Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Book review: Forget Me Not by Luana Lewis

A tragic suicide?

When Rose’s daughter, Vivien, is found dead in a suspected suicide, Rose has questions nobody can answer. Wasn’t Vivien living the perfect life? A caring husband, a sweet little girl of her own.

Or the perfect murder?

But as the police investigation develops, their findings raise new questions. Did Vivien kill herself, or was she attacked? If so, who has something to hide?

As Rose struggles to piece together the secrets of her daughter’s life, the cracks in the family begin to show. But once Rose knows the answers, there’s no going back...

A gripping thriller perfect for fans of Daughter, The Book of You and C L Taylor's The Lie.

Copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Losing your child is the most devastating thing that can happen to someone. Rose loses her only daughter, police suspect a possible suicide. Her perfect daughter had everything, perfect home, perfect husband, perfect little girl. But was that enough for happiness? Why would she want to kill herself?

Rose's only hope in life now is little Lexi. She blames herself for her daughter's suicide and taking care for the granddaughter makes her feel less guilty. But her son-in-law, Ben, doesn't think that Rose is a good person to be around Lexi. He needs time for grieving. They both do. Or maybe there is some other reason for him to keep her far away from his daughter?

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Blog Tour, Review and GIVEAWAY: Death in Shanghai by M.J.Lee

Blurb: Shanghai, 1928. The body of a blonde is washed up on the Beach of Dead Babies, in the heart of the smog-filled city. Seemingly a suicide, a closer inspection reveals a darker motive: the corpse has been weighed down, it’s lower half mutilated…and the Chinese character for ‘justice’ carved into the chest.

The moment Inspector Danilov lays eyes on the dismembered body, he realises that he has an exceptional case on his hands. And when the first body is followed by another, and another, each displaying a new, bloody message, he has no option but face the truth. He is dealing with the worst kind of criminal; someone determined, twisted…and vengeful.

Someone who must be caught….whatever the cost.

Death in Shanghai is the first novel in M J Lee’s Inspector Danilov series, perfect for fans of Philip Kerr.

                                          Links:  Goodreads  /  Amazon UK

Friday, December 18, 2015

Interview with C.M.Albrecht, the author of Jonas McCleary Series

Today, I have the honor to host one great author, true fan of classic crime noir, Mr. C. M. Albrecht. He is the author of Jonas McCleary Series, three so far and I hope many more. The Sand Bluff Murders was published in 2012, The Morgenstern Murders in 2014, and The Kid Who Wasn't There Murders came out this month. A former investigator, now private eye, he brings his rich experience to his novels. Let's meet the person who created PI Jonas McCleary! 

1.      Can you tell our readers something about you? Who is C. M. Albrecht?

My name is C. M. Albrecht, at least on my books, but here at home, people call me Carl. They probably call me other things as well, but not to my face. I've had a varied career, going from my years as a private investigator to a restaurant operator. I always enjoyed cooking so when an opportunity came up to take over a café, I jumped on it. But juggling two jobs at the same time was strenuous, especially when I also had a feeling I'd like to sit down and write. Fortunately, I now have the leisure to read and write, and I still get in the kitchen and cook up a mean dinner.

2.      Is Jonas McCleary based on you or someone you know?

Jonas McCleary, like all the characters in my books, wasn't borrowed from anyone I knew or knew about. At least not consciously. First, when I can, I lie down on the patio and daydream. Or I'll awaken at 3 in the morning and while I'm trying to get back sleep, I start "thinking". That's often how it starts. A situation begins to develop and the more I think about it, a character may begin to emerge. In my different books, as the characters develop they soon take over and sometimes it's hard for me to keep up with them. Of course a lot of these initial "great ideas" turn out to be duds.

3.      Can you tell us something about your books, besides the Jonas McCleary Series?

So far, I have 13 novels. Two of my favorites are The Little Mornings and Marta's Place. These are noir novels, and while I can't get away from crime, they aren't really mysteries or detective tales. Some wise writer once said: "Ideally the ending should be a surprise, yet inevitable". I really like that idea, and I've tried to incorporate it into my novels. But achieving that isn't always easy. I'm not sure I've always succeeded, but I try. The other novels are mysteries, although, in River Road, the situation is more like a Colombo episode. The reader knows up front who the baddie is, but watching homicide detective Raf Rafferty work his way through the maze to catch him (with the help of a "medium" a new girlfriend and his trusty cat, Fido who thinks he's a dog), adds a little different twist to this one.

4.      From your books, we can see that you have a very good experience with police procedurals and private investigations. Can you tell us about your previous career?

The real life of a private investigator is seldom like that of the characters in books and film. Occasionally, when a real murder case, for example, has gone cold, family may hire a private investigator to see if he/she can uncover new evidence, but by and large, catching thieving employees or tracking down missing family members, etc. make up the bulk of an investigator's work. It's not unusual however, during the course of these investigations to become acquainted with police and detectives and to gain insight into their methods.

5.      Who is your favorite detective in crime fiction?

I admit, my favorite fiction detective is probably Philip Marlowe, but there are many, many others I enjoy and appreciate.

