Tag Archive | Murder

Saturday Spotlight

saturday spotlight

 

The Botanist by L.K. Hill​

The BotanistIn the heat of the desert, Detective Cody Oliver inadvertently stumbles upon a strange garden adorned with exotic flowers. Upon closer inspection, he finds the garden is but a cover for the scores of bodies buried below. Soon, the small town of Mt. Dessicate plunges into chaos as journalists, reporters, and cameramen from across the nation descend upon the tiny, desert town to get a piece of the action.

Along with the media, a mysterious woman appears. She may be the only person who has come face to face with the killer, dubbed the Botanist, and lived to tell the tale. If Cody can’t piece together a timeline of the land the crime scene is located on, decipher how the woman’s mysterious past is connected to the killer, and bring the Botanist to justice, he may lose the people he values most.

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My Review:

A well written, captivating and nail-biting story from L. K. Hill.

Detective Cody Oliver stumbles across a burial site in the desert. From that moment the small town in which he lives descends into a mass of journalists and extra policemen as Cody and his colleagues attempt to track down the serial killer.

Having escaped the clutches of the killer previously, Alex Thompson returns to Mt. Dessicate to remind the investigators of her experience, and finds herself, once again, targeted by the murderer.

Although I guessed early on who the killer was, the twists and turns the author took me through to get there kept me turning the pages. The slow-burning romance between the two main characters was somewhat predictable but added another dimension to the story.

The book held my attention throughout. It was dark and thrilling, and with some descriptions of the brutal torture inflicted by the killer, probably not for the faint-hearted, but I will be adding more books by L.K. Hill to my to-read list.

 

The Author:

L.K. HillL.K. Hill is a pen name for author Liesel K Hill. She writes across three genres. Her historical romance is written under the pen name K.L. Conger. She writes scifi and fantasy, including dystopian, under her full name, Liesel K. Hill. Her crime fiction is written under her initials, L.K. Hill.

She comes from a large, tight-knit family and resides in Northern Utah. She loved to read and write at a young age, and her earliest memories consist of her father sitting in the doorway of her room at night, relating stories of Frodo, Gandalf, and the One Ring. Her mother also read to her every afternoon as a child, sometimes for several hours a day.

Today she is an award-winning author. She plans to keep writing until they nail her coffin shut. Or the Second Coming happens. Whichever comes first. ;D

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Saturday Spotlight

saturday spotlight

 

The Fourth Victim by John Mead​

the2bfourth2bvictimcoverWhitechapel is being gentrified. The many green spaces of the area, which typify London as a capital city, give the illusion of tranquility and clean air but are also places to find drug dealers, sexual encounters and murder…

Detective Sergeant Julie Lukula doesn’t dislike Inspector Matthew Merry but he has hardly set the world of the Murder Investigation Team East alight. And, it looks as if the inspector is already putting the death of the young female jogger, found in the park with fatal head injuries, down to a mugging gone wrong. The victim deserves more. However, the inspector isn’t ruling anything out – the evidence will, eventually, lead him to an answer.

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My Review:

I found this police procedural crime thriller both captivating and thrilling. It kept me turning the pages to discover more clues and try to figure out who the killer was.

The main characters, Inspector Matthew Merry and Detective Sergeant Julie Lukula were as different as chalk and cheese, but they worked well together to solve the case and catch the murderer.

It was a well-paced exciting story with twists and turns aplenty.

A small niggle for me, in what was otherwise a well-written and enthralling book, was that the DS was sometimes referred to as Julie and at other times as Lukula. There seemed to be no consistency or reason for it, and to start with I thought they were two different people which was somewhat confusing for a while.

 

The Author:
the2bfourth2b-author2bphotoJohn was born in the mid-fifties in East London, on part of the largest council estate ever built, and was the first pupil from his local secondary modern school to attend university. He has now taken early retirement to write, having spent the first part of his life working in education and the public sector. He was the director of a college, a senior school inspector for a local authority, and was head of a unit for young people with physical and mental health needs.

He has travelled extensively, from America to Tibet, and he enjoys visiting the theatre, reading and going to the pub. It is, perhaps, no surprise that he is an avid ‘people watcher’ and loves to find out about people, their lives, culture and history. When he is not travelling, going to the theatre or the pub; he writes.

Many of the occurrences recounted and the characters found in his novels are based on real incidents and people he has come across. Although he has allowed himself a wide degree of poetic licence in writing about the main characters, their motivations and the killings that are depicted.

John is currently working on a series of novels set in modern day London. These police procedurals examine the darker side of modern life in the East End of the city.

