I have been lucky enough to be in to this series since it started, and here, in book 12, we have the best one yet.
Where Angela Marsons manages to pull new, original, and gripping plots from, whilst keeping us engaged in her cast of central characters, is a mystery but long may it continue.
Detective Inspector Kim Stone works out of Halesowen Police Station. A perfect place to set a crime series as it sits right on the edge of the Black Country and the rambling countryside, giving Angela plenty of scope to have realistic crimes in real areas.
This book stretches across both. Vulnerable people are being recruited around Dudley and introduced to a “retreat” at the remote Unity Farm.
That alone wouldn’t come on Kim’s horizon but, when a girl is found dead that does. At first inspection it looks like a suicide but something pricks at Kim’s mind and she looks a bit deeper. Before long she is convinced the girl has been murdered and that the scene has been staged.
Why did the girls social media footprint end 3 years ago. Why are her parents behaving suspiciously when they talk to the Police.
Meanwhile more bodies are found and some tenacious work by one of the team manages to link the finds with people who went missing under dubious circumstances
Eventually Unity farm becomes the focus of inquiries but how can the team penetrate the façade that the owner puts up of an innocent retreat.
I’m not taking this any further because I don’t want to give the plot away. Needless to say it’s a gripping story, and for those of you who have read the other books you know that nobody is safe and that not all of the books have a happy ending.
This made this book even more suspenseful. There were time when I caught myself holding my breath. There were other times when I exclaimed out loud, prompting raised eyebrow from my wife.
I’ve been with this series from the start and its one of the few that goes straight to the top of my to-be-read pile as soon as it becomes available.
Patricia Gibney has a wonderful talent for writing stories with multiple strands whilst keeping the character count down.
She uses the incestuous nature of criminals, and the vulnerability of victims, to make the books realistic and enthralling.
The main character is Lottie Parker, and those familiar with the series will be aware of the ups and downs of her life and the life of her family. Although the family are front and centre in most of the books, all of them can easily be read as stand-alone crime thrillers. Just as much detail is put into her team and their continuing story.
But as well as her family, and her team, the main threads of each story revolve around the crimes, and they are all brilliant.
Broken Souls starts with the discovery of a woman hanging in a bathroom, dressed in a wedding dress. Nobody thinks this is suicide but when another woman dies in similar circumstances everybody’s worst fears are confirmed.
But, there are more crimes taking place and Lottie becomes convinced that the life of a young girl is in danger.
Never one for sticking too closely to the rules Lottie goes a bit maverick in her efforts to solve the crime and locate the young girl.
In doing so will she put herself into danger.
This book is a real page turner, if I had the time it would have been a one sitting read, unfortunately things like work get in the way.
The story is addictive and fast paced. It’s not often a cup of coffee gets chance to go cold on me but I got so carried away towards the end of this book, one went stone cold.
An absolute gem of a series, and absolute gem of a book.
Her Silent Cry is the 6thBook in the Josie Quinn series written by Lisa Regan.
I have been lucky enough to have been on board with this series from the start, and I’ve loved every book. So could this one live up to my expectations. Definitely.
The main character Josie Quinn has had a rough ride, from childhood to Detective, and that story alone would be worthy of its own book, but you won’t be left behind if you read this as a stand-alone.
Lisa Regan has a way of writing that I rarely come across. She manages to make the read comfortable, whilst covering the most horrific of crimes. This is never “cosy-crime”, but the stories always slide by really quickly.
Her characters are amazing, Quinn is feisty, pretty, stubborn, and a hell of a good cop.
Her partner Noah is a bit of a mystery to those that don’t know him, and there’s a good reason for that, but Quinn knows him, and they spark together brilliantly
The victims suffer, and boy do some of them suffer, at the hands of some of the best criminals in fiction at the moment.
