Never Say Goodbye. Richard Parker

Never-Say-Goodbye-Kindle

 

There’s a serial killer on the streets of London, and the investigation is not going well.

When the SIO dies suddenly the investigation is handed to DI Tom Fabian, and his team are tasked to take over after 4t victim is discovered.

The only thing to connect the victims is the way the face is mutilated during the killing. With no links between the victims the initial team have struggled to identify any potential suspects, so how are Fabian and his team going to have any success where their predecessors failed.

When the penny drops, and the link is found, it is almost so tenuous that it seems like a coincidence. But the more the team look at it the more it makes sense.

The problem is, by following the pattern, they can identify any number of potential victims. So how do they prioritise, can they protect the next victim without starting wide spread panic.

Once they’ve identified the pattern it should be easy to identify who is doing the killings. Shouldn’t it?

Richard Parker was a TV script writer, script editor and producer and has written some excellent stand-alone thrillers.

With his pedigree it’s not surprising that this is one of the best books I’ve read, and that’s mainly because of its plot. So many books these days struggle for originality; but I can honestly say that the way the victims are chosen in this book is something I’ve never come across before.

Never Say Goodbye is billed as being the first in a series. All good series need good characters to make you want to find out what happens to them next.

Parker has penned a great little team that it was easy to engage with.

DI Tom Fabian is in his mid-forties, he’s recently divorced and has a teenage daughter. He is what he is, a dedicated Police Officer whose family life has suffered because of the job.

DS Natasha Banner is in her late thirties, she’s married with a son, and is an intensely private person for somebody in the Police

DC Finch, “he’s never going to make DI but he’s good at what he does”

This little team start to develop throughout the book and each one has a story that gets the reader hooked.

But for one of them, there is about to be a very nasty shock.

In a book that kept me turning page after page, until I had read it all  in one sitting, the very last paragraph took my breath away. This book leaves one hell of a cliff hanger.

I can honestly say that the last hundred words of this book made the hairs on my arms stand up.

Mr Parker, please hurry up and write the next instalment.

Pages: 246

Publishers: Bookouture

Available now

I Never Lie Jody Sabral

IMG_2321

Split between the current day, and diary entries from last year, this is one of the most original plots I have ever read.

Alex South is a 39-year-old alcoholic. She is also a TV journalist who is has already had one “episode” on live TV.

When a woman is found murdered, in a park just around the corner from her house, Alex gets another chance and is sent with her cameraman and producer to the crime scene.

This is the third woman to be killed in similar circumstances in a few weeks and the press are saying there’s a serial killer on the streets.

The book is written in the first person from Alex’s point of view. The struggles of getting through the day without appearing drunk, trying to keep the balance between the sober shakes, and the outward drunk.

She struggles with panic attacks and blackouts. Her memory is shot, and things she did 24 hours ago are hazy at the least.

But she’s functioning, she’s managing to carry herself professionally, and convinces herself that she will get sober……one day. But first she needs to be the investigative reporter on-the-spot for the serial killer murders.

This book is brilliant. Jody Sabral is a journalist and so she knows the business, and it shows in the realism of this story. But what really puts this book above the others is the realism with which she treats the alcoholism of Alex.

The self-destructive cycle of life. Waking up in the morning convinced today will be a sober day, but reaching for wine instead of coffee, and there’s always a justification.

The pure panic when no booze is available. The waking up, sometimes next to a complete stranger, and having no idea who they are, or how you got to bed, and then actually finding comfort in somebody just being there.

The walking out of a shop with a bottle of wine, or vodka, in your bag you had no intention or recollection of buying

The water bottle with vodka in it.

The belief that you’re fooling the people around you.

I loved this book. The story is great, the characters are really well written, and I didn’t get anywhere near guessing the end.

Pages: E-book 951KB

Publisher: Canelo

Publishing Date: 11 June 2018

The Next Girl Carla Kovach

 

The-Next-Girl-Kindle

When I read the synopsis for this book I was expecting another Police Procedural with a twist of Psychological Thriller. There would have been nothing wrong with that, in fact that is my favourite genre of book. But I got much more than that, I got a book that made me think about the affects investigating crimes can have on people, because not all Police Officers are as tough as they make out.

