Friday, 17 January 2020

Critical Incidents by Lucie Whitehouse

 Welcome to Day 9 of the Blogtour for Lucie Whitehouse'Critical Incidents.

DI Robin Lyons has been sacked from  from her job Met. (Homicide and Major Crimes dept.) in London and with nowhere left to go has to return home to her parents in Birmingham with her 13yr old daughter in tow.

She manages to get some work as a Private Detective but it is mainly benefit fraud cases. Alongside these she also takes on a missing person case, her old friend has been killed in a house fire, her husband is missing and their son is in hospital. By this point it's all getting very busy indeed but despite this the author manages to keep it all tied together quite well.

With Robin back in Birmingham a lot of 'past history' is raked up as she continues to investigate and often treads on the toes of the local police (led by the love of her teenage life who dumped her out of the blue), but that's what you come to expect from these kinds of tale and it adds to the tension at times.

The characters and their actions seemed believable for the most part and I did enjoy the book although it got a little confusing at times with the different story strands but that's probably because I was rushing the pages along to get to the end.

Dependable Detective Fiction 3.5/5*
 Thanks to Martina Ticic for inviting me onto this Blogtour and please try and find the time to check out the reviews by the other bloggers on this tour

Thursday, 16 January 2020

The House Share by Kate Helm

If something seems too good to be true. . .

When Immi and Dex both turn up at The Factory, a 'community based house share' neither expect to be selected but both are given 3 month's trial to make sure they are the right fit. Both have secrets they are trying to run away from and at first it seems idyllic but there soon turns out to be a murky undercurrent and people's true colours start to show.

It starts with small pranks but soon the bodies start piling up. Who is responsible and what is The Factory really all about?

This book got its claws into me from very early on. Keeps you guessing all the way to the end and I did keep swapping my opinion on who was responsible. The ending tied things up nicely as well.

Recommended 4/5*

Tuesday, 14 January 2020

Firewatching by Russ Thomas

 Welcome to Day 2 of the Blogtour for Russ' Thomas's debut Firewatching.

DS Adam Tyler is the sole member of the Cold Case team in Sheffield and only there because it keeps him out of the way after 'an incident' that could have ended his career. When a body is found bricked up behind a wall in a mid-renovation house it is soon found to be that of dodgy businessman Gerald Cartwright. The prime suspect is his son Oscar which leads to a massive problem - unknowingly Oscar is the man Adam Tyler had slept with the night before! Does Tyler say something or keep it quiet?

Soon enough the case entwines with an arson case happening right now so Tyler is brought 'in from the cold' to help out.

There is plenty to keep the reader puzzling along to the end. Several times I was sure I knew what was going on, who was responsible but when the reveal came, I'll be honest, it was not who I expected.

As was hinted at earlier the lead character Tyler is gay and this is put across really well in the narrative. It all feels natural and that is just how it should be. Obviously there are snide comments and wind-ups from his colleagues but that is what you would expect.

I feel I ought to say at this point that I do know Russ from his time as a Bookseller at my local Waterstones but that does not cloud my judgement on this book. As a crime thriller this is top notch stuff but as a debut it's easy to see why the author was snapped up quickly. I was eager to get hold of Firewatching as soon as I heard of it and I'm happy to say I wasn't disappointed.

5/5 * Highly recommended

Thanks, as always, to Anne Cater for inviting me onto the tour and please, if you get a chance, have a look at the other blogger reviews on the tour

Monday, 13 January 2020

Loot & I'm With The Band by Barry Faulkner

 Welcome to Day 1 of the Blogtour for books 5&6 in the DCS Palmer/Serial Murder Squad books.

As you may guess from the title this is part of a series. The books are fairly short but pack plenty in.

Loot has Palmer and his second I command DS Gheeta Singh chasing stolen WW2 Nazi gold and solving murders that may well be linked to the case. A twisty tale well told

With book 2, I'm With The Band is a slightly different scene. This one revolves around the titular band Revolution. They've been around for 40 years and are still playing to massive crowds but someone is killing off original members. Can Palmer and Singh get to the bottom of it all before it's too late? This story gives Singh a chance to step to the forefront with her tech skills as Palmer isn't up to much with computers and the killer is taunting them on social media.

