Blog Tour: Wolves in the Dark by Gunnar Staalesen @OrendaBooks


Goodreads|Amazon US|Amazon UK
Release date: June 1, 2017

Publisher: Orenda Books

Genre: Crime Fiction

Blurb: 

Reeling from the death of his great love, Karin, Varg Veum’s life has descended into a self-destructive spiral of alcohol, lust, grief and blackouts. When traces of child pornography are found on his computer, he’s accused of being part of a pedophile ring and thrown into a prison cell. There, he struggles to sift through his past to work out who is responsible for planting the material . . . and who is seeking the ultimate revenge. When a chance to escape presents itself, Varg finds himself on the run in his hometown of Bergen. With the clock ticking and the police on his tail, Varg takes on his hardest—and most personal—case yet. Chilling, shocking and exceptionally gripping, Wolves in the Dark reaffirms Gunnar Staalesen as one of the world’s foremost thriller writers. 

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Wolves in the Dark!


Review: 

I have to admit that I was pretty intimidated when I realized this book is the twenty first in a series, I mean there is just no way that I could possibly catch up at this point! But I had heard such great things about the author that I took a chance and just jumped in and man am I glad I did. I was needlessly worried as I had no problem reading this as a standalone and my fear would’ve made me miss out on a really gripping read. 

I love being thrust right into action the moment I start a book and that’s just what happened here. Veum is arrested on suspicion of having child pornography on his computer and immediately you can feel his desperation and panic. He’s clearly kind of a mess, he’s spent the previous few years reeling from the death of his partner and had many drunken nights that ended in a blackout. I have a soft spot for tragic heroes and he quickly managed to get under my skin as I hoped he would be able to swiftly extract himself from this nightmare. 

Following along as Veum pieced together fragments of his past was quite tricky, but really interesting to see how things eventually slotted together. This had a really tangled plot with a lot of separate threads, and as much as I struggled to figure out exactly what had happened, Staalesen masterfully joined things together in the end. His writing style was tight and sharp and so well intended, every word served a purpose and I was hanging off of each and every one of them.

I devoured this is one sitting despite the sometimes difficult subject matter at it’s heart. Child pornography is not something that’s easy to read about, but there was nothing overly gratuitous or overly descriptive in regards to that part of the storyline. 

This is classic Nordic Noir with a subtle pace, but it did have several heart pounding moments. There were also some jaw dropping surprises that threw me for a loop. The ending was satisfying but still left things wide open for the next book and I can’t wait to see what happens next. Fans of this series will be pleased and new readers will be fans as well by the end. 

Overall rating: 4/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.

About the Author: 


Gunnar Staalesen was born in Bergen, Norway in 1947. He made his debut at the age of 22 with Seasons of Innocence and in 1977 he published the first book in the Varg Veum series. He is the author of over 20 titles, which have been published in 24 countries and sold over four million copies.


Twelve film adaptations of his Varg Veum crime novels have appeared since 2007, starring the popular Norwegian actor Trond Epsen Seim. Staalesen, who has won three Golden Pistols (including the Prize of Honour), lives in Bergen with his wife. When Prince Charles visited Bergen, Staalesen was appointed his official tour guide. There is a life-sized statue of Varg Veum in the centre of Bergen, and a host of Varg Veum memorabilia for sale. We Shall Inherit the Wind and Where Roses Never Die were both international bestsellers.


Don Bartlett is the foremost translator of Norwegian, responsible for the multaward- winning, bestselling books by Jo Nesbo, Karl Ove Knausgaard and Per Pettersen. It is rare to have a translator who is as well-known and highly regarded as the author.


Blog Tour: Guilty by Laura Elliot @bookouture @Elliot_Laura


Goodreads|Amazon US|Amazon UK
Release date: June 22, 2017

Publisher: Bookouture 

Genre: Psychological Thriller

Blurb: 

It begins with a phone call. It ends with a missing child. 


On a warm summer’s morning, thirteen-year-old school girl Constance Lawson is reported missing. 


A few days later, Constance’s uncle, Karl Lawson suddenly finds himself swept up in a media frenzy created by journalist Amanda Bowe implying that he is the prime suspect. 


