Mimic by Daniel Cole – Audiobook – Blog Tour Review.

About The Book

The stand-alone thriller from best-selling author of Ragdoll – soon to be a major TV series.

In life, she was his muse…. In death she’ll be his masterpiece….

1989: DS Benjamin Chambers and DC Adam Winter are on the trail of a twisted serial killer with a passion for recreating the world’s greatest works of art through the bodies of his victims. But after Chambers almost loses his life, the case goes cold – their killer lying dormant, his collection unfinished. 

1996: Jordan Marshall has excelled within the Metropolitan Police Service, fuelled by a loss that defined her teenage years. Obsessed, she manages to obtain new evidence, convincing both Chambers and Winter to revisit the case. However, their resurrected investigation brings about a fresh reign of terror, the team treading a fine line between police officers and vigilantes in their pursuit of a monster far more dangerous and intelligent than any of them had anticipated..

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the audiobook received. Listening to audiobooks is a relatively new thing for me so I jumped at the opportunity to listen to the new novel by this author. His Ragdoll series was one that I enjoyed a lot.

A dual time framed novel, the first part concerns a series of deaths. Chambers and Winters are convinced that they are linked but with lack of help from their superior officer, a somewhat unconvincing confession and finally a tragic accident the investigation is dropped.

Jump forward seven years and a young female officer, Marshall, who had known one of the victims, wants Chambers to look at the case again and find the killer. Despite misgivings and breaking a promise to his wonderful wife Eve he agrees. 

Life hasn’t been kind to any of them. All three have suffered during the seven years and I really hope that there are no members of our police who are like this trio. Not because I didn’t like them but because they have all been damaged by what happened. To the extent that I worried for their safety and sanity. Marshall was very much an open book, you knew immediately how she coped and some of the trauma she experienced. Winters was more reticent, in some ways I felt he suffered more than Chambers. 

But despite their issues they had a friendship that went beyond the job. Chambers was very much the father figure and managed to help both of them. In particular Marshall who he quite easily could have had removed from the investigation. Instead he showed encouragement and a belief in her abilities. 

Whilst the case was an interesting one, that sent me to the internet a few times to learn more it was the relationship dynamic they grabbed me. This felt like an honest example of a team. Working on their strengths and supporting their weaknesses. And there was also some dark humour, mainly caused by frustration.

This novel is described as a standalone but I feel that there could definitely be a follow up. There is certainly potential. 

The Devil’s Advocate by Steve Cavanagh – Review.

About The Book

A DEADLY PROSECUTOR

They call him the King of Death Row. Randal Korn has sent more men to their deaths than any district attorney in the history of the United States.

A TWISTED RITUALISTIC KILLING

When a young woman, Skylar Edwards, is found murdered in Buckstown, Alabama, a corrupt sheriff arrests the last person to see her alive, Andy Dubois. It doesn’t seem to matter to anyone that Andy is innocent.

A SMALL TOWN BOILING WITH RAGE

Everyone in Buckstown believes Andy is guilty. He has no hope of a fair trial. And the local defense attorney assigned to represent him has disappeared.

A FORMER CON-ARTIST

Hot shot New York lawyer Eddie Flynn travels south to fight fire with fire. He plans to destroy the prosecutors case, find the real killer and save Andy from the electric chair.

But the murders are just beginning.

Is Eddie Flynn next?

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. I have enjoyed the books from the Eddie Flynn series that I have read and after reading this I know that I need to read the couple that I have missed. The Devil’s Advocate could be read as a standalone but I would recommend reading the earlier books if you want to know more about the characters, in particular, Eddie. 

I knew that this book was going to be a favourite from the prologue, it isn’t often that just a few pages can leave me feeling horror and fear over the actions of one of the characters. Even more so, because they were totally unexpected. This feeling didn’t diminish throughout the entire novel. I can imagine that there are communities that exist like the one here in parts of America.

