Evie Mathews and her son Alfie flee from her abusive partner Seth to spend New Year with her half-brother Luke at their late father’s summer home on the Suffolk Coast, only to find Seahurst abandoned and Luke missing.
Evie searches for her brother, filled with a deepening dread that something is very wrong at Seahurst and their father’s death may not have been suicide after all.
As Seahurst’s ancient and sinister secrets unfurl around her, Evie fears the souls of the dead will soon claim another terrible revenge.
Seahurst is a gripping, dark, spooky novel that had me turning the pages and devouring it in a matter of days.
The opening chapter sees us witness the horrendous demise of a woman purported to be a witch, and her children, centuries before. I actually found this so moving and spooky, that I knew Seahurst would deliver.
We follow Evie and her teenage son Alfie, as they arrive to meet her step-brother at Seahurst, a huge looming house set on the coast of Suffolk, near the ruins of an old Monastery which are falling into the sea at an alarming rate. The descriptions of the setting are amazing and made me really feel like I was viewing a movie in my head.
The story builds and builds and the feeling of foreboding is anxiety-inducing! It really had me with my heart in my mouth at times, without giving away any of the plots, it is a fantastic read. A wonderful rich cast of characters and a superb ending.
I will happily read another book by Sally Harris if Seahurst is anything to go by.
A detective ready for a new life… For years, Jake Jackson has been a high-flying detective in London. But then one day he receives a letter from his reclusive uncle – he has left Jake his property in the middle of the countryside. For Jake, it is the perfect opportunity for a fresh start.
A rural idyll the stuff of dreams… At first, life in the middle of nowhere is everything Jake could wish for. His new home is beautiful, his surroundings are stunning, and he enjoys getting back to nature.
A death that disrupts everything… But then, what starts as a fun village treasure hunt turns deadly, when a young woman’s bones are discovered. And Jake is thrust once again into the role of detective, as he tries to unearth a dangerous killer in this most unlikely of settings.
As you know I’m always on the lookout for debut Crime Novels and when I saw Death Under A Little Sky, I was immediately drawn in by the beautiful cover and the premise. And to be honest, the premise of being left a property in the middle of the countryside, sounded like a wish come true to me, but maybe not with these happenings!
Firstly, there’s a map, which I always rave about as there are never enough maps in books in my opinion! And secondly, you can tell that Stig Abell is a massive lover of crime fiction and thrillers, in the way he has woven many names into the storyline, a real homage to the greats! Plus our main protagonist Jake Jackson is also a fan, I just loved this.
So Jake has been left this gorgeous if the rustic property in the middle of the English Countryside, so he quits his job and failing relationship and heads off to “find himself”. The way that Stig has written the description of Little Sky and its surroundings, is absolutely magical and captivating, the surroundings and setting came alive from the page really well. This is also a fantastic view into one man’s psyche and how he learns to cope with the isolation after years of living in the City. As someone who would blooming love to be living in the middle of nowhere with nature all around, I really became friends with Jake and found him very lovable!
The plot is a creepy, twister of a ride and I didn’t guess the outcome until right before it showed itself on the pages, which is always good. The characters and cast are written with exceptional aplomb and I found there were several laugh-out-loud moments! For a debut crime fiction novel, this is really amazing and totally up there with the best… think Jane Harper but set in the undulating hills of the green and lush English countryside.
A magnificent read and a huge 5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ stars from me. I hope there will be another crime fiction novel, and indeed another Jake Jackson novel would be superb. Well done Stig!
Nicole and Tom’s lives are changed overnight by a ten-million-pound lottery win.
Before they know it they’ve moved into a state-of-the-art Glass Barn conversion in the stunning grounds of Lancaut Manor in Gloucestershire.
But their dream quickly turns into a nightmare when Tom is found dead in the swimming pool, with a wound on his head.
Someone close to home must be responsible. But other than the young couple who live in the Manor, and their housekeeper in the Coach House next door, there’s no one around for miles.
Who among them is capable of murder?
This is my first read of a Gilly Macmillan novel.
The book starts with us jointing Nicole, the wife of Tom, returning to their hugely modern and newly built home, only to find Opera music blaring and no sign of Tom. On investigation she finds him …. Dead….
