After The Fire (Inspector Tom Reynolds #6) by @SpainJoanne ~ Nobody was supposed to get out alive… #Irish #CrimeFiction #TuesdayBookBlog

Author: Jo Spain

Performed by Aoife McMahon

Released: June 2020 by Quercus

Category: Irish Crime Fiction, Suspense, Thriller, Audiobook, Review

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On a Dublin city street, packed with afternoon shoppers, a young woman appears, naked, traumatised and bearing burn marks.

Tom Reynolds, now Chief Superintendent, is no longer head of the murder squad. But when it transpires the woman escaped from a house fire started deliberately and that there are more victims, Tom is sucked in. What begins as a straightforward case of arson, soon becomes something much more sinister.

After having a quick catch up with his daughter Maria, a junior doctor, Chief Superintendent Tom Reynolds was about the leave the hospital where Maria worked, when he overheard snippets of a conversation between two porters. A naked and distressed young woman covered with burn marks and signs of smoke inhalation, was seen walking through the city centre and had been brought to the hospital.

The murder squad soon discover that the woman escaped from a house fire where there were no other survivors and it was apparent the fire was no accident. Although Tom is no longer heading the murder squad, he is drawn in to the investigation. Initially it seems like a clear case of arson, but as more is uncovered the investigation takes on much darker implications with murder, a missing baby and people trafficking.

It seems the house, in an up and coming area near to the Dublin International Financial Services Centre, was hiding a dark secret and the girl in the hospital was too scared to talk. Another girl connected to the incident was hiding out at her parents’ house.

In the bathroom, Nina sat in the tub, knees tucked up to her chest, her arms wrapped round them. She’d poured half a bottle of L’Occitane Cherry Blossom bath gel in and the white, scented bubbles covered her body as the water level rose.

Nina breathed deep, letting the steam clear the acrid taste in her mouth and the burning sensation in her lungs. Letting the water wash away the filth.

She knew her parents would want answers and she didn’t know how long she could hold them off.

What I enjoy most about this series, apart from Jo Spain’s wonderful storytelling, are the characters. Tom Reynolds is a regular, happy family man with no hang ups. Characters continue to develop and the rest of the cast are very well portrayed and likeable. Except for the one bad penny that turns up again.

The plot is intriguing, well thought through with twists and drama threaded through the police procedural aspect. Unraveling the mystery of the house fire survivor, who is scared and traumatised, and connecting her to other incidents, the murder squad open the door to a dark and dangerous world. As with the rest of the stories in the Tom Reynolds series, Jo Spain’s writing is assured and easy to read with relevant issues at the forefront.

Aoife McMahon has narrated the whole series and done a brilliant job of bring the characters to life, giving them all distinct voices and personalities.

Book links ~ Amazon UK | Amazon US | Book Depository | Hive

Jo Spain is the author of the bestselling Inspector Tom Reynolds series and several international No. 1 bestselling standalone novels. Her first book, With Our Blessing, was a finalist in the 2015 Richard and Judy Search for a Bestseller.
Jo, a graduate of Trinity College Dublin, writes TV screenplays full-time. Her first crime series was broadcast on RTE in 2018 and she’s currently involved in a number of TV developments including adaptations of her own novels. Jo is working with Dynamic L.A., True North & Mystery Productions Iceland, Yellow Films Finland, West Road Pictures England and NDF Germany.
Jo lives in Dublin with her husband and four young children. In her spare time (she has four children, there is no spare time really) she likes to read. Her favourite authors include Pierre Lemaitre, Jo Nesbo, Liane Moriarty, Fred Vargas and Jodi Picoult. She also watches TV obsessively.
Jo thinks up her plots on long runs in the woods. Her husband sleeps with one eye open.

Author links ~ Facebook | Twitter

Never Look Back by A.L. Gaylin @alisongaylin #Thriller #Suspense

Author: A.L. Gaylin

Performed by Jorjeana Marie, James Fouhey

Released: July 2019 on Audible

Category: Thriller, Suspense, Audiobook, Review

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She was the most brutal killer of our time. And she may have been my mother…

When website columnist Robin Diamond is contacted by true crime podcast producer Quentin Garrison, she assumes it’s a business matter. It’s not. Quentin’s podcast, Closure, focuses on a series of murders in the 1970s, committed by teen couple April Cooper and Gabriel LeRoy. It seems that Quentin has reason to believe Robin’s own mother may be intimately connected with the killings.

Quentin Garrison, the young co-host of Closure, a true crime podcast, had personal reasons for researching the murder spree in the latter half of the 1970s, carried out by the notorious teenage duo, April Cooper and Gabriel LeRoy who were known as the Inland Empire Killers.

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The Lost Letter: A Victorian Romance by @MimiMatthewsEsq #HistoricalFiction #BookReview

Author: Mimi Matthews

Published: November 2017 by Perfectly Proper Press

Category: Victorian Romance, Historical Fiction, Book Review

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Society beauty Sylvia Stafford is far too pragmatic to pine. When the tragic death of her gamester father leaves her destitute and alone, she finds work as a governess in a merchant’s household in Cheapside. Isolated from the fashionable acquaintance of her youth, she resigns herself to lonely spinsterhood until a mysterious visitor convinces her to temporarily return to her former life–and her former love.

Sylvia Stafford had made a life for herself although it wasn’t at all what she had expected. In her previous existence as a baron’s daughter, warm hearted society beauty Sylvia was sought after and didn’t lack friends or suitors. Her heart was won by Colonel Sebastian Conrad, before he returned to the Sepoy Rebellion in India, and the attraction was most definitely mutual.