Six years later … 


Karl’s life is in ruins. His marriage is over, his family destroyed. But the woman who took everything away from him is thriving. With a successful career, husband and a gorgeous baby boy, Amanda’s world is complete. Until the day she receives a phone call and in a heartbeat, she is plunged into every mother’s worst nightmare. 


An utterly compelling psychological thriller that will keep you guessing to the very last page. Perfect for fans of Louise Jensen, Claire Douglas and Sarah Denzil’s Silent Child. 

I’m so pleased to welcome you to my stop on the blog tour for Guilty today! I also want to wish the author the happiest of publication days. 


Review: 

Guilty was a bit different than I had anticipated, it was divided into five separate parts and the first one was very frantic as it focused on the disappearance of a teenaged girl. Her case is resolved during this section, then part two details the aftermath. It mainly follows Karl, Constance’s uncle who was the prime suspect when she went missing and the media storm created by a local reporter named Amanda. Then parts three through five fast forward to years later and follow both families and explore how the case effected so many lives. 

Even though the beginning had the most rapid pacing I still found the book as a whole to be quite a page turner. I’m always intrigued by how the media’s influence can shift a criminal investigation and this played a heavy role here. Karl winds up losing everything dear to him and I couldn’t help but feel sorry for him. The rest of the characters were a pretty unlikable bunch, but  I was still so curious to see what would happen to them. I know that’s vague, but it’s for your own good! 

This was a book with a very complex plot and tons of unexpected moments and surprises. The power of revenge and righting perceived wrongs was another thing that grabbed my attention and held on tight and I really did love how things came together in the end. Elliot is a talented writer and she definitely had me under her spell, just be aware that this is not a nonstop, action packed thriller, rather it’s more moderately paced, but still extremely entertaining. 

Overall rating: 4/5

Thank to the publisher for my review copy. 

About the Author: 


Laura Elliot is an Irish novelist and lives in the coastal town of Malahide, Co. Dublin. She loves travelling. The beautiful South Island of New Zealand was the inspiration for her setting in The Prodigal Sister. The Burren in County Clare became the mysterious setting for Stolen Child and the Broadmeadow Estuary behind her home provides the background for The Betrayal. She has worked as a journalist and magazine editor. 

Website|Facebook|Twitter

Blog Tour: Serenity Harbor by RaeAnne Thayne 


Goodreads|Amazon|Author Website
Release date: June 27, 2017

Publisher: Harlequin 

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Blurb: 

Computer-tech millionaire Bowie Callahan is about the last person that schoolteacher Katrina Bailey wants to work for. As far as she can see, he’s arrogant, entitled and not up to the task of caring for his young half brother, Milo. But Kat is, especially if it brings her closer to her goal of adopting an orphaned little girl. And as her kindness and patience work wonders with Milo, she realizes there’s more to sexy, wary Bo than she’d ever realized.


Bo never imagined he’d be tasked with caring for a sibling he didn’t know existed. Then again, he never pictured himself impulsively kissing vibrant, compassionate Katrina in the moonlight. Now he’s ready to make her dream of family come true…and hoping there’s room in it for him, too… 

Review: 

Serenity Harbor is the sixth book in Thayne’s Haven Point series and this was my first experience with the author. I had no issues jumping in at this point as it looks like each book focuses on different residents of the same town, so while this one was about Katrina and Bowie, characters from the previous books made an appearance. I really like when authors build a series this way and I wish I had the time to go back and read from the beginning! Instead, I’ll just be happy that I found these books now and will continue to follow from here on out. 

This book had everything I’m in the mood for when I pick up a romance novel. It was super sweet without being over the top and cheesy, it had a great setting with a picturesque little town and characters that stole my heart. I like Kat and Bo well enough but the star of the show for me was Bo’s little brother, Milo. He’s a six year old little guy with autism who had a rough start to his short life. Anytime I watch a show or read a book with a character on the spectrum, I’m instantly interested. My son has autism so I’m obviously always on the lookout for characters with it as well and I’m always nervous about how they’re portrayed. I shouldn’t have worried as Thayne did a beautiful job and her portrayal was real, honest and highly accurate. She either has personal experience with autism or she did some fabulous research, either way bravo! 

