Blog Tour: The Last One to See Her – Mark Tilbury

thelastonetoseeher-ebookHuge thanks to Mark Tilbury for my invitation to this tour and the ARC.

He says he is innocent. So why did he lie?

Mathew Hillock was the last person to see eleven-year-old Jodie Willis alive. When her dead body turns up four days later in his garden shed, the police think he’s guilty of her murder. So do most people in the town. But there’s no DNA evidence to link him to the crime.

Battling the weight of public opinion and mental illness due to a childhood head trauma, he sinks into a deep depression.

Can Mathew do what the police failed to do and find evidence linking the real killer to the crime?

The Last One to See Her is a terrifying story of what happens when you’re accused of a crime and no one believes you are innocent.

My Review

Mathew had a head injury in his early years which left him with issues to his mental health. Jim is a womaniser, a drunk and a violent bully. Jodie is an eleven year old girl whose body is later found in Mathew’s shed. This is story of both men wondering if they had something to do with her death.

It was extremely tense not knowing who the culprit was until the very end. You’re led to believe it’s one person and then something happens, and you’re left thinking the opposite. I love how the author does this. You’re just compelled to keep reading until you get the answer.

An absolutely fantastic read from an equally fantastic author.

Oh and one more thing; this tale will stay with you for a very long time.

Rating: 4.5/5

Mark Tilbury Author picAbout the author

Mark lives in a small village in the lovely county of Cumbria, although his books are set in Oxfordshire where he was born and raised. After being widowed and raising his two daughters, Mark finally took the plunge and self-published two books on Amazon, The Revelation Room and The Eyes of the Accused. He’s always had a keen interest in writing, and is extremely proud to have had seven novels published by Bloodhound Books. His latest novel, The Last One To See Her will be published 4th June 2020. When he’s not writing, Mark can be found playing guitar, reading and walking.

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Blog Tour: The House on Rectory Lane – Stuart James

rectory lane stairsThank you to Sarah at Book on the Bright Side for the tour invitation.

Jake and Kate live in London but after an altercation with a stranger who threatens Jake with a knife, they take their son and move to a house in the woods.
It’s their dream home, or so they think until people in the village warn them they shouldn’t have come.
Their neighbours are strange and when Kate sees a face at the window, the family realise they might be in danger.
When they find a tape hidden in the loft of the house, a video recording of the previous family who once lived there, it chills them to the bone.
They soon realise that the family living there before them have disappeared and they too could now be next.

What is the mystery surrounding the house on Rectory Lane?  Jake and Kate are about to find out…

My Review

I absolutely love Stuart James’ books. They are easy to read and extremely ‘unputdownable’ and this one is no exception.

Jake and Kate are likeable and you feel yourself really rooting for them in their bid to find out what happened to the family who lived in the house prior to them.

The House On Rectory Lane is 100% a page-turner which leaves you guessing right until the very last sentence. I think the ending leaves it open to a sequel which I would love to read. 

Rating: 4/5

53189233_420820595321355_327068416789708800_nAbout the author

I have always loved scary stories, especially ones that shocked me, left me terrified, looking under my bed or in the wardrobe before going to sleep.
There was just a fantastic buzz whenever I watched or read something that took my breathe away.
I remember going to my nan’s house in Ireland as a youngster with my mother and sister, on the West Coast, staying in a cottage, surrounded by miles of fields and my family sitting around the table in the kitchen at night telling ghost stories. Going out and exploring derelict farmhouses in the middle of nowhere. I remember clearly the field at the end of the road was supposed to be haunted by headless nuns.
My cousins often remind me of the great times we had, frightening each other and running for our lives whenever we’d see something that didn’t look right.
This is why I love nothing more than to tell a story.

