#BlogTour Firewatching by Russ Thomas

Today it’s a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour Firewatching by Russ Thomas. It is an incredibly good debut novel.About the Author

Russ Thomas was born in Essex, raised in Berkshire and  now lies in Sheffield. He grew up in the 80s reading anything he could get from the library, writing stories, watching large amounts of television, playing video games, and largely avoiding the great outdoors. He spent five years trying to master playing the electronic organ and another five trying to learn Spanish. It didn’t take him too long to realise that he’d be better off sticking to the writing.

After a few ‘proper’ jobs ( among them: pot-washer, optician’s receptionist, supermarket warehouse operative, call-centre telephonist and storage salesman) he discovered the joys of book selling, where he could talk to people about books all day.

His debut novel Firewatching is the first book in the DS Adam Tyler series.

Follow @thevoiceofruss on Twitter, on Goodreads, Visit russthomasauthor.comBuy Firewatching

About the book

One False Move – A body is found bricked into the walls of a house. From the state of the hands, it’s clear they were buried alive and tried to claw their way out before they died. Soon, the victim is linked to a missing person’s case and DS Adam Tyler is called.

Will Ignite – As the sole representative of South Yorkshire’s Cold Case Review Unit, Tyler recognises his role as what it is – a means of keeping him out of the way following an ‘incident.’ When this case falls in his lap, he grabs the opportunity to fix his stagnating career.

The City – When he discovers he has a connection to the case that hopelessly compromises him, he makes the snap decision not to tell his superiors. With such a brutal and sadistic murder to unpick, Tyler must move carefully to find the truth, without destroying the case or himself.

Meanwhile, someone in the city knows exactly what happened to the body. Someone who is watching Adam closely. Someone with an unhealthy affinity with fire…


Sometimes you get reads that demand attention. You are unable to focus on any other matter or book until you have devoted every aspect of yourself to this particular story – right until the very last page.

DS Adam Tyler is called to the scene of a crime as the representative of the Cold Case Unit. The body is of a person who went missing many years ago. Perhaps he can finally get some answers to the many questions the police and the family have.

Simultaneously someone has been setting fires – the question is whether there is any connection to a bizarre blog on the internet and real life or is it all just some strange coincidence. The insidious nature of the arsonist is balanced, in an oddly fascinating way, by the factual accounts of historical incidents of tragedies linked to fire.

In the midst of the more serious nature of this crime read the relationship between Doggett and Tyler brings a little humour to the story. Doggett has a very specific snarky charm, and he doesn’t mind sharing it with everyone around him. Think Dalziel and his acidic tongue, but with much friendlier intentions.

I enjoyed the way the author stapled the truth of the insatiable hunger of social media intermittently into the story. It serves as a stark and frightening reminder that there are plenty of invisible people out there in the world, who feed off pain, drama and fear. What’s worse is how many of them are willing to incite and fuel the flames – pun absolutely intended.

It’s a superb crime read – an excellent combination of snark, mystery and murder.

I had to go back and check again that this was indeed a debut novel, because Thomas plots and writes like someone who has been writing for years. I hope this is the first of many more.

Buy Firewatching at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Simon and Shuster pub date 20 February 2020 – Hardback 12.99. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour The Love Child by Rachel Hore

Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour The Love Child by Rachel Hore. It’s a contemporary read, a story about love and the way certain bonds are there even if they aren’t visible to the naked eye.About the Author

Rachel Hore worked in London publishing for many years before moving with her family to Norwich, where she teaches publishing and creative writing at the University of East Anglia. She is married to the writer D. J. Taylor and they have three sons. Her latest novel, Last Letter Home, was a Sunday Times bestseller and a Richard and Judy Book Club pick for 2018.

Follow @Rachelhore on Twitter, on Goodreadson Amazon, Visit rachelhore.co.ukBuy The Love Child

About the book

One young mother’s ultimate sacrifice. One child’s desperate search to uncover the truth . . . – London, 1917

When seventeen-year-old Alice falls pregnant, she is forced by her father and stepmother to give up the baby. She simply cannot be allowed to bring shame upon her family. But all Alice can think of is the small, kitten-like child she gave away, and how the father, a young soldier, so beloved, will never have the chance to know his daughter.

Meanwhile, Edith and Philip, a couple unable to have children of their own, secretly adopt a baby girl, Irene, given up by a young unmarried mother. Irene grows up knowing that she is different from other children but no one will tell her the full truth. As two extraordinary stories intertwine across two decades, will secrets long-buried at last come to light?Review

It’s quite normal for an adopted child to feel different, especially if they are unaware of the fact they are adopted. A lot of them feel as if something isn’t quite right. That there is something missing. Outsiders often don’t understand their need to search for their roots in an attempt to learn more about where they came from. Why rock the boat?

I think in Irene’s case the feeling of not belonging is multiplied tenfold by the rejection and lack of love she feels from her adoptive mother. There is no bond and no instinct to protect and cherish. Obviously Irene hopes deep inside that her biological mother will make up for what she lacked as a child.

