Saturday, 17 November 2018

#BlogTour: Where the Truth Lies by M J Lee @WriterMJLee @canelo_co #WhereTheTruthLies

Published by Canelo on 22nd October 2018. My thanks to the author and the publisher for the review copy and inviting me on to the blog tour. You can get your copy of the book:

The case was closed. Until people started dying… The unputdownable first DI Ridpath crime thriller from bestseller MJ Lee
A killer in total control. A detective on the edge. A mystery that HAS to be solved.
DI Thomas Ridpath was on the up in the Manchester CID: a promising young detective whose first case involved capturing a notorious serial killer. But ten years later he’s recovering from a serious illness and on the brink of being forced out of the police. Then people start dying: tortured, murdered, in an uncanny echo of Ridpath’s first case.
As the investigation intensifies, old bodies go missing, records can’t be found and the murder count grows. Caught in a turf war between the police and the coroner’s office, digging up skeletons some would rather forget, Ridpath is caught in a race against time: a race to save his career, his marriage… And lives.
When a detective goes missing everything is on the line. Can Ridpath close the case and save his colleague?
My Thoughts:
Where the Truth Lies is the first in the exciting new DI Ridpath crime thriller series and the first book that I have read by this author. 
Set in Manchester, DI Ridpath is returning to work after illness, cancer in fact. His superiors deem that a stint in a desk job would help ease him back in. Swiftly seconded to the Coroner's Office, DI Ridpath is wondering what he has done to have this placement. Things take a turn though when a serious investigation draws him back in. Will this case takes its toll on DI Ridpath or will this be DI Ridpath back on the force proper. 
I thoroughly enjoy this genre of police procedural/crime thriller and whilst it could be a little formulaic, in this case the placement of DI Ridpath in the Coroner's Office adds a different element to this genre. 
As is customary with this type of book there are twists and turns aplenty but MJ Lee masterfully keeps the reader guessing and the pace and tension picks up as the book moves on. The plot was plausible and the characters believable and whilst Ridpath is desperately flawed I found him warm and likeable. 
Where the Truth Lies is incredibly well written and although there are some gruesome scenes they were fitting with the overall landscape of the plot. 
It is unclear whether this is the authors first foray in to crime fiction or not but I can confidently say Where the Truth Lies is a success and I look forward to reading more in this exciting new series. 

About the Author:
M J Lee has spent most of his adult life writing in one form or another. As a university researcher in history, he wrote pages of notes on reams of obscure topics. As a social worker with Vietnamese refugees, he wrote memoranda. And, as the creative director of an advertising agency, he has written print and press ads, TV commercials, short films and innumerable backs of cornflake packets and hotel websites.
He has spent 25 years of his life working outside the north of England, in London, Hong Kong, Taipei, Singapore, Bangkok and Shanghai, winning advertising awards from Cannes, One Show, D&AD, New York and the United Nations.
While working in Shanghai, he loved walking through the old quarters of that amazing city, developing the idea behind a series of crime novels featuring Inspector Pyotr Danilov, set in the 1920s.
When he’s not writing, he splits his time between the UK and Asia, taking pleasure in playing with his daughter, practising downhill ironing, single-handedly solving the problem of the French wine lake, and wishing he were George Clooney.

Twitter: @WriterMJLee
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Friday, 16 November 2018

#BlogTour: The Long Shadow by Celia Fremlin @FaberBooks #TheLongShadow #CeliaFremlin

Published on 1st November 2018. The Long Shadow is Faber's Classic Crime for 2018 and is the second book they have published in their rediscovery of Celia Fremlin. My thanks to the publisher for the review copy and inviting me on to the blog tour. 

From the Edgar Award-winning author of The Hours Before Dawn
Jolted from sleep by the ringing of the telephone, Imogen stumbles through the dark, empty house to answer it. At first, she can't quite understand the man on the other end of the line. Surely he can't honestly be accusing her of killing her husband, Ivor, who died in a car crash barely two months ago.