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Saturday Spotlight

saturday spotlight

 

Injections of Insanity by Lorraine Mace

(D.I. Sterling Book 3)

 
Injections of Insanity

 

Detective Inspector Paolo Sterling has just six weeks to solve a series of murders by insulin injection, with nothing to connect the victims except the manner of death and a note left at each crime scene.

The murderer, determined to avenge a wrong from many years earlier, gets close to his prey by assuming various identities.

Can Paolo win in his race against the pretender?

 

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My Review:

The third book in the D. I. Sterling Series has the same gripping and gritty style as the previous two.

We rejoin Paolo and the rest of the cast as they attempt to track down a murderer who is out for revenge.

Paolo is a well fleshed out and realistic character. I like the way he deals with his complicated home life and his work colleagues, as well as investigating a series of murders, where the victims seem to have no connection to each other.

The case has plenty of twists to keep Paolo (and the reader) busy trying to figure it out before someone else is killed.

This series is now a firm favourite of mine and I’m looking forward to the next one.

 

About The Author:

Retriever of Souls - Lorraine MaceWhen not working on her crime novels, Lorraine Mace is engaged in many writing-related activities. She is a columnist for both Writing Magazine and Writers’ Forum and is head judge for Writers’ Forum monthly fiction competitions.

A tutor for Writers Bureau, she also runs her own private critique and author mentoring service.

She is co-author, with Maureen Vincent-Northam, of The Writer’s Abc Checklist (Accent Press). Other books include children’s novel Vlad The Inhaler – Hero In The Making, and Notes From The Margin, a compilation of her Writing Magazine humour column.

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Saturday Spotlight

saturday spotlight

Retriever of Souls by Lorraine Mace

(D.I. Sterling Book 1)

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The first title in a dark and gritty crime series.
Brought up believing that sex is the devil’s work, a killer only finds release once he has saved his victim’s souls. Abiding by his vision, he marks them as his. A gift to guide his chosen ones on the rightful path to redemption.

Detective Inspector Paolo Sterling is out to stop him, but Paolo has problems of his own. Hunting down the killer as the death toll rises, the lines soon blur between Paolo’s personal and professional lives.

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My Review:

I really enjoyed this great British crime drama. It’s the first of a series and I’m already looking forward to reading the next.

Detective Inspector Paolo Sterling’s personal life is a mess. He’s separated from his wife and has high hopes of getting back with her, and his teenage daughter, Katy, is going off the rails. His professional life isn’t faring any better. His new partner, Detective Sergeant Dave Johnson,  is obnoxious and has no respect for women.  Add to that, the fact that someone is murdering prostitutes and dumping their bodies in rubbish dumps and there aren’t any leads.

While we follow Paolo as he deals with his complicated relationships and tries to solve the case, we also get a close look at the murderer. The villain was brought up by a religious zealot who taught him that sex was a sin, and he believes that by killing the women he is saving their souls.

There is much more to this book than the crime and solving of it. It’s a character-driven book and they are well written and relatable… easy to like, or hate. It was interesting to watch them and their various relationships evolve and grow.

This was a gripping, gritty, and, at times, gruesome thriller, with interesting characters, a number of suspects, and plenty of twists and turns to keep you guessing.

 

About The Author:

Retriever of Souls - Lorraine MaceWhen not working on her crime novels, Lorraine Mace is engaged in many writing-related activities. She is a columnist for both Writing Magazine and Writers’ Forum and is head judge for Writers’ Forum monthly fiction competitions.

A tutor for Writers Bureau, she also runs her own private critique and author mentoring service.

She is co-author, with Maureen Vincent-Northam, of The Writer’s Abc Checklist (Accent Press). Other books include children’s novel Vlad The Inhaler – Hero In The Making, and Notes From The Margin, a compilation of her Writing Magazine humour column.

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Five on Friday

Five on Friday

 

Five new releases to add to my, ever growing, to-read list…

 

5f1

Beautiful Bad
by Annie Ward

Beautiful BadIn the tradition of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train comes the psychological thriller everyone is talking about, a twisted novel about a devoted wife, a loving husband, and a chilling crime that will stun even the cleverest readers.

There are two sides to every story… And every person.

Maddie and Ian’s love story began with a chance encounter at a party overseas, while she was a travel writer visiting her best friend, Jo. Now almost two decades later, married with a beautiful son, Charlie, they are living the perfect suburban life in Middle America. But when a camping accident leaves Maddie badly scarred, she begins attending writing therapy, where she gradually reveals her fears about Ian; her concerns for the safety of their young son; and the couple’s tangled and tumultuous past with Jo.

