Tuesday 30 July 2019

BLOG TOUR: The Hidden Wife - Amanda Reynolds


She was young and beautiful, married to a famous author. They were celebrating their anniversary at their stunning country estate. So why did Julia Blake walk out of her perfect life, apparently leaving no trace?

Seren, a junior reporter for the local paper, can’t believe her luck when she lands an exclusive with Julia’s husband, Max. But as Seren spends more time at the couple’s remote mansion, probing ever deeper into the case, dark questions await. 

What was Julia really like, behind closed doors? Was her marriage to this brooding, secretive man as perfect as it seemed? And did she really mean to disappear that night - or was she murdered? 

What did I think?

I love a good hook at the start of a book and The Hidden Wife certainly has that.  Not only is the first page labelled 'Thirty-Three Hours Missing' but the opening paragraph left me breathless and thirsty for more.

Max Blake's beautiful wife, Julia, has gone missing but that's not the tastiest part of the worm wriggling on the hook.  Max is dishevelled and desperate as he paces his designer kitchen talking to DS Katie Ingles, but he is also lying.  See what I mean about a great hook?  Just what does he have to hide?  Would a man with something to hide invite a reporter to interview him?  It felt very cool and calculating of Max to request junior reporter, Seren, whose brother also went missing without trace, to interview him for an exclusive piece in The Herald.  Add to the mix that Seren's boss, Theo, was at Max's house the night Julia went missing and we have all the ingredients for a very tasty story. There are so many facets to this story that I had all sorts of crazy ideas floating around my head.  None of them were right, of course and I was completely fooled by Amanda Reynolds' dark and twisty imagination.

It's a very character driven storyline and although I was slightly disappointed that I felt rather ambivalent towards them, I do think that the characters are portrayed very well; from Max's almost bipolar moods to Seren's naivety and desperation to do a good job in the cutthroat world of journalism.  Not forgetting Max's strange and creepy PA, Miriam who always seemed to be hovering in the background keeping her ever-watchful eyes on Seren.  As Seren spends more time at Brooke House, I worried for her safety and that part of the story reminded me of Stephen King's Misery.  Just like Misery, I think The Hidden Wife would transfer beautifully to the screen as Amanda Reynold's words create their very own suspenseful soundtrack.

Ominous and suspenseful, there's so much going on in The Hidden Wife that it kept me guessing from start to finish, with much changing of my mind in between.  The only time I admit to being wrong is when I'm reading a book but The Hidden Wife is so cleverly plotted that I don't feel ashamed to say that I would never have guessed the full story of Julia Blake's disappearance, making it an enjoyable, suspenseful and surprisingly twisty read.

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

My rating:

Buy it from Amazon

About the author:
Photo credit: David Churchill Photography
Amanda Reynolds lives in the Cotswolds with her family where she writes full-time. Her debut novel, Close To Me, is a #1 e-book best- seller. The Hidden Wife is her third book. 

Follow Amanda on Twitter: @AmandaReynoldsJ and visit her website amandareynoldsauthor.com

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Monday 29 July 2019

BLOG TOUR: Clear My Name - Paula Daly

I was really excited when I saw that the fabulous Paula Daly had a new book coming out but it was fastest fingers first when Emma from damppebbles sent out the blog tour invitation for Clear My Name as all the spots were snapped up within 10 minutes flat.  That's got to be some kind of record, right?  So I must express my thanks to the lovely publishers at Bantam Press/Transworld Digital for not only expanding the tour, but I, along with Feminisia Libros, have the great honour of opening what I'm sure will be a fantastic tour for this brilliant book.


When Carrie was accused of brutally murdering her husband’s lover, she denied it. She denied it when they arrested her, when they put her in front of a jury, and when they sent her to prison.

Now she’s three years into a fifteen-year sentence, away from the daughter she loves and the life she had built. And she is still denying that she is to blame.


Tess Gilroy has devoted her life to righting wrongs. Through her job for Innocence UK, a charity which takes on alleged miscarriages of justice, she works tirelessly to uncover the truth.

