#BloodhoundsChristmasCrackers The Abattoir of Dreams by Mark Tilbury @Bloodhoundbook @MTilburyauthor

I’m so thrilled to be resharing my review of The Abattoir of Dreams today as part of Bloodhound Books Christmas blog tour! This was my first book by Mark Tilbury and such a great introduction to his work, it easily earned a spot on my top reads of 2017 and comes highly recommended by me.

Goodreads|Amazon

Release date: February 28, 2017

Publisher: Bloodhound Books

Blurb: 

The past is never far away. 


Michael Tate has not had an easy life. With his father in prison, and his mother dead, Michael was sent to Woodside Children’s Home. 


Now an adult, Michael wakes up from a coma in hospital suffering from amnesia and paralysis. 

Confused and terrified, he is charged with the fatal stabbing of his girlfriend, Becky. He also learns he attempted to end his own life.


Detective Inspector John Carver is determined that Michael is sent to prison.


With no way of defending himself, Michael isleft in his hospital bed awaiting transfer to remand.


But then strange things begin to happen and hischildhood comes back to haunt him. 


Can Michael ever escape the past?


Will he ever discover the truth about Becky’s murder?


And why is DI Carver so eager to make him suffer? 


The Abattoir of Dreams is a bitter sweet story of murder, innocence and abuse.

Review:

Tilbury is a new author to me and while the blurb sure grabbed my attention, I had no idea what kind of treat I was in for. For the first time I didn’t even post what genre this book fits into, it’s far too special to be slotted into place. Sometimes a book will be labeled as one thing on Goodreads but after reading it I may add in another that I think it’ll fit under, but this time? This book cannot be properly filed into one, two or even three appropriate categories. It honestly has something for everyone, there’s suspense, a bit of horror, romance, supernatural elements and enough thrills to keep your heart racing.

It opens with Michael waking up in a hospital with no memory and he only knows a few things for sure; that he is paralyzed and what he is told, and what is revealed is enough to make the hair on the back of your neck stand up. Supposedly he brutally murdered his girlfriend and then jumped off of a building, but he doesn’t even remember Becky, much less killing her. Then strange things begin to happen to him at night, is he dreaming, maybe a side effect of the pain medication he’s taking? It’s all very eerie and unsettling but beyond fascinating. I couldn’t wait to find out what had really happened and the way it was revealed to the reader and Michael was sharply clever.

The subject matter here is very dark and disturbing, it’s truly not for the faint of heart. There is abuse of every kind imaginable, it’s graphic and horrifying, but if you can stomach that, this is a must read. It evoked a wide range of emotions within me from shock, horror, sadness and tears all the way to laughter and warm moments, it was a hell of a ride. The characterization was excellent and even though I didn’t discuss all of the characters in detail, that doesn’t mean that this isn’t chock full of them, rather that I want you to discover them for yourself. The good ones will squeeze your heart and have you rooting them on, and the villains will make your skin crawl and want to vomit. (I mean that as a compliment, Tilbury has created some bad guys that may be the most despicable characters I’ve come across in years) This was a gritty and twisted read with so much heart and now if you’ll excuse me I’ll be on Amazon buying Tilbury’s other books.

Overall rating: 5/5

Thanks to Bloodhound Books for my review copy.

Review: The Silent Dead by Graham Smith @GrahamSmith1972 @bookouture

Goodreads|Amazon

Release date: November 30, 2018

Publisher: Bookouture

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Blurb:

He’d found an angel for his collection. But one angel at a time was never enough…

Detective Beth Young has just joined the Cumbrian major crimes team when a body is found posed in a ritualistic manner – arms spread and graceful wings attached – at a crumbling castle in the hills of the Lake District. 

The entire police force are on red alert. But Beth begins to feel she’s the only one who can follow the disturbing clues left by the twisted killer. Because she doesn’t think like everyone else. To Beth, crimes are puzzles she can solve. Even if real life is a little harder.

As more bodies are discovered in derelict stately homes across the Lake District, she knows she’s in a race against time.

But the killer is looking for another victim to add to his collection… Will Beth be able to save her? Or will he get there first?

A tenacious young detective with scars both physical and emotional, Beth Young will stop at nothing in her fight for justice for the innocent. The Silent Dead is the first book in the series. Set in the Lake District, it is perfect for fans of Joy Ellis, LJ Ross, and Peter James. 

I’m so thrilled to be one of the stops on the blog tour for The Silent Dead today!

