The Wrong Boy By Cathy Ace – Blog Tour Review.

About The Book

Perched on a Welsh clifftop, the ancient, picturesque hamlet of Rhosddraig has its peaceful façade ripped apart when human remains are discovered under a pile of stones. The village pub, The Dragon’s Head, run by three generations of women, becomes the focal point for those interested in the grisly find, and it’s where layers of deceit are peeled away to expose old secrets, and deep wounds. The police need to establish who died, how, and why, but DI Evan Glover knows he can’t be involved in the investigation, because he’s just two days away from retirement. However, as the case develops in unexpected ways, it becomes irrevocably woven into his life, and the lives of local families, leading to disturbing revelations – and deadly consequences . . . 

My Review

With thanks to the author for the copy received. The Wrong Boy takes place in a remote Welsh village. I can’t remember ever reading a book set in Wales before and almost immediately I sensed the accent and more importantly the attitude towards the English. Particularly from people like Nan, who was one of the more formidable characters in the book.

The book starts with the investigation into human remains that have been found by a dog walker. Two officers are sent to the site but one of them, Evan, a local man is due to retire a few days later. Much of the novel focuses on him and his wife, Betty, a therapist both adapting to his new life. He does struggle, knowing that his colleagues can’t keep him informed but wanting to help. But the main focus isn’t on the murder investigation from a police point of view. This novel is mainly about the effect on the village, in particular on a family of three women. The afore mentioned Nan, her daughter Helen and her grand daughter Sadie. All three, Evan and Betty all narrate their own version of events.

All of the characters were believable, especially Nan and her family. The author did a fantastic job of creating their family life, their attitudes to each other and I had sympathy for Helen from her first appearance. Her mother was a nasty, vicious bully and Sadie didn’t seem much better. I also liked the description of village life, where there were no secrets and very long memories.

I did ‘solve’ the murder but because this novel had such strong characters and was set in a different area I enjoyed it thoroughly.

Deep Dirty Truth by Steph Broadribb – Blog Tour Review.

About The Book

A price on her head. A secret worth dying for. Just 48 hours to expose the truth…

Single-mother bounty hunter Lori Anderson has finally got her family back together, but her new-found happiness is shattered when she’s snatched by the Miami Mob – and they want her dead. Rather than a bullet, they offer her a job: find the Mob’s ‘numbers man’ – Carlton North – who’s in protective custody after being forced to turn federal witness against them. If Lori succeeds, they’ll wipe the slate clean and the price on her head – and those of her family – will be removed. If she fails, they die.
With North due in court in forty-eight hours, Lori sets off across Florida, racing against the clock to find him and save her family. Only in this race the prize is more deadly – and the secret she shares with JT more dangerous – than she ever could have imagined. In this race only the winner gets out alive…
Brimming with tension, high-stakes jeopardy and high-voltage action, and a deep, emotional core, Deep Dirty Truth is an unmissable thriller by one of the freshest and most exciting voices in crime fiction.

My Review

With thanks to Orenda Books and Steph Broadribb for the copy of the book, I was thrilled to be part of #teamlori who were all sent early copies. Deep Dirty Truth is the third full length novel in the Lori Anderson series and it is my favourite one so far. When Lori is forced into a car after dropping her daughter Dakota off at school the danger all of them are in doesn’t lessen until the end of the book. Not only do they face danger from the mob but also from the rather nasty wildlife. I’m not sure which I’d be more wary of!
Whilst most of the narrative concerns Lori you also get to see what is happening with JT, Dakota and Red. Each time it switched I was anxious to go back again, the timing is perfect. I read a lot of books that have more than one narrative and it takes a great author to get it as perfect as it is here. For this reason I read this book very quickly, I was going to read two at once but that never happened. This is definitely a book you could read in one setting.
This is a series where the storylines tend to overlap. You could read this book as a standalone novel but will get so much more if you read the books in order. All of the characters and parts of the ongoing storyline have developed strongly.
Dakota is a character I adore, if you could read a novel where a secondary character became the primary one in another novel she would be my choice. She is brave, funny and very independent.
One of the most intimidating parts was when Lori was going though the Everglades. It’s not somewhere I know, and not something I would plan on visiting after this. I could practically see the alligators swim past me.
I felt that many storylines were closed at the end of this novel, please let there be another.

Storm Rising by Sara Driscoll – Review.

About The Book

The heart-pounding thriller of a series continues as FBI Special Agent Meg Jennings and her search-and-rescue K-9 companion confront the fury of nature—and the more dangerous nature of man . . .

In the wake of a devastating hurricane, Special Agent Meg Jennings and her Labrador, Hawk—invaluable members of the FBI’s Human Scent Evidence Team—have been deployed to Virginia Beach. They have their work cut out for them. Amid graveyards of debris, and the buried cries for help, the search and rescue operation begins. The most alarming discovery is yet to come—a teenage girl hiding in the Great Dismal Swamp. Shaken by the storm, she has reason to be scared. But this young survivor is terrified of so much more.

