Block 46 by Johana Gustawsson

I’d like to thank Orenda books for the opportunity to read a copy of Block 46 and for giving me the chance to take part in a blog tour for this book.

the book is about:

Evil remembers…

Falkenberg, Sweden. The mutilated body of talented young jewellery designer, Linnea Blix, is found in a snow-swept marina.
Hampstead Heath, London. The body of a young boy is discovered with similar wounds to Linnea’s.
Buchenwald Concentration Camp, 1944. In the midst of the hell of the Holocaust, Erich Hebner will do anything to see himself as a human again.

Are the two murders the work of a serial killer, and how are they connected to shocking events at Buchenwald?

Emily Roy, a profiler on loan to Scotland Yard from the Canadian Royal Mounted Police, joins up with Linnea’s friend, French truecrime writer Alexis Castells, to investigate the puzzling case. They travel between Sweden and London, and then deep into the past, as a startling and terrifying connection comes to light.

My thoughts:

This novel takes 2 very emotive subjects and handles them sensitively and well, their is discussion of concentration camps and their treatment of their internees and discussion of crimes against children. Both of these subjects can provoke very strong feelings in people especially if handled in an insensitive fashion even in fiction, the author is brave to take both of these on and to use them to the effect that she does in the novel whilst never crossing a line into bad taste.

I enjoyed reading Block 46 it never played out how I expected it to, which is really refreshing when you read as many crime novels as I do. I was continually surprised by the plot twists. I enjoyed how the characters developed and would be intrigued to read more in the series. Parts of the book are set in Sweden an area of the world I love and this setting was really bought to life by the author.

The characters in the novel were all really well developed and the insights into the antagonists minds were particularly disturbing and really helped build the tension in the story. My only criticism of the novel if it is one is that the 2 main protagonists have a big change in relationship at the end of the novel which isn’t particularly well explained so I was left wondering how  that development had happened. I’m sure if I go onto read more in the series this would be explained though and it didn’t detract from the book for me.

The novel has a slow start and seems to move through the story at a relatively gentle pace for the sheer terribleness of the crimes that occur, although this to me is what I’ve come to expect from novels set in Scandanavia, although the author is French. I felt that the pace of the novel was fine and was really in keeping with the story.

This is a new author for me and one I would definitely read again a 5* read for me.

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The Spy who chipped the china teacup

Angie Smith is an author I deeply admire for the sheer intelligence of her writing she can weave so many different threads together in a story it melts my brain. So I was over the moon when she was signed to Bloodhound books with a rerelease of the spy who chipped the china teacup.

Without further ado here’s the plot summary:

Arms dealing. Murder. Corruption. 

In Africa, Taylor Hudson reaches the stark realisation that she is in imminent danger.

Time is nearly up when, out of nowhere, she is thrown a lifeline.  Left with little option, she places her trust in a complete stranger. But who is this stranger and why the interest in saving her?

The answers lie 6,000 miles away, deep inside the British Secret Intelligence Service, where a former, disgraced, senior officer is attempting to work his way back into the heart of the organisation. But what are his real intentions?

What ensues is a deadly game of bluff, double-bluff and triple-bluff.

Can The China Teacup survive this time?

My thoughts:

I was privileged enough to read an early copy of this book and it has a lot to recommend it. For fans of Angie’s thrilling CXVI trilogy you meet up with old friends and meet new characters you will love to hate. If you are new to Angie’s writing then this can easily be read as a standalone.

This is an all action thriller with plenty of twists and turns, like i said in my point above I am in awe at how Angie deftly weaves all these threads together whilst maintaining an interesting story. The characters are really well developed and have so many shades of grey, that you’re not always sure who you should be rooting for or against. But above all in a thriller where action is key the characters don’t lose out they still seem to be very real people which is one of the key things that for me makes the novel stand head and shoulders above its competition.

I genuinely thought spy novels weren’t my thing until I discovered this series and I am a serious fangirl of Angie Smith now. There is also plenty of Angie’s trademark quirky humour throughout that lightens the moments as there are some quite dark scenes, this is not one for the fainthearted to read. However it is a gripping read in one sitting type of novel.

Angie smith for me is one of the best spy/high octane thriller writers out there, and I cannot recommend this novel enough, A 5*++++++ read for me.

 

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Bad sons by Oliver tidy

Today I’m on the blog tour for a rerelease of possibly my favourite of mr Oliver tidy’s series. Bad sons is the first in the series of Booker and Cash novels. the novel is about:

David Booker returns to Romney Marsh on the south coast of England for a holiday. He is expecting to spend time helping his aunt and uncle pack up the stock of their second-hand bookshop in preparation for a happy retirement.

He arrives in Dymchurch on a miserable April night to find his relatives missing without word or clue regarding their whereabouts. As events unravel, the outlook of the local police pushes Booker to search for his own answers to the questions surrounding his family’s disappearance.

To unravel the mystery he will have to put himself in danger.

Will Booker find the answers he needs and make it out alive?

My thoughts:

This novel features my ideal life living in a bookstore/coffee shop and solving mysteries. Booker and cash as protagonists are both flawed but yet immensely realistic and likeable people Throughout this novel you encounter Oliver’s trademark wit, which makes the reading experience all the more enjoyable.

I enjoyed the cosy crime aspect to this novel and the fact that again we have two characters solving a mystery who are slightly different to your typical crime protagonists.