Another thing that I really liked was that this was a clean romance, meaning no graphic love scenes. I’m not a prude, but oftentimes I find myself skimming over sex scenes, so the lack of them worked for me here. That doesn’t mean that there was a lack of chemistry between the two leads, there definitely was, it just focused more on them building a relationship based on more than physical intimacy. I love that, it’s a book I would be comfortable recommending to a teenager. I think this would appeal to fans of Nora Roberts or Kristan Higgins as the writing style was similar, or to anyone looking for a feel good read with heart. 

Overall rating: 4/5

Thanks to Claire at Little Bird Publicity for my review copy. 

Blog Tour: Liar by K. L. Slater @KimLSlater @Bookouture


Goodreads|Amazon US|Amazon UK
Release date: June 16, 2017

Publisher: Bookouture 

Genre: Psychological Thriller 

Blurb: 

How far would you go to protect your family? 


Single dad Ben is doing his best to raise his children alone, with the help of his devoted mother Judi. Life isn’t easy, but Judi’s family means everything to her and together, they manage. 


Then Ben meets Amber. Everyone thinks this is a perfect match for Ben but Judi isn’t sure … there’s just something about Amber that doesn’t add up. 


Ben can’t see why his mother dislikes his new girlfriend. And Amber doesn’t want Judi anywhere near her new family. Amber just wants Ben and the children. 


The further Judi delves into Amber’s personal life, the closer she gets to shocking secrets that could change everything. And Judi must make a decision that could lead to the most disastrous consequences. 

I am SO excited to welcome you to my stop on the blog tour for Liar today!!


Review: 

Back when I read Slater’s second book, Blink I said that her novels should come with a warning label and I still think this is true! Liar was every bit as addictive, engrossing and twisted as her previous books and Slater is quickly becoming one of my favorite psychological thriller writers and her books are total must reads for me. 

The beginning of the book is sharply clever as it starts with The End, as in the first page is labeled as such. It’s a shocking opening chapter filled with violence and terror, and then it flips back to The Beginning when Amber and Ben first meet. It’s mainly told by Amber and Judi, though there are a few important chapters from other key players, but the twisty battle between the two women had me absolutely hooked. 

This was such a compulsive read, I kept flipping the pages faster and faster as the tension mounted and the web of lies was untangled. The pacing is breathless as the chapters are very short so it’s quite easy to talk yourself into just one more. (Or ten more. Oh fine, the whole book.) 

Slater really has a knack for developing wholly unlikable characters that are utterly fascinating in the way they behave, but also in the way they justify their abhorrent behavior. She also does a terrific job at bringing a heavy sense of unease and dread the entire time as she takes the reader down dark paths full of surprises. 

I like to think that I’m a pretty sophisticated reader of this genre so I always try and figure things out along the way, but the author always manages to pull one over on me a time or two by the end, and the ending here was pretty unpredictable.  I really should know better by now, but I absolutely love the fact that her books always keep me on my toes. If you haven’t read any of Slater’s books I highly recommend them, they are hugely entertaining and shrewdly plotted. 

Overall rating: 5/5

About the Author:


Kim is the bestselling author of psychological crime thrillers ‘Safe With Me,’ ‘Blink’ and, the soon to be released, ‘Liar.’


For many years, Kim sent her work out to literary agents and collected a stack of rejection slips. At the age of 40 she went back to Nottingham Trent University and now has an MA in Creative Writing.


Before graduating in 2012, she received five offers of representation from London literary agents and a book deal which was, as Kim says, ‘a fairytale … at the end of a very long road!’


Kim is a full-time writer and lives in Nottingham with her husband, Mac.


She also writes award-winning YA fiction for Macmillan Children’s Books, writing as Kim Slater.

Website

Blog Tour: The Serial Killer’s Daughter by Lesley Welsh @bookouture


Goodreads|Amazon US|Amazon UK
Release date: June 14, 2017

Publisher: Bookouture 

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Blurb: 

Charmer, liar, father… Killer. 

Suzanne’s life changes forever the day she receives a visit from Rose Anderson, the woman who has been living with her estranged father, Don. 


Don is dead, but Rose wants Suzanne to have his possessions – including a series of intimate diaries and a mysterious collection of photographs of women. 


To Suzanne’s shock, one of the photos is of her friend Sophie, who died ten years ago in an unexplained and devastating fire. 


