Wednesday, 23 August 2017

#CoverReveal The Secret Mother by Shalini Boland (@ShaliniBoland) @bookouture


The Secret Mother by Shalini Boland - out on 9th November.

‘Are you my mummy?’ the little boy asks.

Tessa Markham comes home to find a child in her kitchen. He thinks she’s his mother. But Tessa doesn’t have any children. 

Not anymore.

She doesn’t know who the little boy is or how he got there.

After contacting the police, Tessa comes under suspicion for snatching the child. She must fight to prove her innocence. But how can she convince everyone she’s not guilty when even those closest to her are questioning the truth? And when Tessa doesn’t even trust herself…

A chilling, unputdownable thriller with a dark twist that will take your breath away and make you wonder if you can ever trust anyone again. Perfect for fans of Gone Girl, Girl on the Train and The Sister.


About the author

Shalini lives in Dorset, England with her husband, two sons and Jess their cheeky terrier cross. Before kids, she was signed to Universal Music Publishing as a singer songwriter, but now she spends her days writing suspense thrillers (in between school runs and hanging out endless baskets of laundry).



#BookReview Graveyard Shift by Michael F. Haspil @torbooks

Graveyard Shift by Michael F. Haspil
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Alex Menkaure, former pharaoh and mummy, and his vampire partner, Marcus, who was born in ancient Rome, once hunted evil vampires for UMBRA, a super-secret unit of the NSA. That was before the discovery of a blood substitute and a Supreme Court ruling allowed thousands of vampires to integrate into society.

Now, Alex and Marcus are vice cops in a special police unit. They fight to keep the streets safe from criminal vampires, shape-shifters, blood-dealers, and anti-vampire vigilantes.

When someone starts poisoning the artificial blood, race relations between vampires and humans deteriorate to the brink of anarchy. While the city threatens to tear itself apart, Alex and Marcus must form an unnatural alliance with a vigilante gang and a shape-shifter woman in a desperate battle against an ancient vampire conspiracy.

If they succeed, they'll be pariahs, hunted by everyone. If they fail, the result will be a race-war bloodierthan any the world has ever seen.


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First I want to say that I tend to stay away from vampire books nowadays, it's just a book motif that has been done so many times now that I feel it's been overdone and I prefer other paranormal creatures. As long as it's not zombies, I feel the same way about zombies. However, the main characters in this book, Alex Menkaure, is a former pharaoh and mummy. That sold me, and I thought "what the heck, let's hope the vampire storyline works!"

And, yes and no, it was not that bad, I liked the book, but I felt that the whole vampire conspiracy plot didn't totally rock my boat. But, at the same time, I really liked both Alex and his vampire partner Marcus who was born in ancient Rome. This is the kind of book that, despite the storyline not completely enthralled me still was enjoyable thanks to awesome characters actually made me enjoy the book and want more. This book really has the feeling of being the first in a series since we only gotten to know some tidbits about Alex, that some woman has made him the way he is today, but not why or who she really was. And, I want to know more about both Alex and Marcus pasts. How they met, the years the work together for UMBRA, etc.

Now, I know I was a bit negative when it came to the plot of the book. I did find part of the book quite good, it was more that I didn't truly love the story. It's definitely an OK book and I guess I just wanted it to get to me more than it did. I did like the vampire aspects of the book, them being known to the humans. And, it was refreshing to find a vampire book that actually worked for me. I just hope that the next book will have a stronger story, one that will captivate me. Because I truly loved the idea of reading a book about a main male character who is a mummy.

I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review!

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

#BookReview The Dire King by William Ritter (@Willothewords) @AlgonquinYR

The Dire King by William Ritter
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The fate of the world is in the hands of detective of the supernatural R. F. Jackaby and his intrepid assistant, Abigail Rook. An evil king is turning ancient tensions into modern strife, using a blend of magic and technology to push Earth and the Otherworld into a mortal competition. Jackaby and Abigail are caught in the middle as they continue to solve the daily mysteries of New Fiddleham, New England — like who’s created the rend between the worlds, how to close it, and why zombies are appearing around. At the same time, the romance between Abigail and the shape-shifting police detective Charlie Cane deepens, and Jackaby’s resistance to his feelings for 926 Augur Lane’s ghostly lady, Jenny, begins to give way. Before the four can think about their own futures, they will have to defeat an evil that wants to destroy the future altogether.

The epic conclusion to the New York Times best-selling Jackaby series features sly humor and a quirky cast of unforgettable characters as they face off against their most dangerous, bone-chilling foe ever.