6.      What is your favorite book?

My favorite book? That's a tough one.  One that stands out in my mind, although not a mystery exactly, is A Coffin for Dimitrios. I found that to be a fascinating novel. But there are so many others…I love to read and have read every sort of book, from Great Expectations to sea novels, (especially U-boot novels, adventure novels. Just about everything. Seldom, but sometimes, historical novels. And I still read the works of "classical" writers; Zola, Hugo, writers of that period.

7.      Who, or what inspired you to write? And why crime noir?

I'm not sure what inspired me to write. I simply began one day to feel the urge to try my hand at it. Pretty clumsy at first, I can assure you. But I didn't take any classes. Well, I attended a night class in writing for a couple of months and learned absolutely nothing. From then on, I just went with trial and error, and tried to pay close attention. What did I like in the works of others? What didn't I like about my own stuff? Little by little I worked my way into what I wanted to do, be reportorial, clear and concise. I love the poetic flights of others, Eco and Abécassis and Márquez, but I can't and never could write like that, so I don't try. Crime noir? Oh, I've always loved crime noir. I've read all the works of Cain, Woolrich, Thompson and so many others, and have always admired the down-to-earth gritty style they employed. And besides, a lot of life is just like that.

8.      Would you like to describe your writing corner?

My "office" is in a spare bedroom I share with my lovely wife, Irma. I just have a modest writing table for the computer while on her side she has another desk with her own computer where she manages apartments and condos and keeps track of everything on the computer. On my side, I have a couple of bookcases filled not only with books, but all sorts of things I don't have any other place for. On the wall above, I have framed pictures of book covers and a photo of my wife and me on a cruise from a few years ago.

9.      You don't use too much violence in your stories. Why?

These days, books and movies are full of violence, gutter language and what a few years ago would have been X-rated sex, and I don't really see that as a positive direction to take.  In my books, I want the focus to be on the story itself, the characters and their motivations, not on the body count or sexual conquests. There's obviously a place for all that too, but it doesn’t particularly interest me.

10.  I'll put some spoiler in here. You've touched on a subject that is very popular in the media these days, sex change. Tell us something about that. How did you come up with the idea to use that in your book?

These days, we've opened up the doors to same-sex relationships, trans-gender, cross-dressing and many other human characteristics that have always been with us. In the past, if people had a child that was perhaps autistic or suffered from Down's syndrome, etc., they sometimes kept it at home out of sight; their shameful secret.

For years, people who have had confused sexual orientation, had to keep their secret hidden away in the closet as well. Today, as we become more open-minded and with increased understanding, we're more willing to understand and accept that each individual is unique and there really is no "norm". (I always say, Normal is not normal.) We can no longer put people in boxes or categories and expect everyone to fit in to what we consider proper. I find it interesting sometimes to address some aspect or another of human behavior. Back in the 1964, Rex Stout took the daring step of publishing "A Right to Die", a Nero Wolfe mystery concerning a white woman who took up the cause for blacks and even took an apartment in Harlem. She planned to marry a young black man. In those days, that was a very touchy subject, but Mr. Stout handled it, and at the same time, showed us that we're all brothers and sisters no matter what the color of our skin, or country of origin.

11.   Something about the end…

In the end of The Kid Who Wasn't There Murders, I wanted to tie the package up and create as far as possible, a satisfactory ending for all concerned. I certainly hope I've left no questions unanswered and the reader will come away with a good feeling about the book and the future for the McCleary family.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

My Favorite Sherlock Holmes TV Shows

I am a huge fan of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and his famous Sherlock Holmes. I've read most of his books, but mostly I am stuck in front of the tv when the tv adaptation runs. So here are my favorites:

The one and only, an actor who I always think of when someone mentions Sherlock Holmes, is Jeremy Brett. Jeremy Brett starred as Holmes in a Granada Television adaptation screened from 1984 to 1994, "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes", with David Burke and subsequently Edward Hardwicke as Watson. All but 18 of the Conan Doyle stories were filmed before the death of Jeremy Brett from a heart attack in 1995. Between 1984 and 1994, 36 episodes and five films were produced over six series. Brett and Hardwicke reprised their roles as Holmes and Watson in 1988-89 in a West End stage play, "The Secret of Sherlock Holmes", written by Jeremy Paul. 

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

My favorite crime drama tv shows

One of my favorite television shows that involves crime in it is Castle. Even after 8 seasons, it doesn't get boring. The dynamic duo of Castle and Bennet is getting even better and better. I really love them as a couple. It all started when a murder was committed inspired by the book written by the crime writer Richard Castle and detective Kate Becket was in charge for the case. Soon Richard Castle became police consultant and "the partnership in crime" was born.


 If you are a fan of Castle, you simply can not ignore Bones. Another dynamic duo, Dr. Temperance "Bones" Brennan and Special agent Seeley Booth. They are absolutely amazing. The show is full of interesting criminal cases and characters and after 11 seasons I still can't get enough of it.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Book review: The Kid Who Wasn't There Murders by C.M.Albrecht

How could anybody want to harm this innocent innocuous young man? He didn’t bother anyone. He didn’t interfere with anyone. He minded his own business and did what he was told. But he was just the handicapped son of a couple of junk dealers.

What’s the big deal?

Well, it’s a big deal to his grieving parents and they want closure. Enter Jonas McCleary, private investigator. But very quickly Jonas feels he’s spinning his wheels and wasting his clients’ money.

