Inborn By Thomas Enger – Blog Tour Review.

About The Book

When the high school in the small Norwegian village of Fredheim becomes a murder scene, the finger is soon pointed at seventeen-year-old Even. As the investigation closes in, social media is ablaze with accusations, rumours and even threats, and Even finds himself the subject of an online trial as well as being in the dock … for murder?

Even pores over his memories of the months leading up to the crime, and it becomes clear that more than one villager was acting suspiciously … and secrets are simmering beneath the calm surface of this close-knit community.

As events from the past play tag with the present, he’s forced to question everything he thought he knew. Was the death of his father in a car crash a decade earlier really accidental? Has his relationship stirred up something that someone is prepared to kill to protect?

It seems that there may be no one that Even can trust. But can we trust him? A taut, moving and chilling thriller, Inborn examines the very nature of evil, and asks the questions: How well do we really know our families? How well do we know ourselves?

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. Having enjoyed Thomas Enger’s series of books featuring Henning Juul I was looking forward to reading this standalone YA/ adult fiction  novel. My feeling was that it was more adult fiction than YA. 

Even, the lead character is only one of the voices. There is also his mother Suzanne, who is to put it mildly, not much support to him or anybody else, and a police officer Yngve. Yngve was a character who I adored. I loved his approach to the investigation, how he tried to support Even whilst wondering if he was responsible for the murders that had taken place. But most of all I loved his conversations with his recently deceased wife Åse.

Because it is YA there is less detail than usual about the killings but it’s believable. The small town community that is stunned by the deaths, the suspicion regarding Even, the gossip and abuse on social media and the self imposed isolation caused by computer gaming. 

There are many twists, I didn’t have a clue whether Even was guilty or innocent. I couldn’t even work out if he was the accused or a witness in the court scenes. Or if he wasn’t guilty, who was?

It is a completely different novel to the ones that are from the Henning Juul series but it is just as good. 




Beton Rouge by Simone Buchholz – Blog Tour Review.

About The Book

On a warm September morning, an unconscious man is found in a cage at the entrance to the offices of one of Germany’s biggest magazines. He’s soon identified as a manager of the company, and he’s been tortured. Three days later, another manager appears in a similar way.

Chastity Riley and her new colleague Ivo Stepanovic are tasked with uncovering the truth behind the attacks, an investigation that goes far beyond the revenge they first suspect … to the dubious past shared by both victims. Travelling to the south of Germany, they step into the hothouse world of boarding schools, where secrets are currency, and monsters are bred … monsters who will stop at nothing to protect themselves.

A smart, dark, probing thriller, full of all the hard-boiled poetry and acerbic wit of the very best noir, Beton Rouge is both a classic whodunit and a scintillating expose of society, by one of the most exciting names in crime fiction.

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. I enjoyed my first meeting with Chastity Riley last year in the novel Blue Night so was looking forward to catching up with her again. I was happy to see that she hadn’t changed a bit. She is as cynical as ever.

There are two cases, the first a cyclist killed by a hit and run is a bit gory despite its brevity. Chastity is only there because she was walking by whilst the investigation was being carried out. The second concerned businessmen who had been stripped, tortured and locked in a cage outside the business that they run. They didn’t seem to have many who were sympathetic to their plight. And when you knew more about them I do tend to have the same opinion. 

But the novel isn’t really about the crimes, it’s more about Chastity. Which is ok with me because she is such a likeable and refreshing character. She drinks too much, smokes too much and falls in love with the wrong people. She wears her heart on her sleeve. She also cares about her friends, worries about what they are going through, and she is willing to see things that others will disregard. 

The writing is beautiful and having experienced listening to her read from the previous book at an event last year I could hear her read this. It feels real, these characters aren’t whiter than white. They have problems, they feel lonely, they sometimes  do things that they shouldn’t do. 

I hope more of this series will be translated. It’s one that I could happily read back to back.


Gallowstree Lane by Kate London – Blog Tour Review.

About The Book

Please don’t let me diePlease don’t

When a teenage boy steps out of the shadows of Gallowstree Lane and asks a passer-by for help, it’s already too late. His life is bleeding out on the London street. 

The murder threatens to derail Operation Perseus, a cover police investigation into the Eardsley Bluds, an organised criminal network. Detective Kieran Shaw can’t and won’t allow that to happen. But fifteen-year-old Ryan has other ideas. He’s witnessed the death of his best friend, and now he wants someone to pay…

As loyalties collide, a chain of events is triggered that threatens everyone with a connection to Gallowstree Lane. 

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. Gallowstree Lane is the third book in the series, I haven’t read the previous two and apart from curiosity on my part I had no problem following the storyline.

