Wednesday, 31 March 2021

Your Turn To Suffer by Tim Waggoner


'Lorelei Palumbo is harassed by a sinister group calling themselves The
Cabal. They accuse her of having committed unspeakable crimes in the past,
and now she must pay. The Cabal begins taking her life apart one piece at a
time – her job, her health, the people she loves – and she must try to figure
out what The Cabal thinks she’s done if she’s to have any hope of answering
their charges and salvaging her life.'


Oh, Lorelei, what a problem you have. 

 "Confess and Atone - or suffer" our heroine is told but how can she do that when she doesn't know what she did wrong in the first place? And so the suffering begins and nobody is safe. And what suffering it is. Right from the off it is clear nobody is safe, a new character appears and straight away you start looking for how they will die/be killed etc. 

 What we have here is a horror novel that takes me back to my youth when I thrived on books like this. This is a dark, brutal, gory tale that puts the heroine and all around her through the wringer - and I LOVED IT!! It was unsettling at times - you know that feeling when you know it's gonna be bad, you don't want to turn the page but at the same time you do as really you enjoy squirming as you read. 

 The 'Big Bad' here, The Cabal are a great horror creation (possibly up there with the Cenobites of Hellraiser fame) and I will say I wouldn't be averse to reading more about them if there are sequels. 

4.5/5* If you loved 80s horror fiction and video nasties you're gonna really enjoy this

Thanks to Anne Cater for inviting me to this Blogtour and to Flame Tree Press for providing the copy. Please check out the posts from the other bloggers (below)


Tuesday, 30 March 2021

The April Dead by Alan Parks



In a grimy flat in Glasgow, a homemade bomb explodes, leaving few remains

to identify its maker.

Detective Harry McCoy knows in his gut that there’ll be more to follow. The

hunt for a missing sailor from the local US naval base leads him to the

secretive group behind the bomb, and their disturbing, dominating leader.

On top of that, McCoy thinks he’s doing an old friend a favour when he

passes on a warning, but instead he’s pulled into a vicious gang feud. And in

the meantime, there’s word another bigger explosion is coming Glasgow’s

way – so if the city is to survive, it’ll take everything McCoy’s got . . .

 It's Glasgow, 1974 and there are bombs going off in the city - it doesn't seem high profile enough to be the IRA so who is responsible? Added to this mayhem Harry McCoy is approached by an American to find his son who has gone AWOL from the local naval base. Could the two cases be connected? 

 If you've read the rest of this series (and if not I suggest you do) you'll know that Harry is not the 'cleanest' of coppers due to his friendship with local crime boss Stevie Cooper but he's more of a shady copper than a corrupt one - and there seems to be plenty of those on the Glasgow force. 

 McCoy and Cooper's friendship goes back to their youth when they were brought up (dragged up?) together through the care system and the bond they share is a strong one that often leaves McCoy with some tough choices to make and this is, for me, one of the things that make this series stand out. McCoy isn't a 'bent copper' just one that does what he needs to to get the job done. The 70's were a different time and Parks does a grand job of giving the reader a believable vision of the Glasgow of that time. 

 This is an exemplary series and The April Dead was worth the wait (as soon as I'd finished the previous novel, Bobby March Will Live Forever, I was eager to get back into Parks'/McCoy's world) 

 So far in the series we've had;

 Bloody January

 February's Son

Bobby March Will Live Forever 

 and now 

The April Dead

Can't wait to see what Alan Parks has lined up for May

 If you like your Noir tartan and gritty you really can't go wrong here 



Thanks to Anne Cater for inviting me onto this tour and to Blackthorn Books for providing the review copy. Please have a look at the posts by the other reviewers on this Blogtour - we all really appreciate it 😉 

Monday, 29 March 2021

Nighthawking by Russ,Thomas

'A body has been discovered in Sheffield’s beautiful Botanical 
Gardens. A young woman, dead from a stab wound, buried in a 
quiet corner. Police quickly determine that the body has been there 
for months, and would have gone undiscovered for years – but 
someone has dug it up.
Who is the victim? Who killed her and buried the body, resting 
two ancient Roman coins over her eyes? And who dug her up?
DS Adam Tyler will find himself drawn into the secretive world of nighthawkers: treasure-hunters 
who operate under cover of darkness, seeking the lost and valuable, and willing to kill to keep what 
they find…'

 So, here we are back in Sheffield for the sequel to last year's Firewatching, Thomas's rather good debut novel and the question has to be "can he match that?" 

The story starts with a body found in the Botanical Gardens by a nighthawker - a metal detectorist working under cover of night. Tyler is on the case but keeps drifting off on his own investigations so the onus falls on his assistant Mina to cover for him. 

As is often the case there are other cases which all eventually come together and Thomas does a really good job with this as I really couldn't see how it was going to work... or who the murderer was going to be... or 'that ending' (really never saw that coming) - yeah, well done Russ, you really had me flummoxed 😂

Being a Sheffield lad born and bred I enjoyed 'seeing' the story develop as I know most of the places featured and this added an extra dimension to the story. 

So, back to the main question, how does Nighthawking compare to Firewatching? Well, I'm pleased to say, in my opinion, this second in the series is even better. The characters developed and seem to be getting their own individualities, indeed Mina seemed to carry this book more than Adam which suggests a broader reach for the cast and in a series like this that always helps keep things fresh. 

Russ Thomas is here for the long haul and I will be there for each new book 

Highly recommended 


Thanks to Anne Cater and Random Things for inviting me onto this tour and to Simon and Schuster for supplying the review copy. Please take time to look at the posts by the other Bloggers if you can. 

Saturday, 20 March 2021

The Embalmer by Alison Belsham


Well, this was a dark read (which is good as I like my thrillers on the dark side)

 It starts with a freshly mummified body found at the Booth Natural History Museum in Brighton along with canopic jars that hold the removed organs - the murderer follows the ancient Egyptian embalming rituals to the letter. Francis Sullivan is soon on the case and more canopic jars turn up.

 As a second string story Sullivan's friend, the tattooist Marni Mullins arrives home to find her husband fighting with his brother. The husband is killed and Marni soon ends up in jail accused of his murder. Sullivan has a busy, busy time ahead . . .

 As I said this is a dark thriller but also a gripping read. There's the usual office politics with the police and a storyline there that seems to be coming to a close and that's where the only downside I felt with reading this book (and this one is on me alone, no fault of the author). You see, The Embalmer is the third in a series and it would really benefit from being read that way. There was a lot here that related back to the earlier books and some parts that treat the reader as though they had read them. I fully intended to read all three but time was against me (although with the way I tore through The Embalmer I could have probably managed all three in a week) I will be going back to them eventually.

 So, a cracking thriller, highly recommended but I advise reading in order (The Tattoo Thief, Her Last Breath, The Embalmer)


Friday, 12 March 2021

The Takers and Keepers by Ivan Pope


Well, this was a dark one! 

Journalist Allen Kimbo is following a lead in Eastern Europe that is connected with people trafficking - both the traffickers themselves and their victims, 'the disappeared'. As he investigates deeper will things hit a little closer to home - we'll, I'm not going to tell you that am I. 

People trafficking is a terrible thing and this book will open your eyes even more to just how bad - honestly, at times it was hard to remember that this is a work of fiction. The author really knows his stuff and I applaud him for that as doing the research must have been an awful time. 

So, a dark read but, at just under 200 pages, one that is worth your time if you have the stomach for it. 


Thank you as always to Anne Cater for inviting me onto this blog tour and please have a look at the posts by the other bloggers (below)