Posts Tagged ‘Thriller’

Bad to the Bone by Tony J Forder

June 24, 2018 - 8:47 pm No Comments

Bad to the Bone by Tony J Forder
Published by Bloodhound Books on 29th April 2017
350 pages
Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

When the skeletal remains of a young woman are found in the woods, DI Bliss is called in to investigate. Coming back from a suspension, Bliss knows the case is going to be tough one. Not only are the bones old but the senior officers are breathing down his neck.
A crime thriller is not the same without a trouble MC and boy was Bliss troubled. Haunted by the past, Bliss always wanted to see justice done even if it meant him clashing with his superior officers. His only true friends were DC Penny Chandler and DC Bobby Dunne, both who work with him closely. The relationship between Bliss and Chandler was as close as siblings, the only one who knew about his past Chandler was always there for him, keeping him grounded when he had a wild idea. There were a couple of characters that I took an instant dislike to, one was “The Bone Lady” as I found her to forward, especially as she knew some of Bliss’ past
From the moment the bones are found, Bliss and Co get down to action. Starting from nothing, you wonder how the body can be identified let a lone who murdered her. The plot was well written and it felt like you were watching one of those true crime documentaries. There were red herrings throughout to throw you off track, and I could not get over how good the ending was as I never saw it coming.
Whilst it was a slow start, due to the amount of information that had to be found, the pace soon picked up as Bliss was putting the pieces together. Set in Peterborough, this was a good example of UK Police procedure. One thing I was glad about was that Bonnie and Clyde were ok. I will definitely carry on with this series, cause who does not love a troubled cop.

The Puppet Show (Washington Poe Book 1) by MW Craven

June 6, 2018 - 8:11 pm No Comments

The Puppet Show (Washington Poe Book 1) by MW Craven
Published by Constable on 7th June 2018
352 pages
Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

After a body turned up with Washington Poe carved in it. Cumbria Police knew they needed extra help. This was the 3rd body to turn up. Brining in the NCA, they needed one man. The problem was he had left under a cloud and living in isolation.
Washington Poe was not a typical police officer. Not one for lip service he was not afraid to ruffle feathers to get the job done, usually resulting in angering the higher ranking officers. He had high regards for justice and would always fight for the little man. He would follow the clues and his ability to think outside the box got the results.
DI Flynn was your typical officer trying to do her best in a man’s world. She did let Washington a free rein as she knew how it worked. As a boss, she was fair and was always the one to try and keep the peace.
My favourite character throughout the book was Tilly Bradshaw. The technology whizz kid with an analytical mind.. Whilst it was not mentioned I had the impression that she had autism. It was so refreshing to read about a character who did not think what people thought about her. She was blunt and straight to the point and not afraid to speak the truth. Having lived a sheltered life, everything she did in the field was new and she reminded me of a kid at Christmas.
From the beginning of this story, you are hit with a gruesome killing and you knew what to expect. The story was fast paced whilst you follow the investigation. As the story progressed you get to find out about Poe’s previous case and you soon realise what sort of man he is. The story is well plotted and even though I tried to guess I had not got a clue who the serial killer was. The reasons behind the killings was tragic. The harrowing scenes were broken up with some witty moments, thanks to Bradshaw. This thriller was fast pacing as there was always something going on.
This is my first read by this author and I really enjoyed this book. I will definitely look out for more in this series. A must read for thriller lovers.

