Don’t Wake Up by Liz Lawler

4 stars from me

Well I was utterly gripped by the very first few pages in this book – super scary and engaging, Don’t Wake Up by Liz Lawler is most certainly a page turner.

I am not sure if this is a debut but if it is then it is very accomplished. I read it very quickly, mainly because I didn’t want to put it down!

There are some strong characters throughout the book, some likeable and some not so likeable, I would enjoy reading more books involvingDetective Inspector Turner and I hope this may be the beginning of a series. I admit to a teensy amount of disappointment that a certain love angle didn’t come to fruition – but hey, am sure Liz Lawler has further books up her sleeve so who knows!

I had an inkling quite early on as to who the perpetrator was, but not why so it was still satisfying once that became clear… A bit of an unusual motive and lots of red herrings to look out for.

All in all, this is a book to be devoured in one or two sittings. Don’t take it too seriously, enjoy it for the suspense and the drama and you won’t be disappointed.

 

Synopsis: Alex Taylor wakes up tied to an operating table.

The man who stands over her isn’t a doctor.

The offer he makes her is utterly unspeakable.

But when Alex re-awakens, she’s unharmed – and no one believes her horrifying story. Ostracised by her colleagues, her family and her partner, she begins to wonder if she really is losing her mind.

And then she meets the next victim.

So compulsive you can’t stop reading.

So chilling you won’t stop talking about it.

A pitch-black and devastatingly original psychological thriller.

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The Bone Field by Simon Kernick

5 stars!

I can see lots of people have opted to give this book 4 stars, however, for the sheer pace of it and the fact that I couldn’t put it down, I have to go with 5 stars.

The Bone Field offers some brilliant new characters alongside the much loved DI Ray Mason and PI Tina Boyd; these two are literally made for each other.

I really enjoyed the storyline surrounding the character Ramon, without dropping any spoilers, I would have enjoyed reading more about him and his life.

As you would expect from Kernick, this book moves at breakneck speed, flitting across countries and timelines with careless abandon – all the while tightening the screw of suspense with each and every page.

To be fair, it’s a bit of a no brainer isn’t it, if you liked his previous books then you will love this!

 

Synopsis: From the best-selling author of Stay Alive, The Final Minute and The Witness.

When the bones of a 21-year old woman who went missing without trace in Thailand in 1990, are discovered in the grounds of an old Catholic school in Buckinghamshire, an enduring mystery takes on a whole new twist. Her boyfriend at the time, and the man who reported her missing, Henry Forbes, now a middle-aged university lecturer, comes forward with his lawyer and tells DI Ray Mason of the Met’s Homicide Command that he knows what happened to Kitty, and who killed her.

So begins a hunt for the truth that will focus on a ruthless crime gang, a rich, dysfunctional family with a terrible past, and a highly ambitious man so cruel and ruthless that he must be brought down at any cost…

Fatal Crossing by Lone Theils

4 stars from me

I found Fatal Crossing to be a slow burn, but once it got going, it really got going and I read the last third of the book in record time!

Nora Sands character was, for me, both intriguing and frustrating. I liked and disliked her in equal measure but overall she was engaging and I cared about her while I was reading; actually I think it was all the bits with the will they/won’t they relationship which annoyed me. Oh, and of course her flagrant disregard of her own safety!

The story itself is good, I didn’t foresee how it would end and how the story of the missing girls would be resolved.

A few too many coincidences and unexplained fortuitous events for my liking but it is possible that some of these issues were caused by the translation process.

It may sound as though I am being negative about Fatal Crossing, whereas I actually thought it was a great book and I can see it going on to have great success and possibly even being made into a film. Actually, I think the story would translate better on film. It would be easier to build the tension.

The story winds tighter and tighter as the book progresses, I enjoyed the unexpected ending and found myself wanting to know what happens next.

Synopsis: When a picture of two Danish girls who disappeared on a boat bound for England in 1985 surfaces in an old suitcase, journalist Nora Sand’s professional curiosity is immediately awakened.

Before she knows it, she is mixed up in the case of a serial killer serving a life sentence in a notorious prison. The quest to discover the truth about the missing girls may be more dangerous that she had ever imagined…

‘A fast-paced and skilfully plotted thriller’
Barry Forshaw

‘A candidate for the best crime novel of the year’
Krimi-Cirklen

A Dark so Deadly by Stuart MacBride

5 stars from me!

I just didn’t want this book to end! As much as I desperately wanted to know who the killer was, I felt like I could have kept on reading about these characters for ever.

Poor DC Callum MacGregor, sometimes life really does rain down on you from a great height doesn’t it but he is such a fantastic character throughout this book, so well defined, and the fact he is essentially just a really decent guy radiates from the pages.

The ‘Misfit Mob’ have all the markings of being more than just a standalone – or maybe they will be the launchpad for a whole new series starring DC Callum MacGregor; I hope so. Mother and her little band of rejects make for a very interesting read.

