Murky, Mirror, Madness #Mirrorland #CaroleJohnstone #PsychologicalThriller #Fantasy #PoliceProcedural #choppercrimebooks Twitter: @chopcrimebooks @fictionpubteam @boroughpress @annecater @RandomTTours @c_l_johnstone

“Conscience is the mirror of our souls, which represents the errors of our lives in their full shape” – George Bancroft

Thank you to Anne from Random Things Tours, Carole Johnstone and The Borough Press for allowing me to be a part of the Mirrorland Blog Tour.

Sypnosis

The most dangerous stories are the ones we tell ourselves…

No. 36 Westeryk Road: an imposing flat-stone house on the outskirts of Edinburgh. A place of curving shadows and crumbling grandeur. But it’s what lies under the house that is extraordinary – Mirrorland. A vivid make-believe world that twin sisters Cat and El created as children. A place of escape, but from what?

Now in her thirties, Cat has turned her back on her past. But when she receives news that one sunny morning, El left harbour in her sailboat and never came back, she is forced to return to Westeryk Road; to re-enter a forgotten world of lies, betrayal and danger.
 
Because El had a plan. She’s left behind a treasure hunt that will unearth long-buried secrets. And to discover the truth, Cat must first confront the reality of her childhood – a childhood that wasn’t nearly as idyllic as she remembers…

Author Biography

Carole Johnstone’s award-winning short fiction has been reprinted in many annual ‘Best of’ anthologies in the UK and US. She lives in Argyll & Bute, Scotland, with her husband. Mirrorland is her debut novel.

Review

What a fantastic debut. I was absolutely thrilled by this and of course truly terrified by the story.

The concept of twins…or mirror twins is a great idea for a story. You also know that if the story is about twins it will be a gripping, dark and terrifying read. My best friends are twins and whilst they are identical, they are not mirrored. It is something I had not heard of before so it was very interesting.

The opener is sinister and creepy. It leaves you with an unnerving sense of anticipation as to what may happen next. It felt strange, yet intriguing reading through it. There is clearly an episode that has caused a community to turn upside down and it makes you want to get to the bottom of what that might be. Trauma. Drowning. Anguish. The story told through the eyes of the twin. Is her twin dead? Twins are known to be on the same wavelength, even telepathic. One would know of the other had truly died. The place they are in does have a fantasy element to it, which is not my usual go to for a read, however; it is still great stuff.

I love the darkness. The truly Gothic feel to the story. It is a gripping and sinister read. Highly recommended.

Cheers

Ben

ChopperCrimeBooks

Other Information

Big, Brilliant, Betrayal #HowToBetrayYourCountry #JamesWolff #SpyThriller #Espionage #Mystery #PoliticalThriller #choppercrimebooks Twitter: @chopcrimebooks @bitterlemonpub @annecater @RandomTTours

“Anyone who’d sell out a whole town wouldn’t hesitate to double-cross one man” – Albert Rothstein

Thank you to Anne from Random Things Tours, Bitter Lemon Press and James Wolff for allowing me to be a part of the How To Betray Your Country Blog Tour.

Sypnosis

Things are looking bad for disgraced spy August Drummond. In emotional free fall after the death of his wife, fired for a series of security breaches… and now his neighbour on the flight to Istanbul won’t stop talking. The only thing keeping August sane is the hunch that there’s something not quite right about the nervous young man several rows ahead – a hunch confirmed when August watches him throw away directions to a European cemetery seconds before being detained by Turkish police. A reckless August decides to go to the cemetery, where he meets a mysterious figure from the dark heart of the Islamic State and quickly finds himself drawn into a shadowy plot to murder an Iranian scientist in Istanbul. But nothing is what it seems, and before long August realises he has gone too far to turn back. As he struggles to break free from the clutches of Islamic State and play off British intelligence against their Turkish counterparts, he will find his resourcefulness, ingenuity and courage tested to the very limit of what he can endure.

Author Biography

James Wolff lives in London. He has been working for the British government for the last 10 years. This is his second novel in a planned trilogy about anti-terror espionage in the Middle East. The first was the highly acclaimed “Beside the Syrian Sea.”

Review

Since starting my blogging journey I have had the privilege of reading some fantastic stories by some really talented writers. This guy James…or whoever he is…??? Well his work is just brilliant and I think he should be added to that talented list. I read his other one Beside The Syrian Sea as well recently. Seriously good stuff. If you like a Mick Herron read then this echoes or screams that particular style.