Tom and Nicole recently won the lottery and had their home, The Glass Barn built on a beautiful setting overlooking the River Wye, they’ve not stinted on anything, and everything is controlled from lights, to music, to blinds, by voice. An idyllic and lucky life you would think.
But after Toms body is found and the Police start investigating what looks like a suspicious death, things start to take a dark twist. Nicole finds solace in her neighbours Sasha and Olly, but all is not what it seems in their mansion, the nearest house to The Glass Barn.
This is a slow building novel of super tension and gripping fear, the way that Gilly MacMillan has written about how people can so easily become controlled, coercively, is absolutely excellent. I really don’t want to give any of the plot away, but suffice to say there were several shocks along the way in The Fall. The cast of characters are well written, although I didn’t like any of them! But that’s not to say that they don’t make the story, because they do! This is a close study of human nature and how having or not having money and status can drive people to do things that maybe the rest of us would never do!
A gripping read, full of tension and surprises. A 4 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating from me.
Seven women stand in shock in a seedy hotel room; a man’s severed head sits in the centre of the floor. Each of the women – the wife, the teenager, the ex, the journalist, the colleague, the friend, and the woman who raised him – has a very good reason to have done it, yet each swears she didn’t. In order to protect each other, they must figure out who did.
Against the ticking clock of a murder investigation, each woman’s secret is brought to light as the connections between them converge to reveal a killer.
A beautifully written debut thriller about love, loyalty, and manipulation, Speak of the Devil explores the roles in which women are cast in the lives of terrible men . . . and the fallout when they refuse to stay silent for one moment longer.
Huge thanks to Baskerville for kindly sending me a copy of Speak Of The Devil.
Speak Of The Devil is a fantastic feminist thriller, written by Rose Wilding, who I would imagine will go on to be ONE of the writers of our time!
The opening chapter sees the reader meet a group of seven women, on New Year’s Eve 1999, sitting in a semi-circle all facing a kind of altar with a head of a man on it!
We then move through the novel from the point of view of each of the seven women – Ana, Sarah, Kaysha, Josie, Maureen, Olive and Sadia – we find out from each of them how this man has impacted their lives and how they have all come to this moment.
And it is amazing how Rose Wilding has written Speak Of The Devil, each woman’s story slowly eases out with each page and each awful thing that our bodiless man has inflicted on them. It’s a tale of love, fear, abuse, hate, lies, control, correction and murder and it is brilliant. The cast is written with a real feel for how women act and feel in relationships where not everything is as it seems, the plot is wonderful and I love the fact that there is a lesbian lead character! I feel this is an important novel in today’s crime fiction as it lets women have a voice, and I blooming loved it! I could not put it down and read it over 2 days, a total page-turner from beginning to end!
A huge 5-star read and I cannot wait for Ms Wilding’s next novel – a fantastic talented writer. I hope Sperak Of The Devil wins prizes and accolades as it certainly deserves too!
When a firebomb attack at a Brighton travellers’ site kills women and children, Chief Superintendent Jo Howe has strong reason to believe the new, dubiously elected, far-right council leader is behind the murders.
Against the direct orders of her chief constable, Jo digs deeper into the killings. She uncovers a criminal ring of human trafficking and euthanasia all leading to a devastating plot which threatens thousands of lives and from which the murderous politician looks sure to walk away scot-free.
Well, what can I say about Force Of Hate apart from Wow! This is Graham Bartlett’s second book in the Jo Howe series, and it was sensational.
The storyline is frankly so realistic, being set in Brighton with a newly elected Council Leader who has extreme far-right tendencies, and CS Jo Howe being in his headlights and therefore in grave danger! I found Force Of Hate chilling in its realism and was utterly gripped by the plot from the opening chapter. Force of Hate is not for the faint-hearted, it is a hard-hitting police procedural, that will make you uncomfortable and unsettled, by the skilful way Grahm has written it.
It does follow on from book one, Bad For Good so I would advise reading that first if you haven’t already. The cast of characters is utterly real and so clearly written, Grahgam’s skill at making his cast jump off the page and make you FEEL something is second to none, and this along with the frankly frightening plot, made Force of Hate an instant 5-star read, that’s gripping, a page turner and sublime. I hope we don’t have to wait too long for book 3!
