#BlogTour Psychopaths Anonymous by Will Carver

It’s an absolute pleasure to take part in the BlogTour Psychopaths Anonymous by Will Carver. It’s a dark read and a cracking one.

About the Author

Will Carver is the international bestselling author of the January David series. He spent his early years in Germany, but returned to the UK at age eleven, when his  sporting career took off. He turned down a professional rugby contract to study theatre and television at King Alfred’s, Winchester, where he set up a successful theatre company. He currently runs his own fitness and nutrition company, and lives in Reading with his two children. Will’s latest title published by Orenda Books,

The Beresford was published in July. His previous title Hinton Hollow Death Trip was longlisted for the Not the Booker Prize, while Nothing Important Happened Today was longlisted for the Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year. Good Samaritans was book of the year in Guardian, Telegraph and Daily Express, and hit number one on the ebook charts. Follow @will_carver on Twitter

About the book

When AA meetings make her want to drink more, alcoholic murderess Maeve sets up a group for psychopaths. Maeve has everything. A high-powered job, a beautiful home, a string of uncomplicated one-night encounters. She’s also an addict: a functioning alcoholic with a dependence on sex and an insatiable appetite for killing men.

When she can’t find a support group to share her obsession, she creates her own. And Psychopaths Anonymous is born. Friends of Maeve.

Now in a serious relationship, Maeve wants to keep the group a secret. But not everyone in the group adheres to the rules, and when a reckless member raises suspicions with the police, Maeve’s drinking spirals out of control. She needs to stop killing. She needs to close the group. But Maeve can’t seem to quit the things that are bad for her, including her new man…


What’s not to enjoy about the refreshing honesty with which Maeve goes about her daily life. The automatic and expected boxes are ticked to keep up appearances, but what happens when the small moments of truth and pleasure threaten to interfere with the way she runs her life. Can she sustain any kind of long-term relationship or friendship without being swallowed up by the darkness she likes to cater to.

I think I enjoyed this book for all the wrong reasons. At the top of that list is the fact the author peels back the layers of the shallow exteriors and presents a very real reality. In fact I wonder what would or will happen if psychopathic or sociopathic traits become an acceptable part of society? 

Next on the list, and I have mentioned this in a review of a book written by a recovering alcoholic who swallowed the scheme whole and shouted it out to the world, is the way Carver takes AA to task. It doesn’t work, and the statistics are very interesting. It divides the addicted into categories, some of which are set-up to fail like some self-fulfilling prophecy. Not because of the addiction per se, but because of the way it is infused with a cult like dependency on a reverence to religion and God. 

Clearly only the door reading you must accept God and faith into your heart or fail automatically, means everyone who steps through another door is on a fast path to failure. It also means blame and guilt for loss of sobriety has an automatic perpetrator, as opposed to having personal accountability or looking at the cause and not the symptom.

And the third point is the logistical aspect of certain victimology, which should probably raise alarm bells about the writer, if I were so inclined, but I’m not. (My next FoM meeting is coming Wednesday at six pm – just saying.) 

If Friends of Maeve groups start to pop up everywhere we all know whose door to knock on, right? Talk about giving people ideas and some direction in their lives. Trust Carver to create the kind of book that people will probably either feel uncomfortable about or not admit to liking it for being a bit more than a crime read. I loved it. It’s deliciously dark. It lacks any kind of societal norm or boundary. Most importantly it speaks softly to the dark side – they might not acknowledge it, but they are listening. It’s a superb read.

Buy Psychopaths Anonymous at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher ‏: ‎Orenda Books pub date 25 Nov. 2021. Buy at Amazon comBuy at Orendabooks.

#BlogTour Beast by Matt Wesolowski

Today it is my absolute pleasure to take part in the BlogTour Beast by Matt Wesolowski. It is the fourth book or episode in the brilliant Six Stories series. If you haven’t read a book in this series then I can only suggest you do so, because it is a fascinating premise.About the Author

Matt Wesolowski is an author from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne in the UK. He is an English tutor for young people in care. Matt started his writing career in horror, and his short horror fiction has been published in numerous UK- an US-based anthologies such as Midnight Movie Creature, Selfies from the End of the World, Cold Iron and many more.

