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Taken Before Dawn, by B. R. Spangler

Taken Before Dawn book cover

One of their team goes missing and then a body is discovered. Detective Casey White’s latest case takes her back to murders from 10 years ago. Could the Midnight Killer really be back?
Taken Before Dawn is the 7th book in the Casey White detective series, set in the US.
Assistant medical examiner Samantha vanishes after a night out and Casey fears the worst when a body is discovered. The injuries on the body instantly remind Casey of a series of murders from a decade earlier so she heads to her old office to dig out the case files and reconnect with former colleagues. She hasn’t forgotten the killer and he hasn’t forgotten her either…
The pace is fast as the plot quickly develops. Casey’s investigation puts her into direct danger and the first person narrative makes the urgency and fear spring to life vividly. There are some forensic details but they are not extreme, and some violence which is relevant to the plot and appropriate to the genre.
This book would work as a standalone but there are continuations of personal plot threads from previous books such as Casey’s search for her kidnapped child and her relationship with Jericho.
Taken Before Dawn is a gripping detective and serial killer thriller.
I have previously reviewed The Innocent Girls, Saltwater Graves, The Crying House, and The Lighthouse Girls by B.R. Spangler.

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Media Kit:
Title: Taken Before Dawn
Author:  BR Spangler
The early morning light illuminates the girl’s ivory skin. Little cuts are carved into her cheeks—one under each eye. But her body is still. The perfectly round wound above her heart has stopped it beating forever…
When Detective Casey White is called to a murder scene on an empty stretch of coastal road, her whole team is in a panic. Could the body be their missing colleague Samantha? The promising investigator was last seen two days ago, going home after an evening of dancing with friends. Her family are beside themselves with worry.
Casey’s relief is short-lived when she sees the short dark hair of another woman. Pauline Rydel has been missing for a week. Devastated that anyone would take this innocent life, and terrified Samantha will be next, the tear-shaped cuts on the victim’s face make Casey’s heart stop. She’s seen these marks before…
On one of her very first cases a murderer known as the Midnight Killer stole young women in the darkest hours, kept them alive for seven days, and abandoned their bodies at dawn. Casey was seconds away from catching him when she made a deadly mistake that’s haunted her ever since. After all these years, is he back?
Knowing every second counts, Casey is pouring over forensics when another body is found. This time, markings on the back of the victim’s neck spell out Casey’s name.
With everyone in this small community scared for their daughters’ lives, Casey must face up to the past in her most personal case yet. But even if she sacrifices herself, will it be too late to save one of her own?
An utterly addictive thriller that fans of Kendra Elliot, Lisa Regan and A.J. Rivers won’t be able to put down!
Author Bio:
B.R. Spangler is a USA TODAY Bestselling Author of Mysteries and Crime Thrillers.
A resident of Virginia with a wonderful family, including five cats, two birds and a lizard. During the day, the hours are filled with engineering work. Off hours, time is spent writing, editing, and thinking up the next great story.
With too many stories to write, books are split across pen names, writing crime thrillers, science fiction, horrors, paranormal and contemporary fiction.
To keep up to date, sign up for the BRSpangler newsletter by copying and pasting this link into a browser: https://brspangler.com/sign-up. No spam will ever get sent, just some random musings or a heads up on when the next book is published.
Author Social Media Links:
To keep up to date, sign up for his newsletter by copying and pasting this link into your browser: https://brspangler.com/sign-up/
TWITTER: https://twitter.com/BR_Spangler
FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/authorbrianspangler/
Bookouture Email Sign Up: https://www.bookouture.com/br-spangler

#Project365 2022 week 38

Day 262: a cold misty river run to kick off the weekend. It was quite spooky!

Day 263: Anya turned 10!

Day 264: a bank holiday that sharply contrasted with the joy of the jubilee a few months ago. The Queen arrived at her final resting place at her home of Windsor, to sleep eternally with her beloved husband and parents.

Day 265: she might only be in Year 5 but I took her to the secondary school open evening so she could get a feel for the place

Day 266: random midweek baking and my lemon and blueberry cake was delicious (vegan and gluten free of course)

Day 267: I really didn’t want to get out of bed but forced myself. It was another sunrise run and the crescent moon was there too

Day 268: Zach was so thrilled to get his animal friend badge at Beavers

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The Foster Family, by Nicole Trope

