#BlogTour: THE LAST STAGE by Louise Voss @LouiseVoss1 @OrendaBooks @annecater #RandomThingsTours

THE_LAST_STAGE_PB_AWPublication: 11th July 2019 – Orenda Books

At the peak of her career as lead singer of a legendary 1980s indie band, Meredith Vincent was driven off the international stage by a horrific incident. Now she lives incognito in a cottage on the grounds of Minstead House, an old stately home, whilst working in the gift shop. Her past is behind her and she enjoys her new life.

But a series of inexplicable and unsettling incidents have started to happen around her – broken china, vandalised gardens… And when a body is found in the gardens of Minstead House, Meredith realises that someone is watching, someone who knows who she is and who wants to destroy her…

A dark, riveting and chilling psychological thriller, The Last Stage is a study of secrets and obsessions, where innocent acts can have the most terrifying consequences.

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Last year I had the pleasure to read my first novel by Louise Voss, The Old You, and I was so captivated by it that when Anne Carter invited me to join the blog tour for her new novel I didn’t have to think twice before accepting. I started reading THE LAST STAGE during a weekend at the beach with my entire family and I managed to sneak in just a few pages (not much time to relax with three very young nieces and nephew). So, for once, I was happy when Monday came and I could go back to my normal reading time (i.e. while commuting to and from work and before going to bed) and finally immerse myself in this gripping story.

How does a normal teenage girl turn first into a worldwide rock star and then into a shop manager in a quiet English town? That’s what happened to Meredith Vincent, the protagonist of the novel. Through flashbacks, we see her, eighteen years old, worrying about make-up and boys. A casual conversation and a chance encounter lead her, a few years later, to travel around the world with her famous band, Cohen, but estranged from her family. Thirty years later Meredith is living an ordinary life working as a shop manager in a country estate open to the public, hoping that no one recognizes her. What happened that made Meredith go into hiding? And when people around her start to die, it is clear that someone is after her…

Louise Voss is a master in writing psychological thrillers. She creates smart and determined female characters that drive the story and don’t back down in front of danger. Her plots are twisty, dark, and well-constructed. As I read, there was always this sense of dread, of something bad about to happen that kept me on edge (that’s why I love psychological thriller). I never knew what to expect as I turned the pages and I found the ending unexpected and well-thought!

THE LAST STAGE is a story of obsession, jealousy, and revenge that managed to give me the chills during a heat wave!

A huge thank you to Anne Cater and Orenda Books for inviting me to join the blog tour and providing me with a copy of the book.

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Louise_Voss_Author_PictureOver her eighteen-year writing career, Louise Voss has had eleven novels published – five solo and six co-written with Mark Edwards: a combination of psychological thrillers, police procedurals and contemporary fiction – and sold over 350,000 books. Her most recent book, The Old You, was a number one bestseller in eBook. Louise has an MA (Dist) in Creative Writing and also works as a literary consultant and mentor for writers at http://www.thewritingcoach.co.uk.
She lives in South-West London and is a proud member of two female crimewriting
collectives, The Slice Girls and Killer Women.

#BookReview: THE SLEEPWALKER by Joseph Knox @josephknox__ @TransworldBooks @DoubledayUK @alisonbarrow

The SleepwalkerPublication: 11th July 2019 – Transworld Books

‘He said he didn’t remember killing them…’

As a series of rolling blackouts plunge the city into darkness, Detective Aidan Waits sits on an abandoned hospital ward, watching a mass murderer slowly die. Transferred from his usual night shift duties and onto protective custody, he has just one job…

To extract the location of Martin Wick’s final victim before the notorious mass murderer passes away.

Wick has spent over a decade in prison, in near-total silence, having confessed to an unspeakable crime that shocked the nation and earned him the nickname of The Sleepwalker.