His novella, The Black Land, a horror set on the Northumberland coast, was published in 2013. Matt was a winner of the Pitch Perfect competition at Bloody Scotland Crime Writing Festival in 2015. His debut thriller, Six Stories, was an Amazon bestseller in the USA, Canada, the UK and Australia, and a WHSmith Fresh Talent pick, and film rights were sold to a major Hollywood studio. A prequel, Hydra, was published in 2018 and became an international bestseller

Follow @ConcreteKraken or @Orendabooks on Matt-Wesolowski on Facebook on Goodreadson Amazon or visit him at mjwesolowskiauthor.wordpress.comBuy Beast

About the book

Continuing the unique, explosive Six Stories series, based around six podcasts comes a compulsive, taut and terrifying thriller, and a bleak and distressing look at modern society’s desperation for attention. Beast will unveil a darkness from which you may never return…

In the wake of the ‘Beast from the East ’ cold snap that ravaged the UK in 2018, a grisly discovery was made in a ruin on the Northumbrian coast. Twenty-four-year-old vlogger, Elizabeth Barton, had been barricaded inside what locals refer to as ‘ The Vampire Tower ’, where she was later found frozen to death. Three young men, part of an alleged cult, were convicted of this terrible crime, which they described as a ‘prank gone wrong’.

However, in the small town of Ergarth, questions have been raised about the nature of  Elizabeth Barton’s death and whether the three convicted youths were even responsible.

Elusive online journalist Scott King speaks to six witnesses – people who knew both the victim and the three killers – to peer beneath the surface of the case. He uncovers whispers of a shocking online craze that held the young of Ergarth in its thrall and drove them to escalate a series of pranks in the name of internet fame. He hears of an abattoir on the edge of town, which held more than simple slaughter behind its walls, and the tragic and chilling legend of the Ergarth Vampire…


Aside from the premise, which even four stories in hasn’t lost the capacity to captivate me, the author writes with such detail to authenticity when it comes to the characters – it’s remarkable. It also has me googling places, people and events, because he absolutely convinces me that everything is real. It’s a testament to Wesolowski’s talent as a writer.

Wesolowski uses darkness and the depth of inhumanity to create this almost imperceptible layer on top of his stories. No matter which character, scene or atmosphere – it’s always there lurking. You can feel it sift into your very being. Each word is saturated with the expectation of evil, fear and the inevitability of human failure.

In this fourth part or episode of the Six Stories series our narrator Scott King has taken a step into the limelight. After revealing his own story in Changeling (part three) he no longer hides his identity. In a strange way it creates a sense of equality between himself and the people he interviews. They are somehow all in the same boat, right?

This time we are on the hunt for vampires. We have a victim and her three killers, but do we really know the why? Was she really the lovable influencer with a penchant for having a bit of cheeky fun and saving the world at the same time? Or is there something more nefarious behind the way she tried to garner as many likes, shares as possible, and become famous? Scott King tries to find the truth in the midst of the rumours, half-truths and omissions.

It’s urban noir soaked in folklore, myth and imperfection of humankind.

It’s a riveting read. This author never fails to draw me in and keep me enthralled. I know people throw this out there all the time, but this would make a fascinating visual experience. Either way Wesolowksi is always a read I would recommend. He creates the kind of read that stays with you, which isn’t an easy feat at all.

Buy Beast (Six Stories #4) at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Orenda Books; Publication Date: 6 February 2020 | Paperback | £8.99. Buy at Amazon comBuy at Orenda Books.

Read my review of Six Stories (Six Stories #1) – Buy Six Stories

Read my review of Hydra (Six Stories #2) – Buy Hydra

Read my review of Changeling (Six Stories #3) – Buy Changeling

#BlogTour Violet by S.J.I. Holliday

Today it’s a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour Violet by S.J.I. Holliday. It’s a noirish psychological thriller.About the Author

S.J.I. (Susi) Holliday is a scientist, writing coach and the bestselling author of five crime novels, including the Banktoun Trilogy (Black Wood, Willow Walk and The Damselfly), the festive chiller The Deaths of December and her creepy Gothic psychological thriller The Lingering. Her short story ‘Home From Home’ was published in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine and shortlisted for the CWA Margery Allingham Prize.