All that changes however when he becomes involved with a famous artist who has “models”, an influential TV personality who has “people”, a huge Navajo with a chip on his shoulder and a local mob boss who has “a crew." Jonas quickly finds himself falling into a black hole of lies, intrigue, and deception.

Copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Jonas McCleary is an old class detective. No modern technology, no gadgets in every pocket, just his open mind and a great sense for justice. That is what makes him good at his job, catching the bad guys. So when a mourning father shows up at the door of his office, PI McCleary takes the case. His client's son is dead. An autistic young man who never bothered anyone. A young artist who lived in his own world. A kid who never troubled anyone and never got into the fight, never lied. David Zaretsky lived for his paintings. His only passion was to paint. The father doubts the natural causes for the death of his only son, so he hires the private investigator to do some research. The investigation leads Jonas McCleary into the world of art and goes behind the scenes of the famous television shows. Soon he finds out that it is all about the show, that masks fall behind the scenes and that a whole new world arises when the red light of the camera turns off. A world where David Zaretsky doesn't belong to, a world where he is invisible, where for the rich and famous, simply isn't there.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Book Review: Lost Girls by Angela Marsons

Two girls go missing. Only one will return.

The couple that offers the highest amount will see their daughter again. The losing couple will not. Make no mistake. One child will die.

When nine-year-old best friends Charlie and Amy disappear, two families are plunged into a living nightmare. A text message confirms the unthinkable; that the girls are the victims of a terrifying kidnapping.

And when a second text message pits the two families against each other for the life of their children, the clock starts ticking for D.I. Kim Stoneand the squad.

Seemingly outwitted at every turn, as they uncover a trail of bodies, Stone realises that these ruthless killers might be the most deadly she has ever faced. And that their chances of bringing the girls home alive, are getting smaller by the hour...

Untangling a dark web of secrets from the families’ past might hold the key to solving this case. But can Kim stay alive long enough to do so? Or will someone’s child pay the ultimate price?

Copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Angela Marsons is quite new on the crime scene, but with three books in a row for less then a year, she definitely is a name to be remembered. I still haven't seen an author who can write that fast and that good. She became my favorite author with her first book, Silent Scream, and I love her writing more and more with every next book. Every time she leaves me with my jaw dropped and I am not surprised that easily. The third book, Lost Girls, is definitely cherry on the top of the cake, but knowing Angela Marsons, The Kim Stone Series are far from over.

Two little girls, two best friends, have been kidnapped together. Soon after the abduction, the families receive text messages. The family that pays more, gets the daughter back. The other one dies. The families that have been friends like forever, become worse enemies. There is no friendship when your child is in danger. A year ago, another two girls have been kidnapped. One girl came home, the other one didn't. But the game is far from over.

DI Kim Stone has a lot on her back. One of the mothers is her foster sister, and she counts on her. Kidnappings are not Kim's domain, murders are. When a case of a murder of a protected witness leads the team to the case of the kidnapped girls, Kim takes them both. Tough from outside, Kim is a real softie from inside, especially when is comes to protecting the ones who can not protect themselves. So she does her best. Her final goal, to bring BOTH girls back home, safe!

Apart from the case, this time we can see the softest side of Kim. In the last book, she adopted a dog. She really cares about her new best friend, her only friend, except Bryant. She slowly starts to break the walls around her and let people inside. She starts to care.

As I said previously, Lost Girls was even above my expectations, and I had high ones for Angela Marsons. I had only one issue, but that's just me and my opinion, I've found one scene particularly very grossy and disturbing, and my opinion is that the effect of the story could be achieved even without that scene. But even with that scene as a part of the plot, I couldn't leave my kindle until I finished my reading. She wrote a gripping story that literally brought tears to my eyes at the ending. This time we coped not only with murders, but with every parents' worst nightmare, their child's safety, and every child's nightmare, being locked alone in the dark. Angela Marsons really nailed it this time!

Would I recommend this book? Million times!

My opinion: 5 / 5.

You can buy the book HERE and HERE.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Book Review: Defenceless by Kati Hiekkapelto

Chilling, disturbing, and terrifyingly believable, an extraordinary thriller by one of the most exciting new voices in crime fiction

When an old man is found dead on the road—seemingly run over by a Hungarian au pair—police investigator Anna Fekete is certain that there is more to the incident than meets the eye. As she begins to unravel an increasingly complex case, she’s led on a deadly trail where illegal immigration, drugs, and, ultimately, murder threaten not only her beliefs, but her life. Anna’s partner Esko is entrenched in a separate but equally dangerous investigation into the activities of an immigrant gang, where deportation orders and raids cause increasing tension and result in desperate measures by gang members—and the police themselves. Then a bloody knife is found in the snow, and the two cases come together in ways that no one could have predicted. As pressure mounts, it becomes clear that having the law on their side may not be enough for Anna and Esko.

Copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Finland. When a Hungarian girl runs over an old man on the road, it turns out that the man has already been dead. Murdered!

Senior Constable Anna Fekete is called for the road accident because of her Hungarian origin. But knowing the Hungarian language isn't the only thing that connects her with this case. Soon the murder becomes her priority case that starts to reveal much more than a dead body on the road.

