The Vacation by M M Chouinard @m_m_chouinard @bookouture #BookReview #TheVacation #NewRelease #NetGalley

The Vacation: An utterly gripping thriller packed with suspense by [M.M. Chouinard]


One of them is missing… One of them did it…

The Thanksgiving retreat was meant to be a time for them to get away from it all, miles from the secrets that threaten to tear their family apart. But they’re each hiding something:

Rose hopes the pretty house overlooking the sea is just the break her family needs. But as she gazes at the water and remembers her own childhood, she is utterly terrified.

Brandon knows his wife Rose has barely forgiven him for his affair. He’s started drinking again, a road that led him to disaster once before.

Brianna, Rose’s sister-in-law, is recovering from her fifth miscarriage, and when she looks at her adorable niece, she can’t help but see the daughter she deserves.

Then three-year-old Lily disappears from her bed in the villa. Isolated in what should have been paradise, it quickly becomes clear that one of them took her.

As one by one their secrets are uncovered, who will be destroyed next?

A completely addictive thriller about every parent’s worst nightmare that will keep you guessing into the early hours of the morning. Perfect for fans of The Guest ListOne by One and The Sister-in-Law.


The Vacation


There is a whirlwind of emotions on almost every page of this book. Three couples are holidaying together in Jamaica. They have gone out for a meal and a drink, while the children of two of the couples sleep in their nearby accommodation. They had taken turns in going and checking on the children while they slept, and all was well. When Rose’s goes she couldn’t make sense of what she saw, her three-year-old daughter had vanished, and the window was wide open. No matter how many times she searched the room, she couldn’t find her hidden. Someone had taken her.

The police arrive, but over the next few days, the pace of the investigation had Rose reeling. The longer her daughter was missing, the less chance that the outcome would be good. Rose took things into her own hands to try and speed the investigation up. The dynamic of the couples began to change, while a tsunami of feelings fester and wouldn’t be calmed.

What a story, it makes you think if we ever really know someone. Here is one of those stories where you want to know what has happened but turn each page tentatively because you are frightened to know the truth. I liked how the characters developed and more of who they were becoming more transparent. It isn’t an easy read by any means, it is so very tense, and I wanted each page to give me that overwhelming rush of everything being alright.

It is readable easily in a day. I couldn’t stop until I knew the ending. Extremely well written. I couldn’t put it down.


M.M. Chouinard

M.M. Chouinard writes crime fiction (including suspense, procedurals, and cozies), and women’s fiction. M.M. Chouinard’s first fiction story was published in her local paper when she was eight, and she fell in love with Agatha Christie novels not long after. While pursuing a Ph.D in psychology and helping to found the first U.S. research university of the new millenium, the stories kept rattling around inside her skull, demanding to come out. For sanity’s sake, she released them.

Twitter: @m_m_chouinard

The Vacation: An utterly gripping thriller packed with suspense by [M.M. Chouinard]

Threadneedle (The Language of Magic #1) by Cari Thomas @Cari_Threads @HarperVoyagerUK #NewRelease #NetGalley #BookReview

Threadneedle: The most anticipated debut fantasy release of the year by [Cari Thomas]


Within the boroughs of London, nestled among its streets, hides another city, filled with magic.

‘Magic and love. Love and magic. They destroy everything in the end …’

Anna’s Aunt has always warned her of the dangers of magic. Its twists. Its knots. Its deadly consequences.

Now Anna counts down the days to the ceremony that will bind her magic forever.

Until she meets Effie and Attis.

They open her eyes to a London she never knew existed. A shop that sells memories. A secret library where the librarian feeds off words. A club where revellers lose themselves in a haze of spells.

But as she is swept deeper into this world, Anna begins to wonder if her Aunt was right all along.

Is her magic a gift … or a curse?




