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The Deadly Houses, by Charlie Gallagher

The Deadly Houses book cover

TRIGGER WARNING: this book deals with domestic abuse and child murder
A truly shocking case for DS Maddie Ives as a woman is found dead and a man claims responsibility but she has her doubts about the truthfulness of his confession. Meanwhile others are psychologically tortured to coerce them into getting secret police and social worker documents: abuse victims that have been rehomed for their safety but are now back in danger…
The professional working relationships of the police are fraught due to events in the last book (there are spoilers so beware!) Maddie has gone from one secret romance to another whilst having an antagonistic relationship with her new boss.
I’ll admit that The Deadly Houses was a difficult book to enjoy due to the disturbing nature and intensity of the case. It is incredibly well written and I felt myself completely sucked into the plot and emotionally connected with the characters and the terrible circumstances they face.
The action is fast paced and relentlessly good. There is a mystery at the beginning as to why such awful things are happening and who is responsible. The drama is intense and believable, with terrible dilemmas that the characters face which make us as readers question what we would do in their place. The final chapters are truly horrific and devastating to read but utterly brilliant.
Overall, The Deadly Houses is an excellently dark and gritty police thriller.
I have previously reviewed books 4 and 5 in the series: He Knows Your Secrets and He Will Get You.

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Deadly Houses (Maddie Ives #6) by Charlie Gallagher
Discover the hottest crime thriller this summer.
THEY LOST THEIR FAMILIES, NOW THEY’RE COMING FOR YOURS
Four brutal men destroyed their own families. And they will do anything to get them back.
Detective Maddie Ives won’t let that happen.
She works with the people who will keep them safe. But then the team protecting them begin to be hunted down.
The social worker leading the case is found beaten and suffocated. A man turns himself in claiming to be the killer, but Maddie knows he’s lying.
FEAR WILL MAKE YOU DO THE UNIMAGINABLE
Three more victims are under pressure. If they fail, their families will die.
Detective Maddie Ives faces a heart-pounding race against time to connect the crimes. And she calls in Harry Blaker, still grieving the loss of his own daughter, to help.
YOU’RE NOT EVEN SAFE IN YOUR OWN HOUSE
Perfect for fans of Kimberley Chambers, Angela Marsons, Rachel Abbott, Patricia Gibney or Mark Billingham.
DON’T MISS THE MOST GRIPPING THRILLER YOU’LL READ THIS YEAR!
PRAISE FOR CHARLIE GALLAGHER
“An exceptional thriller with a truly evil antagonist, this is a book that is nigh on impossible to put down.” Lou
“This is a brilliant read.” Billie
Riveting crime fiction with twists and turns that make this a real page-turner.” Linda
“I haven’t come across such an evil, warped-minded villain for a long, long time.” Sarah
“I think this is the best yet — fantastic read from start to finish.” Nerys
“This is a truly sensational thriller that’s impossible to put down.”
“As the story hurtled towards its devastating denouement, I was caught totally by surprise at what happened.”
THE AUTHOR
Charlie Gallagher has been a serving UK police officer for more than ten years. During that time he has had many roles, starting as a front-line response officer, then a member of a specialist tactical team and is currently a detective investigating serious offences.
ALSO BY CHARLIE GALLAGHER
MADDIE IVES
Book 1: HE IS WATCHING YOU
Book 2: HE WILL KILL YOU
Book 3: HE WILL FIND YOU
Book 4: HE KNOWS YOUR SECRETS
Book 5: HE WILL GET YOU
Book 6: THE DEADLY HOUSES
GEORGE ELMS, LANGTHORNE SERIES
Book 1: BODILY HARM
Book 2: PANIC BUTTON
Book 3: BLOOD MONEY
Book 4: END GAME
Book 5: MISSING
Book 6: THEN SHE RAN
Book 7: HER LAST BREATH
STANDALONE
RUTHLESS
LINKS
Website:   https://www.writercharliegallagher.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/writercharliegallagher
Twitter:     @gloriouscharlie