What becomes clear in the story, due to the time-frame it is set in, is how we all take the information flow of the late 20th and 21st century for granted. Given enough information and access to resources you can find anyone who has left a digital footprint. Whereas the search in this book is hindered by lack of records, finding people who know the truth, and then being able to locate someone with only the bare minimum of information.

The other side of the adoption coin is the woman who was forced to give up her child, and subsequently told to keep it a secret for the rest of her life. Alice turns her heartbreak and all the pain, and uses that internal drive to succeed in a career dominated by men.

Hore shows the invisible bond between the two women, who are meant to connect, despite the circumstances that drive them apart. It’s a sensitive subject written with gentle and understanding voice. It’s a contemporary read, a story about love and the way certain bonds are there even if they aren’t visible to the naked eye.

Buy The Love Child at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK; pub date 5 Sept. 2019. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour Living My Best Life by Claire Frost

Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour Living My Best Life by Claire Frost. It’s women’s fiction, a contemporary read for all ages.About the Author

Claire Frost grew up in Manchester, the middle of three sisters. She always wanted to do a job that involved writing, so after studying Classics at Bristol University she started working in magazines. For the last 10 years she’s been at The Sun On Sunday’s Fabulous magazine, where she is Assistant Editor and also responsible for the title’s book reviews. She can mostly be found at her desk buried under a teetering TBR pile.

Follow @fabfrosty on Twitter, on AmazonBuy Living My Best Life

About the book

Bell never thought she’d be facing her 40th birthday single. Recently dumped by her boyfriend of ten years, she’s struggling to move on with her life – and surrender the fleecy pyjamas she’s been living in since January. Sick of being bombarded by #blessed on social media and feeling like her life doesn’t live up to everyone else’s, she decides it’s time for a change; time to find out who she really is, not who she thinks she should be.

Millie is a successful online influencer posting under the handle @mi_bestlife, but as a single mum trying to make ends meet and stay ahead of the younger generation snapping at her heels, her Instagram feed is far more #BestLie than #BestLife. With internet trolls attempting to bring her down and an ex who cares more about playing football than seeing their son, Millie begins to wish her life was more like her filters.

It isn’t until Millie and Bell’s paths cross that the two women begin to realise what they’re missing. Will Bell finally learn to live life for herself? And will Millie see that she needs to start living for the moment and not for the likes?Review

The Instagram life of Millie brings up some valid points. Social media influencers spend the majority of their time trying to convince others how perfect their lives are. Perfectly set-up pictures taken with the right filters, lighting, surroundings and objects. The focus is on perfection rather than reality.

Reminds me of a post that went viral of a young woman in sports gear posting that she is on a hike on *insert famous trail* – meanwhile her sister takes a picture of her stood in the backyard taking said picture.

In essence it is promoting fake pics of fake perfection to sell products. The problem with this is that reality gets harder to deal with because life can never be replicated in such a perfect way for the majority of us. Barring the upper echelon, and the rich and famous of course.

What Bell teaches Millie is that it’s okay to just be a single mother trying to raise her child in normal surroundings. It doesn’t have to look as if she lives the perfect life 24/7. In a way these two women empower each other to look beyond the expectations and rules of our patriarchal society. They have a lot in common, despite being a decade apart in age. They create a bond and a friendship that goes beyond shallow assumptions and misconceptions.

What I really enjoyed about this read was the way Frost focused on women helping other women, which is something society often sorely lacks. Instead we see a lot of criticism of women by other women.

It’s women’s fiction, a contemporary read for all ages.

Buy Living My Best Life at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK;; pub date 5 Sept. 2019 | Paperback Original | £7.99. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour Hunting Evil by Chris Carter

Today it’s a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour Hunting Evil by Chris Carter. It’s a fast-paced bloodthirsty thriller with a vicious killer intent on revenge.

About the Author

Chris Carter: ‘Biographies can be an absolute drag, so I won’t bore anyone with a long life story.

I was born in Brasilia, Brazil where I spent my childhood and teenage years. After graduating from high school, I moved to the USA where I studied psychology with specialization in criminal behaviour. During my University years I held a variety of odd jobs, ranging from flipping burgers to being part of an all male exotic dancing group.

I worked as a criminal psychologist for several years before moving to Los Angeles, where I swapped the suits and briefcases for ripped jeans, bandanas and an electric guitar. After a spell playing for several well known glam rock bands, I decided to try my luck in London, where I was fortunate enough to have played for a number of famous artists. I toured the world several times as a professional musician. A few years ago I gave it all up to become a full time writer.’

Follow Chris Carter on Goodreads, on Amazon, Visit chriscarterbooks.com

Buy Hunting Evil

About the book

‘Every story one day comes to an end…’

As roommates, they met for the first time in college. Two of the brightest minds ever to graduate from Stamford Psychology University. As adversaries, they met again in Quantico, Virginia. Robert Hunter had become the head of the LAPD’s Ultra Violent Crimes Unit. Lucien Folter had become the most prolific and dangerous serial killer the FBI had ever encountered.

