The Devil’s Porridge Gang by Colin Garrow

4 Stars from me

Set at the time of the moon landing, this is a brilliant suspense-filled children’s thriller!

As well as having an inspired title, there are some wonderful characters contained within the gang members and indeed their enemy – the Wormleys…

A tale of simpler times, full of some wonderful nostalgia that will lift this from being a children’s mystery novel into appealing to an adult readership from this period of time. Anyone who recalled being of a similar age during the moon landing will no doubt fall in love with this book.

This book offers the perfect mix of mystery, intrigue, mild peril and childhood friendship.

#TheDevilsPorridgeGang @colingarrow @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book Blurb: In a town where nothing happens, a gang of kids uncover a kidnapping plot.

In the days following the excitement of the moon landings, a group of criminals plan to kidnap the son of a Government rocket engineer – but they don’t expect a gang of kids to get in the way…

Sam Todd dreams of adventure and longs for something exciting to happen for him and his friends. When he and the gang try to add a touch of excitement to their lives by stealing empty bottles from a pop factory, they are easily caught. But the consequences lead them back to the factory where they begin to uncover a villainous scheme.

THE DEVIL’S PORRIDGE GANG is book #1 in this Sixties adventure series.

Social Media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/colingarrow

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/colingarrowthewriter/

Website (adults): https://colingarrow.org/

Website (childrens): https://colingarrowbooks.com/

 

The Terror Within by Linda Regan

4 Stars from me

This is a beautiful example of how to build tension!

Hats off to Linda Regan who has essentially written this entire book around one scene – it’s a brilliant concept and artful mastered.

The Terror Within is my first introduction to DCI Banham and I will be looking out for the previous books as I would love to read the backstory. Well, I think, to be fair it sounds pretty damn gruesome!

My only niggles throughout this book related to the internal dialogue from DI Alison Grainger – her ‘do I, don’t I, oh Banny, I love his little curl‘ got on my wick!

Ignoring that, this is a solid and superbly constructed hostage scene with a wonderful amount of ever tightening peril and tension – I loved it!

My thanks to the wonderful Emma from Damp Pebbles Blog Tours who rescued my ARC which was virtually unreadable! The woman is a saint.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book Blurb: CAN THEY SAVE THE HOSTAGES BEFORE TIME RUNS OUT?

Just as DCI Banham and DI Alison Grainger are about to get married, a policeman is shot and all officers are urgently called to the scene.

Banham, a trained hostage negotiator, rushes to the street when he hears his friend, PC Martin Neville, has been injured and taken hostage, along with four others. As Banham tries to negotiate, things go from dangerous to critical, with PC Neville is in a life-threatening condition.

Meanwhile Grainger, having been left at the altar, defies orders and is working on the case from the CCTV room. When the pieces begin to fall together, she finds herself in a deadly situation. With time nearly up, the demands of the hostage-takers are yet to be met and lives remain at risk…

DCI Banham returns in the latest heart racing novel from critically acclaimed author Linda Regan. This fast-paced and gritty thriller is perfect for fans of Lynda La Plante and Kimberley Chambers.

About Linda Regan:

Linda is a successful actress, still best known for her portrayal of April, the sweet yellow-coat, in the BBC award winning comedy Hi-De-Hi. Other programmes she has appeared in include: The Bafta nominated Channel five series: Harry and Cosh, The Bill, London’s Burning, Minder, Gentle Touch, The Knock, a Lynda La Plante series: Framed, to name but a few. Also many films, a season with the RSC, and many good theatre roles. To date she has appeared in nearly a hundred commercials.

She has been writing all her life: short stories, radio, fact and fiction. Her first crime novel was published in 2006, and her subsequent novels have all received excellent reviews.

Social Media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Linda_Regan

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LindaReganAuthor/

Website: https://lindareganonline.co.uk/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/linda.regan.01/

I May Kill You by Keith Dixon

4 Stars from me

I finished this book gutted that Ben Buckland is an ex-policeman, I’d love to read a series involving him as a lead copper.

The story centres around Peter our serial killer – who has taken the time to write to 713 people to let them know that he might kill them, and Ben Buckland, disgraced ex-cop who is determined to catch the killer.