This is one outstanding thriller. Everything about it, the quirks, the detail in my opinion are just class…well world class actually. The narrative is a joy to behold. The prose majestic. The dialogue on point. The plot is superb. The characters…well if they are based on people he knows then James’s observational skills are fabulous…I imagine his skills generally would be working for the government. Or if they are made up their character development is a work of art. I would say that if you want to learn how to write as well as reading the fantastic content, then this novel is a good place to start.

The story itself does begin with the topic of loss and grief. August Drummond our protagonist is grieving and is struggling. He has been kicked out of the service in addition to this. He is a man who has lost everything. The hook is simple yet masterful. It reads like a movie. A chatterbox sat next to him on his flight, yet his focus is further down the footfall of the plane. A nervous looking individual. Of course only an agent or former would observe that. If it was me I would be getting sloshed on the stupendously expensive vodka. So not observing anything. The observation from August leads him to a cemetery after he picks up a map thrown away by the nervous man.

The turn of events leads to August meeting a shadowy figure in the cemetery. A meeting with a member of the so called ISIS aka Islamic State. The plot thickens and he is pulled into a scheme to murder an Iranian scientist. And of course “once I thought I was out, they pulled me back in!” August is in deep and he has to use his mouse to play off intelligence services off against each other. It is great stuff. Many a time I was holding my breath.

I will not add much more other than this was a heart pumping, pulse racing, electrifying thriller that is not for the faint hearted. I seriously loved it. James Wolff you 100% have a new fan.

Highly recommended.

Cheers

Ben

ChopperCrimeBooks

Other Information

Picked by Simon Sebag Montefiori as one of Best Books of 2018 in the Evening Standard. “Great espionage novels are not genre pieces but studies of betrayal, dishonour, expediency, loyalty — the darkness of human nature, the subjects of all literature. Unsurprisingly, it’s hard to find good ones but I just finished Beside the Syrian Sea by James Wolff, a debut by an ex-spy, is superb: an adventure from London to Lebanon and Syria and the desperate struggle for survival in the face of war and betrayal. Wolff is a new maestro.”

“This important book…brought home the complex and shifting situation in the Middle East and the danger of looking for simple explanations. I loved Jonas – the quiet man pushed by his own guilt into becoming a hero.”– Ann Cleeves, author of the Vera Stanhope series.

“Great characters, convincing detail and a compelling story. All too human MI6 desk jockey, Jonas, is no James Bond but he manages to stay one step ahead of his ex-employers, the CIA, Hezbollah, Isis and the reader right up until the final showdown in the desert.”–Charlie Higson, author of The Young Bond series

Mathematical, Mayhem, Mystery #BadDayInMinsk #JonathanPinnock #Crime #Action #Mystery #choppercrimebooks Twitter: @chopcrimebooks @FarragoBooks @annecater @RandomTTours @jonpinnock

“Mathematics expresses values that reflect the cosmos, including orderliness, balance, harmony, logic, and abstract beauty” – Deepak Chopra

Thank you to Anne from Random Things Tours, Farrago Books and Jonathan Pinnock for allowing me to be a part of the Bad Day In Minsk Blog Tour.

Sypnosis

Tom Winscombe is having a bad day. Trapped at the top of the tallest building in Minsk while a lethal battle between several mafia factions plays out beneath him, he contemplates the sequence of events that brought him here, starting with the botched raid on a secretive think tank and ending up in the middle of the Chernobyl exclusion zone.

More importantly, he wonders how he’s going to get out of this alive when the one person who can help is currently not speaking to him.

Join Tom and a cast of disreputable and downright dangerous characters in this witty thriller set in a murky world of murder, mystery and complex equations.

Author Biography

Jonathan Pinnock is the author of the novel Mrs Darcy Versus the Aliens (Proxima, 2011), the short story collections Dot Dash (Salt, 2012) and Dip Flash (Cultured Llama, 2018), the bio-historico-musicological-memoir thing Take It Cool (Two Ravens Press, 2014) and the poetry collection Love and Loss and Other Important Stuff (Silhouette Press, 2017).

He was born in Bedford and studied Mathematics at Clare College, Cambridge, before going on to pursue a moderately successful career in software development. He also has an MA in Creative Writing from Bath Spa University.

He is married with two slightly grown-up children and now lives in Somerset, where he should have moved to a long time ago.

Review

I had not read any of Jonathan’s work before. I was drawn in by the Sypnosis. It sounded intriguing and I developed a real thirst to read it. I also have a significant fear of Mathematics. I am useless at it. So as I have an interest in reading things that challenge me; I got stuck in.