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So, here we are with the last book in the Jackaby series. It was both thrilling and bittersweet to read this book. It's always sad when a series end. I would recommend reading this series from the beginning and not read this one without having read the previous three books. In many ways is it one story that has taken place over four books.

What I loved about this book and the whole series are the quirky characters, the humor, and the mysteries. The Dire King has several funny moments, often thanks to Jackaby, who in many ways reminds me of a younger Sherlock Holmes. Which makes Abigail Rook his Watson. And, yeah she does play her sidekick role very well, adding balance to Jakaby more eccentric ways. Storywise is this book just as good as the previous books and I quite liked the twist at the end of the book. It felt very suiting like everything has been leading to this and I do hope, despite this being the last in this series, perhaps to see the characters in a new series one day? *puppy eyes*

The Dire King is an easy-going and well-written book and I recommend it warmly!

I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy through Netgalley for an honest review!

#BookReview The Other Girl by Erica Spindler (@EricaSpindler) @StMartinsPress

The Other Girl by Erica Spindler
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Officer Miranda Rader of the Hammond PD in Louisiana is known for her honesty, integrity, and steady hand in a crisis—but that wasn’t always so. Miranda comes from Jasper, just south of Hammond, a place about the size of a good spit on a hot day, and her side of the tracks was the wrong one. She’s worked hard to leave the girl she used to be behind and earn respect in her position as an officer.

However, when Miranda and her partner are called to investigate the murder of one of the town’s most beloved college professors, they’re unprepared for the gruesomeness of the scene. This murder is unlike any they’ve ever investigated, and just when Miranda thinks she’s seen the worst of it, she finds a piece of evidence that chills her to the core: a faded newspaper clipping about a terrible night from her long-buried past. Then another man turns up dead, this one a retired cop, and not just any cop—Clint Wheeler, the cop who took her statement that night. Two murders, two very different men, two killings that on the surface had nothing in common—except Miranda. 15 years ago.

And when her fingerprints turn up at the scene of the first murder, Miranda once again finds herself under the microscope, her honesty and integrity doubted, her motivations questioned. Alone again, the trust of her colleagues shattered, Miranda must try to trust the instincts she’s pushed down for so long, and decide what’s right—before it’s too late.


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This is a book that surprised me, a lot! The Other Girl's cover and blurb intrigued me, but I had never read anything by Erica Spindler before so I wasn't sure the book would suit me. I read a lot of thrillers, and it takes a lot nowadays to really charm me.

However, this book had everything I wanted in a thriller, a compelling story, well-developed characters and an ending that made me question my conviction on whom the killer is. Seriously, I was quite sure for a long time who the killer was, but at the end, did Spindler twist the story so much, and throw in a couple of red herrings that made me question my belief. I won't tell you if I was right or not, but I ended up quite pleased with the resolution.

I can say that this is the kind of book that, despite perhaps not being that surprising still engrossed me from the beginning until the end. I was captivated. I'm so delighted in this book that I need to find me some more Erica Spindler books to read.

So, in the end, I just want to say that The Other Girl is a superb thriller, a page turner that kept me entertained all the way until the end!

I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review!

Monday, 21 August 2017

#BookReview Cop Town (De fördärvade) by Karin Slaughter (@SlaughterKarin) (SWE/ENG)

De fördärvade by Karin Slaughter
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

SWEDISH REVIEW

Två kvinnliga poliser. En tid i förändring. En stad på randen till uppror.

Det är 1974 och Atlanta skakas av ett brutalt polismord. Samtidigt undrar den unga polisen Kate Murphy om hennes första dag på jobbet också kommer bli den sista – att vara kvinna inom den mansdominerade polisen är allt annat än enkelt. Det vet redan Maggie Lawson, som gått i sina bröders fotspår och ständigt måste hävda sig inför deras cyniska blickar. När Kate och Maggie stängs ute från jakten på polismördaren når deras ilska och frustration slutligen kokpunkten. De startar en egen utredning. Snart blir de varse att de måste riskera allt för att bevisa att de har vad som krävs.