Ben is a great character and I enjoyed that he was the centre of a kind of neighbourhood watch group, appointed by all the old ladies in his block of flats who seemed convinced he was definitely still a policeman.

Peter is a reluctant, quirky and at times reluctant killer – his depth of knowledge of books was fabulous, a very nice touch from the author which put my in mind of the Michael Wood books.

Overall this is a great premise for a story, the relationships that Ben has – with his ex-wife, daughter, ex-girlfriend etc all add a nice dimension to his character. Although I can’t help feeling he brings some of the bad stuff onto himself…

Book Blurb: Serial killers are secretive animals. They keep their deeds to themselves and hope never to be found.

But there’s a new man in town—a killer who warns people in advance he’s going to kill them, then does it, in a variety of unusual, even bizarre, ways.

Ex-policeman Ben Buckland wants to catch this man not because he’s on the list… but because his 15-year-old daughter is. And that’s just not fair.

Especially when the killer has sent out warnings to several hundred people…

 

Killing Pretties by Rob Ashman

4 Stars from me

Killing Pretties does exactly what it says on the tin but with an unhealthy mix of swinging, torture, lies and corruption thrown in!

I would have loved to have seen the faces of the author’s friends and family when they first read this book…

Khenan Malice is a superb character, flawed as hell and happy to operate by fair means or foul.

I have to confess that my favourite characters, however, were actually the Kaplans. They were so incredibly messed up and yet somehow managed to find each other – as an aside, that is something I’ve always found fascinating in general, how do the likes Brady/Hindley, the Wests etc find their ‘kindred spirits’?

Kelly Pietersen’s character was a good one, I look forward to reading more about her in future stories – she was a slower burn for me than Malice but I liked her by the end and thought they made a good pairing.

Elsa was fabulously awful throughout the story. She oozes sexuality and knows it and uses it, is obsessed with power and appears utterly devoid of any empathy for others. Why she was this way never really came to light. Damian, however, was a sad and broken individual who at times was almost likeable and certainly the more relatable of the two. It felt as though with a different upbringing – and had he never have met Elsa – he could potentially have led a normal life.

The pottery was a wonderful touch.

Are we all just two steps from madness?

My thanks to BOTBSPublicity and Rob Ashman for letting me take part in this blog tour.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blurb: Detective Sergeant Khenan Malice is a rubbish ex-husband, a crap father but a damned good detective. It’s a shame he spoils his only redeeming quality by being a bent copper.

Detective Kelly Pietersen joins the team to help find a missing woman. But she has a secret…

Damien Kaplan is a leading criminal barrister and a keen amateur potter. He also happens to be a serial killer with a chilling approach to creating his art. He’s married to Elsa, though she considers him more of a possession than a husband. She controls those around her using sex and procures men and women for her husband to play with but only after she’s finished with them first.

Killing Pretties is his passion, having sex with them is hers. It is difficult to say which one is worse.

The missing woman brings all four crashing together – an incendiary mix that doesn’t end well.

The Other People by C J Tudor

4 Stars from me

What an incredible storyline! Much like with The Taking of Annie Thorne CJ Tudor has created a surreal and captivating core within the story of The Other People.

The concept of ‘The Other People’ is both creepy and fascinating – I wonder if Tudor had fun researching the ins and outs of the dark web!

Poor Gabe really has led a life plagued with nightmare scenarios, he seems to have lurched from one awful situation to another.

Seeing his daughter in a car and then being told that she couldn’t have been there because she had died… what a way to mess with his mind!

This is a satisfying read which requires a little suspension of belief in reality but just go with it as the story is superb!

Blurb: She sleeps, a pale girl in a white room . . .

Three years ago, Gabe saw his daughter taken. In the back of a rusty old car, covered in bumper stickers. He was driving behind the car. He watched her disappear. But no one believes him. Most people believe that his daughter, and wife, are dead. For a while, people believed that Gabe was responsible.

Three years later and Gabe cannot give up hope. Even though he has given up everything else. His home, his job, his old life. He spends his days and nights travelling up and down the motorway, sleeping in his camper van in service stations, searching for the car that took her. Searching for his daughter.