But when she is asked to take Carrie’s case, Tess realises that if she is to help this woman, she must risk uncovering the secrets she has struggled a lifetime to hide…

We’ve all done things we’re not proud of.

What did I think?

I have always been a huge fan of Paula Daly's books so I was terribly excited when I heard that she had a new book coming out.  I first came across Paula Daly when I read her second novel, Keep Your Friends Close, in 2015 and I was completely blown away.  Since then I have been eager to read everything that Paula Daly writes so I definitely was not going to miss her sixth novel, Clear My Name.  I also can't wait for the TV adaptation of Deep Water, based on Paula's books, starting in August on ITV.  See! Her books are so good they have made them into TV dramas.

I don't think I've read a book like this, where there has been a murder and the guilty party is already in jail.  Or is she guilty?  Carrie professes her innocence but as we all know, the guilty nearly always say that they're innocent.  This is where the charity Innocence UK and Tess Gilroy comes in as they take on Carrie's case to see whether there has been a miscarriage of justice.  I really loved this storyline as I felt a bit like a super sleuth, examining all of the evidence that had been put before the court and resulted in Carrie's conviction.  I always remind myself that there are two sides to every story but it's actually quite scary to think that a jury can be swayed by the way evidence is portrayed.  It was very thought-provoking to consider how much juries are blinkered by DNA evidence at the scene without perhaps fully taking into account other conflicting evidence.  It was also interesting to read how quickly science progresses; tests that were not available 5 years ago could now prove the innocence of someone wrongly convicted if their case went to appeal.

The whole murder investigation kept me riveted but the additional storyline of Tess Gilroy's mysterious past and her inability to get close to people felt like the cherry on the top.  I loved how she was really miffed to be paired with a young trainee at the beginning but their relationship develops over the course of the book and you see a different side of Tess coming out.  It was like her carefully built emotional brick wall was being slowly dismantled brick by brick and the real Tess would finally be revealed so she could stop running and hiding from her past.

I have to mention a fabulous acronym that Paula Daly invented that completely resonated with me.  We've all heard of FOMO - Fear Of Missing Out, but Carrie describes herself as more of a WINJI - Wish I'd Never Joined In.  I love that!  That is so me and I'm definitely going to steal this one and use it to describe me as even though I rarely join in things, I always regret it when I do.  I would never have thought that being called whingey would have amused me so much.

I could write so much more about this book; the amazing cast of characters and the intriguing storylines but ultimately all you need to know is that Clear My Name is brilliant.  This intriguing and captivating crime thriller is a truly exceptional novel and is one that I wouldn't hesitate to recommend; I expect I shall be recommending it for a long time to come yet! 

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

My rating:

Buy it from:
Amazon UK
Book Depository

About the author:

Paula Daly © Stephen Lea
Paula Daly is the critically acclaimed author of six novels. She has been shortlisted for the CWA Gold Dagger for Crime Novel of the Year award, and her books have been developed for the new ITV television series, Deep Water, starring Anna Friel. She was born in Lancashire and lives in the Lake District with her husband, three children, and whippet Skippy.

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Saturday 27 July 2019

BLOG TOUR: The Night You Left - Emma Curtis

When Grace’s fiancé vanishes without a trace the night after proposing, her life is turned upside down. But has Nick walked out on her, or is he in danger?
As Grace desperately searches for answers, it soon becomes clear that Nick wasn’t the uncomplicated man she thought she knew. And when she uncovers a hidden tragedy from his childhood, she realises an awful truth: that you can run from your past – but your secrets will always catch up with you . . .

What did I think?

I have to start by saying that I knew this was going to be a good book as my mam read it before me and she said it was brilliant.  Now we all know how hard mothers are to please, so I didn't doubt her for a moment, and of course she wasn't wrong!  