When Anna’s parents died in the most tragic and violent circumstances, she was just a child, so her aunt came to look after her and bring her up. Anna’s life hadn’t been a happy one. Anna’s mother was a witch and her father just an ordinary man. The witch side of Anna had been strictly kept under control all these years with her aunt dishing out punishments to stop her ever going down the path of witchcraft. Anna had led a sheltered life and took the punishments handed out to her like it was her duty to accept them.

Very soon Anna’s magic would be bound in a ceremony, so she would never to able to use it. But she found out she wasn’t the only one with witchcraft powers, and her new friends wanted to show her the world she was missing.

What a fabulous story. I was amazed by the witchy side of this story. I adored the library and was fascinated by the librarian there. Anna also has a cousin at her school, who is allowed to practice magic, but not in front of mortals. Things heat a little when a little bullying in school takes on a deeper and darker path. A path that has a most uneasy feel to it.

There is far more to the initial story than I first thought or even saw coming. A brilliant wind up, although this is only the first book in the series. There have been solid foundations laid for what is to follow.

I wish to thank the publisher and Net Galley for an e-copy of this book which I have reviewed honestly.


Cari Thomas

Cari Thomas grew up in the Wye Valley area of Wales and, after studying English Literature & Creative Writing at Warwick University and Magazine Journalism at the Cardiff School of Journalism, moved to London. She worked as a journalist and at a creative agency, before finally doing what she’d always wanted to do: quit her job and write a book about magic.

The result is Threadneedle, her debut novel and the first in her Language of Magic series. Be introduced to a world of wild, ancient witchcraft hidden within today’s London; where libraries made of books breathe dusty pages beneath the city, where witch clubs serve up magical cocktails and vintage shops sell memories. A world where magic gleams light and very, very dark.

Cari now lives in Bristol with her husband and son.

Twitter: @Cari_Threads

Threadneedle: The most anticipated debut fantasy release of the year by [Cari Thomas]

Waking the Tiger by Mark @mark_wightman @HobeckBooks #NewRelease #BookReview #WakingTheTiger

Waking the Tiger by [Mark Wightman]


Singapore, 1939

A young Japanese woman is found dead on the dockside, her throat slashed

Inspector Maximo Betancourt is working a new beat, one he didn’t ask for. Following the disappearance of his wife, his life and career have fallen apart.

A distinctive tiger tattoo is the only clue to her identity

Once a rising star of Singapore CID, Betancourt has been relegated to the Marine Division, with tedious dockyard disputes and goods inspections among his new duties.

Who is she? And why are the authorities turning a blind eye?

But when a beautiful, unidentified Japanese woman is found murdered in the shadow of a warehouse owned by one of Singapore’s most powerful families, Betancourt defies orders and pursues those responsible. What he discovers will bring him into conflict with powerful enemies, and force him to face his personal demons.


Waking the Tiger


Set in 1939 Singapore, this story follows the life of Inspector Maximo Betancourt as well as the death of a young Japanese woman that the authorities had rapidly tried to sign off as a suicide. The woman had been discovered, at the docks, with her throat cut. Betancourt had recently been demoted because of personal reasons. If there were no family to fight for justice for this young woman, then he would.

Betancourt was fighting his demons and losing. He had lost his wife and couldn’t bear to lose his daughter more than he already had. For all his faults, I liked this man. He wasn’t a bad person, he had just made bad choices. Betancourt throws everything into finding out who had killed the Japanese woman and was soon rubbing people up the wrong way big style.

The story has layers that he strips away. I could not put this book down. They say every picture tells a story, and in this case, that is very true. The story goes up another gear, and it put my mind in a spin. What a story this turns out to be. Wow-what a round-up, there has to be more to come from Betancourt. Brilliant!

I wish to thank the publisher for an e-copy of this book which I have reviewed honestly.