I realised as I began that this is the fourth in the ‘Mathematical Mystery’ series. It can be read as a stand alone. That being said I loved this story so much I have ordered the first 3 in the series. This was a chaotic, yet awesome read. It really makes Maths interesting whereas I have to say Maths is not something I find that enthralling. This story makes me want to pick up a Sudoku!

Mathematical papers and the Mafia. What an awesome concept. Tom is being hunted by them…something to do with…something! I cannot give too much away because you have to read this book. The pace is phenomenal. The different events are fabulous a Chernobyl Prison camp escape and home-made Vodka (I love Vodka…I would have drank it), gun porn and quite frankly mayhem. Why would you not want to read this?

There are some fantastic characters and some crazy turn of events. The narrative is just great. Brilliant prose, tremendous dialogue, great structure and whilst a mad read I could follow it with ease. There is also humour and just outright funny moments.

Brilliant, addictive, mathematical class. Highly recommended.

Cheers

Ben

ChopperCrimeBooks

Other Information

Short, Sharp and Savage #ShadowsOfHell #DuncanThompson #Horror #ParanormalFiction #Humour #choppercrimebooks Twitter: @chopcrimebooks @Damppebbles @dthompsonauthor @PantherPubs

In the middle of the journey of our life I found myself within a dark woods where the straight way was lost” –

Dante Alighieri

Sypnosis

When a man of heavenly worth sins in Hell, darkness shall reign upon the earth

A message from the other side – an omen of the impending apocalypse. A message intended for one man, the only man who can prevent Armageddon, saving the soul of every man, woman and child on Earth. That man is Joe Costello.

But, not only is Joe trapped in the underworld, he is also the same man who has the power to unleash the shadows of hell upon the world.

Inspired by Dante Alighieri’s The Divine Comedy, Joe must battle his way through the nine circles of Hell – his escape being the key to salvation. Not only will he face all manner of Hell’s demons, he’ll also face his own.

However, Joe is not alone on his journey, as he is guided through each level of Hell by medium and psychic, Layla Thorne. Shadows of Hell is the epic follow-up to Shadows of the Woods.

Author Biography

Duncan Thompson has spent most of his life in a small market town in West Yorkshire — the same town in which most of his stories are set under the guise of Ravenfield. Duncan has been writing works of fiction since the age of seven.

In those early days, his stories often involved himself and his friends being transported to fantasy worlds. However, as a teenager, Duncan fell in love with horror movies and his writing took a whole new direction.

Duncan works in financial services and lives with his partner and their two young children. He also has slight obsession with Spider-Man, the actor Bruce Campbell, as well as having an addiction to vinyl records, coffee and Lego.

Review

For your information this series and this latest edition is absolutely tremendous. This particular series of books will may you think of the

Duncan from the beginning hooked me in. I read the first book in the series to get context. The second book continues with an encounter with the “Shadowmen.” Sacrifices, blood spilt, being taken away from his fiancée as he died…or did he? The exploration of astral projection (crazy stuff) a subject matter I knew nothing about. Great continuation of events from the series opener. And my what an explosive opener to this one.

Settings in the book are so vividly depicted. They are places you would not want to venture into. Hell I would say is not somewhere any of us want to go. I love the development here without giving too much away. The story touches on the different stages of grief in their extreme form. Loss and sorrow is explored in a significant and powerful way. Grief does strange things and this has been depicted in such a masterful way. Loneliness filled with sex is common.

The idea of “Shades” in Hell. Truly terrifying, the sulphuric stench, and how people react to them. The Devil as well was depicted in a certain way and Joe was tortured in such a way that I have to admit I squirmed. I found some of this content troubling, yet intriguing. And of course it leaves your previous thoughts of what the Devil well and truly at the door, I imagine the Devil is what none of is can imagine. Duncan has achieved that here with this brilliant novel.

I have to ask Duncan where do you get your ideas from? I was rooting for Joe I wanted him to get the hell out of there. The question is will he? His family and fiancée believe him dead, but really he is floating around in the fiery, shadowy furnace below, with others by the way who are begging to be released and saved by him. Come on Joe get out! He really is stuck in a state of Purgatory.

There is also the humour. This is why I felt “The Evil Dead” inspiration is so pertinent. There are some laugh out loud moments whilst trying to get out of the worst possible place you can ever be.

All in all such a great read. Brilliant stuff and highly recommended.

