#BookReview: ELEVATOR PITCH by Linwood Barclay @linwood_barclay @HQstories @joe_thomas25 #TakeTheStairs

Elevator PitchPublication: 5th September 2019 – HQ

It all begins on a Monday, when four people board an elevator in a Manhattan office tower. Each presses a button for their floor, but the elevator proceeds, non-stop, to the top. Once there, it stops for a few seconds, and then plummets.

Right to the bottom of the shaft.

It appears to be a horrific, random tragedy. But then, on Tuesday, it happens again, in a different Manhattan skyscraper. And when Wednesday brings yet another high-rise catastrophe, one of the most vertical cities in the world – and the nation’s capital of media, finance, and entertainment – is plunged into chaos.

Clearly, this is anything but random. This is a cold, calculated bid to terrorize the city. And it’s working. Fearing for their lives, thousands of men and women working in offices across the city refuse leave their homes. Commerce has slowed to a trickle. Emergency calls to the top floors of apartment buildings go unanswered.

Who is behind this? What do these deadly acts of sabotage have to do with the fingerless body found on the High Line? Two seasoned New York detectives and a straight-shooting journalist must race against time to find the answers . . .

Pulsating with tension, Elevator Pitch is a riveting tale of psychological suspense that is all too plausible . . . and will chill readers to the bone.

**********

I am never getting on an elevator ever again. Never. I have never been a huge fan of elevators, but now I am even much less. As one of the characters of the novel said: “Take the stairs.”

Elevator Pitch (1)New York City is built upward so elevators are a very important part of it. What would happen if you stopped all the elevators in one of the biggest cities in the world from running? Chaos, death, and panic. And Linwood Barclay portrays them perfectly in his new gripping novel, ELEVATOR PITCH. In three days, three elevators disasters cause multiple deaths so Richard Hadley, the city’s mayor, decides to stop all the elevators until they have been checked out. And while the entire city is on hold, an activist group called Flyover is planting bombs in the biggest cities around the United States. Are the two events connected? And how are they linked to the brutal murder of an elevator repairman?

What a rollercoaster of a read! Fast-paced, twisty, and engrossing, this novel made me hold my breath on more than one occasion. Sabotages, terror attacks, political scandals… the author knows how to keep the reader engaged. The story is told from multiple points of views, from the mayor trying to avoid criticism and scandal to the journalist who likes to portray him as the forever bad guy on her newspaper; from the police detective with PTSD who is trying to solve a murder and to prove to his colleague that he can do his job to the young woman who wants to impress her mother. Also, we get a front seat inside the sabotaged elevators and you can almost feel the fear of the people trapped inside. The tension (and my anxiety) during these moments was very high.

Linwood Barclay wrote a claustrophobic, suspenseful, and terrific novel that will surely give me nightmare and, yet, I couldn’t put down!

A huge thank you to Joe and HQ for providing me with a copy of the novel.

 

 

#BlogTour: DEGREES OF GUILT by H. S. Chandler @HSCinkpen @TrapezeBooks @Helen_Fields @Tr4cyF3nt0n @AlainnaGeorgiou

9781409178217Publication: 16th May 2019 (eBook); 5th September 2019 (paperback)- Trapeze

When you read this book, you will think you know every twist in the tale.

Maria is on trial for attempted murder.

She has confessed to the crime and wanted her husband dead.

Lottie is on the jury, trying to decide her fate.

She embarks on an illicit affair with a stranger, and her husband can never find out.

You will think you know who is guilty and who is innocent.

You will be wrong.

**********

It’s my pleasure to welcome you on my stop of the blog tour for DEGREES OF GUILT, the superb new novel by H. S. Chandler. A huge thank you to Tracy Fenton and Trapeze for inviting me to join the blog tour and providing me with a copy of the novel.

What I know about jury duty comes from watching American Tv shows and I’ve always found it interesting. Twelve people who decide the fate of one person, who decide if that person is going to walk out free or if they are going to spend the rest of their life in a prison cell. How do you know if you made the right decision? In DEGREES OF GUILT, there is no question whether the defendant, Maria, is guilty or not as she admits right away that she used her husband’s head for baseball practice. No, what’s in question here is: why did she do it? What led her, one afternoon, to pick up a leg chair and swing it to her husband’s head?

And while Maria’s future is in doubt, another woman questions her life choices and wonders about her own future. Charlotte, “Lottie”, is a wife, a mother, and a bored housewife. At the beginning she was reluctant, but then she finds jury duty exciting (and not only because of the attention of a handsome man). This is her chance to be part of something big, something important. Lottie is tired of spending all her time cooking, cleaning, and playing the happy and obedient wife at her husband’s events. Will she risk everything in exchange for a thrill and some purpose in her life?