The Night You Left drew me in right from the start with its mystery and intrigue.  Why on earth would Nick propose to Grace then walk out of her life without a word the following day?  The police think Nick has simply left Grace but Grace knows him better than anyone and knows he wouldn't do that.  Or at least she thought she knew Nick but it soon becomes clear that he has kept secrets from his past hidden from her.  How well did she really know her fiancé after all?

I usually pick things up and connect the dots quite quickly but I don't know whether the current heatwave has melted my brain or more likely that Emma Curtis is such a talented writer that she had me fooled.  I was so greedily lapping up Nick's story from the past that I completely missed something and I ended up kicking myself as I couldn't believe I hadn't made the connection.  I obviously don't want to admit brain fade but I do think that Emma Curtis had cleverly deflected my attention so I didn't make this connection until a split second before she planned to reveal it.

The characters are portrayed brilliantly in The Night You Left.  I absolutely loved to hate Nick's mother, Cora.  What a b*tch!  She makes no secret of the fact that she doesn't like Grace and doesn't think she's good enough for her precious son.  Grace's ex, Douglas, made my skin crawl; strangely enough he creeped me out more than Nick's father, Tim, who has a very murky past.  Douglas is so controlling, not just of Grace, but he needs to be in control of absolutely everything.  He seems to be a very cool and calculating individual, although he does lose his cool at one point in his very own 'Here's Johnny' moment.

I don't need to think twice before saying that I wholeheartedly recommend this totally addictive book.  It's full of mystery, intrigue and family secrets that kept my eyes glued to the page from start to finish.  A highly recommended read and a well deserved 5 stars from me.

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

My rating:

Buy it from Amazon

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Tuesday 23 July 2019

BLOG TOUR: Life Ruins - Danuta Kot

In a small northern town, girls are disappearing.

You won’t see it in the papers and the police aren’t taking any notice, but the clues are there if you know where to look.

Becca sees that something is wrong, but she’s been labelled ‘difficult’ thanks to her troubled past. So when a girl is so savagely beaten she can’t be identified, and Becca claims she knows who she is, no one will believe her.

With the police refusing to listen, Becca digs for evidence that will prove what she is saying. But her search for justice will put herself and those closest to her in danger – and once she finds the truth, will anyone even listen?

What did I think?

I love the cover of this book; it's so bleak and menacing and perfectly portrays the theme of Life Ruins.  I was completely mesmerised by Danuta Kot's poetic writing from the very first page where she brought the dramatic and dangerous East Yorkshire coastline to life and from that point on, I simply couldn't put this book down.

There are three very intriguing main characters in Life Ruins, that all have interesting back stories.  Kay is a recently widowed foster carer adjusting to life on her own, Becca is her tempestuous foster daughter taking her first few steps into independence and Jared is a troubled young man recovering from an accident.  How their stories intertwine is simply sublime and I read in open eyed awe as the story unfolded, with my heart pounding and my palms sweating as I approached the breathtaking conclusion at breakneck speed.

The story is set in Bridlington, a seaside town on the East Yorkshire coast.  Gone are the days when families would flock to the seaside towns of the UK for their summer holidays and a lot of towns have become run-down because of this.  With no money coming in from tourists, shops close down and the vulnerable people move in.  There is a line in Life Ruins about this that took my breath away and made all the hairs stand up on the back of my neck:  "If you populate an area with prey, the predators will not be far behind."

I found Danuta Kot's writing to be very visual in quite a unique way; not only did she perfectly set out the scene's appearance but she also manages to portray the feelings of the characters.  Not only the characters' emotions, but I sometimes felt as if the landscape itself had hidden emotions that only Danuta Kot could reveal through her vivid imagery.

I think it is a little misleading to say that Life Ruins is a debut novel as Danuta Kot has written books under the names of Danuta Reah and Carla Banks.  I'm pleased it mentioned this in the 'About the author' note below as I'll definitely be adding some of her previous books to my reading queue based on the outstanding quality of Life Ruins.