Mark Wightman

Mark Wightman was born in Edinburgh before growing up in the Far East, in Hong Kong and Singapore. The idea of writing a novel set in Singapore had lain, sown but ungerminated, for a long time. He particularly wanted to explore the elements of history that lay at the margins, where the recorded facts have either faded or been hidden. After a successful career in media technology, Mark completed a master’s degrees in Creative Writing, first at the University of Edinburgh, and then at the University of East Anglia, where he received a distinction for his debut novel Waking the Tiger. Mark was the winner of the Pitch Perfect event at the Bloody Scotland Crime Festival in 2017, also for Waking the Tiger, and was selected to be one of the seventeen UNESCO City of Literature Story Shop emerging writers at the 2017 Edinburgh International Book Festival. At Hobeck we feel honoured and privileged to be the publishers introducing Waking the Tiger to the reading world.

Twitter: @mark_wightman

Waking the Tiger by [Mark Wightman]

Celebrating 15 Years of Quick Reads: The Skylight by Louise Candlish @louise_candlish @simonschuster @hannahlbright29 @readingagence @midaspr #QuickReads

This is the final day to join in and make a difference for someone. For each of the quick reads purchased, another will be donated to someone who would not normally be able to purchase these books for personal reasons. It is a fantastic. I hope that this continues for many more years to come. Although I was sent a hard copy of this book I have also purchased a digital copy too. Each book only costs £1 and it can make a tremendous difference to someone. Many thanks to Hannah Bright for inviting me to take part in this.

The Skylight - available now for only £1

What a fantastic listing of short reads there are!

This year Quick Reads is celebrating its 15th Anniversary, which means that over five million copies of Quick Reads titles have been distributed since the life-changing programme began in 2006. To celebrate, for every book bought until 31 July, another copy will be gifted to help someone discover the love of reading.

These are just some the incredible selection of titles available.

OYINKAN BRAITHWAITE: The Baby is Mine (Atlantic)

LOUISE CANDLISH: The Skylight (Simon & Schuster)

KATIE FFORDE: Saving the Day (Arrow)

PETER JAMES: Wish You Were Dead (Macmillan)

CAITLIN MORAN: How to Be a Woman, abridged (Ebury)


The Baby Is Mine: Quick Reads

When his girlfriend throws him out during the pandemic, Bambi has to go to his Uncle’s house in lock-down Lagos. He arrives during a blackout, and is surprised to find his Aunty Bidemi sitting in a candlelit room with another woman. They both claim to be the mother of the baby boy, fast asleep in his crib.

At night Bambi is kept awake by the baby’s cries, and during the days he is disturbed by a cockerel that stalks the garden. There is sand in the rice. A blood stain appears on the wall. Someone scores tribal markings into the baby’s cheeks. Who is lying and who is telling the truth?

The Skylight: Quick Reads 2021

They can’t see her, but she can see them…

Simone has a secret. She likes to stand at her bathroom window and spy on the couple downstairs through their kitchen skylight. She knows what they eat for breakfast and who they’ve got over for dinner. She knows what mood they’re in before they even step out the door. There’s nothing wrong with looking, is there?

Until one day Simone sees something through the skylight she is not expecting. Something that upsets her so much she begins to plot a terrible crime…

Saving the Day (Quick Reads 2021)

She has only one chance to turn her life around…

Allie is bored with her job and starting to wonder whether she even likes her boyfriend, Ryan.

The high point in her day is passing a café on her walk home from work. It is the sort of place where she’d really like to work.

Then one day she sees as advert on the door: assistant wanted. But before she can land her dream job, Allie knows she must achieve two things:

1. Learn to cook
2. End her relationship with Ryan, especially as through the window of the café, she spies a waiter who looks much more like her type of man.

And when she learns that the café is in danger of closing, Allie knows she must do her very best to save the day …

Wish You Were Dead: Quick Reads 2021: A Quick Reads Short Story featuring Detective Superintendent Roy Grace

Wish You Were Dead is a Quick Read short story from bestselling author Peter James.

Roy Grace and his family have left Sussex behind for a week’s holiday in France. The website promised a grand house, but when they arrive the place is very different from the pictures. And it soon becomes clear that their holiday nightmare is only just beginning.