But Don only met Sophie once, on an unsettling visit he paid Suzanne just days before Sophie’s death… So why did he have a picture of her? 


Unable to let Sophie’s memory alone, Suzanne begins to dig into her father’s life. What horrors is she about to unearth in his journals? And who is it that’s out there, watching her every move? 

It is with a heavy heart that I welcome you to my stop on the blog tour for The Serial Killer’s Daughter today as the author sadly passed away last April. Bookouture are publishing this book on behalf of her family and my heart goes out to them. 


Review: 

The title alone made this a must read for me, if you’ve been following me for more than a week it’s no secret that I have a sick fascination with serial killer novels. Then the blurb drew me in even deeper as I was intrigued by the idea of dead serial killer leaving a journal full of horrors behind. This book is definitely not as straightforward as I was expecting it to be and the author had some wicked twists up her sleeve that shook me up. 

Welsh did such a fantastic job crafting such a horrendous character in Don, he is the personification of evil incarnate and a master manipulator. He’s vulgar, crass and disgusting yet he can turn on the charm when it suits him and that is what makes my blood run cold. Alternatively, Suzanne was someone I could sympathize with and I can’t imagine walking a day in her shoes. 

This had a steady pacing with moments where you read about the backstory surrounding Don’s life, but also the women he came into contact with as well as Suzanne, and then faster paced, intense scenes that got my heart racing. The characterization was great and I’m always extremely interested in a killers motivations and life before they turned into a sadistic monster. Some of the past is revealed through excerpts from Don’s journal and they made my skin crawl they were so chilling. Since the plot wasn’t entirely what I had expected I’ll stop here and just say that it’s a great read for fans of this genre and had an explosive climax that was ultimately satisfying and terrifying. 

Overall rating: 4/5

About the Author: 


Lesley Welsh sadly passed away in April this year. Lesley was born in Strawberry Field children’s home and raised on a notorious council estate in Liverpool. Later she moved to London where she studied English and Drama and worked as a freelance writer specialising in alternative lifestyles. Her articles appeared in Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire, Red, Bite, Time Out and many others before she established Moondance Media, a magazine publishing company. Her dark and compelling short story Mrs Webster’s Obsession was turned into a film. Lesley moved to Spain and sadly passed away in April.  

Blog Tour/Spotlight: A Thousand Tiny Miracles by Katarina West @WestKatarina


Goodreads|Amazon
Release date: June 15, 2017

Blurb: 

A middle-aged saleswoman becomes a Hollywood star.

A spoilt celebrity becomes a suburban housewife.

An angel becomes a human being.



Meet Irene Nylander, a frumpy housewife from Finland … and a yo-yo dieter. She feels trapped in an unhappy marriage, looking after her domineering mother-in-law and living vicariously through romantic movies.


Meanwhile, in Florence, Mimi Kavanough’s star is rising. She has the body of a Barbie princess, the iron will of an army sergeant – and Hollywood in her sights. 


On her fiftieth birthday, Irene discovers her husband is having an affair. Devastated, she prays for a way out: she wants to die.


In heaven, a mischievous angel called Aaron hears her prayers. He decides to make Irene and Mimi swap bodies.
How will the two women cope with their unexpected, and very different, second lives? And will Aaron’s meddling get him evicted from heaven? What will happen if he has to transform into a human being and live on Earth?

About the Author: 


Katarina West is the author of Witchcraft Couture and Absolute Truth, For Beginners. She was born in Helsinki, Finland, into a bilingual family that in addition to humans consisted of dogs, cats, horses, guinea pigs, canaries, rabbits and – thanks to her biology teacher mother – stuffed owls and squirrels.

She spent time travelling in Africa, Asia and Latin America, and went on to study at Queen Mary and West eld College in Lon- don and the European University Institute in Florence, where she completed a PhD in political science and published a book based on it, Agents of Altruism. During those student years she started work as a journalist, and continued writing for various Finnish magazines and newspapers for over ten years, writing on various topics from current events and humanitarian issues to celebrity interviews and short stories. She also brie y worked as a university lecturer on hu- manitarian issues in Northern Italy. 

Katarina lives in an old farmhouse in Chianti with her husband and son and when not writing, she is fully immersed in Tuscan country life, from jam-making and olive-picking to tractor maintenance.


