Three Weeks Dead by Rebecca Bradley.

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About the Book

How far would you go if someone took your wife?

Especially, if you buried her a week ago.

When Jason Wells is faced with this scenario, he is confronted with the prospect of committing a crime that will have far-reaching consequences.

Can young DC Sally Poynter get through to him before he crosses that line, or does a desperate husband prove to be the case she won’t ever forget?

A prequel novella, set before Shallow Waters, the first in the DI Hannah Robbins series.

My Review

Having read and enjoyed the first two books in the Hannah Robbins series I was pleased that Rebecca Bradley had published a novella that was also a prequel to the other books. I have read prequels to an established series before but from memory this is the first that focuses on a different character. In this case it was Sally a junior member of the team.
The case that they ae investigating is kidnap, not unusual in itself but the victim is recently deceased and her bereaved husband will do anything to get her back. Sally connects to him and becomes his ally, the one person he will open up to. She is determined that this will be the case where she could prove herself as a valuable member of the team.
Rebecca does a great job of demonstrating how nervous and eager Sally felt about wanting to get her first result and show the established team that she was good enough to be part of them. Most were helpful to her although there was one obnoxious character. It made good reading how she handled him.
I imagine most who read this will have read at least one of the other books in the series so will approach this with similar emotions to myself. For those who haven’t it is a good introduction to a great little series. I have enjoyed getting to know Hannah, Sally and the rest of the close knit team.
With thanks to Rebecca for the copy received for review.

You can buy the book here

To see a guest post from Rebecca earlier this year about her transition from detective to crime writer see Rebecca Bradley Guest Post- Made to Be Broken.

Dancers in the Wind by Anne Coates – Blog Tour.

 

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About the Book

SHE IS HUNTING FOR THE TRUTH, BUT WHO IS HUNTING HER? Freelance journalist and single mother Hannah Weybridge is commissioned by a national newspaper to write an investigative article on the notorious red light district in Kings Cross. There she meets prostitute Princess, and police inspector in the vice squad, Tom Jordan. When Princess later arrives on her doorstep beaten up so badly she is barely recognisable, Hannah has to make some tough decisions and is drawn ever deeper into the world of deceit and violence. Three sex workers are murdered, their deaths covered up in a media blackout, and Hannah herself is under threat. As she comes to realise that the taste for vice reaches into the higher echelons of the great and the good, Hannah realises she must do everything in her power to expose the truth …. and stay alive.

My Review

I was slightly dubious when starting Dancers in the Wind. The last few books I had read had all been at times difficult to read. But even though the storyline concerning prostitutes was gritty it was a quick and easy read.
Hannah is shocked when Princess turns up at her home in a life threatening condition. After providing medical assistance she reluctantly gives her a home, despite reservations. She has a young daughter and is worried about being in danger. But she agrees that she can stay and starts to think of her as Caroline rather than Princess, her street name. But Caroline does bring danger with her and Hannah has no idea of who she can trust.
What Anne does is ignore the popular image shown on a lot of TV drama of prostitutes stood on street corners wearing nice clothing and having perfect skin, hair and nails. Instead she shows a truer image of desperation, scared, emotionally and physically battered women who do what they do for any reason from paying the bills to paying for boarding school. But despite their hardships they were all very loyal to each other and wanted to help. Even if it put them at risk from their pimps or clients.
As I said earlier it is an easy book to read. Hannah is a very likeable person unlike the other characters that feature who have the same career. Some of the people she deals with are very unpleasant and she is shocked at the levels that they sink to when they have the power and the money.
I am pleased that there will be a follow up to this novel. I would be interested to see what Hannah gets involved in next.
With thanks to the publisher for the copy via NetGalley.

Deep Down Dead by Steph Broadribb – pre publication quote.

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A lot of you will have heard of Steph Broadribb, also known as crime thriller girl and member of the Slice Girls. Her debut novel is due to be released on Oct 15th by Orenda and today I am thrilled to be able to publish a quote from the book…

“Not a cop. Plenty came through here, most of them off the clock. But this guy’s energy was all wrong for that. He was something else. Kinda mysterious. I liked that.
Anyways, that scent of aged bourbon with a base-note aroma of tobacco worked real well on him. What with the dark-blond hair that fell over his eyes and the two-day-old stubble lingering across his jaw, he looked a dirty kind of perfect: big and dangerous and sexy as hell.”

