#BlogTour Risk of Harm by Lucie Whitehouse

 It’s a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour Risk of Harm by Lucie Whitehouse.

About the Author

Lucie Whitehouse was born in Gloucestershire in 1975, read Classics at Oxford University and now lives in Brooklyn, New York. She is the author of The House at Midnight, the TV Book Club pick The Bed I Made and Before We Met, which was a Richard & Judy Summer Book Club pick and an ITV3 Crime Thriller selection. Follow @LWhitehouse5 on Twitter

About the book

Robin Lyons is back in her hometown of Birmingham and now a DCI with Force Homicide, working directly under Samir, the man who broke her heart almost twenty years ago.

When a woman is found stabbed to death in a derelict factory and no one comes forward to identify the body, Robin and her team must not only hunt for the murderer, but also solve the mystery of who their victim might be.

As Robin and Samir come under pressure from their superiors, from the media and from far-right nationalists with a dangerous agenda, tensions in Robin’s own family threaten to reach breaking point. And when a cold case from decades ago begins to smoulder and another woman is found dead in similar circumstances, rumours of a serial killer begin to spread.

In order to get to the truth Robin will need to discover where loyalty ends, and duty begins. But before she can trust, she is going to have to forgive – and that means grappling with some painful home truths.


Robin has to file away her own feelings of anxiety when the body of a young woman is discovered. It brings back unpleasant memories of what she nearly lost herself. When a second body is found soon after she realises they might be dealing with something more than a one-of.

Simultaneously Robin has to deal with the fractious relationships she has within her own family, especially as those problems seep into her day job and threaten to undermine her position.

It’s a multi-faceted crime read. It has layers of a domestic thriller with a brutally honest Kodak snapshot of crime in certain areas of the UK. Then to add the cherry on top the political tension, due to the rising far right and racist sentiments, gives the read a sharp current angle.

Whitehouse delivers characters who seem comfortable and familiar to the readers  – a bit like old friends inviting us in for their dysfunctional family moments, the moral quandaries and murder most wicked. It’s a riveting read.

Buy Risk of Harm at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Fourth Estate: pub date 8 July 2021 – £8.99. Buy at Amazon com.

#Blogtour Bound by Vanda Symon

It was a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour Bound by Vanda Symon. ‘The latest in the bestselling Sam Shephard series, which has been shortlisted for the Ngaio Marsh award and the CWA New Blood Dagger.’

About the Author

Vanda Symon is a crime writer, TV presenter and radio host from Dunedin, New Zealand, and the chair of the Otago Southland branch of the New Zealand Societyof Authors. The Sam Shephard series has climbed to number one on the New Zealand bestseller list, and has also been shortlisted for the Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Crime Novel and for the CWA John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger. She currently lives in Dunedin, with her husband and two sons.

Follow @vandasymon @OrendaBooks on Twitter, on Amazonon Goodreads, Visit vandasymon.com,

About the book

The passionate, young police officer Sam Shephard returns in a taut, atmospheric and compelling police procedural, which sees her take matters into her own hands when the official investigation into the murder of a local businessman fails to add up…

The New Zealand city of Dunedin is rocked when a wealthy and apparently respectable businessman is murdered in his luxurious home while his wife is bound and gagged, and forced to watch. But when Detective Sam Shephard and her team start investigating the case, they discover that the victim had links with some dubious characters.

The case seems cut and dried, but Sam has other ideas. Weighed down by her dad’s terminal cancer diagnosis, and by complications in her relationship with Paul, she needs a distraction, and launches her own investigation. And when another murder throws the official case into chaos, it ’s up to Sam to prove that the killer is someone no one could ever suspect.


Sam is called to the scene of a vicious home invasion. Brutal, ruthless and unfortunately the young son of the victims has come home to find one parent dead and the other one close to death. It’s the beginning of a sordid tale of crime and facades.

I’m sure I wasn’t the only reader who wanted to shake Sam into some kind of reaction when it came to her boss treating her like a naughty schoolgirl in front of everyone. Then her mother, her family in general, treating her like an afterthought because she has the audacity to have a career in a male dominated field.

