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…

 

Dead Wrong by Noelle Holten

5 Stars from me

Just like the stonking debut ‘Dead Inside‘ from Noelle Holten, ‘Dead Wrong’ does not disappoint.

After reading Dead Inside I remember thinking I wish it featured DC Maggie Jamieson more, and in Dead Wrong I got my wish!

This is a fresh and exciting police procedural with a twist – a serial killer has been convicted and is in prison – so how can his freshly killed victims only just be appearing now?

Dead Wrong has a clever storyline and a whole bunch of dead ends and red herrings, it is very nicely plotted.

Raven is a beast of a character – he and Maggie together had overtures of Lecter and Clarice for me which was a nice touch.

Enjoy discovering how Maggie thinks and how she sets about proving that Raven is the killer – it’s a bumpy ride but you’ll love it.

Congrats to Noelle for another great read – made all the more enjoyable as she is such a lovely person to interact with on twitter!

My thanks to @nholten40, @0neMoreChapter_ and @BOTBSPublicity for letting me be a part of this epic blog tour!

Blurb: The serial killer is behind bars. But the murders are just beginning…

DC Maggie Jamieson’s past comes back to haunt her in this dark and gripping serial killer thriller.

Three missing women running out of time…

They were abducted years ago. Notorious serial killer Bill Raven admitted to killing them and was sentenced to life.

The case was closed – at least DC Maggie Jamieson thought it was…

But now one of them has been found, dismembered and dumped in a bin bag in town.

Forensics reveal that she died just two days ago, when Raven was behind bars, so Maggie has a second killer to find.

Because even if the other missing women are still alive, one thing’s for certain: they don’t have long left to live…

Code Name: Lise by Larry Loftis

4 Stars from me

This is a truly remarkable story which follows the experiences of Odette Sansom who begins by tentatively offering to help out and is quickly snapped up and deeply embroiled in the fight against the Germans as a spy code-named Lise.

The most startling part of this ‘story’ is that it is true – this seemingly mild mannered mum of 3 really did step out of her mum role into the cold hard shoes of a spy.

I don’t truly understand how Odette Sansom isn’t a well known name – she should be celebrated loudly and heralded for her bravery and commitment to the cause and her commanding officer Captain Peter Churchill.

Part war story, part love story, part thriller and all round captivating read, Code Name: Lise will have you hooked. Odette uses a mix of cunning, guile and sheer determination to guide her through the many trials and tribulations that she faces – including capture, torture and long periods of awful treatment. It is virtually impossible to comprehend how she found the strength to keep going and it is very clear that she deserved to be highly decorated for her heroism.

I haven’t read much non-fiction before but having recently read and loved The Tattooist of Auschwitz I just knew I would love Code Name: Lise – it feels quite an honour to read Odette’s story.

My thanks to Mirror Books and Larry Loftis for letting me be a part of the Code Name: Lise blog tour.

Blurb: The true story of the woman who became WWII’s most highly decorated spy

The year is 1942, and World War II is in full swing. Odette Sansom decides to follow in her war hero father’s footsteps by becoming an SOE agent to aid Britain and her beloved homeland, France. Five failed attempts and one plane crash later, she finally lands in occupied France to begin her mission. It is here that she meets her commanding officer Captain Peter Churchill.

As they successfully complete mission after mission, Peter and Odette fall in love. All the while, they are being hunted by the cunning German secret police sergeant, Hugo Bleicher, who finally succeeds in capturing them. They are sent to Paris’s Fresnes prison, and from there to concentration camps in Germany where they are starved, beaten, and tortured. But in the face of despair, they never give up hope, their love for each other, or the whereabouts of their colleagues.

In Code Name: Lise, Larry Loftis paints a portrait of true courage, patriotism, and love—of two incredibly heroic people who endured unimaginable horrors and degradations. He seamlessly weaves together the touching romance between Odette and Peter and the thrilling cat and mouse game between them and Sergeant Bleicher.

Two Years After by Paul J Teague

5 Stars from me

I raced through this nasty little psychological thriller from Paul J Teague! The pages virtually turned themselves while I did my best to hold on and enjoy the ride.

Poor Rosie, what a time of it she has had – how fortunate for her that her job has remained open… What lovely new friends she has made at work – with the exception of deliciously creepy Mr HR Manager of course.

Really can’t praise this enough, fabulous escapism at its finest with a fast pace, intriguing storyline and an unpredictable ending.

Loved it.

My thanks to BOTBSPublicity and Paul Teague for letting me take part in this blog tour.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blurb: An unsettling psychological thriller with a chilling twist…

A shattered life. A tortured mind. A return to work that becomes a living hell …

When Rosie Taylor returns to work after a long recovery from a tragic accident, she can’t believe how much things have changed for the worse.

Not only is there a new HR guy in charge, everybody’s fighting to keep their job and there are some new recruits with very unusual habits.

Rosie needs this job.

Social services are threatening to take her child, she’s struggling to recover from mental illness and if she doesn’t bring some money in fast, she’ll lose the house.

But somebody at work has got it in for her and she’s struggling to hang on to what’s left of her shattered life.

Two Years After is an unsettling psychological thriller which will have you looking over your shoulder next time you go to work.