Cheers

Ben

ChopperCrimeBooks

Other Information

Tough, Gritty, Pulsating #TheKhan #SaimaMir #OrganisedCrimeFiction #CrimeFiction #choppercrimebooks Twitter: @chopcrimebooks @RandomTTours @annecater @SaimaMir @PointBlankCrime

“Never open your mouth,unless you’re in the dentist chair” – Sammy Gravano

Thank you so much to Anne from Random Things Tours, Saima Mir and Point Blank Crime books for allowing me to be a part of The Khan Blog Tour.

Sypnosis

Be twice as good as men and four times as good as white men.

Jia Khan has always lived like this.

Successful London lawyer Jia Khan is a long way from the grubby Northern streets she knew as a child, where her father, Akbar Khan, led the Pakistani community and ran the local organised crime syndicate. Often his Jirga rule – the old way – was violent and bloody, but it was always justice of a kind.

Now, with her father murdered, Jia must return to take his place. The police have always relied on the Khan to maintain the fragile order of the streets. But a bloody power struggle has broken out among warring communities and nobody is safe.

Justice needs to be restored, and Jia is about to discover that justice always comes at a cost.

Author Biography

Saima Mir is an award-winning journalist and writer. She has written for The Guardian, The Times, The Independent and The Daily Telegraph, and worked for the BBC.

Her work appeared in the anthology, It’s Not About the Burqa in 2019, and The Best Most Awful Job in 2020. Her novel The Khan is being published by Point Blank and is due on in January 2021. The Khan has been optioned by BBC Studios.

Saima is a recipient of The Commonwealth Broadcast Association World View Award, and The K Blundell Trust Award. Saima’s work has been longlisted for The SI Leeds Literary Prize, and The Bath Novel Award.

Her screenplay Ruby & Matt has been optioned by Rendition Films.

Review

Without doubt this is my novel debut of the year so far. I am a fan of both AA Dhand and Imran Mamood. So of course when this novel popped up I jumped at the chance as Dhand, Mamood and Mir have similar writing styles.

I was filled with intrigue. A successful London Lawyer originally from the streets must return to head the crime family after her Father’s murder. In doing that she faces the haunts of her past, whilst assessing and reflecting on her new life choices. I was hooked.

I am a fan of strong female Protagonist’s who kick ass. One who takes a lead and will do what it takes. Jia Khan does just that. Some people may not be sure about her. I definitely am. To be a Gangster you need to be cold and distant to protect yourself. To be a lawyer you also need to be cold and distant. Jia Khan was the perfect candidate to take over the syndicate. Saima Mir has delivered a character who could continue for many more stories to come. The story itself describes the setting of Bradford, cold, wet and just downright tough and gritty. The racial divides, misogyny, the violence. It is graphic, brutal, gritty. Yet it shows you real life. The subjects discussed are so very important. It is great stuff.

Of course when Jia returns to Bradford to lead the organised crime syndicate. Another syndicate tries to muscle their way in and push them out. This is classic Gangster behaviour. When one is limping move in for the kill. Jia has to find a new way rather than the old way known as ‘Jirga.’ Her Father’s associates want to ‘fight fire with fire’ bloodshed is the only way. Jia wants to try new methods.

To be fair a lot has been landed on Jia. Father is murdered, returning to an old life she tried to leave and then leading an organised crime syndicate and then of course leaving the new life she has just built behind. Of course their is a husband who is estranged. I think she handles things masterfully. The development of this character happens so quickly and she slots into role fast.

I think if you want to read a masterclass in crime fiction then this is your go to. The prose, narrative and plot are just excellent. I cannot fault such a great debut. I also read that the BBC have optioned this. If it graces our screens I will be the first to watch it.

Highly, highly recommended.

Cheers

Ben

ChopperCrimeBooks

Other Information

Splendid, Spy Game, Sass #VeraKellyIsNotAMystery #VeraKelly #SpyThriller #PoliticalThriller #RosalieKnecht #choppercrimebooks Twitter: @chopcrimebooks @verve_books @noexitpress @rosalieknecht

“Scouting is like CIA work and investigative work. You create a lot of stuff and try a lot of stuff. Some works and some doesn’t. I try to get creative” – Masai Ujiri

Thank you to Hollie at No Exit Press, Verve Books and Rosalie Knecht for allowing me to be a part of the tremendous Vera Kelly Is Not A Mystery Blog Tour. What a fantastic sequel to this brilliant series.

Sypnosis

The ‘splendid genre-pushing’ (People) Vera Kelly series returns in full force as our recently out-of-the-spy-game heroine finds herself traveling from Brooklyn to a sprawling countryside estate in the Caribbean in her first case as a private investigator.

