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Category: Rating: 4/5

  1. Kat's Review of Need You Dead by Peter James (Roy Grace #13)

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    Peter James Need You Dead  Synopsis: Lorna Belling, desperate to escape the marriage from hell, falls for the charms of another man who promises her the earth. But, as Lorna finds, life seldom follows the plans you’ve made. A chance photograph on a client’s mobile phone changes everything for her.

    When the body of a woman is found in a bath in Brighton, Detective Superintendent Roy Grace is called to the scene. At first it looks an open and shut case with a clear prime suspect. Then other scenarios begin to present themselves, each of them tantalizingly plausible, until, in a sudden turn of events, and to his utter disbelief, the case turns more sinister than Grace could ever have imagined.

    Kat's Rating: 4/5

    *If you plan to read this series in order, please do not continue to read this review as this is book 13 in the series and will inevitably contain spoilers*

    Kat's Review: I realised quite suddenly that with the newest Peter James nearly upon us I was actually a book behind. Then it dawned on me that the saga that was Sandy was no longer an issue so decided to dive right into the last book. We are introduced to Lorna Belling, a woman that is in an incredibly abusive relationship, but who is being offered another chance with another man to start over. Unfortunately she doesn't get that chance and is found murdered...enter Roy Grace. From the off Roy seems a little unbalanced, however it totally makes sense as he is just getting closure after the death of Sandy his wife who disappeared many years before. However, he still has to face the shocking realisation (that came from the conclusion of the last book) in the form of his ten year old son Bruno who he has only just learnt about. 

    With all of these issues at hand, and loads of staff not being around (Glen Branson his trusty sidekick being one of them) he has a lot on his plate. Add to that his wife Cleo and son Noah, his personal life seems to be one big jumble of activity. Thankfully he has the help in the form of his colleague Guy Batchelor so he becomes the help rather than the main lead. However, it becomes clear pretty early on this will not be straightforward and the book itself leans heavily on the police procedural. 

    The storylines most interesting thread for me was Roy's son Bruno. I think that the next book will hopefully explore this element of Roy's life in greater detail as I feel like this is potentially a great contribution to revving up the series. That opinion to one side, this book was very much a whodunnit and with Glen Branson not at Roy's beck and call it lost a little bit of magic for me. In addition, I thought that Roy and Cleo weren't right, it seemed to have lost some of the character strengths in replacement for the police heavy duties. The ending was somewhat of a mystery as there were a few questions that didn't get answered and I thought were a bit odd, I can only hope these will be addressed in the next book. Overall it was a decent read and I really did enjoy it, but maybe at the cost of areas that were normally more enjoyable. A solid read, but I hope things get back on more of an even keel for the next book.

     

  2. BLOG TOUR - Kat's Review of No Comment by Graham Smith (Harry Evans Novella)

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    Graham Smith No Comment Synopsis: When a single mother, Julie Simon, is found in her kitchen with a stab wound to her stomach, Cumbria’s Major Crimes Team are handed the case. Under the supervision of DI Campbell and witîh advice from his former DI, Harry Evans, DC Amir Bhaki fights to discover who assaulted an innocent woman and left her with life-threatening injuries.
    Nothing is as it first appears and when the team looks into Julie’s life they uncover a hidden sex-life that may just hold the key to the identity of her attacker.

    Kat's Rating: 4/5

    Kat's Review: This novella/short story is just under 100 pages, and although these sorts of short books aren't always my cup of tea, this was a really enjoyable bite sized read. 

    The Major Crimes Team are handed a case involving the stabbing of a single mother Julia Simon. Even though a short story Smith manages to pack a fair bit into this latest installment. This is almost like a mini catch up to see where the team are and what they are up to. 

    We see DI John Campbell trying to replace the now retired Harry Evans, however somehow I don't see it happening. What I did get was a small but jam packed mini investigation with colleagues such as DC Amir Bhaki and DC Lauren Phillips making a welcome return. Thankfully this seems like the perfect time to read this with a full length novel entitled 'When The Waters Recede' due in May.

  3. BLOG TOUR: Kat's Review of The Broken by Casey Kelleher

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    51V+seXsl1L Synopsis: They took her dad, but she won’t let them take her.

