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What She Saw by Diane Saxon | Blog Tour | Book Review 

I am delighted to join the blog tour for What She Saw by Diane Saxon today! My thanks to Rachel’s Random Resources for my stop and the review copy!

What She Saw by Diane Saxon 

Publication Date: September 22, 2020

Publisher: Boldwood Books

ISBN: 9781838892685

My rating: 5/5

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Book Summary

‘An addictive 5* read that kept me guessing. Diane Saxon’s DS Jenna Morgan series is brilliant’ – bestselling author, Ross Greenwood.

Perfect for fans of Cara Hunter
Why does someone want the Lawrence family dead?

The Lawrence’s were the perfect family; successful, beautiful, and happy until one night their whole world was ripped apart. 
Detective Sergeant Jenna Morgan is called to investigate the suspected arson attack and death of the Lawrence family at the charred remains of their stunning home, Kimble Hall.
The case takes a sinister turn as the body count fails to tally.
Suspecting that someone may have survived the inferno, DS Morgan and her team need to discover whether they have a witness, or someone far more dangerous.
Who set the fire? Who wanted this family extinguished beyond recognition?
As the case progresses, DS Morgan realises she has a calculating, cold-blooded killer on her hands, and the race is on to track them down before they kill again.

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I Thought…

What She Saw is the third instalment in the Detective Sergeant Jenna Morgan series, set in Shropshire, England. Even though I have yet to read the first two books, I jumped at the chance to read this one, and I’m so pleased I did!

The story opens with teenager, Poppy, lying on her bedroom floor along with her dead boyfriend, Aiden, looking at her father who has just shot them. As Poppy plays dead, her father continues his mission to kill the rest of the Lawrence family before setting fire to their home – Kimble Hall.

This exciting start set the tone for the whole book and I was totally hooked. DS Jenna Morgan lives with her sister, Fliss, who is currently dating Jenna’s work partner, DS Mason Ellis. As Jenna and Mason investigate, Diane Saxon strikes a great balance between the crimes and Jenna’s personal life and both are compelling to read. This captivating police procedural is very well plotted and paced and I found Jenna to be a likeable protagonist, though she was certainly not perfect.

With numerous twists and good use of misdirection throughout, What She Saw held my interest. As the tension levels peaked, the shocking revelations left me reeling. A magnificent very highly recommended read.

Thank you to Diane Saxon, Boldwood Books, Rachel’s Random Resources and NetGalley for a complimentary copy of this novel at my request. This review is my own unbiased opinion. 

About the Author:

Diane Saxon previously wrote romantic fiction for the US market but has now turned to writing psychological crime. Find Her Alive was her first novel in this genre and introduced series character DS Jemma Morgan. She is married to a retired policeman and lives in Shropshire.

Social Links: Author WebsiteTwitter * Instagram * Facebook * Goodreads * Pinterest * Bookbub * Newsletter sign up 

Purchase at: Amazon 

Until Next Time, 

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This Is How I Lied by Heather Gudenkauf | Blog Tour | Book Review 

Thank you to the publisher, Park Row Books, for inviting me to be a part of this exciting Blog Tour for Heather Gudenkauf’s latest novel This Is How I Lied and for the eARC of this title via NetGalley.

PUBLISHER: Park Row Books

PUBLICATION DATE: May 12th, 2020

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Book Summary

With the eccentricity of Fargo and the intensity of Sadie, THIS IS HOW I LIED by Heather Gudenkauf (Park Row Books; May 12, 2020; $17.99) is a timely and gripping thriller about careless violence we can inflict on those we love, and the lengths we will go to make it right, even 25 years later.

Tough as nails and seven months pregnant, Detective Maggie Kennedy-O’Keefe of Grotto PD, is dreading going on desk duty before having the baby her and her husband so badly want. But when new evidence is found in the 25-year-old cold case of her best friend’s murder that requires the work of a desk jockey, Maggie jumps at the opportunity to be the one who finally puts Eve Knox’s case to rest.

Maggie has her work cut out for her. Everyone close to Eve is a suspect. There’s Nola, Eve’s little sister who’s always been a little… off; Nick, Eve’s ex-boyfriend with a vicious temper; a Schwinn riding drifter who blew in and out of Grotto; even Maggie’s husband Sean, who may have known more about Eve’s last day than he’s letting on. As Maggie continues to investigate, the case comes closer and closer to home, forcing her to confront her own demons before she can find justice for Eve. 

I Thought…

 Having read another of Heather Gudenkauf‘s novels, Before She Was Found, I was thrilled to be able to read this one, too. Even if I hadn’t, the premise of this was novel was pretty exciting to me, as a keen crime fiction reader.