But when a daring premeditated attack leaves one police officer dead and another one fighting for his life, Wick’s whispered last words will send Waits on a journey into the heart of darkness…

Manipulated by a reticent psychopath from his past, and under investigation from his new partner, Detective Constable Naomi Black, Waits realises too late that a remorseless contract killer is at work.

Can Aidan Waits solve his last case before fleeing justice?

Or will his name be next on the hit list?

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When I saw THE SLEEPWALKER on NetGalley I requested it right away and I started reading it as soon as it landed on my kindle. I have been waiting more than a year for a new Aidan Waits novel and I found myself engrossed from the first page.

DS Aidan Waits and his sarcastic partner DI Peter Sutcliffe have a very dull and monotonous job to do: they have to babysit a serial killer who is slowly dying hoping that he confesses the place where he hid the body of one of his victims. Obviously, things don’t go as expected and soon Aidan finds himself once again manipulated by his boss and hunting a killer. In the meantime, he is also partnered with a new detective against his wishes, he is blackmailed by a colleague, and one of the most powerful drug dealers of the city wants him dead… As you can see, THE SLEEPWALKER is far from boring!

I do love the character of Aidan Waits. He is so complex and well-developed and, in this third novel, he is darker and more troubled than ever, living a dangerous life that kept me on the edge of my seat for more than three hundred pages wondering if he would make it out alive this time. I wish there had been more of the engaging and witty exchanges between Aidan and his partner Sutty that kept me entertained in the previous novels, but the arrival of Aidan’s new partner is a nice change. Detective Naomi Black is bright, stubborn, and brave. Her relationship with Aidan is far from easy and they are often at odds on how to lead the investigation, but, no matter how many times Aidan tries to get rid of her, she never backs down and I really liked her.

The Manchester described by Joseph Knox is gloomy and dangerous, the perfect setting for a story of secrets, betrayal, and violence. There is a shocking and dramatic ending that I didn’t see coming and I had to read it twice to be sure I read correctly.

THE SLEEPWALKER can easily be read as a stand-alone (although I highly recommend you read Sirens and The Smiling Man because they are brilliant) and it’s compulsive, gritty, and carefully plotted. I am really addicted to this series and I am really hoping for book number 4!

A huge thank you Transworld Books for providing me with a copy of this addictive novel which is out next week.

#BlogTour: THE REUNION by Guillaume Musso @Guillaume_Musso ‏@wnbooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n

The Reunion

Publication: 11th July 2019 – W&N

Welcome to a school reunion you won’t forget

FRENCH RIVIERA, WINTER 1992
On a freezing night, as her high school campus is engulfed by a snowstorm, 19-year-old Vinca Rockwell runs away with Alexis, her philosophy teacher.

No one will ever see them again.

FRENCH RIVIERA, SPRING 2017
Formerly inseparable, Thomas, Maxime and Fanny – Vinca’s best friends – have not spoken in twenty-five years. But when they receive an invitation to their school reunion, they know they must go back one final time.

Because there is a body buried in that school…

…and they’re the ones who put it there.

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Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for THE REUNION by Guillaume Musso. A very huge thank you to Tracy Fenton for inviting me to join the blog tour and introducing me to this fantastic author and a huge thank you to W&N for providing me with a copy of the novel.

Wow!!! This novel was completely addictive. THE REUNION was a rollercoaster of a read, full of twists and surprises that kept me on the edge of my seat. The story revolves around the character of Vinca Rockwell. Who is Vinca? Some people love her, some hate her, and some are completely obsessed with her. Beautiful, charming, and smart, she comes from a wealthy American family and she attended a prestigious school on the French Riviera. Twenty-five years ago she disappeared into thin air and, while many people think that she ran away with her philosophy professor, Alexis Clément, to this day Vinca’s life remains a mystery making her the object of cult of a group of feminist students at the school.