From the Balkans to England, Iraq to Manhattan, and finally to an ordinary family home in Kansas, sixteen years of love and fear, adventure and suspicion culminate in The Day of the Killing, when a frantic 911 call summons the police to the scene of a shocking crime.

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5f2

Cemetery Road
by Greg Iles

Cemetery RoadSometimes the price of justice is a good man’s soul.

The #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Natchez Burning trilogy returns with an electrifying tale of friendship, betrayal, and shattering secrets that threaten to destroy a small Mississippi town.

When Marshall McEwan left his Mississippi hometown at eighteen, he vowed never to return. The trauma that drove him away spurred him to become one of the most successful journalists in Washington, DC. But as the ascendancy of a chaotic administration lifts him from print fame to television stardom, Marshall discovers that his father is terminally ill, and he must return home to face the unfinished business of his past.

On arrival, he finds Bienville, Mississippi very much changed. His family’s 150-year-old newspaper is failing; and Jet Turner, the love of his youth, has married into the family of Max Matheson, one of a dozen powerful patriarchs who rule the town through the exclusive Bienville Poker Club. To Marshall’s surprise, the Poker Club has taken a town on the brink of extinction and offered it salvation, in the form of a billion-dollar Chinese paper mill. But on the verge of the deal being consummated, two murders rock Bienville to its core, threatening far more than the city’s economic future.

An experienced journalist, Marshall has seen firsthand how the corrosive power of money and politics can sabotage investigations. Joining forces with his former lover—who through her husband has access to the secrets of the Poker Club—Marshall begins digging for the truth behind those murders. But he and Jet soon discover that the soil of Mississippi is a minefield where explosive secrets can destroy far more than injustice. The South is a land where everyone hides truths: of blood and children, of love and shame, of hate and murder—of damnation and redemption. The Poker Club’s secret reaches all the way to Washington, D.C., and could shake the foundations of the U.S. Senate. But by the time Marshall grasps the long-buried truth about his own history, he would give almost anything not to have to face it.

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5f3

The Dragon of New Orleans (The Treasure of Paragon Book 1)
by Genevieve Jack

The Dragon of New OrleansNew Orleans: city of intrigue, supernatural secrets, and one enigmatic dragon.

A deadly curse….
For 300 years, Gabriel Blakemore has survived in New Orleans after a coup in his native realm of Paragon scattered him and his dragon siblings across the globe. Now a jealous suitor’s voodoo curse threatens to end his immortal existence. His only hope is to find an antidote, one that may rest in a mortal woman.

A lifesaving gift…
After five years of unsuccessful treatment for her brain cancer, death is a welcome end for Raven Tanglewood. Her illness has become a prison her adventurous spirit cannot abide. Salvation comes in the form of Gabriel, who uses dragon magic to save her.

A harrowing price…
To Raven, the bond that results from Gabriel’s gift is another kind of captivity. Can Gabriel win Raven’s love and trust in time to awaken the life-saving magic within her? Or will his fiery personality and possessive ways drive her from his side and seal his fate?

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5f4

The Last Woman in the Forest
by Diane Les Becquets

The Last Woman in the ForestFrom the national bestselling author of Breaking Wild, here is a riveting and powerful thriller about a woman whose greatest threat could be the man she loves.…

Marian Engström has found her true calling: working with rescue dogs to help protect endangered wildlife. Her first assignment takes her to northern Alberta, where she falls in love with her mentor, the daring and brilliant Tate. When they’re separated on another assignment, she’s shattered to learn of his tragic death. Before long, Marian discovers disturbing inconsistencies about Tate’s life, and begins to wonder if the man she loved could have been responsible for the unsolved murders of at least four women.

Hoping to clear Tate’s name, Marian reaches out to a retired forensic profiler who’s haunted by the open cases. But as Marian relives her relationship with Tate and circles ever closer to the truth, evil stalks her every move.…

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5f5

The Stranger Diaries
by Elly Griffiths

The Stranger DiariesDeath lies between the lines when the events of a dark story start coming true in this haunting modern gothic mystery, perfect for fans of Magpie Murders and The Lake House.

Clare Cassidy is no stranger to murder. A high school English teacher specializing in the Gothic writer R. M. Holland, she teaches a course on it every year. But when one of Clare’s colleagues and closest friends is found dead, with a line from R. M. Holland’s most famous story, “The Stranger,” left by her body, Clare is horrified to see her life collide with the storylines of her favorite literature.

To make matters worse, the police suspect the killer is someone Clare knows. Unsure whom to trust, she turns to her closest confidant, her diary, the only outlet she has for her darkest suspicions and fears about the case. Then one day she notices something odd. Writing that isn’t hers, left on the page of an old diary:

Hallo Clare. You don’t know me.