I started writing two years ago, penning The House On Rectory Lane.
I got the idea from something that has often seemed scary to me. I know that a terrifying story has to be something that you’re frightened of doing, something that makes the hairs stand on the back of your neck, something that fills you with dread, yet also with excitement.
To me, the thought of going to a house in the middle of nowhere, upping and leaving a busy town and moving to the country is something that scares lots of people and me: the seclusion, the quiet, the darkness.
That’s what inspired me to write my first novel.

My second thriller is called Turn The Other Way.
I have multiple stories running, past and present. A family who want answers from the surgeon responsible for their daughter’s death.
A young woman looking for her parents after they go missing from a party.
A couple driving home and hearing screams for help from the back of the van in front of them.
A serial killer on the loose in North London, dragging victims off the street.

I’m so grateful when people not only read my thrillers but also take the time to get in touch and leave a review. To me, that is the greatest feeling, hearing from people that have enjoyed my work. I know then that I’m doing something right.
My third thriller, Apartment Six, was published in January of this year.

I’m 45, married and have two beautiful children. Currently, I’m a full-time plumber but would love nothing more than to make a living from my writing.
I hope I write stories and people continue to enjoy them for years to come. That would be completely amazing and a dream come true.

The House On Rectory Lane

Blog Tour: Buried – Lynda La Plante

Thank you to Tracy Fenton for the tour invitation and to Bonnier Books for the ARC copy.

BuriedJack Warr is a young DC with the Metropolitan Police. Charming but aimless, Jack can’t seem to find his place in the world – until he’s drawn into an investigation that turns his life upside down.

In the aftermath of a fire at a derelict cottage, a badly charred body is discovered, along with the burnt remnants of millions of stolen, untraceable bank notes – the hidden legacy of Dolly Rawlins and her gang of Widows.

Jack’s assignment to the case coincides with an investigation into his own past. As he searches for the truth about his identity, Jack finds himself increasingly drawn into a murky underworld of corruption and crime. Those millions have not been forgotten – and Jack will stop at nothing to find the truth. ­

My Review

I remember back in the early 80’s not being allowed to read or watch Widows but it was all I heard about as my parents and their friends all talked about it. Fast forward 37 years and I’m doing the same. Thankfully Amazon Prime Video now have this to stream so I can put all the names to the faces.

Buried is the first in a new series introducing Jack Warr. A fledgling Met Officer who is a bit out of sorts and isn’t sure where his loyalties lie. It also sees the reintroduction of the original Widows; Connie, Ester and of course Dolly. Even though this has a lot of references back to the old Widows case it is easily a standalone novel. A badly charred body found in a derelict house with millions of pounds found burned in the fireplace, what’s not to like!? There is where DC Warr comes into his own. He’s trying to piece together the crime committed alongside working out his way in life with the help from his girlfriend Maggie.

I’m looking forward to reading the rest of this series and seeing how Jack Warr develops as a character.

No doubt Ms La Plante has already been approached for this to become a TV series which I can certainly see it becoming. As I think this book is as good as the original Widows and Prime Suspect series there’s no reason why this couldn’t be up there on a pedestal with them.

Rating: 4.5/5

LLPAbout the author

Lynda La Plante was born in Liverpool. She trained for the stage at RADA and worked with the National theatre and RDC before becoming a television actress. She then turned to writing – and made her breakthrough with the phenomenally successful TV series Widows. Her novels have all been international bestsellers. Her original script for the much-acclaimed Prime Suspect won awards from BAFTA, Emmy, British Broadcasting and Royal Television Society as well as the 1993 Edgar Allan Poe Award. Lynda has written and produced over 170 hours of international television. Lynda is one of only three screenwriters to have been made an honorary fellow of the British Film Institute and was awarded the BAFTA Dennis Potter Best Writer Award in 2000. In 2008, she was awarded a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for services to Literature, Drama and Charity. If you would like to hear from Lynda, please sign up at http://www.bit.ly/ LyndaLaPlanteClub or you can visit http://www.lyndalaplante.com for further information. You can also follow Lynda on Facebook and Twitter @LaPlanteLynda.