H. S. Chandler knows how to keep the reader on edge and glued to the pages. There are two women. One is a killer, but is she also a victim? Maria’s story is heart-breaking and thought-provoking. It shows that there is always more than one side to a story, but which side is telling the truth? At times, she seems cold-blooded, showing no emotions or regret, but there are other layers under the impassive facade of Maria that are slowly unpeeled. On the other hand, Lottie, has so many feelings. She is looking for excitement, but she feels guilty. She worries about what other people think of her, but she is not afraid to speak up. And, like Maria, she has her own secrets to hide. Those two woman are far from perfect? Sure. Sometimes their behaviour annoyed me? Yep. And then the author did a great job developing them and giving them the determination and courage of standing up to the men who tried to put them down and finally taking their own lived into their own hands.

DEGREES OF GUILT is a compelling, gripping, character-driven novel about control and abuse, full of tension and twists. Looking for a brilliant legal thriller? Then this should be at the top of your list…

NEW_Degrees_of_Guilt_blog_tour_1

NEW_Degrees_of_Guilt_blog_tour_2

Helen Fields

A former barrister, HS Chandler is a pseudonym for bestselling crime author Helen Fields, who practised for thirteen years in both family and criminal law. Having extensively prosecuted and defended, she is an avid believer in the right to a fair trial, and in the invaluable role that juries play in the British legal system. Helen was born in Hampshire and now lives in the US.

#CoverReveal: CRADLE TO GRAVE by Rachel Amphlett @RachelAmphlett @Tr4cyF3nt0n

Banner_Landscape_2

CRADLE TO GRAVE is the eighth book in the Detective Kay Hunter series and it’s published on 6th October 2019 by Saxon Publishing. In the meantime, I am super excited to take part in the cover reveal for this brand new novel by USA Today bestselling author Rachel Amphlett.

Banner_Vertical

 

“Thrilling start to a new series. Scared to Death is a stylish, smart and gripping crime thriller” Robert Bryndza, USA Today bestselling author of The Girl in the Ice

“Scared to Death… moves along at breakneck speed with twists and turns” Angela Marsons, bestselling author of the Detective Kim Stone crime thriller series

“Rachel always delivers sharp, compelling and assured books. I love them!” Mel Sherratt

 

 

When a faceless body is found floating in the river on a summer’s morning, Detective Kay Hunter and her team are tasked with finding out the man’s identity – and where he came from.

The investigation takes a sinister turn when an abandoned boat is found, covered in blood stains and containing a child’s belongings.

Under mounting pressure from a distraught family and an unforgiving media, the police are in a race against time – but they have no leads, and no motive for the events that have taken place.

Will Kay be able to find a ruthless killer and a missing child before it’s too late?

Cradle to Grave Cover LARGE EBOOK

The Detective Kay Hunter series:

1. Scared to Death

2. Will to Live

3. One to Watch

4. Hell to Pay

5. Call to Arms

6. Gone to Ground

7. Bridge to Burn

8. Cradle to Grave

Cradle to Grave Cover 3D SPINE

 

Rachel Amphlett author photoBefore turning to writing, USA Today bestselling author Rachel Amphlett played guitar in bands, worked as a TV and film extra, dabbled in radio as a presenter and freelance producer for the BBC, and worked in publishing as a sub-editor and editorial assistant.

She now wields a pen instead of a plectrum and writes crime fiction and spy novels, including the fast paced Dan Taylor and English Assassins espionage novels, and the Detective Kay Hunter British murder mystery series.

After 13 years in Australia, Rachel has returned to the UK and is now based in the picturesque county of Dorset.

She’s a member of International Thriller Writers and the Crime Writers Association, with the Italian foreign rights for her debut novel, White Gold sold to Fanucci Editore’s TIMECrime imprint, and the first four books in the Dan Taylor espionage series contracted to Germany’s Luzifer Verlag.

www.rachelamphlett.com

Twitter: @RachelAmphlett

Instagram: @RachelAmphlett

Facebook: Rachel Amphlett

Banner_Landscape_plain

#BookReview: REWIND by Catherine Ryan Howard @cathryanhoward @CorvusBooks #RewindBook

RewindPublication: 22nd August 2019 – Corvus

PLAY
Andrew, the manager of Shanamore Holiday Cottages, watches his only guest via a hidden camera in her room. One night the unthinkable happens: a shadowy figure emerges onscreen, kills her and destroys the camera. But who is the murderer? How did they know about the camera? And how will Andrew live with himself?

