Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Review - The Stranger

Title:  
The Stranger
Author Kiersten Modglin 
Genre:   Psychological Thriller 
Format:  Kindle ARC
Date of Publication:  February 1, 2024
No. of Pages:  164
My Rating:  5 Stars 
DESCRIPTION:

Never trust a stranger…

But, late at night and trapped in the middle of nowhere during a terrible snowstorm, Tibby and Walker have no choice.

With roads shutting down and cell towers out, running into each other and deciding to travel together could either be their saving grace or worst mistake. When they’re forced to take an unexpected detour and seek refuge in a roadside motel, the storm quickly becomes the least of their worries.

A disturbing discovery in the motel, the questionable actions of the mysterious owner and fellow guests, and a news report about a missing couple in the area set the scene for a terrifying night, but the worst is yet to come.

Each stranger holds a secret…but which one should be trusted?

From million-copy bestselling author Kiersten Modglin comes a fast-paced, heart-pounding thriller filled with secrets, lies, and hairpin twists and turns as dangerous as the icy roads the story is set upon.


MY THOUGHTS:

The new year is approaching and Walker is on his way to spend time with family. He sees a woman on the road, and the weather is rather awful. She hardly looks equipped to be out in a snowstorm. And, she is miles from anywhere. He does the kind thing and stops and offers her a ride.

Well, he is a stranger. Her name is Tibby and she is in a quandary. Yes, she is stranded. Yes, the weather is dangerous. And, yes, she only has a moment to decide whether to trust the stranger who has offered her a ride.

Meanwhile, there is a "before" in this latest thriller by Kiersten Modglin. There is a brutal killer out there in the elements. Is the killer traveling the same road that Tibby is now on with Walker, or could it be that either of them is actually the killer?

What a story! Want a book that will keep you glued to its pages, or to your ereader? Well, look no further than The Stranger. With nail-biting suspense, this book kept me guessing.

Many thanks to Kiersten Modglin for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Kiersten Modglin is an Amazon top-30 bestselling author of award-winning psychological thrillers and a member of International Thriller Writers. Kiersten lives in Nashville, Tennessee with her husband, daughter, and their two Boston Terriers: Cedric and Georgie. She is best known for her unpredictable suspense and her readers have dubbed her 'The Queen of Twists.' A Netflix addict, Shonda Rhimes super-fan, psychology fanatic, and indoor enthusiast, Kiersten enjoys rainy days spent with her nose in a book.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kierstenmodglinauthor 
Twitter: https://twitter.com/kmodglinauthor
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kierstenmodglinauthor

BLOG TOUR - Face Her Fear

 

DESCRIPTION:

Blood roars in Josie’s ears as they circle the tree in the deep snow. A woman lies still on the freezing ground. The howling wind lifts the last of the snow clinging to her face, exposing her lovely features, frozen in forever sleep.

Detective Josie Quinn is still recovering from the killing of a beloved member of her team when she and her husband Noah receive yet more devastating news. Close to her breaking point, Josie heads to a specialist trauma retreat,set in an isolated group of log cabins in the mountains of Pennsylvania. But fear is not far behind her. Josie’s five fellow patients all seem to be hiding secrets darker than just the problems that brought them there and a storm is gathering, with thick snow coming down fast, isolating the cabins from the world below.

Then one morning, Meg Cleary disappears. Having spent years living in terror of a stalker, Meg had come to the retreat to try to piece her life back together. But now, her cabin is empty, no logs are burning in her fireplace, no tracks in the snow lead to or from her door. Quickly organizing a search, Josie’s worst fear is realized when she finds Meg’s body lying in the snow, the marks around her neck revealing that her death was no accident.

And this is no normal case, as Josie is stranded without her team, a phone signal or any legal authority to investigate. When she discovers that someone has placed hidden cameras inside the retreat buildings, Josie’s terror grows with the knowledge that the murderer is among them.