Good Neighbours, by Mary Grand

Good Neighbours book cover
Nia travels to the Isle of Wight to housesit for her aunt. She moves into a close knit community but notices that the perfect neighbourhood is based on secrets…
Good Neighbours is a psychological thriller set on the Isle of Wight.
The book starts with the creation of a voodoo doll which sets the sinister tone for the plot. Nia’s aunt has had to go abroad suddenly and asked her to housesit. We are introduced to Nia and I felt immediately unsettled by her descriptions of how she behaves and dresses to appease her husband. I had the uncomfortable feeling that she was hiding something about her relationship and I was right!
The neighbours all seem very friendly, perhaps TOO friendly, and Nia starts to suspect that there are secrets. Then someone is found dead and the dark undercurrents become more prominent. The supernatural element of the voodoo doll and the religious cult that features add an extra dimension to the plot and the uneasy atmosphere.
I really liked Nia’s character and enjoyed seeing her emerge from her husband’s shadow as the book progressed. She grows in confidence and this allows her to investigate the death of her friend even though she could be putting herself in danger.
Good Neighbours is an entertaining and atmospheric psychological thriller.

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Good Neighbours
It was meant to be a safe place to start again…
In need of an escape from her failing marriage, Nia agrees to house-sit her aunt’s cottage on the Isle of Wight. She feels sure the cosy close in a quaint harbour town will be a safe place to hide and figure out what to do next.
But things are not all as they seem in the close, and the neighbours who welcome her with open arms, are keeping secrets. When Nia finds the body of one of her new friends lying on the beach, she feels sickeningly sure that the killer is dangerously near to home.
Who killed her friend and why did she have to die? And if Nia discovers the answers she’s looking for, is she next on their hit list? Good neighbours may become good friends, but they can also make deadly enemies…
Purchase Link – https://amzn.to/3pyRFpO
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Author Bio –
Mary Grand is the author of five novels and writes gripping, page-turning suspense,
with a dark and often murderous underside. She grew up in Wales, was for many years
a teacher of deaf children and now lives on the Isle of Wight where her novel,
The House Party, which was published by Boldwood in July 2020, is set.
Social Media Links –
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/authormarygrand
Twitter https://twitter.com/authormaryg
Instagram https://www.instagram.com/marygrandwriter/
Newsletter Sign Up: https://bit.ly/MaryGrandNews

The Ash Lake Murders, by Helen H. Durrant

 

The Ash Lake Murders book cover

 

A serial killer is on the loose, attacking people at a lakeside retreat. DCI Alice Rossi is called in to investigate when it becomes clear that the perpetrator is the Mad Hatter killer who has been her nemesis for a number of murders. Now the Mad Hatter openly declares that Alice will be among the next victims…
The Ash Lake Murders is the first book in a new series featuring DCI Alice Rossi. There seems to be an established history with the Mad Hatter killer but we are caught up on enough detail to make this completely gripping.
The book begins with Callum being held by a mystery woman. She kills hims and disposes of his body with a mind to revealing a previous murder. I was instantly engaged with the plot and interested by the female serial killer. We then meet Alice who seems like a nice person so I wanted to know why the Mad Hatter has a vendetta agains her.
The plot kept me guessing and the pace is quite fast. Tension is maintained and our dread that something might happen to Alice is cleverly created and sustained. The author shows us the emotion of the murder victims’ families as they wait for news but also Alice as she struggles to cope with reminders of her abusive ex.
The Ash Lake Murders was a gripping detective murder mystery and a great start to a new series. I can’t wait for the next book!

