Sunday 29 April 2018

BLOG BLITZ: Under the Woods (The Forensic Files #4) - K.A. Richardson

When a homeless woman, Cheryl Whiffen, hears voices in her head telling her to do bad things, she can’t help but obey.

But when Cheryl becomes the victim of a serial killer who is collecting angels, this time the voices can’t help her. She is deemed not worthy of being an angel and the killer has to find another way to dispose of her body.

TJ Tulley has connections in the police force – her brother Jacob is a digital forensic analyst and her soon to be sister-in-law is a CSI. She knows many of their colleagues so when someone breaks into her house at the riding stables she owns, it’s not a surprise when the police dispatch CSI Jackson Doherty.

Is there a link between a suspicious fire at the stables and the serial killer?

As TJ and Doherty get closer to the truth they don’t realise the danger they are in. He is a killer – he’s angry at their investigation and he’ll do just about anything to protect his angels…

What did I think?

I knew from the cover and the title that this was going to be dark and creepy but I didn't realise just how much it would unnerve me.  I haven't read any of the previous books in the series so I can definitely say that this book can be read as a standalone, although there are a few references to previous events that I suspect happened in the earlier books.  It didn't affect my enjoyment of this book in any way as the author is so skilled at seamlessly weaving enough of the back-story into the narrative to flesh out the characters I was encountering for the first time.

TJ Tully wants to expand her riding stables into the woods surrounding her property but somebody already thinks of the woods as their own and they have invested lots of time in burying their 'angels' under the woods.  The killer will do anything to keep this special place as there are still angels to collect and bury there.  TJ seems to have a run of bad luck after a break in and a fire threaten to destroy her stables but there is worse to come and even her angry busybody neighbour can't escape the cruel hand of Lady (Bad) Luck.

CSI Jackson Doherty has a lot on his plate; Jackson is called on to investigate the strange events at TJ's stables but he can't seem to escape his personal life.  After a one night stand, he's landed himself with a stalker, Nikki.  Nikki seems to know his every movements and turns up at the most unlikely of places when she perceives TJ to be a threat to her happily ever after with Jackson.  I loved this aspect to the story; Nikki is an absolute fruitcake!

What I loved about Under the Woods (apart from it being set in my native North East) is that you don't have to wait until the end for a big reveal; the killer is revealed about two thirds of the way through.  You might expect the pace to drop after that but it is actually the complete opposite as the danger levels seemed to increase to epic proportions.  Once I knew who was collecting these 'angels', I felt as if the story became even more creepy (if that's even possible, as it's pretty creepy to start with).  I felt my heart rate quicken and I even began holding my breath at times as the killer's confidence seemed to grow as time went on.

With K.A. Richardson's remarkable attention to gruesome detail, Under the Woods is a Creepfest with a capital C; I can feel my heart pounding just thinking about it.  It's one of those books that you live and breathe with every page and definitely one to read with all the lights on or you'll find yourself jumping at shadows.  K.A. Richardson's Under the Woods totally creeped me out and I enjoyed every minute of it.  I certainly won't be going down to the woods anytime soon.

I chose to read an ARC and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

My rating:

Buy it from Amazon

About the author:

My name is Kerry-Ann Richardson (generally known as Kerry) and I write as KA Richardson. I started writing the North East Police series in 2010 when I was working towards my MA Creative Writing – I used the first 15000 words of With Deadly Intent as my dissertation. I passed my MA in 2011 and kept on writing. This all came about from working as a Crime Scene Investigator – I’d always written but when I was a CSI I went to see a psychic, Anthony, and he wanted to know why I wasn’t writing. He reminded me that it was my passion and said he could see me signing in Waterstones in 5 years. That was 5.5 years before my first ever signing in Waterstones so he wasn’t far wrong!

I did the normal things writers do when their book is ready to go out into the world – submitted to agents etc. I got a few nice personal responses back – still saying no but being constructive and polite about it. I approached Darren Laws from Caffeine Nights whilst at a crime festival and he asked to see my work. He agreed to publish With Deadly Intent from there, and once that was out I approached Bloodhound Books as wanted to know if there was any other interest in my novels. Bloodhound came back within 24 hours and offered me a 3 book deal! And I’ve since signed an additional 3 book deal with them which covers the series up to and including book 7!

Twitter: @kerryann77 or @karichardson77

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