The Shadows of Rutherford House by CE Rose – Blog Tour Review.

About The Book

Darkness lies at the heart of this family…

In 1959 Milly starts her new life as a housemaid at Rutherford House, working for the aristocratic Rutherford-Percy clan. Entranced by her new mistress, Vivienne, she becomes deeply embroiled in the household and the keeper of dark secrets the family conceals beneath the mansion’s grand exterior.

In the present day, Christie is working as a psychiatric nurse when she meets troubled patient Lillian Percy, Vivienne’s granddaughter and heiress to Rutherford House. They soon bond over the loss of their mothers
– Lillian’s died when she was a child; Christie’s mysteriously disappeared over twenty years ago – and Christie finds herself increasingly fascinated by
Lillian’s family and their imposing ancestral home.

As Christie learns more about the Rutherford-Percys, she finds a shocking clue that could help her uncover what happened to her own mother. Desperate for answers, Christie puts her job, her family and even her very life on the line. But how much of the truth does she really want to know?

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. I always enjoy a novel with more than one narrator, I find it adds to the intrigue and provides differing views of the same situation. And in this novel I found it worked really well, covering three generations where initially I couldn’t even begin to work out the connection. 

Christie was a character I adored. I had a lot of appreciation for her honesty, her approach to her career and the evident loss she felt concerning the disappearance of her mother. She crossed the line a little with building a friendship with Lilian but she did still have her best interests at heart and tried to maintain a professional relationship. You saw a lot more of her vulnerability with her relationship with OJ, a character who made me smile a lot.

But there wasn’t just her that the reader got to know well. There was Duncan during the 1980s, probably the one who I had the most sympathy for as the way he was manipulated was revealed and Milly from the 1960s, the more I read about her the less I liked. But strangely, there wasn’t really anything I could put my finger on. I just found her a little too controlling and too familiar for an employee.

The house itself was just like I imagined one that had run out of money to be. Areas gradually being closed adding to a claustrophobic and cold atmosphere. Nowhere that anybody would call home, I couldn’t imagine a less happy home. My feelings didn’t change as I got towards the end, if anything they increased as the truth was revealed.

The ending was a shock, just before everything was revealed I had decided that I knew what happened to Christie’s mother and those connected to her. I couldn’t have been more wrong. The real outcome was much more sinister and captivating than anything I imagined.

A fantastic novel with characters that felt real

The House Of Hidden Secrets by C. E. Rose – Blog Tour Review.

About The Book

The imposing gates of Ramsay Hall yawned open. As Serena and 4-year-old Lana walked up the long driveway, little did they know the dark secrets that lay within.

When Serena Green accepted the role of housekeeper for wealthy widower Hayden Ramsay, she never imagined her new home would be Ramsay Hall, an ancient, sprawling mansion in Northern England.

Serena quickly becomes an integral part of the household, making friends with Hayden’s younger son Hugh, despite Jack, his older brother’s, coldness towards her and Lana.

But the hall’s beautiful exterior hides many ugly secrets. Though Serena and Jack begin to grow closer, she’s confused by his behaviour around Lana. What is he guilty of? And is there more to their mother’s death than the Ramsay men will admit, even to themselves?

As the harrowing past of Ramsay Hall unravels, Serena fresh start becomes a fresh horror. She fears for her and Lana’s safety, but what are the bleak secrets in Serena’s own past?

This house is built on a lifetime of lies… and the truth might just bring the walls crashing down. 

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. I have read books by this author ( under the name Caroline England) before and enjoyed all of them. The House Of Hidden Secrets is my favourite one out all of them. It contains everything I like  about a novel. Intrigue, suspicion and plenty of twists.

Serena has taken the position of housekeeper and carer to Hayden Ramsay at the family home in Cheshire. Living with him are his two sons Jack and Hugh. It became evident immediately that the atmosphere was unsettled. More so with Hugh than any of the others. For some reason he was banished from the family home and was living in less than ideal conditions in a caravan at the farm where he worked. But in some ways, he was happier than any of the others. 

There were three narrators, Serena, Jack and Hugh. As you read you found  out more about all of them and at times it was unsettling to read. It was obvious straight away that Serena was hiding from her past and needed the remoteness of the area to keep herself and her young daughter hidden. What was less obvious was what had happened to Jack and Hugh in their past. And whilst I had a lot of sympathy for Jack it was Hugh whose story affected me the most. 