 

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The Ash Lake Murders
 
MEET DETECTIVE ALICE ROSSI IN THIS BRILLIANT NEW CRIME SERIES.
A brand-new mystery from #1 bestselling author Helen H. Durrant that will have you gripped from start to explosive finish.
A female serial killer with a deadly agenda. The detective who must stop her. Luxury holiday lodges in the stunning Peak District. The game begins . . .
Callum is lured to an isolated boathouse by an attractive older woman. When she gets him alone, she knocks him out with a single blow. As he wakes up, her voice comes out of the darkness, “You’re a sprat to catch a mackerel.”
Surrounded by hills and lakes, Still Waters is home to a close-knit community of wealthy retirees. It’s an unlikely setting for violence. The police don’t take Callum’s disappearance seriously: he’s 24-years-old, after all. But Callum’s mother, a Still Waters resident, knows that something is very wrong.
Then a body is discovered floating in the lake. Head bashed in. But it’s not Callum.
And someone tweets: Come out to play one last time, Alice. Still Waters run deep. #MadHatter.
That’s when DCI Alice Rossi is called in. She’s back.
IT’S A CAT-AND-MOUSE GAME BETWEEN AN OBSESSED KILLER AND A DETERMINED DETECTIVE IN THIS GRIPPING MYSTERY FULL OF STUNNING TWISTS.
Perfect for fans of Angela Marsons, Rachel McLean, Joy Ellis, J.D. Kirk, Rachel Abbott, Elly Griffiths, J.M. Dalgliesh, Steph Broadribb or Patricia Gibney.
READERS LOVE HELEN H. DURRANT:
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ “Another first-class read from Helen H. Durrant.” Iain
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ “A satisfying and enjoyable read.” Carol S.
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ “Wow . . . this will keep you on the edge of your seat. Brilliant story from this author.” Booklover Bev
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ “Loved it. Read it in one sitting.” Aileen G.
THE DETECTIVE
DCI Alice Rossi of Greater Manchester’s Serious Crime Squad has served with the police for the past twenty-nine years. Since the death of her husband, Paul, six years ago, she has lived alone in a large, three-storey Edwardian terrace on the outskirts of Manchester. Her grown-up son lives in Edinburgh with his family. Alice is about to retire — but she’s not looking forward to it. Since her husband died, work has been her mainstay, not because she misses Paul — he was a bad man — but because it keeps her dark thoughts at bay.

 

 

ALSO BY HELEN H. DURRANT
DETECTIVE ALICE ROSSI
Book 1: THE ASH LAKE MURDERS
DETECTIVE RACHEL KING
Book 1: NEXT VICTIM
Book 2: TWO VICTIMS
Book 3: WRONG VICTIM
Book 4: FORGOTTEN VICTIM
Book 5: LAST VICTIM
THE CALLADINE & BAYLISS MYSTERY SERIES
Book 1: DEAD WRONG
Book 2: DEAD SILENT
Book 3: DEAD LIST
Book 4: DEAD LOST
Book 5: DEAD & BURIED
Book 6: DEAD NASTY
Book 7: DEAD JEALOUS
Book 8: DEAD BAD
Book 9: DEAD GUILTY
Book 10: DEAD WICKED
Book 11: DEAD SORRY
THE DCI GRECO BOOKS
Book 1: DARK MURDER
Book 2: DARK HOUSES
Book 3: DARK TRADE
Book 4: DARK ANGEL
MATT BRINDLE
Book 1: HIS THIRD VICTIM
Book 2: THE OTHER VICTIM
DETECTIVES LENNOX & WILDE
Book 1: THE GUILTY MAN
Book 2: THE FACELESS MAN

 


Malice on the Island, by Stewart Giles

 