The setting is perfect Denton, a small town in the US surrounded by forests and mountains means Regan can set just about any crime she wants in a realistic surrounding, but the best part is the isolation she finds in scenes set in the wilds. If it was a film I’d be watching from behind the sofa
So here’s my review of Her Silent Cry, book six in my favourite American Crime series
Her Silent Cry Lisa Regan
For once Detective Josie Quinn is having some time off and has taken a friends young son to the park for a day out. The piece is soon shattered when a 7 year old girl goes missing, right from under her parents noses, in the same park.
Off duty or not Josie is soon directing operations to try to find the girl. Joined by her team, and a good proportion of the local community the search proves fruitless.
Against her boss’s best wishes Quinn calls in a specialist FBI team that specialise in investigating the abduction of children.
The FBI and Quinn’s team are at a loss to identify the abductor, until a phone call to the parents strikes fear to everybody’s hearts. Their demand, or lack of it, is chilling, and would be every parent’s nightmare.
Quinn has formed a good relationship with the family and the FBI begin to rely on this, but is she getting all the information she needs from them.
This is a cracking story.
One simple crime, an abduction, strikes fear into the community, but things start to get worse.
Lisa Regan has built a strong community of characters in this series. She uses their emotions and feelings to permutate through the story and build up the suspense.
Unlike most series any of these books can be read as a stand-alone. The reader will learn bits of the back stories of the main characters, without being left wondering what is going on.
The setting is perfect. A small City with plenty of isolated rural areas, which allows Regan to set parts of the book in a built up area, whilst having all the suspense of settings in remote country areas.
This book, and this series, ideal for fans of crime series written by the likes of Angela Marsons, Patricia Gibney, Carol Wyer and Graham Smith.
The beautiful DC Beth Young is back, and back with a sickening crime to investigate.
A man has been attacked in his home, nearly every bone in his body has been broken in a systematic attack. What is even more disturbing is the reveal of how the attack took place.
As the man fights for his life in hospital Beth tries to find his attacker, but the motive for such a specific attack is evading her and her small team, and it doesn’t help that the man’s wife knows nothing about his early life.
With such an unusual crime it is a surprise when another victim is found with similar wounds.
The team continue to struggle to find any leads until they get a break……but that would spoil the book, so I’ll leave it there.
Graham Smith has created a great character in Beth Young. I if you have read any of the previous books you will know that her beauty is mired by a wicked scar on one side of her face. It happened before she joined the police and the police never caught the person who bottled her in a pub, but she got a look at a distinctive tattoo on the neck of one of the men who was fighting when she got in the way and received the injury.
She’s been looking for that tattoo since she joined the police. This has formed a great back story through the series, and the cliff hanger in the last book was she found her man. But what is she going to do about it?
This forms a brilliant backdrop to the main story in this book. How does a cop get revenge for a crime that happened to her years ago…….again no spoilers
This series is set in the Lake District, and area which most people consider a nice quiet area of countryside to holiday in. Graham Smith looks at it from another angle. Transient communities, big isolated houses, remote areas where nobody can witness crimes. It is an ideal place to set a crime series, and Graham uses it to its full extent.
Don’t be fooled by the setting. This is not some cosy-crime story. This is a full-on story of a terrible series of crimes that would rock any community. It is a terrific read.
As if this series needed a hook to get you into a book. Yet Angela Marsons has started this one with the most original, and toe curling, murders of the series.
The book starts with a murder in a kids playground. It’s a bit of a mystery where this murder fits in as its set years before the main body of the book, but fit in it does, and it’s part of a brilliant mystery.
Moving forward to the present day Kim and her team are called to a murder in a local park (and when I say local its where I take my dog for a walk most days). The murder victim is posed and the murderer has left a signature, but what does it all mean.
Kim lets her team work to their strengths. Stacy is set to work trawling the internet, whilst Kim and Bryant hit the streets.
The newest member of the team, Penn, is called back to his old team, and the story that unfolds for him is every Police Officers worst nightmare. Has he put the wrong man in jail. This story alone would have made a great book.