Twenty-five years ago, Eve Knox, aged 16, was murdered and her body found in the caves near her home in small-town Grotto, Iowa by her best friend, Maggie, and Eve’s sister, Nola. The case was never solved and now, further evidence has come to light. Maggie is now married, has worked hard at her job and has become Grotto PD detective Maggie Kennedy-O’Keefe. Heavily pregnant and soon to give birth, she is decides to take up the cold case…

Right from the start, I was completely absorbed by the suspense and the intriguing story-line. Heather Gudenkauf effortlessly brings to life many interesting characters in this pacy and gripping crime thriller, as well as delving into the motives and thoughts of each of them. Deadly menace and dangerous secrets are uncovered and the author is in complete control as she brilliantly manoeuvres this tale, blurring the boundaries between right and wrong, crime and justice. Heather Gudenkauf’s skilled writing made this appear effortless, keeping the story flowing so that I was never bored. With many twists and turns, I was totally engaged all the way through, until the fulfilling and very strong conclusion.

Overall, Heather Gudenkauf‘s special way with the narrative made this compelling tale quite distinct, resulting in This Is How I Lied being a very worthwhile read. If you’re a fan of the genre, you should really read this book! I will certainly be looking out for more of this talented author’s work in the future.

A special thank you to Park Row Books, the author, and NetGalley for a complimentary copy of this novel at my request. This review is my unbiased opinion.

Meet the Author:

Heather Gudenkauf is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of many books, including The Weight of Silence and These Things Hidden. Heather graduated from the University of Iowa with a degree in elementary education, has spent her career working with students of all ages. She lives in Iowa with her husband, three children, and a very spoiled German Shorthaired Pointer named Lolo. In her free time, Heather enjoys spending time with her family, reading, hiking, and running.

Social Links: Website//Facebook//Twitter//Instagram//Goodreads

Purchase at: Barnes & Noble / HarlequinBooks-A-MillionAmazonPowell’s   

Until Next Time, 

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The Telephone Call by Michael Pakenham | Book Review Tour | Giveaway 

@rararesources @BookGuild @michaelpakenham

I am delighted to join the review tour for The Telephone Call by Michael Pakenham today! My thanks to Rachel’s Random Resources for my stop and the review copy!

This post is part of a review book tour organised by Rachels Random Resources, a 360 page thriller available now. 

Michael Pakenham will be giving away 5 x Paperback copies of The Telephone Call (UK Only) to randomly drawn winners via Rafflecopter during the tour.

Be sure to make it to the end of this post and enter the giveaway for a chance to win 5 x Paperback copies of The Telephone Call (UK Only). Thanks for stopping by and lots of luck in this fabulous giveaway!

See below to sign up for the GIVEAWAY.

About the Book

When Rosemary Sherwood overhears a disturbing conversation between her husband, Harry Sherwood and an unknown caller, she has no idea that her life’s about to change forever. Fleeing to France for fear of her own safety, Harry threatens to kill their son if she ever dares to breathe a word of anything she overheard.

Torn between hiding out in France and re-connecting with her estranged son, Rosemary returns to England twelve years later believing that she and her son are now out of danger…

A web of deceit and lies has been woven over the years to cover up the antics of Harry and his friends, who are no strangers to violence and murder and who will stop at nothing to ensure they aren’t exposed.Private Detective Daniel Appleman takes on the case, but can he track down these men before they wreak havoc on the Sherwood family?

My Thoughts…

Combine a good sprinkling of mystery, heinous crimes, long-held secrets, despicable acts, and lies and you end up with The Telephone Call by Michael Pakenham.

Not having read the first book in this series (Fatal Obsession) I had no real expectations beyond the description outline. I am pleased to say that I found it completely intriguing and compelling!

There was an extremely large number of characters to get to grips with and the story was split into two parts and told from many perspectives and different time-scales. Part one was mostly told through the eyes of Harry Sherwood, and his friends Jason Duckett and William Harrison, with contributions from Rosemary Sherwood (Harry’s wife) and their son Tom. In part two, apart from Ex-DCI Daniel Appleman himself, and Harry and his friends, the reader was provided with narrative from Daniel’s wife Rachael, as well as Mo Salter, ‘rescued’ by Harry Sherwood when she was a very young woman; Mo’s daughter, Carol; members of Hampshire Police; Rosemary’s sister, May; The Magnificent Four and a whole host of others. They all had a place and a role to play and were important to the story. With its short, snappy chapters and great deal of effort, I managed to keep up with the wicked pace and evil goings-on!   

