#BlogTour Blue Night by Simone Buchholz

I have been looking forward to introducing you to this unusual gem of a book. It puts the darkness in the word Noir with its sharp-tongued dialogues and very confrontational style. There are no candy floss scenarios lurking in these pages. Welcome to the BlogTour for Blue Night by Simone Buchholz. 

About the Author

Simone Buchholz was born in Hanau in 1972. At university, she studied Philosophy and Literature, worked as a waitress and a columnist, and trained to be a journalist at the prestigious Henri-Nannen-School in Hamburg. In 2016, Simone Buchholz was awarded the Crime Cologne Award as well as runner-up for the German Crime Fiction Prize for Blue Night, which was number one on the KrimiZEIT Best of Crime List for months. She lives in Sankt Pauli, in the heart of Hamburg, with her husband and son.

Follow  @ohneKlippo (Simone Buchholz) @Orendabooks  or @FwdTranslations (Rachel Ward, Translator)

Visit simonebuchholz.com

Buy Blue Night

About the book

After convicting a superior for corruption and shooting off a gangster’s crown jewels, the career of Hamburg’s most hard-bitten state prosecutor, Chastity Riley, has taken a nose dive: she has been transferred to the tedium of witness protection to prevent her making any more trouble. However, when she is assigned to the case of an anonymous man lying under police guard in hospital, Chastity’s instinct for the big, exciting case kicks in. Using all her powers of persuasion, she soon gains her charge’s confidence, and finds herself on the trail to Leipzig, a new ally, and a whole heap of lethal synthetic drugs. When she discovers that a friend and former colleague is trying to bring down Hamburg’s Albanian mafia kingpin single-handedly, it looks like Chas Riley’s dull life on witness protection really has been short-lived…

(Translated by Rachel Ward)

Review

Chastity Riley  is to the 21st century what Horst Schimanski was to the 80’s, the only difference being gender and that Riley doesn’t have a sidekick, but she does surround herself with the outsiders and rebels of society. Her own group of friends, colleagues and handy contacts. Not exactly upstanding citizens, but very much people who are interested in justice. Well, let’s say their own kind of justice.

Riley finds herself isolated at work, restricted and demoted after making a series of serious mistakes in her role as a high ranking state prosecutor. She is assigned the case of a John Doe, who was beaten viciously and left to die. She has her own way of gaining his confidence and making him talk by building a rapport via food and beer. Meanwhile he seems to be ten steps ahead of her and willing to reveal information, which in turn points her in the direction of a major criminal operation.

This is Noir with an interesting staccato like pace and style added to give it a more brash, realistic and curt feeling. Buchholz doesn’t have any words to spare. Her dialogue is abrupt, sharp and to the point. Often giving the appearance of an afterthought or emotional revelation rather than the bittersweet moment of honesty it actually represents.

Interspersed between the dialogues and functioning as a chapter divider of sorts are comments or statements made by the main characters in the book. As if some random reporter were asking them for a running commentary every now and again on the situation at hand or on the particular time-frame and year the characters are in. The comments are given purely from each character’s own perspective, which gives the whole story an element of critical audience watching from the peanut gallery. It is an innovative approach and adds to the general Noirish feeling of the book.

I was raised in Germany, and speak the language at native level, so I can say with absolute certainty that certain idioms and common phrases get lost in translation. It is a common element of translation, but is more evident in certain languages and has nothing to do with the translation or expertise of the translator. So, with that being said I can’t wait to read this again in the original language.

Buchholz has a refreshingly new provocative voice, and I have no doubt she will stand out amongst a sea of writers. She has a take no prisoners attitude when it comes to the validity and eccentricity of her characters, and her plot. Blue Night is to books what a shot of whiskey of is to the world of liquor. It takes your breath away and then it burns until a warmth settles into the pit of your stomach. That’s the kind of mark and statement Buchholz is making.