Sammy arrives in Finland hidden in a truck like many immigrants like him before. He runs away from war in Pakistan and leaves behind him his family. But the dream for the promised land soon becomes nightmare. Sammy becomes drug addict and a criminal. Few robberies here and there, just to get the dose he needs. But murder was never on his mind!

An old lady is missing. A neighbor from the building where the man found on the road lived. Is there a connection?

When two girls find a bloody knife in the woods, no one knows who the blood is from. But very soon, Anna starts to connect the dots.

Anna has to deal with her own skeletons in the closet. She is an immigrant from Serbia, part of Hungarian minority that lives in Vojvodina, northern Serbia. One of her brothers dies during the war in the nineties, and her family leaves for Hungary in order to save the other son. Anna leaves for Finland, but she finds no peace there. No matter how much she tries to mix with the rest, she is always the outsider, she is always the immigrant. At least she is a hard-worker, not like her brother who likes to depend on social care.

This is my first book by this author, but it certainly won't be the last. As a lover of Scandinavian crime noir, I've found this book very thrilling and interesting. What starts like a car accident, ends like totally jaw-dropping planned crime. The plot is fast-paced, creepy and sometimes very emotional. Murder is there, also enough blood, mystery is all over the scene. The author also deals with the issue of the immigrants, all from different countries and all there from different reasons. She gives the perspective from the eyes of the immigrants but also from the eyes of the local Finnish people. The ending of the story left me little bit wandering, some things were left untold, but I suppose that was because a sequel it's on its way. I would love to read a sequel of this book.

My opinion: 4,5 / 5.

You can buy the book HERE and HERE.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Book Review: 99 Percent Kill by Doug Richardson

Lucky Dey, an on-again/off-again Los Angeles County Sheriff's detective is both willful and acerbic to a dangerous fault. While in a holding pattern for official reinstatement, Lucky accepts a one-time private detective gig to track down the missing teenage daughter of a Midwestern software millionaire. This first Lucky Dey Novel winds its way through an L.A. landscape where the lights are bright, but the edges can be dark, perilously frayed, and populated with mix of human predators, amusing losers, and ambitious fringe dwellers." 

Copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

A teenage girl runs away from home. Having the body of a model, she tries to achieve the American Dream. Instead, she ends up as a dancer and possibly prostitute. But her father is after her, he'll do whatever it takes to bring his little girl back home.

But dad doesn't know where to start his search from. So he hires Lucky Dey, ex-cop, private investigator. Lucky is everything but an ordinary PI. He does the things on his own way.

Karrie is fifteen years old. She thinks she has everything she needs to become a model or actress, to become famous. Running away from a broken home is not that hard. But the road to the fame is hard. She dances on parties for money, and there she meets another dancer, Cherry. She introduces her in the world of photography and acting. But along with the ticket to the world of rich and famous, comes the side path of human trafficking and prostitution. Young provincial girls are target of pimps and drug dealers. And serial killers!

But when Lucky gets the things in his own hands, everyone is a suspect, everyone is on the target. He might be rough and hard to deal with, but when he starts something, he finishes it, no matter what. A teenage girl is missing, he'll walk across dead bodies if he has to, but that girl is going to be save!

When ever I think of Lucky Dey, the image of Liam Neeson pops up in my mind. Big bad guy, with a heart of gold underneath all that rough surface. If this books turns into a movie one day, the only person that I can imagine acting Lucky is no one else but Liam Neeson.

This is my second book by Doug Richardson and I must say that action is not lacking in his books. The story is full of adrenaline-rushed nail-biting moments and ending that literally made my jaw dropped. If you want a calm read, this isn't a book for you. But if you want a real page-turner and a fast-paced story that won't let you sleep until you finish it, then, this is a perfect book for you! And knowing that Doug Richarson is also a screen writer, I would expect to see this book turning into a movie very soon. Because this book really deserves that! Totally recommended!

My opinion: 5 / 5.

You can buy the book HERE and HERE!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Book Review: 24 Hours by Claire Seeber

My best friend, Emily, is dead – killed last night in a hotel fire.

But it was meant to be me.

Now I have 24 hours to find my daughter.

Before he finds out I’m still alive.“

*Copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. *

Imagine the tv show 24 with a female main character. Imagine the same show but not with a spy who runs around the world but with a mother trying to protect her child. Imagine all that and you'll get the gripping story of Claire Seeber, 24 Hours.

Laurie runs for her life. Not just for hers, but also her daughter's. Someone is after her and she is in danger. She hides in a hotel, but her best friend dies instead of her. Her little girl is missing and she has no idea where and why. She has no idea who is after her but she knows one thing: her little girl has to be safe!

Twenty-four hours ago everything seemed fine. Twenty-four hours ago her daughter was safe and sound. Twenty-four hours ago, she was planning a future. Now, she suspects everyone, from her ex-husband to her new boyfriend, someone wants her dead. She is going to die if she needs to, but she'll find out who and why, and the most important thing, who has her daughter.