Th1rt3en by Steve Cavanagh

May 30, 2018 - 4:59 am No Comments

Th1rt3en by Steve Cavanagh
Published on 25th January 2018 by Orion
368 pages
Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

Before I started this book, I had never read any of the other books in this series. What grabbed me was the blurb and a lot of recommendations from my friends.
Eddie Flynn is a defence lawyer, good at what he does, he has made a name for himself, whilst annoying the NYPD. When Robert Solomon gets arrested for murder, Flynn gets an invite to be on the defence team. With all the evidence stacked up against Robert, Flynn knows he has a fight in court. But the further Flynn investigates, he quickly comes to realise that it is not a simple case of murder.
From the start you know that Joshua Kane was a master of his work. Everything he did was planned to finest detail. He was one of the cleverest serial killers I have read about and I did have an admiration for him.
The story swaps between Flynn and Kane’s story, there is no confusion as Kane is in 3rd POV. This helped the story flow and you learn about the character’s in detail. This story is fast paced and the tension builds throughout. I do not read many court room drama but I found this intriguing, even down to the jury selection and after I found out what they have to go through to get selected, I admired Joshua more.
When I am reading thrillers I like to guess where the story was going, but with this story I was wrong in every case. The story was well plotted and there was a lot of detail to the story. Even if you have not read the others in the series, you do not miss out on any of the story as this can be read as a stand alone and for me a good introduction to this author’s work. An intriguing plot and a must for thriller lovers and you will get to find out why thirteen as there are only twelve on the jury.

Scouse Gothic by Ian McKinney

May 21, 2018 - 5:35 am No Comments

My turn for the book tour for Scouse Gothic by Ian McKinney. Learn more about book and my review of a vampire in Liverpool.

Scouse Gothic by Ian McKinney
Published by YouCaxton Publications on 2nd October 2015
200 pages
Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

Melville was a vampire, but if you walked past him in the street, you would not know. Living in Liverpool, trying to stay “teetotal” he lived an unassuming life, but his past is trying to catch up with him.
I have read quite a few stories about vampires and they all have one thing in common. They are strong beings trying to inforce their power either by killing each other or by turning their victims. Melville was different, a quiet man who just wanted to live his life. To make his life more complicated, he had fell off the wagon, had a body to dispose of and had a new love interest. Added to the story is Lathom a retired hitman turned antique dealer, Kelly, a man with no morals with a past of his own, Peter, recently bereaved who talks to an angel, Catherine, a woman out for revenge and Sheryl, the larger than life love interest.
Reading this story you can tell that it was well plotted with only a handful of characters their stories were interlinked and each character you learn about in detail. Reading a story about an immortal, there is a lot of life history and throughout you get to know more about Melville and to say he lived an eventful life is an understatement. There was always something happening which kept me turning the pages to find out what was coming next. Kelly has some of the bloodiest scenes and there was one of the most unique ways of escaping that I have read. Scattered throughout there are some funny moments thanks to Frank the pigeon come angel and I laughed out loud when he described religion to different chains of fast food restaurants.
The author takes the vampire myths and throws them out the window and it was a refreshing change to read something different, even down to the way Melville was turned. Liverpool is a place I have never visited, however with the details in the book Ian McKinney is an ambassador for the city full of history.
With its mixture of historical, thriller and vampires it makes it attractive to a vast amount of readers. Finishing on a cliff hanger and a box of chocolates, this was a great start to a series which has got me hooked