An old enemy of Roy, a lowlife criminal he had put behind bars, is now out of jail – and out for revenge. He knows where Roy and his family have gone on holiday. Of course he does. He’s been hacking their emails – and they are in the perfect spot for him to pay Roy back . . .

How To Be a Woman Quick Reads 2021

It’s a good time to be a woman: we have the vote and the Pill, and we haven’t been burnt as witches since 1727. But a few nagging questions remain…

Why are we supposed to get Brazilians? Should we use Botox? Do men secretly hate us? And why does everyone ask you when you’re going to have a baby?

Part memoir, part protest, Caitlin answers the questions that every modern woman is asking.

The Motive: The new gripping crime thriller short story of summer 2021 and prequel to East of Hounslow: Quick Reads 2021

A Jay Qasim short story and prequel to EAST OF HOUNSLOW written for Quick Reads 2021

Business has been slow for Hounslow’s small time dope-dealer, Jay Qasim. A student house party means quick easy cash but it also means breaking his own rules. But desperate times lead him there – and Jay finds himself in the middle of a crime scene.

Idris Zaidi, a Police Constable and Jay’s best friend, is having a quiet night when he gets a call out following a noise complaint at a house party. Fed up with the lack of excitement in his job, he visits the scene and quickly realises that people are in danger after a stabbing.

Someone will stop at nothing to get revenge . . .

Do look out for more Quick Read bargains too!

The Skylight: Quick Reads 2021 by [Louise Candlish]

I have read The Skylight: Quick Reads 2021 by Louise Candlish so here follows my thoughts about this book.

Simone was a character that gave me goosebumps as soon as I met her in the story, the sort of person that just made me feel unease and someone that I would not want to rub up the wrong way. She has a past that few people know about, all very hush, hush, but she knows that what she did will never go away.

Simone watches the people that live downstairs, through a window she can see out of, but they can not see her. It looks down onto the couples skylight window above their dining table. Simone doesn’t like the woman that lives downstairs, or the woman her. Simone looks once too much. You can’t take back what you see, but you can take action.

What a creepy story this is, at only 89 pages, this quick read covers a lot of ground both in the past and present day. I enjoyed that the story was told by Simone, it gave it a creepy edge coming from her, because of the frightening way her mind works. There are only a few characters in the story, all necessary for the story.

The author soon creates a group of people that I found myself falling into liking and disliking by their actions. A fabulous edgy quick read!

Image preview

Leave the Lights On by Egan Hughes @Egan_Hughes @LittleBrownUK @_FrancescaBanks @TheCrimeVault

Firstly I wish to thank Francesca Banks at Little Brown Book Group for inviting me on the Blog Tour for Leave the Lights On by Egan Hughes.

Leave the Lights On: His DREAM house is about to become her worst NIGHTMARE by [Egan Hughes]


Their new ‘smart home’ is Joe’s dream. A remote cottage where everything – from the lighting to the locks – is controlled through an app. It’s the perfect blend of old-world charm and modern convenience. What better place for them to escape after all Lauren’s trauma?

Lauren desperately wants Joe to be happy after all she’s put him through, so she doesn’t tell him how much she hates being so dependent on technology. How vulnerable it makes them.

Then ‘the incidents’ begin.

Joe thinks Lauren is the victim of her own fevered imagination. But Lauren can’t be sure. She doesn’t believe in ghosts, but she also knows the past rarely stays buried. And she is haunted by one question:

Is their past finally catching up with them?


Leave the Lights On: His DREAM house is about to become her worst NIGHTMARE


Lauren and Joe seemed like the perfect match. They had bought and sold properties together, done them up and moved to the next. But now they had finally bought their forever home, and Joe, being the hi-tech wiz that he was, had created the perfect hi-tech app to run everything in it. Joe just needed to sell the idea to those that mattered so that they could live happily ever after once it took off and became in demand.