Buy Blue Night at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

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#BlogTour Deep Blue Trouble by Steph Broadribb

Bringing this fantastic Blog-Tour to an end today, and it has been a humdinger of a tour with some fantastic blog posts. Steph Broadribb is making her mark on the book world in a very big way.

About the Author

Steph Broadribb was born in Birmingham and grew up in Buckinghamshire. Most of her working life has been spent between the UK and USA. As her alter ego – Crime Thriller Girl – she indulges her love of all things crime fiction by blogging at www.crimethrillergirl.com, where she interviews authors and reviews the latest releases. Steph is an alumni of the MA in Creative Writing (Crime Fiction) at City University London, and she trained as a bounty hunter in California. Her debut thriller, Deep Down Dead was shortlisted for the Dead Good Reader Awards shortlisted in two categories, and hit number one on the UK and AU kindle charts.

Follow @crimethrillgirl & @Orendabooks on Twitter or @crimethrillergirl on Facebook

Visit crimethrillergirl.com

Buy Deep Blue Trouble

About the book

Single mother Florida bounty hunter Lori Anderson’s got an ocean of trouble on her hands. Her daughter Dakota is safe, but her cancer is thratening a comeback, and Lori needs JT – Dakota’s daddy and the man who taught Lori everything – alive and kicking. Problem is, he’s behind bars, and heading for death row. Desperate to save him, Lori does a deal, taking on off-the-books job from shady FBI agent Ale Monroe. Bring back-on-the-run felon, Gibson ‘The Fish’ Fletcher, and JT walks free.

Following Fletcher from Florida to California. Lori teams up with local bounty hunter De McGregor and his team. But Dez works very differently to Lori, and the tension between them threatens to put the whole job in danger. With Monroe pressuring Lori for results, the clock ticking on JT’s life, and nothing about the Fletcher case adding up. Lori’s hitting walls at every turn. But this is one job she’s got to get right, or she’ll lose everything…

Breathlessly paced, and bursting with high-voltage and edge-of-your-seat jeopardy. Deep Blue Trouble is the unmissable next instalment featuring one of the most memorable and fearless female characters in crime fiction.

Review

Following on from the success of Deep Down Dead (Lori Anderson #1), Broadribb brings us another fast-paced adventure with her feisty female protagonist Lori Anderson, bounty hunter extraordinaire. A story that doesn’t pull any punches, entertains the reader and yet delivers a warm-hearted emotional read at the same time,

One of the personality traits that makes Lori such a driving force, is her hot-headedness. It is also what stands in her way, especially in this story. She becomes her own worst enemy when she sees discrimination and chauvinism in every work situation. Not that it doesn’t exist, however sometimes we are less inclined to evaluate our own behaviour or our own frame of reference.

Lori cuts a deal to save her mentor, her ex-lover and the father of her child. She has to bring in a fugitive she has apprehended before, in order to keep JT alive. Sounds like a simple job except said fugitive is a killer, and someone seems intent on screwing with the case and with her personally.

To make matters worse, and her life a wee bit more complicated, Lori still hasn’t told JT the whole truth about Dakota. Avoidance is an excellent strategy as far as she is concerned.

Deep Blue Trouble brings action to the table with a subtle layer of snark and the suggestion of what women have to deal with when they work in a domain predominantly inhabited by men. The characters are strong, the premise is compelling and most importantly the combination of those things promises more Lori Anderson books in the future. Wink wink, nudge nudge.

Broadribb has a natural flair for writing. It appears to just flow like a sweet melody, but with a lot of sass and violence. Lori Anderson is set to be a permanent fixture on the landscape of crime, and Broadribb in the book and literary-world.

Buy Deep Blue Trouble at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

Read Deep Down Dead

#BlogTour Girl Targeted by Val Collins

Today is my stop on the Blog-Tour for Girl Targeted by Val Collins. It is a tale of murder with an underlying sense of darkness throughout, but not just because of the murder per se. Her main character has a nose for murder, which leads to the discovery of self and snake pit full of lies.