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BLOG TOUR: Apartment Six – Stuart James

Thank you to Sarah at BOTBS for the invitation to the tour and to Bloodhound Books for an ARC copy.

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Be careful what you wish for…
When Meagan was five years old her mother was viciously attacked and murdered.
Now an adult, she herself is the victim of an abusive relationship. Meagan is desperate to escape but doesn’t have the courage to leave.
So, when Meagan meets Oliver, a decent guy who is on the rebound after a failed relationship, the two strike up a connection. But when Meagan confesses that her husband is abusive, it leads Oliver down a dark and dangerous path.
Just how far would you go to protect someone?
Oliver is about to find out and be pushed to his very limits…

My Review

I like to read novels that realistically could happen and even though I found this a little far-fetched I had to stop thinking like that. Life isn’t always plain sailing and some things can and do happen that others just would or couldn’t believe. Apartment Six is no exception.

Meagan is an abused wife without a hope of ever leaving her aggressive and violent husband. Then by chance she meets Oliver. They continue to meet secretly and after gaining his trust Meagan asks Oliver the incomprehensible. This one question takes them both on a scary, sinister and turbulent ride.

I love stories with two timelines. This one sees Meagan as a child which describes the abuse she and her mother endured at the hands of her father. When you read about her childhood and then forward the present day, in which both periods of time are horrendous leads you to think “will she ever catch a break?”

And the ending, wow! It blew me away.

I’ve not read anything by Stuart James before but will certainly be looking up his other books which I’m sure will not disappoint.

Rating: 4/5

stuart-jamesAbout the author

I have always loved scary stories, especially ones that shocked me, left me terrified, looking under my bed or in the wardrobe before going to sleep.
There was just a fantastic buzz whenever I watched or read something that took my breathe away.
I remember going to my nan’s house in Ireland as a youngster with my mother and sister, on the West Coast, staying in a cottage, surrounded by miles of fields and my family sitting around the table in the kitchen at night telling ghost stories. Going out and exploring derelict farmhouses in the middle of nowhere. I remember clearly the field at the end of the road was supposed to be haunted by headless nuns.
My cousins often remind me of the great times we had, frightening each other and running for our lives whenever we’d see something that didn’t look right.
This is why I love nothing more than to tell a story.

I started writing two years ago, penning The House On Rectory Lane.
I got the idea from something that has often seemed scary to me. I know that a terrifying story has to be something that you’re frightened of doing, something that makes the hairs stand on the back of your neck, something that fills you with dread, yet also with excitement.
To me, the thought of going to a house in the middle of nowhere, upping and leaving a busy town and moving to the country is something that scares lots of people and me: the seclusion, the quiet, the darkness.
That’s what inspired me to write my first novel.

My second thriller is called Turn The Other Way.
I have multiple stories running, past and present. A family who want answers from the surgeon responsible for their daughter’s death.
A young woman looking for her parents after they go missing from a party.
A couple driving home and hearing screams for help from the back of the van in front of them.
A serial killer on the loose in North London, dragging victims off the street.

I’m so grateful when people not only read my thrillers but also take the time to get in touch and leave a review. To me, that is the greatest feeling, hearing from people that have enjoyed my work. I know then that I’m doing something right.

I’m currently working on my new thriller, Apartment Six, which Will be released 29th of January.

I’m 45, married and have two beautiful children. Currently, I’m a full-time plumber but would love nothing more than to make a living from my writing.
I hope I write stories and people continue to enjoy them for years to come. That would be completely amazing and a dream come true.
stuartjamesthrillers.com

@StuartJames73

https://www.facebook.com/stuartjamesauthor/

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BLOG TOUR: What She Saw Last Night – M J Cross

Thank you to Tracy at Compulsive Readers for the invitation to the tour and to Orion for the ARC copy.

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Jenny Bowen is going home. Boarding the Caledonian Sleeper, all she wants to do is forget about her upcoming divorce and relax on the ten-hour journey through the night.

