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CTM = Crime, Thriller, Mystery Genre Authors

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» Listings for May 2016

  1.  

    Synopsis: Detective Inspector Helen Grace is no stranger to tragedy. But when a body is found in a Southampton nightclub, the death cuts too close to the bone.

    Hiding her personal connection to the victim - and a double-life which must remain secret at all costs - Helen becomes a woman possessed, working her team around the clock to chase down every lead.

    As the killer strikes again, the investigation takes its toll not only on Helen but also her senior officers. Tempers flare, friendships fray and Helen faces an impossible choice.

    Confess her sins and lose control of the case? Or keep living a lie, protecting her darkest secrets, and risk getting trapped in this tangled web?

    But whatever she does, this killer will not stop until the truth is revealed: there are some fates worse than death . . .

    KAT’S RATING: 5/5

  2. Synopsis: When Steffie helps her two siblings organize a surprise wedding anniversary party for their parents her only worry is whether they'll be pleased. What she doesn't know is this is the day that her whole world will be turned upside down.

    Jenny wants to be able to celebrate her ruby anniversary with the man she loves, but for forty years she has kept a secret. A secret that she can't bear to hide any longer. But is it ever the right time to hurt the people closest to you?

    As the entire family gather to toast the happy couple, they're expecting a day to remember. The trouble is, it's not going to be for the reasons they imagined...

     Kat's Rating: 3/5

    Kat's Review: I am a big Sheila O'Flanagan fan and am rarely disappointed with one of her books. This latest one, although it wasn't a disappointment as such, I just felt it was a little bit 'middle of the road' for my liking. It's a typical family drama and the writing style is no different, there was just something that seemed a wee bit off kilter.

    Roisin is the older sister to sister Steffi and brother Davey. When she throws an anniversary surprise party for their parents Jenny and Pascal, Steffi knows full well that this isn't the sort of thing her parents want as they prefer the quieter life, so when her Mother drops a bombshell at the party it gets the book off to a great start. The characters are well fleshed out and you get that real Irish family feel to the story.  There are a lot of different personalities and threads which keep you engaged as a reader.

    However, unusually for an Sheila O'Flanagan book, it didn't seem to go much further than that for me. It's a solid read but seems to be missing it's usual magic, and the worst part is I can't even tell you why. Yes it was a little predictable, but normally I overlook that as the enjoyment parts are so good. This time around, although I didn't dislike any of the characters, I didn't really care for them either way. Maybe it's a one off, but for me this book felt a little bit too old fashioned and that just isn't the case with this author normally. Here's hoping her next released brings back that little bit of sparkle I felt was missing in this one. 

  3. Synopsis: Imogen Charlton is sorted. Dead-beat husband? History. Dream job? Application sent. But then her impulsive brother, Harry, spends every last penny on a Greek restaurant in Corfu, and is determined to run it himself. It’s up to Imogen to bring him to his senses. 

    When sexy millionaire Panos Dimitriou offers to buy back his family taverna, Imogen wonders if all her prayers have been answered (and all her fantasies about to come true). But Harry won’t budge, and his enthusiasm is infectious. 

    Bright pink bougainvillea tumbling over whitewashed walls, endless blue skies, the sparkling Mediterranean; it’s hard not to fall for Corfu. And that’s not all Imogen is falling for… 

    As the sparks of passion fly between Imogen and Panos, is Imogen having second thoughts on selling the restaurant? And will she have to choose between love and a new dream? 

    Kat's Rating: 5/5

  4. Synopsis: he girl’s smashed-in face stared unseeing up to the blue sky, soil spilling out of her mouth. A hundred flies hovered above the bloodied mess.

    Westerley research facility is not for the faint-hearted. A ‘body farm’ investigating human decomposition, its inhabitants are corpses in various states of decay. But when Detective Kim Stone and her team discover the fresh body of a young woman, it seems a killer has discovered the perfect cover to bury their crime.

    Then a second girl is attacked and left for dead, her body drugged and mouth filled with soil. It’s clear to Stone and the team that a serial killer is at work – but just how many bodies will they uncover? And who is next?

     As local reporter, Tracy Frost, disappears, the stakes are raised. The past seems to hold the key to the killer’s secrets – but can Kim uncover the truth before a twisted, damaged mind claims another victim …?

  5. Synopsis: Everyone remembers their first kiss. But what about the last?

    1961. Journalist Rosamund Bailey is ready to change the world. When she meets explorer and man about town Dominic Blake, she realises she has found the love of her life. Just as happiness is in their grasp, the worst happens, and their future is snatched away.

    2014. Deep in the vaults of a museum, archivist Abby Gordon stumbles upon a breathtaking find. A faded photograph of a man saying goodbye to the woman he loves. Looking for a way to escape her own heartache, Abby becomes obsessed with the story, little realising that behind the image frozen in time lies a secret altogether more extraordinary.