Tense and gripping, Life Ruins is a powerful, thought-provoking read that perfectly encapsulates the despair and desolation of a run-down town as the predators move in for their prey.

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

My rating:

Buy it from Amazon

About the author:

Danuta Kot grew up with stories. Her Irish mother and her Polish father kept their own cultures alive with traditional tales they shared with their children. For many years, she worked with young people in Yorkshire who were growing up in the aftermath of sudden industrial decline. She uses this background in her books to explore some of the issues that confront modern, urban society: poverty, alienation and social breakdown, using the contexts of the modern crime novel. She has previously written under the names, Danuta Reah and Carla Banks. Danuta was also a former chair of the Crime Writers’ Association. She now works as a senior education consultant, work that involves travel to establish education and training in other parts of the world. She is a regular academic speaker at conferences and literary festivals, and has appeared on radio and television. 

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Sunday 21 July 2019

BLOG TOUR: The Shadow Man - Mark Brownless

Idyllic memories. A perfect childhood. A secret buried for thirty years.

None of us could remember why we drifted apart – we were always so close at school but then… you know. That was thirty years ago, and I hadn’t thought of my school friends in all that time – it was like I’d been made to forget.

And then the dreams started. Dreams that I knew I’d had before. Horrific dreams of fear and fire and death. Dreams of the Shadow Man, a ghostly urban legend who seemed to hang over my home village like an evil spirit. I’d begun to remember, my memories of back then becoming two-dimensional – a lie to mask what really happened – and I knew we’d have to go back. Back to Janey, because she never left.

What did happen to us back then, and do we really want to know? And what about the supernatural horror lurking in the shadows – could we face the Shadow Man again?

What did I think?

At just under 250 pages, this is a book that you can easily read in one sitting, which is exactly what I did.  Not just because it's a reasonably short book but also because I simply couldn't put it down.

As a pre-teen in mid-1980's, the dual time-frame in this book was very nostalgic for me; it brought back memories of long hot summers riding around on our bikes until 10pm and sledging in the never-ending winters.  This is a huge thought-provoking element of the book; in my memories, it didn't rain in the summer, yet in reality it's summertime in Britain so it'll have rained nearly every day, for as Mark Brownless says, 'our memories edit out the rain'.  It's always intrigued me how a long forgotten memory can appear from a simple trigger, such as a sight, smell or sound.  The human brain is a wonderful, complex organ that stores information and fires it back out at us when we thought we'd lost it forever.

Philippa (Flip) and her friends were spooked by the Shadow Man in their youth, a dark ghostly presence that burned its victims alive.  After leaving their home village, they had forgotten about the Shadow Man but several years later they all shared a common dream and returned home to visit the one friend who never left, Janey.  Something happened to Janey in the past, although none of the girls can quite remember what happened, but remembering this will prove key to catching the Shadow Man once and for all.

This was pretty spooky at times and although I did guess the plot quite early on, I still had an element of doubt as to who or what the Shadow Man actually is.  I think I'd totally bought into the childhood memories and felt how scared the girls were whilst their village was being terrorised.  There was even talk of the possibility of spontaneous human combustion at one point and I remember being fascinated by this hot topic (no pun intended) back in the day.

I deliberated a little over my rating for this one; although I guessed the shocking twist, I still couldn't put it down.  So because I was so hooked, I think it does deserve the full five stars, although realistically it's a 4.5 from me but I never do things by halves.

Nostalgic, thought-provoking, completely addictive and pretty scary at times, The Shadow Man is a must read for anyone who wants something a bit different in a thriller.  I definitely want to read more from Mark Brownless, past and future, and I'm delighted to discover that he has another tales of the unexpected style thriller in his back catalogue.

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

My rating:

Buy it from Amazon

About the author:

Mark Brownless lives and works in Carmarthen, West Wales.

He has been putting ideas on paper for some years now but only when the idea for THE HAND OF AN ANGEL came to him in the autumn of 2015 did he know he might be able to write a book. Mark likes to write about ordinary people being placed in extraordinary circumstances, is fascinated by unexplained phenomena, and enjoys merging thriller, science fiction and horror.