Katie spends a lot of her life in service stations, working as a waitress. She often sees Gabriel, or ‘the thin man’ as she has nicknamed him. She knows his story. She feels for him, because Katie understands what it’s like to lose a loved one. Nine years ago, her father was murdered. It broke her family apart. She hasn’t seen her oldest sister since the day of the funeral; the day she did something terrible.

Fran and her daughter, Alice, put in a lot of miles on the motorway. Not searching. But running. Trying to keep one step ahead of the people that want to hurt them. Because Fran knows the truth. She knows what really happened to Gabe’s daughter. She knows who is responsible. And she knows that if they ever find them, they’re dead.

Rage and Retribution by Lorraine Mace

4 Stars from me

There is a lovely little moral dilemma running through the core of Rage and Retribution – the question of whether two wrongs make a right.

In the story, we soon learn that there is a person ‘Nemesis’ who is enacting revenge upon rapists, so far so good right… However, Nemesis has taken the act of retribution to its darkest edge and, much like in Retriever of Souls, Lorraine Mace leads us into some very uncomfortable, brutal and graphic scenes.

I’m a bit on the fence regarding my opinion of DI Paolo Sterling – most of the time I like him but there isn’t just something about him that rankles a little. Dave however seems like a top guy whereas the rest of the team seem 50/50.

There are some interesting little subplots throughout the story which add depth to the lead characters making them more real.

Overall a very interesting take on ‘can two wrongs make a right’ within a fast paced race to unearth the culprit.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blurb: Can two wrongs ever make a right?

A man is found by the side of a canal, comatose and brutally attacked.

It quickly becomes clear that someone is abducting men and subjecting them to horrific acts of torture. After three days they’re released, fighting for their lives and refusing to speak.

A councillor is accused of fraud.

Montague Mason is an upstanding member of the community. That is until he’s publicly accused of stealing the youth centre’s funds – an accusation that threatens to rip through the very heart of the community and expose his best-kept secret. But how far would he go to protect himself?

Two cases. One deadly answer.

As the two cases collide, D.I. Paolo Sterling finds he has more questions than answers. And, when torture escalates to murder, he suddenly finds himself in a race against time to find the killer and put an end to the depravity – once and for all.

The Resident by David Jackson

5 Stars from me!

Oh I absolutely loved The Resident! David Jackson somehow manages to elevate what should be a really creepy and disturbing book into a pure genius black comedy.

Thomas Brogan – depraved serial killer – is bizarrely likeable and by far my favourite character (except maybe the little old lady). I really found myself rooting for him and at times was almost willing him to do bad things – David Jackson, what have you done to my mind?

Not your traditional crime thriller by any means but absolutely readable, absolutely brilliant and highly recommended by me!

Blurb: THERE’S A SERIAL KILLER ON THE RUN. AND HE’S HIDING IN YOUR HOUSE…

Thomas Brogan is a serial killer, and he has nowhere left to hide. At least until he finds an abandoned house at the end of a terrace on a quiet street. And when he discovers that he can access three other houses through the attic space, the real fun begins. Because the one thing that Brogan enjoys even more than killing, is playing games with his victims. And his new neighbours have more than enough dark secrets to make this game his best one yet…

30 Days in June by Chris Westlake

4 Stars from me

Super creepy and loads of tension – 30 Days in June is a book that you will struggle to put down.

Marcus is an unusual character and I found him a little hard to truly like most of the time – but I guess that stems from the catalogue of horrors that have formed his life.

When, 30 years after a serial killer first strikes, someone calls Marcus by his old name, he is ricocheted back into the past and immediately fearful for his life. However it seems that the depraved – and patient, right – serial killer wants to play a game first.

I couldn’t help but feel sorry for ‘Marcus’ and his family – they well and truly went through the mill didn’t they!

Marcus meets some eclectic ‘allies’ along the way as he struggles to fight the serial killer who almost took his life 3 decades before and for the month of June the clock ticks down to a final confrontations – but who will survive?