I have often wondered considering the authors origins if this novel might be a little autobiographical in places. Throughout the story you find yourself being drawn to the areas of romney marsh and dymchurch almost like they are also characters in the book.

There is plenty of plot twists and turns and enough chills and thrills to keep most readers entertained. I have long been a fan of Oliver’s because I like my novels to be well written, with a little bit of wit and full of interesting characters and these are things Oliver delivers in Spades. Booker and cash are fascinating and receive a solid 5* from me, although I may be drawing my pension before he finally releases the next in the series.

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Guilty Innocence by Maggie James

Today I have the great honour of being part of the blog tour for Maggie James’s novel Guilty Innocence, in its new rereleased form from Bloodhound books.

The novel is about:

When Natalie snoops through her boyfriend Mark’s possessions she finds more than she bargained for. Mark was once convicted of a brutal killing. Heartbroken by what she has discovered, Natalie’s dreams of a future with him collapse.

However, Mark was not the only person sentenced for the murder of two-year-old Abby Morgan. His former friend, the violent and twisted Adam Campbell, was also convicted and Adam knows more about the murder than he will admit.

When circumstances thrust Mark back in contact with Adam, the past comes back to haunt him. Can Mark ever break free from Adam? Will the truth ever come out?

My thoughts:

I always love Maggie’s style of writing, she’s not afraid to go to dark places and explores crime noir fiction in a really interesting way. However there were points especially at the start where I found this novel uncomfortable reading especially with it’s parallels to real life. It is genuinely worth sticking with though because she moves the story on and makes you think about events in a whole new light. Maggie is a genius at creating characters that you start out despising and then showing you new facets of their personalities as the story develops.

I can think of few other writers that handles these topics as well as Maggie James she is a shining example of all that is good about UK crime fiction and a real must read for fans of books like the Widow. These are refreshingly different crime reads that never feature policemen or PI’s as their lead characters and that for me makes them all the more interesting. If i could give this book more than 5* I would, Maggie James is an author who never lets you down.

Follow Maggie At

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/mjamesfiction

Goodreads Author Page: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/828751.Maggie_James

Blog: http://www.maggiejamesfiction.com/blog

Website: http://www.maggiejamesfiction.com

 

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Watch you burn blog tour

Today I’m on the watch you burn blog tour, I’ve been following KA richardson since her first short story came out last year, and I have been a fan since then, Watch you burn had a lot of promise by me its by one of my favourite authors and its about fire – books and fire are 2 of my favourite things. Here’s what the story is about:

Someone is breaking into Fire Investigator, Edina Blaze’s, home and leaving deadly messages. When Glen Peacock is burned alive, she has to put her own problems aside and attend the location with Crime Scene Manager, Kevin Lang.

As the body count rises, Edina’s sister Heather becomes involved. Is it her setting these gruesome fires? Or is she a target too?

Kevin has seen it all in his years on the force, but when a young girl is found burnt to dead, even he is shocked.

Who is taking pleasure in watching people burn? Why are they doing it? And will they be caught?

DI Alistair McKay and the team from North East Police have to work quickly to stop the killer, before they all end up in flames.

My thoughts:

KA is fantastic at developing characters and bringing back old favourites in this loosely connected series. This story is quite dark in places and has some unexpected twists that keep you guessing. However I don’t feel that for me this is as strong a Novel as KA’s previous works that said Edina was a fantastic new character and I as always enjoyed the refreshing hints of romance that you get in these books, they make the novels stand out. This is not a novel for the fainthearted some of the deaths are quite gruesome and detailed. The novel also addresses the very important issues of stalking, bullying and domestic abuse. Never one to shy away from a contentious issue, KA handles these thorny subject with great delicacy and makes you think about peoples actions and the affect they have on their victims. This is the standout feature of this novel for me and I look forward to reading more from the author. Watch you burn is a solid 4* read for me.

 

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The Note by Andy Barrett

I am honoured to be kicking off the blog tour for Andy Barrett’s new novella the Note.

It features everybody’s favourite CSI Eddie Collins – I’m Eddie Collins, a CSI.
Ever had that feeling of being watched but when you turn around no one’s there?
I did.
It was raining, and I was working a murder scene around midnight when that prickle ran up my spine. If I’d listened to that feeling, if I’d thought back to my past, maybe I could have prevented the terror that was to come.
Back at the office, I found a death threat on my desk.
I had no idea who sent it, and I didn’t know why they wanted to kill me.
But I was about to find out.

I love the character of Eddie – he takes no prisoners and doesn’t set out to be liked – I think there is a little bit if Eddie in all of us wanting to get out. I love his disrespect of people who mess around his crime scene. This novella packs a lot into a short story.

Andy Barrett does another sterling job of bringing Leeds to life and showing you the darker seedier side of the city, he packs more into a novella than some authors do into a whole book. This is a fast paced all twists and turns kind of story, but doesn’t shy away from building the characters at the same time. The antagonist in this is fascinating and I do hope we might hear more about them – Eddie does seem to have a real talent at upsetting the wrong people.

I could not put this story down in short it packs every punch you want from a crime novella – If you haven’t absorbed yourself in the world of Eddie Collins yet what have you been doing with your life.

I love this authors dark humour, many crime books are dark but the best use a dark humour to alleviate the tension, there is humour aplenty in these books and to me its what makes them such a knockout read.

The note has cemented Andrew Barrett as one of my all time favourite crime authors, this is stellar 5* read – and it is available for purchase on the 5th May.

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