Wow, I've never read so fast-paced story! From one page to another, the story moves from one edge to totally another, from one turn-over you suddenly end-up into another. There is no single page that doesn't keep you on the edge, not a single scene that doesn't make your jaw drop. Adrenaline-paced, gripping, rushed, describes every mother's worst nightmare: her child's safety! But there were moments when I was wondering about the realty around the main character. She seemed so real, but in same time so paranoid, so frightened. I was asking myself was her fear real or everything was just an overactive imagination. But as the story continued, Laurie's accusations became like a ping-pong game: it's him, not him, no, it's him! It became really exhausting and at the end, I didn't care. The pace at the ending of the story turned in the wrong direction (according to me) and ruined the whole impression (for me). But overall, I enjoyed the adrenaline rush and tension and will be in search of other Ms.Seeber's books in future.

My opinion: 3,5 / 5.

You can buy the book HERE!

Book review: The Girl With No Past by Kathryn Croft

A gripping psychological thriller for fans of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train.

Leah Mills lives a life of a fugitive – kept on the run by one terrible day from her past. It is a lonely life, without a social life or friends until – longing for a connection – she meets Julian. For the first time she dares to believe she can live a normal life.

Then, on the fourteenth anniversary of
that day, she receives a card. Someone knows the truth about what happened. Someone who won’t stop until they’ve destroyed the life Leah has created.

But is Leah all she seems? Or does she deserve everything she gets?

Everyone has secrets. But some are deadly.

Before requesting this book on NetGalley, I read the comparisons with Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train. I liked the both books, so decided to give it a try. The story captivated me and I couldn't leave it until finishing it. But Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train weren't on my mind.

The main character, Leah, is living a life of a fugitive. Always hiding, always running, always leaving the place. Fourteen years ago something happened and she has been running since then. She has a boring (but safe) job at a library, she surrounds herself at home with lots of books. It doesn't sound boring for a bookworm like me, but Leah is hiding. She avoids contact with people, doesn't go to parties, doesn't invite people at her home, doesn't have friends at all. She stiffs at every sound, runs from every shadow. She is scared.

One evening, Leah meets Julian on a dating website. He seems normal and understanding person, not a freak like some who hang on dating websites. He seems different, like someone who might understand her, someone who might love her. But then, shadows from the past arise. Mysterious emails, mysterious phone calls, strangers bumping into her on streets. The past is back!

But there is also Ben, a guy who often comes to the library. A guy who has a girlfriend, but unselfishly offers nothing more than friendship. And Leah decides to trust him, to let one friend in her life after so many years. But the past is lurking from the shadows, not letting Leah to live again.

Who is after her?

Who is she running from?

Is she a victim?

Is she the one who is hunted or is she the hunter?

Can she escape her past?

Page after page, Leah's story is revealed. But it was hard for me to decipher her fear. Two things had happened fourteen years ago. Now, she is running from what she has done or from what she hasn't done? What is she feeling guilty for? She has spent last fourteen years in solitude to hide from someone or to punish herself? As the story continues, Leah reminds me more and more of Dostoyevsky's character Raskolnikov from „Crime and Punishment“. If I have to describe this book in simply one sentence, it would be „a modern version of „Crime and Punishment“. Because, Leah is just like Raskolnikov, surrounds herself and her guilt with loneliness and fear.

Overall, I liked the story. Has many turn-overs and is not predictable at all. There aren't many characters, just a few and all of them are surrounded with mystery. The story keeps you wondering till the last page and will leave you wondering even after that. You won't be able to put it down until you find out why Leah is a girl with no past!

My opinion; 3,5 / 5.

You can buy the book HERE

About the publisher

About the author

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Book Review: Dead Eyed by Matt Brolly

DCI Michael Lambert thought he’d closed his last case…

Yet when he’s passed a file detailing a particularly gruesome murder, Michael knows that this is no ordinary killer at work.

The removal of the victim’s eyes and the Latin inscription carved into the chest is the chilling calling-card of the ‘soul jacker’: a cold-blooded murderer who struck close to Michael once before, twenty-five years ago.

Now the long-buried case is being re-opened, and Michael is determined to use his inside knowledge to finally bring the killer to justice. But as the body count rises, Michael realises that his own links to the victims could mean that he is next on the killer’s list…

The gripping first novel in a thrilling new crime series by Matt Brolly. Perfect for fans of Tony Parsons, Lee Child and Angela Marsons.

* Copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. *

Michael Lambert has to live with the skeletons in his closet. Twenty years ago, he lost a college friend. The guy was brutally murdered in his own room in the college, his eyes removed, his body mutilated with words carved into the skin. An image pretty hard to forget.

Now, twenty years later, another college friend receives photos of a body mutilated just like the one before. But the previous murder wasn't the first one. It was just one more body in the row, a work of the serial killer called The Souljacker. It was the last murder until now, when photos of another body appeared.

Is The Souljacker back? Why did he stop for twenty years? It really him now or is it a copycat? What is the link between the victims? The research shows that the new victim is also a friend from college days. Something strange is going on.

With DI Sarah May breathing down his neck, Lambert starts his own investigation. Two of his college friends are killed in the most horrible way, and the third one is involved. As the investigation shows some progress, the number of bodies arises. Lambert and his friend Klatzky are the main suspects in DI May's investigation. But someone else is the main suspect in Lambert's investigation.