Encapsulating her love of travel and claustrophobic settings, her latest novel, Violet, explores toxic friendships and the perils of talking to strangers, as well as drawing on her own journey on the Trans-Siberian Express over 10 years ago. All of her novels have been UK ebook number-one bestsellers. Susi was born and raised in Scotland and now divides her time between Edinburgh, London and as many other exciting places that she can fit in.

Follow @SJIHolliday @OrendaBooks on Twitter, on Amazonon Goodreads,  Visit sjiholliday.comBuy Violet

About the book

Carrie’s best friend has an accident and can no longer make the round-the-world trip they’d planned together, so Carrie decides to go it alone.

Violet is also travelling alone, after splitting up with her boyfriend in Thailand. She is desperate for a ticket on the Trans-Siberian Express, but there is nothing available.When the two women meet in a Beijing Hotel, Carrie makes the impulsive decision to invite Violet to take her best friend’s place.

Thrown together in a strange country, and the cramped cabin of the train, the women soon form a bond. But as the journey continues, through Mongolia and into Russia, things start to unravel –because one of these women is not who she claims to be…


This is going to sound strange, but it’s nice to see or read a story with a woman as the stone cold psychopath. She may not be as quick-witted and sassy as Villanelle, however she sure does try hard to be right up there with the worst of them. Okay, that’s a lie she doesn’t try very hard, because death and violence come quite easily to her.

Is this a story about trust? Or is it a story about someone who really just wants to love and be loved? A lonely soul in search of human contact, warmth and affection.She may get a wee bit testy when things don’t go her way or the object of her obsession doesn’t want to be obsessed over. Granted, she may leave her path littered with corpses, but hey her heart is in the right place.

Or is this a story about a criminal mind, someone who is very adept at finding the right mark, perhaps we should call them prey instead. Finding the right person at the right time. Someone to leech off of and yet simultaneously fill a gaping void with.

It’s noirish psychological thriller with a Mr Ripley vibe, but with less class and on a backpacking budget. Holliday steps it up a notch with this relentlessly dark and brutal read. There is no time or space for pity, fear or remorse. It just is.

It will probably make you look twice at the kind stranger you feel such an instant connection with, especially if you like escaping into the wilds of the world with just a backpack and a thirst for new experiences. Pay attention – are they friend or foe. Do they care if you live or die?

Buy Violet at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Orenda Books, Publication date: 14 November 2019 | Paperback Original | £8.99. Buy at Amazon comBuy at Orenda Books

Read my review of The Lingering by S.J.I. Holliday.

#BlogTour The Case by Leopold Borstinski

Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour The Case by Leopold Borstinski. It’s pulp fiction with a noirish vibe.About the Author

Leopold Borstinski is an independent author whose past careers have included financial journalism, business management of financial software companies, consulting and product sales and marketing, as well as teaching.

There is nothing he likes better so he does as much nothing as he possibly can. He has travelled extensively in Europe and the US and has visited Asia on several occasions. Leopold holds a Philosophy degree and tries not to drop it too often.

He lives near London and is married with one wife, one child and no pets.

Follow @borstinski on Twitter, on Facebookon Goodreads, on Amazon, Visit leopoldborstinski.com, Buy The Case

About the book

One Private Eye. One Case. One sackful of trouble.

When Jake agrees to take a package across America, he doesn’t know if he’ll live to tell the tale. If the CIA, the Feds and the British Secret Service don’t get him then the mob will. How’s a cowardly private dick going to survive in these bloody times?

The Case is a stand-alone pulp noir novel. A wry take on the jaw-dropping violent side of private investigator life by Leopold Borstinski, writer of the six-book Lagotti Family series.


I’ll admit I got confused and had to go back and check I was reading correctly, because the timeline goes backwards in time instead of from the past then forwards. In fact it jumps back and forth between the 70s, 50s 60s and 90s ect.

