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

Deep Fear Rachel Lynch

 

IMG_2310

 

Earlier this year I reviewed Dark Game by Rachel Lynch. The book in which she introduced us to DI Kelly Porter. It was one of the best debut crime thrillers I had read for a while so when I saw the second one was about to be published I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it.

Deep fear see’s the unassuming DI Kelly Porter still living at home with her mom and suffering harassment from her sister, who has her perfect life of Husband and family. But things are about to change Kelly’s Mom is ill, and spending a lot of time in hospital.

Meanwhile somebody is killing people in the Lake District and the pressure is on Kelly and her team to find the murderer.

People are being targeted then killed. The killer is posing their bodies to suggest the failings that lead them to be killed. Along with the murder, mutilation, and posing of the bodies, the killer is leaving cryptic clues in the form of quotes from the Lakes poets.

As the body count rises, in a very short period of time, the team struggle to find the connection between the victims which would help them identify the killer.

All the time Kelly is working hard on investigating the murders the pressure is on at home as her sister and her argue constantly bout their mothers care.

Will the duel pressure of work and home life be too much for Kelly? Can she devote enough time to both?

The story rattles along and has a terrific ending that left me open mouthed for a good few minutes after I’d finished it.

I have often heard the expression “the difficult second” usually attached to music artist and records, or actors and TV series. I always wonder if the second book in a series will live up to the promise of the first.

Well this one has, and more. This is a cracking book and I can’t wait to see what happens in the next one after the trauma of the end of this one.

Pages: Kindle size 1184KB

Publisher: Canelo

Publishing Date UK: 14th May 2018 available to pre-order on Amazon

The link below is to my review of Dark Game, the first in the Kelly Porter Series

https://nigeladamsbookworm.wordpress.com/2017/12/17/dark-game-rachel-lynch/

Tell No Lies Lisa Hartley

IMG_2212

 

Internal compartmentation in covert policing makes life dangerous for the undercover police officer; but, are Met and the NCA working with or against each other on this case.

The secrets that are being kept have far reaching effects on the investigation and the personal lives of some of the officers carrying it out.

There is a new drug baron in one of London’s suburbs. Actually, it’s more accurate to say the old one has been arrested and is in prison and some low-level dealers are trying to muscle their way into the big time.

But then a body is found tortured to death, and its linked to a second death that happened a few days earlier, that of a Policeman that died in similar circumstances.

The Met decides to send in a team of undercover officers.

This story follows Detective Caelan Small. At the start of the book she is recovering from a recent undercover operation that has damaged her physically and emotionally. She is given no choice go to work or go away. So, she assumes an identity she has used before and goes in search of information about the new drugs dealers.

She soon establishes that there may be more than one gang involved and that the dead Policeman may have been running his own investigation, “off-the book”

The investigation leads to some of the more salubrious areas of London, and this is where the book really comes into its own.

Lisa Hartley describes the areas and people of London involved in the gang and drugs culture very well. I was hooked by its reality.

The story is very fast paced. In fact I intended to read it over a week and ended up not putting it down, and finishing it in a day.

Its pace is breathless. The story takes place over just a few days and I felt like I was there with Caelan. Feeling her frustrations at her Senior Officers who were making decisions based on facts she could not be told, the frustrations of knowing other officers are working with her, but feeling they are working against her.

I felt the anxiety she feels when she has to make snap decisions, putting herself in danger, but more worryingly potentially putting others in danger.

The story is complex, and right up till the last page I had no idea how it was going to end.

I loved it

 

Pages: 331

Published by: Canelo

Publishing date: 19th February 2018

Dark Game Rachel Lynch

IMG_2145

2017 has seen the publication of some fantastic psychological thrillers, and if this book is anything to go by 2018 is going to see even more.

Kelly Porter is a 36-year-old DI in Cumbria; but that was not where she started her Police career, she has recently moved home from the Met, and she brings with her all the experience of an officer who has served time on an MIT in London.

However; she is not like most protagonists in this situation, she actively tries to not come across as the big-city-girl and is very easy to like. She is struggling with living at home with mom, and having an over-bearing sister living nearby, but as far as her job goes, she’s good and she just lets her professionalism speak for itself.

To start with she is given cold cases to review whilst she is mentored by her predecessor before he moves on to his new job. So, when she digs into the case of a girl who was murdered after being kidnapped during a family outing, and there appears to be a link to a current crime, she is soon thrown into the thick of a serious investigation and takes over as the SIO.