About the Book

Lori Anderson is as tough as they come, managing to keep her career as a fearless Florida bounty hunter separate from her role as single mother to nine-year-old Dakota, who suffers from leukaemia. But when the hospital bills start to rack up, she has no choice but to take her daughter along on a job that will make her a fast buck. And that’s when things start to go wrong. The fugitive she’s assigned to haul back to court is none other than JT, Lori’s former mentor – the man who taught her everything she knows … the man who also knows the secrets of her murky past.

Not only is JT fighting a child exploitation racket operating out of one of Florida’s biggest theme parks, Winter Wonderland, a place where ‘bad things never happen’, but he’s also mixed up with the powerful Miami Mob. With two fearsome foes on their tails, just three days to get JT back to Florida, and her daughter to protect, Lori has her work cut out for her. When they’re ambushed at a gas station, the stakes go from high to stratospheric, and things become personal.

Breathtakingly fast-paced, both hard-boiled and heart-breaking, Deep Down Dead is a simply stunning debut from one of the most exciting new voices in crime fiction.

To buy the book click here

The Vanishing Year by Kate Moretti – Guest Post and Review.

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Today,I am delighted to publish a guest post by Kate Moretti author of The Vanishing Year. I have only read one of the books that she wants to read and she is in for a treat! My review follows at the end.

Six Suspense Novels I’m Dying to Read This Fall

Something about the cooler weather makes me actively seek the books that scare the dickens out of me. These six are the ones I have on my nightstand, just waiting to keep me awake half the night, jumping at every little noise.

The Kept Woman, Karin Slaughter
I love Karin Slaughter. I start one of her books and I know I’m in great hands, that the plot will twist completely unpredictably and I’ll be lost down a rabbit hole for the next two days. I can’t wait to read this one! The Kept Woman is part of the Will Trent series, about a murder at an abandoned construction site. Because this is a Slaughter book, it’s not just a murder. It’s a murder and a kidnapping, and OF COURSE Trent’s past is linked to the current crime, so this one promises to be emotionally gripping with a whiplash pace.

Good As Gone, Amy Gentry
All I have to say is this: a 13 year-old girl goes missing and eight years later comes home. This might sound ripped from the headlines but what if the girl who comes home isn’t the girl who left? Dum-dum-DUM! The premise grabbed me immediately and I bought the book without question. Plus, what a GORGEOUS cover.

The Couple Next Door, Shari Lapena
I live in the suburbs. We sometimes have neighborhood parties. This book is what the domestic suspense genre is all about. I can literally see this happening to me, and it’s terrifying. A dinner party, a missing baby, a neighborhood turned upside down, all your friends suspects. Pass me a cup of coffee (or tea!) and a blanket. I’ll see you tomorrow!

The Trespasser, Tana French
Three words: Dublin Murder Squad. Yes, please. I love, love, love these books. I was hooked with In The Woods, and Cassie stole my heart in The Likeness and I will read them all sight unseen. No one does depth of characterization, twisty plots, and atmosphere quite like Tana French. If you read (or write!) suspense, French should be required reading. The Trespasser brings back Antoinette Conway, from The Secret Place and gives us a not-what-it-seems lovers tiff/murder. I can’t wait for this one!

You Will Know Me, Megan Abbott
I read everything Megan Abbott writes. She can do teenagers like no one else and every book of hers sets my nerves on edge. Atmosphere is her middle name. You Will Know Me is set in the world of Olympic-track gymnasts and the sacrifices that must be made to protect your child, your life’s investment, your community, even your marriage.

Arrowood, Laura McHugh
I loved The Weight of Blood, Laura McHugh’s award winning debut. Her writing is so beautiful, so evocative. Arrowood promises to be a worthy follow up: gothic mystery, creepy old house, twin girls (Hello, twin girls, not creepy at all). A book about family secrets, murder, and a hint of ghosts? Yes, yes, yes. Perfect reading for Halloween!