The thing was, Lauren hated it. She didn’t like the idea of the house having that much control. It wasn’t long before things that go bump in the night began to happen regularly for Lauren, and there was never anyone else there to see it.

I was intrigued by these characters and fell into the Lauren camp from the beginning. I find keeping up with technology quite hard myself, so I sympathised with her. The excitement that Joe had, just shone from him when he talked to anyone about his new creations, especially with anyone in the same field as him.

Several brilliant storylines surface from the past that fit in with the strange happenings. The story shows how technology plays such a huge role in our lives. Is it ultimately believed over us mere mortals? I liked the police investigation side of this story. Great edgy read. I Loved it.


An image posted by the author.

Egan Hughes was born in North Devon and grew up in Hampshire, UK. She is now based on the South Coast of England and works in marketing as a freelance copyeditor. An early version of The One That Got Away was shortlisted for the First Novel Prize, and the 2017 Richard and Judy Search for a Bestseller Competition. –This text refers to the paperback edition.

Twitter: @Egan_Hughes

The Serial Killer’s Wife by Alice Hunter @Alice_Hunter_1 @AvonBooksUK #BookReview #TheSerialKillersWife #NetGalley #NewRelease


They’re saying he’s a monster. And they’re saying she knew.

Beth and Tom Hardcastle are the envy of their neighbourhood – they have the perfect marriage, the perfect house, the perfect family.

When the police knock on their door one evening, Beth panics. Tom should be back from work by now – what if he’s crashed his car? She fears the worst.

But the worst is beyond imagining.

As the interrogation begins, Beth will find herself questioning everything she believed about her husband.

They’re husband and wife – till death do them part…


The Serial Killer’s Wife


A knock on the door changes the family lives forever when two detectives haul Beth’s husband Tom away for questioning. They want to know about a young woman, who had been missing for several years. What begins for them as enquires soon spirals into the unthinkable. Beth has to face the community where they live and where she owns a small business that puts her directly in touch with the public daily. Then there is their daughter who is still in nursery and the effects it will have on her.

What a belting good story it is as it is told between a triangle of the central cast of players, Beth, Tom and the missing girl Katie. Katie had been a former girlfriend of Tom’s before he met Beth. I had to take some deep breathes to read some of these chapters as the relationship between Tom and Katie developed. All three of them have distinctive voices.

I would say to you to read this in a quiet environment to get the most out of it. It scared me to hell when I did, as every noise on the pages came to life. I wasn’t sure just who was a real friend or just curious to know if Beth knew what had gone on. Beth had never really had a friend, and now she needed one more than ever. The story unfolds as the past is revisited by the three of them. Brilliant characters, superbly written.

I wish to thank Net Galley for an e-copy of this book which I have reviewed honestly.


After completing a psychology degree, Alice Hunter became an interventions facilitator in a prison. There, she was part of a team offering rehabilitation programmes to men serving sentences for a wide range of offences, often working with prisoners who’d committed serious violent crimes. Previously, Alice had been a nurse, working in the NHS. She now puts her experiences to good use in fiction. THE SERIAL KILLER’S WIFE draws heavily on her knowledge of psychology and the criminal mind.

Twitter: @Alice_Hunter_1

Don’t Let Him In by Howard Linskey @HowardLinskey @MichaelJBooks @PenguinUKBooks #NewRelease #NetGalley #DontLetHimIn

Don't Let Him In by [Howard Linskey]


He’s always been there. Now he’s looking for you.

There have always been deaths in the small town of Eriston over the years – more than can easily be explained.

People dying in their houses, behind locked doors.

Sean Cole thought he’d spotted a pattern. Thought he was on the trail of a killer.

Now he’s dead too.

When his daughter Rebecca returns to the town, she realises that her father might have been onto something.

But can she find the murderer before he finds her?

Because if she can’t, her father’s shabby old Victorian house is no place to hide


Don’t Let Him In 


Oh boy, this is one of those books where you can be sitting with your back against the wall and still feel there is someone behind you. Howard Linskey has rapidly become a go-to author for me as he sets my imagination on fire and makes me feel and see everything that is going on.