Matt Brolly is not a name familiar to me, but is definitely a name I'll be looking for in the future. His writing is creepy, violent and full of tension, and definitely doesn't lack dead bodies. The murder scenes are vividly described, bringing a dose of horror and panic. The main character is a real action hero, a former member of an undercover police unit. He is not just anyone involved in the killings. He uses his knoledge, connections and skills to find the real killer, 'cause everything points out that he is the target. Still recovering from his little girl's death, he has to put himself all together in order to save the ones he loves.

„Dead Eyed“ is a gripping psychological thriller, a story full of creepy and violent murdering scenes and characters with closets full of skeletons. Unpredictable and adrenaline-loaded, it is an absolute treat for fans of hardcore murders (in books). I absolutely recommend it!

My opinion: 5 / 5

Monday, October 12, 2015

Book review: The Girl Who Broke the Rules by Marnie Riches

The pulse-pounding new thriller starring Georgina McKenzie and Paul van den Bergen.
For anyone who loves Jo Nesbo and Stieg Larsson, this book is for you!

* Copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. *

Amsterdam. Black woman, naked, her lifeless eyes staring in the unknown. Her corpse is ripped off, her internal organs missing. Paul van den Bergen has one more murder to solve.

London. Georgina (George) McKenzie is in psychiatric hospital observing a patient, a serial killer. She works on her doctorate in criminology, has a special sense for details, what makes her more than a good detective. She is civil, but she is connected with van den Bergen, and he calls her to help him to solve the murder of the African girl in Amsterdam.

When second body appears, ripped off like an unzipped bag, it is more than obvious that it is a work of a serial killer. Both victims are murdered in similar way, both are from the streets and nobody misses them.

Van den Bergen and George are starting one hell of a journey to find the serial killer who kills people from Amsterdam to London. The lead will take them to the underground world of children's pornography, slave trading and prostitution. It will take them to the finest and most respective surgeons in the world. From one end of the line to the another, when it comes to the twisted human mind, there are no limits, there are no boundaries. Still unhealed from the previous case, van den Bergen and George have to smooth their differences and join the forces in order not just to find the murderer and stop the killings, but to heal their own wounds, physical and emotional.

The relationship between van den Bergen and George is constantly on-off. She has a boyfriend, Ad, but she has a crush on van den Bergen and he has a crush on her. But his consciousness tells him that she is his daughter's age. There is chemistry, definitely, but also many unanswered questions between them. Each one of them lives in his/hers own bubble, not letting the other one in. As the story goes, the differences between them are getting smaller and this relationship is definitely going somewhere.

This is book two from the series and I feel sorry not starting from the first book. The second one can definitely stand alone, but I would like to know how it all started.

„The Girl Who Broke the Rules“ is one hell of a book. There are scenes in the story so tensed that are very hard for reading. Brutal, sadistic, violent, fulfilled with creepy details. Some of them were very hard for me to read. Ms. Riches has written a psychological thriller that won't let you sleep at night. Creepy, scary, violent and emotional, will take you on a journey that you'll never forget. A new turn-over on every page, a lead that goes to a dead end, a creepy scene where new murder is going to happen. This story has it all! Totally recommended! Attention, it will leave you sleepless for couple of nights because you won't be able to put it down till finish reading it!

My opinion: 5 / 5.  

Book Review: Montmartre Mysteries by Jean-Pierre Alaux & Noel Balen

Wine expert Benjamin Cooker travels to the French capital, where his is called to help care for some vineyards in Montmartre, a neighborhood full of memories for him. He stops in on an old friend. Arthur Solacroup left the Foreign Legion to open a wine shop good enough to be in the Cooker Guide. But an attempted murder brings the past back into the present. But which past? The winemaker detective and his assistant Virgile want to know more, and their investigation leads them from the the sands of Djibouti to the vineyards of Côte du Rhône.

*Copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. *

And the winemaker detective and his assistant are back! This time they travel to Paris, Benjamin to visit an old friend and Virgil to attend a marathon. But the visit to the favorite wine shop in Paris goes far away from expected. Benjamin is witnessing an attempted murder, his friend has been attacked, and possibly killed, if Benjamin hasn't show up. His old friend, a former member of The Foreign Legion, now is helpless in bed in coma.

The winemaker detective has a difficult task in front of him. Who would like to kill a winemaker? Is it just a robbery that turns out wrong or is it something more? Does his past as a member of The Foreign Legion have something to do with it? But nothing, nothing can prepare Benjamin for the truth he discovers, the truth so unexpected that will literally leave him with his jaw dropped.

In this part of The Winemaker Detective Series, we can enter in Benjamin's life when he was young. The visit to Paris brings him old memories of a forgotten love, a woman once close to his heart. But he never regrets his choice, he loves Elizabeth, his wife, from the bottom of his heart. Every other woman in his life is just a distant memory.

Even this time, the story doesn't lack the wine supply. From Cuvee Vieilles Vignes to Chateauneuf-Du-Pape, you can almost smell the aroma and taste the wine in your mouth. The descriptions of the wines are so vivid and colorful, I almost emptied my own wine supply while reading. The author really knows how to distract reader's attention.

What I noticed different from previous Winemaker Detective stories is the pace of the story. While in previous stories it went up and down with a new mystery around the corner, this time it is more steady with less turn-overs. But the end is a real cherry on the top of the cake. It comes so unexpectedly after that steady pace, a real „BAM“ coming out of nowhere! I was going to give up reading, some parts were very slow (according to me), but the end left me with my mouth opened and I must say to the author: „Well done!“. Because the end saved the story, I am rating it with four stars.