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De fördärvade är en fantastisk bok! Att läsa den här boken fick mig att inse att jag inte läser många kriminalromaner vars handling utspelas på 70-talet och det är synd eftersom det är en fascinerande tidsperiod. Särskilt, som i den här boken, för kvinnor som försöker hitta en plats i en mans värld

Jag verkligen älskade att läsa om Kate Murphy och Maggie Lawson, två mycket olika kvinnor från olika klasser. Kate kommer från en familj av poliser, både hennes farbror och bror arbetar på samma polisstation som hon gör. Men det är inte så att de gillar att hon är polis, särskilt inte hennes farbror. Maggie å andra sidan är änka, hennes man dog i Vietnam-kriget. Hon är också den nyaste polisen på polisstation, och hon lär sig snabbt att ingen, inte ens kvinnorna, kommer att hjälpa henne. Om hon vill jobba som polis, måste hon tuffa till sig och acceptera att bli mobbad. Och som kvinnor hålls de också borta från de verkliga fallen som jakten på polisens mördare. Inte för att det kommer att stoppa Maggie och Kate från att försöka ta reda på vem som dödar poliser.

De fördärvade är en träffsäker roman om en tid i förändring där kvinnor försöker bli mer självständiga. En sak som verkligen berörde mig var den skrämmande attityden gentemot kvinnor i den här boken. Även bland andra kvinnor, ja, även i en familj. Och sedan har vi den omaskerade rasismen och homofobin, särskilt bland manliga poliser. Men det är allt detta som gör den här boken så fascinerande att läsa. Karin Slaughter har verkligen fångat tidsandan och jag mentalt hejade jag på Kate och Maggie för att de våga stå upp mot männen och våga försöka hitta mördaren trots motstånd.

Detta är en av de bästa böcker jag har läst av Slaughter och hon har snabbt blivit en favoritförfattare!

Tack HarperCollins Nordic för recensionsexemplaret!

ENGLISH REVIEW

Atlanta, 1974. As a brutal killing and a furious manhunt rock the city, Kate Murphy wonders if her first day on the police force will also be her last. For life is anything but easy in the male-dominated world of the Atlanta Police Department, where even the other female cops have little mercy for the new girl.

Kate isn’t the only woman on the force who is finding things tough. Maggie Lawson followed her uncle and brother into the ranks to prove her worth in their cynical eyes. When Maggie and Kate become partners, and are sidelined in the search for the city’s cop killer, their fury, pain, and pride finally reach boiling point.

With the killer poised to strike again, will Kate and Maggie have the courage to pursue their own line of investigation? And are they prepared to risk everything as they venture into the city’s darkest heart?

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Cop Town is a fabulous book! Reading this book made me realize that I don't read many crime novels set in the 70s and that's a shame since it's a fascinating period of time. Especially for women that are trying to find a place in a man's world, as in this book.

I loved reading about Kate Murphy and Maggie Lawson, two very different women from different classes. Kate comes from a family of cops, with both her uncle and brother working on the same force as she does. Not that they like that she is a cop, especially her uncle. Maggie, on the other hand, is a widow, her husband died in the Vietnam war. She is also the newest cop on the force, and she quickly learns that no one, not even the women will help her out. If she wants to work as a cop, then she has to toughen up and accept being bullied. And, as women are they also being kept away from the real cases like the hunt for the cop killer. Not that that will stop Maggie and Kate from trying to find out who is offing cops.

Cop Town is a gritty crime novel about a time in changing, with women more and more trying to be independent. One thing that really struck me was the appalling attitude towards women in this book. Even among other women, hell, even in a family. And, then we have the undisguised racism and homophobia, especially among the male cops. But, it's just all of this that makes this book so fascinating to read. Karin Slaughter has really captured the spirit of the time and I found myself mentally cheering Kate and Maggie for daring to stand up to the men in this book and daring to try to find a killer. 

This is one of the best books I have read by Slaughter and she is quickly becoming a favorite author of mine.

Thanks HarperCollins Nordic for the review copy!

#BookReview Pappas pojke (Daddy's Boy) by Emelie Schepp (SWE/ENG)

Pappas pojke by Emelie Schepp
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

SWEDISH REVIEW

En varm sommarkväll ringer sexårige Jonathan till sin pappa Sam som är på väg hem. Skräckslagen berättar han att någon har tagit sig in i familjens hus i Norrköping. Det är det sista Sam hör från pojken innan han försvinner spårlöst.

Åklagare Jana Berzelius leder förundersökningen av det komplicerade fallet. Tillsammans med kriminalkommissarie Henrik Levin och kriminalinspektör Mia Bolander försöker hon ta reda på vad som har hänt Jonathan. Spåren leder bakåt i tiden, och ju längre Jonathan är borta desto mer personlig blir utredningen för Jana. Hon inser att det är bråttom, mycket bråttom att hitta pojken.

