looking a little less accidental and a little more like a crime.

The two of them investigate with their usual intense passion for the truth and for justice. In doing so they turn up more secrets than they were expecting, and not necessarily the truth about Eddie and what led to his death.

WPC Loveday has to battle wars at work, where she is treated like a joke, and at home, where she is expected to conform to expectations. Her parents think she should be getting married and having babies instead of running around solving crimes and putting herself in danger. The only person she feels at ease with, perhaps because he understands and doesn’t judge her, is Ryder.

This series gets better with each book. I get the feeling Martin is just getting started, and to be fair the premise and the characters have plenty of room for development. This sleuthing duo is the kind that has you casting the actors in the television roles. It’s a young Tennison meets a less agitated and more laid back Quincy with a Midsomer Mystery vibe. A police procedural with a mystery, and yet at the same time the author melds important topics like sexism and discrimination into the story. With each book Martin gives more depth to her characters and more complex problems to navigate. It’s an enjoyable read.

Buy A Fatal Secret at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: HQ Digital; pub date 6 Sept. 2019. Buy at Amazon com.

Read my reviews of A Fatal Obsession and A Fatal Flaw by Faith Martin.

#BlogTour No Place of Refuge by Ausma Zehenat Khan

Today it’s a pleasure to take part in The Khattak and Getty Blogtour to celebrate the fourth book, No Place of Refuge, in this spectacular series.

About the Author

Ausma Zehanat Khan holds a Ph.D. in International Human Rights Law with a specialisation in military intervention and war crimes in the Balkans. She has practised immigration law and taught human rights law at Northwestern University and York University. Formerly, she served as Editor in Chief of Muslim Girl magazine, the first magazine to reflect the lives of young Muslim women.

Her debut novel, The Unquiet Dead, won the Barry Award, the Arthur Ellis Award and the Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award for Best First Novel. She has also written The Language of Secrets and Among the Ruins. She is a longtime community activist and writer. Born in Britain, Ausma lived in Canada for many years before recently becoming an American citizen. She lives in Colorado with her husband.

Follow @AusmaZehanat @noexitpress on Twitter, on Goodreadson Amazon, Visit ausmazehanatkhan.comBuy No Place of Refuge

About the book

The Syrian refugee crisis becomes personal for Inspector Esa Khattak and Sergeant Rachel Getty. NGO worker Audrey Clare, sister of Khattak’s childhood friend, is missing. In her wake, a French Interpol Agent and a young Syrian man are found dead at the Greek refugee camp where she worked.

Khattak and Getty travel to Greece to trace Audrey’s last movements in a desperate attempt to find her. In doing so, they learn that her work in Greece had strayed well beyond the remit of her NGO…

Had Audrey been on the edge of exposing a dangerous secret at the heart of the refugee crisis – one that ultimately put a target on her own back?

Review

This is the fourth in the Khattak and Getty crime series. Each of the books can be read as standalone books, however I would suggest reading the others just because they are such good reads.

This is definitely one of my favourite series and Khan is a superb writer. At the moment she is still underrated, but hopefully that will changed. She deserves recognition for the Khattak and Getty series and her writing in particular.

In this novel Khan shines a spotlight on the refugee crisis and the crimes leading on from said crisis. The crimes that we are all willing to just gloss over, because fighting about not letting them into our countries is more important then ensuring the safety of the vulnerable refugees in the midst of the few who aren’t. Let’s talk about the dark number of children who go missing. The girls, children and women who are trafficked and sold. This story tackles those uncomfortable topics.

The author isn’t afraid to take on controversial topics and more importantly topics that are making waves as we speak. There is also the way the family dynamic and structure is approached, which is at the forefront of Esa’s character development. His actions, thought-process and struggles are inevitably always linked to his culture, religion and the expectations his family has of him.

The combination of Esa and Rachel is sheer detective perfection. The differences create an imbalance between them which in turn are balanced by the friendship and professional relationship they have with each other. They are a pleasure to experience and read.

It’s a crime series written with the flair of literary fiction. The writing is spectacular, so I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this author to readers.

Buy No Place of Refuge at Amazon UK or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: No Exit Press; pub date 22 Aug. 2019. Buy at Amazon com

Read my review of Among the Ruins by Ausma Zehenat Khan

Read my review of The Language of Secrets by Ausma Zehenat Khan

#BlogTour Blood Song by Johana Gustawsson

Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour Blood Song by Johana Gustawsson. It’s historical fiction combined with fact and then topped off with an intriguing murder plot.

About the Author

Born in Marseille, France, and with a degree in Political Science, Johana Gustawsson has worked as a journalist for the French and Spanish press and television. Her critically acclaimed Roy & Castells series has won the Plume d’Argent, Balai de la découverte, Balai d’Or and Prix Marseillais du Polar awards, and is now published in nineteen countries. A TV adaptation is currently underway in a French, Swedish and UK co-production. Johana lives in London with her Swedish husband and their three sons. She drew on her own experience of fertility clinics and IVF to write Blood Song and is happy to speak and write pieces about this.

Follow @JoGustawsson  @Orendabooks on Twitter, on Goodreadson Facebook, Visit johanagustawsson.com/en/Buy Blood Song

About the book

Profiler Emily Roy joins forces with Aliénor and her colleague, true-crime writer Alexis Castells, and they soon find themselves on the trail of a monstrous and prolific killer, in an investigation that takes them from the Swedish fertility clinics of the present day back to the terror of Franco’s rule, and the horrifying events that took place in Spanish orphanages under its rule…

Spain, 1938

The country is wracked by civil war, and as Valencia falls to Franco’s brutal dictatorship, Republican Teresa witnesses the murders of her family. Captured and sent to the notorious Las Ventas women’s prison, Teresa gives birth to a daughter who is forcibly taken from her.