    Nancy Byrne was the apple of her daddy’s eye. He might have been one of the most-feared gangsters in London, yet Jimmy Byrne idolised his little Nancy. But now Jimmy is dead, gunned down in cold blood - and Nancy vows to avenge his death.

    She’s only twenty years old, but as the new head of the ruthless Byrne gang, running a lucrative world of drugs, sex and violence, she’s in over her head. Keeping her family together while her beloved grandma falls apart and her brother Daniel goes off the rails forces Nancy to grow up - fast. 

    But while Nancy takes the men on at their own game, there’s a greater danger hiding on the dark streets. Jimmy’s killer is on her trail - and will stop at nothing to shut her up. 

    Blood might be thicker than water, but soon, Nancy realises she can't trust anyone. Not even her own family.

    Especially her own family.

    Kat's Rating: 4/5

  4. Kat's Review of Look For Me by Lisa Gardner (DD Warren #9)

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    Lisa Gardener Look For Me Synopsis: Detective DD Warren and Flora Dane are in a race against time to save a young girl's life - or bring her to justice.

    A family home has become a crime scene. Five people are involved: four of them have been savagely murdered; one - a sixteen-year-old girl - is missing.

    Was she lucky to have escaped? Or is her absence evidence of something sinister?

    Detective D. D. Warren is on the case, as is survivor-turned-avenger Flora Dane.

    Seeking different types of justice, they must make sense of the clues left behind by a young woman who, as victim or suspect, is silently pleading, Look for me.

    Kat's Rating: 4/5

    Kat's Review: It's been a long time since I have caught up with DD and I was looking forward to seeing how she was doing. This latest installment sees the return of Flora Dane who was featured in the last book in the series, only this time she is working her way through life as a survivor. 

    DD is called to a murder scene involving a whole family, except one member of that family, the eldest daughter Roxy. DD needs to work out if Roxy is the suspect or the victim. Flora has a link to Roxy and as such manages to insert herself into the investigation and as such becomes DD's newest CI. Frankly it seems like a match made in heaven and I couldn't help but think this element of the story fitted in seamlessly. 

    The story is pretty well paced, although in all honesty probably not one of my favourites in the series. However, DD remains a favourite character of mine and I think this series most certainly still has the legs to keep running. There is quite a lot going on and the reader is kept engaged, however although I absolutely loved the addition of Flora, I kind of missed seeing more of her other colleagues so the return of those in the next book would definitely be welcome. I think to enjoy this book it always helps to have read the series in order as you have the background of the characters involved. Certainly an enjoyable book and one that I think fans will really enjoy. 

  5. BLOG TOUR - Kat's Review of Gallery of The Dead by Chris Carter (Robert Hunter #9)

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    Chris Carter Gallery of The Dead Synopsis: ‘Thirty-seven years in the force, and if I was allowed to choose just one thing to erase from my mind, what’s inside that room would be it.’
     
    That’s what a LAPD Lieutenant tells Detectives Hunter and Garcia of the Ultra Violent Crimes Unit as they arrive at one of the most shocking crime scenes they have ever attended. 
     
    In a completely unexpected turn of events, the detectives find themselves joining forces with the FBI to track down a serial killer whose hunting ground sees no borders; a psychopath who loves what he does because to him murder is much more than just killing – it’s an art form.
     
    Welcome to The Gallery of the Dead.

    Kat's Rating: 4/5

    Kat's Review: I was thrilled to receive an ARC of the new Chris Carter and couldn't wait to get started. Robert Hunter is a wonderful character, and alongside him every step of the way is his colleague Carlos Garcia. The two of them are like chalk an cheese but always work better together. It was nice to catch up with the two of them but as usual with their roles wihtin the Ultra Violent unit they never sit on their laurels for long. This time it comes in the form of a particularly sadistic killer. The difference with this case is that this time they team up with the FBI.

    I couldn't help but feel that the chock value of these murders along with the frisly detail seems to have stepped up a notch. There is no holding back with descriptive murder scenes so if you are squemish it's probably not for you. That aside the storyline kept me gripped. I also loved the fact we see more of Hunter's personal life albeit in small sections as his job alone limits what sort of relattionships he can maintain.

