Retriever of Souls by Lorraine Mace

4 Stars from me

The first in the DI Sterling series, Retriever of Souls is a dark and depraved tale that is not for the feint of heart. From its opening chapters the scene is set and you have to have a stomach for the grim and gruesome to enjoy the book.

Lorraine Mace spares no blushes within these pages and there were a few scenes that I found heavy going – but that all adds to the darkness and the bleak sense of corruption, debauchery and immorality that exists in the mind of the killer.

Lots of interest, intrigue and red herrings made this a fast paced and engrossing read. DI Paolo Sterling is an interesting new character and I will certainly be looking out for book 2.

My thanks to Damp Pebbles Blog Tours for letting me take part.

Synopsis: The first title in a dark and gritty crime series. Brought up believing that sex is the devil’s work, a killer only finds release once he has saved his victim’s souls. Abiding by his vision, he marks them as his. A gift to guide his chosen ones on the rightful path to redemption.

Detective Inspector Paolo Sterling is out to stop him, but Paolo has problems of his own. Hunting down the killer as the death toll rises, the lines soon blur between Paolo’s personal and professional lives.

The Bowery Slugger by Leopold Borstinski

4 Stars from me

My first introduction to the writing of Leopold Borstinski and the character Alex Cohen has been a fascinating glimpse into a world ruled by mobsters in New York.

I loved the internal conflict within Alex himself of the good gentle boy who gave up a delicious pastry for the girl the next door vs the conscious-less thug who can stab someone without a second thought.

The mob lifestyle and the violence are intoxicating as we follow Alex down an inevitably dangerous path – he seems instinctively drawn to danger, with money as his guiding force.

The imagery and descriptions of the streets, clubs, shops and the hustle and bustle of 1919 New York is just wonderful. I felt transported back in time and could almost smell the dust and the grime on the streets and the stale booze and perfume in the club. The skill in making this come alive is subtle yet effective.

Great, immersive dive into the New York mob scene.

My thanks to Damp Pebbles blog tours and Leopold Borstinski for letting me be a part of this blog tour.

 

Synopsis: A turn-of-the-century Jewish boy punches his way into the gangs of New York.

When Alex Cohen arrives in 1915 America, he seizes the land of opportunity with both hands and grabs it by the throat. But success breeds distrust and Alex must choose between controlling his gang and keeping his friend alive. What would you do if the person you trusted most is setting you up to die at your enemies’ hands?

The first book in the Alex Cohen series is a violent historical novel, which rips through the early years of the Jewish New York mob. Leopold Borstinski’s gripping crime noir beats at the chest of every reader with a bloody fist.

From Inside the House by WD Jackson-Smart

4 Stars from me

This is a cracking book with some properly gruesome crime scenes! So much so I would hate to listen to this on an audio book…

DI Graves is a great character, I really enjoyed him. He was clearly still suffering from a previous case and also from a somewhat complex relationship with his sister.

From Inside the House plays on that middle of the night terror situation of there being someone in your house… who means you harm. It is truly the stuff of nightmares, the one place in the world where you should feel safe and secure suddenly becomes the scene of a crime – with the homeowner(s) horrifically displayed in a hideous tableau.

DI Daniel Graves and his partner Charlie work tirelessly to find the killer, not any easy task when – despite the horror of the crime scenes – the murderer seems to leave no trace and there is no obvious connection between the victims.

Added into the mix is Kelly is a journalist who had manipulated Charlie in the past it isn’t above attempting to exploit him again. Her drive and dogged determination to have a front page scoop makes her a deadly component in this story. Despite her lack of regard for people’s privacy, I couldn’t help but admire her drive for the truth.

From Inside The House is a definite page turner and as the second DI Graves novel I would suggest that you read the first – The Demons Beneath – first as it is obvious there is some history about Graves that I am sure it makes sense to be aware of.

Overall I really enjoyed this dark and disturbing thriller – it has great characters and a good mix of horror, intrigue and  good old fashioned detective work. I look forward to reading more by this author.

My thanks to WD Jackson-Smart and Damp Pebbles for letting me take part in this blog tour.

Synopsis: Two victims. Brutally murdered in their own home. Body parts taken.

D.I. Graves is back on the case to face his toughest challenge yet. A case with no motive and no suspect, nothing at all that could explain why someone would kill innocent people in such a way.

Then the next victims are discovered. Another pair of bodies. New body parts taken. Again in their own home.

Someone is breaking into houses across the city at night, leaving horror in their wake. It seems to Graves that this could be two serial killers, working together. But how are they choosing their victims? Is any house in London a target? Is anyone safe?

To make matters worse, a journalist is threatening to cause more harm than good with her obsessive push in covering the story to further her career, and someone is targeting Graves personally, seeking revenge against him in relation to an old case.

Can Graves keep himself safe long enough to stop the serial killers before they strike again?

 

About WD Jackson-Smart:

WD Jackson-Smart, 35, is a London-based horror and crime fiction author who has been writing crime and horror fiction since 2011. His novel Red Light was self published on Amazon and charted in the top twenty best selling Suspense / Thriller Kindle books on release.