It’s a cracking crime read – Symon captivates from start to finish. Shephard is a character who is pummeled by those who see the weaknesses in her and yet she shines when it comes to solving crimes. She has an instinct for the details – her gut tells her there is something wrong with the scenario being spun by those at the top.

I can’t wait to see where the author takes this series and hope we see a more combative and fierce side to Sam. It’s certainly an excellent read I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend. The author knows exactly how to balance the tension of the crime with the more emotional side of the characters. It gives it a more authentic feel. And kudos to the author for the prologue.

Buy Bound at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Orenda Books: pub date 4 March 2021 | Paperback Original | £8.99. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour The Silent Wife by Karin Slaughter

I have been looking forward to taking part in the BlogTour The Silent Wife by Karin Slaughter. 20 books – 20 years. Once again Slaughter gives us a fantastic read.

About the Author

Karin Slaughter is one of the world’s most popular and acclaimed storytellers. Published in 120 countries with more than 35 million copies sold across the globe, her 19 novels include the Grant County and Will Trent books, as well as the Edgar-nominated Cop Town and the instant Sunday Times bestselling novels Pretty Girls, The Good Daughter, and Pieces of Her.

The Good Daughter and Cop Town are in development for film and television and Pieces of Her is soon to be an eight-part Netflix adaptation, directed by Lesli Linka Glatter (Mad Men), and produced by Charlotte Stoudt (Homeland) and Bruna Papandrea (Big Little Lies).

Karin is the founder of the Save the Libraries project- a non-profit organisation established to support libraries and library programming. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia.

Follow @SlaughterKarin on Twitteron Goodreadson Amazon, Visit karinslaughter.comBuy The Silent Wife

About the book

Atlanta, Georgia. Present day. A young woman is brutally attacked and left for dead. The police investigate but the trail goes cold. Until a chance assignment takes GBI investigator Will Trent to the state penitentiary, and to a prisoner who says he recognises the MO. The attack looks identical to the one he was accused of eight years earlier. The prisoner’s always insisted that he was innocent, and now he’s sure he has proof. The killer is still out there.

As Will digs into both crimes it becomes clear that he must solve the original case in order to reach the truth. Yet nearly a decade has passed—time for memories to fade, witnesses to vanish, evidence to disappear. And now he needs medical examiner Sara Linton to help him hunt down a ruthless murderer. But when the past and present collide, everything Will values is at stake.


Two crimes that seem to be single entities are connected, which is how Will Trent is drawn into the search for a killer who has allegedly been caught, and the machinations of a criminal with ulterior motives. Whilst peeling back the layers of an historic crime he realises that somewhere along the line people have screwed up and in a way that has cost lives and left scars that will never heal.

Simultaneously he has to navigate the complicated boundaries of his relationship with Sara, which is easier said than done. It’s hard loving a woman who admits that she will never love Will the same way she loved her ex.

Together they have to retrace steps and revisit mistakes to find a ruthless killer, which also leads them right into the clutches of little old troublesome Lena Adams. Such a great character, because she really doesn’t give two monkeys whether she breaks rules, commits crimes or crosses boundaries.

On a side-note I really disliked Sara. Not Sara as the professional, but most certainly in her personal life. Regardless of her past and all her ex-hubby baggage – she really enjoys the drama, perhaps more than she should. It’s a peculiar imbalance, because as far as being the expert when it comes to death and crime scenes she gives Cornwell’s Scarpetta a run for her money.

It’s a police procedural with the vibe of a vicious and meticulously plotted psychological thriller.

I really enjoy the way Slaughter plots. She plays the long game. As a reader you should be looking under beds, remembering every detail and looking out for the solution woven shrewdly into the story. It’s there – if you look close enough.

What this author does exceptionally well is deliver a read you really want to solve. The story keeps you captivated from beginning till the end, which is always a sign of a great read and a talented author.

Buy The Silent Wife at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: HarperCollins; pub date 25 Jun. 2020.| £20.00 | Hardback. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour Hidden Steel by Stuart Field

It’s my turn on the BlogTour Hidden Steel by Stuart Field. It’s the second book in the John Steel series.About the Author

Stuart Field was born in the UK, in the West Midlands. He spent his early years in the army, seeing service in all the known (and some unknown) hotspots around the world. He now lives in Germany with his wife Ani. When not engaged in highly confidential security work, he writes thrillers which perhaps mimic his life-experience more than the reader would like to believe.

