My very own website!!! Yikes!

Silent Crimes, by Michael Hambling


Somehow the previous 7 books in this series had escaped my notice (I blame the kids as I gave up reading due to lack of time and am now rediscovering my passion as I try to inspire them to love books too). Book number 8 Silent Crimes works perfectly as a stand alone book and I actually didn’t realise there were previous books until information at the end of the book lists them.
DCI Sophie Allen’s daughter Jade discovers the body of a local tramp who she had befriended and fed. It becomes clear that Paul Prentice had left the world behind in order to escape his past. He was a member of a commune over a decade ago; internal politics, rifts and relationships had led to the disappearance of the owner Katie and then the disintegration of the commune.
Allen liaises with other police forces to pursue the investigation and secrets begin to unravel…
Michael Hambling has created a storng female lead but in this book she is very understated. There are little touches of description from her daughter and colleagues that possibly hint to a more dominant personality than is explored in this book but may be present in the preceding ones.
There is little violence or graphic forensic detail in this book: the focus is very much on the police investigation. At one point Rae discusses her boyfriend’s love of police novels and TV shows,  laughing at their hype and stereotypes which are rarely representative of real police work.
The investigation concentrates in several directions as the current murder is connected to the disappearance of Katie and also linked to the attempted murder of another commune member. The perpetrator of the latter crime has just been released from prison and is intent on creating problems for his ‘enemies’ but did this include murdering Paul?
All of the loose ends are concluded by the end of the book and the full detail of the motive and culprit is not revealed until right at the end.
Silent Crimes is a very enjoyable police investigation novel. I liked the range of detective characters and now want to read the rest of the books in the series to see how their personalities, relationships and careers have progressed up until this case.


SILENT CRIMES (Detective Sophie Allen #8) by Michael Hambling
Looking for a gripping mystery by a best-selling author? Full of twists and turns, this crime thriller will keep you turning the pages until the satisfying conclusion.
Detective Sophie Allen’s daughter discovers the body of a reclusive tramp in remote woodland in Dorset. He’s been dead for a week.
Sophie and her team try to piece together something about his life, but progress is slow.
Then a hidden package is discovered near his rudimentary shelter. The police also find out that someone has been in the area asking about the tramp recently. A picture begins to emerge.
He was an important member of a commune that had a three-year existence on a farm on the Quantock Hills in Somerset more than decade earlier.
Discover the truth in this captivating crime mystery.
If you like Angela Marsons, Rachel Abbott, Colin Dexter, Ruth Rendell, or Mark Billingham you will be gripped by this exciting new crime fiction writer.
SILENT CRIMES is book eight of a new series of crime thrillers featuring Sophie Allen, head of the Violent Crime Unit in Dorset.
DCI Sophie Allen is Dorset’s acknowledged expert on murder and violent crime. She is 42 as the series starts, and lives with her husband and younger daughter in Wareham. Her elder daughter is studying in London. Sophie has a law degree and a master’s in criminal psychology. Her brilliant mind conceals some dark secrets from her past.
DS Barry Marsh is based at Swanage police station. He’s quiet, methodical and dedicated, the perfect foil for Sophie’s hidden fragility.
Dorset. A beautiful English county which includes a stunning section of the coastline, but whose beauty belies darkness beneath the surface.
Join the Joffe Books mailing list to hear about the next book in the series.



Michael Hambling – author bio
Like many writers, I have been a keen reader all of my life. I remember one day as a nine year old in the summer holidays, when I visited the local library four times in one day because a child’s ticket only allowed one book out at a time! I can even remember the plot of one book, a story about a boy taking up fly-fishing, read while sitting outside in a sunny back garden in Bristol.
I live in the west-country, in the beautiful cathedral city of Salisbury, although I set my novels in the neighbouring county of Dorset. We own a lovely flat in the small Dorset coastal town of Swanage, and spend a lot of time there, walking the famous Jurassic Coast world heritage site.. The early novels in the series are based on the Isle of Purbeck, one of the UK’s most beautiful coastal regions. But the rest of the county of Dorset does get a look in, and there are scenes set in other locations in the central south of England.
I write because I constantly create scenes, people, imaginary conversations and unusual situations in my head. I have always done so, ever since I was a child. Using the richness of the English language to set down these creations in words is a great joy. Maybe by the time I’ve edited a passage for the umpteenth time it’s beginning to lose some of its sparkle for me, but I do believe in reshaping and polishing until it’s as good as I can make it. It then becomes something about which I can feel some justifiable pride.
Who are my own favourite writers? Hilary Mantel, of course. Not just the the recent Thomas Cromwell novels, but the brilliant and sly characterisation of Beyond Black.
Doris Lessing has written some startlingly original stories over many years. I’m also a great fan of David Mitchell. He shows great creativity in all of his novels.
Philip Pullman has written many books of startling originality, full of imaginative ideas. Not just the Lara series, but the earlier Sally Lockhart novels. One of my sons bought me La Belle Sauvage (volume one of the Book of Dust trilogy) for Christmas. I loved it, so much so that I’ve already re-read it a month later, something very rare for me. Wonderful stuff.
Another author I’ve come to admire greatly is Charity Norman. She writes about families in crisis situations and how the problem is partly resolved. I came to her books with “The New Woman”, a novel that probes the problems created by gender variance. Her other novels are equally good. Her writing style is outstanding.
I’ve recently read “The Lovely Bones” by Alice Sebold and was bowled over by it. So much emotional punch and so well written. I’ll be packing her other novels to read on my forthcoming holiday.
In crime fiction I like Val McDiarmid’s work, Kate Atkinson’s Jackson Brodie novels and the books of Mo Hayder. I also enjoy Colin Dexter’s Morse and Ian Rankin’s Rebus novels.
I cannot compete with these greats, so I aim for something different. I hope that I have succeeded to some extent.
Website:  http://www.michaelhambling.co.uk
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/michaelhambling.author