I also love the parallels between these characters and earlier MacBride genius inventions. The bag of jellybabies is not lost on us.

Really good book, inventive story, interesting new characters and I simply didn’t want to put it down.

 

Synopsis: Gripping standalone thriller from the Sunday Times No. 1 bestselling author of the Logan McRae series.

Welcome to the Misfit Mob…

It’s where Police Scotland dumps the officers it can’t get rid of, but wants to: the outcasts, the troublemakers, the compromised. Officers like DC Callum MacGregor, lumbered with all the boring go-nowhere cases. So when an ancient mummy turns up at the Oldcastle tip, it’s his job to find out which museum it’s been stolen from.

But then Callum uncovers links between his ancient corpse and three missing young men, and life starts to get a lot more interesting. O Division’s Major Investigation Teams already have more cases than they can cope with, so, against everyone’s better judgement, the Misfit Mob are just going to have to manage this one on their own.

No one expects them to succeed, but right now they’re the only thing standing between the killer’s victims and a slow, lingering death. The question is, can they prove everyone wrong before he strikes again?

The Twenty-Three by Linwood Barclay

4 stars from me

I’ve only given The Twenty-Three 4 stars but have now realised I haven’t read book 2 in the Promise Falls Trilogy! Whoops. This will have to be remedied and may will mean that the star count on this book will be adjusted!

I have read Broken Promise but am clearly now going to have to find myself a copy of Far From True. What a schoolboy error.

 

As ever with Linwood Barclay books, this is a fast paced story with many, many different threads to follow. You need to keep your wits about you in order to keep up.

The depth of this story is quite staggering, how on earth the author managed to keep everything intact and true to the earlier emergences of this story is so impressive. Did he have everything pegged out from day 1?

Judging it purely on this book alone, I got muddled with one of the characters and the reasons for his actions, I would have enjoyed more clarity on this which possibly I would have gained from reading book 2. I could kick myself for not reading them in order so I most definitely recommend you avoid my stupidity and read them as intended!

On the whole, this is a big book and yet I flew through it. There are so many characters and yet they are all different quirky and unique with their own back story and definitions – Linwood Barclay truly is the master of thriller writing and building depth to his books.

I just noticed today that my favourite ever Barclay book is being made into a film, I am SO excited. I can’t wait to see it! So if you haven’t yet read Never Saw It Coming, may I suggest you read that next 🙂

 

Synopsis: A dark cloud of suspicion and fear continues to hang over the town of Promise Falls.

A series of bizarre, ominously threatening incidents suggests someone is plotting to take revenge on the town. But who is the perpetrator, and revenge for what? Now the time for threats is over. And the inhabitants are about to discover the truth, with devastating consequences.

Lie With Me by Sabine Durrant

5 stars from me!

Wow, you know that phrase ‘it was like watching a car crash in slow motion’? Well, Lie With Me by Sabine Durrant is like watching a car crash in slow motion, and then crash into another car, and then another one, and then, you get the idea.

Bizarrely, for the first few chapters, I started off by thinking I wouldn’t enjoy the book. I didn’t really like any of characters, and reading it made me feel almost uncomfortable.

But then I kept reading.

And if I thought I felt uncomfortable at the start, it is nothing compared to how I felt at the end!

In the synopsis, the book is described and claustrophobic and unsettling – that description is bang on.

There is so much not to like in this book, the people, the situations, the general air of unease and, for me, continually trying to work out what is going on and who is telling the truth.

Truly, great workmanship from Sabine Durrant! It’s a horrible book that I suggest you clear a day and sit down right now to read.

 

Synopsis: “I suppose what I am saying is, how much do we collude in our own destruction? How much of this nightmare is on me?

You can hate and rail.
You can kick out in protest.

You can do foolish and desperate things, but maybe sometimes you just have to hold up a hand and take the blame.”

Breathless.
Claustrophobic.
Unsettling.
Impossible to put down.

From the author of Under Your Skin and Remember Me This Way, Sabine Durrant. The dazzling new must-read for all fans of The Girl on the Train, Gone Girl, and The Widow.

I Found You by Lisa Jewell

4 Stars from me

I wasn’t at all sure what to expect from this book. My boys bought it for me for mothers day 🙂

It turned out to be a 50/50 mix of chic lit and thriller.

The reason it gets 4 stars from me rather than 5 is probably because of the chic lit element, it just isn’t my preferred style.

It is a really clever storyline, with 3 threads running concurrently throughout the book. I Found You by Lisa Jewell delivers an intelligent read with some sections that are truly unputdownable.

I have to say I found Alice’s decision to allow a total stranger into her home pretty surprising but then the more you get to know her, you realise that type of behaviour makes her into the wonderful person she is.

I couldn’t warm to poor old Lily at all.