Kim is also fighting the Brass in the Police force. Owing to recent reviews showing that officers are burning out, along with the constrictions of austerity, she is forced to make her team work the case on a 9-5 basis, she and they hate it.
To make up for the lack of Penn, and the lack of available work hours, Kim is given a new officer, a 24 year old PC called Tiffany, who is a bubble of energy and enthusiasm. At first Kim, and Stacy, try to reject the help but soon realise they are stuck with their new yappy (and for us from the Black Country Yampy) puppy of an officer.
As the bodies mount Kim’s team are stretched to the limit. Will burn out claim any of them?
Book 11 in the DI Kim Stone series and again Angela Marsons has given us a brilliantly crafted book.
It’s no secret this is my favourite series in the crime fiction genre. I do wonder sometimes if it’s because the books are set where I live, but then I read the blogs from other reviewers around the world, and realise that if they were set in Mongolia I’d still love the stories.
Angela Marsons has created a fictional team in a real world. The crimes she writes about are all too realistic. The worries and concerns of the Police Officers, the Victims, the Witnesses, and the Criminals are written in a way that lets the reader engage. Empathy and sympathy for some characters, and anger at others are emotions which each of the books evokes aplenty.
In my very first blog, about my life and how reading has been my companion, hobby, and at times escape, I recall how I read all of the Sven Hassle war books on my first ship. I wrote how when I’d finished the series I felt like I’d lost some friends. I don’t know when this series is going to end, I hope not for a while yet, but I have the feeling I’m going to miss Kim and her Team just as much, and probably a lot more.
Today sees the publication of the latest in the DI Lottie Parker series by Patricia Gibney. So is book 6, FINAL BETRAYAL, as good as the rest of the series? Of course it is.
I recently read that the series had reached the milestone of 1,000,000 copies being sold. This should have come as no surprise. At the end of each year I get a break down of the statistics from my web site. In 2017 and 2018 the reviews of Patricia’s books were in the top three most viewed on my site. The stats also show that many of the hits come from the US. In the “gumph” sent out by her publishers, Bookouture, it states that she is a best seller in the UK, USA, Canada, and Australia.
All of this has to be a testament to how good these books are, but why do so many people take Lottie to heart and follow her investigations in the Irish town of Ragmullin.
Well a lot of it is down to just how realistic the crimes are, how engaging the characters are, and how the story always weaves its way through several story lines, knitting together a tale that has the reader hooked from start to finish.
That can only be done by a really skilled writer, but there’s more to it than that. I find that the best writers are the ones who have lived a life and experienced the real world. Patricia has certainly done that. Widowed way too early, and left with a family to bring up I’m sure there is more than a bit of her in the main character Lottie Parker. Lottie is also a widow bringing up a family. I don’t think Patricia’s family is anything like Lottie’s, but I suspect a lot of the worries of a single Mom are used in the stories, and to great effect.
Just beneath this paragraph is my review of FINAL BETRAYAL. Book 6 in one of the best crime series available at the moment. I can’t wait to read Books 7, 8, 9………. And hopefully lots more.
Final Betrayal Patricia Gibney
The sixth book in the series, where has that time gone, and every bit as good as the rest.
The small Irish town of Ragmullin is again going to be devastated by murder.
When two women go out on the town together, they get separated, one of them pulls and the other can’t be bothered to wait around for her friend.
When one of the women is reported missing Lottie starts to investigate, she soon finds out that both are missing, and it’s no surprise when they are found murdered.
The killer has left a clue, or is it their signature, but what does it mean.
At same time two other things are happening. A man is released from prison after doing 10 years for a serious assault which eventually ended in his victim dying; and Lottie’s family comes under threat from within.
With Lottie concentrating on the murder of the young women, the last thing she needs is her half-brother meddling in her life, but he does, and he opens a real can of worms.