Review:

 

Over the past few years I’ve become a fan of Smith’s, there is something about his writing style and overall originality that appeals to me, so when I heard he was releasing a new book that would also be the beginning of a new series, I just knew I had to read it!

I spoke of the authors originality earlier, let me expand on that now. Beth is a very new police officer and I found this so interesting, I don’t think I’ve read another police procedural where the protagonist is so early in their career. She was also extremely fascinating, I feel like there is so much to learn about her as a character and I’m eager to see what will be revealed in the next book. Then there is the case itself, talk about bizarre and creepy! The killer is not only displaying his victims in an odd manner he’s also attaching wings to their backs, and there also seems to be no rhyme or reason for the victims he chooses. Some are male, some are female and none seem to have any connection to each other. It was a highly unusual premise and one that kept me engaged.

There was something dark and twisted about this one, there are some gory scenes and heart pounding moments, especially in the end. A very solid start to a new series from an author I know I can trust to deliver a great crime read!

The Silent Dead in three words: Unusual, Twisted and Menacing.

Overall rating: 4/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.

Review: For Once In My Life by Colleen Coleman @CollColemanAuth @Bookouture

Goodreads|Amazon

Release date: November 20, 2018

Publisher: Bookouture

Genre: Romantic Comedy

Blurb:

Twenty-nine-year-old Lily Buckley planned to be happily married and in her dream job by now. Instead she’s been single since being left at the altar three years ago, and works at her local paper, writing about giant vegetables at the village fete and a dog who looks exactly like Chewbacca.

 

Not quite what she was dreaming of.

 

So when Lily’s given the opportunity to write her own column it’s exactly what she’s always wanted – except what she has to write about. She has to do one thing every week that scares her.

 

With encouragement from sexy colleague – and adrenalin-junkie – Christopher, Lily agrees. From sky-diving to haunted houses, Lily is going to be pushed to her limit. But Lily is hiding something – the thing that she fears the most of all…

 

Ever since her heart was broken Lily has been afraid of falling in love again. Will fear hold her back once more – or can Christopher help her to finally find happiness?

 

An uplifting, feel-good story about friendship, romance, and finding the hero inside yourself. Fans of Marian Keyes, Mhairi McFarlane and Sophie Kinsella will love Colleen Coleman!

I’m so pleased to be one of the stops on the blog blitz for For Once In My Life today!

Review:

Whenever I want to read a book that will make me laugh, feel inspired and leave me in a total feel good mood, I know I can count on Colleen Coleman. There’s always something empowering about her books, she writes about relatable women who go on these fun journeys of self discovery and never fail to lift me up.

This begins on Lily’s wedding day when she is left at the altar in an utterly humiliating fashion. Fast forward three years and while Lily believes she’s happy and satisfied with her life, she really isn’t. She’s stuck in a rut, her life is like Groundhog Day and I think we can all relate to that on some level. When she gets assigned to write a series of articles about her going on bucket list adventures she sets off on an unexpected path that may just lead to a life change and some much needed romance.

The developing relationship between Lily and Christopher was adorable and sweet and most importantly, realistic. It wasn’t love at first sight perfection but instead was genuine and believable. Per usual, this had great messages about taking risks and not being afraid to just live your life. While the romance was important to the story, it was more of a subplot with the main focus on Lily herself and how she grew as a person. Recommended for anyone wanting a happy read that makes you want to get out in the world and just enjoy life.

For Once In My Life in three words: Delightful, Inspiring and Positive.

Overall rating: 4/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.

Review: Her Last Move by John Marrs @JohnMarrs1 @EmmaFinnigan @AmazonPub #HerLastMove

Goodreads|Amazon

Release date: November 8, 2018

Publisher: Thomas and Mercer

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Blurb:

She’s chasing a killer. He’s watching her every move.

He hides in the shadows, waiting for the perfect moment. Each kill is calculated, planned and executed like clockwork.

Struggling to balance her personal and professional life, young DS Becca Vincent has landed the biggest case of her career—and she knows that it will make or break her. But she can’t catch the culprit alone. Together with facial recognition expert Joe Russell, she strives to get a lead on the elusive murderer, who is always one step ahead of them.

Time is not on their side. The body count is rising, and the attacks are striking closer and closer to home. Can Becca and Joe uncover the connection between the murders before the killer strikes the last name from his list?

I’m so thrilled to be one of the stops on the blog tour for Her Last Move today!