I waited so long for Force Of Hate to arrive but I’m so pleased I have my Goldsboro Books signed limited edition to go with Bad For Good.
Flight attendant turned New York Times bestselling author T. J. Newman – whose first book Falling was an instant international bestseller and the biggest thriller debut of 2021 – returns for her second book, an edge-of-your-seat thriller about a commercial jetliner that crashes into the ocean, and sinks to the bottom with passengers trapped inside, and the extraordinary rescue operation to save them.
Six minutes after takeoff, Flight 1421 crashes into the Pacific Ocean. During the evacuation, an engine explodes and the plane is flooded. Those still alive are forced to close the doors—but it’s too late. The plane sinks to the bottom with twelve passengers trapped inside.
More than two hundred feet below the surface, engineer Will Kent and his eleven-year-old daughter Shannon are waist-deep in water and fighting for their lives.
Their only chance at survival is an elite rescue team on the surface led by professional diver Chris Kent – Shannon’s mother and Will’s soon-to-be ex-wife – who must work together with Will to find a way to save their daughter and rescue the passengers from the sealed airplane, which is now teetering on the edge of an undersea cliff.
There’s not much time.
There’s even less air.
With devastating emotional power and heart-stopping suspense, Drowning is an unforgettable thriller about a family’s desperate fight to save themselves and the people trapped with them – against impossible odds.
I must say a huge thank you to Polly at Simon and Schuster for being so kind and sending me a proof copy of Drowning! It is treasured!!
Now this will be a really hard review to write as I do not want to give anything away! As you can see from the above blurb we join Will Kent and his 11 year old daughter Shannon aboard Flight 1421, 6 minutes after takeoff when the worst thing that can happen, happens, an engine bursts into flames….. OR SO YOU THINK….
This book is an absolute MASTERPIECE of thriller writing, it grabs you round the throat from the very first page and shakes you damn hard all the way through until the end! I cannot explain how marvellous Drowning is, it read like a movie, I could not do anything else but read it, I was totally gripped and needed to know what was going to happen next. There are plot twists, and just when you think things cannot get any worse… they do! I was shouting ” Oh No” several times, I cried, I laughed, and I was utterly breathless and wrung out at the end… in fact I felt like I had been on Flight 1421!!
TJ Newman is just an unbelievable author and she has found a niche in the thriller market, you can tell from her own experiences as an Air Hostess that she brings those to her writing, but she also researches her subjects well, and this really helps to bring Drowning alive.
I would expect Drowning to be made into a movie, like her first book Falling, because Damn, it is THAT good!
I think this will be my book of the year as I fail to see how any other author can beat the thrill ride and emotional turmoil that is Drowning! If there’s one book you read this year, it has to be Drowning…go and get it pre-ordered now!
A huge 5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ star review from me ( It needs to be 500!💥)
It’s been a long time since the Hardwicke family has been on holiday. But thirteen-year-old Galen has wanted to see the wild dolphins at Scotland’s Chanonry Point for as long as she can remember, and her mother Christine – a lone parent since her beloved husband left – is determined she gets her wish. But their serene trip is about to be interrupted.
When DC Saul Anguish is called to investigate the shooting of an ex-police officer in Midtown-on-Sea, Essex, he quickly discovers that this is the first in a string of killings by Missy and Fox, a damaged young couple hell-bent on infamy, their love story etched in blood. In pursuit, Saul follows their trail north.
The paths of the Hardwickes’ and the deadly couple are about to collide. When Saul and his forensic linguist partner, Blue, arrive on the scene, they witness the unthinkable: a mother forced to make an impossible choice.
Saul must uncover the truth about the couple. But can he find the strength to lay the ghosts of his past to rest before they break him
Thank you so much to Fiona Cummins for my signed copy of All Of Us Are Broken.
There are some authors and some books that as soon as you receive them you forget every other book and have to read them right away…All Of Us Are Broken, was one of mine.
This is a follow-up to the much-raved-about Into The Dark with DC Saul Anguish as our lead character, and as fans of the first book will know, he is a dark and unique detective who finds a kindred spirit in one of the CSI team.