The students are not the only ones obsessed with Vinca. The protagonist, Thomas, a worldwide famous writer, spent the last twenty-five years of his life trying to figure out what really happened to Vinca and keeping a secret that could destroy him. During the school reunion, Thomas finds out not only that behind the beautiful façade, the truth about Vinca is much darker and more unsettling than he thought, but that his past and his family are not at all what he thought.

The characters are very complex and mysterious, each of them is keeping secrets that the author reveals slowly, keeping the tension always high. The story goes back and forth between the past and the present as the various characters of the novel describe their side of the story.  The novel is fast-paced and full of tension and revelations that I didn’t see coming. Every time I thought I had it figure it out, I was happily proved wrong.

A story of friendship, love, and obsession set in a beautiful and evocative place, THE REUNION is a page-turner that made me forget the heat wave and that I can’t stop recommend!

Follow the rest of the blog tour:

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#BlogTour: BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT by Gary Bell (Elliot Rook, QC Book 1) #BeyondReasonableDoubt #ElliotRookQC @garybellqc @BloomsburyRaven @EmmaFinnigan @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours

BeyondReasonableDoubt_HBPublication: 13th June 2019 – Bloomsbury Raven

Elliot Rook QC is one of the greatest barristers of his generation. 

He is also a complete fraud.

Elliot Rook is the epitome of a highly successful, old Etonian QC. Or so everyone believes. In fact, he is an ex-petty criminal with a past that he has spent decades keeping secret. Until now.

An unidentified young woman of Middle Eastern origin has been found murdered on the outskirts of Rook’s home town. Billy Barber – a violent football hooligan and white-supremacist – is accused of her murder. Barber insists that Rook must defend him. If Rook refuses, Barber will expose him, bringing crashing to the ground the life and career that Rook has spent his life building.

The truth is there for the finding. But at what cost?

The start of a thrilling new legal series, perfect for fans of Robert Galbraith and The Secret Barrister, written by an acclaimed QC

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Welcome to my stop for the blog tour of BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT, the thrilling new novel by Gary Bell. A huge thank you to Emma and Bloomsbury Raven for inviting me to join the blog tour and providing me with a proof of the novel.

I do love court room drama so I was really intrigued by the blurb of BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT and once I started reading it I couldn’t stop. The protagonist of the novel is Elliott Rook, a respected QC with a troubled past that risk to come to light if he doesn’t accept to defend Billy Barber, an old acquaintance, accused of brutally murdering a young unidentified woman. With the help of his new bright and resourceful junior assistant (his Rookie), Zara Barnes, Elliott sets off to prove Billy’s innocence, even if that means going back to a place and a past he left behind a long time ago.

First of all, let me say that I don’t know anything at all about the role of the QC and the British justice system, but I found the author’s attention to details in describing the behind the scenes of court rooms very fascinating and informative. As a matter of fact, my favourite part of the novel was the Old Bailey trial. The scenes were tense, provocative, full of surprises, and so well-described that I could picture it all in my head and I found myself completely captivated.

Elliott and Zara are an unlikely and yet well-matched pair. He is dark and  a bit cocky while Zara is the confident and friendly young woman who comes into his life at a moment when nothing is going in the right way. I liked how their relationship developed, trusting each other and forming a sort of friendship, and I am really looking forward to reading more about the two of them.

BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT is a well-written, intriguing thought-provoking first book in a series that I plan to keep reading and I highly recommend!

Follow the rest of the blog tour:

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Gary BellBorn into a coal mining family, Gary Bell QC left school without any qualifications and was an apprentice mechanic, fork lift truck driver, production line worker, builder, fireman and door-to-door salesman, as well as a notorious football hooligan, before being arrested for fraud aged 18. After a brief stint in prison he set off to seek fame and fortune abroad and, after two years drifting around Europe ended up penniless and homeless. He next enrolled in a FE College to study his O and A levels, and then went on to study law as a mature student at Bristol University where he ‘became’ an Old Etonian. After graduating he spent a year as a litigation lawyer in Beverly Hills before coming back to England to become a barrister. He has spent over thirty years at the Bar, specialising in defending in major fraud and murder trials, becoming a QC in 2012. Always on the look out for challenges and opportunities he has also been an award winning stand-up comedian; an after-dinner speaker (when at University he won several national debating competitions and was runner up in the World’s Humorous Debating Competition at Princeton); he has learned to fly a plane, hosted his own TV show (the Legalizer) on BBC1; writes regularly for national newspapers; has a column in The Spectator and wrote his best-selling autobiography, Animal QC.