Author Bio:

Paul Teague writes thrillers, sci-fi and non-fiction books.
Writing as Paul J. Teague, he is the author of the Don’t Tell Meg and Morecambe Bay trilogies as well as several standalones such as Dead of Night, Now You See Her (with Adam Nicholls) and So Many Lies.
Paul is a former teacher, DJ, waiter and BBC radio producer, presenter and journalist.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/PaulTeagueUK

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

Thriller website: https://paulteague.co.uk/

Avenge the Dead by Jackie Baldwin

4 Stars from me

It was great to catch up with DI Frank Farrell again – I last encountered him in Dead Man’s Prayer.

DI Farrell pushes the boundaries of ‘messed up cop’ to the absolute limit but I found that made me root for him all the more.

He is a complex but doggedly driven character who just never seems to give him (except on himself) and that drive and determination means that he pursues the culprit to the bitter end – no matter what.

Avenge The Dead has a clever and multi-layered storyline and Jackie Baldwin’s knowledge of the area and the legal profession really give this book an edge of credibility.

My thanks to @JackieMBaldwin1 and #damppebblesblogtours for letting me be a part of this stonking book tour! I feel honoured to be in such great company.

 

Blurb: Sometimes murder is the only way to get even… 

Four friends with dark secrets. One killer out for revenge.

DI Frank Farrell and DS McLeod are tasked with investigating the brutal murder of a defence solicitor’s wife in Dumfries.

It’s been over a year since they left the town after an investigation robbed them of a dear friend. But now they’re back and must find a way to move on.

When the son of another defence solicitor is murdered, a strange tattoo etched on his body, the case takes them into darker, more disturbing territory.

It leads them back into the past – to a horrific fire in a cottage that took a woman’s life, to four friends harbouring dark secrets – and finally to a killer waiting patiently for revenge.

#AvengeTheDead #DIFrankFarrell @JackieMBaldwin1 @0neMoreChapter_ @KillerReads @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours

About Jackie Baldwin:

Jackie Baldwin is a Scottish crime writer. Her debut crime novel, Dead Man’s Prayer, was published by Killer Reads on 2nd September 2016. The second in the series, Perfect Dead was published on 15th June 2018. For most of her working life, she has been a solicitor specialising in Family and Criminal Law. She later retrained as a hypnotherapist. Married with a grown family, she recently moved from Dumfries to East Lothian.

Social Media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JackieMBaldwin1

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

Website: http://jackiebaldwin.co.uk/

 

Exit by Belinda Bauer

5 Stars from me

So good!

If Exiteers aren’t a thing then they totally should be.

I loved this book from start to finish, it is beautifully sharp and funny in all the right places.

I found the characters to be engaging and I simply couldn’t read the book fast enough – I raced through the pages needing to find out what happens to Felix.

Great story, great ending, highly recommended.

 

Blurb: The sensational new crime novel from the bestselling author of SNAP

IT WAS NEVER SUPPOSED TO BE MURDER . . .

Pensioner Felix Pink is about to find out that it’s never too late . . . for life to go horribly wrong.

When Felix lets himself in to Number 3 Black Lane, he’s there to perform an act of kindness and charity: to keep a dying man company as he takes his final breath . . .

But just fifteen minutes later Felix is on the run from the police – after making the biggest mistake of his life.

Now his routine world is turned upside down as he tries to discover what went wrong, while staying one step ahead of the law.

Exit is the heart-pounding, heart-breaking, and often hilarious new novel from Sunday Times bestselling author Belinda Bauer.

Our Little Cruelties by Liz Nugent

4 Stars from me

Another book full of characters that you’ll love to hate! I seem to have stumbled across a few of these lately.

The family at the heart of Our Little Cruelties is dysfunctional to the max – all seemingly stemming from the mother’s infatuation with herself.

There are some great descriptive elements of the years as the story moves from the past into the present day, including the typical impact that poverty could have upon a family – the Christmas day from the 1970s in particular.

More of a family drama than a psychological thriller, however the story will keep you turning the pages and wanting to discover more.

Blurb: Three brothers are at the funeral. One lies in the coffin.

Will, Brian and Luke grow up competing for their mother’s unequal love. As men, the competition continues – for status, money, fame, women …

They each betray each other, over and over, until one of them is dead.

But which brother killed him?

Hidden Steel by Stuart Field

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.5 Stars from me

This is book 2 of a series featuring John Steel, the hero, who is on a cruise ship ‘Neptune’ where he has a matter of days to work out what is going on and beat the bad guys.

I wonder if John Steel is a bit marmite – will you love or loathe his all action hero style? He is a bit of Bond, Bruce Willis (from every Bruce Willis movie), Siegal, Cruise et al pretty much rolled into one ‘dude’ who has ladies falling at his feet.

Meanwhile back in New York, Sam McCall, is busy clearing down some cases which all appear to be separate but soon begin to show links… to each other and to the Neptune.

There follows a fast paced race to find answers, with rapid scene and point of view changes and definitely a high octane read!

Synopsis: In the UK, Detective John Steel is investigating the organization who killed his family. When he comes across information that something big is going to happen on the cruise ship Neptune, Steel goes undercover. He has fourteen days to figure out what is going to happen – and to stop it.

In New York, Steel’s NYPD partner, Detective Samantha McCall, is investigating a series of deaths. All seems run of the mill for the homicide detective until they find out that the deaths are somehow connected to the cruise ship John Steel is on.

McCall is convinced there is a mole in the department, but can she figure out who he is – and who he’s working for? Meanwhile, Steel is running out of options… and the clock is ticking.