Her name is Emma—a disheveled runaway lost to the sordid underbelly of a Virginia sex-trafficking ring. Its leader has disappeared in the chaos—along with other victims. With so much evidence, and so many witnesses, seemingly washed away, Meg joins forces with Special Agent Walter Van Cleave to ensure no further harm comes to their vulnerable charge. They soon discover that this is no small-time localized syndicate. Its branches are rooted in some of the most influential powers in Virginia. Now as Meg’s investigation digs deeper, she’s making some very dangerous enemies. And one by one, they’re coming out of the storm to stop her.

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. It was good to catchup with Meg and Hawk again. In this novel they, along with the rest of the team are sent to help and find survivors from a hurricane. But they find more than they bargained for.

Living in a country where we don’t experience extreme weather I found this part of the storyline fascinating. I see it on the news but this novel showed how the rescuers feel and cope with what they see and hear. I have never given a moments thought to what a dog may go through, not finding any survivors and felt quite strange at how their handlers deal with the situation. I was almost reluctant to leave this side of the story and move onto the part that concerned Emma.

Emma, despite what she has been put through is tough and decides that she wants justice. But she is still vulnerable and I loved the way that she and Hawk bonded. It was hard to think about what her early life was like when she had no desire to return to it.

This series is very different to all the others that I read. The cases all feature heavily but so do the team members. You see their personal lives, how they deal with the job and how close they are to their canine partners. You see how important their families are to them, Meg’s sister, their parents and their partners all feature without over powering the storyline.

My Name is Anna by Lizzy Barber – Review.


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About The Book

ANNA has been taught that virtue is the path to God. But on her eighteenth birthday she defies her Mamma’s rules and visits Florida’s biggest theme park.

She has never been allowed to go – so why, when she arrives, does everything seem so familiar? And is there a connection to the mysterious letter she receives on the same day?

ROSIE has grown up in the shadow of the missing sister she barely remembers, her family fractured by years of searching without leads.Now, on the fifteenth anniversary of her sister’s disappearance, the media circus resumes in full flow, and Rosie vows to uncover the truth.

But will she find the answer before it tears her family apart?

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. My Name is Anna is a book that I have been looking forward to reading for weeks. I wasn’t disappointed. It was one of those novels that I knew from the first few pages that I would like.

It is a dual narrative novel. Rosie is a teenager who lives in London. If you disregard that her older sister was abducted when she was a baby she would have a fairly normal life. Never knowing the answers to what happened to Emily has impacted on all of their lives.

And then there is Anna. A few years older, she lives in Florida and her life is ruled by religion and cleanliness. She loves Mamma but also fears her. Understandably, Mamma is one of those characters who you sit in awe at. Just wondering what punishment or rule she would inflict on Anna next.

You are aware of a mystery surrounding Anna fairly early on in the novel. But there is more to this novel than I expected. It is only in the latter stages where you get to know who Mamma is and what happened to her. And it was the moment that I started to feel differently about her. It was also when I started to enjoy Anna’s tale a lot more. Until this point I preferred to read about Rosie.

I found this a great novel that I believe would make a brilliant movie. Lizzy Barber is an author I would happily read again.

Only A Mother by Elisabeth Carpenter – Blog Tour Review.


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About The Book


ONLY A MOTHER . . .

Erica Wright hasn’t needed to scrub ‘MURDERER’ off her house in over a year. Life is almost quiet again. Then her son, Craig, is released from prison, and she knows the quiet is going to be broken.

COULD BELIEVE HIM

Erica has always believed Craig was innocent – despite the lies she told for him years ago – but when he arrives home, she notices the changes in him. She doesn’t recognise her son anymore.

COULD LIE FOR HIM

So, when another girl goes missing, she starts to question everything. But how can a mother turn her back on her son? And, if she won’t, then how far will she go to protect him?

COULD BURY THE TRUTH

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. Only A Mother is the third book I have read by Elisabeth Carpenter and in my opinion is the best one yet.

It is a crime novel, but one that deals with what happens years after the crime. Most of it is told by the viewpoint of either Erica, mother of Craig who has just been released from prison or Luke who is a journalist covering the story of a killer released back into the local area. I found it mesmerising. The abuse that Erica faced daily. Not just vandalism but also the whispers and the isolation that she has been forced into. Luke also has issues, married with two young children, he should feel happy but he feels like a failure.

Whilst the crimes do feature it is the emotion that carries this novel and makes it believable. It made me think about what a Mother would do to protect her child, how hard is it to feel loyal and give support to a convicted killer. And always wondering if he was capable of murder. It is a crime novel that made me feel emotional at times, especially near the end.

As well as the storyline I also enjoyed the local setting. I live in the town in which the book is set and I had a lot of fun identifying local places. Elisabeth Carpenter is an author who has plenty more novels to come. Recommended.