My opinion: 4 / 5.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Review: Harm by Hugh Fraser

A debut crime novel by Hugh Fraser.

What makes an innocent girl become a contract killer?’

Acapulco 1974: Rina Walker is on assignment. Just another another quick, clean kill.
She wakes to discover her employer’s severed head on her bedside table, and a man with an AK 47 coming through the door of her hotel room. She needs all her skills to neutralise her attacker and escape. After a car chase, she is captured by a Mexican drug boss who needs her radiant beauty and ruthless expertise to eliminate an inconvenient member of the government.

Notting Hill 1956: Fifteen-year-old Rina is scavenging and stealing to support her siblings and her alcoholic mother. When a local gangster attacks her younger sister, Rina wreaks revenge and kills him. Innocence betrayed, Rina faces the brutality of the post-war London underworld - a world that teaches her the skill to kill...

Copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Whenever I hear the name Hugh Fraser, the very first thing that pops up in my mind is his very famous role of Captain Hastings from my favorite TV series „Hercules Poirot“. I was so delighted when I heard that he has written a book. But HARM is nothing like HERCULES POIROT series. So who ever expected a new Agatha Christie's novel must be very surprised. I am not using the word 'disappointed“ , because this book is far away from disappointing.

Meet Rina, modern and beautiful woman with faces, a contract killer, a death angel. She is a stunning woman, and men often mistake her beauty for stupidity. But she is far away from stupid. Most of everything, she is tough and knows how to survive. Life hasn't been easy for her. Men took advantages on her since young age. They still do, but now she lets them do that, and that's how she uses them.

Rina kills people for money, but she kills bad people, not just anyone. She has a sense for justice. She would never hurt an innocent person, enough harm has been done to her. It all started when she was a teenager. Her father's business partner rapes her many times. But when he tries to rape her nine-years-old sister, she kills him. His brother blackmails her, she has to murder another person for him. One act of violence triggers another one, one murder leads to another. In the world of gangs where local mafia rules the neighborhood, there is no going back.

The author has created a real kick-ass heroine. We can observe Rina's life since her early childhood till the present day. Rina is an anti-heroine. On one side, she kills people for money and she fights like hell when trapped. On the other side, she is in the search of little peace for herself far away from man's violence. 'Cause she has had it enough. We can follow the story of young Rina, a young girl full of hopes and dreams, all that destroyed by the fear of the shadow of the man entering her bedroom. Her mother is a person that I literally want to kill by myself, what kind of mother allows someone to rape her daughters and not even bother about it? Parallely, we follow Rina in the presence, chasing her next target and in the same time trying to escape being a target. He is not naive anymore, nor helpless at all. She fights not just for her, but for every abused woman that comes along her way.

HARM is a story centered around an assassin with a soul. Rina is a hell of a character. Fulfilled with adrenaline, violence, sex and kick-ass moments, this story is anything but boring. You might expect a nice old-fashioned murder like I did, but you'll find yourself positively surprised by the adrenaline rush that hits you from the very first page of the book. My advice: Don't expect anything, just read! You will totally enjoy this read!

My opinion; 4,5 / 5.

You can buy HARM on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk.


Hugh Fraser is best known for playing Captain Hastings in Agatha Christie's 'Poirot' and the Duke of Wellington in 'Sharpe'.

His films include Patriot Games, 101 Dalmatians, The Draughtsman's Contract and Clint Eastwood's Firefox. In the theatre he has appeared in Teeth'n'Smiles at the Royal Court and Wyndhams and in several roles with the Royal Shakespeare Company.

He has also narrated many of Agatha Christie's novels as audio books. Harm is his first novel.

You can find him on Twitter: @realhughfraser

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Blog Tour + Review: How to be Brave by Louise Beech

Today is my stop on the „How to be Braveblog tour and I’d like to thank Karen from OrendaBooks for the opportunity to take part. Read on for my review and hope you check this book out, because I totally recommend.

All the stories died that morning … until we found the one we’d always known. When nine-year-old Rose is diagnosed with a life-threatening illness, Natalie must use her imagination to keep her daughter alive. They begin dreaming about and seeing a man in a brown suit who feels hauntingly familiar, a man who has something for them. Through the magic of storytelling, Natalie and Rose are transported to the Atlantic Ocean in 1943, to a lifeboat, where an ancestor survived for fifty days before being rescued. Poignant, beautifully written and tenderly told, How To Be Brave weaves together the contemporary story of a mother battling to save her child’s life with an extraordinary true account of bravery and a fight for survival in the Second World War. A simply unforgettable debut that celebrates the power of words, the redemptive energy of a mother’s love … and what it really means to be brave.

When I started reading this book, I never ever thought that a story can touch my heart so deep and bring back so many memories from the past. It literally brought me to tears many times and reminded me what was it like to be brave, not so long time ago.