Follow @StuartField14 on Twitter, on Facebookon GoodreadsBuy Hidden Steel

About the book

In the UK, Detective John Steel is investigating the organization who killed his family. When he comes across information that something big is going to happen on the cruise ship Neptune, Steel goes undercover. He has fourteen days to figure out what is going to happen – and to stop it.

In New York, Steel’s NYPD partner, Detective Samantha McCall, is investigating a series of deaths. All seems run of the mill for the homicide detective until they find out that the deaths are somehow connected to the cruise ship John Steel is on.

McCall is convinced there is a mole in the department, but can she figure out who he is – and who he’s working for? Meanwhile, Steel is running out of options… and the clock is ticking.


This is the second book in the John Steel series, both books can be read as standalone novels.

The book seems to be split into two storylines with no apparent connection, aside from the fact John Steel and Sam McCall know each other. Steel is on a cruise ship playing his – my name is Steel, John Steel – role. He does have a wee bit of super spy aura going on. He is everywhere and nowhere all at the same time.

He is working undercover chasing something based on information that the Neptune is linked to a possible crime in the making. He isn’t sure what he is looking for he just knows that something wicked this way comes.

Meanwhile Sam McCall and the rest of the NYPD team are dealing with a series of deaths. What appears to the inexperienced to be accidental is something more nefarious to the more weathered eye of McCall.

I like the way the author creates this imperfect perfect and almost mystical figure in Steel. His reputation proceeds him as he appears to save people and situations with such ease and power. Then Field balances the story by giving readers the normality of his police colleagues. The banter, the crime and the personalities, it all gels really well.

It’s a fast-paced thriller, a combo of police procedural and action thriller. Field presents both storylines as separate entities at first, which makes for a split read, but not a disjointed one. The two are woven together naturally as the read progresses.

Buy Hidden Steel at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Published in paperback and digital formats by Next Chapter Publishing on 25th December 2019. Buy at Amazon com.

A Dark so Deadly by Stuart MacBride

a dark so deadlyThis read is messy, but in a good way. It is at the very least dysfunctional and unpredictable. Fair warning, an extremely high amount of babies, of the jelly variety, lose their little lives during this murderous tale.

MacBride has his characters throwing around banter like an unruly crowd throwing food during an ancient Greek theatre performance. A lot of tit for tat and sometimes they are as vicious to each other, as a honey badger on a rampage.

Poor Callum, he really isn’t having a very good time of it. His career is nearly over, his life is crumbling like a dunked biscuit and his new friend on speed dial is a 7 year old girl, who thinks she is more gangsta than Al Capone.

It takes the gang a while to figure out that they are dealing with a particularly vicious and unbalanced serial killer. A ruthless and very intelligent one.

I have to admit, the author managed to get one over on me. There was the occasional niggle, which I won’t delve into because it would give away the game. Overall I was ‘colour me surprised’ at the end.

I think the author actually excels at having no normal or semi-normal characters, they are all misfits in their own right, and it works. In their own way the whole bunch of them bounce off each other and they care what happens, despite loud protestations to the contrary.

MacBride is definitely an author I will be revisiting. I enjoyed his dark humour and droll wit. I’m fairly certain the whole banter and witty repertoire was a way to distract me from the fact the author was hiding the killer right in front of me. Yeh, that’s my theory and I’m sticking with it. (*grin*)

Buy A Dark so Deadly at Amazon UK or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

Blog-Tour: Deadly Game by Matt Johnson

Today I am delighted to take part in the Blog-Tour for Deadly Game by Matt Johnson. Along with the About the author, About the book and my review, this blog post also features a fantastic guest post My First Crimefest by Matt Johnson.

About the Author

Matt Johnson served as a soldier and Metropolitan Police officer for 25 years. Blown off his feet at the London Baltic Exchange bombing in 1993, and one of the first police officers on the scene of the 1982 Regent’s Park bombing, Matt was also at the Libyan People’s Bureau shooting in 1984 where he escorted his mortally wounded friend and colleague, Yvonne Fletcher, to hospital. Hidden wounds took their toll. In 1999, Matt was discharged from the police with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. While undergoing treatment, he was encouraged by his counsellor to write about his career and his experience of murders, shootings and terrorism. One evening, Matt sat at his computer and started to weave these notes into a work of fiction that he described as having a tremendously cathartic effect on his own condition. His bestselling thriller, Wicked Game, which was shortlisted for the CWA John Creasey Dagger, was the result. Deadly Game once again draws on Matt’s experiences and drips with the same raw authenticity of its predecessor.