Clare becomes more certain than ever: “The Stranger” has come to terrifying life. But can the ending be rewritten in time?

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Saturday Spotlight

saturday spotlight

 

D: Revenge Hits London by Chris Turnbull

 
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The events in Whitby have left all those involved shaken. With a murderer still at large, and his target believing him to have been arrested, there is only a matter of time before their paths cross again.

Humiliated by the woman he loves, D seeks revenge, and will stop at nothing until he sees Victoria pay for the torment she has brought upon him. With Detective Matthews out of the way, his plan surely can’t fail.

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My Review:

A fabulous follow up to D: Whitby’s Darkest Secret.

Victoria and Albert have returned to London, after the events in Whitby, and they’ve taken Tom with them and given him a home. They all believe that the killer has been caught. Unfortunately, they’re wrong and he’s on their trail.

Victoria’s sister, Lucy, is staying with them following the death of her husband and her visits, on her own, to a church and a public house give D the opportunity to befriend her, as a means of getting back at Victoria.

This book, like the previous one, is written mainly from Victoria and D’s points of view, along with chapters from Tom, Lucy and Detective Matthews. This brings insight into the thoughts and motives behind the characters actions and allows you to get to know them.

At the risk of repeating myself, I was once again walking in Victoria’s shoes, this time, through a dangerous 1900’s London.

Another great book from Chris Turnbull, with an unexpected twist at the end… and the possibility of more to come in this series.

 

About The Author:

13781487Chris has always been a keen reader and writer, he loves the feeling of been drawn into a good book and the escapism into another world after a long day at work.

In 2013, after finishing his first full story Chris decided that he wanted to get it professionally edited in the hope to print it out for himself. After very little persuasion Chris finally released time travel story The Vintage Coat on Amazon and had a successful book launch in Leeds.

Chris was born in Bradford, West Yorkshire in England.

The eldest of two sons Chris originally wanted to become a dog groomer and trained in this field before working on a farm in the grooming room as well as helping with the dog hydrotherapy.

After a few years, Chris moved on and found a job at Bradford University working with PhD students in the Biology labs. Chris enjoyed nearly 7 years there before moving over to York University to take on a similar, be it more senior role.

Chris now lives on the outskirts of York with his partner and their Jack Russell terrier.

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Saturday Spotlight

saturday spotlight

D: Whitby’s Darkest Secret by Chris Turnbull

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LESS than 3 years after the release of Bram Stokers novel Dracula, Whitby is tormented by a diehard fan who sees Dracula as his role model; and it isn’t long before women are being murdered, and the residents of Whitby are scared to leave their homes.

WHEN a young lady from London, who has travelled to Whitby with her new husband, is targeted, it is a race against time to catch this cloaked monster before he kills again.

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My Review:

I don’t often read historical fiction, but the cover and blurb (Whitby and Dracula) caught my attention on this one.

From the beginning of the book, I was transported back in time to join Victoria and her husband, Albert, as they spend a week in Whitby for a belated honeymoon, and for Alberts political career, which leaves Victoria on her own quite often. Victoria is completely unaware that she has caught the attention of a disturbed and dangerous killer, who believes that he is in love with her and that she shares those feelings.

It’s a race against time as Detective Matthews tries to catch the killer before Victoria becomes his next victim.

Being told mainly from Victoria and D’s points of view, helps you to understand the danger that Victoria is in, as well as adding insight to D’s deranged mind. There’s also some occasional input from Detective Matthews, and from Tom, a helpful local boy working at the hotel, who Victoria takes a shine to.

The characters are well rounded and believable. My favourite was Tom, who despite being an orphan was a polite and lovable boy.

This book took me on a suspenseful journey into the 1900s and had me walking in Victoria shoes, rather than watching the action at a distance.

(I’m glad I read the prequel, D: Darkest Beginnings, first)

 

About The Author:

13781487Chris has always been a keen reader and writer, he loves the feeling of been drawn into a good book and the escapism into another world after a long day at work.

In 2013, after finishing his first full story Chris decided that he wanted to get it professionally edited in the hope to print it out for himself. After very little persuasion Chris finally released time travel story The Vintage Coat on Amazon and had a successful book launch in Leeds.

Chris was born in Bradford, West Yorkshire in England.

The eldest of two sons Chris originally wanted to become a dog groomer and trained in this field before working on a farm in the grooming room as well as helping with the dog hydrotherapy.

After a few years, Chris moved on and found a job at Bradford University working with PhD students in the Biology labs. Chris enjoyed nearly 7 years there before moving over to York University to take on a similar, be it more senior role.

Chris now lives on the outskirts of York with his partner and their Jack Russell terrier.

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