Posts Tagged ‘Psychological thriller’

Closer Than You Think by Darren O’Sullivan

May 18, 2019 - 10:32 am No Comments

Closer Than You Think by Darren O’Sullivan

Published by HQ Digital on 15th March 2019

277 pages

There are a lot of psychological thrillers on the market at the moment. We follow the case, the serial killer gets caught, end of the story. But what if there is a survivor and the killer is still out there. Closer Than You Think is that story.

Claire Moore is a sole survivor of The Black-Out Killer, thinking she is now safe, she is trying to rebuild her life. 10 years on she has moved to England, but making a recovery is hard than you think.

Written from Claire’s POV, enables you to see what physical and emotional damage the Black Out Killer caused her that fateful night in Ireland and how hard she was finding it to rebuild her life, even dipping her toes into a starting a new relationship. As I followed Claire through her healing, my heart went out to her, every small step of achievement had me rooting for her to be the survivor. Her visit to her husband’s grave was moving and you could feel the build-up of 10 years of guilt tinged with survivor’s guilt.

Whilst following Claire, we also follow the Killer and through his story, we find out the reasons behind why he wanted to kill, what drew him to his victims and why he stopped and restarted.

Although we know a lot about him, there was no clue to his identity. The author had a way of leading you down the wrong path and when you are certain that you know who it is, further in the book, you realise you are wrong. Not knowing the real killer until the end will have you quickly turning the pages. As for the ending, well it is up to you.

Retriever of Souls by Lorraine Mace

May 12, 2019 - 5:23 am No Comments

It is my turn on the Retriever of Souls blog tour, a new to me author but when I read the blurb it grabbed my attention.

Retriever of Souls

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.

So here is my thoughts on the book.

Retriever of Souls by Lorraine Mace

Published by Accent Press on 13th December 2018

253 pages

The story follows DI Sterling as he tries to stop a dangerous killer. When the mutilated body is found and IDed, he thought he had got his man, but trying to make a case against him was harder than he thought. Not only had he got more bodies turning up, he was also trying to get used to being separated and still being a good dad to his teenage daughter.

The story alternates between DI Sterling and the killer, without being confusing. Reading the killer perspective shows you just how sadistic and troubled the killer was. As you follow DI Sterling you realise just how much of a mess his home life and when more pressure is put on him by his wife, it is a wonder he doesn’t crack. His working relationship with his partner DS Dave Johnson starts off a bit rocky and it did come across as he did not want to work with him, but as the story continues you see him more as a mentor.

As soon as you start the book you know what you are getting into. From the 1st scene, you are taken on a dark journey. There are some topics and scenes that some readers may find disturbing but this adds to the grittiness of the story. The hunt for the killer is hidden with twists and red herrings, that kept me guessing to the end. The plot was well thought out and was fast paced.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys psychological thrillers. As soon as I finished it, I one clicked the 2nd in the series and have pre-ordered the 3rd.

Purchase Links:

UK –

US –

Author Bio – When not working on her D.I. Sterling Series, 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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The Suspects by Katharine Johnson

May 2, 2019 - 4:03 am No Comments

The Suspects by Katharine Johnson
Published by Crooked Cat Books out on 10th May 2019 257 pages

Shallow Grave meets The Secret History in this quirky psychological thriller

Bristol, 1988. Five young graduates on the threshold of their careers buy a house together in order to get a foot on the property ladder before prices spiral out of their reach. But it soon becomes the house share from hell.

After their New Year’s Eve party, they discover a body – and it’s clear they’ll be the first suspects. As each of them has a good reason from their past not to trust the police, they come up with a solution – one which forces them into a life of secrets and lies. But can they trust each other? 

“The hugely talented Katharine Johnson has, again delivered a tense thriller! This is a compelling novel – up there with Erin Kelly and Sophie Hannah.”

Val Penny, author of The Edinburgh Crime Mysteries.

“Gripping and frighteningly realistic. The twists and turns kept me guessing to the very end.” Jo Fenton, author of The Brotherhood.

At the end of this post is a giveaway to win a sign copy of the book

So here are my thoughts…….

As I started this story, my first thought was that the MCs were either brave or stupid to buy a house with 4 complete strangers. The only thing they had in common was that they were all trainee journalist working for the same company. The story starts off slowly as you are introduced to each of the MCs. The detailed descriptions enable you to get the know the characters in more detail and you soon realise how different each one was. Stuart was the bossy one, liked to be in charge and wanted everything his way. Zak was a bit of a “Jack the lad” he liked to wind up people. Imogen came across as spoilt. The only one in a steady relationship, she wanted everything to be perfect. Xanthe came across as flaky, however, I think it was an act and she was cleverer than her housemates thought and finally Emily, the quiet one, who usually did what she was told to do without question. However, as soon as the body was found, their characteristics soon became important to the plot.