Social Media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/garybellqc

Purchase Links:

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Beyond-Reasonable-Doubt-Elliot-Rook/dp/1526606127/ref=sr_1_3?qid=1558094244&refinements=p_27%3AGary+Bell&s=books&sr=1-3&text=Gary+Bell

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Beyond-Reasonable-Doubt-Elliot-Rook-ebook/dp/B07NNR7SVT/ref=sr_1_fkmrnull_1?keywords=beyond+reasonable+doubt+gary+bell&qid=1558094317&s=gateway&sr=8-1-fkmrnull

Foyles: https://www.foyles.co.uk/witem/fiction-poetry/beyond-reasonable-doubt-elliot-rook,gary-bell-9781526606129

Waterstones: https://www.waterstones.com/book/beyond-reasonable-doubt/gary-bell/9781526606129

GoogleBooks: https://books.google.co.uk/books/about/Beyond_Reasonable_Doubt.html?id=cwlivwEACAAJ&redir_esc=y

Apple Books: https://books.apple.com/lu/book/beyond-reasonable-doubt/id1457759503

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#BlogTour: DEATH IN AVIGNON by Serena Kent @SerenaKentBooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n @orionbooks

518cv66ks0LPublication: 27th June 2019 – Orion

Glamour, intrigue, and a mystery to die for…

After a tumultuous summer, Penelope Kite has settled into the rhythm of her new life in Provence. Lavender-scented evenings, long lunches with new friends – and an exclusive gallery opening to attend, on the arm of the gorgeous mayor of St Merlot…

But beneath the veneer of glamour, scandal is brewing. Shockwaves ripple through the Avignon art world when a controversial painter, Roland Doncaster, chokes on an almond-stuffed olive.

A tragic accident? Or a ruthless poisoning? Embroiled once more in a murder investigation, Penelope discovers that any number of jealous lovers and scheming rivals could be in the frame. And with dashing art dealers to charm, patisseries to resist, and her own friends under suspicion, Penelope will need all her sleuthing talents to unveil the truth…

Return to the charm of Provence for another delightful Penelope Kite mystery! The perfect holiday read for fans of MC Beaton, Peter Mayle and Betty Rowlands

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I am delighted to welcome you on my stop of the blog tour for DEATH IN AVIGNON, the new engaging novel by Serena Kent which is out today so… happy publication day!!! Thank you so much Tracy and Orion for inviting me to join the blog tour and providing me with a copy of the novel.

In the first book of the series, Death in Provence, we meet Penelope Kite a woman who leaves England to move to France where she has bought an old farm to renovate. Here she finds herself involved in the investigation of a murder. In this second novel, in true Jessica Fletcher style, Penelope stumbles again in a murder during an art gallery opening when one of the artists is killed right in front of her. Unable to let it go, Penelope starts her own investigation with the help of her former estate agent and now friend Clemence, her larger-than-life best friend Frankie, and her possible love interest Laurent, the Major of St Merlot.

In DEATH IN AVIGNON, we meet again some of the quirky and entertaining characters we met in the first novel and we are introduced to new ones. We find out more about Penelope, about her past, about her family. Her good-natured and inquisitive character make people confide in her, sometimes without realising it, and we see her putting herself in danger once again to solve a murder.

