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 Deaths of December by Susi Holliday – Blog Tour Review.



About the Book

The hunt is on for a serial killer in this thrilling festive crime novel

It looks like a regular advent calendar.
Until DC Becky Greene starts opening doors…and discovers a crime scene behind almost every one.
The police hope it’s a prank. Because if it isn’t, a murderer has just surfaced – someone who’s been killing for twenty years.
But why now? And why has he sent it to this police station?
As the country relaxes into festive cheer, Greene and DS Eddie Carmine must race against time to catch the killer. Because there are four doors left, and four murders will fill them…
It’s shaping up to be a deadly little Christmas.

My Review

Having read Susi’s previous series, The Banktoun trilogy and a handful of short stories I was looking forward to reading her latest novel. I hope that this book will be the start of a new series because it has great potential.
The investigation starts when an advent calendar arrives by post to the police station. But this is a calender with a difference, behind each door is the photograph of a murder scene and previously unconnected cases now appear otherwise.
There are four narrators – Eddie,Becky, Carly and the photographer. Eddie is a cop with a conscience who still feels regret over a cold case from years ago. As soon as he sees one of the photos he initially feels remorse but then hopes that he can finally find closure. Becky is new to the team and eager to prove herself. There is indication of trouble in her past but no details are given. Carly has major issues, her marriage is on the rocks and she is a heavy drinker. The photographer is on a mission, clever but increasingly desperate.
This was a book that was very easy to read and impossible to put down. I could feel the desire to find who was responsible for the murders as quickly as possible. Preferably before the break for Christmas. At times intimidating, it made me think how dangerous certain everyday things could be. I’m not saying more about that but I am glad that my house number is what it is!
One of the more convincing parts of the novel were the visits to the parent of the cold case victim. The grief and anger felt by the parent as well as the police was how I imagine it to be.
It’s a very readable novel with a case that is different that has to be solved by a team that are hard-working, and have a good team spirit. There was no officer who didn’t belong or begrudge another’s success in the team. I found it very refreshing.