Part of the investigation see’s the Police covering old ground. A property developer is renovating the Old Courthouse. He’s not the most honest of people and has been on the peripheries of investigations in the past. Has he stepped over the line this time, or is he just a puppeteer trying to manipulate people to get his deals done.
Inevitably this book races to a thunderous end.
Patricia Gibney has a way of writing a story that has so many threads. It’s a bit like the rail tracks just outside of a main station. Lines running parallel to each other, and occasionally crossing, before they end up at the same destination.
In this case the threads cross numerous times as the different incidents, and investigations, drew close to each other and either crossed or veered off again. This made for an epic compelling story
I look forward to getting reacquainted with DI Lottie Parker every time a new book comes out, and I’m yet to be disappointed. In fact, every time one comes out, I make the same mistake of picking it up and starting, not realising I’m going to get very little done until I’ve finished it. Yes, it happened again, I read this book over two days, well I did have to stop to sleep.
This is book six in the series. Can it be read as a stand-alone, yes. Should it be read as a stand-alone, no.
If you haven’t met Lottie Parker yet start with first book and read them in order. You will get so much more out of them if you do.
Roz Watkins has a way of writing books that I find refreshing and fascinating. Taking a piece folk law, or urbane myth, and interweaving a modern crime she arrives at a book which is a realistic crime thriller with a touch of horror novel. In fact I can’t make my mind up who would be the most proud to call her a student of their genre, Colin Dexter or Stephen King. If you are a fan of either you’ll love this book, if you are a fan of both, this is really going to get your juices flowing.
DI Meg Dalton is a recent transferee to Derbyshire from Manchester Met Police. She not only has to battle the “she’s a know it all from the big Force” brigade but also prove herself better than the men from Derbyshire she was promoted over to get her job as SIO in one of the MIT’s covering the Peak District.
When she stumbles across a crime scene Meg is suddenly immersed in an investigation that seems to have one strikingly obvious outcome.
A man is dead in his house, his daughter is found running through the woods covered in blood. When Meg traces the child’s steps back to the house, she realises the crime has happened in a premises where the Police have had numerous calls to report a stalker but have done little or nothing about it.
The investigation leads Meg and her team down one route, the little girl appears to have killed her father, but Meg is not convinced.
So, why is this book a bit on the horror genre, well the little girl, her name is Abbie, has had an organ transplant, and everything seems to suggest that somehow the organ she has received is affecting the way she now behaves.
To add to that the house that the murder took place in is wrapped in folk law and has connections with a past series of sacrificial killings.
It’s up to Meg to work out who the murderer is, and what the motive was behind the killing.
This story is complex in places with different characters swapping hypothesis to suit their own agenda, more than one of which is purely because they want Meg to fail.
But the story is absolutely brilliant. Like all the best books it had me Googling about things I wasn’t aware of, such as Cellular Memory Phenomenon, and yes it does exist.
What a subject to identify to base a crime story on, and to keep it so realistic. Brilliant.
This book is the second in the series, The Devils Dice is the first, but can easily be read as a stand alone but once you’ve read it you will want to read first.
I really can’t wait for the third book in the series.
Her life did not have the best start. A mother that abused her and her brother in a way that finally led her brother’s death. Pushed from care home to care home with foster families sprinkled throughout her childhood, she has a lot of life experience to fall back on. That is one of the things that make her a good cop.
Nobody really knows her whole story. Friends have been few and far between, and none have ever found out about her complete background.
So when DI Kim Stone attends a murder in a high rise tower block she is mortified to see the scene is staged to mimic the final days of her brother’s life.
It must just be a coincidence.
Of course not.
Crimes start to happen on her patch that she can’t help but think are connected to her in some way. Or is she finally cracking up, is this paranoia a sign that she needs help.
As the investigation into the murder gets underway another murder mimics a traumatic event in her life.
Ok no coincidence, somebody is playing with Kim’s head and murdering people in the process.