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Death by Windmill: A Mother’s day Murder in Amsterdam by Jennifer S. Alderson #BookReview for #RBRT #CosyMystery

Author: Jennifer S. Alderson

Published: May 2020 by Travelling Life Press

Category: Cosy Murder/Mystery, Book Review

A Mother’s Day trip to the Netherlands turns deadly when a guest plummets from a windmill. Was it an accident or a murder? For Lana Hansen, the answer will mean freedom or imprisonment for someone close to her…

Lana Hansen is scheduled to lead the Mother’s Day tour of the Netherlands despite her boss Dotty Thompson’s reservations. Lana and her estranged mother, Gillian, haven’t been close for the past ten years, since Lana was sacked from her job as an investigative reporter for the Seattle Chronicle. Dotty is determined to bring them closer together and has a plan.

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A Wedding at Wynter House (Wyntersleap #3) by @EmilyHarvale ~ Blog Blitz #BookReview #Romance @rararesources #FridayReads

I’m delighted to be joining the blog blitz for A Wedding at Wynter House, courtesy of Rachel’s Random Resources

My Thoughts

The Wyntersleap series is intertwined with that of Merriment Bay, with the same characters appearing in both and they blend very well together. However, the two series can be read independently and relevant events are caught up in each book.

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#ThrowbackThursday ~ Much Ado About Highlanders (Scottish Relic Trilogy #1) by May McGoldrick #HistFic #Audiobook

Much Ado About Highlanders is the first of a trilogy which I listened to back in March 2017 and enjoyed very much. 

My Thoughts

After a prank backfired and years of father/daughter misunderstandings, independent and headstrong Kenna MacKay fled her marital home on the night of her wedding to Alexander Macpherson. Their marriage was arranged to unite the two clans. For the past six months she has been training in the skills of healing with the nuns at Glosters Priory. Kenna and her cousin, Emily, are attending a birth in the village when they are kidnapped by the Macpherson brothers in a determined attempt to bring Kenna and Alexander together again. Left alone, the attraction ignites.

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Find Her Alive (Josie Quinn #8) by Lisalregan ~ “No! Not my sister…” #CrimeFiction @bookouture #TuesdayBookBlog

Author: Lisa Regan

Published: April 2020 by Bookouture

Category: Crime Fiction, Police Procedural, Thriller, Book Review

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Detective Josie Quinn hasn’t heard from her sister since Trinity stormed out of the house in the heat of an argument three weeks ago. So, when human remains are found at the remote hunting cabin where Trinity was last seen, Josie can only assume the worst.

Trinity Payne, a news anchor for a major TV network, was staying with her twin sister, Detective Josie Quinn when they had a row and Trinity stormed out out of the house. She’d been lying low after an inopportune remark on air, worried that it might have cost her her career. While staying at Josie’s she was also working on a secret project that she hoped would catapult her back in the limelight.

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The Day She Came Back by @MrsAmandaProwse #Contemporary Family Drama #FridayReads

Author: Amanda Prowse

Published: July 2020 by Lake Union Publishing

Category: Contemporary Fiction, Family Drama, Book Review

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When her loving, free-spirited grandmother Primrose passes away, Victoria is bereft, yet resilient—she has survived tragedy before. But even her strength is tested when a mysterious woman attends Prim’s funeral and claims to be the mother Victoria thought was dead.

The Day She Came Back is a compelling story of three generations of women—Prim, Sarah and Victoria—woven into a tale of secrets uncovered, loss, grief and forgiveness. Victoria has been brought up by her beautiful, glamorous grandmother, Prim. Her parents had been drug addicts and died when she was a baby and her grandfather passed away several years ago. Prim’s daughter Sarah, Victoria’s mother, had been her only child. Now it was just Victoria and Prim living in Rosebank, a large house on the outskirts of Epsom in Surrey. She has no other relatives and hadn’t been a popular girl at school, but she has a lovely best friend in Daksha.

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Bedlam (Alexander Gregory Thrillers #3) by @ljross_author #RichardArmitage #Mystery #AudiobookReview @WFHowes

Author: LJ Ross

Performed by Richard Armitage

Published July 2020 by Whole Story Audiobooks

Category: Crime, Fiction, Mystery, Thriller, AudioBook Review

In a world gone mad, who can you trust?

Fresh from a high-profile case in the Paris fashion world, elite forensic psychologist and criminal profiler Dr Alexander Gregory receives a call from the New York State Homicide Squad. The wife of a notorious criminal has been admitted to a private psychiatric hospital and can no longer testify in his upcoming trial. Without her, their case will collapse, but amid reports that the staff are as unpredictable as their patients, who can the police trust?

Dr Alexander Gregory and his friend and mentor, Professor Bill Douglas are visiting Quantico, Virginia. They have been invited to deliver a presentation on criminal profiling at one of the regular international conferences held there. They were met by Special Agent Hawk and Agent Johnson, who later asked for their assistance with a highly classified case involving the Romano crime family.

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Blog Tour #BookReview ~ Grace and Serenity by @AnnalisaCrawf #ContemporaryFiction #TuesdayBookBlog @rararesources

I’m delighted to be joining the blog tour for Grace and Serenity, courtesy of Rachel’s Random Resources

My Thoughts

This was quite a dark, although sensitively addressed story, and one that emphasises how easily someone can get sucked in to situations they feel unable to control.

Grace was just sixteen when she met Neil, and not much older when she became pregnant. Neil had charmed Grace from the beginning but she saw another side of him when she told him she was expecting their child. He didn’t want to know and made his feelings plain. This was the first sign of his true character and a precursor of what was to come.

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