Wednesday 31 August 2022

The Last Girl To Die - Helen Fields


 'In search of a new life, seventeen-year-old Adriana Clark’s family moves to the ancient, ocean-battered Isle of Mull, far off the coast of Scotland. Then she goes missing. Faced with hostile locals and indifferent police, her desperate parents turn to private investigator Sadie Levesque.

Sadie is the best at what she does. But when she finds Adriana’s body in a cliffside cave, a seaweed crown carefully arranged on her head, she knows she’s dealing with something she’s never encountered before.

The deeper she digs into the island’s secrets, the closer danger creeps – and the more urgent her quest to find the killer grows. Because what if Adriana is not the last girl to die?'

 I don't know why but I seem to be really drawn to Scottish crime fiction. And when it moves from the usual spots (Edinburgh, Glasgow etc) even more so. There's something about those isolated areas that make things feel just that bit more off. TLGTD is set on the island of Mull and the 'offness' is certainly strong here.

 Our heroine in this standalone (for now at least) is Canadian PI Sadie Levesque who specialises in finding missing teens. She is brought in by the parents of 17 year old Adriana Clark in the hopes that she will be able to do what it seems the local police cannot be bothered to and find their daughter. Unfortunately, as you'd expect from the title, the search doesn't end well.

 The family of the missing (ok, dead) girl are American and only recently arrived on the island. The locals are standoffish at best and weirdly odd at worst so adding a Canadian PI to the mix doesn't make for good relationships between them and the islanders but I'll tell you what, it makes for a good, twisty tale. I had several guesses as to the final outcome but I'm glad to say I was wrong and the end caught me out.

 I would highly recommend this novel (and the author - I enjoyed this so much I'm going on the hunt for her other novels straight away)


Thanks to Avon Books for the review copy and Midas PR for inviting me onto the tour. All views are my own and not influenced in any way. Also, big ❤️ to the people of Mull - I hope I haven't insulted or upset any of you in any way. My comments are only on the characters in the novel and I am sure you are all lovely people.

 The Last Girl To Die is published in the UK on September 1st 2022.

Thursday 18 August 2022

The Generation Killer - Adam Simcox


Welcome to my spot on the Blogtour for Adam Simcox's The Generation Killer (aka The Dying Squad 2) and first off let me apologise for being a day late (work's been busy and I lost track of the date). 

I was itching to get hold of this as soon as I heard about it as The Dying Squad was an absolute corker. So, to start off here's the blurb . . .

'There's a new serial killer on the streets of Manchester - and only a dead cop can stop them.

 Detective Joe Lazarus works for the Dying Squad, solving crimes the living police can't. When the Generation Killer starts wiping out Manchester's innocents, Joe and his new partner Bits have mere hours to catch the murderer. A young woman's life depends on it.

 Joe's former partner Daisy-May has her own problems. Children are going missing in the afterlife, and she's the only one who seems to care. Her investigation uncovers a conspiracy so vast, it threatens both the living and the dead.

 Her predecessor the Duchess can't help this time; she's tracked her treacherous sister, Hanna, to Tokyo, where she's been recruiting the dead. The Duchess must enlist the help of a local detective if she's to have any choice of stopping her.

 Time is running out for the Dying Squad. And if they can't crack their cases, it's the living that will pay...'

 Sounds like a fun ride yeah? Trust me, it was.

  I'll try not to give spoilers but would advise reading The Dying Squad first as coming into The Generation Killer cold will most likely confuse you.

 The Dying Squad are the police of the afterlife - they investigate crimes back in the real world (or The Soil as they call it) that the still living police are unable to and working for the DS is new(ish)ly dead ex copper Joe Lazarus. Joe's whole backstory is covered in book 1 so yeah, go read that first because, y'know, SPOILERS!!

 Back on The Soil there's a new serial killer (the Generation Killer of the title) and the police are baffled. Time to call for The Dying Squad - but there's a problem, the way back is blocked to Joe and co. after events in book 1. It's no real spoiler to say a way back is be found and then the supernatural sleuthing can begin.

 On this case Joe has a new partner, Bits, as his previous partner, Daisy-May, is now the big boss dead side. Bits took a little getting used to for me but he grew on me in the end.

 This could have been a really confusing book as there are three different investigations going on - 2 soul side, and one for Daisy in the Pens (a kind of afterlife holding area between being alive and where you eventually end up) but Simcox handles it all well.

 Did I enjoy it as much as The Dying Squad? Probably more actually, which bodes well for DS3 (please let there be a DS3)

Highly recommend 5/5* (but read book 1 if you haven't already, also a 5* read).

Thursday 4 August 2022

The Book of Gothel - Mary McMyne


Everyone knows the story of Rapunzel in the tower, but do you know the tale of the witch who put her there?

Enter a world of dark magic, mysterious woods and evil princes. This is the truth they never wanted you to know, as only a witch might tell it.

With her strange black eyes and even stranger fainting spells, Haelewise is shunned by her village, and her only solace lies in the stories her mother tells of child-stealing witches, of princes in wolf-skins, of an ancient tower cloaked in mist where women will find shelter if they are brave enough to seek it.

But when her mother dies, Haelewise is left unmoored. With nothing left for her in her village, she sets out to find the tower of legend-a place called Gothel, where Haelewise meets a wise woman willing to take her under her wing.

But Haelewise is not the only woman to seek refuge at Gothel. It's also a haven for a girl named Rika, who carries with her a secret the Church strives to keep hidden. A secret that reveals a dark world of ancient spells and murderous nobles behind the world Haelewise has always known.

                           My Thoughts

 Rapunzel is one of the first fairy tales I remember so the chance to read the origin story behind the witch who put Rapunzel in the tower was one I couldn't really refuse. The story follows Haelewise (aka The Witch) from her younger days. Early on she loses her mother and from then on is treat badly by her fellow villagers who do not understand her fainting fits. Her one shot at happiness is her friendship with Matthaus, she thinks her future is all mapped out with him but his father soon puts a stop to that.

  She leaves the village in search of a tower which offers refuge and hopes to learn about herself and her fainting fits. And there the journey to becoming the witch we know begins.

 I found this to be a comfy read and rather enjoyed it. The setting of ancient Germany felt right and I was rooting for Haelewise from the off. 

 Recommended 4/5*

The Book of Gothel is published by Orbit and is out now