As the nights draw in, Imogen finds her home filling up with unexpected Christmas guests, who may be looking for more than simple festive cheer. Has someone been rifling through Ivor's papers? Who left the half-drunk whiskey bottle beside his favourite chair? And why won't that man stop phoning, insisting he can prove Imogen's guilt?
My Thoughts:
The Long Shadow is somewhat of an Antidote to the Christmas stories that are around at this time of year, it is the first book I have read by Celia Fremlin. I am ashamed to say that I hadn't heard of this magnificent writer before. 
The Long Shadow was set around 1960 and as it was written some time ago the writing style and language used was fitting for that time but the exploration of family dynamics and the shadows that can be cast upon a home and a family were ever present throughout this taut and tensely plotted read. 
Imogen is grieving, her husband Ivor has been killed in a car accident. He wasn't perfect by all accounts but Imogen is still at an utter loss by his death. One night she receives a phone call from a man she met at a drinks party. He claims to know and have proof that she killed her husband. 
As christmas approaches all manner of family descend upon Imogen's house. There is Ivor's previous wife, her two stepchildren, one of their friends and one of their partners. 
Imogen did not ask for any of them to arrive and is rather put out by this onslaught particularly when she would rather be alone. Since all of their arrivals strange things are happening around the house. In Ivor's study things are being moved about. 
This is not a dramatic read as such but it is thrilling with a sense of dread and foreboding spreading across the pages. It is an exploration of people and families and what that means to each of the characters. It is really a story of grief and the after shocks. 
Absolutely full of unreliable narrators I found this book an utter delight and would recommend to any one who likes the suspense/domestic noir genre. What really did happen to Ivor? I couldn't possibly say but I hope that you read this one to find out. 
Also if anyone reading this can recommend any of the authors other books I would love to hear from you.
About the Author:
Celia Fremlin (1914–2009) was born in Kent. Her first published novel of suspense was The Hours Before Dawn (1958), which went on to win the Mystery Writers of America’s Edgar Award for Best Novel in 1960. Over the next thirty-five years Fremlin published a further eighteen titles. 
Please do have at look at the other stops on the blog tour. 


Wednesday, 7 November 2018

#BlogTour: Before I Find You by Ali Knight @aliknightauthor @HodderBooks @HodderPublicity #BeforeIFindYou

Published by Hodder Books on 1st November 2018. My thanks to the author and the publisher and also for the blog tour invitation.

Maggie is a husband watcher. A snooper, a marriage doctor, a killer of happy-ever-afters. She runs her own private detective agency specialising in catching out those who cheat. And she's very good at it. Until Helene walks through her door.
Helene is a husband catcher. A beautiful wife, a doting stepmother, a dazzling presence at parties. She counts herself lucky to have married one of the most eligible men in town - Gabe Moreau. Until she sees something that threatens her little family of three.
Alice is a perfect daughter. Apple of her father's eye, a kind stepchild to Helene, a tragic daughter of a dead mother. She lives a sheltered but happy life. Until she finds a handwritten note on her father's desk: 'You owe me. I'm not going away.'
All three women suspect Gabe Moreau of keeping secrets and telling lies. But not one of them suspects that the truth could result in murder . . .
My Thoughts:
Before I Find You is the first book that I have read by Ali Knight and I can't believe I haven't come across her before. This book is intelligent and thrilling and had all the ingredients that I enjoy in my reading. 
Maggie is a private detective who Helene approaches because she believes her husband is cheating and Alice is the Daughter of Helene. The story is told from the perspectives of the three women, who were flawed and a little unlikeable. These are my favourite types of characters. Learning about events from three perspectives is a format I have come across before but it works perfectly here. It sufficed to add to the confusion and the chaos. There is a sense of foreboding and intrigue throughout that I found completely captivating. 
There is plenty of misdirection and I enjoyed the fact as I reader that I always felt one step behind. Never quite seeing beyond each page turning chapter. 
A story of secrets and lies, smoke and mirrors and just when I thought I had it all worked out I discovered that I really hadn't at all. In a crowded genre Ali Knight stands firmly with this book and I thought that it was superb. 
About the Author:
Ali Knight has worked as a journalist and sub-editor at the BBC,Guardian and Observer and helped to launch some of the Daily Mail and Evening Standard's most successful websites. She lives with her family in London.
Visit Ali's website to find out more about her and her psychological thrillers at and follow her on Twitter
Please do have a look at the other stops on the blog tour.


Sunday, 4 November 2018

#BlogTour: House of Glass by Susan Fletcher @sfletcherauthor @ViragoBooks #HouseOfGlass

Published on 1st November 2018 by Virago. My thanks to the author and the publisher for the review copy and inviting me on to the blog tour.

I had a curious sense of being watched.
June 1914 and a young woman - Clara Waterfield - is summoned to a large stone house in Gloucestershire. Her task: to fill a greenhouse with exotic plants from Kew Gardens, to create a private paradise for the owner of Shadowbrook. Yet, on arrival, Clara hears rumours: something is wrong with this quiet, wisteria-covered house. Its gardens are filled with foxgloves, hydrangea and roses; it has lily-ponds, a croquet lawn - and the marvellous new glasshouse awaits her. But the house itself feels unloved. Its rooms are shuttered, or empty. The owner is mostly absent; the housekeeper and maids seem afraid. And soon, Clara understands their fear: for something - or someone - is walking through the house at night. In the height of summer, she finds herself drawn deeper into Shadowbrook's dark interior - and into the secrets that violently haunt this house. Nothing - not even the men who claim they wish to help her - is quite what it seems.
Reminiscent of Daphne du Maurier, this is a wonderful, atmospheric Gothic page-turner.
A deeply absorbing, unputdownable ghost story that's also a love story; for readers who love Sarah Waters's The Little Stranger; Frances Hodges Burnett's The Secret Garden; Margaret Atwood's Alias Grace; Jane Harris's The Observations.