Review:

Holy cannoli this was one hell of a read you guys! I was a huge fan of Marrs last book, The Good Samaritan and couldn’t wait to get my hands on this one. The wait was well worth it and one of the many things that made this a standout for me was that it was SO vastly different from his previous work but still outstanding, it’s so impressive when an author pushes the boundaries and shakes things up with each new book release.

This follows Becca, a police officer working on the case, Joe, another cop, but in a different department and then you hear from the elusive killer as well. All three were fascinating in their own way, Becca is trying to balance her work and home life, but her issues aren’t typical and were a new set of circumstances from the norm in a police procedural. Joe is what’s called a super recognizer, something I didn’t even realized I existed but I read several articles and was blown away. (Look it up, so cool!) The chapters from the killer were chilling, insight into a murderers motivations and thought processes always interests me and his were at once original and scary. All three were so very well developed, they were complex, deep and had interesting secrets.

While the tension throughout was great, a steady buildup for the most part, by the end my heart was in my throat and then something HUGE happened and let’s just say I was stunned. Not the direction I expected at all, but I respect the author so much for so many ballsy moves, I love nothing more than a bold story with risks and Marrs proves with this book that he is a force to be reckoned with. Highly recommended for thriller lovers but especially those who like a good police procedural as well.

Her Last Move in three words: Shocking, Intricate and Intense.

Overall rating: 5/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.

Review: Coco Pinchard’s Big Fat Tipsy Wedding by Robert Bryndza @CocoPinchard @RobertBryndza @BOTBSPublicity

Goodreads|Amazon

Genre: Chick Lit

Blurb:

After a tumultuous divorce, Coco Pinchard has found love with the gorgeous, hunky, four-years-younger-than-her-so-technically-a-toy-boy, Adam. Her career as an author is finally a success, and she has fabulous friends in Christopher, a neurotic middle-aged socialite, and Marika, a slightly alcoholic dog walker.

Coco is even learning to cope with her awful ex mother-in-law, Ethel, who despite the divorce, still thinks it’s fine to criticise, especially when Coco and Adam decide to take the next step, and move in together…

But hours before move-in day, Adam ends their relationship without explanation and disappears. After the initial shock and anger (and an ‘I told you so’ from Ethel) Coco sets out to discover what has really happened, and uncovers a shocking secret Adam has been hiding from her… 

I’m absolutely delighted to be one of the stops on the blog tour for the Coco Pinchard series today!

Review:

I know many of you are familiar with Bryndza through his Erika Foster series, it’s one of my favorites, so when I saw an opportunity to read a book from his CL series I just had to check it out! I already admire authors so much, but the ones that can write in multiple genres truly amaze me. I have to say, this book was just as great as the EF books but in a completely different way.

Though this book is part of a series it can easily be read as a standalone, I had no problem jumping in. I loved the structure of this, each section is separated by the month and then it’s all told through Coco’s emails to her friends and family. Coco is quite the character, she’s dramatic and a little over the top, but she’s also a ton of fun! I just adored her and found myself laughing at her antics and the situations she finds herself in.

If you’re looking for a read to escape into that’s hilarious and charming, try this out! Whatever genre Bryndza writes he’s so talented and I’ll read anything from him. I’m a new fan of this series and can’t wait to catch up now.

Coco Pinchard’s Big Fat Tipsy Wedding in three words: Funny, Cute and Happy.

Overall rating: 4/5

Thanks to Sarah Hardy and the author for my review copy.

Giveaway:

There is a giveaway running where you can win a signed set of the whole series that’s open internationally, so make sure you enter here! And for my US readers the entire series is on sale for just 1.99 on Amazon and in the UK it’s only 99 cents!

Review: The Lingering by SJI Holliday @SJIHolliday @OrendaBooks #TheLingering

Goodreads|Amazon

Release date: September 15, 2018

Publisher: Orenda

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Blurb:

Married couple Jack and Ali Gardiner move to a self-sufficient spiritual commune in the English Fens, desperate for fresh start. The local village is known for the witches who once resided there and Rosalind House, where the commune has been established, is a former psychiatric home, with a disturbing history.

When Jack and Ali arrive, a chain of unexpected and unexplained events is set off, and it becomes clear that they are not all that they seem. As the residents become twitchy, and the villagers suspicious, events from the past come back to haunt them, and someone is seeking retribution…

At once an unnerving mystery, a chilling thriller and a dark and superbly wrought ghost story, The Lingering is an exceptionally plotted, terrifying and tantalisingly twisted novel by one of the most exciting authors in the genre. 