    The first three quarters of the book was very 'cat and mouse' however the last quarter I read at lightining speed and at one point I sat bolt upright in shock! If you can stomach the violence and gore (not an issue for me) then these books as a series are absolutely addictive. For some reason it fell just short of the full stars for me, and I can't even exlain why! I just feel like this maybe wasn't as amazing as some of the others in the series, but by no means is any less enjoyable. A thoroughly enaging book that left me eager tot read the next in the series. 

  6. Kat's Review of Silent Children by Carol Wyer (DI Robyn Carter #4)

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    Carol Wyer The Silent Children Synopsis: The boy studied the bruise turning yellow at the base of his neck. With quick fingers his mother tightened his tie, and pulled his collar high above it. Her eyes alone said, We will not speak of this...

    Years later, a man is found shot dead in a local park. On his phone is a draft text: I can’t keep this secret any longer. The recipient is unnamed.

    Detective Robyn Carter knows this secret is the key to the case, but his friends and family don’t offer any clues, and all her team have to go on is a size-ten footprint. 

    Then a nurse is found in a pool of blood at the bottom of her staircase, and a seemingly insignificant detail in her friend’s statement makes Robyn wonder: are the two bodies connected, and has the killer only just begun?

    When another body confirms Robyn’s worst fears, she realises she’s in a race against time to stop the killer before they strike again. But just as she thinks she’s closing in, one of her own team goes missing.

    Buried in the past is a terrible injustice. Can Robyn uncover the truth before another life is lost?

  7. Kat’s Review of Save Me by Mandasue Heller

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    Mandasue Heller Save Me Synopsis: When Ellie Fisher misses her train home one night, she has no idea that being in the right place at the wrong time will change her life forever.

    That night she comes across Gareth, a young man about to take his own life, because as far as he’s concerned there is nothing left to live for. Putting her own life in danger Ellie convinces Gareth that there is always something left. Her own life is no bed of roses, she explains, but she always pushes on.

    However, good deeds aren’t always repaid the way we want. Has Ellie unwittingly put her life in danger, or is the real danger a lot closer to home?

    Kat's Rating: 4/5

    Kat's Review: I was excited to read the new Mandasue book but have to be honest and say I was surprised at the type of book this turned out to be. It seems like a bit of a departure from the gritty gangland style books she normally produces and leans more towards a psychological thriller. 

    Ellie Fisher is introduced to us on her commute to work. She has no idea that her day will change when she attempts to help a young guy named Gareth who is attempting to take his own life. In the meantime she is dealing with her own problems with her husband Matt and her Mother and Sister. The thing that struck me most about this book was that I didn't actually like any of the characters which is unusual. Ellie seems to be downtrodden and has almost zero backbone. Although I felt sorry for her it seems like she just doesn't have the strength to be anything other than a doormat. On the other side of the fence we have her seemingly controlling and frankly abysmal husband Matt who I just wanted to smack for most of the book.

    That strange sensation aside, what I realised was that in a strange was I was thoroughly enjoying this departure in style. It's certainly different to her previous stuff but although I disliked the characters I felt the need to keep reading. Although this doesn't have the edge of your seat type tension running through it there is a dark element which seems to be present almost from the beginning. I read this in one sitting and although initially I was thinking it wasn't as good as previous stuff, I ended up really enjoying it. I also didn't quite see the ending and found myself being pleasantly surprised. Overall, different but I think good different. 

     

  8. Kat's Review of I'm Still Standing by Colleen Coleman

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    Colleen Coleman Im Still Standing Synopsis: When Evelyn Dooley married her high-school sweetheart, James, she thought she was set for life. Now she’s twenty-eight, single, and fleeing to Dublin from her hometown to avoid the gossip surrounding their break-up. And all because of a test-your-relationship board game.

    This was not in her five-year plan.

    Then a chance encounter with gorgeous musician Danny leads to an unlikely friendship, and soon the pair are running music nights together in one of the oldest pubs in Dublin. For the first time Evelyn is following her dreams rather than someone else’s – and sparks are beginning to fly between her and Danny…

    But when her savings run out and home beckons, Evelyn has to choose. The safe, comfortable life she left behind, or a new adventure with Danny? Will Evelyn flee back to the familiarity of her ex, or reach for the stars and take a leap into the unknown?

    Kat's Rating: 4/5