When ex-CIA agent Vera Kelly loses her job and her girlfriend in a single day, she reluctantly goes into business as a private detective. Heartbroken and cash-strapped, she takes a case that dredges up dark memories and attracts dangerous characters from across the Cold War landscape. Before it’s over, she’ll chase a lost child through foster care and follow a trail of Dominican exiles to the Caribbean. Forever looking over her shoulder, she nearly misses what’s right in front of her: her own desire for home, connection, and a new romance at the local bar.

In this exciting second installment of the Vera Kelly series, Rosalie Knecht challenges and deepens the Vera we love: a woman of sparkling wit, deep moral fiber, and martini-dry humor who knows how to follow a case even as she struggles to follow her heart.

Author Biography

Rosalie Knecht is the author of Who Is Vera Kelly? and Relief Map. She is the translator of César Aira’s The Seamstress and the Wind (New Directions) and a Center for Fiction Emerging Writer Fellow. She resides in New York City.

Review

Yooooo, pay attention. This series is quite simply the best do not read this blog without buying both of the Berea Kelly books. I read the opener and was blown away. I read the sequel and I am on the frickin’ moon.

Vera Kelly continues to be a brilliant protagonist manifestation. With wit, cool, morals, tough as f*ck and a part of her identity that society then and sometimes now has a problem with. I think all in all she is a well rounded, brilliant individual. To be honest with you people should look at Vera and be like this woman is seriously awesome and I want to be her and aspire to be her…For goodness sake I want to be her and I am a bloke!

So the character development is losing her role in the CIA which was devastating to her and her relationship ended, both in one day. Writers can be mean, however; this is Vera Kelly. Nothing can stop her. So forget one career pathway and choose another…be a Private Investigator.

The story involves her finding a boy who is missing in the country if the Dominican Republic. The family of the boy have political weight. I will not much more the story is too good for me to give away. The setting, the culture, the history, it is all on the page for you to see. I would love to know how Rosalie conducts her research? She is quite simply brilliant.

Great narrative, brilliant prose, awesome plotting and characters to seriously please you and enjoy.

Highly, highly recommended.

Cheers

Ben

ChopperCrimeBooks

Other Information

‘Rosalie Knecht is an audacious talent, and her latest novel a propulsive, subversive gem. [Vera is] one of the most compelling and complex characters in modern fiction… an intriguing mystery that will keep you guessing until the very end’ – Lauren Wilkinson, author of American Spy

‘Rosalie Knecht has resurrected the detective novel for the 21st century. Sharp, self-possessed, and with a nuanced, meaningful knowledge of realities and histories well beyond her own, Kelly’s take on who’s lying and why makes for riveting reading in every scene. I tore through this book’ – Idra Novey, author of Those Who Knew

‘Impossible to put down and just begging for a third installment’ – Bookpage

Electrifying, Stunning, Powerful #TheDistantDead #HeatherYoung #BookReview #BlogTour #Mystery #PsychologicalThriller #CrimeFiction #choppercrimebooks Twitter: @chopcrimebooks @annecater @RandomTTours @Verve_Books @HYoungAuthor

“The only people for me are the mad ones: the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who… burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow Roman candles” Jack Kerouac

So sorry this is late blog issues. Also Instagram, email issues the lot. Hope to have post on Instagram today as well. Thank you to Anne from Random Things Tours, Heather Young and Verve Booms for allowing me to be a part of The Distant Dead Blog Tour.

Sypnosis

A body burns in the high desert hills. A boy walks into a fire station, pale with the shock of a grisly discovery. A middle school teacher worries when her colleague is late for work. By day’s end, when the body is identified as local math teacher Adam Merkel, a small Nevada town will be rocked to its core by a brutal and calculated murder.

Adam Merkel left a university professorship in Reno to teach middle school in Lovelock seven months before he died. A quiet, seemingly unremarkable man, he connected with just one of his students: Sal Prentiss, a lonely sixth grader who lives with his uncles on a desolate ranch in the hills. The two outcasts developed a tender, trusting friendship that brought each of them hope in the wake of tragedy. But it is Sal who finds Adam’s body, charred almost beyond recognition, half a mile from his uncles’ compound.

Nora Wheaton, the middle school’s social studies teacher, dreamed of a life far from Lovelock only to be dragged back on the eve of her college graduation to care for her disabled father, a man she loves but can’t forgive. She sensed in the new math teacher a kindred spirit–another soul bound to Lovelock by guilt and duty. After Adam’s death, she delves into his past for clues to who killed him and finds a dark history she understands all too well. But the truth about his murder may lie closer to home. For Sal Prentiss’s grief seems heavily shaded with fear, and Nora suspects he knows more than he’s telling about how his favorite teacher died. As she tries to earn the wary boy’s trust, she finds he holds not only the key to Adam’s murder, but an unexpected chance at the life she thought she’d lost.