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for The Lingering!
Review:
If you’re like many readers and like to try and match your reads to the season then have I got the perfect book for you to add to your fall/winter TBR! The Lingering is ideal to dive into this time of year, it has a rich and vivid setting that will get under your skin, and the story itself is intriguing and also toes the line with hints at the supernatural without it totally taking over the plot. An added bonus for me is that it’s set in a commune and that sort of lifestyle absolutely fascinates me and this one was very interesting.
This flips back and forth between Ali’s POV and Angela’s, a valued member of the commune. The entire idea behind this group is that they seek the light in all things. They live in Rosalind House, which was once an old asylum which is such a creepy setting. There are many old stories and legends about what happened on the grounds and Angela is determined to prove there is the presence of ghosts one way or another.
Right away you feel like there is something a bit off about Ali and her husband Jack, but I couldn’t quite pinpoint what made me feel uneasy about them. Was it their vague references to their elusive past? Or maybe it was just the claustrophobic setting and hint of the unknown, but whatever it was, it worked SO well for me. There was a constant sense of dread and a little bit of fear throughout that kept me on the edge of my seat.
I fear discussing the plot further would only spoil things, but I’ll close by saying that this would appeal to a wide variety of readers as it’s mysterious, highly atmospheric and also has a historical vibe due to Rosalind Houses background, and it also went in a few directions I wasn’t expecting and that my friends, is what it’s all about!
The Lingering in three words: Atmospheric, Gripping and Creepy.
Overall rating: 4/5
Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.

Review: The Night Visitor by Patrick Redmond @PRedmondAuthor @BooksManatee #TheNightVisitor

Goodreads|Amazon

Release date: October 29, 2018

Publisher: Manatee

Blurb:

When does a gift become a curse? 

Meg has a gift. She can change lives. But when tragedy strikes in childhood she vows never to use it again. 
Now an adult, she is living in Cornwall; a place where the elements themselves have a life of their own. When they call she refuses to listen, fearful of the dark places where her gift can lead.
 

But the dead will not be silenced. They are stronger than her. And now they have chosen she is powerless to escape… 

I’m delighted to be one of the stops on the blog tour for The Night Visitor today!

Review:

Ahh this is going to be a really tricky book for me to review without giving too much away! So much of it was surprising for me and I would hate to ruin the experience for future readers so if this seems a bit vague, you’ll understand why.

This is one of those books that drew me in right away, it begins when Meg is just a child and introduces you to her and her gift. This gift is of the paranormal type and it truly intrigued me, would Meg be mature enough as a child to understand and use it? How does a young girl navigate the supernatural? So interesting and a really creepy read for this time of year.

I really connected with Meg, her life was tough and there is much more to her than meets the eye. She is quiet and reserved, she even comes across as snobby to people but she’s really anything but and I can always root for a character that is the underdog. Besides being wholly invested in the protagonist, I really enjoyed the authors writing style. It was very descriptive and detailed making it incredibly easy to picture each and every scene that was written. The setting was also spooky and so vividly described that I felt like I was right there myself.

If you don’t mind supernatural elements to your thrillers, give this one a shot! It was engaging and really different, the only other author I’ve read that is similar is Mark Tilbury, so if you like him check this one out. It really blurred the lines between genres, it would appeal to fans of historical fiction, romance and mysteries, there’s something for every reader here.

The Night Visitor in three words: Creepy, Immersive and Unnerving.

Overall rating: 4/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.

Review: Christmas Spirit by Nicola May @nicolamay1 @rararesources

Amazon

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Blurb:

It’s two days before Christmas – and Evie Harris finds herself both manless and jobless. After a chance encounter with handsome Greg (and egged on by her toy-boy-eating friend, Bea) she agrees to work at a homeless shelter on Christmas Day.
Striking up an unlikely friendship with homeless Yves, Evie begins an unwitting journey of spiritual awakening, all set against the sparkling winter backdrop of London landmarks. 
A New Year’s Eve revelation is on its way . . . but will it leave Evie with a happy heart, or will she allow the pre-Christmas past to dictate her future?

I’m so pleased to be one of the stops on the blog tour for Christmas Spirit today!

Review:

Well if you’re looking for a quick read to put you in a holiday frame of mind then this one is absolutely perfect! It’s a novella, so really fast paced but it still packed quite an emotional punch and left me feeling all warm and fuzzy inside.

I adored both Evie and her best friend Bea, they’re complete opposites and make quite the pair. Evie is sweet and caring and down on her luck and then Bea is outrageous and wickedly funny, truly naughty she made me laugh so hard. Besides fun characters this had such great meaning about what’s truly important in life. Evie goes through a remarkable period of growth over the course of just a few days and it was sweet and heartwarming. Ideal Christmas read, totally recommended!