I loved the beautiful descriptions of Providence, so detailed, evocative, and realistic. And let’s talk about the food and the wine. My mouth was literally watering as, page after page, I read about croissant, cheese, and much more.

Twists and surprises that I didn’t see coming go perfectly along with the comedy of some of the situations Penelope finds herself in. A story of intrigue, jealousy, and friendship DEATH IN AVIGNON is the new refreshing, entertaining, and suspenseful novel by the husband-and-wife writing duo, Deborah Lawrenson and Rob Rees, and I am already looking forward to book number 3!

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#BlogTour: DEATH OF AN ANGEL by Derek Farrell @derekifarrell @fahrenheitpress @damppebbles

DeathOfAnAngelKindlePublication: 27th February 2019 – Fahrenheit Press

A woman is found dead in a London street – the evidence suggests she plummeted to her death from a nearby tower block – but did she fall or was she pushed? And why does she have Danny Bird’s name written on the back of her hand?

So begins this 4th magnificent outing for Danny and the gang from The Marq.

In the frame for a murder he didn’t commit, London’s self-proclaimed Sherlock Homo has no choice but to don his metaphorical deerstalker one more time to prove his innocence and uncover the truth about the tragic death of Cathy Byrne. 

With the indomitably louche Lady Caz by his side, Danny plunges headlong into a complex investigation while at the same time trying to be a dutiful son to his increasingly.

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Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for DEATH OF AN ANGEL, the suspenseful new novel by Derek Farrell. Thank you so much Emma and Fahrenheit Press for inviting me to join the blog tour, providing me with a copy of the book, and introducing me to this fantastic series.

This is the fourth book in the Danny Bird Mysteries. I haven’t had the pleasure to read the first three books yet, but I put them on my TBR list soon after I finished reading DEATH OF AN ANGEL. This is an engaging and captivating novel and I really liked the characters. The protagonist is Danny Bird a bar manager and an unwilling private detective. He often finds himself involved in cases that lead him down dangerous paths and, like Sherlock Holmes, he is accompanied by his own Watson, i.e. his best friend Caz.

In this novel, Danny’s name is found on the hand of a woman who jumped to her death. Is it a suicide or someone pushed her? Is her death somehow linked to the disappearance of three men and a million-dollar theft? As Danny and Caz investigate they mix with bankers, gangs, and big companies ready to do anything to get what they want.

Danny is funny and smart, a modern Sherlock Holmes with a touch of Hercule Poirot. His day job is managing a pub in Southwark where he doesn’t spend much time as he is busy helping the police solving cases (although the police is not really that happy about this forced collaboration). If murder cases weren’t enough to keep him worried, it is clear that his parents are hiding something and his brother and sisters want him to find out what it is. I wish there was more about his relationship with Andy, his married boyfriend, however my favourite part was his friendship with Caz. Their witty exchanges made me laugh and together they made an unlikely yet fantastic pair. Caz comes from a noble family, she knows everyone who is important and rich, and I loved how posh and elegant she was, going on a murder scene in her Christian Louboutin.

If you are looking for a novel that it is both entertaining and twisty, then DEATH OF AN ANGEL is definitely a must!

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Derek.Farrell.Headshot-300x482Derek Farrell is the author of the Danny Bird Mysteries, ‘Death of a Diva,’ ‘Death of a Nobody’ ‘Death of a Devil,’ and ‘Death of an Angel.’

He was educated in Dublin, and, whilst waiting to become a writer of fabulous crime novels has passed his time being a burger dresser, bank cashier, David Bowie’s paperboy, and an Investment Banker in New York’s World Trade Centre (a bit like The Wolf of Wall Street, only with fewer hookers and more midgets, since you ask).

He is married and divides his time between London, West Sussex and Dublin.