I loved the sections of the book that featured happily married private detective Daniel, and his ex-copper wife, Rachael. The couple have a son, Arty (age 5), daughter Charlotte (4) and a brown terrier named Avo(cado). The loved-up newly-weds live in a house in the Itchen Valley, bought for them by his father-in-law. These sections provided a welcome diversion from the malice and horror of the main story. Although Daniel didn’t get along with all of his ex-colleagues from his time with the Hampshire Police Force, I appreciated that he kept in touch with his some of his former workmates, namely newly promoted DCI Paul Flower, his previous partner-in-crime and long-time friend, and that there was still a strong sense of camaraderie between them.  

Cleverly crafted, the air of foreboding deepened with every chapter and I didn’t know what was going to happen next. I loved the unfolding of the long-held secrets and lies in this gritty, gruesome detective thriller. The Telephone Call incorporated some hard-hitting subjects of physical and emotional abuse, extreme violence, revenge, and prostitution to name only a few.  

The plot is self-contained, making The Telephone Call an ideal standalone read. The ending was surprising and fulfilling. Private Detective Daniel Appleman was a thoroughly likeable character and I’m curious to see what Michael Pakenham has in store for him, next. I have no hesitation in recommending The Telephone Call to fans of the genre, although it is not a book for the faint-hearted.

I received a complimentary copy of this novel, at my request, from Rachel’s Random Resources and this review is my own unbiased opinion.

Brianne’s Book Reviews Rating | Five Stars

About The Author

Michael Pakenham is part of a well-known Irish literary family. Generations of his family lived at Langford Lodge on Loch Neagh outside Belfast. His father was killed in the Second World War and the estate was sold. His mother then took Michael and his sister to Tucson Arizona until the end of the war. On returning to England, his mother bought a farm in Hampshire and Michael has lived in the county ever since. Having served in the Grenadier Guards – the fourth generation to do so – Michael returned to take over his mother’s farming enterprises until he sold his farming interests in 1990 and started his writing career. This will be his eighth book and the second in the Daniel Appleman series. He lives outside Winchester with his wife. He has three children and a string of grandchildren.

Author Links: WebsiteGoodreads |

Book Links: Amazon US * Amazon UK * Book Guild * Waterstones * Foyles * Goodreads *

Giveaway!

Giveaway to Win 5 x Paperback copies of The Telephone Call (UK Only)

*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome. Please enter using the  box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will be passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data. I am not responsible for dispatch or delivery of the prize.

Click below to enter and good luck!

Don’t forget the other stops on the tour!

Until Next Time, 

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Viable Hostage by Audrey J. Cole | Review Tour | Giveaway 

@audreyjcole @GoddessFish #ViableHostage

I am delighted to join the review tour for Viable Hostage by Audrey J. Cole today! My thanks to Marianne & Judy at Goddess Fish Promotions for the chance to join and the review copy!

This post is part of a virtual review book tour organised by Goddess Fish Promotions. Audrey J. Cole will be awarding a $15 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Viable Hostage is a 240 page Thriller available from October 28 and is published by Rainier Publishing

See below to sign up for the GIVEAWAY.

About the Book

Malorie’s best friend is missing, but no one seems concerned about the wayward medical student’s mysterious disappearance—until another student’s partial remains wash ashore a Seattle beach… 

When Malorie witnesses her best friend and roommate leave a campus bar with a mystery date driving a silver Mercedes, she suspects foul play, especially when Lani fails to return home the next day. Both women, med students in their final year at Elliott Bay University, have a lot riding on the line, but due to Lani’s wild past, no one in her family is worried. When Malorie’s fears for her roommate deepen, she turns to her Uncle Wade, a Sergeant at Seattle Homicide. 

Within 48 hours after Lani goes missing, the partial remains of a brutally murdered young woman wash up on Alki Beach, and a human hand is found in a crab pot off Bainbridge Island. When one of the bodies is identified as a pregnant, fourth-year medical student, Wade believes there’s a connection with Lani’s disappearance. And, that they might be looking for a serial killer. 

Malorie suspects Lani’s kidnapper is someone they know, possibly even one of their professors at the university, a prominent Seattle anesthesiologist whose wife is the president of EBU. But when Detective Blake Stephenson discovers evidence that links another suspect to the professor’s Mercedes, he and Wade must act fast to attempt a wild rescue in the middle of Puget Sound.

My Thoughts…

What an explosive and exciting read!

 Audrey J. Cole writes a hugely engrossing and entertaining novel that deals with some serious issues in this gripping thriller full of hidden truths, menace, deceit, suspense and lies.