There are a few nice people in the novel but nearly all of them are forced into being little help to Eddie and his team. There are threats and also promises. Offers of help which had a high price to pay. What was evident throughout this novel is how easy it was to manipulate somebody who was grieving. There was no compassion and no remorse. There was guilt from some, but only when it was too late. I also noticed that the ones who saw through the act of kindness were on the whole female. 

It is difficult to review without revealing the plot but this novel is extremely powerful, especially with recent events around the world. I felt horror at some of it but this was offset by the way Eddie worked. All of his team made me want to smile and clap.

A brilliant addition to a well established series and I am happy that I saw a tweet that showed signed copies are available at Waterstones.

Look What You Made Me Do by Nikki Smith – Blog Tour Review.

About The Book

Two people can keep a secret . . . if one of them is dead.

Sisters Jo and Caroline are used to hiding things from each other. They’ve never been close – taking it in turns to feel on the outside of their family unit, playing an endless game of favourites.

Jo envies Caroline’s life – things have always come so easy to her. Then a family inheritance falls entirely to Jo, and suddenly now Caroline wants what Jo has. Needs it, even.

But just how far will she go to get it? 

You’ll be riveted by the new psychological suspense from Nikki Smith – a gripping gut-punch of a novel . . .

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. Look What You Made Me Do is an excellent second novel by this author, I have thoroughly enjoyed reading both this and the earlier book All In Her Head. And like that book, the synopsis doesn’t fully reflect the full storyline. This is how they should be, far too often too much detail is given and I really enjoyed finding the snippets that weren’t revealed.

Whilst most of the focus in the novel is on the two sisters it wasn’t what I expected. I didn’t expect to have so much sympathy for Caroline and to feel the same fear that she felt when she was near her husband Rob. The abuse shown wasn’t through assault alone, here there was slyness and control. Even over something as simple as a jar of coffee. But I felt that she was planning something and I wasn’t convinced it involved inheritance. I found her story difficult to read but very compelling. 

Jo’s life was completely different but she also had issues. She’d had problems with eating disorders in her past, a very strange relationship with her mother which I had misunderstood for much of the novel and a husband who she felt disconnected from. I wished that both sisters could be there for each other but they had never been close. 

It’s a fascinating novel that shows you never know what goes on behind closed doors. 

All In Her Head by Nikki Smith- Blog Tour Review.

About The Book

Her life is a pack of lies. But what if she is the liar?

Alison is more alone than she’s ever been. She is convinced that her ex-husband Jack is following her. She is certain she recognises the strange woman who keeps approaching her at work.

She knows she has a good reason to be afraid. But she can’t remember why.

Then the mention of one name brings a whole lifetime of memories rushing back in. 

Alison feels like she’s losing her mind . . . but it could just lead her to the truth.

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. All In Her Head is a book that left me reeling. The first part was as I expected, with two different narrators, Ali and Jack, a married couple who for some reason are apart. I suspected conflict of some kind, possibly one afraid of the other. But as I read more, and the reasons why they were living apart became clearer I realised very quickly that what I was reading was completely different, and this novel was a lot more than what I was expecting.

As the story progressed it switched narrator at crucial moments and I needed to carry on reading to find out what happened next. This happened with both characters and it was done brilliantly. Often it doesn’t work well or feel natural but it is a long time since I have felt so tense when reading. I felt fear, frustration and sadness and I can’t even say why. This is a novel which you need to read knowing as little as possible about it. 

An absolutely wonderful novel to read during lockdown, I raced through it.

My Top Ten Books of 2019

The time has come again to face an impossible task of narrowing the 117 books I have read into a top ten list. As always it was difficult to do but I have managed and I will list them in no particular order. Apart from my favourite book of the year which I will reveal at the end. You can see my review for each book by clicking on the title.

Expectation by Anna Hope.

If Only I Could Tell You by Hannah Beckerman.

The Photographer Of The Lost by Caroline Scott

Changeling by Matt Wesolowski

Red Snow by Will Dean

From The City, From The Plough by Alexander Baron

On My Life by Angela Clarke

The Taking Of Annie Thorne by C. J. Tudor

The Girl At The Window by Rowan Coleman

My Book of 2019

Turbulent Wake by Paul. E Hardisty