In her search for her cabin, Jenny helps a panicked woman with a young girl she assumes to be her daughter. Then she finds her compartment and falls straight to sleep.

Waking in the night, Jenny discovers the woman dead in her cabin … but there’s no sign of the little girl. The train company have no record of a child being booked on the train, and CCTV shows the dead woman boarding alone.

The police don’t believe Jenny, and soon she tries to put the incident out of her head and tells herself that everyone else is right: she must have imagined the little girl.

But deep down, she knows that isn’t the truth.

My Review

Jenny thinks she may be losing her mind. She sees a young girl with a woman on the sleeper train to Fort William. The next day the woman is dead and the girl is nowhere to be seen. Was she seeing things? But she knows what she saw. She picked up the girl’s toy rabbit and handed it back to her.

With the help of Mike Fletcher on leave from the police force she tries to piece together the final moments of the woman’s life and the whereabouts of the girl.

I like to read things are potentially true to life, now I know anything can be written in creative writing but there was one aspect of the book about halfway through that troubled me. Jenny abandoned a situation to further pursue her goal. I felt that this wasn’t true to life. Or more certainly that I seriously doubt many women would have left in these circumstances.

However, some books make me late for work but not only did this make me late for work but because I was running late my son got a detention for being late to school. Sorry Jack! Mum will make it up to you, promise!

Rating: 3.5/5

eyJiYWNrZ3JvdW5kIjpudWxsLCJoZWlnaHQiOjMzMSwiaWQiOjY3NTcwLCJyZXNpemVfbWV0aG9kIjoiY2VudGVyIiwicmVzaXplX3F1YWxpdHkiOiI5NSIsIndpZHRoIjo0MzJ9-e7db84308e9b4324281e9c20d4523415ed1a2553About the author

MJ Cross was born in Glasgow in 1979. He studied English at the University of Stirling and currently works in the voluntary sector. He has written a number of short stories, including ‘A Living’, which was shortlisted for the Quick Reads ‘Get Britain Reading’ Award. He lives in Glasgow with his wife and three children.

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BLOG TOUR: All the Wrong Places – Joy Fielding

Thank you to Tracy at Compulsive Readers for the invitation to the tour and to Zaffre Books for a copy.

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You always know who you’re meeting online . . . don’t you?

Four women decide to explore online dating, downloading an app that promises they will swipe their way to love and happiness.

But not everyone is who they seem online. Hidden behind a perfect smile and charming humour, one man appears to be the perfect date. But the night he has planned is unlike any other.

The clock is ticking, and for one woman, this date might just be her last . . .

My Review

The blurb promises an unsavoury character on dating sites but this is only featured in about 20% of the book. I also thought he was a bit 2-dimensional and lacked substance. The rest is about Paige’s relationships with her mother Joan, her cousin Heather and best friend Chloe. I thought it was a bit misleading in that respect.

Descriptions of the advertising roles and instructions on how to play bridge were a little unnecessary and I feel did not add to the story.

However, all this aside, even though I sort of guessed where the ending was headed it certainly did not disappoint. I would love to know what lies in the future for these characters and I hope for a sequel. Fingers crossed!

Rating: 3/5

portraitsAbout the author

After she graduated in 1966, with a BA in English literature, she went into acting full-time, eventually moving to Los Angeles. She also worked in a lot of banks and once again dabbled in writing–this time a novel. She always loved writing and found that it came relatively easily to her.

All the Wrong Places was published in March 2019.

All The Wrong Places

BLOG TOUR: Silent Winter – Maggie James

Thank you to Sarah at Book on the Bright Side for the invitation to the tour and for a copy of the ARC.

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No sound. No light. No hope.

On an icy November night, Drew Blackmore is beaten unconscious, then abducted.  He awakes to find himself in total darkness, naked and chained to the floor.  Fed just enough to keep him alive, Drew is unable to identify his captor, or the reason for his incarceration. As reality fades, hallucinations take over. Can Drew escape his prison before madness claims him?