About the Author

“I can’t remember a time when I didn’t love to read but writing is a pretty new adventure for me.

Of course I wrote stories when I was very young and I especially loved rewriting the ends of movies but I was an impatient kid and had an unfortunate tendency towards perfectionism. When, at around the age of ten, I realised my attempts at writing dialogue were dire, my writing career came to an abrupt end. A few years ago I decided to try my hand at writing again and Girl Targeted was the eventual result.

Girl Targeted is set in Ireland where I have lived all my life. It’s set in an office, an environment I know well as my entire working life has been spent doing office work. I’ve worked for small and medium sized organisations, for multinationals and for many different business sectors. Unfortunately, I was never lucky enough to come across anything as exciting as a murder so I had to rely on my imagination to create Aoife’s world.

I really loved writing Girl Targeted and I hope you enjoy reading it. Val”

Follow @valcollinsbooks on Twitter or ValCollinsBooks on Facebook

Visit valcollinsbooks.com

Buy Girl Targeted(UK)

Buy Girl Targeted (US)

About the book

A Psychological Thriller/Suspense set in Ireland.

Office jobs can be stressful. Aoife’s may be lethal.

Aoife’s life is finally on track. She’s happily married, pregnant with her first child and has the world’s best mother-in-law. But when Aoife accepts a job as an office temp, her entire life begins to unravel. Is one of Aoife’s colleagues a murderer? Is Aoife the next target? Why is her husband unconcerned?

Can office politics lead to murder? Girl Targeted is a perfect read for fans of Behind Closed Doors, Girl on a Train and the Silent Wife.

Review

It is a tale of murder with an underlying sense of darkness throughout, but not because of the murder per se. The feeling of fear, uncertainty and confusion comes from an entirely different place.

The story pulls the reader in two directions, and if I am being completely frank, I am not sure that was intentional. I think the relationship between Aoife and Jason was supposed to be a mere distraction in the background with the murder mystery taking centre stage. Personally I found their relationship and the clear message it sends, far more compelling than Aoife playing a very young and naive Miss Marple.

There was one thing that bothered me about Girl Targeted, and I could not be clearer about it being a personal preference thereby having nothing to do with how much I enjoyed the read. When it comes to names that look one way and are pronounced a completely different way I tend to suffer from my very own version of the Stroop Effect. Example: the word purple being written in red, do not read the word say the colour. So, the same happened with the name Aoife. Pronounced Ee-faa (and yes the author does tell the reader how to say it), my mind says Oyff. I was annoyed by own brain going Oyff nope Ee-faa the entire time. ‘Sigh’

I digress.

Let’s get back to what really had me intrigued when it came to this story. On the surface Aoife and Jason appear to be a happy young couple with a new baby. Jason’s views are perhaps a wee bit chauvinistic, but there is nothing wrong him wanting her to stay at home with the baby, right. There is however something wrong with Jason. He wants to control all the money, the narrative and who Aoife meets or talks to.

Wrapped in a bubble of apparent concern is the insidious nature of the beast called abuse. Jason uses emotional abuse to control Aoife. He uses neglect and coercion to convince her to do everything he wants. He traces her every move, controls every penny and manipulates others to get his wife to do what he wants.

It seems almost innocent and can easily be mistaken for overprotective love or concern for a loved one, which is often how an abusive partner gets away with it. They try and take away any financial freedom, make the victim dependent upon them in every way and seclude them from family and friends. Extreme jealousy and paranoia are usually precursors for abusive behaviour.This element of the story, and the way it evolved, was really interesting.

Girl Targeted is a murder mystery with the serious topic of abuse woven into the story. The main character has a nose for murder, which leads to the discovery of self and a snake pit full of lies.

Buy Girl Targeted at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

#BlogTour The Confession by Jo Spain

You’re in for a treat with this cat and mouse game of a read by Jo Spain. The Confession is a the kind of read that keeps you on your toes and captivated till the last word.

