Scared to Death by Rachel Amphlett (Detective Kay Hunter #1) #TuesdayBookBlog #ScaredToDeath @RachelAmphlett

  • scared-to-death-cover-ebook-largeAuthor: Rachel Amphlett
  • Published: December 2016 by Saxon Publishing
  • Category: Crime, Thriller, Suspense
  • five-stars

A serial killer murdering for kicks. 

A detective seeking revenge.

When the body of a snatched schoolgirl is found in an abandoned biosciences building, the case is first treated as a kidnapping gone wrong. 

Yvonne and Tony Richards return home after a holiday to a ransom demand for the safe return of their teenage daughter, Melanie. Having paid the ransom, the Richards’ follow the kidnapper’s instructions but the search for Melanie ends in a double tragedy. Detective Sergeant Kay Hunter and Detective Constable Ian Barnes race to the scene. Kay is more than relieved to be Ian Barnes’ deputy SIO, after she had recently been involved in a Professional Standards investigation, which cost her personally as well as professionally. Continue reading

The Devil You Know by @TerryTyler4 #psychological #drama ~ a serial killer is on the loose #SundayBlogShare

  • 61u3megpz6lAuthor: Terry Tyler
  • Kindle edition
  • Category: Psychological Drama, Suspense
  • five-stars

Every serial killer is someone’s friend, spouse, lover or child….

Young women are being murdered in the Lincolnshire town of Lyndford, where five people fear someone close to them might be the monster the police are searching for.

One of them is right.

Dora had been promised a job in England but her brother knew better. He pleaded with Dora not to trust the man who made the promises but she laughed off his concerns, believing she was in control of the situation and not in any danger. Dora found out to her cost her brother had been right. She paid the ultimate price for her naiveté. Continue reading

#FridayBookShare ~ The Devil You Know by @TerryTyler4 #psychological #drama @ShelleyWilson72

#FridayBookShare ~ an excellent idea created by Shelley Wilson

With the weekend approaching it’s the perfect time to seek out new books to read, so Shelley created a Friday Book Share meme to help search for that ideal read.

FridayBookShare

Anyone can join in. Just answer the following F.R.I.D.A.Y. questions based on the book you’re either currently reading (or listening to, in my case) or have just finished reading. Use the hashtag #FridayBookShare and remember to tag Shelley (@ShelleyWilson72)  Continue reading

Marred by @SueColetta1 # Thriller #Suspense Reviewed for #RBRT #SundayBlogShare

  • Marred2Author: Sue Coletta
  • Published: November 2015 by Tirgearr Publishing
  • Category: Crime, Thriller
  • four-stars

Will Sage heal from the gut-wrenching impact of surviving a serial killer and save her twin sister in time?               

When a serial killer breaks into the home of bestselling author, Sage Quintano, she barely escapes with her life. Her husband, Niko, a homicide detective, insists they move to rural New Hampshire, where he accepts a position as Grafton County Sheriff. Sage buries secrets from that night, secrets she swears to take to her deathbed.

Three years of anguish and painful memories pass, and a grisly murder case lands on Niko’s desk. A strange caller torments Sage–she can’t outrun the past.

Three years ago Sage and Niko Quintano’s lives were changed irrevocably after a horrific and brutal attack on Sage by a serial killer who also injured Niko. They left Boston where Niko was a homicide detective and relocated to a small New Hampshire town. Niko is now the Sheriff of Grafton County and he and Sage live under the radar, their location a closely guarded secret. Or so they believe.  Continue reading

Eli’s Coming ~ Chasing The Night Book 1

  • EliAuthor: Darcia Helle
  • Published: April 2015 by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
  • Category: Dark Fantasy
  • four-half-stars

Eli’s dark legacy holds murder as his rite of passage. They say his ability is a gift. He calls it a curse. A life of violence and heartache leaves him with nothing left to fight for. Or so he thinks. Amanda steals his heart, but love makes him vulnerable. He must give her up or accept who he is and fight. Will he risk stepping into the darkness that could consume him?