Blog Tour: When I Wake Up by Jessica Jarlvi @JessicaJarlvi @Aria_Fiction


Goodreads|Amazon US|Amazon UK
Release date: June 1, 2017

Publisher: Aria Fiction 

Genre: Psychological Thriller 

Blurb: 

A breathtaking, heart-pounding, dark debut, sure to delight fans of The Girl on the Train and Before I Go To Sleep.


‘Why won’t Mummy wake up?’


When Anna, a much-loved teacher and mother of two, is left savagely beaten and in a coma, a police investigation is launched. News of the attack sends shock waves through her family and their small Swedish community. Anna seems to have had no enemies, so who wanted her dead?


As loved-ones wait anxiously by her bedside, her husband Erik is determined to get to the bottom of the attack, and soon begins uncovering his wife’s secret life, and a small town riven with desire, betrayal and jealousy. 


As the list of suspects grows longer, it soon becomes clear that only one person can reveal the truth, and she’s lying silent in a hospital bed…

I’m delighted to welcome you to my stop on the blog tour for the When I Wake Up. I have an extract and a review to share today. 


Extract: 

“Erik collecting the boys?” Kent asked, handing Anna a cup of coffee.

She looked up from the paperwork, happy for the interruption.

“Yes, I’m marking exam papers.”

It was a cold and bleak afternoon; autumn was on the doorstep with woolly cardigans making an appearance in the teacher’s lounge. She wrapped her fingers tightly around the hot cup.

“How’s it going with the new student, Daniel?” Kent made himself comfortable on the corduroy couch next to her desk. “Is he still testing the limits?”

She shrugged. “Basically, yes. I’ve tried reaching out to the parents but there seem to be a number of problems at home.”

”What about the school counsellor?”

“He won’t talk to ‘a shrink’. His words, not mine. I’ve explained that it’s confidential but he doesn’t buy it. He’s very private, on edge, you know.”

Living in a small town did make it harder for people to open up. Students and parents were often worried that everyone would know their business.

Kent sipped his coffee, nodding. “Should we involve social services?” he asked.

She smiled at him, relaxing her shoulders from the stressful day; she loved that he cared, not just about his own students but also about hers. Their friendship kept her coming back to this school every year.

“I’m not sure,” she said.

“Anna, you can’t save every child on your own.”

“I know,” she said defensively. “I’ll think about it. I don’t want to cause him more harm. He’s obviously just trying to get attention.”

“Causing fights will definitely achieve that.”

“That’s why I need to find a way to reach out to him.”

She wanted to tell him about the letters Daniel had written to her but she couldn’t. Kent would worry, and although it wasn’t her job to protect him, she was determined to deal with this on her own.

She had received the first letter in August, when school started after the summer break. As was always the case with new pupils, she had secretly hoped for a studious and conscientious addition, although this had quickly turned out to be a fantasy.

I hate school and I know I’m going to hate you. People like you think you rule over me, but you don’t. No one does. If you understand that, we have no problems. If you don’t… you’ll see what will happen.


At first she had felt threatened. Scared even. Then she had taken a step back and viewed it from a different angle. After all, it was ridiculous to be intimidated by a seventeen-year-old. She was nearly twice his age. He was simply reaching out to her. That’s what her years of experience told her, that it was a cry for help.

The next letter had been similar in nature but then they had become milder.

I hate you. You think I can’t read. That’s why you don’t write back. You think I’m stupid?


He wanted her to reply. So far she hadn’t. Was it ethically correct to correspond with a student in this way? Didn’t it mean she was showing favouritism? She wanted to ask Kent’s advice but she had a feeling he would object to any written communication with a student.

“His writing is good,” she said. “Above average actually.”

“Well, at least that’s something.” He looked tired. The stress of the new school system was getting to him. ‘Good thing I’m retiring soon’ he would say. “Let me know if I can help in any way.”

“I will,” she said.

 Review: 

When I Wake Up is told through various viewpoints both before Anna’s attack and afterwards. There is a lot going here and several characters to follow, but it wasn’t confusing at all. The chapters are clearly labeled by name and the month and year so it’s super easy to keep up with. Part of the fun of this book is with so many characters, virtually everyone is a suspect. At first glance, it seems really strange that a well respected teacher like Anna would be a target of a violent crime, but as the story unfolds, you learn that Anna had some really dark secrets she was hiding and plenty of people had the means and motivations to want to silence her. 