About the Author

Jo Spain’s first novel, With Our Blessing, was one of seven books shortlisted in the Richard and Judy Search for a Bestseller competition and went on to be a top-ten bestseller in Ireland. She has writte two further in the series, featuring DI Tom Reynolds. Jo has has worked as a party advisor on the economy in the Irish parliament and is now writing full-time. She lives in Dublin with her husband and their four young children.

Follow @SpainJoanne @Quercusbooks #TheConfession

About the book

Late one night a man walks into the luxurious home of disgraced banker Harry McNamara and his wife Julie. The man launches an unspeakably brutal attack on Harry as a horror-struck Julie watches, frozen by fear. Just an hour later the attacker, JP Carney, has handed himself in to the police. He confesses to beating Harry to death, but JP claims that the assault was not premeditated and that he didn’t know the identity of his victim. With a man as notorious as Harry McNamara, the detectives cannot help wondering, was this really a random act of violence or is it linked to one of Harry’s many sins: corruption, greed, betrayal? This gripping psychological thriller will have you questioning, who

– of Harry, Julie and JP – is really the guilty one? And is Carney’s surrender driven by a guilty conscience or is his confession a calculated move in a deadly game?

Review

Don’t we all carry an element of guilt around with us, perhaps some more than others. Secrets can erode the foundations of relationships. Guilty secrets can destroy lives. This author takes us on a riveting journey of doubt, blame and meticulous planning in this well thought out crime story.

Spain has woven the criminal activities of the bankers involved in the financial crisis of 2007 into this story of a senseless violent murder without any real rhyme and reason. Risk-taking banks, and greedy bankers caused what many economists consider to be the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.

Harry is one of those bankers and Julie is his wife. The wife who sat and watched as a stranger bludgeoned her husband to death. Did shock and fear make her freeze or is there another more nefarious reason she didn’t lift a finger to help him?

The reader follows the story of Julie and the killer, as the police try to connect the dots in this supposedly spontaneous crime. Their childhoods, their relationships and their past in general. There must be some reason why JP walked into that particular house and picked that man.

Spain presents the perfect game of strategy between her protagonists with no prior connection to each other. Whilst both are busy evading the truth in an effort to keep the police in the dark, they re-evaluate their choices in life and how they paved the path to murder.

With compelling characters and an engrossing premise, Spain plays the long game with her plot. She keeps her readers hooked until the very last word.

The Confession by Jo Spain will be published by Quercus in hardback on the 25th of January 2018.

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

#RandomThingsTour

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

woman in the windowThis is an ode to Hitchcock and the classic tale of suspense.

Anna’s story is also indicative of the stigma and discrimination, which is prevalent in our society,  that people with mental health issues have to deal with.

Regardless of your social status, professional background, age or gender, a mental health diagnosis brings an entire busload of baggage with it. Suddenly you are no longer considered competent enough to make decisions and are an unreliable source.

Anna finds herself going from respected professional to the lonely lady who lives in her bathrobe and survives on a few bottles of wine a day. Her perfect family is a thing of the past. Her husband and child no longer live under the same roof, and Anna holds on tightly to every phone call and every conversation she has with them.

Her agoraphobia holds her prisoner in her very large house. The only contact to the outside world is via internet forums, her lodger in the basement and the people she watches through her windows. The neighbours who don’t know that she views them through her camera lens during the night, the day and any time she needs to feel a connection to the outside world.

The Hitchcockian aspect of the story starts when Anne meets one of her neighbours and later witnesses something horrific during one of her spying episodes, thereby starting a cycle of terror and mistrust. Suddenly everyone around her doubts each word she says and every action she takes. Anna becomes the crazy lady, who is scared to leave her own home.

The Woman in the Window is a story of grief, desperation, self-doubt and in the end of self-preservation. It’s also about momentary lapses in judgement and choices that can destroy lives. I can understand why it has been picked up to be developed into a film.