Eli Hayes has a secret, an ability like no other. As a descendant of the Native American Timucua, he has special powers. One in particular that others would kill for. That and his dark and traumatic past, revealed gradually as the story progresses, has kept him quite isolated and deeply private, while writing best-selling non fiction. Could he, or should he, keep running from a past which haunts and threatens to destroy him? When he meets Amanda and they begin a relationship, something Eli has completely avoided up until now, his life starts to change. Continue reading

Honour & Obey ~ A Victorian Murder Mystery #2

  • Honour&ObeyAuthor: Carol Hedges
  • Published: November 2014 by Crooked Cat Publishing Ltd
  • Category: Historical Fiction, Murder, Mystery
  • five-stars

The long awaited sequel to Diamonds & Dust , Honour & Obey brings together Detective Inspector Leo Stride and his assistant Detective Sergeant Jack Cully. It is London, 1861 and a serial killer stalks the dark gaslit streets.
In another part of the city, Hyacinth Clout, bullied and despised by her older sister, decides to find love via the lonely hearts column of a newspaper. But will it be romance, or ruin?

A serial killer stalks the streets of London targeting the unfortunate women working in or for the sweat shops of the garment industry. Until that is, a well to do young lady meets her maker in a theatre box. The women all are all killed in the same way but unfortunately Detective Inspector Leo Stride and his Detective Sergeant, Jack Cully, of the detective division of the Metropolitan Police, aren’t making a lot of progress. The killer leaves no evidence and no witnesses have come forward. Only Emily Benet whose friend was the first victim, is willing to help the detectives. Stride and Cully must use any and all means at their disposal to try and apprehend the killer. Once again they are persecuted by the press for failing to do so in record time, with discrediting headlines, such as ‘Ghastly Murder’ and ‘Baffled Detectives’ which do nothing but hamper the investigation. Continue reading

The One That Got Away

AudiobookReview

  • TheOneThatGotAwayAuthor: Simon Wood
  • Performed by Emily Durante
  • Published: March 2015 by Brilliance Audio
  • Category: Murder, Suspense, Thriller, Crime
  • four-half-stars

Graduate students Zoë and Holli only mean to blow off some steam on their road trip to Las Vegas. But something goes terribly wrong on their way home, and the last time Zoë sees her, Holli is in the clutches of a sadistic killer. Zoë flees with her life, changed forever.

A year later and still tortured with guilt, Zoë latches on to a police investigation where the crime eerily resembles her abduction. Along with a zealous detective, she retraces the steps of that fateful night in the desert, hoping that her memory will return and help them find justice for Holli. Her abductor—labeled the “Tally Man” by a fascinated media—lies in wait for Zoë. For him, she is not a survivor but simply the one that got away.

Holli and Zoë’s road trip to Las Vegas ended in a way neither of them could ever have imagined. Waking up on the floor of a shed naked and bound hand and foot, Zoë was unable to comprehend how she got there. She remembered stopping for food on their way back but after that, nothing. Then she heard the screams. She had to get out and help Holli. Managing, after several failed attempts, to cut her ties she frantically ran through her options. Unable to see a way to overpower their abductor and free Holli, she told herself the best option was to try and reach her car and get help. Realising neither option would end well she raced for the car.

Over twelve months on from that horrific experience Zoë’s life has altered drastically. Suffering from guilt because she survived and PTSD type symptoms, Zoë is haunted by Holli’s screams for help. She wants to believe Holli is alive somewhere but knows it’s highly unlikely. Having taken up self-defence classes Zoe now works as a mall security guard. She has a tendency to put herself in potentially threatening situations where she can feel in control of her life instead of victimized. The only person she really trusts is her therapist, David Jarocki.

In the year or so she’d been his patient, she’d come to trust him. She felt safe with her thoughts in this room, with him as referee. But she didn’t give him carte blanche to all her emotions. As much as he was the expert on all things to do with the mind, he fell down in one aspect – experience. He hadn’t abandoned a friend to her death. He hadn’t fought against cowardice and lost. He wasn’t a worthless piece of crap like her.

Seeing a news report of a murder victim found locally, Zoë is sure it’s the work of her abductor. Without thinking rationally she races over to the crime scene and her reckless actions get her on the news report covering the story, causing her path to cross once again with the abductor who is never far from her thoughts.