 

DI Gina Harte is the head of a small team of officers. At work she is a strong woman, at home she is having problems in her relationship with her grown up daughter. Harte, a widow, had been the victim of domestic abuse but how does she tell her daughter that. Especially as her daughter is arranging a memorial service for her dad, who she thinks the world of.

 

Harte is also in need of a confidence building bit of TLC, but she is also concerned about starting a relationship, especially one that could interfere with her job.

 

When a baby is discovered abandoned in a small village it is Harte’s team that is tasked with investigating where the baby came from.

 

At the same time a young father is struggling to get over the disappearance of his wife 4 years ago. He too is struggling with his feelings as he starts to slide into a new relationship. Guilty that he has feelings for the new woman in his life, and guilty about being unfaithful to his missing wife, Luke is struggling enough.  When DI Harte knocks at his door his confusion is about to get much worse.

 

As Harte and team look at the case of the abandoned baby, and re-open the 4 year old missing persons case, it soon becomes evident that they are linked.

 

Harte continues to have run-ins with her daughter who has always blamed her for putting her job first. She finds her TLC in an unusual place, and with both these things playing on her mind she tries to lead the investigation.

 

This book takes the reader into the troubled worlds of a Police Officer who has been a victim and is struggling both professionally and personally, and a victim who has never had closure and is struggling to find direction in his life.

 

Those that read my blogs will know I love characters to have a good back story and an element of an ongoing personal life. Well this story has given me that and wrapped around it is a great crime story.

 

I like it when a book I like appears to open up the possibility of a series.

 

Well it says on the Amazon page Detective Gina Harte Book 1.

 

Bring on Book 2. I really enjoyed Book 1

 

Pages: 300

Publishers: Bookouture

Publishing Date: 2nd April 2018.

The Baby Sitter Sheryl Brown Blog Tour

The Baby Sitter - Blog Tour

The Baby Sitter, by Sheryl Brown was released to the world yesterday, the 8th March 2018.

I reviewed this book earlier in the year and that review will appear just below here.  Since my review I have read a lot of others about the Baby Sitter, and it’s fair to say it has been a bit of a mixed bag.

I’m firmly in the I Liked It, camp.

It’s a good story, it’s the type of story that could easily be true; and because it could be true it’s the type of story that can play with your head.

The story holds no big surprises, it is quite transparent and easy to predict, but that’s what makes it so good. I spent a lot of time shouting in my head why can they no see what’s going on.

So no matter what you have read, give it a go.

I did

And I enjoyed it

My review

The Baby Sitter     Sheryl Brown

8 years ago young Grace watches as her house burns down. Her Mom, her sister, and her Moms latest husband are trapped inside. Grace doesn’t care.

When a Police officer finds her hiding in a bush he takes her to the detective in charge of the investigation, DI Mark Caine.

Today, Mark and his family are living happily in a small town. The house next door suffers a fire and the new neighbour, a single young woman, Jade, is left homeless.

Mark and his wife Mel hardy know the woman but when they find out she is a qualified child minder they agree to take her in to look after their children so that Mel can start to concentrate on her art.

What could possibly go wrong

Anybody who has watched a film which includes a “bunny-boiler” will know what comes next, but strangely this book hooked me. Even though I thought I knew what was coming next, most of the time, it was written in such a way that I wanted to carry on reading, and at times its scary reading.

When Jade moves in things start to go bad. At first its little things that could be put down to other people mislaying things, but she is evil and her activity starts to intensify.

Nothing is sacred, pets, kids, wife, husband. What is he after? Why is she doing what she is doing, or more to the point, how will she be stopped and will everybody survive to tell the tale.

There is a lot to like about this book, the plot, the characters, the way it’s written.

There were times when it made me cringe, in a good way. At the beginning I nearly put it down, ten pages later I was glad I didn’t.

I finished it. I enjoyed it.

About the author

 Sheryl Browne brings you powerful psychological thriller and contemporary fiction. Her latest psychological thriller THE BABYSITTER – the first of a three-book deal – comes to you from fabulous BOOKOUTURE. A member of the Crime Writers’ Association and the Romantic Novelists’ Association, and previously writing for award winning Choc Lit, Sheryl has several books published and two short stories in Birmingham City University anthologies, where she completed her MA in Creative Writing.