Then another patient goes missing. With their food supplies running low and no chance of escape, Josie knows that she is in the greatest danger of her life, and that she alone has a chance to identify the killer and save the rest of the group before it’s too late…

A totally compelling and unputdownable crime thriller that will have you turning the pages late into the night, from an Amazon, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author. Perfect for fans of Angela Marsons, Robert Dugoni and Rachel Caine.

 

BUY LINKS:


Title:   Face Her Fear
Author:  Lisa Regan
Series:   Detective Josie Quinn #19
Publisher:   Bookouture 
Genre:   Mystery & Thrillers
Format:  Kindle ARC 
No. of Pages:  385
Date of Publication:   January 30, 2024
My Rating:   5 Stars

Detective Josie Quinn is in Sullivan County. She is there for a week of respite and treatment as she is dealing with complex PTSD. There are only a handful of people at the Sacred New Beginnings Retreat. When one of them is murdered, and snow traps them for the time being, Josie does what she can to find the killer. She must do this while struggling to stay alive due to the elements - both weather-related, and where the killer is concerned. 

Josie is married to Noah, who is part of Josie's
investigative team and they are currently dealing with a rift in their marriage. Josie tries not to think about Noah, instead trying to figure out why insomnia has taken over, and with a recent tragic loss of one of her team members, she is grieving badly.

Quite naturally, any mental health treatment is thrust aside as Josie knows there is a killer in their midst at the Retreat. On the other end, Noah is desperate to get to Josie, but the weather, and another danger, makes that impossible. Oh, the angst!

One thing that Josie learns quickly, is that everyone there is hiding something, and this makes it difficult to trust anyone there. Watching the snow fall persistently, they are stuck for an indeterminate amount of time. 

With barely a phone signal and sometimes power, Josie is on her own. Even though she has taken measures, another patient goes missing. Again, who to trust in this precarious situation?

Although Face Her Fear is part of a detective series, there is definitely a locked-room edge to this book, a trope I have been reading often of late. I love how the different authors present the intrigue in these stories, keeping me guessing as to the killer's identity. That is exactly what Lisa Regan did with this book. Josie was on her own, and she never missed a beat.

I began this series with the third book, Her Mother's Grave, and have read and loved every book in the series since. Lisa Regan has done a fabulous job with Josie, Noah and other team members, and with this series as a whole. Bring on book 20. My Kindle is ready.

Many thanks to Bookouture and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Lisa Regan is the USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of the Detective Josie Quinn series. Lisa is a member of Sisters In Crime, International Thriller Writers, and Mystery Writers of America. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in English and Master of Education Degree from Bloomsburg University. She lives near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the U.S. with her husband, daughter, and Boston Terrier named Mr. Phillip.
 Find out more at her website: www.lisaregan.com

 

Author Social Media Links:

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/Lisa-Regan-189735444395923/

TWITTER: https://twitter.com/Lisalregan

WEBSITE: www.lisaregan.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6443334.Lisa_Regan

Bookouture Email Sign Up: https://www.bookouture.com/lisa-regan 


Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Review - A Soul for a Soul

 
Title:   A Soul for a Soul
Author:  Carol Wyer
Series:  Detective Kate Young #5
Publisher:  Thomas & Mercer
Genre:   Mystery/Thrillers
Format:  Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:   381
Date of Publication:   January 30, 2024
My Rating:   5 Stars

DESCRIPTION:
The syndicate have taken everything from her. It’s time to take them down―or die trying. DCI Kate Young never meant to shoot Superintendent John Dickson at the reservoir that night―even if, as a scheming corrupt cop and head of the shady syndicate, he probably had it coming. But now Kate has photographic evidence that someone else knows her terrible secret… 

Tormented by guilt and the voices of the dead, Kate is desperate to unmask the rest of the corrupt officers before her own sins catch up with her. When DI Harriet Khatri, awaiting trial for the murder of Kate’s mentor, claims she was framed by Dickson’s syndicate, Kate reluctantly agrees to help in the hope of finding answers. 