Malice on the Island book cover

Two feuding families on the island of Guernsey where the malice escalates. Property damage, violence and murder, leaving DI Liam O’Reilly with a complicated case with 200 years of animosity to unravel…
Malice on the Island is the fourth book in Stewart Giles’ DI O’Reilly series and the second that I have read. There are references to events in the previous book (which was BRILLIANT!) but no spoilers that would detract if you want to go back and read them from the beginning.
Liam is a great lead character and detective. He has begun a new relationship so is tentative in that in a way that contrasts wonderfully with his confidence and bravado as a police officer. He is also feeling awkward as his daughter continues a relationship with his least liked colleague. Plus there is the antagonistic relationship with his cat which adds a delightful touch of humour!
Dialogue between the characters feels natural and realistic, bringing both police and suspects to life. The style of writing overall in engaging which makes this book a real page turner.
The crimes in this book didn’t quite have the shock factor of those in the previous book. However, they were more grisly so I felt affected in a more emotional way. Bodies are covered in black paint and I guessed completely wrongly as to its significance. The plot held my interest throughout and I had a suspicion about the motive and culprit which were partially right.
Malice on the Island was a hugely enjoyable police procedural novel and I look forward to the next book in the seires.

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Malice on the Island (Detective Liam O’Reilly book 4)
A FEUDING FAMILY AND A DEADLY SECRET.
Nobody knows when it first started.
The tranquil island of Guernsey is suddenly besieged by a wave of malice. Shops are getting set alight, houses are being sprayed with paint and friends are no longer sure if their neighbours are who they thought they were.
When a woman is found dead, covered head to toe in paint outside a house covered in identical paint Detective Liam O’Reilly is brought into the midst. O’Reilly soon realises this is much more than a simple case of murder. And when more bodies are found O’Reilly starts to wonder if he made the right decision in coming to the Island.
This is a crime mystery you won’t want to miss.
Perfect for fans of Joy Ellis and LJ Ross.
BOOKS BY STEWART GILES
DS JASON SMITH SERIES
Book 0.5 – Phobia
1 – Smith
2 – Boomerang
3 – Ladybird
4 – Occam’s Razor
5 – Harlequin
6 – Selene
7 – Horsemen
8 – Unworthy
9 – Venom
10 – Severed
11 – Demons
12 – Deadeye
13 – Motive
14 – Australia
DI O’REILLY MYSTERIES
Book 1 – Blood on the Island
2 – Lies on the Island
3 – Fear on the Island
4 – Malice on the Island
DC HARRIET TAYLOR SERIES
Book 1-The Beekeeper
2-The Perfect Murder
3-The Backpacker
Trotterdown a box set of DC Harriet Taylor books 1-3
DS JASON SMITH &DC HARRIET TAYLOR SERIES
Book 1 – The Enigma
2 – Dropzone
3 – The Raven Girl
Trilogy: The DS Smith & Harriet Taylor box set
THE MIRANDA TRILOGY (psychological thrillers)
Miranda
Mistress
Medusa
STANDALONE HORROR
The Divide

 

 

author Stewart Giles

 

Stewart Giles – Author Bio

After reading English at 3 Universities and graduating from none of them, I set off travelling around the world with my wife, Ann, finally settling in South Africa, where we still live.
In 2014 Ann dropped a rather large speaker on my head and I came up with the idea for a detective series. DS Jason Smith was born. Smith, the first in the series was finished a few months later.
3 years and 8 DS Smith books later, Joffe Books wondered if I would be interested in working with them. As a self-published author, I agreed. However, we decided on a new series – the DC Harriet Taylor: Cornwall series.
The Beekeeper was published and soon hit the number one spot in Australia. The second in the series, The Perfect Murder did just as well.
I continued to self-publish the Smith series and Unworthy hit the shelves in 2018 with amazing results.  I therefore made the decision to self-publish The Backpacker which is book 3 in the Detective Harriet Taylor series which was published in July 2018.
After The Backpacker I had an idea for a totally new start to a series – a collaboration between the Smith and Harriet thrillers and The Enigma was born. It brings together the broody, enigmatic Jason Smith and the more level-headed Harriet Taylor.
Miranda is something totally different. A stand-alone psychological thriller, it is a real departure from anything else I’ve written before. This was followed by the sequel Mistress in 2019.  Medusa is coming soon
The Detective Jason Smith series continues to grow and there are now 13 books including the introduction: Phobia. Book 12: Deadeye was published in February 2020.
Website: www.stewartgiles.com
Twitter: @stewartgiles
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/stewart.giles.33