Silent Island, by Dana Perry

Silent Island book cover


An eminent doctor and his family are brutally murdered with the exception of his eldest daughter. Abby Pearce leads the investigation, racing against time to uncover the killer and find the missing girl…
Silent Island is the second book to feature Abby as she adjusts to live away from New York. I have previously reviewed the first book in the series, Her Ocean Grave. However, this book could be read as a stand alone novel as there are no major spoilers about the crime in the previous book.
Abby is still haunted by the death of her former partner in New York. Her drinking is under control but her love life has stalled. She locks horns with her boss but has positive relationships with others in her team.
The book is written from Abby’s first person perspective so we view her internal struggles as well as follow the clues to catch the killer. We see her determination and dedication at work, whilst also seeing the personal side of her life which reveals her vulnerability.
The case itself appears straight forward at first but when Abby realises the daughter of the murdered family is missing, it adds a tension to the plot. Motive is key to these murders and Abby puts herself at risk when she decides that there may be a mob connection.
Silent Island is an enjoyable crime thriller novel and the lead detective Abby is carefully constructed to be flawed but easy to like.
I have also reviewed The Silent Victim and The Golden Girl by Dana Perry.

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Silent Island book description:
Nancy Lavelle lies still on the floor. With her eyes looking towards her children’s rooms, her hands are clasped in prayer, as if the last thing she wished for was her children to be saved…
When Detective Abby Pearce is called to the Beach House, a holiday home in the most affluent part of Martha’s Vineyard, she finds five bodies. An entire family has been killed in a frenzied attack… all except one. Fifteen-year-old Karin is the only survivor. Sitting in the house, surrounded by her family, she stares into the distance and doesn’t say a word.
When Karin’s grandparents fly in to take her home, Abby’s investigation takes a shocking turn. Taking one look at the traumatised girl, they recoil—the girl curled up in a hospital bed isn’t their granddaughter. So who is she? And where is the real Karin Lavelle?
Abby fears the missing girl is in serious danger, and with local residents worried that the killer is still on the island and the press questioning her every move, she’s under pressure to solve both crimes fast. But when she uncovers a link between Thomas Lavelle’s New York office and her previous job at the NYPD, she begins to fear that these brutal murders are a sign… and that she’s next. Can she find the killer before another life is taken, or is she walking into a trap?
This fast-paced thriller is perfect for fans of Lisa Regan, Kendra Elliot and Mary Burton, but be warned—you won’t want to put it down!
Author Bio:
Dana Perry is a New York City journalist and an author who writes mystery thrillers featuring Detective Abby Pearce on the island of Martha’s Vineyard (SILENT ISLAND, HER OCEAN GRAVE) and NYC newspaper reporter Jessie Tucker (THE GOLDEN GIRL, THE SILENT VICTIM).
Buy Links:
Amazon: https://bit.ly/3COcAt0
Apple: https://apple.co/2VcayCt
Kobo: https://bit.ly/376WGvX
Google: https://bit.ly/39IeCys

Silent Night, by Geraldine Hogan


Iris Locke is desperate to get out of the shadow of her high ranking but retired police officer father. She wants to join the murder team in the city but due to a collapsed case, she is relegated to the counrtyside, working at her father’s old station.
Mother of 2, Anna is found dead: shot and then burned with her children in a horrific case for the team. She had always lived with the guilt of her little sister going missing, presumed murdered by her mother as a result of postnatal depression and Jack Locke was the investigating officer.
Could there be a connection between her murder and the disappearance of her baby sister 30 years ago? Iris thinks so but the case files are missing…
The police team are a mixed bunch and we find out some personal details about them which draw us in and make us sypatise even with the ones that are not particularly easy to like. Grady has a mystery in his past. Slattery has a very unhappy home life. Iris is trying to find a team where she can settle and make a name for herself, prove that she isn’t relying on her father’s reputation to further her career.
The crimes are unpleasant but there is no graphic detail of the injuries or forensic information: the focus is upon the investigation and the team. We see interview strategies and methodical examination of facts as well as gut instinct.
There are personality clashes and the power play at work throughout the book. The unfairness that Iris is judged by her father’s career inspires her determination to prove herself worthy of being in the team on her own merit, and we as readers are willing her to succeed.
This is a really good police procedure novel and there is good character development of the police officers. The pace of the book is reasonably fast whilst also allowing enough time to get to know the main characters.
The final quarter of the book takes the investigation along a way I never expected. I see from the author’s note at the end that there will be a sequel and I can’t wait!