You can connect with @Matt_Johnson_UK or @Orendabooks on Twitter, Facebook or at mattjohnsonauthor.com

Buy Deadly Game here

About the book: Deadly Game

Reeling from the attempts on his life and that of his family, Police Inspector Robert Finlay returns to work to discover that any hope of a peaceful existence has been dashed. Assigned to investigate the Eastern European sex-slave industry just as a key witness is murdered, Finlay, along with his new partner Nina Brasov, finds himself facing a ruthless criminal gang, determined to keep control of the

traffic of people into the UK. On the home front, Finlay’s efforts to protect his wife and child may have been in vain, as an MI5 protection officer uncovers a covert secret service operation that threatens them all …

Aided by new allies, he must not only protect his family but save a colleague from an unseen enemy … and a shocking fate. Deadly Game is a stunning, terrifying and eye-opening thriller from one of the most exciting new names in crime fiction.

Guest Post

My first Crimefest – Matt Johnson

As 2016 dawned, I had never heard of Bristol Crimefest so when Orenda Books publisher, Karen Sullivan asked me to attend and take part in a couple of interview panels, I really had no idea what I was signing up for.

I arrived at the Bristol Marriott hotel, checked in to a very comfortable room and then went to register for the festival. I’m sure you can imagine my surprise when I asked festival organiser how many people we coming. The answer? Five hundred and fifty! I think he saw my shocked look as he then reassured me that there would be know more than a hundred and fifty at each panel!

First evening was spent with fellow Orenda Authors when our wonderful publisher, Karen Sullivan, took us all out for a nice Italian meal. I had the chance to meet and talk to Michael GrothausMichael StanleyYusuf ToropovKati Hiekkapelto and Paul Hardisty.

Returning to the hotel, I began to notice faces that I recognised. Mari Hannah spoke to me (absolutely charming) and Rod Reynolds (looks so young). Then I saw an ‘old friend’ Michelle Davies, who I met in Glasgow in March when we did our very first interviews together. A great catch up was had.

And then it was time for bed!

Day one dawned. Breakfast – full english, of course – as you should always go into battle on a full stomach, and then off to meet the team for the first panel. Pete Adams (hilarious), Daniel Pembrey (young, talented AND handsome) and the wonderful Lisa Cutts. Lisa is a serving detective and – not a lot of people know – her father was my first DI (detective inspector). Lisa and I had spent the previous evening in the bar talking JOB, as coppers often do!

Lisa and I met up with our ‘moderator’ Caro Ramsey. Caro is from Glasgow and turned out to have a very sharp sense of humour. With another natural comedian in Pete Adams, it didn’t take long before they had our audience laughing. Lisa, Daniel and I simply followed where they led.

The hour passed very quickly, and then we headed off to sign a few books.

Then, a very strange thing happened. At 7pm I joined a large queue of people as we headed for the main hall. There were to be announcements, the Crime Writers Association were publishing the long-lists for the 2016 Dagger Awards. I was aware that my publisher had nominated Wicked Game but, well, let’s get real, there are hundreds of entries and some very talented and experienced authors in the mix. As the announcements started, I found myself chatting to some folks so I wasn’t paying as much attention to the stage as perhaps I should have been (guilty m’lord) but I then thought I heard my own name being announced. A few moments later my hand was being squeezed by more people than I could count.

Wicked Game had been long-listed, for the John Creasey New Blood Dagger, along with eight other entries. My publisher gave me a kiss, my phone started buzzing. I was stunned, and speechless. Especially when I realised the text on my phone was from Peter James – news had travelled fast.

That night, I celebrated with fish n chips and a cider, at the Catch22 resturant (very good, well recommended – try the grilled fish) opposite the hotel. I met Mick Heron (Spy novelist) and, as he was also listed for another Dagger, we quietly celebrated together.