It’s a pulp fictiony type of read. What is pulp fiction? The term is taken from the pulp magazines of the 30s/40s, printed on low quality paper. Pretty on the outside and a little dingy on the inside. The term as it applies to fiction nowadays often goes hand in hand with pretty women in trouble and the handsome men trying to save them. Although in this case it’s more of a stumbling through each scenario and trying to survive kind of guy.

How does it relate to this story? Jake veers into the dingy side of his business, although to be fair being a private eye isn’t the shiniest job in the world. He delves deep into the world of the mob and the reader is dragged with him through his often tasteless, banal, dangerous and intrusive jobs throughout the years.

I think it’s worth adding that Jake has the demeanour and attitude of someone from more less politically correct times, which means he uses certain phrases and words. The story starts in the late 70s, but as we return to the past it becomes apparent that the aforementioned were considered the norm then.

It’s pulp fiction with a noirish vibe. It’s a lot different from the Lagotti Family series, but clearly the author likes to play with the murky depths people are willing to go to, especially when it’s something they want.

I kinda liked the last few pages. It gave the story a noirish send-off, a middle finger to them all. It leaves the rest of us wondering about the Jake we thought we knew and the Jake who presents himself to us at the end. Did we ever know him at all?

Buy The Case at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Published in paperback and ebook formats by Sobriety Press on 23rd June 2019. Buy at Amazon com.

Read my review of Mama’s Gone by Leopold Borstinski.

#BlogTour Welcome to the Heady Heights by David F. Ross

Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour Welcome to the Heady Heights by David F. Ross. It’s a sardonic, brusque contemporary piece of fiction, which is steeped in the harsh reality of the time period.

About the Author

David F. Ross was born in Glasgow in 1964 and has lived in Kilmarnock for over thirty years. He is a graduate of the Mackintosh School of Architecture at Glasgow School of Art, an architect by day, and a hilarious social media commentator, author and enabler by night. His most prized possession is a signed Joe Strummer LP.

Since the publication of his debut novel The Last Days of Disco, he’s become something of a media celebrity in Scotland, with a signed copy of his book going for £500 at auction, and the German edition has not left the bestseller list since it was published.

Follow @dfr10 @OrendaBooks on Twitter, Visit davidfross.co.uk

Buy Welcome to the Heady Heights

About the book

It’s the year punk rock was born, Concorde entered commercial service and a tiny Romanian gymnast changed the sport forever…

Archie Blunt is a man with big ideas. He just needs a break for them to be realised. In a bizarre brush with the light entertainment business, Archie unwittingly saves the life of the UK’s top showbiz star, Hank ‘Heady’ Hendricks, and immediately seizes the opportunity to aim for the big time. With dreams of becoming a musical impresario, he creates a new singing group called The High Five with five unruly working-class kids from Glasgow’s East End. The plan? Make it to the final of Heady’s Saturday night talent show, where fame and fortune awaits…

But there’s a complication. Archie’s made a fairly major misstep in his pursuit of fame and fortune, and now a trail of irate Glaswegian bookies, corrupt politicians and a determined Scottish WPC are all on his tail…


The caustic humour of the Scots, in particular of the Glaswegian brand of the people way up north, is a wee bit like a slightly burnt piece of toast with a slathering of marmite and no butter on it. You’ll either hate it or you’ll enjoy it in a way only a marmite lover can. The humorous element is therefore debatable depending on how you like it or comprehend the written accent and in-jokes.

I didn’t feel it had much of a funny pull to it, and it wasn’t really of great importance to the story as far as I was concerned. If I had to describe this story to someone I would do it from an entirely different angle.

Behind the wall of snark and feisty dialogue is an exploration of debauchery, fame, infamy, influence and power. Ross portrays this side of humanity against the stark contrast of the working man’s life and the dire statistics of mental health, and those in regards to the life expectancy of men in certain areas.

This is especially evident in Archie’s life as he struggles to deal with the deterioration of his father’s memory and mental health, whilst fearing loss of employment and simultaneously trying to make money by becoming famous. This is how he becomes involved in the shallow, disgusting world of Heady Heights.