PAUSE
Natalie wishes she’d stayed at home as soon as she arrives in the wintry isolation of Shanamore. There’s something creepy about the manager. She wants to leave, but she can’t – not until she’s found what she’s looking for…

REWIND
This is an explosive story about a murder caught on camera. You’ve already missed the start. To get the full picture you must rewind the tape and play it through to the end, no matter how shocking…

***********

I hate to admit it, but this is my first novel by Catherine Ryan Howard. How could I have missed her novels? I found REWIND engrossing, addictive, and twisty and I am already choosing her next novel to read.

A young rising instagrammer who is missing; a journalist looking for the truth; a creepy cottages manager hiding his dark secrets; a woman obsessively in love. Those are the protagonists of the thrilling new novel by Catherine Ryan Howard. They are intriguing and very different: I couldn’t give you a description of Natalie and Audrey, because there is not much to say about them apart that they are both looking for the truth. Andrew and Ickie Dick (or Richard) are creepy and I would never want to be alone with one of them, not during the day and certainly not at night, for example, in a deserted car park. And then there is Jennifer. She is a complex character and I didn’t like her or trust her from the beginning.

Now the setting. You know when you are watching a thriller or horror movie and the protagonists stop for a night in a isolated motel where there is a creepy owner and they are the only guests and you thing “that’s such a bad idea”? That’s what I though while I was reading about Shanamore Holiday Cottages. Isolated? Check. Eerie atmosphere? Check. Sinister and scary manager? Oh yes. Strange noises inside the cottage? Of course.

REWIND is fast-paced and highly suspenseful and, even though I kind of figure out what it was going on while I was reading and the different timelines left me confused at times – it was hard to figure out where I was in the story -, this is a rollercoaster of a reading and I was so addicted that I didn’t stop until I got to the end.

#BlogTour: ENDGAME by Daniel Cole @Daniel_P_Cole @TrapezeBooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n @alexxlayt #Endgame

51ffbjzIdpLPublication: 5th September 2019 – Trapeze

A locked room. A dead body. A secret that went to the grave.

When retired police officer Finlay Shaw is found dead in a locked room, everyone thinks it’s suicide. But disgraced detective William ‘Wolf’ Fawkes isn’t so sure.

Together with his former partner Detective Emily Baxter and private detective Edmunds, Wolf’s team begin to dig into Shaw’s early days on the beat. Was Shaw as innocent as he seemed? Or is there more to his past than he’d ever let on?

But not everyone wants Wolf back – and as his investigation draws him ever deeper into police corruption, it will not only be his career on the line – but the lives of those he holds closest as well…

**********

I am super excited to welcome you on my stop of the blog tour for ENDGAME, the addictive new novel by Daniel Cole. A huge thank you to Tracy Fenton for inviting me to join the blog tour and to Orion for providing me with a copy of the novel.

William “Wolf” Fawkes is back! His mentor and friend Finlay Shaw is found dead in a locked room in his house and everyone think it’s suicide. So why Will is risking his freedom to prove that it is a murder? Will knows that Finlay would have never left his beloved wife Maggie so, after managing to postpone his arrest, he is determined to find out the truth about his mentor’s death and he is helped by his former partner DCI Emily Baxter, private investigator Alex Edmunds, Police Commissioner Christian Bellamy, detective Jake Saunders, and “lab boy” Joe.

ENDGAME is fast-paced, twisty, clever, and, above all, entertaining. It is hard to find a thriller that it is both suspenseful and funny, but Daniel Cole somehow managed to do that craftily creating a novel that keeps you glued to the pages. Will’s sarcasm and playfulness and his banter with Emily made me laugh out loud (I think I am a bit in love with him) and I found the other characters beyond likable. They are flawed, sure, but they are charismatic, engaging, and I really hope to read more about them in the future.

The narrative runs smoothly with flashbacks that take the reader back to important moments for the members of the team and their relationships. In Glasgow 1979, we see two friends and partners involved in a drug investigation that it will still haunt them almost forty years later; we read about the very complicated relationship between two other partners and its ongoing complications in the present time. Friendship, love, and loyalties are tested, truths come out, issues and murders are solved.

I am addicted to this trilogy and its characters and, even though I couldn’t wait to see how it ended, it left me wanting more and more, especially after reading the last page. ENDGAME, and the whole Ragdoll trilogy, is a must-read, one of my favourite book of the year!!!

ENDGAME_Blog_Tour_Asset

At 33 years old, Daniel Cole has worked as a paramedic, an RSPCA officer and most recently for the RNLI, driven by an intrinsic need to save people or perhaps just a guilty conscience about the number of characters he kills off in his writing.

He currently lives in sunny Bournemouth and can usually be found down the beach when he ought to be writing book two instead.

#BookReview: HOLLOW KINGDOM by Kira Jane Buxton @KiraJaneWrites @RosieMargesson @headlinepg

Hollow KingdomPublication: 6th August 2019 – Headline

A humorous, big-hearted romp through the apocalypse, where even a cowardly crow can become a hero. Perfect for fans of Dawn of the Dead and Isaac Marion’s Warm Bodies.