 


When The World Stood Still, by Kate Eastham

 

When The World Stood Still book cover

Trainee nurse Emily Burdon is working in a London hospital at the end of World War One. She dreams of peace and the safe return of her fiance Lewis who is fighting in France. But then the globe faces a new threat as the war ends but the far more deadly Spanish Flu is unleashed. Will Emily get her happy ending…?
When The World Stood Still is an historical drama and romance. The relationships between staff and patients as well as the medical detail is reminiscent to me of Holby City set 100 years ago. Highly dramatic and thoroughly enjoyable. My only criticism is that it was over too quickly and I felt the ending was a bit rushed. I want more! I’d love this to be continued in a sequel…
Emily is a determined young woman, passionate about her career but ready to give it up for love. She is dedicated to her career but also prepared to throw it away for family and love. She makes friends easily and is popular in her nursing team as well as amongst the patients.
Ooh I got angry with Lewis when he arrives back on the scene! We see chapters of him in France and he seemed a likeable chap but when he gets back to London there are secrets which I won’t spoil as well as the changes due to his experiences in the trenches.
The juxtaposition between the Spanish Flu and the current Coronavirus was hugely enjoyable. The protective measures and horrendous experiences in the wards is highly emotional and authentic, even more so given the current global situation. I thought the medical cases and WW1 experiences were handled sensitively but author Kate Eastham doesn’t pull any punches.
When The World Stood Still was hugely enjoyable, rich in history and drama.

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When The World Stood Still book description:
The nurses were putting in twelve-hour shifts now, day and night. Emily felt broken inside, dried out, not even capable of tears. They were short-staffed after a softly spoken Irish nurse, who’d only been with them for four days, had died from the deadly flu and two more had fallen ill. And more patients were coming in every hour, though the hospital beds were already full…
1918. Twenty-year-old Emily Burdon has been training as a nurse in London, learning on the job as she tends to patients from the crowded poorhouses that ring the hospital as well as wounded soldiers returning from the war. She pours her heart into her nursing while she waits for happier times – peace in Europe and the return of her childhood sweetheart Lewis from the Western Front.
But when the deadly Spanish Flu arrives in London on the heels of the war, Emily’s faith and courage are put to the test. All around her men and women in the prime of their lives are wasting away, and until a cure is found there is nothing for Emily and her colleagues to do except make them comfortable, treat them as best they can… and, eventually, ease the pain of their passing.
But then Lewis catches the deadly flu himself on his way back home, just as a new doctor is transferred to head up Emily’s ward. From the distant land of Prince Edward Island in Canada, Dr James Cantor is the first of a generations-old farming family to have left the island, and wartime London feels a long way away from the rugged beauty of his homeland. But despite their differences, he and Emily find common ground in their passion for helping patients and stopping the spread of the disease. But with life forever changed around her and Lewis’ future hanging by a thread, can Emily survive the most terrible epidemic in the history with her life – and heart – intact?
A heartbreaking historical novel based on true history – emotional and unforgettable. Perfect for fans of Jean Grainger, The Beantown Girls and Diney Costeloe.
author Kate EasthamAuthor Bio:
A change in circumstance meant Kate Eastham made the shift from a career in nursing to being a carer for her partner. Determined to make the most of this new role ‘working from home’ and inspired by an in-depth study of the origins of nursing, she wrote her first novel at the kitchen table. Miss Nightingale’s Nurses was published by Penguin in 2018, closely followed by three more in the series. With her passion for history, Kate aims to make visible the lives of ordinary yet extraordinary women from the past. Her current historical fiction is set during the World Wars and will be published by Bookouture.
https://twitter.com/eastham_kate
Buy Link:
Amazon: https://bit.ly/2ZkWWn7