Samtidigt begär den skoningslöse Danilo Peña att Jana ska besöka honom i häktet. När hon till slut går med på att träffa honom kastas hon in i en fruktansvärd kamp på liv och död, där allt sätts på spel och ingen går säker.

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Den första boken jag läste i denna serie var Prio ett och jag såg fram emot att läsa uppföljaren till den boken. Jana Berzelius gamla "vän" Danilo Peña försökte rymma från Sverige i förra boken, genom att hota att avslöja Janas hemlighet, men i denna bok sitter han i fängelse och väntar på rättegång. Samtidigt så kidnappas en liten pojke och Jana måste dela sin uppmärksamhet mellan kidnappninsgfallet och Danilo som kräver att hon ska besöka honom och om hon inte gör som han säger så tänker att se till att någon hon tycker om skadas.

Pappas pojke är en lättläst kriminalare. Det tog lite längre tid att läsa denna bok för mig, dels för att jag ofta började läsa sent på kvällen, dels för att jag hade vissa svårigheter med handlingen och dess karaktärer. Jag fann att berättelsen i denna bok saknade samma intensivitet som berättelsen i Prio ett, samt att sidohandlingarna, Mia Bolanders romantiska äventyr samt Danilo Peña förförande kraft i fängelset störde mig. Dock var själva kidnappningsfallet intressant även om slutet var rätt så uppenbart.

Pappas pojke tilltalar säkerligen de som älskar denna serie och har läst alla böcker. Jag måste erkänna att jag inte såg tjusningen i denna bok, och i jämförelse med Prio ett så kändes den väldigt blek. Dock är jag intresserad att läsa de tidigare böckerna i serien och få reda på mer om Janas bakgrund.

Tack HarperCollins Nordic för recensionsexemplaret!


ENGLISH REVIEW

It's a hot summer night and six-year-old Jonathan calls his father Sam, who is on his way home. Jonathan is scared and tells his father that someone has entered the family house in Norrköping. That's the last Sam hear from the boy before he disappears without a trace.

Prosecutor Jana Berzelius leads the preliminary investigation of this complicated case. She has to try, together with detective inspector Henrik Levin and Mia Bolander to find out what has happened to Jonathan. The tracks lead back in time, and the longer Jonathan is gone, the more personal is the investigation for Jana. She realizes that it's getting more urgent to find the boy as the time goes by.

At the same time, Danilo Peña demands that Jana will visit him in the detention center. Once she agrees to meet him is she thrown into a terrible battle of life and death, where everything is at stake and no one is safe.

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The first book I read in this series was Prio One and I have looked forward to reading, Daddy's Boy, the sequel to that book. Jana Berzelius's old "friend" Danilo Peña tried to escape from Sweden in the previous book by threatening to reveal Jana's secrets, but in this book, is he in jail and awaiting trial. At the same time, is a little boy kidnapped, and Jana has to split her attention between the kidnapping case and Danilo, who demands that she visits him and if she does not do as he says will he use his resources to get someone that Jan cares for.

Daddy's Boy is an easy-to-read crime novel. It took a little longer to read this book for me, partly because I often started reading late in the evening, partly because I had some difficulties with the story and its characters. I found that the story in this book lacked the same intensity as the Prio one had and that the subplots; Mia Bolander's romantic adventure, and Danilo Peña's seductive power in prison annoyed me. However, the actual kidnapping case was interesting even though the end was pretty obvious.

Daddy's Boy will absolutely appeal to those who love this series and have read all the books. I have to admit that for me is this book just an average crime novel that pales in comparison to Prio One. However, I'm interested in reading the previous books in the series and finding out more about Jana's background.

Thanks HarperCollins Nordic for the review copy!

Sunday, 20 August 2017

#BookReview A Darkness Absolute by Kelley Armstrong (@KelleyArmstrong) @FreshFiction

A Darkness Absolute by Kelley Armstrong
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The follow-up to #1 NYT bestseller Kelley Armstrong’s acclaimed City of the Lost, Rockton town detective Casey Duncan makes a terrible—and dangerous—discovery in the woods outside of town.

When experienced homicide detective Casey Duncan first moved to the secret town of Rockton, she expected a safe haven for people like her, people running from their past misdeeds and past lives. She knew living in Rockton meant living off-the-grid completely: no cell phones, no Internet, no mail, very little electricity, and no way of getting in or out without the town council’s approval. What she didn’t expect is that Rockton comes with its own set of secrets and dangers.