I really liked the setting of a small Swedish town that looks and sounds idyllic but had some skeletons in its closet. All of the characters were unlikable and made poor decisions and had me shaking my head several times, but that never bothers me. It only adds to the mystery and tension as I try and figure out if anyone is actually a good person. I do want to point out that there are some very sexually explicit love scenes that I was not expecting, so be warned. I’m usually not a huge fan of that stuff in thrillers but it did work here and fit into the twisty storyline well. 

Overall rating: 4/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy. 

About the Author: 


Born in Sweden, Jessica moved to London at the age of 18 to obtain a BSc Hons degree in Publishing and Business. She worked in publishing in the UK for a number of years before heading to Chicago where she edited a magazine for expats. Back in Sweden, she completed a Masters in Creative Writing. Since 2010, Jessica has taught journalism and media at a local university, and has spent the last five years as the marketing and PR manager for a British firm. Last year, she was one of the winners in the Montegrappa Prize for First Fiction at the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature. Jessica is married with three spirited children, and although she’s known for her positivity, her writing tends to be rather dark!


Blog Tour: Exquisite by Sarah Stovell @Sarahlovescrime @Orendabooks


Goodreads|Amazon US|Amazon UK
Release date: May 15, 2017

Publisher: Orenda Books

Genre: Psychological Thriller 

Blurb: 

Bo Luxton has it all—a loving family, a beautiful home in the Lake District, and a clutch of bestselling books to her name. Enter Alice Dark, an aspiring writer who is drifting through life, with a series of dead-end jobs and a freeloading boyfriend. When they meet at a writers’ retreat, the chemistry is instant, and a sinister relationship develops. Or does it? Breathlessly pacey, taut and terrifying, Exquisite is a startlingly original and unbalancing psychological thriller that will keep you guessing until the very last page.

I’m so thrilled to welcome you to my stop on the blog tour for Exquisite today! 


Review: 

Well hello my new favorite psych thriller of 2017, I’ve been waiting to find you! This book was so completely and totally absorbing, it consumed me while I was reading it and I found myself enraptured by it. I know that it’s been getting quite a bit of hype for several months now, but it’s well deserved here. I remember several months ago when the cover was revealed and I just knew this was going to be a special book. It not only lived up to my expectations, it exceeded them and I think I officially have a giant book hangover now. But it’s totally worth it! 

As far as the plot goes, I’m really hesitant to say anything beyond what the blurb reveals. All you really need to know is that it’s about a relationship between two women that turns obsessive, dangerous and rather ugly and twisted. It’s told from both of their points of view and it left my head spinning as I tried to work out who was telling the truth and who was lying. I changed my mind countless times and was so uncertain, this was a read that really gets under your skin. 

Stovell has such an impressive writing style, I was mesmerized by how polished, sophisticated and smart it was. This was an intoxicating read about obsession with a darkly sexy, seductive feel that left me reeling. It was one of those books where you flip back to the prologue just to reread it now knowing what you do, things all fall into place and then you want to read the whole book again. If you like psychological thrillers this is a must read. 

Overall rating: 5/5

Blog Tour: One to Watch by Rachel Amphlett @RachelAmphlett @emmamitchellfpr


Goodreads|Amazon US|Amazon UK
Release date: June 6, 2017

Publisher: Saxon Publishing

Genre: Crime Fiction, Mystery/Thriller

Blurb: 


Sophie Whittaker shared a terrifying secret. Hours later, she was dead.


Detective Kay Hunter and her colleagues are shocked by the vicious murder of a teenage girl at a private party in the Kentish countryside.


A tangled web of dark secrets is exposed as twisted motives point to a history of greed and corruption within the tight-knit community.


Confronted by a growing number of suspects and her own enemies who are waging a vendetta against her, Kay makes a shocking discovery that will make her question her trust in everyone she knows.



One to Watch is a gripping murder mystery thriller, and the third in the Detective Kay Hunter series. 

I’m so excited to be hosting a stop on the tour for One to Watch today!