Weaving together the last months of Adam’s life, Nora’s search for answers, and a young boy’s anguished moral reckoning, this unforgettable thriller brings a small American town to vivid life, filled with complex, flawed characters wrestling with the weight of the past, the promise of the future, and the bitter freedom that forgiveness can bring.

Author Biography

Heather Young earned her law degree from the University of Virginia and practiced law in San Francisco before beginning her writing career. She received an MFA from the Bennington College Writing Seminars, and has studied at the Tin House Writers’ Workshop and the Squaw Valley Writers Workshop. She lives in Mill Valley, California, with her husband and two children. The Lost Girls is her first novel.

Review

Let me start by saying this is a fantastic debut read. It has a slow burn, which I love and touches on the Crime Noir genre. It drew me in. Tremendous stuff.

The plotting itself was fabulous. The back stories are a complex and interesting read. Difficult family dynamics, drugs and abuse. The story has a raw and gritty edge to it. Such depth and such important societal issues, which are sadly all over the world. Every writer has a duty to explore these issues and Heather has done just that.

The story itself is dark and sinister. A burned body Adam Merkel discovered by a child whom he was helping. More trauma. There are many questions about what happened and the role of the child. Enter Nora Wheaton (more stories about her please) who investigates with a determined relentlessness and for her the truth must prevail.

The writing really is flawless. I was blown away by the fact that this is a debut. The characters really are tremendous. The pace, narrative and prose are out of this world. Such depth, complexity and emotion. It really is an electrifying, stunning and powerful read. Heather Young is a future star and bestseller no doubt!

Highly recommended.

Cheers

Ben

ChopperCrimeBooks

Other Information

“Bright, flawless writing, wonderful characters, and a sense of pacing that ratchets up the tension—what more could you want from a thriller? I loved this book. I bet you will too.” — Rene Denfeld, bestselling author of The Child Finder and The Butterfly Girl

“Powerful…a breathtaking read, with flawed and authentic characters who hit so close to home that at times it is impossible not to root for them.” — San Francisco Chronicle

“This emotionally resonant saga, firmly rooted in the high desert hills, will keep readers turning the pages.” — Publishers Weekly

“Engrossing…an enjoyable character-driven murder mystery that is emotionally poignant and empathetic.” — Mystery Scene

“[THE DISTANT DEAD] is at heart about the timelessness of human curiosity, the eternal possibility of forgiveness, and the everyday miracle of survival. Electrifying, ambitious, and crushingly beautiful .” — Kirkus Reviews

“With her usual blend of inventive storytelling and gorgeous prose, Heather Young delivers big themes and a poignant coming-of-age story in this complex, page-turning mystery/thriller. The Distant Dead is not to be missed.” — James McLaughlin, author of Bearskin

A BookPage Best Book of 2020

A People Magazine Best Book of Summer

A Parade Best Book of Summer

A Crime Reads Most Anticipated Book of Summer

Touching, Emotive, Tense #TheImposter #AnnaWharton #BookReview #BlogTour #Mystery #PsychologicalThriller #choppercrimebooks Twitter: @chopcrimebooks @annecater @RandomTTours @whartonswords @MantleBooks @panmacmillan @RKbookpublicist

“He who claims to be sure of something for which there is no evidence is a fool, and he who acts on the basis of what cannot be proved is an imposter” Han Fei

So sorry this is late blog issues. Also Instagram, email issues the lot. Hope to have post on Instagram today as well. Thank you to Anne from Random Things Tours, Anna Wharton, RK Book Publicist, Mantle Books and Pan Macmillan for allowing me to be a part of The Imposter Blog Tour.

Sypnosis

They say you can’t choose your family . . . But what if they’re wrong?

Chloe lives a quiet life. Working as a newspaper archivist in the day and taking care of her nan in the evening, she’s happy simply to read about the lives of others as she files the news clippings from the safety of her desk.

But there’s one story that she can’t stop thinking about. The case of Angie Kyle – a girl, Chloe’s age, who went missing as a child. A girl whose parents never gave up hope.

When Chloe’s nan is moved into care, leaving Chloe on the brink of homelessness, she takes a desperate step: answering an ad to be a lodger in the missing girl’s family home. It could be the perfect opportunity to get closer to the story she’s read so much about.

But it’s not long until she realizes this couple isn’t all they seem. In a house where everyone has something to hide, is it possible to get too close?