Now, in A Darkness Absolute, Casey and her fellow Rockton sheriff’s deputy Will chase a cabin-fevered resident into the woods, where they are stranded in a blizzard. Taking shelter in a cave, they discover a former resident who’s been held captive for over a year. When the bodies of two other women turn up, Casey and her colleagues must find out if it’s an outsider behind the killings or if the answer is more complicated than that...before another victim goes missing.

Casey Duncan returns in another heart-racing thriller from #1 New York Times bestselling author Kelley Armstrong.


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Kelley Armstrong's CITY OF THE LOST was a book did not really live up to my expectations. I hoped for a more thrilling story. However, that didn't mean that I didn't like the book, but after waiting a year to read it and really looking forward to it, the book was a bit of a letdown. A decent thriller, just not so engrossing as I had expected it to be. Still, I wanted to read the follow-up, A DARKNESS ABSOLUTE since the idea of the book, of a town where you can hide away from your past, is such a marvellous thing.

READ THE REST OF THE REVIEW OVER AT FRESH FICTION!

#BlogTour 37 Hours by J.F. Kirwan (@kirwanjf) @NeverlandBT



After two long years spent in a secret British prison, Nadia Laksheva is suddenly granted her freedom. Yet there is a dangerous price to pay for her release: she must retrieve the Russian nuclear warhead stolen by her deadliest enemy, a powerful and ruthless terrorist known only as The Client.

But her mysterious nemesis is always one step ahead and the clock is ticking. In 37 hours, the warhead will explode, reducing the city of London to a pile of ash. Only this time, Nadia is prepared to pull the trigger at any cost…

The deadly trail will take her from crowded Moscow to the silent streets of Chernobyl, but will Nadia find what she is looking for before the clock hits zero?



READ AN EXCERPT FROM THE BOOK: 

Falling out of a plane at night, above a raging sea, lived up to its reputation. Sergei had said the chute would open after ten seconds, long enough to get below the wake from the propellers but not drift too far from the drop zone. But Nadia couldn’t count. She was too busy trying to catch her breath as the wind tore at her mouth.

Goggles protected her eyes, though she could barely see anything as she plummeted through gun-metal-grey clouds. She bit down on an urge to scream, panic rising from her heart up into her throat. Freefalling. It was so damned dark. The sea was racing towards her, but all she saw below was blackness. A cloudy night, no stars, no moon. Must have been eight seconds by now. Nine. Ten. She braced herself for the chute opening.

Nothing.

Where was Sergei? He’d been right beside her on the plane. He was heavier. He’d be below her, wouldn’t he? Or did everyone fall at the same rate? She couldn’t remember. He could be above her if his chute had opened. She looked up. Nothing, just the wind howling in her ears through her neoprene dive hood. How high had they been? How long before she’d hit the water?

At this speed her harness with its air tank would snap her back in two on impact. She had no emergency cord to operate the chute. He’d said it wouldn’t fail. The chute would open. Fifteen seconds now, for sure. Another five and she’d be splattered on the wave-tops. Sergei, where the fuck…

He slammed into her from behind, then spun her around as effortlessly as if they were trapeze artists in that sweet spot where gravity blinks. But they were plunging at terminal velocity, close to two hundred kilometres an hour. His face loomed close, but he was looking down at her chest. He hit her. No, he thumped the buckle to release the failed chute. She slipped away from him. Shit! She lunged for one of his shoulder straps, grabbed it, tugged herself towards him, flailing in the wind like a rag doll. They twisted in mid-air, no longer falling feet first. He looped an arm around her, pulled her close to him, yanked something, and then Nadia realised how the end of a bullwhip felt when it was cracked.

It winded her, but Sergei’s arm pressed her against him, locking them together. Her left hand clung to his harness strap; the other gripped the back of his tank. Finally he looked at her. And smiled. He fucking smiled. Cool bastard. He mouthed something. Then something else. Two. One. She took an urgent breath.
Book links:


Author bio: 

J.F. Kirwan is a writer for Harper Collins, under their HQ digital imprint. By day he works in aviation and nuclear safety, but at night, during bouts of insomnia, he writes thrillers with significant body counts. He’s an ex-diving instructor, so there is an underwater element in each of his two novels, 66 Metres and 37 Hours. Most readers find his writing has a cinematic feel, as if you are there with the characters. The original inspiration for the protagonist, Nadia, came from Stieg Larsson’s Girl with the dragon tattoo, though David Baldacci and Lee Child have had significant impact on the writing style, plotting and pace. He is currently writing the third book in the series.

Author links:



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