    Kat's Rating: 3/5 

    Kat's Review: I have to hold my hands up here and say I actually put off reading this book. I am a huge Tasmina Perry fan but when I saw her slight departure from style with both the cover and synopsis of this book I was slightly wary. This latest book is set over two time frames, both the 1960s and 2014. We have two stories set 50 years apart featuring Dom and Ros from the Fifties and Abby set in the current time frame.

    Abby is archivist and after a separation from her husband she is finding her feet. She comes across a photograph that she longs to know more about. The photograph turns out to be that of Rosamund Bailey and Dominic Blake who was a famous explorer. This is where the story begins to separate and we see Dom and Ros feature. I have to be honest and say that the story was okay, but that's where it ended for me. I didn't care too much for either Dom or Ros and felt like Abby was rather flat.

    The story itself trundles along but the characters which are just a fancy word for the glue that holds it all together just didn't interest me enough. The writing style is still glaringly apparent but I suppose I have become accustomed to reading the Bonkbuster style books that Tasmina previously wrote. I am finding it difficult to articulate but in a nutshell I didn't like or care enough about any of the characters for me to rate it anything outside of average. I can't help but feel a bit disappointed, but can only hope her next book is as engaging as all her previous works.

  6. Synopsis: A MYSTERY VICTIM

    A corpse is found: its identity extinguished in the most shocking manner imaginable. Detective Ian Bradshaw can't catch the killer if no one can ID the victim. Out there, somewhere, a missing young woman may hold the answers.

    A SECRET WEB

    Journalist Helen Norton is about to uncover a massive criminal conspiracy. She just needs the final piece of the puzzle. Soon, she will learn the price of the truth.

    AN 'INNOCENT' KILLER

    True-crime writer Tom Carney receives letters from a convicted murderer who insists he is innocent. His argument is persuasive - but psychopaths are often said to be charming...

    WHAT IS THE DARK THREAD RUNNING THROUGH THESE CRIMES?

    KAT'S RATING: 4/5

  7. Synopsis: 'Hearing footsteps pounding along the street behind him he glanced back, fleetingly worried, then laughed because the street was deserted. All the same, he felt uneasy. Everything looked different in the dark. 

    Then he heard more footsteps approaching, and a hoarse voice called out. Turning his head, he made out a figure hovering in the shadows and as it raised one arm, the barrel of a gun glinted in the moonlight…' 

    The dead body of unassuming David Lester is discovered in a dark side-street, and DI Geraldine Steel is plunged into another murder investigation. The clues mount up along with the suspects, but with the death of another man in inexplicable circumstances, the case becomes increasingly complex. As Geraldine investigates the seemingly unrelated crimes, she makes a shocking discovery about her birth mother.

    KAT'S RATING: 4/5<BLOG_TOUR>

    KAT'S REVIEW: First off, although this is book 8 in a series featuring Geraldine Steel, this book could certainly be read as a stand alone. I love this series and Leigh Russell has written a believable and likeable character with Geraldine. However, I have some niggles with the last and current book in that I feel like I am waiting for something to happen on her personal life front. A lot has happened with Geraldine over the last few books and currently it feels like she is in a little bit of a rut. Hopefully the next book will see a change in that. One of the reasons is that Geraldine has been searching for her Birth Mother for some time. This issue is addressed in this latest installment, however by the end of the book there are also additional threads opening up so hopefully this will show us a whole new element to Geraldine in the next installment.

    That aside, Geraldine is thrown into a new murder case following the discovery of David Lester's body. When he is found in a side alley it initially seems that it was a mugging gone wrong, however soon becomes apparent that it was no simple robbery. Geraldine's colleague Sam returns as does a new DCI who is looking to solve this case quickly to prove he is the right man for the job. The plot is well paced and as the story progresses we see multiple suspects emerge from the woodwork.

    The book is certainly an easy read and the series is still one I thoroughly enjoy. I hope that in future books we get to see a balance between work and personal life as at the moment this is the only element of this book that doesn't feel right. I would also love to see additional characters help add to the team that Geraldine works with. I would definitely recommend this series as I think Gerladine is an interesting and very readable character. I always look forward to what comes next in the series and the same applies now.

  8. Synopsis: Fall in love with the gorgeous seaside town of White Cliff Bay this summer and enjoy long sunny days, beautiful beaches and… a little romance. 

    Darcy Davenport is ready for a fresh start. Determined to leave a string of disastrous jobs and relationships behind her, she can’t wait to explore White Cliff Bay and meet the locals. 

    When Darcy swims in the crystal clear waters of the bay, she discovers the charming Rose Island Lighthouse. But it’s not just the beautiful building that she finds so intriguing… 

    Riley Eddison doesn’t want change. Desperate to escape the memories of his past, he lives a life of solitude in the lighthouse. Yet he can’t help but notice the gorgeous woman who swims out to his island one day. 

    Darcy is drawn to the mysterious and sexy Riley, but when it seems the town is trying to demolish his home, she soon finds herself having to pick sides. 

    She’s fallen in love with White Cliff Bay. But is that all Darcy’s fallen for? 

    KAT'S RATING: 4/5