Interesting concept and I’m very sure lots of people will love this book and fail to understand why I have given it 4 stars and not 5. There are places for me where it could have been edgier (and for my taste that would have been 5 stars), but I would imagine for mass appeal – which this book has in spades (beach joke unintended, honest) – it is spot on.

 

Synopsis:

‘How long have you been sitting out here?’
‘I got here yesterday.’
‘Where did you come from?’
‘I have no idea.’

Surrey: Lily Monrose has only been married for three weeks. When her new husband fails to come home from work one night she is left stranded in a new country where she knows no one.

East Yorkshire: Alice Lake finds a man on the beach outside her house. He has no name, no jacket, no idea what he is doing there. Against her better judgement she invites him in to her home.

But who is he, and how can she trust a man who has lost his memory?

Killing Kate by Alex Lake

5 stars from me!

Well, first things first, I am now clearly going to have to go and find myself a copy of After Anna by Alex Lake as Killing Kate was so darn good!

My boys bought me this for mother’s day as they know how much I enjoy a good serial killer thriller!

Killing Kate did not disappoint. I was gripped early on and towards the end I was desperately racing through the pages to see what happened next – this is a really well paced, tension building thriller.

I had a few suspects in mind and therefore wasn’t entirely surprise by who the killer was but he did show his hand much earlier than I was expecting. From that moment on the book is roller coaster!

One teeny tiny gripe and POTENTIAL SPOILER so don’t read on if you don’t want to…. There is no way he would have let her have a phone in her hand. Absolutely no way. But, still a whooping 5 stars from me as it really was an entertaining read and I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of After Anna!

Oh, and, I totally thought it was written by a woman.

 

Synopsis: A serial killer is stalking your home town.

He has a type: all his victims look the same.

And they all look like you.

Kate returns from a post break-up holiday with her girlfriends to news of a serial killer in her home town – and his victims all look like her.

It could, of course, be a simple coincidence.

Or maybe not.

She becomes convinced she is being watched, followed even. Is she next? And could her mild-mannered ex-boyfriend really be a deranged murderer?

Or is the truth something far more sinister?

On Laughton Moor by Lisa Hartley

4 stars from me

It’s a solid 4 stars too, this is a really good debut.

Lisa Hartley has created a set of characters here that I immediately want to know more about. In fact that is probably the major reason I’ve given 4 stars and not 5. (Is that the world’s worst back handed compliment? I’m not sure.)

DS Catherine Bishop is a great leading lady. Very likeable, very tangible. Her love life is a bit of mess and I have to admit to feeling a bit sorry for poor old Louise!

DI Jonathan Knight was the cause of some frustration for me. Great character but didn’t shine as much as I thought he could – and what is his back story? I really want to know! I’m hoping that we might find out more in book 2 – one this is for sure though, I really, really want to read book 2!

Potentially a tiny bit of a spoiler so look away now if you haven’t already read the book…. Another reason for 4/5 stars is that I felt it was left a little unresolved in terms of exactly how the killer had found the victims!

 

Synopsis: Detective Sergeant Catherine Bishop has an enigmatic new boss, DI Jonathan Knight. How he’ll adapt to life in Lincolnshire after years in the Met is anyone’s guess.

When the body of a well known local thug is discovered, an intriguing message found on his battered corpse raises unwelcome questions. Is DS Bishop herself being accused of the grisly murder, or does the message point to a more sinister secret?

As the body count grows higher, Bishop and Knight find themselves in a race against time to discover the identity of a merciless, faceless killer whose motivation is a mystery.

Bones In The Nest by Helen Cadbury

5 stars from me

YES! I am so glad I went on to read book two after reading To Catch A Rabbit by Helen Cadbury and only awarding it 3 stars.

Bones In The Nest is a much more accomplished read. Sean Denton is a far more rounded and developed character and now that he is a PC he is much more convincing in his actions.

In fact there are so many clear, distinct and engaging characters in this book that it is hard to just pick out a few key favourites. Sean is obvious one, Khan too was a great character and I found myself drawn to the troubled Chloe. Just as strong but most unlikable were Sean’s dad and Terry – for me, the jury is STILL out on Lizzie!

The storyline was strong and good to follow, I wanted to know the answers and I wanted to keep reading to see how things panned out. At several points Sean seems to be getting himself into deep water and is then cleverly removed from it. The social aspects of the book are relevant and help to keep it fresh and edgy.

This has all the markings of being a brilliant new detective series and I will be watching with interest to see how it develops; I can’t wait for book three!

Synopsis: The second book in the Sean Denton series. A young woman is trying to rebuild her life after prison, but someone is out there who won’t let her forget what she’s done. Racial tension is bubbling up on the Chasebridge Estate and Sean is drawn back into a web of family and neighbours he’d rather avoid. When a body is found in the stairwell of a block of flats, Sean is right at the heart of the case.