Author Biography

Anna Wharton has been a print and broadcast journalist for more than twenty years, writing for newspapers including The Times, Guardian, Sunday Times Magazine, Grazia and Red. She was formally an executive editor at The Daily Mail. Anna has ghostwritten four memoirs including the Sunday Times Bestseller Somebody I Used To Know and Orwell Prize longlisted CUT: One Woman’s Fight Against FGM in Britain Today. The Imposter is her first novel.

Review

This is a fantastic read. It explores the highly emotive and difficult subject which is “Dementia” and one of the diagnoses that being Alzheimer’s. There are many other forms of Dementia, Alzheimer’s being the most aggressive. It is very divisive and destroys family dynamics. Having worked with people who suffer with it and had a family member who was a victim of it I can safely say that Anna has covered the subject brilliantly.

The story itself tells the story of Chloe who works for a newspaper as an archivist and how she supports and cares for her her Grandmother alongside her work. Of course working in this field you would stumble across all sorts of amazing stories. Chloe does find such a story of a missing girl and the story goes…

Well without giving you too much, her Grandmother disappears from a cemetery. It of course leads to a mass search and a care home at the centre of the controversy; it does start a topic of discussion about the lack of resources to support some people in care homes. My own Grandma went missing with this disease many years ago and was found in the city centre on a Friday night amongst the revellers. I wonder how old she was in her mind in that moment and what drew her there. Chloe’s Grandmother was most certainly in a similar moment.

Of course her Grandmother going missing inspires Chloe to look into the disappearance of the girl Angel she found in the archives as she now has time to do so as her Grandmother is still missing. She speaks with the parents of the missing girl Angel. This of course causes old wounds to reopen and grief to manifest itself. Touching stuff.

This was slightly outside of my usual read. However, this did not stop me enjoying it. Great narrative, excellent plotting and tremendous thought has gone into this.

Highly recommended.

Cheers

Ben

ChopperCrimeBooks

Other Information

‘This pacy novel really is one of the best pieces of fiction I have read this year’Fiona Mitchell, author of The Swap

‘A slick, clever book that delivers the most chilling and claustrophobic setting: moving the narrator into the home of the character you fear the most. You won’t be able to stop page-turning until you finally find out what the hell is going on’Caroline Corcoran, author of Through the Wall

‘A compelling story of obsession and loneliness’Nell Pattison, author of The Silent House

‘I read it in one sitting and loved it! It grips and drags you into ever darker, more terrifying territory right up to the last paragraph’Tasha Kavanagh, author of Things We Have in Common

‘With an intriguing and obsessive protagonist, it’s a tense and compelling read that kept me turning the pages until the final twist’ Debbie Howells, author of The Bones of You

Modern, Midsummer, Murder #DeadInTheWater #ChrisMcDonald #BookReview #BlogTour #Mystery #Crime #PoliceProcedural #choppercrimebooks Twitter: @chopcrimebooks @RedDogTweets @cmacwrites @RousselMeggy

“When you prepare for something, it’s like jumping into cold water, but you’re prepared. You jump in. And you start swimming, or if you don’t swim, you drown” – The Rza Wu-Tang Clan

Thank you to Meggy from Red Dog Press and Chris McDonald for allowing me to be a part of the Dead in the Water Blog Tour.

Sypnosis

Stonebridge is a small town on the north coast of Northern Ireland. Most of its inhabitants are friendly, happy people. Most of them…

Because bad things happen even in the happiest of places. It’s a good thing, then, that Adam Whyte and Colin McLaughlin call Stonebridge home. Armed with an encyclopaedic knowledge of detective shows, a misplaced sense of confidence and a keen desire to see justice done, these two are the closest thing the town has to saviours. Which isn’t that reassuring…

DEAD IN THE WATER

The Stonebridge Regatta is looming. The town’s annual face-off against neighbouring Meadowfield is usually a weekend filled with sunshine, laughter and camaraderie.

This year is different.

A week before the race, the body of Stonebridge team captain Matthew Henderson is found dead in the water. The police file his passing as a tragic accident however, his grieving widow disagrees and suspects foul play is involved. She enlists the help of Adam and Colin, the town’s amateur (self-proclaimed) private detectives to unearth the truth.

Did Matthew simply slip and fall into the water, or is there more to his death below the surface?

Author Biography

Chris McDonald grew up in Northern Ireland before settling in Manchester via Lancaster and London.

He is the author A Wash of Black, the first in the DI Erika Piper series, as well as the forthcoming second – Whispers In The Dark. He has also recently dabbled in writing cosy crimes, as a remedy for the darkness. The first in the Stonebridge Mysteries will be released in early 2021.