I liked Rebecca, the main character in the story, who had returned to her home town after her father had died unexpectedly. When she was informed, that his death was suspicious, it throws into a whole new level of thinking. She has to know the truth.

The story jumps between Rebecca and the creepy killer of the townsfolk that hides in plain sight. Rebecca has a history with this town of growing up and taking a giant step, pushed by her parents, to go to college. It is strange for her to return to a place where time hasn’t stood still, and friends have moved on without her. She is, to put it bluntly, like a fish out of water.

The killer is one of the weirdest and creepy that I have come across in a while. My heart raced as I saw things through his eyes and felt what he felt, in the most terrifying way, helpless not knowing how far he would go. Here is one creepy sick dude and he wanted his prize and she had come back home.

A thrilling story enhanced even more as I live on my own. It is the perfect setting for reading this petrifying story.

I wish to thank Net Galley and the publisher for an e-copy of this book which I have read honestly.


Howard Linskey

‘The Chosen Ones’ is the fourth book in a north-east, crime fiction series written by Howard Linskey for Penguin Random House, featuring journalists Tom Carney & Helen Norton with police detective Ian Bradshaw. The other titles in this series are ‘The Search’ ‘No Name Lane’ and ‘Behind Dead Eyes’. He is also the author of ‘Hunting the Hangman’ a historical thriller about the assassination of Nazi General Reinhard Heydrich in Prague during WW2.

His David Blake trilogy ‘The Drop’, ‘The Damage’ & ‘The Dead’ have been optioned for TV by Harry Potter producer, David Barron. They are published in the UK by No Exit Press, in Germany by Droemer Knaur and in the US by Harper Collins. The Times newspaper voted ‘The Drop’ one of its Top Five Thrillers of the Year and ‘The Damage’ one of its Top Summer Reads. Both books broke into the top five Amazon Kindle chart.

‘The Search’ was featured on CBS Reality true crime TV series ‘Written In Blood’ .

Originally from Ferryhill in County Durham, he now lives in Herts with his wife Alison and daughter Erin

Howard’s web site is

TWITTER: @HowardLinskey

No Going Back (The Kent Fisher Murder Mysteries Book 7) by Robert Crouch #NewRelease #BlogTour #BlogReview #NoGoingBack #KindleUnlimited

Many thanks to the author Robert Crouch for inviting me on this Blog Tour for his new book in the Kent Fisher series, No Going Back.

No Going Back (The Kent Fisher Murder Mysteries Book 7) by [Robert Crouch]


When journalist Harry Lawson is pulled from a private swimming pool, his drowning looks like a tragic accident, but for one small detail – he knew someone was going to kill him.

The three text messages he fired off to an old flame the night before confirm he’s a troubled man. But former friend and sleuth, Kent Fisher, believes the messages hint at something deeper and more sinister – an investigation that cost Harry his life.

When a second reporter dies, it’s clear there’s a killer with unfinished business. As Kent inches towards a breakthrough he clashes with close friend Detective Inspector Ashley Goodman. She instructs him to stop investigating, knowing full well he won’t.

For Kent there’s no going back. He has to finish what he started, even though he risks losing a friend, and maybe his own life.

In the seventh murder mystery of the series, Kent Fisher digs deep to complete an investigation that’s far removed from the one he started.


No Going Back (The Kent Fisher Murder Mysteries Book 7)


What a superb murder mystery series this is! Amateur detective Kent Fisher puts a smile on my face in every chapter. Kent always seems to get drawn into solving the murders in the area because he knows the victims. Kent can solve the most complicated case but is oblivious to his charisma with almost all the women he meets. He is a bit of Sherlock Holmes for the way he thinks, crossed with James Harriet for his love of his animals and has a sprinkle of James Bond charm.