My Thoughts:

House of Glass is the perfect book to read at this time of year, when the nights are drawing in and fires start to crackle in the grate. There was very much a gothic feel to this story that drew me in and wrapped me up in the atmosphere.

Beautifully written, House of Glass was an utter joy to read. The descriptions were just jumping off of the page and bringing the whole thing to life. Clara is the narrator and a young woman with Brittle Bone disease who makes the move to Gloucestershire to work in the greenhouse of Shadowbrook. 

Clara discovers that all may not be as it seems at Shadowbrook, there are strange goings on and noises at night. The ghostly elements to the story were excellent. Clara seemed a little naive but I found her intriguing nonetheless. She was a superb character.

The sense of mystery surrounding this whole story was palpable and the writing and descriptions were totally sublime. I was hooked into this story of a different time and place and that didn't let up until the final page turned.

A great many topics were covered here with skill and excellent writing. 

I really recommend this one for the dark, drawn in nights. 

About the Author:

Susan Fletcher was born in 1979 in Birmingham. She is the author of the bestselling 'Eve Green' winner of the Whitbread First Novel Award, 'Oystercatchers' and 'Witch Light'.

Please do have a look at the other stops on the blog tour.


Tuesday, 23 October 2018

#BlogBlitz: Divide and Rule by Rachel McLean @rachelmcwrites @rararesources #DivideandRule

Published on 23rd October 2018. My thanks to the author for the review copy and Rachel of Rachel's Random Resources for inviting me on to the Blog Blitz. You can get your copy:
Amazon US -
Amazon UK -

Jennifer Sinclair’s fight to save her political career, her family and her freedom has failed. Traumatised by prison violence, she agrees to transfer to the mysterious British Values Centre.

Rita Gurumurthy has betrayed her country and failed the children in her care. Unlike Jennifer, she has no choice, but finds herself in the centre against her will.

Both women are expected to conform, to prove their loyalty to the state and to betray everything they hold dear. One attempts to comply, while the other rebels. Will either succeed in regaining her freedom?

Divide and Rule is 1984 for the 21st century - a chilling thriller examining the ruthless measures the state will take to ensure obedience, and the impact on two women.

My Thoughts:

Divide and Rule is the Second book in The Division Bell Trilogy. I reviewed the first book, A House Divided here. 

Jennifer's life has taken a dramatic turn in this latest instalment. After the events of A House Divided she is in prison but is given the option to go to the British Values Centre. Also there is Rita Gurumurthy. This is a much darker and sinister story and is an exploration of how women who previously have fought to make a difference have those rights taken away and are expected to conform to a whole new set of beliefs laid down by the state that are not necessarily what they agree too. 

I found the Big Brother approach rather frightening and made this a deeply disturbing read for me. It contained much the same pacing as A House Divided and I found it equally if not more so absorbing. A fascinating portrayal of these two women's lives and what happens to them.

A frightening dystopian style read that had me wanting to read the final book all the more but it also left me chilled to the bone about how we in our society could easily head in this horrendous direction. 

Superb writing, beautifully envisioned. 

About the Author:
I'm Rachel McLean and I write thrillers and speculative fiction.

I'm told that the world wants upbeat, cheerful stories - well, I'm sorry but I can't help. My stories have an uncanny habit of predicting future events (and not the good ones). They're inspired by my work at the Environment Agency and the Labour Party and explore issues like climate change, Islamophobia, the refugee crisis and sexism in high places. All with a focus on how these impact individual people and families.

You can find out more about my writing, get access to deals and exclusive stories or become part of my advance reader team by joining my book club at
Social Media Links –


Thursday, 27 September 2018

#BlogTour: A House Divided by Rachel McLean @rachelmcwrites @rararesources #AHouseDivided

Published on 24th September 2018. My thanks to the author/publisher for the review copy and Rachel of Rachel's Random Resources for inviting me on to the blog tour. 

Jennifer Sinclair is many things: loyal government minister, loving wife and devoted mother.

But when a terror attack threatens her family, her world is turned upside down. When the government she has served targets her Muslim husband and sons, her loyalties are tested. And when her family is about to be torn apart, she must take drastic action to protect them.