Meanwhile Drew’s wife, Holly, despairing of ever seeing him again, turns to his brother for comfort. As the worst winter in decades sweeps the UK, she learns of Drew’s tragic past. Could his disappearance be connected with that of a prostitute years before?

A story of how the mind responds to solitary confinement, Silent Winter examines one man’s desperate attempt to survive the unthinkable.

My Review

Is he having a drink with friends? Is he injured in a ditch or in hospital? Is he having an affair? These are the questions that Holly asked herself when her husband hasn’t yet returned home from work. What she doesn’t know is that he’s being kept against his will.

This is a tale that sees both sides of the story during Drew’s imprisonment. I’ve read books with a similar guise before but never have I felt as if I’m actually with the characters, feeling and seeing their emotions like I have with Silent Winter. 

I felt like Drew’s incarceration could have been described in more detail but this certainly did not detract from the storyline.

I look forward to reading more from Maggie James.

Rating: 4/5

75258473_2454238288194128_5200942990134083584_nAbout the author

She is a British author who lives in the north-east and writes psychological suspense novels. Before turning her hand to writing, she worked mainly as an accountant, with a diversion into practising as a nutritional therapist. Diet and health remain high on her list of interests, along with travel. The urge to pack a bag and go off travelling is always lurking in the background! When not writing, going to the gym, practising yoga or travelling, she can be found seeking new four-legged friends to pet; animals are a lifelong love!

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BLOG TOUR: 17 Church Row – James Carol

Thank you to Tracy at Compulsive Readers for the invitation to the tour and to Zaffre Books for a copy my copy.

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ABOUT THE BOOK: For fans of J. P. Delaney’s The Girl Before comes a thriller that makes us question our relationship with technology and the lengths we would go to, to keep our family safe.

Three years ago, Nikki and Ethan Rhodes suffered a devastating loss when their four-year-old daughter Grace was tragically killed in a road accident. Ethan, a radio personality, escapes into work, leaving Nikki to care for their remaining child, Bella, who hasn’t spoken since that day.

Seeking a fresh start, the family moves into a revolutionary new house designed by renowned architect, Catriona Fisher. The house features a state-of-the-art security system, along with every amenity you could dream of.

For the Rhodes’ this is a chance to finally pick up the pieces and get on with their lives in a place where they feel totally safe.

But what if 17 Church Row isn’t the safe haven that they think it is?

My Review

The blurb says it all so I won’t repeat it but would you trust a smart house? I know I wouldn’t! I can just about get on with Alexa and even then I find myself arguing with ‘her’ when she doesn’t do as she’s told. If I had gone through what the Rhodes family did there’s no way I could live in smart house; I’d rather live in a wooden shack, live off the land and use smoke signals for communication.

The thought of computers being able to think like a humans is scary, but the worst thing is that this technology is already upon us and that is truly terrifying.
I’ve read all of James Carol’s books and this was fantastic.
Rating: 4/5

James+Carol+(head+and+shoulders)About the author

James Carol was born in Scotland, where he spent his early years. He moved to England in the eighties and has lived there ever since. At various times he has worked as a guitarist, sound engineer, guitar tutor, journalist, and a horse riding instructor.

Broken Dolls, the first Jefferson Winter thriller, was published in 2014 and has sold a third of a million copies and been translated into twelve languages. This was followed by three other Jefferson Winter thrillers and a trilogy of novellas set during Winter’s FBI days.

James has also written three standalone thrillers. The first of these, The Killing Game was shortlisted for a CWA Ian Fleming Dagger award.

When he’s not writing, James can usually be found in his recording studio where he is currently writing and recording the first Dream Nation album.

James lives in Hertfordshire with his wife, two children, a dog and a horse.

James Carol

BLOG TOUR: Shadow on the Lens – Sam Hurcom

Thank you to Tracy at Compulsive Readers for the invitation to the tour and to Orion Fiction for the ARC.