Next day, I was on the red-eye panel, the one that starts at 9am, the morning after some people were in the bar until the wee small hours. To my surprise, we had a full house again. This time we were under the guidance of Laura Wilson. On the panel were Sara WardYusuf ToropovAnja de Jager and a certain Mr James Law, former submariner and the author of a best-selling book by the name of ‘Tenacity’.

JS Law starts the banter…

Put an ex-navy man and an ex-soldier together and the inevitable happened. First he took the rise out of the Army, then I remembered a navy joke, and soon the craic was well under way. What the people outside the room must have thought of the laughter, I don’t know. What our fellow authors must have thought, I dread to think!

Soon came the time to head home. All too soon as I had made some great new mates and met some fascinating people. I was really quite amazed at how friendly and welcoming the crime-fiction community is.

And will I be there this year? Definitely. James and I might just start up a double act.


One thing that is clearly evident is the amount of self and personal experience the author has woven into the story. Writing police and military procedurals means having to do a lot of research and readers can be very nit-picky about the details.

I think Johnson hits the nail on the head when it comes to the bureaucratic idiocy of police and security institutions. On top of that he has the backstabbing ruthlessness of security operatives down to a tee. As long as they achieve their end-goal they are willing to take down anyone. Luckily Finlay is used to watching his back, especially after the events of Wicked Game.

Human trafficking and sexual exploitation is a hot topic at the moment. Finally it seems to be getting the attention it deserves. People often think of it as a problem in third world countries and not as a first world problem. Unfortunately they are wrong it is very much prevalent in most countries. There is an endless supply of vulnerable young girls and women falling into the hands of well structured organizations. A lot of money to be made at the expense of innocent victims.

Finlay stumbles into the midst of one of these gangs, well let’s just say he is pushed in the right direction for the wrong reasons. Under the misconception that he is on holiday to help deal with his PTSD, he is unaware of his status as an unwitting undercover operative. It’s not until he makes a connection to a human trafficking ring that he comprehends he has in fact been used as a pawn by his MI5 liaison officer.

There is plenty more going on, however I will leave that to you to discover. It is a fast-paced story with strong characters and plenty to sink your teeth into. It is a blend of police procedure, action and thriller featuring important aspects of modern crime. Quite the read.

Buy Deadly Game at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

Read End Game by Matt Johnson

P.S: The author provided all the links (links to Twitter accounts of people he has mentioned) in his guest post My First Crimefest. I just wanted to say kudos to him for doing that.

A Banquet of Consequences by Elizabeth George

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I have always liked Havers, so I really feel sorry for the way she is treated by her superior officer. What makes her a good detective is her gut instinct and the terrier like grip on the cases she works on. She isn’t interested in conforming her looks, behaviour and attitude towards work and life.

Unfortunately non of that gels with what the upper echelon of the police ranks believes she should look like or do.

I also think the author needs to give us back Lynley and Havers as a team. Havers and Winnie are amusing, but the Lynley and Havers bring in the gold. The way they bounce of each other in dialogue and actions is what has always made this duo so interesting.

Instead George has Lynley bouncing his upper class wit off Dorothea, Ardery and Dairdre. It is funny, however it doesn’t have the same charm as with Havers.

Then there is snobby ‘could do with a drink’ Ardery, who has it in for Havers. Sorry, there is only so much we will send you to the end of the earth blackmail, I can take. That particular sub-plot has become repetitive.

George likes to string and twist her plots in peculiar ways. In this story she casts a wide net (really wide) and slowly draws it in again (very slowly).

Personally I kind of liked the diabolical character of Caroline and the way her meddling ways seem just a little obsessive at the beginning. Just how disturbed she really is only becomes evident a lot later in the book.

Everything links together in the end with an admittedly uncomfortable and shocking ending. Very much a classic George, who doesn’t shy away from difficult topics.

As for Lynley, well I would like to see him back in field instead of pining over some female. Can’t he pine and work at the same time? Let’s get him back to solving crimes with Havers, whilst she is busy breaking rules. At the moment they are both bound by rules and bored till the point of madness.

George needs to either let them both back out of the box to play police together or let go of the two of them for good.

I received a free copy of this book via NetGalley.