Meanwhile, DI Emma Donaldson finds herself on the hunt for a double murderer―a man who incapacitates his victims with a powerful narcotic called Devil’s Breath. Desperate to measure up to her role-model boss, Emma finds herself hurled into the deep end in more ways than one… While Kate’s grip on reality wavers and the syndicate closes in, and with the mystery killer taking a special interest in Emma, could this be the case that defeats both detectives?


MY THOUGHTS:

DCI Kate Young has long been on the trail of discovering her husband Chris’s murderer, but now  she is avidly covering up the death of Superintendent John Dickson. While it is true that she shot Dickson but has reasons for covering it up. His voice is constantly ringing in her ears. Meanwhile, Kate has a new promotion due to the death of DCI William Chase. Losing William has left a huge void in Kate’s life. Feeling bereft, her workplace brings her great sadness. His voice is also in her head, leading her to imagined conversations.  

Operation Moonbeam is afoot. Can Kate and her team expose the corruption in the police force, while also trying to stop a group of human traffickers? With DI Harriet Khartri having been charged with William’s murder, Kate could possibly move on. Awaiting trial for those charges, Harriet appeals to Kate for help. Kate doesn’t like or even trust Harriet much, her rival, but she digs deep into the case. 

Beyond helping Harriet, Kate’s real goal to go expose the corrupt syndicate in the police department. Kate is desperate to find the ever elusive Digger, a man who witnessed Dickson’s death. With everything going on, Kate hardly knows who to trust she knows that someone who works with her is part of the syndicate. Could it be someone closer than she imagined?

One of Kate’s team members, Emma, is experiencing her own drama. Aside from being in a relationship with Morgan, a fellow police officer, she is on the hunt for a double murderer. For Emma and Morgan, there is trouble in their relationship. Then, the killer has a perspective in this novel, someone who is driven by emotional blindness. 

With intense drama, palpable tension, and an intriguing storyline, this latest book in the Detective Kate Young series was yet another compelling read by Carol Wyer. Every book is just as good as the all the others, and Ms. Wyer’s writing shows incredible talent. But...the cliffhanger?! I certainly hope we have not seen the last of Kate. 

Many thanks to Thomas & Mercer and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


USA Today bestselling author and winner of The People's Book Prize Award, Carol Wyer's crime novels have sold over one million copies and been translated into nine languages. 

A move from humour to the 'dark side' in 2017, saw the introduction of popular DI Robyn Carter in Little Girl Lost and proved that Carol had found her true niche.

 

February 2021 saw the release of the first in the much-anticipated new series, featuring DI Kate Young. An Eye For An Eye was chosen as a Kindle First Reads and became the #1 bestselling book on Amazon UK and Amazon Australia. 

 

Carol has had articles published in national magazines 'Woman's Weekly', featured in 'Take A Break', 'Choice', 'Yours' and 'Woman's Own' magazines and the Huffington Post. She's also been interviewed on numerous radio shows discussing ''Irritable Male Syndrome' and 'Ageing Disgracefully' and on BBC Breakfast television.

 

She currently lives on a windy hill in rural Staffordshire with her husband Mr. Grumpy... who is very, very grumpy. When she is not plotting devious murders, she can be found performing her comedy routine, Smile While You Still Have Teeth.

 

To learn more, go to www.carolwyer.co.uk, subscribe to her YouTube channel, or follow her on Twitter: @carolewyer


Social Media:


Saturday, January 27, 2024

Review - Stolen Darlings


Title:   Stolen Darlings
Author: Helen Phifer
Series:  Detective Morgan Brookes #10
Publisher:  
Bookouture
Genre:   Mystery & Thrillers
Format:  Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:   260
Date of Publication:   September 29, 2023
My Rating:   5 Stars 

DESCRIPTION:

The girl’s body is lying still and the crown of rare darling roses is perfectly positioned in her beautiful auburn hair. Morgan thinks she looks picture-perfect. Until she notices the blood dripping down one side of the boulder beneath her…

Following her colleague Ben up to Castlerigg Stone Circle, Detective Morgan Brookes is shocked at what she finds. A young woman has been killed, left on display at the top of the hill with a crown of roses on her head. As the team race to get the popular tourist spot cordoned off, Morgan hears the heartbroken sobs of the woman who found the body, as she identifies the victim as her best friend Cora Dalton.