As the secrets were revealed the amount of manipulation increased. It was done slyly, to more than one person, but wasn’t entirely successful. I really enjoyed reading how the manipulator’s true personality was gradually shown as their desperation increased.

This was a novel I found very difficult to put down. When a novel has each chapter focusing on a different character it has to work and this worked perfectly. I needed to know what happened to each of them constantly. 

The Darkness Within by Graeme Hampton – Blog Tour Review.

About The Book

You can run… but death will always find you

A man is discovered on a leafy North London street, fighting for life after a brutal beating. DI Matthew Denning and his team are quickly called in to to track down the monster responsible. 

Except the victim is hiding secrets of his own. His name shows that he was reported missing two decades ago – but it’s clear that the missing person is not the same man lying broken in a hospital bed.

A visit to a squalid East London flat unearths a victim with his throat slit, his body left to decompose. A sad end to any life – but when it is identified as former DCI Frank Buckfield, star of the Met police, the case takes on a new significance.

Two seemingly unrelated cases – but as Denning, along with DS Molly Fisher, investigates further, they uncover links between the two victims that lead back to a ring of silence cloaking the blackest of crimes.

But as Denning and Fisher try to track down a killer with revenge on their mind, they find themselves pitted against a psychopath who will kill to keep their secrets hidden. Can they uncover the truth, before they end up the latest victims?

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. The Darkness Within is the third book in the Denning and Fisher series but the first that I’ve read. I had no problem getting to know the characters or follow the storyline. Although I do intend to read the earlier books as soon as possible, I enjoyed this novel a lot.

There appears to be two separate investigations but there is a connection. And it isn’t just the one that has the two main characters getting into trouble simply for trying to do their jobs. But despite both being told to back off they aren’t willing to, and they carry on with their questioning. Thus upsetting  victims, criminals and superior officers.

The investigation is sadly believable, everybody will have heard about investigations that were dropped for reasons unexplained but where you’d suspect that money or power and control were involved. The author shows the damage that caused to the individuals concerned and the way that it destroyed their life. But he also shows how a willingness to listen could make a difference.

An unusual side to this novel was that lead characters personal lives were shown and that their partners also had a voice. All too often they feature but the reader never gets to know much about them. I appreciated this a lot and I hope to see it a lot more.

I’m looking forward to reading the earlier books and from reading the author notes at the end book four definitely sounds like one to look forward to. 

The Innocent Ones by Neil White – Blog Tour Review.

About The Book

Three lives cut short. Two decades of silence. One evil secret.

By day, the park rings with the sound of children’s excited laughter. But in the early hours of the morning, the isolated playground is cloaked in shadows – the perfect hiding place to conceal a brutal murder. 

When London journalist, Mark Roberts, is found battered to death, the police quickly arrest petty thief, Nick Connor. Criminal defence lawyer, Dan Grant, along with investigator Jayne Brett, are called to represent him – but with bloody footprints and a stolen wallet linking him to the scene, this is one case they’re unlikely to win. 

Until help comes from an unlikely source…when the murder victim’s mother says that Connor is innocent, begging Dan and Jayne to find the real perpetrator. 

Unravelling the complex case means finding the connection between Mark’s death and a series of child murders in Yorkshire over twenty years ago. Father of two, Rodney Walker, has spent years in prison after being convicted of killing of 6-year-old William and 7-year-old Ruby back in 1997. 

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. I have read books by Neil White before but The Innocent Ones, book three of a trilogy is the first that I have read in this series. Not knowing the characters didn’t impact on my enjoyment of the book and I will be reading the books I have missed as soon as possible. 

In Dan’s latest case he is defending a local criminal who has been charged with murder. But the victim’s mother isn’t convinced that they have the right man and convinces Dan to find the answers in a cold case that her son was writing about. He gets back in touch with Jayne, a woman he defended in the past and who had done investigative work for him. In doing so he places both of them in danger.

It is a quite a while since I read a book that left me on edge so much. I became totally mesmerised by the cold case. At times, I forgot that there was also a current case that was being investigated. As the truth was revealed I was horrified, appalled and unable to stop reading. When the two cases overlapped and you saw exactly what evil they were facing I was numbed into silence, devastated by the tragic events. 

Sometimes a book like this is unbelievable but the storyline is handled so well I was convinced by every reveal and twist. I was also convinced by the location. I have lived in Lancashire most my life and spent sometime trying to work out which town Highford was based on. In the author’s notes at the end my suspicions were correct. They were the only thing I did get right in this book.