I think the main reason was because whilst the recurring characters who are the police do feature much of the novel concerns Ryan, a young teen who is a drug runner for a local gang. It was Ryan’s story that captivated me but also upset me. At the start of the novel when he witnesses his co runner and best friend die after being attacked by a member of a rival gang he is distraught. He still feels loyal to the gang leader, Shakiel, but also for the first time feels guilt and fear.

His isn’t the only sad story. There is also Lexi, a drug addicted prostitute whose life is far from what she imagined it being. And Loretta, Ryan’s mother, who can see her son’s life being destroyed by the same thing that took her husband. All three you see far too often on the news.

I liked following the two police investigations. Both of them wanting the same results for different reasons. And both struggling to accept that one may be more important than the other. This part of the novel was more detailed than many others I have read. It was easy to follow, and I found it interesting and informative without being overpowering.

I hope to read the previous books soon, Lizzie especially is a character I want to know more about.

Among The Ruins by Ausma Zehanat Khan – Blog Tour Review.

About The Book

The murder of renowned political filmmaker, Zahra Sobhani, brings Esa Khattak’s cultural holiday in Iran to a sudden halt.

Dissidents are being silenced and Khattak’s mere presence in Iran is a risk. Yet when asked to unofficially investigate the activist’s death, he cannot resist. Soon, he finds himself embroiled in Iran’s tumultuous politics and under surveillance by the government.

When the trail leads back to Zahra’s family in Canada, Khattak calls upon his partner, Detective Rachel Getty, for help. As Khattak gets caught up in the fate of Iran’s political prisoners, Rachel sees through to the heart of the matter: Zahra’s murder may not have been quite what it seemed.

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. Among The Ruins is the third book to feature Khattak and Rachel. It does take place in Canada but unlike the others it also takes place in Iran. 

Their working relationship is one I really admire and enjoy reading. They are both loyal to each other, they have a good friendship but also respect each others privacy. You get to know their private life, a lot less this time with Khattak but it was good to see more of Zach, Rachel’s brother.

I have to admit that Iran is a country I know little about. I wasn’t aware of the beautiful buildings, the parks and the strength of its people. Many of who had to stay  quiet about their beliefs and actions. All I knew was what is portrayed  in the media. 

There are some very short chapters in this novel that showed the more dubious side of what happens there. These chapters will be ones I will thinking about for quite a while. There was also mention of drawings, one in particular left me chilled with its description.

Whilst Khattak was investigating in Iran, Rachel was trying to help from Canada. The author demonstrates the difference in attitudes, how hard it is to visualise what happens in a country where it can be dangerous to speak when you live in a free world. I found this much easier to read. I feel this is because I know so little about Iran, I struggled to understand the situation initially. This is no reflection on the novel just my failing. I did find it easier to understand the more I read. The latter parts of the novel were extremely sad, they left me wondering what I would do if I was in the same situation. I can honestly say, I don’t know. 



Changeling by Matt Wesolowski – Blog Tour Review.

About The Book

On Christmas Eve in 1988, seven-year-old Alfie Marsden vanished in the Wentshire Forest Pass, when a burst tyre forced his father, Sorrel, to stop the car. Leaving the car to summon the emergency services, Sorrel returned to find his son gone. No trace of the child, nor his remains, have ever been found. Alfie Marsden was declared officially dead in 1995.
Elusive online journalist, Scott King, whose ‘Six Stories’ podcasts have become an internet sensation, investigates the disappearance, interviewing six witnesses, including Sorrel, his son and his ex-partner, to try to find out what really happened that fateful night. He takes a journey through the trees of the Wentshire Forest – a place synonymous with strange sightings, and tales of hidden folk who dwell there. He talks to a company that tried and failed to build a development in the forest, and a psychic who claims to know where Alfie is…
Intensely dark, deeply chilling and searingly thought provoking, Changeling is an up-to-the-minute, startling thriller, taking you to places you will never, ever forget.

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. Changeling could be read as standalone novel but I would recommend reading Six Stories and Hydra first. Not just because they are great books but it will also make you familiar with the format and Scott King. Changeling is my favourite one out of the three.

I struggle to describe how this novel made me feel. And how it was responsible for lost sleep. In my wisdom, I decided to start this book late one night. With its level of eeriness, unexplained events, sounds and threats from, bizarrely, a forest added to a child that vanished into thin air gave me plenty to think about. When I should have been asleep. Not gazing at the ceiling listening for taps and knocks.

As always, little was as it seemed and each interview revealed more about the family. I am probably one of many who was quick to jump to conclusions. Just like the media and locals did. When more was revealed I felt a little remorse. A strange feeling, when it is after all a novel.

I wasn’t prepared for what happened. I have never felt so stunned by the ending of a book before. I have never still been gazing into space two days later trying to find the words for a review. I’m sure it will be one I am thinking about for quite a while.