Now, after spending three and a half years locked in solitary confinement, Lucien has finally managed to break free. And he’s angry.

For the past three and a half years, Lucien has thought of nothing else but vengeance. The person

responsible for locking him away has to pay, he has to suffer. That person … is Robert Hunter. And now it is finally time to execute the plan.


Unlike the majority of Carter’s previous books, which can be read as stand-alone novels, this one is a sequel to An Evil Mind. In Hunting Evil the fight between Robert Hunter and Lucien continues, as Lucien sets his plans for vengeance into motion.

Reading the first book will give a certain understanding of just how intense the battle is between the two men, so I would recommend reading that one too.

In this book Garcia takes a step forward into the limelight a little more than usual, and Hunter shows his more vulnerable side. It was nice to see the change in power status, and the way the team goes to bat for Hunter when he is pushed to make some difficult decisions to catch Lucien.

Carter doesn’t pull any punches with this brutal thriller. It starts off with a violent awakening and continues that way throughout without mercy. It’s a fast-paced bloodthirsty thriller with a vicious killer intent on revenge.

This author is well-known for delivering hardcore scenes, gore and nasty wee criminals to his audience. This is perhaps a little less gory than usual, but it is still in keeping with what his readership enjoys. I think his background allows him to step beyond the boundaries and envision the more ruthless and calculated actions of his antagonists.

Serial killers tend to have a high IQ, one can only hope masterminds like Lucien are not walking among us as we speak. The thought is disturbing to say the least. Oh, and let’s ban them from reading Carter’s books while we are at it.

Buy Hunting Evil at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Simon & Schuster Uk; pub date 2 May 2019. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour We All Fall Down by Daniel Kalla

It’s my turn on the BlogTour We All Fall Down by Daniel Kalla. It’s a fast-paced bio-chemical suspense thriller that presents a frighteningly realistic scenario.About the Author

Daniel Kalla is the international bestselling author of Pandemic, Resistance, Rage Therapy, Blood Lies, Cold Plague, and Of Flesh and Blood. His books have been translated into eleven languages, and two novels have been optioned for film. Kalla practices emergency medicine in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Follow @DanielKalla on Twitter, on Goodreads, on Amazon, Visit danielkalla.com

Buy We All Fall Down

About the book

A critically ill patient lies dying in a remote town in Italy. Alana Vaughn, an infectious diseases expert with NATO, receives a desperate call – she must fly to Italy immediately and confirm what everyone already suspects… that the dying woman has the plague, a merciless disease that kills in days.

When Alana arrives, her worst fears are confirmed. But the patient isn’t just dying of the plague – she has the strain of the plague known as the Black Death, one of the most devastating pandemics in human history, which eight hundred years ago killed more than a quarter of the world’s population.

And if Alana and her counterpart at the World Health Organisation, Byron Menke, can’t track down the source of the disease…then it will be the end of them all.


I think Kalla likes preying on our inner fears and playing with a certain paranoia that lives inside the majority of us. Then again it’s not paranoia when it’s a real threat, and biological weapons are a threat in our day and age.

Governments, pharma and weapons companies play around with synthetic and genetically modified or engineered viruses and bacteria to create the perfect bio-weapon or to create antidotes for the aforementioned. As if that wasn’t enough scientists have also gone looking for diseases or viruses, such as the Spanish influenza to be able to prevent further pandemics of this nature. In our area they dug up the son of an aristocratic family, who died of the Spanish flu in 1919. The virus could have a similar genetic structure to the modern bird flu. The hope was that the lead coffin he was buried in may have preserved the virus.

The problem with that, in my opinion, is that they are the ones circulating deadly viruses, which then could possibly fall into the wrong hands or accidentally be reintroduced into the world.

The story takes us back in time, as we are made privy to the thoughts and journal entries of a physician or barber surgeon, Rafael Pasqua, in the midst of the Black plague, and then to the present as the disease rips through modern day civilisation like a wave of destruction. In the present, Alana and Nico are desperate to find patient zero or the point of origin in the hopes of finding out how to stop it from spreading. Was it an accident or is this the worst case scenario – a terrorist attack? Kalla presents an interesting juxtaposition between the scapegoating of the Jews then and the groups who are blamed for this new outbreak.

All of the above may seem to veer off-topic, but the principle is the same when it comes to this plot, the Black Death, and the lengths some people are willing to go to, to make scientific breakthroughs or create weapons. The kind of weapons that could potentially wipe out entire countries and populations.

It’s a fast-paced bio-chemical suspense thriller with hints of historical fiction, that presents a frighteningly realistic scenario. What could be scarier than knowing you can’t see the weapon or defend yourself against it if it comes for you or your loved ones.

Buy We All Fall Down at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK; pub date 2 May 2019. Buy at Amazon com. Buy at Simon and Schuster.