A knock on the door brings the news of the death of a journalist that he knows, Harry Lawson. Harry has been found drowned, in the swimming pool of someone else that Kent has crossed paths with in the past. It is not long before super sleuth Kent has wormed his way into the crime scene by using his environmental health title as his anytime anyplace anywhere calling card. Some people don’t want his death investigating, but that option becomes redundant when another murder occurs.

Kent has problems saying no to the women in his life when they need help, which makes for entertaining reading. It is what I like about these stories, as everyday life is still going on around everyone.

Kent had to be right on the ball to follow the clues that Harry left. I had chills with some of the larger than life characters in this story. They are the sort that I read about every day in the news. This story has much darker characters in it than the books before.

This is another great story, with some of the charters being in all of the books so far. Best of all, I finally had my punch in the air moment before having my feet swept from under me. I hope number 8 is just around the corner. Wow!

I wish to thank the author for an e-copy of this book which I have reviewed honestly.


Rob Crouch lives and works in East Sussex, England, in the shadow of the beautiful South Downs. During his career as an environmental health officer, he’s focused on improving hygiene standards in food businesses. This has led to him editing and writing for a respected food hygiene manual for caterers. He has also specialized in workplace health and safety in the leisure and service sectors, investigating several fatal work accidents. But secretly, he’s always wanted to solve a murder. It started when he watched TV’s Lieutenant Columbo unpick perfect murders with an affable but dogged pursuit of incongruous details. A healthy diet of crime fiction and drama followed, including Sherlock Holmes, Inspector Morse, and Miss Marple. When he became an avid fan of Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Millhone, he realized he wanted to create a different kind of private detective to solve his murders. Set beneath the rolling hills of the South Downs, No Accident is Rob’s first novel featuring Kent Fisher, an environmental health officer with more baggage than an airport carousel. Within minutes of arriving at the scene of a fatal work accident, he uncovers details that don’t quite make sense. Like his hero, Columbo, Kent digs deeper and deeper, disregarding procedure, until work and his personal life collide with devastating consequences.

Facebook Author Page:

Twitter: @robertcrouchuk


Syn (The Merseyside Crime Series Book 2) by Malcolm Hollingdrake @MHollingdrake @HobeckBooks #NewRelease #NewSeries #Syn

Syn (The Merseyside Crime Series Book 2) by [Malcolm Hollingdrake]


Retribution and Time

An everyday Friday night out. A few too many drinks.

A few harsh words said. No one was hurt.

All easily forgotten.

Both can heal

Except he didn’t forget. Their threats. How they made him feel

They must pay – with their lives.

But one will always leave a scar…

A young woman goes missing. She’s done it before, but Detective Inspector April Decent senses this time it’s serious. Can she convince her colleagues she’s right before it’s too late?




It is a typical night out for a group of friends, where the lads strut their stuff and the girls coo in admiration. But for one bloke, who is always the target of this type of group, it is the final straw. His buttons have been pushed once too often, and his humiliation has taken a final battering. It is one thing facing a gang on your own, but a one to one is a different matter.

This killer has a look that nobody notices, and blends as one of the crowd. He seems harmless, someone who has learnt to back down rather than face off with anyone. That I find frightening because I need killers to look like they should be avoided, not pitied.

The team are back in this second book, DI April Decent and DS Skeeter Warlock being the prime investigating characters. The first woman to go missing doesn’t raise too many red flags as she has been known to take off before, but something doesn’t sit right. This killer is imaginative when I thought about it, he had probably relived everything he was doing time and time again, perfecting all of his actions. It wasn’t the first time he had faced humiliation and worse. It is almost like his victims seem to think he just won’t kill them.

I have always loved this author’s books. His Harrogate series is superb and always had that middle class feel about it. It is a little like Morse, but this new series feels like it is more street level. It’s like life has chosen which side of the law they are on, with a few still in the grey area of best of both worlds. It is brilliant.

Malcolm Hollingdrake is a super talent where I can almost see him syncing himself up with his characters to get inside them and feel what they would do rather than him being the lead. Whatever he does, he pulls it off in style.