Mark's new novel, The Shadow Man is a terrifying horror thriller imagining what would happen if you found out the memories of your childhood were untrue, and that something sinister was lurking behind the facade of your life. Could you face what had happened back then? Could you face The Shadow Man.

Mark is also fascinated by myths and legends such as those of Robin Hood and King Arthur. This has culminated in the release of his short story series, Locksley, a Robin Hood story.

Twitter : @MarkBrownless

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Saturday 20 July 2019

BLOG TOUR: The Dead Wife - Sue Fortin


Police have ruled out suspicious circumstances in the investigation into the death of Elizabeth Sinclair, wife of charismatic entrepreneur Harry Sinclair, found drowned in the lake of the family's holiday park.

It's been two years since the Sinclair case closed but when reporter Steph Durham receives a tipoff that could give her the scoop of the year, she's drawn deeper and deeper into the secretive Sinclair family.

Elizabeth's death wasn't a tragic accident.  And the truth will come at a deadly price...

What did I think?

I've read a few Sue Fortin books, so I knew this was going to be a gripping read before I even started it and I'm delighted to say I was not wrong.  I loved the rich and powerful Sinclair family with their deep, dark secrets and Steph's Nancy Drew-like investigation into the death of Elizabeth Sinclair, the wife of middle son, Harry Sinclair.

With flashbacks of Elizabeth Sinclair's life, I found it hard to feel any empathy for her.  She wasn't a very likeable woman; hungry for power and careless with her husband's feelings.  I'm not saying Harry was blameless; if you don't water a plant it will die, but you wouldn't expect your plant to up sticks and plant itself in every garden along the street.  That's my roundabout way of saying Elizabeth was rather promiscuous, but perhaps she was just craving some attention and affection.  We'll never know as she was found drowned in the family lake.  The police ruled out suspicious circumstances, but Elizabeth's mother is sure there is more to this story than meets the eye so she asks Steph to look into it for her.

Steph has a link to the Sinclair case through her parents, but her father is dead and she doesn't get on with her mother.  Steph's relationship with her mother was brilliantly portrayed; I could feel the frostiness in my fingertips as I was reading.  I really liked how this part of the story developed but I can't say any more as it is linked to the main plot.

As Steph secretly investigates Elizabeth's death, the danger levels were ramped up to maximum and I had my heart in my mouth several times.  It felt like the trees had eyes as Steph's movements seemed to be anything but covert and somebody is determined to stop the truth coming out at any cost.  

What a gripping, page-turner!  The Dead Wife is a very intriguing and highly addictive book; with a rich but dysfunctional family at it's core it really would give Dallas a run for its money in the family drama stakes.  

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

My rating:

Buy it from Amazon

About the author:

Sue Fortin is an award-winning USA Today and an Amazon best-selling author, an international bestseller and has reached #1 in the Amazon UK Kindle chart. Sue writes mystery, suspense and romance, sometimes combining all three. 

Sue was born in Hertfordshire but had a nomadic childhood, moving often with her family, before eventually settling in West Sussex where she now lives with her husband, children and grandchidren.

Social Media Links – 

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Friday 19 July 2019

BLOG TOUR: Call Me A Liar - Colette McBeth

You could say it started with vanity. We believed we were special. But the truth is we were simply vulnerable.
Months after landing their dream job, five brilliant young minds are sent on a remote retreat.
But when one of them disappears, they're forced to question why they were brought there in the first place.
And for the first time in their lives, they realise too much knowledge can be deadly . . .
One of them is lying.
One of them is guilty.
No one is safe.

What did I think?

I have read one of Colette McBeth's books before so I picked up this book based purely on the author's talent.  This dark and dangerous tale certainly kept me riveted as when you get told that 'one of them is lying', you don't know who to believe.  There was steam coming off my internal lie-o-meter as it struggled to keep up with all the twists and turns in this fast-paced book.