All Of Us Are Broken gallops off the page from the opening prologue, this is an immense work of art, and in my opinion Fiona Cummins’s best novel to date.
I was totally obsessed and could not put this book down, the plot is brilliant, it’s hyper-tense, it’s twisty, it has surprises and it is violent and oh-so dark, but there’s also a smattering of heartbreaking sadness. these characters are all so well written and with each page we see their layers peeled off to meet the real them! This is a thriller that will have your skin crawling with anxiety and the way Fiona Cummins writes to keep the reader literally on the edge of their seat is amazing, a talent, not every author can do well, but Fiona is the MASTER at tension and keeping the reader gripped in the story!
I really loved All Of Us Are Broken, that title sums up the plot and storyline so well! I loved the well-written landscapes, the graphically gory murder scenes, they delve into the character’s psyche, and the way the story just grabbed me from page 1. This is an almost horrifically violent book, so if you don’t like gore and violence it may not be for you, but I just loved it! The creep of anxiety that spread down my spine as the story gains its pace was utterly marvellous!
This will be one of my books of the year, and deserves so much more than 5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ stars! A definite binge-read for thriller fans!
1947. Elinor White, known locally as ‘the White lady’, is living a solitary, quiet life in a grace-and-favour cottage in the Kent countryside. Unbeknownst to her neighbours, she is the veteran of two world wars, a trained killer and a former intelligence agent.
Yet Elinor’s private and seemingly tranquil existence conceals a past trauma that comes to the fore when she is drawn into the predicament of a local man entangled with one of the most dangerous crime families in London.
A treacherous path lies ahead, but it may be one that ultimately leads Elinor to a future unshackled by her own painful history.
Thank you so much to the wonderful Allison & Busby for gifting me a copy of The White Lady.
I’d never heard of Jaqueline Winspear before seeing this book, But I’m so glad I have now!
The White Lady is a riveting and gripping thriller set just after the second world war in the UK, in 1947. We meet Miss Elinor White, who lives a very quiet life in the countryside and keeps herself to herself- her nickname is “The White Lady”. However, she has a fabulous past – a veteran of WW1 and WW2, a trained killer and an ex-spy!
This novel starts with events in 1947 then through Elinor’s eyes we travel back in time to WW1 and her childhood when she was living in Belgium, we find out how Elinor and her family helped to fight the Germans during the first world war years before fleeing to England and then taking up arms again during WW2.
I loved The White Lady, it is written in such a way that it was an easy read. It is a bit like a girl’s own adventure with the events that Elinor White gets up to, but it is written with a nod to history and all those women who worked for or were killed working for the Special Operations Executive during the second world war. Jaqueline Winspear has managed to write a fabulous fast-paced thriller with authentic characters and the plots are brilliant, I could not put it down! The descriptions of the settings during both wars were fantastic and vividly written.
The ending is quite a climax and it’s left in such a way that I hope there will be a follow-up novel!.
A great read, thrilling and addictive – 5 stars from me.
You can follow Jaqueline Winspear on her FACEBOOK page
The day the Nazis march into Paris. It made headlines around the globe.
Paris police detective Eddie Giral – a survivor of the last World War – watches helplessly on as his world changes forever.
But there is something he still has control over. Finding whoever is responsible for the murder of four refugees. The unwanted dead, who no one wants to claim.
To do so, he must tread carefully between the Occupation and the Resistance, between truth and lies, between the man he is and the man he was.
All the while becoming whoever he must be to survive in this new and terrible order descending on his home.
My followers should know by now that I am a huge fan of WW2 historical crime fiction, I was kindly given a copy of Paris requiem by Orion Books, and before I read it, I wanted to read the first in the Eddie Giral novels by Chris Lloyd, The Unwanted Dead.
The Unwanted Dead is an absolute tour de force of a historical fiction novel. The opening chapter lets us meet our protagonist, Paris Police Detective Eddie Giral. It’s June 1940 and the Nazis have just waltzed into Paris and have taken over everything. For Eddie as a Detective in the French Police, this now means that he is working for the Nazis… however this does not sit well with him!