 Lani and Malorie are medical students in their final year at Elliott Bay University. When Lani leaves a campus bar with a mystery date Malorie suspects foul play, especially when Lani fails to return home the next day. Malorie’s fears for her best friend deepen, so she turns to her Uncle Wade for help, a Sergeant at Seattle Homicide.

 Forty-eight hours later, the partial remains of a brutally murdered young woman wash up on Alki Beach and a human hand is found in a crab pot off Bainbridge Island. When one of the bodies is identified as a pregnant, fourth-year medical student, Wade believes there’s a connection with Lani’s disappearance. Is a serial killer at large?

 Audrey J. Cole delivers an unrestrained and exuberant story of drama in this toxic concoction of murder, action, evil and corruption. The characters created by the author were fascinating in themselves and the pacing was perfect for the story. With an effortlessly transitioning plot-line, the suspense just built and built as the story progressed, right up until the exciting and mesmerising conclusion. I just had to keep turning those pages and I didn’t guess the identity of the perpetrator in this fantastic thriller.

 Viable Hostage is a taut, compelling and cracking story and a book that I revelled in all the way through. It brought no disappointments and everything was beautifully wrapped up in the fabulous and immensely satisfying finale. A riveting tale of menace, hostility, evil, unscrupulousness and violence, I would love to read more from this gifted story-teller and I heartily recommend this book.

 I received a complimentary copy of this novel from Goddess Fish Promotions at my request. This review is my own unbiased opinion.

Brianne’s Book Reviews Rating | Five Stars

About The Author

Audrey J. Cole is a registered nurse and a USA Today bestselling author of thrillers set in Seattle. Audrey lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and two children.

Author Links

Amazon Author Page * Website * Facebook * Bookbub * Instagram

Buy links:

Giveaway!

Audrey J. Cole will be awarding a $15 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Click below to enter and good luck!

Don’t forget the other stops on the tour!

November 7: Brianne’s Book Reviews
November 14: Face Painting for World Peace
November 14: Iron Canuck Reviews and More
November 21: My Reading Journeys
December 5: Lost in a Book After a Day of Social Work
December 5: Fabulous and Brunette

Until Next Time, 

Featured

Chloe Never Forget by Dan Laughey | Blog Tour 

@danlaughey @rararesources #ChloeNeverForget

I am delighted to join the blog tour for Chloe Never Forget by Dan Laughey today! My thanks to Rachel Gilbey at Rachel’s Random Resources for the chance to join and the wonderful review copy!

Book Summary

A missing student. A gunned-down detective. A woman in fear for her life. All three are connected somehow.

An off-duty detective gunned down. A dead woman. A student missing, feared dead. And now, a former policeman in search of his past. All these people, dead or alive, have one thing in common. D.I. Carl Sant must discover what it is.

A series of cold-case enquiries leads D.I. Sant and his colleagues to investigate a botched assassination plot dating back to the 1980s. The deeper they dig into the case, the more secrets are revealed, including shocking connections to the infamous National Front. 

Meanwhile, the memory of former P.C. Tanner, survivor of the assassination horror, is beginning to recover. Sant must find Tanner, and find out who is behind it all – before his superiors lose their rag and more lives are lost.

Purchase Links:

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07PH2MXQR

US – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07PH2MXQR

I Thought…

Author Dan Laughey has penned another fantastic mystery in the Carl Sant Murder Mysteries and Chloe Never Forget is book two.

I have recently read book one – Chloe Lost Girl – and Chloe Never Forget follows directly on from that one so I strongly recommend that the books are read in chronological order.

Chloe Never Forget begins where the threads of the story left off from book one though Dan Laughey has thoughtfully included a fair amount of back-story.

I loved being back with my favourite characters – the dedicated DI Carl Sant and his partner in crime, DC Brad Capstick.

Once again, the pacing was perfect and with an effortlessly transitioning plot-line and there was always plenty of action going on, allowing no opportunity for boredom to take root.

I was desperate to know how this enthralling crime thriller would end and was pleased with the jolting and fulfilling conclusion. I hope that Dan Laughey continues with his foray into this genre.

I received a complimentary copy of this novel at my own request from Creativia Publishing via Rachel’s Random Resources. This review is my own unbiased opinion.

Brianne’s Book Reviews Rating | Five Stars

About The Author

Dan Laughey is a lecturer at Leeds Beckett University where he teaches a course called ‘Youth, Crime and Culture’ among other things. He has written several books on the subject including Music and Youth Culture, based on his PhD in Sociology at Salford University. He also holds a BA in English from Manchester Metropolitan University and an MA in Communications Studies from the University of Leeds.