19 Abercromby Square: Owned by the Chavasse Family and previously the Confederate banker Priorleau 

Now from the man himself

SCOUSE GOTHIC: Facts and Fiction
When reading fiction, I’ve always found it more believable if it’s based on fact, whether that is a real event, or even a real place. Consequently, when I began writing SCOUSE GOTHIC, I was determined that all the events would take place in actual locations.
Although I was born and bred in Liverpool I hadn’t lived in the city for many years. However, a combination of events meant that I had access to a new apartment in the city centre for a few months. It was during this time that I wrote the majority of SCOUSE GOTHIC.
While spending weekends there, I began to explore the city, and was constantly surprised by how much it had changed – but also, by how much of it was totally unchanged from my youth. Many of the old buildings had survived redevelopment and many had found new uses. As I walked through the streets I imagined my vampire, Melville walking the same streets and remembering his past lives in the city.
The apartment I was using was high up in a new development and overlooking Chavasse Park. I’d spend many hours looking out over the city, trying to imagine how Melville would feel, watching people in the park far below. Would he feel unconnected to them and their lives? After all, he is always an outsider, unable to put down permanent roots or have long-term relationships. How do you explain not growing older? Or the occasional missing person? No doubt he would watch individuals in the park and think them insignificant and their lives worthless. Perhaps considering them not as human beings, but prey – fresh blood to feed his addiction.
As the book progressed, I introduced more characters who all had their own personal relationship with the city. In each case I began to develop their character by walking in their shoes. Each location was recorded on a map which I reproduced in the book. I also took photographs as an aide-memoir when writing scenes at a later date. I’ve since posted these on the ‘Scouse Gothic Books’ page on Facebook, so that readers who are unfamiliar with Liverpool can see the actual locations used in the books.
I discovered that many of the buildings that Melville would have known from his previous visits to Liverpool in 1862 and 1914 have now found others uses: a church is now a bar; a dock is now a tourist attraction etc. This gave me the opportunity to explore Liverpool’s past, alongside that of Melville’s.
It started with the park I stared down on from my apartment, Chavasse Park. Why was it called that? I found out that it’s named after Noel Chavasse, a local hero from the First World War. (He was a Doctor who won the VC twice, the second posthumously) I imagined that Melville would have known him and served with him, called him a friend. Which is why he refers to it as ‘Noel’s Park’, and that in turn triggers a memory about the King’s Liverpool Regiment and 1914.
I then discovered that at that time, the Chavasse family lived in a house in Abercromby Square, and that had originally been owned by a man called Priorleau. In 1862, Priorleau was the banker for a Confederate conspiracy to secretly build warships in Liverpool to fight in the American Civil War. This led me to the story of a Confederate warship called the Florida and another story from Melville’s past.
As I walked the streets, I’d see a date on a building and wonder what it used to be? The more I delved into the history of Liverpool, the more strange coincidences I discovered. It was as though every building had a secret it was hiding. Just like my characters in SCOUSE GOTHIC, who each appear one thing to the outside world, but who are all something else entirely. Something much darker and much more complex.
Perhaps Liverpool had ceased to be merely a location for my characters to inhabit, but a character in its own right?
Which is fact and which fiction? I’ll leave that to my readers to decide.

Ghost in the Park(Unruly Ghost Mysteries Book 1) by Julianne Q Johnson

March 15, 2018 - 10:22 pm No Comments

Ghost in the Park (Unruly Ghost Mysteries Book 1) by Julianne Q Johnson
Published by JQJ Books on 21 August 2017
282 pages
Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

Professor of English literature, Bryce Campbell has a gift. Whilst he writes bodice ripping stories to top up his wages, he also is a clairaudient, a person that hears the dead. When one of his students becomes the 6th victim of a serial killer, Bryce gets himself involved in the case.. To make his life more complicated, he attracts Elizabeth, an unusual ghost who can not remember how she died. With his special talents can Bryce help his best friend and lead detective Chase Robinson catch the killer and free Elizabeth’s spirit.
From page 1 I liked Bryce, he was comfortable with his abilities and never once thought himself a freak. Although he comes across as happy with his life, his meeting with Elizabeth shows exactly how lonely he was and the further you read his story, you understand why. With the additional visits from Grandpa Harris and Todd made it feel like a dysfunctional family. Elizabeth was a feisty teenager and having her story run along the serial killer story gave it some light relief.
The serial killer’s method of kill was surprising gruesome as the majority of this book read like a cozy. The relationship between Bryce and Chase was like brothers and when Elizabeth came along , was like the addition of a irritating little sister. There was some comedy moments when the ghosts started to act up.
As a British reader and reading about a British main character, I enjoyed that the author threw a few correct English phrases into the story and whilst Bryce liked his tea that was the only British stereotype.
I enjoyed this story so much I have one clicked book 2, a refreshing read