In The Silence. M.R. Mackenzie



Zoe is a Dr of Psychology who specialises in crimes against women. She lives and works in Rome, but spent much of her youth in Glasgow.

Returning for a friends party she does not realise she is about to bump into an old acquaintance at the party. She also doesn’t know that that acquaintance is going to end up dying in her arms in a park in the very early hours of the morning.

At first Zoe is a suspect, in fact she’s a suspect all the way through the book, but she decides to keep some information from the police and try to investigate the killing herself.

Doing this she discovers some nasty truths about some of the people she used to know, she also allows a supressed memory to surface.

The question is not just who is the killer, but why, and how many other people are they going to kill. The Police seem clueless. Zoe is beginning to make headway but is also putting herself in danger.

The story is good, the characters are good but there was one thing in this book that really got on my nerves.

Zoe comes home to visit party girl Anna, and M.R Mackenzie has written her dialog in phonetic Scottish. I’ve seen this work in books before but for some reason this just seems a bit OTT in this book.

If you can get past the way Anna speaks this book has a great story.

I like the crime book which concentrates on people outside of the Police Force. People who are affected by crimes; the witnesses, the families, people caught up in an event.

Mackenzie has found a great way to unravel a crime mystery using this technique. It makes the book feel a bit more like “that could be me”, and that’s what makes it such a good thriller.

Publishers: Bloodhound Books

Grave Island Andrew Smyth


Have you ever wondered where your prescription drugs and medicine come from. No? Neither had I until I read this book.

Army investigator Philip Hennessey finds himself discharged from the service when evidence is planted on him to suggest he has broken military protocol. Out on civvy street he is asked to use his investigative skills to look into the death of a friend-of-a-friend.

This leads to him digging into the private hospitals of London and where they get their drugs from.

What a can of worms that opens. The illicit trade in drugs is massive. Drugs brought cheap in 3rd world countries and repackaged for the UK market, and sold at UK prices, are making people a semi-legitimate profit. But people who are prepared to do that are one step away from buying out of date drugs, which are worse than useless. People who are prepared to do that are one step away from buying completely illegal counterfeit drugs to supply to hospitals.

It’s not long before Hennessey is embroiled in an investigation which takes him around the world, putting him in danger from more than one quarter.

This is a really good story from a modern day Hammond Innes. Believable and realistic it leads the reader on a race around the globe to stop the trade in illegal drugs.

I loved this story. It took me right back to the thrillers I used to read back in the 70’s and 80’s, but with all the modern twists.

I enjoy books that get me reaching for google to research places and crimes, and this book had me doing that a lot.

A great read for people who are looking for an adventurous yarn, perfect for holiday reading or just sitting down at home and escaping the real world.

Pages: File Size 1899KB

Publisher: Bloodhound Books

Available now

Pressure Betsy Reavley


Ten characters, all of who are given at least one chapter written in the first person.

All stuck on a submarine that has sunk.

All of who, are getting killed one by one.

Then there’s the flash backs to the child who suffers at the hands of their mother, her boyfriend, and school bullies, also written in the first person.

The research submarine Pica Explorer has been hired by Frank Holden, a disgraced film producer who bears a striking resemblance to Harvey Weinstien, to make a low budget film.

During filming the sub breaks down and sinks to the bottom of the sea. The ten people on board are told they have about a week of oxygen, and set about waiting to be rescued.

Then they start to get killed, one-by-one the bodies start to pile up. Those surviving start to look at each other with paranoia.

The question of who is the killer, is almost as important as who will not lose their mind.

As far as the plot goes, that’s it, it’s a wait and see who is still alive at the end process.

This book is a nautical version of And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie. It didn’t have to be set on a submarine, it could have been set in an isolated house in the Scottish Highlands, or a snowed in pub on Exmore, and would probably been better off of it was. There are a lot unreal things about the setting, things that are just wrong. Windows?

I have read a lot of reviews of this book before I wrote this one. This book is not as bad as some people make it out to be, but, its nowhere near as good as some people say it is.

It kept me entertained for a lazy Saturday, a bit of bubblegum for the brain. If that’s what you want, this is the book for you.


Pages: 220

Publisher: Bloodhound Books

Available now.

Something in the Water Catherine Steadman


Let me say from the beginning, I really enjoyed this book.

But, if it was a car it would have a 0-60 of about 5 minutes. Then however, it accelerates and takes you on one hell of a journey, that will have you gasping for breath.

The start of the book sees Erin Locke, a 30 year old documentary maker, digging a grave. But who is the grave for.

3 months earlier Erin was a young woman who was about to get married. Everything is perfect. She is about to start filming a new documentary about prisoners who are about to be released; her husband to be, banker Mark, is about as perfect as can be.

Then things start to go bad. Mark loses his job. The dream honeymoon turns into a nightmare when they find a bag following a storm.

The decisions that they make together, and those that Erin starts to make on her own, lead them into a steady spiral of danger, which will lead back to the start of the book and Erin digging a grave.

This story is brilliant and original. I have to admit I nearly gave in on it, the first 20% of the book is slow, but wow it was worth hanging in

Erin is one of those characters that you actually like and hate at different times in the book. The story is written in the first person, from her point of view, but I never felt like I actually knew her, or what she was going to do next.

It made for a great read, unpredictable and thrilling.

I got the feeling even Catherine Steadman didn’t know what Erin was going to do next, or how she would react to some of the situations she finds herself in, until she actually wrote them.

Holidays are coming and this would make a great poolside read.

Pages: 400

Publishers: Simon & Schuster UK

Publishing Date: 26th July 2018