Dan was born in Otley and bred in Ilkley, West Yorkshire, a hop and a skip away from the Leeds setting of his Chloe novels.

His crime writing was purely academic to begin with. He’s written about media violence and tackled the age-old concern about television and video games influencing patterns of antisocial behaviour in society. After years of research and theoretical scrutiny, he still hasn’t cracked that particular nut.

He’s also written about the role of CCTV and surveillance in today’s Big Brother world, the sometimes fraught relationship between rap and juvenile crime, football hooliganism, and the sociocultural legacy of Britain’s most notorious serial killer – the Yorkshire Ripper.

All in all, Dan’s work has been translated into four languages: French, Hebrew, Korean and Turkish. He has presented guest lectures at international conferences and appeared on BBC Radio and ITV News in addition to providing expert commentary for The Guardian and The Daily Telegraph.

Social Media Links –

Twitter: @danlaughey – Facebook: fb.com/laughey 


Be sure to check out the rest of the bloggers on the blog tour!

Until Next Time, 

Chloe Lost Girl by Dan Laughey | Blog Tour 

@danlaughey @rararesources #ChloeLostGirl

I am delighted to join the blog tour for Chloe Lost Girl by Dan Laughey today! My thanks to Rachel Gilbey at Rachel’s Random Resources for the chance to join and the wonderful review copy!

Book Summary

A missing student. A gunned-down detective. A woman in fear for her life. All three are connected somehow.

Detective Inspector Carl Sant and his fellow officers get on the case. But what links the disappearance of a university student, the death of an off-duty police sergeant, and a professor reluctant to help them solve the case?

Their only clue is a sequence of numbers, etched by the police sergeant Dryden on a misty window moments before he breathed his last. Soon it becomes clear that Dryden’s clue has brought the past and present into a head-on collision with the very heart of Sant’s profession.

Racing against time, D.I. Sant must find out what’s behind the mysterious events – before the bodies start piling up.

Purchase Links:

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07PDLDS7N 

US – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07PDLDS7N

I Thought…

What an explosive and exciting read!

As one of my favourite genres, I was so excited to be given the opportunity to read this shortish (286 pages) début murder/mystery by Dan Laughey. During a really exciting opening chapter, the action rocketed and the tension immediately soared as events moved along at a rapid pace.

The characters created by the author, Dan Laughey, were fascinating in themselves, particularly DI Carl Sant. I loved the banter between the dedicated DI Sant and his assistant, DC Brad Capstick and all of the individual players were well drawn with great personalities that befitted the story, whether they were either likeable or evil.

The author touched on the politics of the police forces during the 1980’s and this was referred to a few times in the later parts of the book.

The pacing was perfect and with an effortlessly transitioning plot-line, the suspense just built and built as the story progressed, right up until the cliffhanger ending. I just had to keep turning those pages as I was desperate to work out how all the various threads of the story linked together.

If you’re looking for a quick, great read and murder/ mysteries are among your chosen genres, then I heartily recommend Chloe Lost Girl. I am looking forward to the next book in the DI Carl Sant Murder Mystery series by this fabulous author, Dan Laughey.

I received a complimentary copy of this novel at my own request from Creativia Publishing via Rachel’s Random Resources. This review is my own unbiased opinion.

Brianne’s Book Reviews Rating | Five Stars

About The Author

Dan Laughey is a lecturer at Leeds Beckett University where he teaches a course called ‘Youth, Crime and Culture’ among other things. He has written several books on the subject including Music and Youth Culture, based on his PhD in Sociology at Salford University. He also holds a BA in English from Manchester Metropolitan University and an MA in Communications Studies from the University of Leeds.

Dan was born in Otley and bred in Ilkley, West Yorkshire, a hop and a skip away from the Leeds setting of his Chloe novels.

His crime writing was purely academic to begin with. He’s written about media violence and tackled the age-old concern about television and video games influencing patterns of antisocial behaviour in society. After years of research and theoretical scrutiny, he still hasn’t cracked that particular nut.

He’s also written about the role of CCTV and surveillance in today’s Big Brother world, the sometimes fraught relationship between rap and juvenile crime, football hooliganism, and the sociocultural legacy of Britain’s most notorious serial killer – the Yorkshire Ripper.

All in all, Dan’s work has been translated into four languages: French, Hebrew, Korean and Turkish. He has presented guest lectures at international conferences and appeared on BBC Radio and ITV News in addition to providing expert commentary for The Guardian and The Daily Telegraph.

Social Media Links –

Twitter: @danlaughey – Facebook: fb.com/laughey 


Be sure to check out the rest of the bloggers on the blog tour!

Until Next Time,