The Foster Family book cover
TRIGGER WARNING: child and domestic abuse
Five year old Joe goes missing from his vacation home where he is staying with his foster parents Elizabeth and Howard. Has he run away, been snatched or has there been a terrible accident or deliberate attack?
The Foster Family is a psychological thriller set in Australia. The book is written in the present day as well as the recent past to show the weeks leading up to Joe’s disappearance. There are also some parts which show a man taking care of an injured teen but how this relates to the main plot unfolds over the course of the book.
The family are hiding an simmering atmosphere of abuse. The perfect facade covers for Howard’s cruel behaviour. His abuse of his wife and son are awful, especially when you consider the terrible life that poor little Joe has already endured. Lies hamper the investigation into where and why Joe has gone. Elizabeth is too scared to tell the truth but her love for Joe could make her brave.
I was really affected by elderly neighbour Gordon’s chapters as his mental deterioration was heartbreaking to read. There were subtle little touches such as his list and repetitive thoughts. His confusion was so believeable which made his character felt authentic.
The Foster Family is a carefully balanced thriller with a wonderful mystery combined with emotional elements as well as serious social issues.
I have previously reviewed a number of Nicole Trope’s books including: The Step Child, The Mother’s FaultBring Him HomeThe Girl Who Never Came HomeThe Life She Left BehindThe Nowhere GirlThe Boy in the PhotoMy Daughter’s Secret, and The Family Across the Street.

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The Foster Family: A totally unputdownable and heart-pounding psychological thriller by Nicole Trope
In their holiday home, a stone’s throw from the beach, Elizabeth dials the police with trembling hands. ‘My little boy, he’s missing.’
Elizabeth is Joe’s foster mother, but she loves him like her own. The five-year-old, who adores superheroes and watching the birds outside, is the child she has dreamed of. As she looks into the garden, where he was playing just moments ago, her heart feels like it has been ripped from her chest.
She was meant to save Joe from his birth mother who almost harmed his chances at life. The woman who has been trying to desperately get him back.
She was meant to protect Joe from her husband. The man who, right now, lies to the police, saying he was making breakfast when Joe disappeared. Who squeezes her shoulder, ordering her to be quiet.
She was meant to look after Joe. They are just footsteps from the ocean, and little Joe can’t swim.
Then Joe’s tiny blue sandal is found in the water. If the worst has happened – the unimaginable – Elizabeth will never forgive herself. Because what if the secret she has been keeping for years, the guilt eating her alive, has somehow hurt her little boy?
It’s time to tell the truth – even if it means losing the child who is her whole world. Even if it could be the death of her.
A totally addictive, twist-packed psychological thriller about family secrets, a marriage on the edge, and the deadly line between love and hate. Perfect for fans of Lisa Jewell, Liane Moriarty and Freida McFadden.
About the author
Nicole Trope went to university to study Law but realised the error of her ways when she did very badly on her first law essay because-as her professor pointed out- ‘It’s not meant to be a story.’ She studied teaching instead and used her holidays to work on her writing career and complete a Masters’ degree in Children’s Literature.
The idea for her first published novel, The Boy under the Table, was so scary that it took a year for her to find the courage to write the emotional story. She went on to publish a further five novels in Australia before joining Bookouture in 2019. She is a USA Today and Amazon bestseller in the USA, UK, AUS and CAN.
Nicole lives in Sydney with her husband and three children.
Author social media
Facebook: @NicoleTrope
Twitter: @nicoletrope
Author email sign up: https://www.bookouture.com/nicole-trope
Buy links:
Amazon: https://geni.us/B0B61KQW53social
Apple: https://geo.itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-foster-family/id6443122765?itsct=books_toolbox&itscg=30200&at=1010lnPy&ct=B0B61KQW53-social-media-&ls=1
Kobo: https://www.kobobooks.com/search/search.html?q=9781803144795
Google: https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=Ot15EAAAQBAJ

The Stolen Child, by Emily Shiner

The Stolen Child book cover

Eliza is a blogger on the brink of a huge career. But she has a secret, and super fan Bethany threatens to reveal it to the world…
The Stolen Child is a psychological thriller set in America in the present day.
We are shown alternative viewpoints in the first person of both Eliza and Bethany. Eliza has tried to do the right thing so we immediately ally with her. Bethany seems to have mental health problems which lead to an obsession. Her reasoning makes sense but she goes beyond the norm.
I was fascinated by the premise of the book. So much of our lives is on social media so we seem to know others through what they post. We know from the prologue what Eliza’s secret is and due to the honourability of it we side with her. However, the fact that she keeps it hidden shows that she knows how it would be viewed. Bethany has a skewed viewpoint and her desperation is very sad and deluded, yet becomes increasingly dangerous.
I enjoyed the alternating viewpoints for giving us such specific insight into the main characters. Eliza’s moral dilemma and Bethany’s behaviour are interesting as they unfold and the tension grows as the plot develops. The danger and power balance between the pair continually shifts over the course of the book.
The Stolen Child is an entertaining psychological thriller.
I have previously reviewed The Caretaker, Her Perfect Life, and The Secret Wife by Emily Shiner.