Morgan can already see that Cora didn’t struggle when her throat was cut. There’s no blood on the beautiful white gown she was wearing, which means that Cora knew her killer. But everyone, including her boyfriend Jay, has an alibi. As a local shopkeeper, Cora was a huge part of the community, and her neighbours are devastated to lose such a sweet soul.

Then Morgan’s team discover that a local photographer had arranged to meet Cora, and it’s clear from his messages that he chose her elegant white dress. Could their photoshoot have taken a sinister turn?

But when another body is found at another stone circle, wearing an identical flower crown, while the photographer is in custody, Morgan loses the only lead she has. Tracking down the florist who made the crown, Morgan pores over their records and realises the killer purchased three circles of roses…

Certain another innocent life is at risk and with the killer already steps ahead, can Morgan find the connection between these girls before another life is stolen?

An unbelievably gripping new crime thriller in the Detective Morgan Brookes series.

Link to purchase the book


MY THOUGHTS:

DC Morgan Brookes intends on participating a half-marathon with Cain so reluctantly training. However, while just about to start her run, she gets a call. A body has been found. As working cases and solving murders is Morgan‘s strong suit, her focus shifts from the marathon to the current murder. 

The woman that was found murdered was headed to a yoga session. Who is the killer? And was she specifically targeted? As the victim was found at a stone circle, in a flowing dress with a flower crown, her death appeared as if it were a human sacrifice. That was Morgan's initial thought. 

Morgan's inborn alarm system has lately been beginning to stress her out but she doesn’t want to worry Ben, her boss but also her boyfriend.

While the murder appeared rather gruesome and brutal, the victim, Cora, had no defensive wounds. Thus Morgan, Ben, Cain and the rest of the team begin to dig for answers. One powerful clue was the flower crown, a particular type of rose. As only so many of those roses might be available, Morgan is worried that yet another murder might take place.

Stolen Darlings was a truly gripping story. I had to sit down and devour it in one sitting. I have loved this series from the start and am thrilled that this is the tenth book. In fact, I am about to sit down and read the next in the series, Save Her Twice. Helen Phifer keeps this series going strong, with both the cases are always of great interest and Morgan is a wonderful protagonist and it has been a joy to get to know Morgan as the series has come along. 
 
Many thanks to Bookouture and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Helen Phifer is the Bestselling writer of the hugely popular Annie Graham, Lucy Harwin, Beth Adams and her current series featuring Detective Constable Morgan Brooks published by the fabulous Bookouture.

She lives in the busy town of Barrow-in-Furness surrounded by miles of coastline and a short drive from the glorious English Lake District.

Helen loves reading books that scare the heck out of her and is eternally grateful to Stephen King, Dean Koontz, James Herbert and Graham Masterton for scaring her senseless in her teenage years. Unable to find enough scary stories she decided to write her own and her debut novel The Ghost House released in October 2013 became a #1 Global Bestseller.

She has written over twenty books in various genres and you can follow her over on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/helenphifer/

Or find her over at www.helenphifer.com


Friday, January 26, 2024

Review - The Night of the Storm

Title:  The Night of the Storm
Author Nishita Parekh
Publisher:   Dutton
Genre:   Mystery & Thrillers
Format:  Kindle ARC 
No. of Pages:   336
Date of Publication:   January 16, 2024
My Rating:   3 Stars
DESCRIPTION:

From debut author Nishita Parekh, a fresh take on the classic locked-room thriller, about a multigenerational Indian American family marooned in a house with a murderer during Hurricane Harvey

Hurricane Harvey is about to hit Houston. Meanwhile, single mom Jia Shah is already having a rough week: her twelve-year-old son, Ishaan, has just been suspended from school for getting in a fight. Still reeling from the fallout of her divorce—their move to Houston, her family’s disapproval, the struggle to make ends meet on her own—now Jia is worried about Ishaan’s future, too. Will her solo parenting be enough? Doesn’t a boy need a father?