He is a full time teacher, husband, father to two beautiful girls and a regular voice on The Blood Brothers Podcast. He is a fan of 5-a-side football, heavy metal and dogs.

Review

So any of you who are real Mystery buffs will remember the days of A Touch Of Frost or Midsummer Murders (which I think still does rerun’s?).

I certainly remember Saturday nights at my Gran’s House watching these classics. Or perhaps more recently Broadchurch (which was actually filmed on my Gran’s street) The Stonebridge Mysteries definitely fall into that classic Mystery category.

This is not a criticism in fact reading this type of Mystery, as strange as it seems, does provide me with a familiar Saturday night feeling. So thanks Chris appreciate it! So you will of already guessed that I absolutely love this read. It follows on perfectly from the Daniel Costello mystery.

It is hard to review such a top notch novel, that is short in length, without the danger of giving anything away. However, just because it is short do not let it put you off. This is a classic Mystery piece. Truly you will not be disappointed.

Adam and Colin returning has brought me joy. They are amateurs, but will put some professionals to shame. I love the brilliance of their sleuthing relationship. A great pair of characters and I can tell they have many more stories to them. In fact I think the challenge to Chris would be to write a set of novels about them individually. I would certainly read them.

This as said is the classic whodunnit. It has a great narrative, great prose and dialogue, a brilliant twisty turn of events and a great setting for a perfect British murder mystery.

Highly recommended.

Cheers

Ben

ChopperCrimeBooks

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Dark, Twisty, Material #KillShot #CavendishandWalker #SallyRigby #BookReview #BlogTour #PsychologicalThriller #Crime #PoliceProcedural #choppercrimebooks Twitter: @chopcrimebooks @Damppebbles @sallyrigby4

“Match fixing is a dirty game. It crushes the talents of sportsman and sportswomen” – Mona Sethi

Thank you so much to Emma from Damppebbles and Sally Rigby for allowing me to be a part of the Killshot Blog Tour. There is a post to go on Instagram tomorrow. I am currently in Instagram jail!

Sypnosis

The game is over…..there’s nowhere to hide.

When Lenchester’s most famous sportsman is shot dead, DCI Whitney Walker and her team are thrown into the world of snooker.

She calls on forensic psychologist Dr Georgina Cavendish to assist, but the investigation takes them in a direction which has far-reaching, international ramifications.

Much to Whitney’s annoyance, an officer from one of the Met’s special squads is sent to assist.

But as everyone knows…three’s a crowd.

Kill Shot is the tenth book in the acclaimed Cavendish & Walker series. Perfect for fans of Simon McCleave, J M Dalgleish, J R Ellis and Faith Martin.

Author Biography

Sally Rigby was born in Northampton, in the UK. She has always had the travel bug, and after living in both Manchester and London, eventually moved overseas. From 2001 she has lived with her family in New Zealand (apart from five years in Australia), which she considers to be the most beautiful place in the world.After writing young adult fiction for many years, under a pen name, Sally decided to move into crime fiction. Her Cavendish & Walker series brings together two headstrong, and very different, women – DCI Whitney Walker, and forensic psychologist Dr Georgina Cavendish. Sally has a background in education, and has always loved crime fiction books, films and TV programmes. She has a particular fascination with the psychology of serial killers.

Review

I have now read some of the first 2 in the Cavendish and Walker series and now I have read 9 and 10. I reviewed the 9th one is January. So I am trying to keep to my word and read the series. I have to say so far I am not disappointed…I am engrossed!

Starting the story off with a murder of a snooker sports star may sound “old” to some and “hasn’t this been done before? However, do not be out off by this brilliant hook. The terrible event does ensure all figures if suspicion are pointed at the the Usual Suspect, which of course is the lifelong friend and partner of the murdered individual in question. There is always a murky reason behind a murder and in this case it is the criminal underworld of match fixing. Again it sounds like it has been done before, yet there is depth to this story.

There are a turn of events that are fantastically depicted. A number of red herrings that draw you and then throw you off the scent. This really is a classic crime story. With as mentioned all the Usual Suspects involved. The story is fluid and this is aided by again the brilliant Cavendish and Walker. They have a unique and dynamic relationship. I love their development and the way they work together against the darkness of the criminal underworld is brilliant. As always there is conflict during the Cavendish and Walker cases and Sebastian Clifford helped with that to perfection.

Another great edition to the series. Great work. Brilliant structure, prose and narrative and usual.

Highly recommended.

Cheers

Ben

ChopperCrimeBooks

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