The Abduction by A. A. Chaudhuri – Blog Tour Review.

About The Book

Madeline Kramer has finally got her life back on track at top City law firm Sullivan, Blake, Monroe. But when two armed, masked men burst into a conference room one lunchtime, kidnapping a trainee and a partner, Maddy’s life is plunged into disarray once more—particularly when charismatic DCI Jake Carver, who caught a heartless killer when they last met and with whom Maddy shared a mutual chemistry, is called to the scene.

Things become more complicated when a disturbing video reveals two more trainees have been taken. What initially appears as a random kidnapping for mercenary gain soon evolves into something far more complex, the horrifying events of thirty years ago motivating the abductors and having colossal implications for those in the present…

Against a backdrop of sleaze, sex, lies and murder in The Abduction, Maddy and Carver must work together to unravel the truth, and ensure that no crimes—past or present—are left unpunished.

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. The Abduction is the second book in the Kramer and Carver series and I recommend you read them in order. There are a few references to the previous investigation throughout this book.

When colleagues are abducted from the firm Maddy now works for, everybody is shocked and they are relieved that the most of the ransom demand is swiftly agreed to. But there is a reason for the abduction, a secret from university that some are determined will stay that way. They are unprepared though, for how determined the group of kidnappers are to have all of their demands met. 

However, not everything is as it initially appears and the author does a good job of bringing all the threads together into a gripping storyline with a tale of revenge, guilt, trauma and some throughly obnoxious characters. 

Kramer and Carver didn’t feature heavily, instead most of story is revealed by the other characters. Whilst there were a handful I had sympathy for, one in particular who shall remember nameless, the overwhelming feeling was how easy it was to manipulate others into doing what was wanted. 

A clever novel that I hope isn’t a true reflection of those who work in law.

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides – Blog Tour Review.

About The Book

Alicia Berenson lived a seemingly perfect life until one day six years ago. 

When she shot her husband in the head five times. 

Since then she hasn’t spoken a single word. 

It’s time to find out why.

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. I had been trying to read this book for months and finally got the chance a few weeks ago. I can honestly say it was well worth the wait, and I now want to read it again. Just to see how well I was duped! The outcome of the original and well written book was one that I definitely didn’t see coming.

The novel consists of a diary written by Alicia, accounts of the consultations between her and her therapist Theo, insight into Theo’s private life and the politics in the increasingly dubious Grove establishment where Alicia spends her life. It was one of those novels where I struggled to work out how I felt about the characters. Everybody who came into contact with Alicia seemed to dislike her, but from her diary I struggled to see why. The more I read, the more inclined I was to disregard their opinions.

Theo was an enigma. Obviously deeply affected by his childhood and facing problems in his marriage I felt I only saw the real character when he opened up to Ruth. In his interactions with his work colleagues and the other patients he seemed cold, aloof and demanding. None of the staff at The Grove seemed like they really cared about their patients. All of them seemed more interested in their own standing or making sure that procedures were being adhered to by the centre manager. It was slightly unsettling at times how uncaring it seemed.

The ending was a complete shock and was very clever. Out of everything I expected to read it wasn’t this. Even better that it all worked and made sense. It will make an excellent movie.

What She Saw Last Night by M. J. Cross – Blog Tour Review.

About The Book

A secret that could kill her.

A truth no one believes…

Jenny Bowen is going home. Boarding the Caledonian Sleeper, all she wants to do is forget about her upcoming divorce and relax on the ten-hour journey through the night. 

In her search for her cabin, Jenny helps a panicked woman with a young girl she assumes to be her daughter. Then she finds her compartment and falls straight to sleep.

Waking in the night, Jenny discovers the woman dead in her cabin … but there’s no sign of the little girl. The train company have no record of a child being booked on the train, and CCTV shows the dead woman boarding alone.

The police don’t believe Jenny, and soon she tries to put the incident out of her head and tells herself that everyone else is right: she must have imagined the little girl. 

But deep down, she knows that isn’t the truth.

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. This is the first book have read by Mason Cross and it was a pleasant surprise to discover that the events take place in the UK. Even though some of the novel is city based it made a nice change to read a novel that showed somewhere different. Much of this novel takes place in a more remote setting, one that without the danger that Jenny found herself in, sounded amazing.

When Jenny travelled North it was to deal with the sale of her family home and find some personal space after her marriage broke down. She booked the sleeper train, hoping to find it more relaxing but the events that occured made it far from peaceful. Despite assurances form the local police that she mistaken about what she witnessed she refuses to accept that she was wrong and starts her own investigation into what happened. But she is unprepared for the danger she places herself in.

I liked Jenny a lot, her refusal to back down and her bravery in dealing with the increasing danger she found herself in almost immediately. And, especially when faced with Klenmore, one of the scariest bad guys I have ever met in fiction.

At times it felt like classic train noir. An emotionally exhausted traveller, a harassed young woman with a little girl, a feeling that the lone male traveller is sinister. One ends up dead, two never there. An old fashioned journey, no wifi, intermittent phone signal, little comfort in a poky room. It could have sounded like an unattractive journey but I found it fascinating, a blast from the past and despite the events it made me interested in doing a journey like this.

A great standalone introduction to Mason Cross, I have another of his books to read soon.