Review: 

This is the third book in the Kay Hunter series and I’ve become such a huge fan of both the protagonist and Amphlett as an author. If you missed my reviews of the first two books here they are; Scared to Death and Will to Live. I highly recommend starting at the beginning of the series as all three books are hugely entertaining and Amphlett has the unique ability to not only come up with an interesting premise for each book, but she also perfectly balances Kay’s personal and professional life providing a well rounded reading experience. This is a solid series and this book was my favorite one thus far.

By now I’m well aware that these books are true page turners that I’ll finish in one sitting so I was well prepared. In her signature style, the author writes short, rapid chapters that add to the fast pacing. This book starts off strong and never lets up, there are no moments of boredom and the pace never lags, right on through to the end where the twists and turns just keep coming, it’s fantastic. 

The case Kay is investigating was interesting, especially as the teenager who was murdered had taken a purity pledge, with a twist. Her parents had approved of and even encouraged her to get engaged to another young man from their church which both fascinated and appalled me. Besides the central investigation, Kay is still working on her own to find out who within her department has a vendetta against her. There were a couple of new developments regarding this, but I’m so curious to see where this goes! I hope Amphlett doesn’t make us wait too much longer. Bring on book four!

Overall rating: 4.5/5

Thanks to the author for my review copy. 

About the Author: 


Rachel Amphlett is the bestselling author of the Dan Taylor espionage novels and the new Detective Kay Hunter crime thriller series, as well as a number of standalone crime thrillers.

Originally from the UK and currently based in Brisbane, Australia, Rachel’s novels appeal to a worldwide audience, and have been compared to Robert Ludlum, Lee Child and Michael Crichton.

She is a member of International Thriller Writers and the Crime Writers Association, with the Italian foreign rights for her debut novel, White Gold, being sold to Fanucci Editore’s TIMECrime imprint in 2014.

An advocate for knowledge within the publishing industry, Rachel is always happy to share her experiences to a wider audience through her blogging and speaking engagements.

Website|Facebook|Twitter

Blog Tour: Secrets of Southern Girls by Haley Harrigan #Giveaway


Goodreads|Amazon
Release date: June 6, 2017

Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark

Genre: Mystery 

Blurb: 

In this powerful, affecting debut, a young woman uncovers devastating secrets about the friend she thinks she killed 


Ten years ago, Julie Portland accidentally killed her best friend, Reba. What’s worse is she got away with it. Consumed by guilt, she left the small town of Lawrence Mill, Mississippi, and swore nothing would ever drag her back. Now, raising her daughter and struggling to make ends meet in Manhattan, Julie still can’t forget the ghost of a girl with golden hair and a dangerous secret.


When August, Reba’s first love, begs Julie to come home to find the diary that Reba kept all those years ago, Julie’s past comes creeping back to haunt her. That diary could expose the shameful memories Julie has been running from, but it could also unearth the hidden truths that Reba left buried…and reveal that Julie isn’t the only one who feels responsible for Reba’s death. 

Review: 

Julie has never been able to get over the death of her high school best friend Reba, not even ten years later and she’s not happy to be back in her small hometown, but the allure of a diary Reba left behind is too strong for her to ignore. This is told mainly through Julie’s eyes in 2008, though there are a few brief chapters from August and Toby as well. (Toby is Julie’s cousin who she lived with after her parents died.) There are also chapters from Reba’s diary in 1997 where the truth about the months and days leading up to her death are finally revealed. I especially liked the diary entries as it was the only way to see what really happened and they were also clearly labeled. I say this because the other chapters were not labeled and I think it would’ve helped to do this in order to avoid confusion. 

This was a slow burn of a book, one that takes a bit of patience in the beginning, but if you stick with it, things speed up around the halfway point and the suspense heightens. When August and Julie finally get their hands on the diary everything they thought they knew about Reba is shattered. This girl was hiding some serious secrets and nothing is as they thought it was. 

I liked some of the issues this one touched on, it showed how racism was still sadly prevalent in the late nineties and how this affected so many lives in an negative way. Harrigan has a really beautiful writing style and this was a solid debut that I had minor issues with, but nothing that ruined my reading experience. If you like a read that takes a little time to warm up, but still gradually reels you in, give this one a try. 

Overall rating: 3.5/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy. 

Giveaway: 

The publisher is hosting a fun giveaway for a summer reads prize pack! You can enter here