His horror short story, What’s Yours Is Mine, was shortlisted for the Horror For Good anthology.

His first crime thriller Slasher, about a serial killer targeting slasher movie actresses in Hollywood, is out now, and he has launched a brand new crime series set in London and starring D.I. Graves. The Demons Beneath is the first in the series, and the sequel From Inside The House was published on July 1st 2019.

As well as his passion for horror and crime thrillers in all forms, WD Jackson-Smart also loves art and design, having studied Fine Art and Art History in Leeds and Toronto and working as a graphic designer for the majority of his career.

Social Media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/wdejackson

Website: https://www.wdjacksonauthor.co.uk/

 

 

Deadly Silence by OMJ Ryan

4 Stars from me

I loved this debut for Detective Jane Phillips and quickly felt invested in the story and the characters. So much so that I found myself hankering after reading the backstory for Jane!

There is a certain brutality about the murders yet there are definite glimpses of a murderer with a softer side – someone who is ‘just getting the job done/righting a wrong’ which made them all the more compelling in my view. Is it wrong to admit I liked their distinctive style?

DI Jane Phillips has a brilliant team and, despite her recent demotion, they very much have her back and this is what allows the case to actually be solved. The strength of trust and respect within her team is a beautiful touch. Her new ‘boss’ Brown, an old adversary and sufferer of small man syndrome, does everything in his power to set her up and attempt to solve the case by fair means or foul. He is deliciously dislikable and plans the perfect counter to Phillips as the team strive to solve the case before more murders are committed.

Deadly Silence has an original storyline on a contemporary theme, it contains and nice balance of peril and detective work, the scene setting and character creation are all brilliantly crafted and I really look forward to reading the next book in the series.

My thanks to @OMJRyan and #InkubatorBooks for letting me take part in this @DamppebblesBTs blog tour.

Deadly Silence (Detective Jane Phillips #1) by OMJ Ryan

#DeadlySilence #InkubatorBooks @OMJRYAN1 @damppebbles @DamppebblesBTs #damppebblesblogtours

www.inkubatorbooks.com/omj-ryan-author-page

Synopsis: Some sins can never be forgiven. DI Jane Phillips was a star detective driven by a relentless quest for justice. But then she stepped outside the law. Now, demoted and suffering with PTSD, she finds herself facing the deadliest threat of her career – a serial killer who is preying on vulnerable women, murdering them in a shocking and bizarre ritual. A master of deception, he selects his victims at random. Or so it seems. But as Phillips investigates, she begins to see a method in the killer’s madness. Perhaps these victims aren’t random at all…  As the pressure mounts, can Phillips find the link between these ritual murders before the killer strikes again — or will her dogged determination to solve the case bring his deadly silence to her door?

Ghost and Ragman Roll by Pete Adams

4 Stars from me

I’ve committed the worst of crimes and read this book without having read books 1-3 of the Kind Hearts and Martinets series, however I am relieved to say that it works really well on it’s own.

Being new to the series, I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect and was therefore surprised by the level of humour within the book as we follow main character DCI Jack Austin being virtually Clouseau-esque during his Paris escapades while he is meant to be off duty on his honeymoon.

This unusual take on a crime thriller with entertainment throughout from DCI Jack (Jane) Austin made for a dollop of light relief in my usual dank murder-filled to be read pile!

My thanks to Damp Pebbles blog tours for letting me take part.

#GhostandRagmanRoll #KindHeartsandMartinets @Peteadams8 @nextchapterpb @damppebbles @DamppebblesBTs #damppebblesblogtours

Synopsis: Ghost and Ragman Roll is Book 4 in the bestselling Kind Hearts and Martinets crime series, featuring the eponymous Portsmouth detective DCI Jack (Jane) Austin. DCI Jack Austin is trying to enjoy his honeymoon with Detective Superintendent Amanda Bruce. But it soon becomes a busman’s holiday (or the crime busting equivalent) with news of a turf war in Portsmouth, a missing obese gangster who turns up skinny, and the seemingly unconnected murder of a banker in Paris. When an ambitious new detective arrives on Jack’s patch and starts making waves, he knows the time has come to get back to Southsea and protect not just his rather tarnished reputation, but those who truly matter to him. Ghost and Ragman Roll is another criminally funny romp with the world’s greatest – or is that worst? – police detective, DI Jack (Jane) Austin.

 

Justice Gone by N Lombardi Jr

5 Stars from me

I am honoured to be opening the blog tour for Justice Gone by N Lombardi Jr for it feels like an ‘important’ book which contains a stark tale about humanity wrapped up inside an engrossing legal thriller. It is truly shameful that our war veterans return home to job instability, often homelessness and a lack of regard for their mental health.

After a phone call from a hot and bothered businessman draws the police to speak with a homeless veteran on the streets of Bruntfield, New Jersey – purely because he doesn’t like the man being near his business – a terrible crime is committed. Despite the best efforts of the war hero ‘Jay’ to cooperate and reason with the police, he is mercilessly beaten to death by six police officers who not only kill him in broad daylight with no cause, but also have the wherewithal to speak phrases into their recording equipment suggesting that the man is resisting arrest.

