Keep You Close by Karen Cleveland – Blog Tour Review.

About The Book

A strange sensation runs through me, a feeling that I don’t know this person in front of me, even though he matters more to me than anyone ever has, than anyone ever will.

You go into your son’s bedroom. It’s the usual mess. You tidy up some dirty plates, pick up some clothes, open the wardrobe to put them away.
And that’s when you find it. Something so shocking it doesn’t seem real.
And you realize a horrifying truth…
Your own son might be dangerous.

Keep You Close is the chilling, relentless new thriller from the bestselling author of Need to Know.

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. I hadn’t read Karen Cleveland’s previous book so had little idea what to expect. I did expect a family crisis from the synopsis, when a mother had to find out what her son was involved in but I wasn’t prepared for what he was suspected of, or the espionage storyline. 

I did prefer the storyline that focused on Steph and her family. The battle that Steph had to achieve her position in the FBI and how she let it affect her relationship with  her mother and son. She knew she was failing but didn’t seem to be able to improve the situation. There were moments when I wished she would just show them both a little love and consideration.

The other side of the storyline was good, but didn’t captivate me as much until the latter stages of the novel. I was a little shocked by how corruption was rife in the various agencies and had no idea who could be trusted. The ending was a shock and I would love to see if there is a follow up. If there is, great, if there isn’t, it was one of the better final chapters I have read this year.


Cold As The Grave by James Oswald – Blog Tour Review.

About The Book

Her mummified body is hidden in the dark corner of a basement room, a room which seems to have been left untouched for decades. A room which feels as cold as the grave. 

As a rowdy demonstration makes its slow and vocal way along Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, Detective Chief Inspector Tony McLean’s team are on stand-by for any trouble. The newly promoted McLean is distracted, inexplicably drawn to a dead-end mews street… and a door, slightly ajar, which leads to this poor girl’s final resting place. 

But how long has she been there, in her sleep of death? The answers are far from what McLean or anyone else could expect. The truth far more chilling than a simple cold case…

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. I was interested in reading this book after starting another series by James Oswald a few months ago and hearing that the Inspector McLean series was more gripping and had more of supernatural element. I wasn’t misinformed and I now have more books to read.

The main subject matter is a grim one and features a common concern, that of refugees arriving from harrowing situations in their own countries. The refugees who feature don’t have an easy time, they are frightened, low paid, and face danger from more than human traffickers. But, much to their surprise the police are their friends and none of police team want to add to their distress.

Despite knowing little about previous events, I have only read book one, I had no issues following the storylines. Past cases are mentioned, but not dwelled on, so I can read the earlier books without being aware of what happened in them.

The supernatural element is a strange one. I felt more unease about the less obvious situations, the sense of danger from touch or smell rather than the investigation itself. It was something that made me a little nervous, jumpy and looking over my shoulder.

James Oswald is an author whose books I have every intention of catching up with.


Now You See Me by Chris McGeorge – Blog Tour Review.

About The Book

Six people went in. Only one came out…

Introducing Standedge Tunnel: the longest canal tunnel in England. 

Last year six students went in, and two and a half hours later, the boat reappeared on the other side with only one of the students, unconscious, and the dog.

The case of the Standedge Six was largely kept from the national media. The police investigation concluded that the only remaining student, Matthew, killed his friends, hid the bodies on the boat and returned later to move them to an undisclosed location. 

Matthew is in prison . . . but maintains he is innocent.

Robert Ferringham is grieving for his missing wife, Sam. So when Matthew contacts him for help with his case, promising information on Sam, Robert has no choice but to help. But can he trust Matthew? 

And how will he solve the insolvable case?

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. I was intrigued about this novel immediately after reading the synopsis. There is nothing that would make me go through a tunnel like this. But I love to read about them, to imagine that I am brave enough to go in. 

I hadn’t read the authors debut novel so didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t expect to read a book that was both creepy and full of intrigue, hatred towards somebody trying to find out the truth but also hatred towards the five whose bodies had never been found.

The small town personalities were perfect. Outsiders regarded with suspicion, people who lived there thriving on gossip or secrecy and a few who were afraid to say what they really thought. 