Falkenberg, Sweden, 2016 A wealthy family is found savagely murdered in their luxurious home. Discovering that her parents have been slaughtered, Aliénor Lindbergh, a new recruit to the UK’s Scotland Yard, rushes back to Sweden and finds her hometown rocked by the massacre.Review

One of the things I really enjoy about books by Gustawsson, is the way she melds historical fact and fiction and then brings the plot into the present. It’s almost as if the stories she creates were meant to be and to be told. They feel realistic and evoke visceral reactions, despite the more gruesome elements of the stories.

There are many atrocities that took place in the 20th century – it’s fair to say that The Holocaust overshadows everything else, perhaps because of the methodical planning and execution. The author brings the atrocity that was the Francoist dictatorship in Spain to the table in this story. The methodical war of attrition cost many hundreds of thousands their lives and many fled the regime entirely. Many thousands that fled were returned to Spain be killed and also interned in Nazi concentration camps where thousands of Spaniards also died.

In this story the reader goes from the past in Spain and the repercussions of said regime on a family – to the present where the team has to deal with an extreme tragedy that involves one of their own.

I think the details are best left to readers to experience. The one thing I do want to mention is the spectacular way the author addressed the family dynamic when dealing with a child with special needs or on the spectrum. It was brutally honest. Honest in a way nobody wants to approach the topic for fear people will judge their very real emotions and opinions.

It’s historical fiction combined with fact and then topped off with an intriguing murder plot. As per usual Gustawsson proves what an incredibly gifted writer, storyteller and meticulous plotter she is, which is brought to the table in all its original glory by the translator. Kudos to Gustawsson for the incredible read.

Buy Blood Song at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher Orenda Books, Pub date: 19 September 2019 | Paperback Original | £8.99. Buy at Amazon com.

Read my reviews of Keeper and Block 46 by Johana Gustawsson.

#BlogTour Elevator Pitch by Linwood Barclay

Today it’s my pleasure to take part in the BlogTour for Elevator Pitch by Linwood Barclay

About the Author

Linwood Barclay is an international bestselling crime and thriller author with over twenty critically acclaimed novels to his name, including the phenomenal number one bestseller No Time For Goodbye. Every Linwood Barclay book is a masterclass in characterisation, plot and the killer twist, and with sales of over 7 million copies globally, his books have been sold in more than 39 countries around the world and he count Stephen King, Shari Lapena and Peter James among his many fans.

Many of his books have been optioned for film and TV, and Linwood wrote the screenplay for the film based on his bestselling novel Never Saw It Coming. He is currently working with eOne to turn the Promise Falls trilogy into a series.

Follow @linwood_barclay on Twitter, on Goodreads, Visit linwoodbarclay.comBuy Elevator Pitch

About the book

It all begins on a Monday, when four people board an elevator in a Manhattan office tower. Each presses a button for their floor, but the elevator proceeds, non-stop, to the stop. Once there, it stops for a few seconds, and then plummets. Right to the bottom of the shaft.

It appears to be a horrific, random tragedy. But then, on Tuesday, it happens again, in a different Manhattan skyscraper. And when Wednesday brings yet another high-rise catastrophe, one of the most vertical cities in the world – and the nation’s capital of media, finance, and entertainment – is plunged into chaos.

Clearly, this is anything but random. This is a cold, calculated bid to terrorize the city. And it’s working. Fearing for their lives, thousands of men in women working in offices across the city refuse to leave their homes. Commerce has slowed to a trickle. Emergency calls to the top floors of apartment buildings go unanswered.

Who is behind this? What do these deadly acts of sabotage have to do with the fingerless body found on the High Line? Two seasoned New York detectives and a straight-shooting journalist must race against time to find the answers…

Review

I have had a healthy distrust of elevators since De Lift (1983) came out. Much like this plot is takes the innate distrust we have, or a some of us have at times, when it comes to trusting in a higher authority called engineering, mechanics, gravity and technology. Barclay plays a little with the blind faith we put in certain things. Our lives are filled with items, vehicles and mechanisms that make our lives easier, and because of that we don’t think twice before using them.

Not that I am advocating climbing eighty flights of stairs either, just to be clear.

There is one part of the book, a short poignant one, when one person reacts by having flashbacks to 9-11. The people who work in One World Trade Center must have to cope with incredible anxiety and shove away their fear on a daily basis.

Aside from the elevators acting as if they have a life of their own and murderous intent towards the general population, the city is also under siege from a terrorist cell. The question is whether the attacks and the lift accidents are linked in any way. A journalist seems to think that the solution lies a little closer to home. The problem is she is too personally invested in that actually being the case.

Barclay takes an object that is used by millions of people every day and turns it into a weapon of mass destruction. It’s perfect, the majority of buildings have at least one, especially in cities that are built vertically, as opposed to horizontally. You don’t have to load it – you just need to fill it.

It’s a crime thriller that plays with our innate fears and destroys the blind trust we rely on every day.

Buy Elevator Pitch at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: HQ; pub date 5th September 2019 – £20 Hardback – £9.99 eBook – 12.99 Audio Download. Buy at Amazon com.