When I first got the chance to be on this Blogtour I decided to get the first 4 in the series just incase there was a running theme but they all stand alone so can be read separately (but do yourself a favour and get the early ones too).

As the stories are quite shortish they are perfect for days off


 Thanks as always to Anne Cater for inviting me onto the tour and please, if you can, take a look at the reviews from the other bloggers

Tuesday, 7 January 2020

The God Game by Danny Tobey

 Welcome to Day 2 of the Blogtour for Danny Tobey's novel The God Game.

Right from the off I was intrigued by the idea for this book. Charlie and his friends are the typical nerds/computer geeks/gamer types but also their High School's prankers. All is going along swimmingly for them until Peter introduces them to online concept 'The G.O.D. Game'.

It seems someone has created a programme that works as if it is God itself. The idea is that G.O.D. gives you a task to complete for rewards but once you are in there is no way out. The tasks get bigger, the rewards likewise but the tasks can hurt other people and if you try to back out their are 'results' for you - and it is never good.

As the gang get in deeper their lives start to crumble and this is where, for me, the story really kicks off. It's uncomfortable reading at times but in a way that kept me hooked.

I won't begin to try and tell you about the computer tech side of things because at times it was beyond me (but, hey, I'm in my 50's so never really got into this kind of thing) but it didn't stop this from being a cracking story, a great start to 2020 and a story I can see being massive.

Thanks to Stevie Finegan at Gollancz for providing the review copy and inviting me onto the Blogtour. Please try and find the time to have a look at the other reviews on the tour

Thursday, 19 December 2019

Gone by Leona Deakin

 Welcome to Day 10 of the Blogtour for Leona Deakin's Gone.

This certainly had an interesting premise - not just your average 'missing persons' case, the victims here leave only one clue behind, a birthday card that reads "YOUR GIFT IS THE GAME. DARE TO PLAY?" and "HAPPY FIRST BIRTHDAY"

Brought in to investigate the disappearances are Psychologist and Private Detective Dr. Augusta Bloom and her colleague Marcus Jameson (ex MI6). As they get deeper into the mystery and more people go missing it quickly becomes clear that maybe these people aren't under threat, possibly they ARE the Threat. The waters here are very muddy and I did change my mind several times as to what was actually going on.

As for the lead characters, Bloom and Jameson, they worked well together, feeling like a comfy fit. I would definitely like to spend more story time with them and that's not always something you get from these kind of stories. They each bring their own skill sets to the table and what they have complements each other.

I enjoyed this a lot, twisty crime/mystery fiction is 'my thing' and even though it got a bit daft towards the end that didn't spoil what was a gripping read.

Recommended 3.5/5*

Thanks, as always, to Anne Cater for inviting me onto this tour and please, if you get the chance, have a look at the blog posts by the other reviewers on this tour.

Thursday, 12 December 2019

The Vagabond King by Jodie Bond

Welcome to Day 3 of the The Vagabond King Blogtour.

Well, this was a nice surprise. So many times in fantasy fiction the hero is a turnip farmer or somesuch who turns out to be the prophesied king. In this, Book 1 of Jodie Bond's trilogy we have a Prince who's land is attacked and on escaping his life takes a definite downward turn.

As the titular Vagabond King though and with the help of a witch, a rebel soldier and a woman touched/cursed by a God he plans to return and take what is his. And that, my friends, is just the bare bones of this gritty, bloody, sometimes downright nasty (but oh so wonderful) book.

The people here are ruled by three Gods (of Air, Earth and Water) and, as you would expect, they are Gods of the meddlesome variety. It is a world where the rich get richer and the poor get poorer but maybe there's a change in the air. If anything I would have liked a little more backstory for some of the characters as our motley band all have 'issues' and 'stuff to overcome' but that may come with later volumes

The world building here is really good quality and it feels very much like the rich heritage and myths of the author's native Wales shines through (which is another pleasant change to the norm).

Highly recommended 4/5* (I'm saving the extra star for the later books)

Thanks as always to Anne Cater for inviting me onto the tour for this book, Parthian for supplying the review copy and please, if you get the chance, have a look at the other blog posts on the tour