As the criminal actions are rolled out in the background of the story, slowly piece by piece like a jigsaw puzzle. The reader is also introduced to WPC Barbara Sherman, the character who leads us to the more salacious habits of the corrupt so-called elite. She has to deal with the misogynistic nature of the police force and harassment being brushed off like a speck of dust on a shoulder.

It’s a sardonic, brusque contemporary piece of fiction, which is steeped in the harsh reality of the time period. It’s crime fiction hidden in a noirish, brash story of corruption and deviancy.

Buy Welcome to the Heady Heights at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Orenda Books; pub date 1 Feb. 2019), Paperback release 21 March 2019, Ecopy pub date 1 Feb 2019.

#BlogTour East of England by Eamonn Griffin

Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour East of England by Eamonn Griffin. It’s a clever tongue in cheek nod to the old gangster regimes, but with a small countryside flair to it.

About the Author

Eamonn Griffin was born and raised in Lincolnshire, though these days he lives in north-east Wales.

He’s worked as a stonemason, a strawberry picker, in plastics factories (everything from packing those little bags for loose change you get from banks to production planning via transport manager via fork-lift driving), in agricultural and industrial laboratories, in a computer games shop, and latterly in further and higher education.

He’s taught and lectured in subjects as diverse as leisure and tourism, uniformed public services, English Studies, creative writing, film studies, TV and film production, and media theory. He doesn’t do any of that anymore. Instead he writes fulltime, either as a freelancer, or else on fiction. Eamonn has a PhD in creative writing with the University of Lancaster, specialising in historical fiction, having previously completed both an MA in popular film and a BSc in sociology and politics via the Open University. He really likes biltong, and has recently returned to learning to play piano, something he abandoned when he was about seven and has regretted since.

Follow @eamonngriffin @Unbound_Digital, Visit campsite.bio/eamonngriffin or eamonngriffinwriting.com

Buy East of England

About the book

Dan Matlock is out of jail. He’s got a choice. Stay or leave. Go back to where it all went wrong, or just get out of the county. Disappear. Start again as someone else. But it’s not as simple as that.

There’s the matter of the man he killed. It wasn’t murder, but even so. You tell that to the family. Especially when that family is the Mintons, who own half of what’s profitable and two thirds of what’s crooked between the Wolds and the coast. Who could have got to Matlock as easy as you like in prison, but who haven’t touched him. Not yet.

Like Matlock found out in prison, there’s no getting away from yourself. So what’s the point in not facing up to other people? It’s time to go home.


I had no idea it was this dangerous on the other side of the Humber. The next time I use the Humber bridge I will make sure to venture into the den of iniquity braced with my hardman persona and a cosh.

I’ll admit that the title in no way prepares the reader for the well written plot. It’s as if the author wants the reader to make assumptions based on the bland almost blasé words used to describe such an nondescript part of England. In comparison to other parts of the country it’s become a little bit like the forgotten land in between the hard-nosed North and the laid-back South. The first being not far from Scotland and the latter close to London, and keeper of the gates to the mainland.

I digress.

Dan Matlock has just been released from prison after being convicted for manslaughter. To be completely fair he wasn’t trying to kill anyone and even if he might have thought about it for a minute, well he ended up taking out the wrong man instead. He knows exactly what he is going do, as he heads straight back into the lions den to face the consequences for killing one of their lion cubs.

For some strange reason he never expected the Minton’s to have been planning their own version of the Hunger Games to get revenge. Well, perhaps more tea break than hunger and fight club rather than games, and uhh definitely a tad more English ruffy-tuffy- style. It’s up to Matlock to outsmart them, save his loved ones and somehow equal the score between the two families.

Griffin takes the London gangster feel of the 60s and infuses the Lincolnshire area with the old eye for an eye justice system. It’s my word is my bond, and you have to pay off your debt, kind of mentality in this crime thriller with a noirish feel to it.

I enjoyed it, in fact I think Griffin has a talent for spinning a yarn. It’s a clever tongue in cheek nod to the old gangster regimes, but with a small countryside flair to it.