S.T. is a domesticated crow. He is a bird of simple pleasures: hanging out with his owner Big Jim, trading insults with Seattle’s wild crows (those idiots) and enjoying the finest food humankind has to offer: Cheetos.

But when Big Jim’s eyeball falls out of his head, S.T. starts to feel like something isn’t right. His most tried-and-true remedies – from beak-delivered beer to the slobbering affection of the loyal, but dim-witted, dog Dennis – fail to cure his owner.

S.T. is left with no choice but to venture out into a frightening new world, where he discovers that the neighbours are devouring each other, and the local wildlife is abuzz with rumours of dangerous new predators roaming Seattle…

Humanity’s extinction has arrived, and the only one determined to save it is a foul-mouthed crow.

**********

Shit Turd, S.T. for short, is a domesticated crow who lives in Seattle with his owner Big Jim and with Dennis, a bloodhound with “the IQ of a dead opossum”. One day, one of Big Jim’s eye falls out and from there things go very wrong. The extinction of humanity has arrived and it seems that this domesticated crow is the only one who can save it.

HOLLOW KINGDOM is an hilarious laugh-out-loud novel and its protagonist T.S. is the funniest of all. He is an unlikely hero and not only because he is a crow, but his foul language and a knowledge acquired from watching TV with Big Jim don’t make him the right candidate to save the world from the apocalypse. And yet, he is smart and resourceful and, along with his best friend Dennis, S.T. embarks on a journey to find other domesticated animals who have seen their owners falling victims of the apocalypse.

Congratulations to the author for her superb debut: an original and thought-provoking plot, suspense, a few heart-breaking moments, fantastic descriptions of nature, and vividly drawn and engaging characters work brilliantly together and come to life under her clear and beautiful writing style.

If you are looking for a unique and unforgettable story with an exceptional and unusual protagonist, HOLLOW KINGDOM should be at the top of your list.

A huge thank you to Rosie and Headline for providing me with a proof copy of this captivating novel.

 

 

#BookReview: THE HOLIDAY by T. M. Logan @TMLoganAuthor @ZaffreBooks

The HolidayPublication: 25th July 2019 – Zaffre Books

Seven days. Three families. One killer.

It was supposed to be the perfect holiday, dreamed up by Kate as the ideal way to turn 40: four best friends and their husbands and children in a luxurious villa under the blazing sunshine of Provence. 

But there is trouble in paradise. Kate suspects that her husband is having an affair, and that the other woman is one of her best friends. 

One of these women is willing to sacrifice years of friendship and destroy her family. But which one? As Kate closes in on the truth in the stifling Mediterranean heat, she realises too late that the stakes are far higher than she ever imagined. 

Because someone in the villa is prepared to kill to keep their secret hidden.

**********

I have been hearing so many good things about THE HOLIDAY that I had to read it and I saw why everyone was raving about it. It’s so suspenseful and addictive… luckily I started reading it during the weekend because I devoured it in one day.

THE HOLIDAY is the story of four friends. Kate, Jennifer, Rowan, and Izzy have been best friends since college and to celebrate their fortieth birthdays they decide to spend a week in a beautiful house in the South of France along with their husbands and children, but things go wrong from the very beginning because Kate suspects her husband Sean is hiding something and her doubts are confirmed when she reads his text and she finds out that he is secretly messaging with one of her friends. Should she confront him? Or should she first find out which one of her friends betrayed her?

THE HOLIDAY is a tale of paranoia and suspicions. Like Kate, I found myself suspecting first Rowan, then Jennifer, and lastly Izzy, and then starting all over again. It wasn’t easy to figure out the truth when each woman is clearly hiding something and they are all found whispering with Sean or hugging him. Oh, and let’s not forget their children and all their drama: a 17-year-old girl clearly hiding something, two teenage boys looking for oblivion and with tendencies that border to obsession, a young boy that would do anything to please his sister and the older boys, and a spoiled 5-year-old girl who sees everything that happens among the adults. How couldn’t I be completely engrossed in this novel? The author did a great job building up the suspense and never revealing too much so that I didn’t know the truth until it was revealed.

The characters are not always likable, but they are vividly drawn and it feels like you are inside their head. Most of the story is told from Kate’s point of view and there were times when I found her annoying and I wanted to shake her and tell her to wake up and do something. Rowan was a bit snob while Jennifer was too smothering, and I seriously worried about the children’s mental health after the tragic ending of the holiday.

THE HOLIDAY is a psychologic thriller with capital letters… dark, gripping, and full of twists, it’s a must-read!

A huge thank you to Zaffre Books and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of the novel.