30 Days in June is a compelling read with a steady pace – albeit with a rapidly building tension – with a satisfying ending.

My thanks to Chris Westlake and Damp Pebbles Blog Tours for letting me be a part of this book tour.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blurb: On the 1st day of June 1988, the residents of south Wales were thrown into a state of panic when a married couple were brutally murdered in their own home. The killer, nicknamed Spartacus by the media, did not flee the scene immediately; instead, he stayed to carve Roman Numerals onto his victims’ chests.

This was the beginning of a month-long killing spree, each murder taking a step closer to home.

Seventeen-year-old Jeffrey Allen was to be the final victim, on the final day of the month. Instead, he became the only survivor, and the only real witness. The killings ended as suddenly as they began. Jeffrey relocated to London, changing his name, and his identity, to Marcus Clancy. His past life became merely a dark secret.

On 1st June 2018, 30 years to the day since the first killing, a mysterious figure refers to Marcus by his old name, through closing lift doors.

Is Spartacus back? If so, has he returned to finish what he failed to do thirty years ago?

And so begins 30 days of terror for Marcus Clancy, culminating in dramatic fashion on the final day of June.

30 DAYS IN JUNE is Chris Westlake’s third novel, and his first crime thriller. He is currently writing his second crime thriller, and is on schedule to have it completed in 2020.

The Boy from the Woods by Harlan Coben

4 Stars from me

Classic Coben! The book packs so much in that you will fast be immersed in the story and invested in the characters.

Wilde is a ‘Jack Reacher’ style guy with an incredible past that ties him to the family of ruthless criminal attorney Hester Crimstein. He is liked and respected by men and adored by (several) women.

The story focuses on a missing teenager and a murky political past but also manages to weave in some nice emotive touches and several peaks of tension.

Overall, very Coben and very readable!

Blurb: A man with a mysterious past must find a missing teenage girl in this shocking thriller from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Run Away.

Thirty years ago, Wilde was found as a boy living feral in the woods, with no memory of his past. Now an adult, he still doesn’t know where he comes from, and another child has gone missing.

No one seems to take Naomi Pine’s disappearance seriously, not even her father-with one exception. Hester Crimstein, a television criminal attorney, knows through her grandson that Naomi was relentlessly bullied at school. Hester asks Wilde-with whom she shares a tragic connection-to use his unique skills to help find Naomi.

Wilde can’t ignore an outcast in trouble, but in order to find Naomi he must venture back into the community where he has never fit in, a place where the powerful are protected even when they harbor secrets that could destroy the lives of millions . . . secrets that Wilde must uncover before it’s too late.

For Better, For Worse by Jane Isaac

5 Stars from me

I am a long time fan of Jane Isaac and am therefore delighted that For Better, For Worse is just as excellent as her previous books.

Beautifully written and with a breathtaking start, For Better, For Worse will have you whizzing through the pages in a bid to keep up.

Hats off to Gina Ingram, I can’t imagine the horror of having the police accuse your husband of being a child abuser – the sheer world-altering, future-changing, past-destroying horror. But then to have the test to your relationship of him protesting his innocence – how could you really ever be sure?

A difficult subject is thought provokingly handled throughout the core of this book, with the main thrust of the crime thriller built around it.

DC Beth Chamberlain is back and needs to use all of her liaison officer training to begin to unpick the tightly woven threads of the truth. She is a solid and likeable character throughout this book and I hope we get to read more about her in future stories.

Blurb: Stuart Ingram was once a respected local councillor… The first time the police knocked on Gina’s door, they arrested her husband.

The second time, they accused him of child abuse.

But he died a guilty man.

This time, the police are here for Gina – to tell her that her husband is dead. Murdered, just two weeks before his trial.

Gina always stood by her husband. Even when everyone else walked away. She believed the trial would clear his name. But now Stuart is dead.

And his wife is the suspect.

It’s a race against time for DC Beth Chamberlain to uncover the truth – especially when a second man turns up dead.

Domestic noir meets police procedural in this pacy thriller from Jane Isaac, perfect for fans of Samantha Downing, Fiona Barton and K.L. Slater. Previously published as Presumed Guilty.