About the book

Zoe Whittaker appears to have a charmed life. Newly married to a rich and attentive man, she has the best of everything. But five years ago, Zoe’s life was in danger. Because back then, Zoe wasn’t Zoe at all. When an attempt is made on her life, Zoe fears that her past has caught up with her. But who can she ask for help when even her own husband doesn’t t know her real name? Zoe must decide who she can trust before she, whoever she is, vanishes completely…

My Review

When this book arrived I was very intrigued. Not every book comes wrapped in tissue paper and placed in a box with a single flower.
Zoe has rebuilt her life after a terrifying experience during her teen years. Her childhood has been very much on the poverty line, and she struggled with her memories of how she left it all behind. She has changed her identity and having no family, apart from her birth mother who she had never met, hoped that her past stayed that way. But she became aware that she was in danger, more so when she makes attempts to find her birth mother. With no idea who to turn to her life starts to fall apart.
There are plenty of twists in this novel. You are aware that she is in danger but she is also vulnerable with the loneliness in her life. The friends that she had were aggrieved that she had lost touch when she married and her husband is absent much of the time. She had no independence at all, a devoted husband who wanted to rule every aspect of her life even as far as choosing all her clothes. The only person who she feels that she could rely on is Cash, a reporter who chose to help her but by doing so increased the level of danger.
I had an idea of which way the story was going to go but the outcome was much more complex than I expected. I don’t want to give spoilers so won’t say more but this novel is a quick and entertaining read which demonstrates that you shouldn’t assume anything.
With thanks to the publisher for the copy received.

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A Constant Soldier by William Ryan.

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About the Book

The pain woke him up. He was grateful for it. The train had stopped and somewhere, up above them, the drone of aircraft engines filled the night sky. He could almost remember her smile . . . It must be the morphine . . . He had managed not to think about her for months now.

1944. Paul Brandt, a soldier in the German army, returns wounded and ashamed from the bloody chaos of the Eastern front to find his village home much changed and existing in the dark shadow of an SS rest hut – a luxurious retreat for those who manage the concentration camps, run with the help of a small group of female prisoners who – against all odds – have so far survived the war.

When, by chance, Brandt glimpses one of these prisoners, he realizes that he must find a way to access the hut. For inside is the woman to whom his fate has been tied since their arrest five years before, and now he must do all he can to protect her.

But as the Russian offensive moves ever closer, the days of this rest hut and its SS inhabitants are numbered. And while hope – for Brandt and the female prisoners – grows tantalizingly close, the danger too is now greater than ever.

And, in a forest to the east, a young female Soviet tank driver awaits her orders to advance . . .

My Review

War Fiction is only something I read occasionally, the books that I have read previously have all been told by a British or American slant so reading a novel told by a German officer’s view was completely different.
When Paul Brandt arrives back home from the Eastern Front with horrific injuries he is understandably disillusioned. He had never agreed with the War or Hitler’s plan and only joined up when he was given two options. Serve or go to prison for political offences. Soon after his return he sees a face from the past and when learning what is happening nearby he is determined to try and help.
When reading this novel, I felt almost like a spectator. It was obvious that Germany was devastated by the war they had no chance of winning but so many people were still in denial. I could see so many different personalities. Brandt and Neumann full of remorse and self-hatred, Jäger, bitter, rational and not afraid to upset those around him. And then there were the bullies, Peichl was one and there were others waiting in the background for their chance to shine.
There were other things that struck a chord. Doctors who visited the rest hut were feared and it took a while to realise who they might be. Definitely not the type of person you would expect a doctor to be. Gold fillings and teeth found in the possession of an officer was a chilling reminder of what was going on nearby.
Whilst distressing at times I wasn’t as devastated as I expected to be. Strangely perhaps, to others it was the description of the weather that I found most upsetting. How it must have been for a member of my family walking home across Europe after years spent as a P.O.W.
A lot of the novel was about desperation and fear but there was also a calm acceptance where I would have expected panic. There were also odd snippets of humour, mainly from Brandt and Jäger that was much appreciated.
I would have liked to know more about what happened to the characters who survived but accept that it was very realistic. Many people would have lost touch almost immediately.

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received