Derek loves to hear from his readers, and can be contacted via Twitter: @derekifarrell or at his sparkly new website Derekfarrell.co.uk

His books can be purchased as paperbacks or ebooks direct from the publisher Fahrenheit Press at: http://www.fahrenheit-press.com/books_fahrenheit.html

Quadrilogy_CollageLowOr from Amazon:

Death of a Diva

Death of a Nobody

Death of a Devil

Death of an Angel

Death of a Diva is also available as a deluxe edition Hardback limited to only 50 Copies worldwide. Purchase it here.

GIVEAWAY

One lucky winner will receive a signed copy of Death of an Angel and 10 runners up will receive a set of Danny Bird pin badges featuring the covers of all four books.  To be in with a chance of winning all entrants have to do is visit derekfarrell.co.uk and subscribe.

Winners will be chosen on 1st July.

Social Media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DerekIFarrell

Website: https://www.derekfarrell.co.uk/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/derekifarrell/

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Derek-Farrell/e/B06XJ9C6XB/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

Purchase Links:

Fahrenheit Press: http://www.fahrenheit-press.com/books_death_of_an_angel.html

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Death-Angel-Danny-Bird-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B07PBCCJMG/ref=sr_1_2?keywords=death+of+an+angel&qid=1559826196&s=gateway&sr=8-2

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Death-Angel-Danny-Bird-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B07PBCCJMG/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=death+of+an+angel+derek+farrell&qid=1559826671&s=gateway&sr=8-1

Anyone who purchases a Fahrenheit paperback from now on also gets a free eBook download of the same book, too.  

 

#BookReview: THOSE PEOPLE by Louise Candlish @louise_candlish @simonschusterUK @simonschusterPR @TeamBATC

Those PeoplePublication: 27th June 2019 – Simon & Schuster UK

You don’t like them. They’re not like you. Are you one of Those People?

Until Darren and Jodie move in, Lowland Way is a suburban paradise. Beautiful homes. Friendly neighbours. Kids playing out in the street. But Darren and Jodie don’t follow the rules and soon disputes over loud music and parking rights escalate to threats of violence.

Then, early one Sunday, a horrific crime shocks the street. As the police go house-to-house, the residents close ranks and everyone’s story is the same: They did it.

But there’s a problem. The police don’t agree. And the door they’re knocking on next is yours. 

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Yay!!! Louise Candlish is back with a stunning and unpredictable new novel. I have been waiting for her new book since I finished reading Our House and I wasn’t disappointed. My nose was stuck in this novel for two straight days and I couldn’t put it down.

I love how each chapter is introduced by one of the characters being interviewed by the police for something that happened in the neighbour’s house (in true Big Little Lies fashion). What do we discover from these interviews? We know that the people in Lowland Way have been complaining about their new neighbours for months. We know that a terrific accident happened. We know that someone got hurt. Who did get hurt? Who is responsible for the accident? And how did things go so badly? To find out, the author takes us back to the beginning, when Lowland Way was a beautiful quiet neighbourhood where the street was closed off on Sunday so children could play freely and safely outside, where the people living there are not just neighbours but also friends, where everyone is happy without a care in the world. Until Darren and Jodie move there. From then on there is loud music, house working, and old cars parked in the street at every hour of the day and the night. As the residents try to find a solution to their problem, their secrets come to light and it seems that Lowland Way is not as idyllic as we thought…

Louise Candlish created a cast of characters that are completely unlikable. They are selfish, arrogant, and self-entitled, and just a few of them got my sympathy. A closed community of well-off families made of well-behaved wives and husbands with high-flying jobs: these characters kept me glued to the pages because I wanted to see how far they would go to protect their lifestyles and they didn’t disappoint. The story is told from different points of views and, as I read their sides of the story, they all seemed guilty of something.

THOSE PEOPLE is a carefully-plotted novel full of twists and with a surprising ending that shocked me and made me laugh at the same time (you will really need to read it to see the irony of the brilliant ending of the novel). Highly recommended!!!

A huge thank you to Simon and Schuster UK and NetGalley for providing me with a proof of the novel.