In The Unwanted Dead the reader is taken back in time into an immersive novel that is extraordinary in how it depicts life during the occupation of Paris. Eddie Giral is a fantastic character who I instantly grew to like – his use of sarcastic humour and comments to Nazi Officers had me laughing out loud! Chris Lloyd has managed to write with such realism that I really felt I was actually there by Eddies side during this complex but unputdownable thriller. The plot and storyline are exquisite and I can quite see why The Unwanted Dead won the HWA Gold Crown Award for Historical Fiction. To be able to transport the reader to another time is a real feat and to make it during the WW2 occupation in France is just brilliant.
I loved The Unwanted Dead and raced through it, it’s a great storyline and the plot is tense and vividly written! I especially liked how we got inside Eddie Girals mind and found out how he really felt trying to do his Detective job under increasing interference from his Nazi oppressors.
If you like WW2 fictional thrillers then I urge you to buy The Unwanted Dead, Im looking forward to reading the next in the series – Paris Requiem.
An extraordinary portrait of life at the heart of Heinrich Himmler’s court at the heart of the Nazi Regime.
In 1938, before the outbreak of the Second World War, Dr Felix Kersten an avuncular Finnish physician was introduced to Heinrich Himmler, the chief architect of the Holocaust. Seemingly the only person who could cure Himmler of his crippling stomach cramps, Kersten worked on Himmler’s vanity and gratitude Kersten to save the lives of thousands of people and was celebrated across Europe, culminating in Joseph Kessel’s 1961 bestseller, The Man with Miraculous Hands.
And yet, Kersten’s historical legacy is not flawless, and a new introduction by bestselling author Norman Ohler deals with the historical legacy of Kersten’s more exaggerated claims and asks directly why a man who had done so much good would risk damaging that reputation.
Soon to be a major motion picture starring Woody Harrelson, The Man with Miraculous Hands is an extraordinarily revealing portrayal of the deranged atmosphere in Himmler’s court where paranoia and vicious rivalries reigned. Shedding a new light on the darkest days of the twentieth century, the story of Kersten’s life gives us a new way of viewing the history of the Second World War, one that goes beyond the simple idea of heroes and villains.
Hugest thanks to Elliott & Thompson for sending me a copy to review, I’m extremely grateful.
This book utterly blew my mind! It is the absolutely astonishing true story of Dr Felix Kersten, a Finnish Physician, who was introduced to Heinrich Himmler and was able to treat Himmler’s chronic stomach disorder throughout the Second World War in Germany.
Dr Felix Kersten was a rotund, gentle man who learnt his kraft of Chinese Style massage from Dr Ko, who took him on as a student because he saw the potential in his hands. He studied under him and inherited his practice and became a very sought-after Dr, who could cure all ailments with his miraculous hands.
The book reads like a thriller and had me absolutely gripped, I just could not put it down – the fact that I had never heard this story and how this mild-mannered, polite and jovial Dr Kersten managed to treat Himmler and then, in Himmler’s most vulnerable moments when he was in so much pain, and the only person that could alleviate that pain was Kersten, Dr Kersten was able to manipulate Himmler by playing to his ego, and in doing so saved the lives of many thousands of Jews and other prisoners. he was able to document his meetings with the Reichsfuhrer, and keep them so that in the years after the war Joseph Kessel met him and questioned him about these interactions that happened right in the Devils lair, inside Nazi Germany, indeed inside SS headquarters. And as I’ve said the tale is absolutely extraordinary!
The Man With The Miraculous Hands is an exceptionally well-written book, and I loved the way it felt like a thriller, the tension I felt reading about the events with Himmler and Dr Kersten and the goings on inside Nazi Germany, the thinking of one of the most heinous men in history – Himmler and all the paranoia that was felt by him and Dr Kersten, reads so well – when you think it’s true it is almost mind-blowing!
I have to rate this book with 5 stars, I really like reading about both World Wars and find novels or factual accounts from the German side very interesting. I whizzed through this book in a couple of days! If you like to learn about historical facts and are interested in WW2 this will be a must-read for you.
You can buy The Man With The Miraculous Hands HERE
You can find more books at Elliott & Thompson’s website HERE