Wolves At The Door by Gunnar Staalesen – Blog Tour Review.

About The Book

One dark January night a car drives at high speed towards PI Varg Veum, and comes very close to killing him. Veum is certain this is no accident, following so soon after the deaths of two jailed men who were convicted for their participation in a case of child pornography and sexual assault … crimes that Veum himself once stood wrongly accused of committing.

While the guilty men were apparently killed accidentally, Varg suspects that there is something more sinister at play … and that he’s on the death list of someone still at large.

My Review


With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. This is a book which you will appreciate more if you have read the earlier books in the series. Varg Veum is a character who you understand and like more if you are aware what has happened to him in the past.

He has struggled to move on after the charges of appalling crimes were dropped, both professionally and personally and he is shocked that two of the men he was charged with have died suddenly. He is also aware that somebody is following him and becomes more concerned when others he is close to are at risk.

He is a character who is completely different to many that I read about. He appears a lot more relaxed and slow to act than others but he isn’t one to give up when he doesn’t get answers straight away. Instead he persists, almost hovering in the wings until whoever he is questioning reveals their secrets, worries and anger.

What this author does so well is show what other characters other than Varg are going through. All of the characters who are connected to the historic crimes are affected by what happened. Not just the victims, the relatives and friends. It’s heart wrenching and real. One scene in particular, is very upsetting. Not because of graphic detail but the emotional distress that one character displays. And the complete lack of remorse shown by the one who should have prevented it. It is a scene where Varg shows his strengths, his expertise and caring nature whilst trying to help.

On My Life by Angela Clarke – Review – First Monday Crime.

About The Book

Jenna knows she didn’t do it. But she is running out of time to prove it… 
A heartbreaking, compulsive thriller with a killer twist! 

Framed. Imprisoned. Pregnant.

Jenna thought she had the perfect life: a loving fiancé, a great job, a beautiful home. Then she finds her stepdaughter murdered; her partner missing.

And the police think she did it…

Locked up to await trial, surrounded by prisoners who’d hurt her if they knew what she’s accused of, certain someone close to her has framed her, Jenna knows what she needs to do:

Clear her name
Save her baby
Find the killer

But can she do it in time?

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. I was lucky enough to read a short sampler of this book at last years Theakston’s Crime Festival and knew that this would be a book I would enjoy. 

It was one that made me feel tense when I was reading it, not because of the crime which Jenna had been accused of, but because of what she faced in prison. The pack mentality was terrifying and very believable.

You read  briefly about what happened in the past but most of the novel takes place in the prison. Jenna is increasingly isolated. She doesn’t want people to know what she has been accused of, understandably, there are  prison officers she is wary of and most of all there is Gould. 

It is all believable, how cut backs and lack of money have created staffing problems to the extent that there is a risk to life. The overcrowding, fear, hatred, anger, the inmates who everybody finds intimidating, and also the handful of friends who try to stick together. 

I have read all of Angela’s novels and this is my favourite by a long way. I can’t wait to see what she writes next. 

Angela will be appearing at First Monday Crime on Monday 3rd June with Tim Weaver, Doug Johnstone and  Peter Hanigton.  Details can be found https://www.firstmondaycrime.com/

The Never Game by Jeffery Deaver – Blog Tour Review.

About The Book

A young woman has gone missing in Silicon Valley and her father has hired Colter Shaw to find her. The son of a survivalist family, Shaw is an expert tracker. Now he makes a living as a “reward seeker,” traveling the country to help police solve crimes and private citizens locate missing persons. But what seems a simple investigation quickly thrusts him into the dark heart of America’s tech hub and the cutthroat billion-dollar video-gaming industry. 

“Escape if you can.”

When another victim is kidnapped, the clues point to one video game with a troubled past–The Whispering Man. In that game, the player has to survive after being abandoned in an inhospitable setting with five random objects. Is a madman bringing the game to life? 

“Or die with dignity.”

Shaw finds himself caught in a cat-and-mouse game, risking his own life to save the victims even as he pursues the kidnapper across both Silicon Valley and the dark ‘net. Encountering eccentric game designers, trigger-happy gamers and ruthless tech titans, he soon learns that he isn’t the only one on the hunt: someone is on his trail and closing fast.