I like the antagonist to have a back story and this one certainly did. There’s no excuse for the atrocities a person like this commits although I can feel sorry for the child he was. The story is told from the viewpoints of Zoë and the killer, which gives a good insight into both characters. The survivor’s guilt feelings, remaining anger, lack of control in certain situations, all the after effects of Zoë’s trauma are described in detail and with realism. It shows how a personality can be reshaped by something shocking and completely unexpected happening and what it takes to get a life back on track. I’d pictured several endings, none of which were correct and I enjoyed Emily Durante’s narration, she did a great job.

Book links ~ Amazon UK Amazon US

Author links ~ Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads

About the author

SimonandRoystonlowSimon Wood is a California transplant from England. He’s an ex-competitive racecar driver, a licensed pilot and an occasional private investigator. He shares his world with his American wife, Julie. Their lives are dominated by a longhaired dachshund and five cats. In the last ten years, he’s had over 150 stories and articles published. His stories have been included in “Best of” anthologies and he’s a frequent contributor to Writer’s Digest. He’s the Anthony Award winner and a Crime Writers Dagger Award finalist. He’s the author of Working Stiffs, Accidents Waiting to Happen, Paying the Piper, Terminated, We All Fall Down, Asking For Trouble, The Fall Guy, Hot Seat and Did Not Finish. His next thriller is, The One That Got Away due out in February 2014. He also writes horror under the pen name of Simon Janus. Those titles include The Scrubs and Road Rash.

Blood Moon ~ The Huntress/FBI Thrillers #2

AudiobookReview

  • BloodMoonAuthor: Alexandra Sokoloff
  • Performed by RC Bray
  • Published: February 2015 by Brilliance Audio
  • Category: Crime/Thriller/Suspense, Psychological
  • five-stars

Twenty-five years have passed since a savage killer terrorized California, massacring three ordinary families before disappearing without a trace.
The haunted child who was the only surviving victim of his rampage is now wanted by the FBI for brutal crimes of her own, and Special Agent Matthew Roarke is on an interstate manhunt for her, despite his conflicted sympathies for her history and motives.
But when his search for her unearths evidence of new family slayings, the dangerous woman Roarke seeks – and wants – may be his only hope of preventing another bloodbath.

Blood Moon continues the story of Cara Lindstrom and FBI Special Agent Matthew Roarke which began in Huntress Moon. Roarke, Epps and a team of agents are in the process of completing a bust on the sex trafficking ring that Cara had led them to. Cara, the only survivor from the short but bloody reign of terror twenty-five years earlier, carried out by the serial killer known as the Reaper, dispenses her own brand of justice to those men who prey on women and children. Roarke’s team is assembled and ready, Damien Epps, Antara Singh and new agent Ryan Jones. Cara managed to escape at the close of Huntress Moon and is still at large, the team’s main focus now is to find and apprehend her.

Cara  Lindstrom was a killer, the most unusual one Roarke had ever encountered. She hunted and killed, brutally and specifically. But psychologically she was more of a vigilante, her victims hand-picked for their crimes against women and especially children: child molesters, sex traffickers, and in one case, a homegrown terrorist who had been plotting to bomb a Portland street fair.

Roarke’s plan to lure Cara out of hiding doesn’t go according to plan when it appears the Reaper is back and killing once more. He likes to kill during the full moon. The team have less than two weeks until the next full moon.

This is a brilliant continuation of the story and it also allows a deeper insight into the developing complex and compelling characters. Roarke’s feelings towards Cara are very confused, part of him feels a connection to her because of the circumstances of the slaughter of her family and the fact the Lindstrom murder case set him on his career path. And although he can kind of understand, if not agree with, her actions he’s drawn to her, which causes tension between him and Epps and puts  a strain on their relationship. Roarke is very intuitive which gives rise to a vulnerability in his nature. For me, this trait adds realism to a character’s personality.

Cara, who was broken and traumatized at such a young age and then went through the added emotional shock of being sucked into the system.  Bounced between foster and group homes and juvenile prison until she reached twenty-one when she disappeared from public records. And now she faces her worst nightmare again.

The characters have authenticity and it’s easy to get involved and care about them – or loathe them, as the case may be. The murder scenes are heartbreaking, the great writing style creates a dark atmosphere of tense anticipation and suspense, with vivid scenic descriptions, throughout a well paced and interesting storyline. So glad there’s not too long a wait for book three. And I know when RC Bray is narrating, the performance will be first class and the perfect complement to the storyline.