Buy East of England at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Unbound Digital; pub date 24 Jan. 2019

Buy at Books Ectat FoylesGoogle PlayHiveWaterstones,

#BlogTour Bait, Grist and Security by Mike Hodges

Today it’s more than a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour Bait, Grist and Security by Mike Hodges, the cult director of Get Carter and Flash Gordon. The stories have a gangster, old-school boys club vibe combined with shock-jock tactics. They shine a light on the corrupt cesspit of the world of influence and money.

About the Author

Mike Hodges was born in Bristol, UK. As a television producer in the 1960s, he was invited to join the investigative programme World in Action. This took him to the US, covering the 1964 presidential election, and that same year to the war in Vietnam. He produced and sometimes directed the arts programmes Tempo and New Tempo . He is perhaps best-known for his work in cinema and television, including: Get Carter, Suspect, Rumour, The Manipulators, Pulp, The Terminal Man, Flash Gordon, A Prayer for the Dying, Morons from Outer Space, Florida Straits, Black Rainbow, Croupier, and I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead. He lives in London. This is his first book.

Follow @unbounders (publisher) on Twitter

Buy Bait, Grist and Security

About the book

Three darkly comic noir novellas from the cult director of Get Carter

In ‘Bait’, a slippery PR man, Mark Miles, is unaware he’s being manipulated and dangled as bait by an investigative reporter until he’s swallowed by a sadistic mind-expanding cult from America.

In ‘Grist’, the bestselling writer, Maxwell Grist, ruthlessly uses real people as fodder for his crime novels before finding himself living up to his name and becoming grist for his ownmurder.

In ‘Security’, an American movie star, unhappy with the film he’s working on, refuses to leave his hotel for the studios, while in the corridor outside his luxury suite mayhem and murder take over.Review

Bait, Grist and Security are three novellas written by cult director Mike Hodges. It is fair to say that all three stories are an attempt to reveal the worst traits of humans and the failings of society. I think the noir is so dark and dirty that it might be considered crud, either that or sent straight from the depraved bowels of hell.

As a director, Mike Hodges has given us film classics, such as Get Carter and Flash Gordon. I am not sure his writing translates as well as his spectacular talent at envisioning what a film should look like to viewers. Then again perhaps it is just a matter of perspective.

The stories have a gangster, old-school boys club vibe combined with shock-jock tactics. They shine a light on the corrupt cesspit of the world of influence and money. Everything is pretty and polished on the surface, but beneath the shallow exterior lurks something uncomfortable and dark.

The stories are also crude, sexually explicit and often teetering on the border of politically incorrect and absolutely socially unacceptable. The scene with the woman in the field is like something out of the Linda Lovelace (also known as Deep Throat) autobiography, except in her case the bestiality was done unto her by a canine. Then there is the occasional lean towards paedophilia.

It’s most certainly going to be a bit of a marmite read, as in not everyone’s cup of tea. Hodges plays with the dregs of humanity in a sardonic way, then mixes this tone within the constructs of the individual stories, and then lets them take their course.

Buy Bait, Grist and Security at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

Publisher: Unbound (29 Nov. 2018)

#BlogTour The Lonely Witness by William Boyle

It’s a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour The Lonely Witness by William Boyle. It’s a very character driven story. Noir and realism with a pinch of crime.

About the Author

William Boyle is from Brooklyn, New York. Boyle is also the author of Tout est Brisé, a novel recently released in France by Gallmeister, a book of short stories called Death Don’t Have No Mercy and the CWA John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger nominated Gravesend. He lives in Oxford, Mississippi. His third novel, A Friend is a Gift you Give Yourself, will be published by No Exit Press in 2019.

Follow @wmboyle4 @noexitpress on Twitter, Visit williammichaelboyle.com

Buy The Lonely Witness

About the book

Amy was once a party girl, but now she lives a lonely life. Helping the house-bound to receive communion in the Gravesend neighbourhood of Brooklyn, she knows the community well. When a local woman goes missing, Amy senses something isn’t right. Tailing the woman’s suspicious son, she winds her way through Brooklyn’s streets. But before she can act, he is dead. Captivated by the crime she’s witnessed and the murderer himself, Amy doesn’t call the cops. Instead, she collects the weapon from the sidewalk and soon finds herself on the trail of a killer.