So why does Sheryl write in two genres? Quoting E. L. Doctorow, Sheryl says: “Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can only see as far as your headlights…” This she thinks sums up a writer’s journey, you never quite know where you are going until you get there. You might start with an outline, but a strong character will always divert from the plot. If Sheryl’s not sure where a character is going, she simply has to trust him to show her the way. Plus, according to one reviewer, she also has a scary insight into the mind of a psychopath.Please do find out more about Sheryl at www.sherylbrowne.com

Sleeper 13 Rob Sinclair

IMG_2221

 

This is the first Rob Sinclair book I’ve read but it certainly isn’t going to be the last.

For years my favourite author was Robert Ludlum, with books like the Matarese Circle and The Icarus Agenda. Then I found Tom Clancy and his Jack Ryan books. Both of these writers produced brilliant Iron Curtain spy and counter espionage books.

The world has moved on, and the threats from terrorism have taken over from the threats from the Soviet Block.

Rob Sinclair has taken over the Ludlum/Clancy crown at the very top of the suspense novel genre, and writes about the modern day every bit as good as Ludlum and Clancy wrote about the Soviet threat.

Sleeper 13, Aydin, is a young man who as a boy was taken from his London home by his father, and passed over to a Jihad terrorist school, The Farm, where he became one of 13 boys who were taught how to be dangerous terrorists. Then, in the finest fashion of the old soviet spy schools, they were sent back to their own countries all over Europe to wreak havoc.

Living a normal life the 13 sleepers wait for instruction from their leader. Number 1, Wahid a vicious thug who rose to the top because of his brutality at  The Farm.

Rachel cox is a British Secret Service agent who has heard rumours of the existence of The Farm and its 13 graduates and is trying to substantiate their existence.

Working in Syria she has several informants one of them is Aydin’s sister, Nilay, who looking for her brother.

When Nilay is killed in a suicide bombing it’s not just Rachel who’s affected. Aydin sees her death reported on the news.

This is enough for the already conflicted Aydin to break away from his role in the upcoming terrorist attacks and seek out those responsible for his sister’s death. When it becomes apparent that his fellow graduates had ordered her death because she was getting close to exposing them he is left with only one mission. Kill them, but most of all, Kill the man he holds responsible Wahid.

Meanwhile Cox is still having trouble convincing her bosses of the existence of the 13 and the threat they impose.

Working towards the same target, but for different reasons, Cox and Aydin race across Europe attempting to reach members of the 13. Cox is trying to thwart one of the worst imaginable terrorist attacks, Aydin is trying to revenge his sister’s death by killing his “brother” Wahid.

Pages: 432

Publisher: Orion

Publishing Date UK: 1st march 2018.

Unconvicted Olly Jarvis

IMG_2195

 

Jack Kowalski is a 26-year-old Defence Barrister. Being so young he not only has to navigate the Laws, Ethics, and Traditions of the Court room but he also has to put up with the bullying ways of some of the more senior Barristers and Silks in his own Chambers.

When a man, who is apparently insane, rapes his wife, Jack gets the case and manages to get the man released from custody. A few days later the same man is arrested for murdering his wife.

Jack now has the moralistic dilemma faced by many defence Barristers.  Did he get guilty man acquitted, and did that man go on to murder his wife.

Owing in some small part to his success in that case, and largely because of his Polish heritage, Jack picks up a second rape case to defend; that of a prominent young footballer.

Has the player really raped the girl or is she no more than a tabloid whore who is out to ruin the young man.

This story is so on point for today’s news that it is almost anticipating tomorrows headlines.

Jack is a great character and the dilemmas he faces are very real for people who work on the defence side of a criminal trial. As the story follows Jack through the Court proceedings it brings up things which we are seeing on a daily basis in the news. Men named and shamed, victims anonymity, issues of disclosure, or lack of it and misleading information being tendered to both Prosecution and Defence.

The story looks at the snobbism which is rampant in the Court hierarchy and how difficult it is to be a young Barrister in an old established system. But the most impressive thing for me is the way Jacks thoughts and feelings are established on the page.