Book links ~ Amazon UK Amazon US

Author links ~ TwitterFacebook, Website

Cold Cold Heart

AudiobookReview

  • Cold Cold HeartAuthor: Tami Hoag
  • Performed by Julia Whelan
  • Published: Brilliance Audio and released on Audible January 2015
  • Category: Crime, Murder Mystery
  • four-half-stars

Dana Nolan was a promising young TV reporter until she was kidnapped by a notorious serial killer. A year has passed since she survived the ordeal, but Dana is still physically, emotionally, and psychologically scarred, racked with bouts of post-traumatic stress disorder and memory loss. In an attempt to put herself back together after surviving the unthinkable, Dana returns to her hometown. But it doesn’t provide the comfort she expects: she struggles to recognise family and childhood friends and begins experiencing dark flashbacks. But she’s not sure if they’re truly memories or side effects of her brain injury.

Dana Nolan had beauty, brains and her dream job as a news anchor. Until the day her life changed forever. She was abducted by a serial killer, who abused and tortured her physically and mentally, and mutilated her face and body. Dana had an incredibly strong desire to live which is amazing given the circumstances and now, at home with her mother and stepfather after nearly a year of rehabilitation and recovery, has no memory of her abduction or how she acquired her terrible injuries. She is still suffering from the effects of a severe brain injury resulting in, among other things, an inability to retain information or remember events from her past.

The prologue is very harrowing as shown by the opening paragraphs…

She should have been dead. After everything he had put her through, she should have dies hours before. There had been many moments during the ordeal when she wished she would die, when she wished he would just end the unimaginable suffering he was inflicting on her.

He had done things to her she could never have imagined, would never wanted to know one human being could be capable of doing to another.

John Villante has also returned home to Shelby Mills after suffering brain trauma, resulting in post traumatic stress disorder, during active service in the military. John has no loving family to care for him, just a drunk and abusive father who John avoids as much as possible. Seeing John and her ex boyfriend, Tim Carver, who is now the county deputy, jolts Dana’s memory of her best high school friend, Casey, who went missing seven years previously. 

Determined to piece together her memories in the hope of finding out what happened to Casey, Dana begins to experience disturbing memories from the time immediately prior to Casey’s disappearance. With help from Dan Hardy, the retired detective who was in charge of Casey’s case, Dana begins to piece together her memories. There are multiple suspects and someone doesn’t want the cold case solved and as the layers are peeled away, once again Dana faces a life or death situation.

This is my first Tami Hoag book and although it read like a novel of two halves, one being working through the process of recovery and the other a murder mystery, I will definitely look at previous works. The insight into the psychological scars Dana suffers and John’s PTSD symptoms have obviously been meticulously researched and really give an appreciation of the effects of such traumas. How the pre injury person is never the same as the post injury person. Dana describes herself as ‘before Dana’ and ‘after Dana’. Tami Hoag very realistically describes the emotions of a Traumatic Brain Injury survivor in great detail and gets right into Dana’s psyche. There’s a lot of description and detail throughout the story, which does get a little repetitive in some parts, but not enough to put me off.  There was also a sub plot involving Roger, Dana’s stepfather that remained unresolved. A follow on, maybe?

I thought Julia Whelan did an excellent job with the narration, she has a very natural and easy to listen to style with good characterisation and emotional content.

Please click on the book cover for Amazon UK. For Amazon US please click here.

About the author

TamiHoag#1 New York Times bestselling author Tami Hoag began her professional career writing for Bantam’s Loveswept line of romance novels. In 1988 her first novel, The Trouble With J.J. was published. 

With fifteen consecutive New York Times bestsellers to her credit, Hoag has more than 35 million books in print, published in more than twenty languages worldwide. Her first thriller, Night Sins, was made into a two-part mini-series in 1997, and continues to air frequently on cable networks more than a decade later.

A competitive equestrian in the Olympic discipline of dressage, Tami currently lives in Palm Beach County, Florida, where she competes her horses on the prestigious winter show circuit.

Deadly Lies

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  • Deadly LiesAuthor: Chris Patchell
  • Published: March 2014 by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
  • Category: Crime/Mystery/Thriller
  • four-half-stars

As a teenager, Jill Shannon fell victim to her stepfather’s cruel abuse. Now, as an adult, Jill’s made it—she has a successful career and a solid, if not static, marriage to Detective Alex Shannon. Together they live out what seems to be a perfect life in Seattle.