It feels very much like MI5 when five graduates are hand-picked to work for a private company that identifies security risks in systems.  There's even secrecy among the graduates as each of them are given a client that they must not discuss, not even with each other.  When main character Libby's clients' secrets are exposed in a newspaper, Libby knows her hands are clean so she's like a dog with a bone as she attempts to identify the mole.

To build bridges, and to attempt to expose the mole, they are taken on a team building retreat as this thriller turns into a horror.  I can't think of anything worse!  Just the thought of team building exercises gives me the creeps; you can accuse me of not being a team player but I work perfectly well in a team without having to take part in paintball or orienteering, thank you very much.  If I wasn't already put off by team building retreats, I most certainly am now after events in Call Me A Liar get more twisted.

Told from various viewpoints and with little hints that something bad has happened, I found that I effortlessly whizzed through this book.  Where lies are involved, you can never be sure who is telling the truth so, although I had ideas about what was going on, I could never have guessed the outcome.  

Call Me A Liar is an utterly compelling psychological thriller that gave my brain a good workout as it twisted and turned through this riveting story.

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

My rating:

Buy it from Amazon

About the author:

Colette McBeth is the critically acclaimed author of psychological thrillers Precious Thing, The Life I Left Behind and An Act of Silence. Colette was a BBC TV News television correspondent for ten years, during which time she covered many major crime stories and worked out of Westminster as a political reporter. She lives on the South Coast with her husband and three children.   

Twitter @colettemcbeth 
Facebook /colettemcbethauthor 

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Saturday 13 July 2019

BLOG TOUR: The Butcher (Rub-a-Dub-Dub Book 1) - Nathan Burrows

I have an amazing damppebbles blog tour for you today!  It's time for a bit of dark comedy courtesy of The Butcher by Nathan Burrows.  Scroll down to read my review as part of the blog tour.

She thought it was pork. She was wrong.

The first time hapless food inspector Emily Underwood meets butcher Frank Pinch, he’s not got much at all in his display counters. But what he does have is a rather unusual plan to restock his shelves. The next time they bump into each other, he’s won an award for his sausages but is running out of meat.

Can Frank keep up production of his unusually tasty sausages? Will Emily discover the source of Frank’s award-winning meat? And what will happen the next time she tries to inspect his butcher’s shop?

Book 1 in the Rub-a-Dub-Dub trilogy, this deliciously British dark comedy will change the way you look at sausages forever.

What did I think?

As a non-meat eater and much to the chagrin of my family and friends, I have always referred to sausages as being made of hooves and @rseholes and containing no meat at all, so I was really intrigued when I read the synopsis of The Butcher by Nathan Burrows.  It had me at 'She thought it was pork. She was wrong.'  That has to be the best strapline ever!

In a not too distant future, The Butcher is set in Norwich post-Brexit where we Brits can barely afford to eat as everything is so expensive.  The local butcher, Frank Pinch, and his farmer brother, Tom, are struggling to make a living until the pair stumble upon a recipe for some prize winning sausages.  Suddenly Frank goes from having half-empty shelves to having a queue out of the door; news of his amazing sausages spreads far and wide and he even gets a visit from a red-headed celebrity.  Frank and Tom also get a less welcome visit from recently qualified Food Standards Agency inspector, Emily.  Will they pass the inspection or will Emily find out what is really in Frank's sausages?

The humour is very dark and dry which had me laughing along as I read; I was over three quarters of the way through and just thinking that it wasn't laugh out loud funny when I had a huge laugh out loud moment and had to share what I was laughing at.  As much as it is funny, it's actually a very thought-provoking book as you can never really know exactly what you're eating and it always surprises me when people eat pies simply labelled as 'meat'.  What kind of meat is it?  Cow? Horse? Cat? Man?

With the most unlikely serial killers you will ever come across, The Butcher contains more humour than there is meat in a sausage to make a unique comedy crime novel.  If you have a sense of humour, you will LOVE this book; I can't wait to read book 2, The Baker, especially after the little teaser in the back of The Butcher.  I think this is going to be a brilliant trilogy.