What is the killers end game, kill more people, or destroy Kim???
The team need to catch the killer before they lose their boss, one way or another.
Ten books ago Angela Marsons introduced us to a series of characters based in the Black Country.
The main character is DI Kim Stone. A DI in the Major Investigation Team in Halesowen Police Station in the West Midlands.
Halesowen is a small town on the outskirts of the urban sprawl that makes up the Metropolitan Borough of the West Midlands. Its right on the border of what most people would call the area of greater Birmingham, and the sprawling countryside of Worcester.
It’s actually in the borough of Dudley, one of the seven boroughs that make up the West Midlands, but more importantly it’s part of the Black Country.
That is what makes it such a special place to set crime stories.
Dudley has some of the most affluent parts of the West Midlands, close to the country, and some of the poorest parts where it borders Sandwell. It has rich gated communities, run down industrial areas, and some of the poorest social housing estates in the UK. Its population commute into Birmingham City Centre to sit in smart offices and high end retail shops, or work in the manufacturing, scrap metal, or haulage business.
The black Country has a hard working history, and this ethic is seen daily in its population; but just like everywhere else there are the freeloaders who never intend to do a day’s work as long as the state will give them benefits.
Then there are the people who pray on both ends of the community. Drug sellers target the rich with designer drugs and well cut class A drugs, and at the same time pray on the vulnerable with less well, and dangerously cut, class A drugs and marijuana.
Addicts are addicts and once hooked will look to fund their next hit. The desperate will turn to crime.
Prostitution has been forced indoors over the last decade with sex being sold in private flats or thinly veiled massage parlours. This has led to illegal immigrants being forced into the sex trade alongside some desperate local people.
Illegal immigrants are also being used as slaves in retail and manufacturing.
Street kids are turning to violence.
Post code gangs are frequently a problem, fighting for territory to sell their wares, both human and chemical.
But most of its population are just your average family members trying to get along with their neighbours.
So, as you can see, Angela Marsons has chosen a great area to set her crimes. Just about anything that could make up a serious crime happens in the area, and so can be portrayed realistically in her books.
The characters she writes about are just as real as her crimes.
Kim Stone is epic. A kid-from-care made good.
In the first few books her character is established as one of the best cops in British Crime Fiction, her back story is slowly revealed showing how her life has evolved and how she has become the successful detective she has.
Her team also have good back stories. The ever reliant Bryant, her Detective Sergeant is every bit as fundamental to these stories as Lewis is to Morse, or Watson is to Holmes. He acts as her stabiliser and suffers the frustration of seeing Stone struggling through some investigations, but more significantly her personal life.
DC Stacy Wood, the quiet detective that is really good at information trawling and working on a computer, but not so good on face to face encounters. Watching her develop through the series, as she finds her confidence, and becomes a tour-de-force of a cop, is something that would not ever be achieved this well in a single book, or short series.
DC Kev Dawson, young, handsome, cock-sure, but an integral part of the team. His character changes as much as Woods, but in a totally different way.
Then there’s the fringe characters that keep recurring, Keats the pathologist with his love hate relationship with Stone. The Forensic Teams, and Senior Police Officers
Then there’s reporters. One in particular, that has a strange relationship with Stone, to say they use each other when they want something is an understatement. But they both know they need each other and their fraught working relationship is entertaining throughout the series.
Of course, there’s the criminals. A vast array of them over the ten books, all realistically written, all with back stories to help the reader engage with them. Some of them recurring through several stories; and for every criminal there’s a victim who is equally well portrayed, often eliciting as much empathy as sympathy from the reader.
That brings us back to this book. DEAD MEMORIES finds Stone and the team looking at some of their past investigations as a murderer appears to be using Stone’s history to set their crimes. Is it a message to her, or is it the prelude to an attack on her. Is somebody trying to ruin her reputation, her life, or kill her.
What a book. This series just keeps going from strength to strength.