I suspected many and had plenty of theories about who was responsible and why. Some outlandish, some sinister. Most incorrect.

A great story with some fascinating characters, including the sheep, and a brilliant set up.

The Last Widow by Karin Slaughter – Blog Tour Review.

About The Book

It begins with an abduction. The routine of a family shopping trip is shattered when Michelle Spivey is snatched as she leaves the mall with her young daughter. The police search for her, her partner pleads for her release, but in the end…they find nothing. It’s as if she disappeared into thin air.
A month later, on a sleepy Sunday afternoon, medical examiner Sara Linton is at lunch with her boyfriend Will Trent, an agent with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. But the serenity of the summer’s day is broken by the wail of sirens.
Sara and Will are trained to help in an emergency. Their jobs – their vocations – mean that they run towards a crisis, not away from it. But on this one terrible day that instinct betrays them both. Within hours the situation has spiralled out of control; Sara is taken prisoner; Will is forced undercover. And the fallout will lead them into the Appalachian mountains, to the terrible truth about what really happened to Michelle, and to a remote compound where a radical group has murder in mind…

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. Even though I have read books by Karin Slaughter before I have never read one from the Will Trent series. I had no problems following the storyline though. Despite knowing nothing about any of the characters.

The action starts immediately with the abduction of a mother who is out shopping with her daughter. Whilst this is unexpected, you would expect it to be the daughter, it isn’t the main focus of the storyline. What is, starts when Sara and Will are just about to have a family meal and are interrupted by an emergency situation. And it is one of the most convincing, terrifying and sickening that I have ever read. 

There are three points of view. Sara’s, Will’s and Faith, his partner and good friend to both of them. It was Sara’s I preferred, mainly because she was the one who was in the midst, but also because I understood her story a lot more. There is a lot to understand about white supremacy groups and I did find some of the terminology a little confusing at times. But as the story progressed and the danger levels increased I struggled to put the book down.

It is a series I need to catch up on. I want to know more about Will and how he turned his life around and how  he met Sara. And I want to know more about Faith and her brilliant and sometimes witty approach to being a mother. 


The Serpent’s Mark by S. W. Perry – Blog Tour Review.

About The Book

Treason sleeps for no man…

London, 1591. Nicholas Shelby, physician and reluctant spy, returns to his old haunts on London’s lawless Bankside. But, when spymaster Robert Cecil asks him to investigate the dubious practices of a mysterious doctor from Switzerland, Nicholas is soon embroiled in a conspiracy that threatens not just the life of an innocent young patient, but the overthrow of Queen Elizabeth herself.

With fellow healer and mistress of the Jackdaw tavern, Bianca Merton, again at his side, Nicholas is drawn into a sinister world of zealots, charlatans and dangerous fanatics…

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. The Serpent’s Mark is the second book in this Tudor crime series. It can be read as a stand-alone novel quite easily.

It is a novel that combines real life characters as well as fictional. As always, some names I am familiar with, some I spend time on the internet trying to find out more information. Even though there are courtiers and titled people in the novel most of it concerns ‘normal’ people. 

Anybody who is familiar with Tudor history will be aware of the turmoil created by religious beliefs at the time. How, whoever was on the throne dictated whether you were Catholic or Protestant. When this novel takes place Elizabeth I was queen and her Faith  was Protestant. Anybody who practised Catholicism faced execution so did so discreetly. The author creates a terrifying insight into how this must have been, it was here that we get to know more about Bianca, her childhood and the betrayal she felt over the way her father was abandoned by the one she thought was a friend.

As well as the religious storyline, and like the previous book, he shows developing medical beliefs. I found it fascinating, reading about how knowledge and understanding regarding science has changed over the years.

All my favourite characters from the last book featured and I have to add another to my list, Rose. I loved her sense of humour, her loyalty and the way she handled the men in her life. Especially Ned.  Nicolas was also a character I appreciated more, how he was starting to move on and acknowledge his feelings towards Bianca without feeling guilt.

Arcampora, the doctor who Nicolas has been asked to investigate, is one of the most terrifying characters I have ever met in any novel. Everything about him had me unsettled. I cringed when he appeared but was also desperate to learn what he would do next. 

A great follow up from an author who is now a favourite.