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

My rating:

Buy it for only 99p/99c for a limited time from:
Amazon UK 
Amazon US 
Google Books

About the author:

Nathan Burrows is a writer based in Norfolk in the United Kingdom. His debut novel, a legal thriller called 'Blind Justice', was published in March 2018.

He's also the author of a dark comedy trilogy set in Norfolk. The first in the series is 'The Butcher', a deliciously funny story about - amongst other things - sausages. The second in the series is 'The Baker', which features Norfolk's most useless cult. And finally, 'The Candlestick Maker' is about a fitness instructor with a difference.

The next book to be released will be 'Man Down', a return to more traditional thrillers. It's a military story set in Afghanistan which will be released in the Autumn, 2019. Also releasing later in the year is 'Finding Milly', which explores just how far a man will go to find his missing daughter.

Nathan's a keen reader as well as a writer. He occasionally runs marathons, has a Norwich City football club season ticket, and is the proud part-owner of a Daschund puppy called Bertie. 

For more information, visit www.nathanburrows.com

Find Nathan on Social Media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/NathanBurrowsUK
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NathanBurrowsUK/
Website: https://nathanburrows.com/
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Nathan-Burrows/e/B079KS96CQ/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

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Friday 12 July 2019

BLOG TOUR: From Inside The House - WD Jackson-Smart

Two victims. Brutally murdered in their own home. Body parts taken.

D.I. Graves is back on the case to face his toughest challenge yet. A case with no motive and no suspect, nothing at all that could explain why someone would kill innocent people in such a way.

Then the next victims are discovered. Another pair of bodies. New body parts taken. Again in their own home.

Someone is breaking into houses across the city at night, leaving horror in their wake. It seems to Graves that this could be two serial killers, working together. But how are they choosing their victims? Is any house in London a target? Is anyone safe?

To make matters worse, a journalist is threatening to cause more harm than good with her obsessive push in covering the story to further her career, and someone is targeting Graves personally, seeking revenge against him in relation to an old case.

Can Graves keep himself safe long enough to stop the serial killers before they strike again?

What did I think?

From Inside The House is the second book in the DI Graves series and having read and loved the first book, The Demons Beneath, I couldn't wait to get stuck into this next instalment.  This story sees victims being killed in pairs and bodies left posed at crime scenes.  The police suspect two serial killers working together, rather intriguingly one is a psychopath and one is a sociopath.

You could read From Inside The House as a standalone but there is a continuation of a storyline from the first book, so I think it's better to read The Demons Beneath first to get the full story.  There are definitely enough details included to make sure that new readers aren't disadvantaged though and you could always read The Demons Beneath afterwards to fill in any blanks.

Graves is such a great name for a homicide detective, especially one who almost vomits at the sight of a dead body.  I love the dynamic he has with his partner, Charlie Palmer, which contrasts with the tenuous relationship he has with his sister.  Graves and his sister were close once until a series of events changed Graves' life forever.  His sister does make an appearance at the end which left me with baited breath for the next book!

Strangely enough, I really liked the annoying journalist character, Kelly Malone.  It just shows what a competitive business journalism is and perhaps explains why reporters do what they do in order to get a story.  Kelly even puts her life at risk to get a story just so she can get one over on her rival at the newspaper.  Obviously, I don't imagine such things happen in real life but reporters are like sharks and once they smell blood they can't do anything else but go in for the kill.

With murder scenes described in amazing detail, From Inside The House is flesh crawling in a gory way as opposed to the supernatural element that spooked me in The Demons Beneath.  As with many second novels in a series, it didn't quite manage to knock the first book off the top spot but I have a feeling that things are about to get really interesting for DI Graves.  From Inside The House is gritty, dark and gruesome and I'll definitely be keeping an eye out for book 3.

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

My rating:

Buy it from Amazon

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