With all these characters, writing it from Emily’s point of view made it easy to follow the plot. As you continue with the story, you learn more about their backstories and get a better understanding of why they were how they were and why they did what they did without involving the police. As the characters felt more and more pressure the story’s pace seemed to quicken up.  

As the majority of the book is set in the late 80s, there was quite a few 80s pop culture inserted into the story, whether it was a film they were watching or a song playing on the radio. I found myself humming the songs as I was reading. As I found out more about the characters, I kept changing my mind who I thought was behind the death and I am sure I had to pause my reading when the big reveal happened, as I never saw it coming.

I really enjoyed this book and am going to look out for more of this author’s work.     

Purchasing Links Amazon UK:

Amazon Com:

Meet the author: Katharine Johnson was born in Bristol and now lives in Berkshire. She’s worked as a journalist on lots of magazines and has written a history book about Windsor. When not writing you’ll usually find her with a book in one hand and a coffee in the other, restoring a house in Italy, walking her spaniel or playing netball (although not usually at the same time.)

You can connect with her here….







Publishers http://www.crookedcatbooks.comhttp://@crookedcatbooks

Giveaway to Win copies of The Suspects and The Silence (Open International)

1st Prize – signed paperback of The Suspects

2nd Prize audiobook of The Silence – any region

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

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Twisted by Steve Cavanagh

May 1, 2019 - 5:32 am No Comments

So my turn has finally come to share my review on Twisted by Steve Cavanagh. Having read other books from this author, I knew I would be in for a good read.

Twisted by Steve Cavanagh

Published by Orion on 24th January 2019

352 pages

JT Le Beau is a successful author. Topping the book charts, with every book written, but you won’t find them on social media, in fact not even the publishing company knows who they are. The author is an enigma and readers spend as much time trying to find clues to who they are, as they do reading the books.

This is was a hard review to write without giving anything away and if like me you read the blurb of the book, even that doesn’t say anything. The characters, Paul Cooper, quite a secretive man, a penny pincher, who kept his wife at arms-length, Maria his wife was bored, a stay at home wife, she passed her time by having an affair with Daryl, a waiter she picked up at the club. What started out as a fling was getting serious. Sheriff Abraham Dole was the local sheriff involved in the crimes of Port Lonely.

With a title like Twisted, you will not be surprised to know that there are plenty of twists to keep thriller fans hooked. In fact, I put real life on hold one Saturday and read it in one sitting. This was fast paced as there was always something going on. The author has a way of leading you down the wrong path and as you think you have worked it out, you find out that you are completely wrong, I can honestly say that I saw none of it coming. As it is written in 3rd person, it enables you to follow the plot as more and more clues are revealed. Running through this book are at least 2 mysteries for you to try and solve. Who is JT Le Beau? And what is the connection to the Jane Doe?     

As this is a standalone novel it’s an ideal book to read if you have not read any other books by this author.  

Blanket of Blood (Gary Blood Crime Series book 1) by Eileen Wharton

March 9, 2019 - 3:54 pm No Comments

Blanket of Blood (Gary Blood Crime Series Book1) by Eileen Wharton

Published 11th February 2019

319 pages

Teenagers are going missing, but not much had been done about their disappearance. But when a premature baby is found in the woods and there are links to the teenagers being pregnant, then DI Blood is put on the case.

 DI Blood was a likeable character, whilst he had his own personal issues, he never let them get in the way of the case. Rough at the edges but a gentle heart, who else would have their ex-wife living under there roof. Blood and his team were relentless and worked well together, even when evidence was hard to come across.

This read is definitely not for the faint-hearted but the graphic scenes helped show how dangerous the killer was. From the moment I started this book I was hooked and whilst reading it I was trying to work out who was behind the crimes. The author had a way of leading you down the wrong path, convincing you that you knew who it was and when they were revealed and the reasons, I was way off. This was fast paced and as more evidence was found, I was reading quicker and quicker, the last quarter of the book was intense. The backstories of the characters made them more personal and you felt that you knew them and understood some of the difficult decisions.

As a 1st in a series, this is a good introduction to a series that I hope will go on for a very long time.