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Buy Link  – https://geni.us/9mpLhU
Book Blurb
She has hundreds of adoring fans. Only one wants to be her best friend.
Eliza has the perfect life. A beautiful home, a hugely successful blog, a loving husband and two adorable children.
Bethany barely scrapes by in a dead-end job. Her only happiness comes from reading Eliza’s blog. Obsessed with her, she believes they’re destined to be best friends.
But Eliza doesn’t want another friend . . . especially one as pushy as Bethany. Because Eliza is hiding a family secret. One that would shatter her entire world if it was ever revealed.
Rejected and furious, Bethany starts stalking Eliza. And, as she watches her every move, Bethany discovers Eliza’s secret and threatens to expose it.
But Eliza will do whatever it takes to protect her perfect life. Even if it means getting rid of Bethany . . . forever.
The Stolen Child – the gripping psychological thriller from the best-selling author of The Secret Wife and Her Perfect Life.
Author Bio
Emily Shiner always dreamed of becoming an author but first served her time as a banker and a teacher. After a lifetime of devouring stacks of thrillers, she decided to try her hand at writing them herself. Now she gets to live out her dream of writing novels and sharing her stories with people around the world. She lives in the Appalachian Mountains and loves hiking with her husband, daughter, and their two dogs.
Follow her at:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authoremilyshiner
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authoremilyshiner/


When We Were Innocent, by Kate Hewitt

When We Were Innocent book cover
TRIGGER WARNING: Nazi atrocities
Libby needs to re-evaluate her whole life when her 96 year old father is accused of being a Nazi war criminal. She starts from a position of denial but can’t challenge the evidence. How will her family survive this shocking revelation?
When We Were Innocent is a dual timeline book showing the present day in America and WW2 Germany/Sobibor.
I was completely gripped by this book. The premise is fascinating as a man, gentle and well loved, is accused of the worst of crimes. Libby is certain that her father could never be complicit in genocide but the evidence suggests the contrary. Her family is torn apart but the allegations yet her father remains silent and doesn’t deny or admit the charges.
Meanwhile we are shown Hans’ experience of the Sobibor extermination camp. His naivety at the function of the camp and the gradual shocking realisation is tragic. Hans is sickened by what he witnesses but tries to block it out due to fearing for his own safety and that of his sister.
The ethical and moral side to both timelines is fascinating and makes the reader wonder how they would cope in the same circumstances. Emotions are thoroughly explored and described which brings the characters and events to life. It is difficult to reconcile the image of the young or old Hans with the specific crime he is accused of and this builds tension as the book progresses.
When We Were Innocent is just such a good book. The plot and characters were absolutely perfect and I couldn’t put the book down!
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Book Description:
You love your father with all your heart. But what if he’s not who you think he is? What if he’s kept an unforgiveable secret from you his whole life?
Libby Trent believes she knows the difference between right and wrong.
But everything changes when she finds out about a man named Hans Brenner, a Nazi who escaped Germany after the Second World War. A war criminal who has lived his whole life in hiding.
Because the man suspected of being Hans Brenner is Libby’s own beloved father.
The sweetest, gentlest man she knows. Who raised her alone, who lives in her family home. Who cares for and watches over Libby’s own children.
When Libby finds a secret box in her father’s bedroom, she knows it might contain evidence. But does she dare open it, if it could prove her father guilty of the most heinous crimes in history?
Because if she finds evidence, she won’t just have to choose between right and wrong, she’ll have to choose whether to betray her own father…
A totally heartbreaking and powerful story about a daughter’s impossible dilemma and the darkest of family secrets, perfect for fans of Jodi Picoult, Amanda Prowse, and Diane Chamberlain.
Author Bio:
Kate Hewitt is the author of many romance and women’s fiction novels. A former New Yorker and now an American ex-pat, she lives in a small town on the Welsh border with her husband, five children, and their overly affectionate Golden Retriever. Whatever the genre, she enjoys telling stories that tackle real issues and touch people’s lives.
Sign up to be the first to hear about new releases from Kate Hewitt here: https://www.bookouture.com/kate-hewitt
Buy Link:
Amazon: https://geni.us/B0B786FXF4social
Audio Links:
UK: zpr.io/TAXdMfYRARci
US: zpr.io/nRGPdbuwdfUP
Listen to a sample here:
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