Amy is a multi-layered character and that makes for an interesting conundrum for herself and the reader. She starts out as the supposedly reformed character, has found religion and become a paragon of the community. All her vices have been folded up and locked into a box, which includes her sexuality. As part of her daily duties she delivers communion to parishioners who haven’t been able to attend church, during one of these visits she encounters an elderly woman who is very distressed.

A strange man keeps entering her home and searching through her belongings. At first Amy isn’t sure whether the woman is imagining things, so she decides to wait and find out for herself. This leads to her meeting a man with dodgy intentions, and whilst trying to figure out what he is up to she witnesses a brutal murder.

This event, and the re-appearance of her alcoholic deadbeat father, seem to send her into a tailspin of sorts. The reinvention of Amy deteriorates within the blink of an eye, as she falls back into old self-destructive patterns and the life of the silent witness.

At times it felt as if the story was drifting along without a real intent or purpose, however I think if you view the story as a noirish Polaroid moment, as opposed to a contemporary happy-go-lucky piece, the lack of intent is more understandable.

Not sure if it was the intention, but there is this pull to take off each individual layer to discover why Amy acts the way she does and felt the need to change. The biggest question being why she feels the need to hide her sexuality, and why she links that with what she considers to be less than stellar behaviour.

It’s a gritty crime novel with a noirish slant. It doesn’t offer up shiny hopeful characters, instead it features the stark reality of life. It’s a very character driven story. Noir and realism with a pinch of crime.

Buy The Lonely Witness at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: No Exit Press, Pub. date 25 October 2018

#BlogTour Palm Beach Finland by Antti Tuomainen

Today it’s my pleasure to take part in the BlogTour Palm Beach Finland by Antti Tuomainen. It’s a quirky venture into witty noir with a cheeky nod in the direction of an 80s cult crime series. Only Tuomainen could pull this off.

About the Author

Finnish Antti Tuomainen was an award-winning copywriter when he made his literary debut in 2007 as a suspense author. The critically acclaimed My Brother’s Keeper was published two years later. In 2011, Tuomainen’s third novel, The Healer, was awarded the Clue Award for ‘Best Finnish Crime Novel of 2011’ and was shortlisted for the Glass Key Award. Two years later, in 2013, the Finnish press crowned Tuomainen the ‘King of Helsinki Noir’ when Dark as My Heart was published. With a piercing and evocative style, Tuomainen was one of the first to challenge the Scandinavian crime genre formula, and his poignant, dark and hilarious The Man Who Died became an international bestseller, shortlisting for the Petrona and Last Laugh Awards.

Follow @antti_tuomainen @OrendaBooks on Twitter, on Facebook: facebook.com/antti.tuomainen, Visit anttituomainen.com

Buy Palm Beach Finland

About the book

Jan Nyman, the ace detective of the covert operations unit of the National Central Police, is sent to a sleepy seaside town to investigate a mysterious death. Nyman arrives in the town dominated by a bizarre holiday village – the ‘hottest beach in Finland’. The suspect: Olivia Koski, who has only recently returned to her old hometown. The mission: find out what happened, by any means necessary.

With a nod to Fargo, and the darkest noir, Palm Beach, Finland is both a page-turning thriller and a wicked black comedy about lust for money, fleeing dreams and people struggling at turning points in their lives … from the ‘King of Helsinki Noir’.


I shouldn’t really be surprised that Tuomainen has managed to write a crime novel, which takes place in Finland, that is an ode to the 80s and the very memorable cult police series Miami Vice. Think sun, palm trees, detectives dressed to the nines in bright suits and blazers, and streets lined with blinking neon signs. Now think cold breezy Finland, plastic palm trees, gaudy neon signs, uniforms a la Baywatch that barely cover body parts and a detective who dresses with a Woodstock vibe.

Olivia has returned to her hometown after the death of her father to find his house is smack-bang in the middle of a very ambitious beach resort. It puts her in a precarious situation and on top of that the house is falling apart around her. It’s an expensive money-pit and she has no money.

Jan Nyman is an undercover cop who is sent into the middle of a curious murder case, which also happens to take place in the middle of this peculiar ‘luxury’ beach resort. In fact everything and everyone is connected to the Palm Beach Finland.