And now their apartment complex is under a mandatory evacuation order. Jia’s sister, Seema, has invited them to hunker down in her fancy house in Sugar Land, and despite Jia’s misgivings—Seema’s husband, Vipul, has been just a little too friendly with her lately—Jia concedes it’s probably the best place to keep Ishaan safe during the hurricane. With Jia’s philandering ex scrutinizing her every move, all too eager to snatch back custody of Ishaan, she can’t afford to make a mistake.

When Vipul’s brother and his wife show up on Seema’s doorstep, too, it’s a recipe for disaster. Grandma, the family matriarch, has never been shy about playing favorites among her sons and their wives. As the storm escalates, tensions rise quickly, and soon someone’s dead. Was it a horrible accident or is there a murderer in their midst?

With no help available until the floodwaters recede in the morning, Jia must protect her son and identify the culprit before she goes down for a crime she didn’t commit—or becomes the next victim. . . .

MY THOUGHTS:

In yet another locked room thriller in Nishita Parekh's debut novel, this one involves a multigenerational Indian American family who find themselves stranded due to inclement weather. That is rather putting it mildly, as they are all under hurricane watch. 

However, there’s a killer in the house. One of the family members is Jia Shah, who is six months divorced and is in danger of losing custody of her son. They take refuge at her sister-and-brother-in-law's house and Jia has to face her brother-in law Vipul. The two have an uneasy relationship, and this keeps Jia quite nervous. 

Meanwhile, there is a death in the house, A murder, actually, and the number of people who could have been responsible is rather limited. Then factor in the tension between Jia and Vipal and readers have quite an interesting story.

Many thanks to Dutton and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Nishita Parekh was born and raised in Mumbai and now lives in Texas with her husband and toddler. She is a software programmer but a writer at heart, and loves writing about her experiences as a woman and immigrant. She is an active member of International Thriller Writers, Crime Writers of Color, and Sisters in Crime, and is a #RevPit contest winner. The Night of the Storm is her first novel.



Review - Keep You Safe

Title:   Keep You Safe
Author:  Rona Halsall 
Publisher:  Bookouture 
Genre:   Psychological Thriller 
Format:  Kindle ARC 
No. of Pages:   342
Date of Publication:   July 5, 2023
My Rating:   4 Stars 

*Originally released August 17, 2018

DESCRIPTION:

What if trying to protect your child only put them in danger?

Natalie is desperate to find her little boy. It has been more than three years since she saw Harry. Three long years in prison for a crime she knows she didn’t commit.

But her husband believed the police, and took their son.

Who has gone to such great lengths to destroy Natalie’s life? Everyone she once trusted – friends, family, everyone close to her – what secrets do they hide?

If Natalie finds the truth, will she get Harry back, or lose him forever?

A totally gripping psychological thriller– perfect for fans of Big Little Lies, The Girl on the Train and C.L Taylor.

Previously titled GUILTY LITTLE SECRETS

 
Natalie has just been released from prison and she has a single purpose in mind - to get custody back of her son. She knows he won't remember her but she never once stopped thinking about him Three years is just like the blink of an eye when Natalie remembered holding her son in his arms. But, her ex-husband has cut her son out of his life. In fact, he has remarried. 

What one wants and what one gets is easier said than done. Despite the challenges, Natalie is determined to go to the ends of the earth to see her son again. Natalie has another goal in mind. Feeling she was charged and imprisoned unfairly, she is determined to find out who was responsible?

I have read more than a few books by Rona Halsall, and loved them all. I love how she writes psychological thrillers, and as it turns out, this book was previously published as Guilty Little Secrets in 2018.

Many thanks to Bookouture and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Rona is the author of Best Selling psychological thrillers published by Bookouture. She loves a puzzle to solve, so now she writes them... her challenge is to find domestic storylines with twists that keep her readers guessing right to the end.

She has been a bit of a nomad during her adult life, moving around the north of England. Then she settled in Snowdonia, North Wales where she brought up her family while working as a business mentor. She now lives on the Isle of Man with her husband and two dogs.