Amongst the small towns of the Lake District there is a growing community of immigrant workers. Amongst these workers are a community of illegal workers held against their will and forced into prostitution and drug abuse.

When one of the local businessmen dies whilst engaging the services of one of these sex workers it starts a chain reaction that uncovers layers of evil that unfortunately do not only exist in fiction.

The young girls forced into working as prostitutes; the human trafficking that gets them into the country, the vicious gangs that are responsible for the trafficking. Then there’s the other crimes that the gangs bring with them. Dog fighting, humans forced into fighting, rape and murder.

This book holds no punches, and certainly has no filters, as it follows Kelly Porters investigation into an ever increasingly serious criminal investigation.

Each new chapter holds another revelation, some of which I didn’t see coming; each of which seems to get more violent as the higher ranking criminals realise that Porter is working her way up the food-chain and is getting close to them.

People who read this blog regularly will know that I place a lot on reality. Rachel Lynch has done her research. The story is frighteningly realistic; the crimes, as they take place are described brilliantly. The crime scenes, and the effect they have on the Police, are stunningly written. The chain of events that transcribe the investigation are logical with no big leaps of faith. In fact, the way the investigation opens up, and the processes the officers go through, are perfectly written.

I hope this is the first of a series. If it is, the next one can’t come soon enough.

 

Published by Canelo

Publishing date: 29th January 2018.

The Wrong Man. Kate White

 

This book has me in a quandary. I really enjoyed the story but there were times when I found myself just wanting to say, “get on with it”

 

The story is based on Kit Finn, an interior decorator in New York. She is a slow and steady type of girl that decides he life needs a bit of a kick up the butt. So, when she goes on a trip to the Florida Keys she decides to blend a bit of business with a vacation. On the last night, she decides to throw care to the wind and spend the night with the handsome stranger she’s just met.

 

That is when her life takes a strange and dangerous turn. As the title of the book would suggest the stranger is not who he says he was. But why would he lie to her, and why arrange a second date.

 

Kit becomes involved in murder and deceit as she tries to find out why the mystery man would lie to her.

 

The story gets very modern day Nancy Drew as she ignores the advice of her friends and the Police and tries to unpick the things that are going on around her.

 

I know it’s not much, but I can’t say much about the story without giving away the plot.

 

Did I enjoy the book? Yes

 

Would I recommend it? Yes, but not to people who enjoy a dynamic story. Its more the type of book you’d buy your favourite Aunty who enjoys a good mystery as much as she enjoys a good chick-lit novel

 

Pages: 302

Published by: Canelo

Available on Amazon

The Body in the Marsh. Nick Louth

IMG_1962

 

A confession to start my review. Nick Louth has escaped my attention in the past. He now has my full attention, and his previously published books have just been uploaded to my Kindle.

This is a cracking book.

Set against the back drop of a Cold Case Review, of the Murder of a young girl known in the press as Child F; in which the Surrey Police are under intense scrutiny, the last thing the Major Investigation Team need is another complex, high profile case.

When Elizabeth Knight is reported missing by one of her friends the Police quickly establish she is the wife of Professor Martin Knight, one of the main protagonists in the attacks on Surrey Police, and the way they handled the Child F case. She is also the first love of Craig Gillard

DCI Craig Gillard is a detective in Surrey, but we first meet him halfway up a rock climb in the Lake District rescuing a damsel-in-distress. The damsel happens to be a PCSO from his own force, and proves a bit of a nice distraction throughout the book.

Returning to Surrey Gillard heads the investigation into the disappearance of Elizabeth Knight, which quickly turns into a murder enquiry as forensic evidence stacks up to indicate she has been murdered.

What’s more Professor Knight has also gone missing. Is this a domestic murder? Evidence soon starts to show the Prof is a bit of a player, and has been having affairs for years.

The investigation finds a link between a property, that Elizabeth owns and rents out, to a suspect in the new investigation into the killing of Child F.

Gillard’s team work on both cases, and struggle to make much headway into either. The frustrations of the investigations are wonderfully portrayed by Louth as the story ploughs its way to a not very inevitable end. But what and end.

There is a lot of crime fiction on the shelves, at the moment. Most book shops have a shelf with their top reads,  top recommendations, or top ten.

This book is destined for those shelves, right at the top. It has Number 1 best seller written all over it.

Pages: 360

Publisher: Cancelo

Available on Amazon