Christmas Spirit in three words: Festive, Hopeful and Heartwarming.

Overall rating: 4/5

Thanks to the author and Rachel for my review copy.

Review: Good Samaritans by Will Carver @will_carver @OrendaBooks #SixBottlesofBleach

Goodreads|Amazon

Release date: November 15, 2018

Publisher: Orenda

Genre: Crime Fiction

Blurb:

One crossed wire, three dead bodies and six bottles of bleach

Seth Beauman can’t sleep. He stays up late, calling strangers from his phonebook, hoping to make a connection, while his wife, Maeve, sleeps upstairs. A crossed wire finds a suicidal Hadley Serf on the phone to Seth, thinking she is talking to The Samaritans.
But a seemingly harmless, late-night hobby turns into something more for Seth and for Hadley, and soon their late-night talks are turning into day-time meet-ups. And then this dysfunctional love story turns into something altogether darker, when Seth brings Hadley home…
And someone is watching…
Dark, sexy, dangerous and wildly readable, Good Samaritans marks the scorching return of one of crime fiction’s most exceptional voices.

I’m so thrilled to be one of the stops on the blog tour for Good Samaritans today!

Review:

Do you like dark, twisted and seriously messed up books? What about books that are fresh and like nothing you’ve ever read before? How about books that literally make you say WTF a thousand times? Friends, if you answered yes to any of these questions this book is for you!

The premise for this is amazing, you have Seth the insomniac who just wants someone to talk to, enter Hadley who needs someone to just listen and then finally the person who is watching…Creepy? Yes!! But so much more than just creepy, it’s provocative and edgy as well. It totally pushes the boundaries in the best possible way, I think dysfunctional is the best word for it, but even then, it doesn’t truly convey just how seriously screwed up this one is. Seriously, I felt dirty just reading it but I just could not stop, it was the very definition of gripping.

This not the book for a fragile reader, it’s bold and does not shy away from sex and graphic descriptions of violence, but if that doesn’t bother you this is a must read. I’ve never read anything quite like, it’s truly original and Carver completely blew me away. Some of the twists were so deranged I was shocked, but also in complete awe, this will most definitely be on my list of best books of 2018! (And this was book 267 for me so it really is a standout!)

Good Samaritans in three words: Edgy, Provocative and Twisted.

Overall rating: 5/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.

Review: Who I Am by Sarah Simpson @sarahrsimpson

Goodreads|Amazon

Release date: November 6, 2018

Publisher: Aria

Genre: Psychological Thriller

Blurb:

I know everything about you 

And you know everything about me… except 

WHO I AM. 

Andi met Camilla at university. Instantly best friends, they shared everything together. Until their long-planned graduation celebration ends in tragedy… 

Years later, Andi is living a seemingly perfect life on the rugged Cornish Coast with her loving husband, happy children and dream home. Yet Andi is haunted by a secret she thought only she knew. 

Someone out there is bringing Andi’s deepest fears to life. And she knows there’s no escaping the past that has come back to haunt her… 

You trusted me with your secrets, you told me everything, you thought I was your best friend… but you have no idea WHO I AM. 

Gripping, unputdownable and packed with twists and turns from the first page to the very last, this stunning psychological thriller will make you question whether we can ever really trust the ones we love.

I’m so excited to be kicking off the blog tour for Who I Am today!

Review:

This was a true psychological thriller in that it had all the elements I crave in a dark read that will mess with my head. I feel like the psychological thriller label is often used on novels that are really more of a standard mystery/thriller but Who I Am is an excellent example of a what a true PT really is.

If you chose to add this to your TBR I want to advise you to pay close attention. There is quite a lot going on here; multiple narrators, and definitely the untrustworthy type, and it also jumps around from past to present. Each chapter is clearly labeled so it’s not confusing, but still this requires some focus in order to catch all the subtle nuances the author so deftly drops.

Andi and Camilla narrate the bulk of the book but there are also several chilling chapters from an unknown narrator that gave me goosebumps. I wouldn’t say either Andi or Camilla were likable characters but they were interesting and well drawn. Andi especially captivated me as she conveyed such a great sense of paranoia that made me uneasy. It also had that mounting sense of dread that I so love and the tension and pacing increases the further along you get. And of course there were some twists to be found and none that I saw coming, always so fun!

Who I Am in three words: Menacing, Dark and Intricate.

Overall rating: 4/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.