Malcolm Hollingdrake

You could say that the writing was clearly on the wall for someone born in a library that they might aspire to be an author, but to get to that point Malcolm Hollingdrake has travelled a circuitous route.

Malcolm worked in education for many years, even teaching for a period in Cairo before he started writing, a challenge he had longed to tackle for more years than he cares to remember.

He has written a number of successful short stories, has ten books now available and is presently writing the tenth crime novel set in Harrogate, North Yorkshire.

Born in Bradford and spending three years at Ripon College, Malcolm has never lost his love for his home county, a passion that is reflected in the settings for all the DCI Bennett novels However, as well as the Bennett series he is writing a new series set in Merseyside.

Malcolm has enjoyed many hobbies including collecting works by Northern artists; the art auctions offer a degree of excitement when both buying and certainly when selling. It is a hobby he has bestowed upon DCI Cyril Bennett, the main character in his successful Bennett series.

Amazon page:

Twitter: @MHollingdrake

Syn (The Merseyside Crime Series Book 2) by [Malcolm Hollingdrake]

Protector by Conn Iggulden @Conn_Iggulden @MichaelJBooks #NetGAlley #NewRelease #Protector #BookReview

Protector: The epic new adventure through the battlefields of ancient Greece by [Conn Iggulden]



‘An epic piece of historical fiction, full of political intrigue and vivid action’ Robert Fabbri
‘Vivid, atmospheric, gritty . . . you’ll believe you’re on the battlefield fighting for your life’ 5***** Reader Review



Themistocles stands as an archon of Athens: the might of the city is his to command. Yet he is no nobleman, distrusted by many for his modest birthright.

For his presumption.

But those who stand against him cannot argue with two things: his victories as a warrior and the vast Persian force heading their way.

And so Themistocles must fight. To survive the game of politics, to make his name, he must prove himself again and again in battle. On the sea. On land. In the arena of public opinion.

His enemies are legion, his allies do not trust him and the Persians would corrupt him – but history belongs to the courageous . . .

‘Brings war in the ancient world to vividgritty and bloody life. I’m blown awayProtector stand alongside the best of Mary Renault – an epic with the learning of the classics‘ ANTHONY RICHES

BUY LINK: Protector: The epic new adventure through the battlefields of ancient Greece


What an epic series this is! The story continues with three massive forces in history, the Greeks, the Persians’ and the Spartans. This chapter in history will determine the way that nations will be moulded. The balance of power is literally on a fine line. The Greeks were facing defeat from the Persians, as Athens is burnt to the ground, while they hide out on one of the islands and helplessly watch. Cimon, Xanthippus and Themistocles, takes on the impossible task to turn the tables, not on land but by sea.

The battle scenes are a work of art that comes alive in every detail. The vastness of the armies and the choreography of the battle plans that play out. The gruesome aftermath of the dead and dying, the smells of blood and body fluids. It is all brought to technicolour life. The impossible had happened in the battle, that should not be lost. Themistocles is like no one else, the square peg in a round hole. His battle skills are second to none, but he is not noble like the others.

I like the fact and fiction blend in these books. The way the author plucks out parts of history to give it a little theatrical flair because he is so darn good at it. From opening these books, I felt part of the different communities. I don’t know where the last book will take me, but this will take some topping. Superb, shocking and utterly gripping.

I wish to thank Net Galley and the publisher for an e-copy of this book which I have reviewed honestly.


Conn Iggulden

Conn Iggulden is one of the most successful authors of historical fiction writing today. He has written three previous bestselling historical series, including Wars of the RosesDunstan is a stand-alone novel set in the red-blooded world of tenth-century England, and The Falcon of Sparta is a stand-alone in which Iggulden returns to the Ancient World. The Gates of Athens, his latest book, is first in the new Athenian series. –This text refers to the hardcover edition

Protector: The epic new adventure through the battlefields of ancient Greece by [Conn Iggulden]