She is an outdoorsy person and loves stomping up a mountain, walking the coastal paths and exploring the wonderful glens and beaches on the Island while she's plotting her next book. She has three children and two step-children who are all grown up and leading varied and interesting lives, which provides plenty of ideas for new stories.

Social Media Links:

Website: www.facebook.com/RonaHalsallAuthor  

Twitter: @RonaHalsallAuth

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RonaHalsallAuthor/

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

Bookouture Email Sign Up: https://www.bookouture.com/rona-halsall 


Review - A Body on the Doorstep

Title:   A Body on the Doorstep
Author:   Marty Wingate
Series:  London Ladies Murder Club Book 1
Publisher:  Bookouture 
Genre:   Cozy Mystery
Format:  Audiobook ALC
Narrator:  Naomi Frederick
Length:  9 hr 3 min
No. of Pages:   311
Date of Publication:   January 11, 2023
My Rating:   4 Stars

DESCRIPTION:

Fiercely independent Mabel Canning can’t wait to begin working for the Useful Women’s Agency. But when she discovers a body on her client’s doorstep, it’s time to add solving murders to her job description…

London, 1921: Mabel Canning is proud to be a modern woman working for the Useful Women’s Agency, carrying out tasks for gentlewomen from flower arranging to washing muddy dogs. But when she answers the door for wealthy widow Rosalind Despard, she almost chokes on her cucumber sandwich when she finds a soldier’s body on the doorstep.

As she offers tea to the policemen of Scotland Yard, Mabel can’t resist getting drawn into the investigation. Who was the mysterious dead man? And why was he holding a letter for Rosalind, written by her husband on the day he disappeared?

As Mabel hunts for clues, she joins forces with Rosalind’s handsome brother, former detective Park Winstone, and his adorable terrier, Gladys. But when Mabel suspects she is being followed, the detective duo know that time is running out before the killer strikes again.

As she investigates, Mabel discovers dusty old photographs that help her reveal the soldier’s true identity. But as she gets closer to uncovering the young man’s murderer, she knows she’s also one step closer to danger... Can she outsmart the killer and save Park and Rosalind before they also turn up dead as doornails?

A totally unputdownable and utterly charming Golden Age cozy mystery from USA Today bestselling author Marty Wingate. Perfect for fans of Agatha Christie, Richard Osman, Verity Bright and T.E. Kinsey


MY THOUGHTS:

Mabel Canning is a forward-thinking and independent woman eager to begin working for the Useful Women's Agency. However, when a man's body is found on her employer's doorstep, Mabel makes the immediate decision to get to the bottom of things. Meanwhile, she takes on quite a few various assignments for the agency. 

More than once Mabel knocks heads with former detective Park Winstone and the pair become unlikely partners in what promises to be an enjoyable series by Marty Wingate. I love Mabel, then Park and his dog Gladys were wonderful additions, and the ever present danger that faced Mabel the deeper she dug for answers was intriguing.

Cozies are a favorite of mine, and coming in with the first book in a new series was a true delight. I can't wait to see what else is in store for Mabel.

Many thanks to Bookouture and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

USA Today
best-selling author Marty Wingate writes mysteries and histories—all fiction and all set in Britain. The London Ladies Murder Club is Marty’s latest mystery series, set in 1921 London, and inspired by the real-life Useful Women agency, which carried out all manner of domestic jobs for those gentlewomen fallen on hard times. A Body on the Doorstep, book one, will be out January 2024. Marty’s historical fiction books include The Orphans of Mersea House, set in 1957 in a town on the Suffolk coast and Glamour Girls, about a Second World War female Spitfire pilot. Marty is also the author of the First Edition Library mysteries and the Potting Shed and Birds of a Feather series. Marty prefers on-the-ground research whenever possible, and so she and her husband regularly travel to England and Scotland, where she can be found tracing the steps of her characters, stopping for tea and a slice of Victoria sponge in a cafĂ©, or enjoying a swift half in a pub."