Many times I have sat in Court, as a Prosecution Expert, and wondered how the people working on the defence could balance their own convictions and ethics with what was playing out during a trial.

As a work of fiction, this is about the best I’ve read when it comes to modern day proceedings and the people involved in them

 

Pages: 318

UK Publisher: Canelo

Available on Amazon

Now You See Me Blog Blitz

AD2CA6B3-3852-497E-88DE-CFF1C352B9D1

 

Today I’m taking part in the Blog Blitz for Now You See Me by Kierney Scott.

I like finding new authors with the promise of producing good books in the future. With Kierney writing this book she has hopefully opened up the door to a great new series featuring Detective Jess Bishop.

I hope she has, and if she has I’m glad I was along for the ride from the very beginning

There’s a description of the book below, along with my original review, a bit of a bio, and some useful links.

My Review

Introducing Special Agent Jessica Bishop, a name I think we are going to get to see a lot more of.

Five foot two, red-haired, big breasted, and intelligent. She has studied for her PhD in Psychology and is brilliant at analysing every move a person makes and every word they say.

Too good to be true? Yes, she’s flawed, very flawed.

During the book her history becomes known and gives credence to the way she behaves in her social life. She has a very blasé attitude to close personal relationships, she uses men in a way that would have most of us running for the hills.

In total contrast she is fiercely protective to her work partnerships.

When a torso is recovered from a bayou in Louisiana Jess and her Partner are sent to investigate. This is the third body to be found with the same wounds in three months. Working with her new partner Nash she starts to look for connections between the victims.

All is going well until her ex-partner, Jamison Briggs, returns from a two-year undercover operation.

Jess can handle the return but Briggs and Nash don’t get on. The conflict starts to affect the investigation and things start to take a turn for the worse when a forth body is found and Jess begins to see connections to her past. Will keeping the connections to herself, to keep her secret, harm the investigation and put people in danger.

From the muggy, oppressive, murder scenes in the bayou; to the seedy pub washroom stress-relief scenes in Washington, the story thunders to an end which made me hold my breath for way to long.

This book is utterly compelling. The story takes second place to the introduction of the characters for the first half of the book, but comes into its own in the second half.

Those of you that read my blogs know I enjoy the characters and the way they develop through series. I think that Jess and her team are going to be fantastic, if somewhat complex, people to get to know.

Pages:318

Book Description

 

As she saw his face for the first time, she knew he was going to kill her. She just didn’t know when.

When the dismembered body of Lydia Steiner is found washed up in the waters of a blisteringly hot Louisiana swamp, Detective Jess Bishop knows for certain this isn’t the murderer’s first kill.

Three other dismembered bodies have been found, all bearing the same marks. Marks that strike fear into Jess’s heart. They are identical to those from a case she’s spent her entire career trying to forget.

As Jess and her team try to link the victims, another body is discovered and they fear the serial killer is taunting them. They know it’s only a matter of time before he kills again.

As the body count rises, and the hunt goes cold, Jess knows she has to confront her past in order to catch the killer, even if that means making herself the bait…

Now You See Me is a gripping and heart-stopping thriller full of twists and perfect for fans of Robert Dugoni, Karin Slaughter, Robert Bryndza and Lisa Gardner.

 

Author Bio:

Originally from California, Kierney Scott lives in Edinburgh, Scotland with her husband and their daughter.

In her spare time she likes to read and invent new recipes. Her stuffed peppers are particularly popular with her family, as are her grain-free chocolate chip cookies. In an effort to convert her family to the joys of pumpkin, she created the Great Pumpkin Challenge. For the ten weeks before Thanksgiving, they tried a new pumpkin recipe every week. Pumpkin arancini and pumpkin queso were a big hit. She has promised her daughter to never again roast pumpkin and call them chips.

She loves hearing from readers. If you would like to get in touch, you can email her at KierneyScott@gmail.com or follow her on twitter @Kierney_S
Amazon Links: 🇬🇧 UK http://amzn.to/2gAyqYF

🇺🇸 US http://amzn.to/2wAxw7C

Author Social Media Links:

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/kierney.scott

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/kierneyscott/

Twitter:      https://twitter.com/Kierney_S