I Will Miss You Tomorrow by Heine Bakkeid – translated by Anna Bruce – Blog Tour Review.

About The Book

The first in a new Norwegian crime series featuring disgraced ex-Chief Inspector Thorkild Aske, a damaged man with a complicated past

Fresh out of prison and a stint in a psychiatric hospital, disgraced ex-policeman Thorkild Aske only wants to lose himself in drugged dreams of his beloved Frei. Wild, unknowable Frei. The woman he loved. The woman he has lost forever.

Yet when Frei’s young cousin goes missing off the Norwegian coast and Thorkild is called in by the family to help find him, dead or alive, Thorkild cannot refuse. He owes them this. 

Tormented by his past, Thorkild soon finds himself deep in treacherous waters. He’s lost his reputation – will he now lose his life?

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. I’ve read a few Norwegian novels but I have never read anything like I Will Miss You Tomorrow. Aske was a character who like many before him has a private life that is a mess. But his private life has caused him to lose his career as an investigator in internal affairs and placed him in prison. I misunderstood most of his situation initially. When what happened to him was revealed I had a lot more sympathy, respect and liking for him.

It was a book that had me shivering whilst reading. The weather conditions, the freezing cold water, the attitudes and abuse he faced from former friends and colleagues. I learned more about certain medical conditions than I expected, drug dependency and Norwegian village life. I read the most graphic description of an autopsy I have ever read , where I could practically smell the body.

It is a crime novel with a supernatural slant. Not too much, just enough to unsettle me and question whether it was a hallucination or ‘reality’. Aske is one of the more intriguing characters I have met, I hope I don’t have to wait too long for book two.

Nothing Important Happened Today by Will Carver – Blog Tour – Extract.

About The Book

Nine suicides
One Cult
No leader

Nine people arrive one night on Chelsea Bridge. They’ve never met. But at the same time, they run, and leap to their deaths. Each of them received a letter in the post that morning, a pre-written suicide note, and a page containing only four words: Nothing important happened today.

That is how they knew they had been chosen to become a part of the People Of Choice: A mysterious suicide cult whose members have no knowledge of one another.

Thirty-two people on that train witness the event. Two of them will be next. By the morning, People Of Choice are appearing around the globe; it becomes a movement. A social media page that has lain dormant for four years suddenly has thousands of followers. The police are under pressure to find a link between the cult members, to locate a leader that does not seem to exist.

How do you stop a cult when nobody knows they are a member?

Extract

Other People 

The trick to running a cult is to get other people involved. Not new members or followers. Not more subscribers or a greater mailing list. It doesn’t matter if there are six people who think someone is Jesus or there are a million admirers hoping for a seat on the spaceship that will fly them away as Earth implodes with greed and apathy. 

It’s not the apostles that make the cult. 

It’s everybody else. 

What is needed are the other people. Because other people always fuck things up. 

Take the small town of Antelope, Oregon. A smudge on a map. Fifty people looking for quiet. They need a post office, a general store, a school and a church to exist. Not to survive. They haven’t moved here for that. Everybody knows everybody and everybody wants to be alone. Because they’ve come here to see out their years in peace. Then die. 

Drop in four thousand disciples adhering to the philosophies of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh. Watch as they are welcomed as a peaceful people, renouncing a world of materialism in favour of a spiritual life. Embrace their desire to establish their own community. 

Now get other people involved. 

See how the word ‘community’ transforms into the word ‘commune’. Now wait as tensions rise and hostility grows. Wait a little longer. Because here come the other people. And it’s easy to take other people and make them fear something. Soon, a school teacher or postal worker or bar owner or dairy farmer has used the word ‘cult’. 

Sit back and bask in your success as civilians are weaponised and cafes are poisoned and phone lines are tapped. 

This is other people. 

Take a student pastor at the Somerset Southside Methodist Church, Indiana. Tell him that he can’t integrate black people into his congregation. Piss him off. Give him a crusade. 

Watch as he moves on and gives people hope. See his drive for racial equality. You don’t call the healings fake. Not yet. You call them Baptists. You say they are a church. He calls them the Wings of Deliverance. 

Now let him open a soup kitchen for the poor, then watchas other people become involved. Because other people have an innate ability to take something good and turn it straight to shit. 

Migrate that church to Guyana. Call it a compound. Call it Paradise. Call it Jonestown. Say that members did not travel there of their own free will. Get other people to interfere. Intervene. Get shot at. Wait a moment while everything is ruined. While nine hundred men and women take cyanide to kill themselves. Let them poison their children. 

Now you can call it a cult. 

And feel safe that you’re not one of them. 

You. 

Other people. 

Take David Koresh. Take Waco. Tell the world he has several wives and fucks his kids. Set fire to buildings. Smoke him out. Kill twenty of those kids while you’re there. 

Get involved. 

Take the Manson Family. Take Scientology. Take any passage from any holy book out of context. 

Take the unknown and drop in some fear and insecurity. 

What have you done? 

You. 

The other people club

You. At arm’s length. Outside looking in. With your judgement and your free choice and your safety. You don’t understand. 

Not one of these people thought that they were part of a cult. 

And you, you’re no different. You could be part of a cult right now and you don’t even realise. You think you have a choice. 

So, put that rope around your neck. 

Now wait. 

Here come the other people.