This is book 4 in the Detective Josie Quinn series, my favourite American crime series of the moment.
Quinn is career Detective working in the Denton Police Department. Denton is a small City with a small Police Force, but enough crime to keep everybody busy.
Quinn picks up the worst of the cases, with good reason, she solves them.
But this case is going to tax her and her team to the limits.
One of the other detectives on her team is missing, and a young man has been found dead at her home, shot in the back.
As much as everybody wants to think Gretchen is innocent, and that there is a good explanation, nobody except Quinn is really convinced she is not responsible for the young man’s death.
When Quinn begins to look into the case she realises just how little she knows about Gretchen, even though she hired her, and she had become one of her closest confidants.
The investigation leads Quinn to New York where she finds out more about Gretchen than she imagined. The woman had lived a nightmare for years and nobody knew.
The investigation takes in historical murders, under-cover cops and outlaw biker gangs.
The threads of this web weave one hell of a story that gradually leads to an outcome that I never saw coming.
Lisa Regan writes great stories. I love the character Josie Quinn. She is tough but vulnerable. Her back story is laid out in the first 3 books in the series and I can’t recommend reading them highly enough.
It’s no secret that I love crime series books that have underlying stories for the characters. This is one of the best, and as usual when I finished it, I wanted to read what Quinn is up to next.
Today it’s my turn on the blog tour celebrating the publication of Patricia Gibney’s TELL NOBODY. Book 5 in the DI Lottie Parker series.
I’ve been a big fan of this series since the first book was published.
Patricia Gibney spins some serious multi-layered crime thrillers, with a remarkable set of characters living out some very realistic crimes.
Each book has had me hooked from the first pages and this one is no exception.
I recently recommended the series to a friend who was looking for some books to read on holiday. When they got home his wife gave me a hard time because he’d had his head buried in his Kindle for most of the holiday. He like me was hooked.
The fact that he’s a Policeman can only be a testament to just how good the stories are, and just how realistic the crimes and characters are.
Here’s my original blog, written a few weeks ago.
TELL NOBODY Patricia Gibney
Patricia Gibney has a way of hooking me from the very start of each book.
This one starts with an unknown woman running away from something or someone. She is in terrible pain and blacks out.
The story cuts to a boys football match, a final, everybody should be happy, but not everybody has a caring and loving family to support them.
Mikey Driscoll had scored the winning goal in the Cup Final, as he is on his way home he is picked up and given a lift. Two days later his body is found.
What comes next is a story that follows DI Lottie Parker and her team as they investigate Mikey’s murder. Then more bodies start to be found, and the pressure is on to find the killer.
But that is far too simplistic a description of the book.
This book doesn’t just look at the murders. Patricia Gibney looks at family dynamics, and how not everything in the family is how it seems to somebody looking in from the outside.
Latch key kids, bingo moms, single men and women bringing up families, teenage angst, unlikely friendships, all play a big part in the story.
And it’s not just the victims and criminals that are having a hard time.
Lottie, her son, two daughters and grandchild, are all living with her Mom, and its driving her crazy.
Her home had been destroyed in a fire and she is renovating her new house. But even that comes at a cost, to her and somebody close to her.
At work, her boss has it in for her, and would like nothing more than to see her fail.
The chemistry between Lottie and her DS is still bubbling along, but she is terrified to take comfort in his arms.
This series of books is great. The attention to detail that Patricia Gibney gives to the stories make them amongst the most realistic books I’ve read.
As well as the crimes in the books there is the ongoing story of Lottie, her family, and her team, and for me, that’s where she has the edge over most Crime Writers these days.
I love these books, and look forward to each new one that’s published.
This is the 5thin the DI Lottie Parker series set in the mid-Ireland City of Ragmullin.
Although it can be read as a stand-alone novel to get the best out of it I would recommend reading the series in order. Follow Lottie her family and her team as Patricia develops and grows the characters and their relationships.