This is a story for a mother, a daughter, a great grandfather, a horrible disease and an old diary that keeps the memories of a journey of a lifetime. Natalie is a great mother , she does her best to raise her daughter Rose while her husband Jake is serving in Army abroad. Everything seems pretty normal for the nine-years-old Rose, until one day she suddenly collapses and ends up in hospital. The diagnose is diabetes type 1, a disease with no cure, a disease that she has to cope with to the rest of her life. And she is only nine! So, the fight with the diabetes begins! Blood sugar testings, insulin shots, special diet, small meals every three hours.... It isn't easy at all! Rose's father is on the other side of the globe and feels helpless not being able to be with his family. But when one door is closed, another one is opened. While waiting in the hospital, Natalie is visited by a man, a man that looks familiar, a man that only she and her daughter can see. A man that takes them to a diary of a sailor who survives an epic journey on the open sea. The diary keeps the memories of Natalie's grandfather, a sailor who survives so many days on open sea after his ship was destroyed by the enemy during WWII. Every single page of the diary helps Rose coping with blood testing and insulin shots. Every new adventure on open sea helps her coping with ups and downs of her blood sugar.

Why this story touched my heart? My mother had diabetes, for more forty years, since her early twenties. I've seen her coping with insulin shots, blood testings, measuring her meals. Hypos were rare, but very scary when they occasionally happened. She cooked for all of us and never let anyone to suffer because of her condition. But after many years having it, the diabetes affected her legs, her eyes and her heart. She died of a heart attack in 2011, at the age of 67.

This story brought out on surface many memories of mine, and I cried many times while reading it. The author writes in a beautiful and warm style, with many emotions and very vividly describing the scenes. The two stories, one in the past and one in the present, are so well connected. Colin's journey is a lesson to both Natalie and Rose to cope with the disease, like he coped with the sea. It helps them to survive the hardest moments. Colin is true guardian angel. Real or not, they need him to tell them that everything is going to be okay. And he needs them, to tell him that everything is going to be fine. We all need a guardian angel sometimes, just to be there and hold our hand, nothing more.

Ms. Beech has written an amazing story. A story of survival, of struggle, of bravery and hope. But mostly, it is a story of unconditional love, the best cure for every pain and disease. ' Cause sometimes the only help you can give is love, and love is the only thing you need when in pain. Love says that you are not alone, and I hope that this book won't stand alone on Ms. Beech's bookshelf, there will be many more from her writing pen in future.

My opinion: 5 / 5.

Louise Beech has always been haunted by the sea, and regularly writes travel pieces for the Hull Daily Mail, where she was a columnist for ten years. Her short fiction has won the Glass Woman Prize, the Eric Hoffer Award for Prose, and the Aesthetica Creative Works competition, as well as shortlisting for the Bridport Prize twice and being published in a variety of UK magazines. Louise lives with her husband and children on the outskirts of Hull – the UK’s 2017 City of Culture – and loves her job as a Front of House Usher at Hull Truck Theatre, where her first play was performed in 2012. She is also part of the Mums’ Army on Lizzie and Carl’s BBC Radio Humberside Breakfast Show. This is her first book, based on her experience with her own daughter’s diagnosis and the true story of her grandfather, Colin. She has beautiful photos to support!

Buy "How to be Brave" on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk

Monday, September 14, 2015

Book Review: The Potter's Field by Andrea Camilleri

A New York Times bestseller, Winner of the Crime Writers' Association's International Dagger and longlisted for the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award

Witty and entertaining, the Montalbano novels by Andrea Camilleri-a master of the Italian detective story-have become favorites of mystery fans everywhere. In this latest installment, an unidentified corpse is found near Vigàta, a town known for its soil rich with potter's clay. Meanwhile, a woman reports the disappearance of her husband, a Colombian man with Sicilian origins who turns out to be related to a local mobster. Then Inspector Montalbano remembers the story from the Bible-Judas's betrayal, the act of remorse, and the money for the potter's field, where those of unknown or foreign origin are to be buried-and slowly, through myriad betrayals, finds his way to the solution to the crime.

Andrea Camilleri is one of my favorite mystery writers. His Montalbano series are one of the best in the genre. I have watched every episode of the TV series made according to his novels. Inspector Montalbano is just one of a kind, and one of my favorite detectives. The Potter's Field is the thirteenth in the row.

The police gets a call about a dead body on a private property, a place called the potter's field. It is raining heavily and when the police arrives, the body is gone. But soon after the search begins, it is obvious that the body has been washed away downhill, because of the rain. The police finds no body, but body parts, thirteen precisely.

In the very same time, a woman reports her husband missing. A man who works on a ship and travels a lot. A man connected to Colombia and related with Sicilian mafia. A man madly in love with his wife, a devoted husband who always calls her, no matter where he is. Except the last time.

While working on the case, Montalbano has problems with sleeping and nightmares. He is wandering if all those dreams mean something. His friend and colleague Mimi acts very strange. Is his behavior connected with the case?

As I said previously, Montalbano is one of my favorite detectives and I have seen all the episodes of the TV series. In 2012, Young Montalbano TV series showed up, as a pre-sequel. I watched almost all of them. Good to see the great inspector as a rookie. Andrea Camilleri created a great character with a hell of an attitude. Despite the mystery and twists, he also includes the quotations from the bible and many other classic books. The moment when Montalbano reads Andrea Camilleri's book is just one of a kind.

My opinion: 5 / 5.