Finn has infused the story with fear of self and the unknown, and given it an air of nostalgia. Fans of classic films will perhaps recognise certain scenarios or films that are mentioned throughout the story.

It’s compelling and full of suspense, and Finn is definitely an author I look forward to hearing more from.

Buy The Woman in the Window at Amazon UK or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

Follow @AJFinnBooks @HarperCollinsUK @KillerReads

The Mountain by Luca D’Andrea

the mountainIt takes a special type of person to live in an isolated village where the elements are your closest and most dangerous enemy. The beauty of the surrounding nature is simultaneously also the siren song of the dangers hidden beneath the perfect exterior.

Salinger is traumatized by a helicopter crash on the mountain. The event itself caused emotional turmoil and also hallucinatory events, which leads him to think he is connected with the mountain. The mountain becomes a living breathing entity in his mind. The beast claims its victims without discrimination. It swallows them whole and only spits them out of its icy interior now and again.

D’Andrea describes the mentality of the small village or town environment with great skill. Unless you were born and raised there you will always be the outsider, especially if you are different in any way shape or form. You can live there for decades and still be the foreigner, the intruder or the person they are least likely to trust with secrets from the inner sanctum.

This secrecy is part of the problem when it comes to this small population, because they will do anything to ensure the safety of their fellow inhabitants. This is probably the reason the Bletterbach murders have remained unsolved for so many decades, despite the viciousness of the attack, the possibility of one of them being a killer is a thought they would rather not contemplate.

It’s an intriguing combination of existential fears, post-traumatic stress and a calculated killer. There was an element of the story I found a wee bit out there though, and perhaps detrimental to the story, mainly because it made it veer into the beyond belief spectrum.

Aside from that it is a well-thought out crime with a surprisingly savage killer and a captivating environment. I wonder if D’Andrea will be revisiting Salinger again.

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

Follow @maclehosepress @QuercusBooks

The Crow Girl by Erik Axl Sund

crow girl

Fair warning, this is fair bit of a slog at over 780 pages, however it helps to know that originally this was published as a trilogy. So The Crow Girl (2010), Hunger Fire (2011) and Pythia’s Instructions (2012) have now been republished as one volume called The Crow Girl.

Interesting tidbit of info, Erik Axl Sund is a nom de plume used by writer duo Hakan Sundquist and Jerker Eriksson.

I think banging it together as one volume, as opposed to the trilogy it was before, was perhaps detrimental to the plot and original intention of the writers. It is quite simply so long that it often appears disjointed and without focus. I can however see how it worked as a trilogy. There is so much going on, during which the reader is pulled in a multitude of directions. So many in fact that there are just too many cooks in the kitchen trying to create the perfect dish. The end result is a lack of structure and a lack of a definitive voice.

It is dark. Actually don’t expect any lightness whatsoever. Erik Axl Sund pulls the reader into a bottomless pit of depravity, which includes some of the truly inhumane moments of the 20th century and quite a few equally deplorable 21st century crimes.

We are talking child and sex trafficking, paedophilia, child abuse, bestiality, child pornography, corruption and torture. There is no fluffy unicorn to balance this out, instead the rest of the time the authors venture into the world of mental health problems and psychological disorders. I admit there are a few tender moments, however they are overpowered by the fact the reader knows what is really going on with the characters.

The real question throughout is who Sofia really is, and what is she guilty of.or rather what does she think she is guilty of? In a story full of death and pain how much of the narrative, in regards to Sofia, is a reaction to the trauma and just her imagination, and how much of it is based in reality?

The Crow Girl is, despite its bleakness and the harsh reality of the crimes within, an attempt to show the devastation and implications of deep-set trauma, especially when experienced in childhood. It is also an attempt to shine a light on the exploitation of children, the corruption and general apathy towards crimes against children, which in turn has led to neglect and a burying of heads in sand on a major scale.

Buy The Crow Girl at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

Visit erikaxlsund.comerikaxlsund.com or @erikaxlsund on Facebook

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