‘Bookings are being taken for the summer season 2019 as we speak, don’t delay – rooms are going quicker than an Aldi cashier zapping items through on the cash desk conveyor belt.’ – Palm Beach Finland Resort.

In his own way the author shows how shallow, desperate and greedy the human race can be when it comes down to cold hard cash. Friends betray friends, honest people become criminals and the supposedly morally correct suddenly get selective memories.

It’s a quirky venture into witty noir with a cheeky nod in the direction of an 80s cult crime series. Only Tuomainen could pull this off.  He has a talent for creating bizarre storylines and making them not only enjoyable but also seem completely normal. Definitely an author to check out.

Buy Palm Beach Finland at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Orenda Books, Publication Date: October 2018

Read my review of The Man Who Died by Antti Tuomainen.

Blog-Tour: The Man Who Died by Antti Tuomainen


Today is my stop on the Blog-Tour for The Man Who Died by Antti Tuomainen. It is a well-written entertaining crime, which technically has both taken place and not happened yet. It’s infused with dark humour and almost slapstick like murderous scenarios. Oh, and let me just give a shout-out to David Hackston for the excellent translation.

About the Author

Finnish Antti Tuomainen (b. 1971) was an award-winning copywriter when he made his literary debut in 2007 as a suspense author. The critically acclaimed My Brother’s Keeper was published two years later. In 2011 Tuomainen’s third novel, The Healer, was awarded the Clue Award for ‘Best Finnish Crime Novel of 2011’ and was shortlisted for the Glass Key Award. The Finnish press labelled The Healer – the story of a writer desperately searching for his missing wife in a post-apocalyptic Helsinki – ‘unputdownable’.

Two years later in 2013 they crowned Tuomainen ‘The King of Helsinki Noir’ when Dark as My Heart was published. The Mine, published in 2016, was an international bestseller. All of his books have been optioned for TV/film. With his piercing and evocative style, Tuomainen is one of the first to challenge the Scandinavian crime genre formula, and The Man Who Died sees him at hisliterary best.

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Buy The Man Who Died

About the book

A successful entrepreneur in the mushroom industry, Jaakko Kaunismaa is a man in his prime. At just 37 years of age, he is shocked when his doctor tells him that he’s dying. What is more, the cause is discovered to be prolonged exposure to toxins; in other words, someone has slowly but surely been poisoning him. Determined to find out who wants him dead, Jaakko embarks on a suspenseful rollercoaster journey full of unusual characters, bizarre situations and unexpected twists.

With a nod to Fargo and the best elements of the Scandinavian noir tradition, The Man Who Died is a page-turning thriller brimming with the blackest comedy surrounding life and death, and love and betrayal, marking a stunning new departure for the King of Helsinki Noir.


I know this is a departure for Tuomainen from his previous noir crime, but it won’t come as a surprise to anyone that this tongue-in-cheek backwards crime story lives up to the reputation that precedes him. This story is written like an Agatha Christie with a vicious streak.

Jaakko is confused by his terminal diagnosis at first. He doesn’t really grasp the fact that he is living on borrowed time, and he certainly doesn’t comprehend that this is something persons unknown have done to him. From one moment to the next he has become the living dead, although I have to say he makes zombies a lot more appealing.

I think anyone would do the same in his position. Find the murderer before the murder actually takes place. He discovers that his seemingly perfect life is actually a sham. Enemies galore are crawling out of the woodwork.  His career, his marriage and his friendships are all part of a great conspiracy or is it just the illness slowly destroying his grey cells?

On a side note I really enjoyed the way he kept going around thinking and saying ‘I have been murdered, you murdered me.’ Hilarity is hidden in the seriousness of the situation. Jaakko is the kind of character you can’t help but love. He is just a normal man in the middle of unusual circumstances trying to regain his balance and take control of what is left of his life.

The plotting is meticulous, the humour is subtle and yet at the same time sharp, and the main character is quite simply sublime as the victim to be. Tuomainen is definitely an author I will be returning to.

Kudos to the author for creating the kind of read you recommend to others, and the excellent translation by David Hackston.

Buy The Man Who Died at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

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