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ABOUT THE BOOK: The Postmaster looked over my shoulder. As I turned to look I saw a flicker of movement from across the street. I felt unseen eyes peer at me. 
He walked away without another word. I watched as he climbed onto his bicycle and sped away down the street. I turned back and looked over my shoulder. 
Someone had been watching us.

1904. Thomas Bexley, one of the first forensic photographers, is called to the sleepy and remote Welsh village of Dinas Powys, several miles down the coast from the thriving port of Cardiff. A young girl by the name of Betsan Tilny has been found murdered in the woodland – her body bound and horribly burnt. But the crime scene appears to have been staged, and worse still: the locals are reluctant to help.

As the strange case unfolds, Thomas senses a growing presence watching him, and try as he may, the villagers seem intent on keeping their secret. Then one night, in the grip of a fever, he develops the photographic plates from the crime scene in a makeshift darkroom in the cellar of his lodgings. There, he finds a face dimly visible in the photographs; a face hovering around the body of the dead girl – the face of Betsan Tilny.

 

My Review

I loved this. The spooky, gothic, atmospheric feel of the writing made it seem as though I was in the village as an onlooker watching the events unfold. It was very reminiscent of the UK television show, Midsomer Murders…small villages disrupted by a heinous crime but no one wants to help because they like to keep themselves to themselves and fix their own problems.

There are twists and turns, literally at every corner and the characters are brilliantly written. For a debut novel this is superb. I’m looking forward to Sam Hurcom’s future writing.

Rating: 3.5/5

Sam-Hurcom-634x900About the author

Sam Hurcom was born in Dinas Powys, South Wales in 1991. He studied Philosophy at Cardiff University, attaining both an undergraduate and master’s degree. He has since had several short stories published and has written and illustrated a number of children’s books. Sam currently lives in the village he was raised in, close to the woodlands that have always inspired his writing.

A SHADOW ON THE LENS is Sam’s debut novel.

 

SOTL Blog Asset

 

BLOG TOUR: Torment – Mark Tilbury

Huge thanks to Mark Tilbury for my invitation to this tour and to Bloodhound Books for my ARC.

torment coverWho can you really trust?

Beth Cruikshank couldn’t be happier. She is eight weeks pregnant and married to the man of her dreams. But after returning home from a celebratory meal, she finds a wreath from her sister’s grave hanging above the bed and a kitchen knife embedded in her pillow. There are no signs of a forced entry. Nothing is stolen. And no one other than the cleaner has a key to the house.

And then a campaign of terror begins. Beth becomes increasingly paranoid as it becomes clear that someone close to the family is behind these disturbing events.

But who would want Beth dead?

Can Beth find the answer before it’s too late?

Torment is a story of misplaced loyalty, revenge and sacrifice.

My Review

Beth and David Cruickshank are finally expecting their first child after she tragically suffered from three miscarriages. Since finding a burnt dream-catcher, a wreath from her sister’s grave and a knife through her pillow, Beth soon realises that someone is hell-bent on making their life a misery.

Who is doing this, and why? What has Beth possibly done in her past to make someone hate her so much?

How Mark keeps you in suspense is beyond me. This is a true testament of a fantastic writer. Although this wasn’t one of his usual ‘sicko’ novels, which I have learnt to love, there are a couple of gruesome parts in it which kept me hooked; this probably says more about me that it does him!

A brilliant read! Rating: 4/5

Mark Tilbury Author picAbout the author

Mark lives in a small village in the lovely county of Cumbria, although his books are set in Oxfordshire where he was born and raised. After being widowed and raising his two daughters, Mark finally took the plunge and self-published two books on Amazon, The Revelation Room and The Eyes of the Accused.

He’s always had a keen interest in writing, and is extremely proud to have had seven novels published by Bloodhound Books, including his most recent release, Torment.

When he’s not writing, Mark can be found playing guitar, reading and walking.

Torment Blitz Dates