Dr Tessa Thorpe dedicates her life to counselling war veterans and Jay was one of her clients. When she hears about his death she immediately fears for another veteran ‘Donald’ who she knows is extremely close to Jay and in fact feels he owes him his life.

An initial court case, in which Tessa is called upon to provide evidence, sees the 6 police officers walk free.

The initial act of sheer police brutality is caught on video and shared and before long a sniper kills the guilty police officers. Focus then turns to missing veteran Danny who is soon found and arrested.

Like most people, I have seen/heard similar claims of police brutality but have to say I’ve always thought there were ‘two sides to every story’ however now I am not so sure! Justice Gone offers a glimpse into the American legal system and some gripping courtroom scenes. I’ve no intention of spoiling the ending, the only way for you to find out is to pick up this book and find out for yourself!

Worth adding too, this book is written with real imagery – you can visualise the streets, the trees, the opulence or not of rooms – it is more like reading a film and I am sure Justice Gone would make for a great one.

My thanks to Damp Pebbles blog tours for letting me be a part of this tour.

Synopsis: When a homeless war veteran is beaten to death by the police, stormy protests ensue, engulfing a small New Jersey town. Soon after, three cops are gunned down. A multi-state manhunt is underway for a cop killer on the loose. And Dr. Tessa Thorpe, a veteran’s counselor, is caught up in the chase. Donald Darfield, an African-American Iraqi war vet, war-time buddy of the beaten man, and one of Tessa’s patients, is holed up in a mountain cabin. Tessa, acting on instinct, sets off to find him, but the swarm of law enforcement officers get there first, leading to Darfield’s dramatic capture. Now, the only people separating him from the lethal needle of state justice are Tessa and ageing blind lawyer, Nathaniel Bodine. Can they untangle the web tightening around Darfield in time, when the press and the justice system are baying for revenge? Justice Gone is the first in a series of psychological thrillers involving Dr Tessa Thorpe, wrapped in the divisive issues of modern American society including police brutality and disenfranchised returning war veterans. N Lombardi Jr. is the author of compelling and heartfelt novel The Plain of Jars.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nick.lombardi.9400
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6982373.N_Lombardi_Jr_
Website: http://author-n-lombardi-jr.com/

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK:

The Good Neighbor by Cathryn Grant

4 Stars from me

Wow! To say this book ‘packs a punch’ is such an understatement – it more ‘smacks you around the head with a 9 iron!’

The Good Neighbor starts off softly, albeit with a traumatic and shocking event – 14 year old Brittany has disappeared during the night, seemingly snatched from her bed. I have to confess I was lulled into thinking it would jog along nicely so boy was I taken by surprise!

The pace accelerates and accelerates before plunging you into free fall as more and more of the story is revealed. There were twists and turns around every corner all neatly packaged within this highly readable tale.

Be warned though, there are several moral questions hidden within these pages… Would you? Could you? How far would you go if you were in Taylor’s shoes, Moira’s shoes, Crystal’s shoes, Brittany’s shoes?

I haven’t read anything by Cathryn Grant before but she is certainly an author I will look out for now!

My thanks to @CathrynGrant and @damppebbles for letting me be a part of #damppebblesblogtours

Synopsis: Sometimes the past just won’t stay buried.

When 14 year old Brittany Cushing disappears one night, her parents are devastated, certain she has been taken.

They can’t bear to think about who has done this and why, about what might be happening to their precious daughter.

Their neighbor, Taylor, is a rock, doing everything she can to help – organizing search parties, setting up a Facebook page, …

As this affluent California community becomes focused on the hunt for the missing girl, it slowly becomes clear that her disappearance is linked to terrible secrets from the past.

Secrets that must be kept hidden at all costs….

The Good Neighbor is a gripping psychological thriller that twists and turns as it races towards its nerve-shredding climax. Perfect for fans of K. L. Slater, Teresa Driscoll and Mark Edwards.

About Cathryn Grant:

Cathryn’s fiction has appeared in Alfred Hitchcock and Ellery Queen Mystery Magazines, The Shroud Quarterly Journal, and The Best of Every Day Fiction. Her story “I Was Young Once” received an honorable mention in the 2007 Zoetrope Fiction contest.

She’s the author of the Alexandra Mallory Psychological Suspense series, Psychological Thrillers, Suburban Noir novels, The Haunted Ship Trilogy, and the Madison Keith Ghost Story series.

When she’s not writing, Cathryn reads fiction, eavesdrops, and tries to play golf without hitting her ball into the sand or the water. She lives on the Central California coast with her husband and two cats.

Social Media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/CathrynGrant

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CathrynGrant.Writer/

Website: https://www.cathryngrant.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cathryngrant_fiction/

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Cathryn-Grant/e/B004G1I484?ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_3&qid=1566901527&sr=8-3