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. I have never read a book by Jeffrey Deaver so when I found out that this book was the start of a new series it seemed a good one to start with. I was not disappointed, and I now have more books to read at some point in the future.

Colter was a character I liked instantly, I could tell that he was doing his job out of a desire to save a life, not just for the reward. I enjoyed the glimpses of his childhood and the survival techniques he was taught. And I liked his no mess attitude, the bravery, his use of percentages to assess a situation and his attitude when he was proven right or wrong. 

The gaming industry that is the theme in this book is one that baffles me. I don’t understand how people can sit for hours obsessed with online death or survival. And the thought of turning that online activity into reality is terrifying. I had also never given a thought to what else the gaming companies might be involved in. Something that made me more dubious about various gadgets that are in many homes.

A great start to a series, I will be looking forward to reading more about Colter in the future. 


Your Deepest Fear by David Jackson – Blog Tour Review.

About The Book

‘Sara! Remember! Victoria and Albert. All I can say. They’re here. They’re-‘ 

These are the last words Sara Prior will ever hear from her husband. 

As DS Nathan Cody struggles to make sense of the enigmatic message and solve the brutal murder, it soon becomes clear that Sara is no ordinary bereaved wife. Taking the investigation into her own hands, Sara is drawn into a world of violence that will lead her in a direction she would never have suspected. 

For Cody, meanwhile, things are about to get personal in the darkest and most twisted ways imaginable . . .

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. I have read three out of the four books in the Nathan Cody series and I recommend that you at least read the first book before reading this one. 

This book is slightly different to the others that I have read. The opening murder scene is more gruesome than many and Cody is advised by his superior to stay away from the crime scene. His team are investigating the murder but unusually most of the investigation is carried out by the victim’s widow, Sara. 

Sara is more than capable of looking after herself. She is ex-military, afraid of nobody and determined to find out why her husband was murdered. I liked her a lot, even though I did find her a little scary. Despite the often violent scenes hers are the easiest to read. Cody’s problems could have given me sleepless nights. 

Cody’s role in the novel is more about his demons, the clowns. It is this part of the novel where you need to be aware of what happened to him previously. I wasn’t sure at first if it was all in his imagination but as the story progressed I realised it was actually happening. It made me dislike clowns more than I already did and it will be a while before I can be in the vicinity of Rodney Street without seeing them.

With reading a lot of crime fiction I sometimes identify a murderer, or see the reasons for the killing. I didn’t this time, it was complicated and a little bit sinister. At times, it felt like closure. I hope it isn’t. 

Dark Sacred Night by Michael Connelly – Blog Tour Review.

About The Book

Daisy Clayton’s killer was never caught. In over ten years, there has been no breakthrough in her murder case.

Detective Renée Ballard has faced everything the LAPD’s notorious dusk-till-dawn graveyard shift has thrown at her. But, until tonight, she’d never met Harry Bosch – an ex-homicide detective consumed by this case.

Soon, she too will become obsessed by the murder of Daisy Clayton.

Because Ballard and Bosch both know: every murder tells a story. And Daisy’s case file reads like the first chapter in an untold tragedy that is still being written – one that could end with Ballard herself, if she cannot bring the truth to light.

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. This is the first book I have read by Michael Connelly, there are quite a few to catch up on if I ever have a dent in my reading. From what I can gather the series featuring Bosch is a lot longer than the one featuring Ballard.

The cold case involving the murder of Daisy is the one that brings both of his characters together. Two different types of police officer, Bosch is now a reserve, and they are also from different generations, have different methods but they get on well and are working as a team.

Both of the characters narrate and it was Ballard’s story I preferred. If I had known more about Bosch’s character and previous cases my feelings could have differed. But Ballard intrigued me, obviously dedicated to her job, more than capable but banished to the ‘late show’.

Whilst they are intent on finding out what happened to Daisy they both had other investigations. Bosch was looking at gang related crimes and Ballard had a variety of call outs that she had to deal with. I found this really interesting and it’s not something I have come across before. It showed how the police officer’s shift changed constantly, how much they relied on their team and how many cases they had to deal with at the same time.

Towards the end I started to see a different side to Bosch, a more sinister one. Because I haven’t read any of the earlier books I’m not sure if it how he works or whether emotions were affecting his approach.

I will, one day, read the earlier books to find out.