A House Divided is a tense and timely thriller about political extremism and divided loyalties, and their impact on one woman.

Purchase Links

My Thoughts:

A House Divided is an intelligent political thriller and the first in a new trilogy. There is a realism about this novel that is somewhat unsettling and makes reading this book somewhat disturbing and horrifying but had me on the edge of the seat nevertheless.

From reading the blurb you would see some similarities to Bodyguard, the recent television drama featuring the Home Secretary. Shh don't tell me what happens as I haven't seen the final episode yet. If you are missing your political fix then you won't go wrong by reading this one though.

Jennifer Sinclair is a government minister and also MP for Birmingham, she is married to a Muslim man and they have two sons. A House Divided is set slightly in the future, and the exploration is how terrorism should be tackled. This causes great conflict between Jennifer's personal and professional lives. For all that this book is about I found it refreshing for a strong female character to be portrayed as being successful within politics. 

Taut, tense and thrilling. I can't wait for the next instalment as I am absolutely enthralled. 

Highly recommended. 

About the Author:
I'm Rachel McLean and I write thrillers and speculative fiction.

I'm told that the world wants upbeat, cheerful stories - well, I'm sorry but I can't help. My stories have an uncanny habit of predicting future events (and not the good ones). They're inspired by my work at the Environment Agency and the Labour Party and explore issues like climate change, Islamophobia, the refugee crisis and sexism in high places. All with a focus on how these impact individual people and families.

You can find out more about my writing, get access to deals and exclusive stories or become part of my advance reader team by joining my book club at
Social Media Links –

Please do have a look at the other stops on the blog tour.


Tuesday, 25 September 2018

#BlogTour: Bear With Me by Jessica Redland @JessicaRedland @rararesources #BearWithMe

Bear With Me is available now. You can get your copy here. My thanks to the author and Rachel of Rachel's Random Resources for inviting me on to the blog tour.

Jemma has the job of her dreams as curator for the children’s section of a museum in London. She spends each day surrounded by the one thing she’s absolutely passionate about: teddy bears. When boyfriend, Scott, shows a genuine interest in her passion instead of laughing at her for “playing with teddies all day”, she knows he’s a keeper.

Returning home to the North Yorkshire seaside town of Whitsborough Bay to celebrate her birthday, Jemma thinks she’s heading for her happy-ever-after when Scott unexpectedly proposes. So, a few days later, why isn’t he retuning her calls or responding to her texts?

Julie has always been a wonderful single mother to Jemma and her little brother, Sean. As owner of specialist teddy bear shop, Bear With Me, and the creative genius behind the successful range of Ju-Sea Bears, she inspires Jemma with her ability to balance a demanding career with home life. So why is the shop now in disarray and why is Sean so upset?

Sam thought he had his future all worked out. With a promising neurology career, a home, and a devoted fiancĂ©e, life was looking good. But now he’s all alone in a strange city, far from everyone and everything he cares about, struggling to rebuild the tatters of his life. Did he do the right thing by running away? What does the future hold and is he strong enough to face it?

Sometimes love finds us when we least expect it. But sometimes love leaves us, just as unexpectedly. When you’ve loved and lost, can you bear to let love in again?

Bear With Me, as all will be revealed …

My Thoughts:

Bear With Me is the first book that I have read by this author and I have a feeling that it won't be the last. The romantic and endearing storyline had me hook, line and sinker. I really loved it. 

Set in Whitsborough Bay this book has a host of wonderful characters that held together the beautiful narrative. I was engaged throughout. This read was pure escapism for me. 

This is a multi stranded story of love and how to start over when things don't work out as you had hoped. I really loved the two main characters Jemma and Sam who forge a friendship after their individual experiences. 

I found the authors writing warm and humorous. The storyline was moving and emotive and I was captivated by the twists and turns in the plot. 

I found the setting gorgeous and I look forward to reading more from Jessica Redland in the future, she has gained a new fan.

About the Author:

Jessica had never considered writing as a career until a former manager kept telling her that her business reports read more like stories and she should write a book. She loved writing but had no plot ideas. Then something happened to her that prompted the premise for her debut novel, Searching for Steven. She put fingers to keyboard and soon realised she had a trilogy and a novella!

She lives on the stunning North Yorkshire Coast – the inspiration for the settings in her books – with her husband, daughter, cat, Sprocker Spaniel, and an ever-growing collection of collectible teddy bears. Although if the dog has her way, the collection will be reduced to a pile of stuffing and chewed limbs!

Jessica tries to balance her time – usually unsuccessfully – between being an HR tutor and writing.

Social Media Links –
Twitter:                                                @JessicaRedland
Website and blog: 

Please do have a look at some of the other stops on the blog tour.

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