The vow she made as a teenager to never again be a victim lies dormant—until one day a reporter lures her to his hotel room under the pretense of an interview—and suddenly it all comes rushing back.

Jill seeks revenge on the reporter, triggering a series of events that leads Jill down a wormhole of retribution, forcing her to spin an ever-widening web of lies.

Meanwhile, Alex is on the case of a series of murders that began as cyber relationships. There seems to be a familiar fingerprint on these crimes, but Alex refuses to believe that the murderer could be so close to him.

Husband and wife stand on opposite sides of a divide created by lies and rooted in a dark and deadly past…

Alex and Jill are facing marital problems. Their jobs keep them apart for most of the week and it doesn’t help that Jill is having an affair with her boss, until, that is, he decides to move on to someone else. While trying to resolve the awkward situation Jill has manoeuvred herself into something totally unexpected and horrific occurs but after the initial shock she sees how this could work to her advantage. 

After the abuse at the hands of her stepfather, Jill resolved never to be at the mercy of another man. When she is compromised by a reporter supposedly wanting an interview she takes matters into her own hands. Jill’s behaviour, even as you feel for the young girl she was, is totally disproportionate and spirals out of all control.

“Ready or not, here I come,” her stepfather, Master Sergeant Samuel Morris, called out in that creepy, singsong voice, like this was some sort of sick game.

Her hands shook, and she clasped them in a tight knot under her chin. Her mother’s scent – baby powder and cinnamon – filled the small space, enveloping her like a warm cloak, and she wished she could hide here forever. Safe. Untouched.

Tears stung her eyes. God, she missed her mother. It was bad before. His punishments had always been harsh, but since her mother’s death, everything had changed.

Alex is a detective with the Seattle Police Force and is investigating the disappearance of his ex fiancée’s sister, which is linked to a serial killer. During the course of his investigations he begins to wonder how much he really knows his wife. He realises she has changed in an elusive way but can’t quite rationalise how or why. He is shocked and unbelieving at where the clues are leading him.

This is a very skilfully written debut novel, with strong, well-developed characters. The absorbing storyline is full of intrigue and suspense. Alex is someone I could relate to immediately and, for all Jill is a very complex and complicated character, and because of childhood suffering I could understand, up to a very definite point, what drove her. And Alex’s partner, Jackson, is a great character too, always having Alex’s back.

The detail and descriptive prose gives a very intense and realistic slant….and the ending! I didn’t see that one coming! There is nothing I dislike about this book, although the ending did leave me quite shell-shocked. Definitely an author to look out for. Many thanks to JB Johnson at Brook Cottage Books for sending me a copy. So glad I didn’t miss this one.

 About the author

Chris PatchellWhen Chris Patchell isn’t hiking in the Cascade Mountains or hanging out with family and friends, she is working at her hi-tech job or writing gritty suspense novels. Writing has been a lifelong passion for Chris. She fell in love with storytelling in the third grade when her half-page creative writing assignment turned into a five-page story on vampires. Even back then Chris had a gift for writing intricate plots that were so good her father refused to believe she didn’t steal them from comic books.

Years later, Chris spent long afternoons managing her own independent record store and writing romance novels. After closing the record store and going to college, Chris launched a successful career in hi-tech. She married, had kids but amid all the madness, the itch to write never really went away. So she started writing again. Not romance this time – suspense filled with drama, and angst, speckled with a little bit of blood.

Why suspense? Chris blames her obsession with the dark on two things: watching Stephen King movies as a kid and spending ridiculous amounts of time commuting in Seattle traffic. “My stories are based on scenarios I live every day, distorted through the fictional lens. And my stories come with the added bonus of not having to be restrained by socially acceptable behavior.”

To learn more about Chris and her debut novel, DEADLY LIES, visit www.chrispatchell.com/

Join her on Facebook for book giveaways and more gritty fun at www.facebook.com/authorchrispatchell 

“Chris Patchell”s debut novel, Deadly Lies, is a taut, fast-paced thriller that grabs you from the start and doesn’t let go. Patchell is a master storyteller with a real talent for creating pulse-pounding suspense.”—Kevin O’Brien, New York Times Bestselling Author of Unspeakable.

Giveaway

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