AMZ:  https://geni.us/B07S9XPT9TSocial
Apple Books: https://tinyurl.com/y5nxuz7z
Kobo: https://tinyurl.com/yxpq5nk2
Googleplay: https://tinyurl.com/y3ctd462
‘She reached into the pram and placed her hands on the cotton blanket. It was still warm. But her smiling, new baby sister, with her wide blue-grey eyes, was gone…’
Twenty five years later, three bodies are found at a ramshackle cottage in the Irish countryside, and Detective Iris Locke is sick to her stomach. The victims are Anna Crowe and her two young children.
Iris has only recently joined the Limerick Murder Squad. Against her father’s advice, she’s working the narrow lanes and green hills of her childhood. Iris still remembers Anna, who was just a small girl when her baby sister was snatched, never to be seen again. It was the one case Iris’ own father never solved, and Iris can’t help but wonder if the two crimes are connected.
She’ll stop at nothing to find Anna justice, but a fire has destroyed almost all the physical evidence, and Limerick is the same small town she remembers: everybody protects their neighbours, and Iris has been away for too long.
Can Iris unpick the lies beneath the surface of her pretty hometown, and catch the most twisted individual of her career, when reopening the old case means reopening old wounds for her team, the rest of the community, and her own father?
Fans of Patricia Gibney, Angela Marsons and L.J. Ross won’t want to miss this – the first book in a gripping and unputdownable new crime series.
About the author
Geraldine Hogan was born in Ireland. She gained an Honors Degree in English Literature and Psychology from Dublin City University and a Postgraduate Degree in Training and Management from University College, Galway. She is an Irish award-winning and bestselling author of four contemporary fiction novels under the pen name Faith Hogan.
Silent Night is her first crime novel, her second is due out in December 2019.
She is currently working on her next novel. She lives in the west of Ireland with her husband, four children and a very busy Labrador named Penny. She’s a writer, reader, enthusiastic dog walker and reluctant jogger – except of course when it is raining!
You can find out more about Geraldine here:
Twitter @gerhogan


The Silent Dead by Graham Smith

What a book! I’d advise you to read only if you have a strong stomach as the detail of the murders is very graphic, but the book itself is just exquisite.
Beth Young is a police officer starting out in a new team and her first case is a gruesome murder. A man is found at a stately home ruin. He has feathers attached to his back and has been forced to breathe fire. Soon more bodies are found and a serial killer in on the loose.
The description of the injuries is horrific and detailed but described in a factual way by the pathologist so it does not seem gratuitous or excessive. We get the emotional reaction from Beth as she struggles to comprehend how one human could do that to another.
We follow the police investigation but also see the preparation as the killer stalks his next victim. The danger is almost palpable as the reader waits for him to make his move…
I really really loved this book. It is interesting to read about a new police officer finding her feet on the job, negotiating office politics and developing working relationships with colleagues.
The book is fast paced and never loses momentum. It is fascinating to see inside the killer’s mind through the parts of narrative that focus on his life and experiences. The psychological impact of the past cannot be underestimated.
Beth has a past that haunts her as well: she has a significant facial injury caused by being stabbed with a broken bottle and the perpetrator was never brought to justice. This book is the first to feature Beth and I look forward to following her career in its sequels.
Title:                  THE SILENT DEAD     
Author:     GRAHAM SMITH   
Publication Day: 30th November 2018
Buy Links :
Amazon: http://geni.us/B07H2DG957social
iBookstore: https://tinyurl.com/ydhftyxx
Kobo: https://tinyurl.com/y75k5vng
Googleplay: https://tinyurl.com/ybchbhzl
He’d found an angel for his collection. But one angel at a time was never enough…
Detective Beth Young has just joined the Cumbrian major crimes team when a body is found posed in a ritualistic manner – arms spread and graceful wings attached – at a crumbling castle in the hills of the Lake District.
The entire police force are on red alert. But Beth begins to feel she’s the only one who can follow the disturbing clues left by the twisted killer. Because she doesn’t think like everyone else. To Beth, crimes are puzzles she can solve. Even if real life is a little harder.
As more bodies are discovered in derelict stately homes across the Lake District, she knows she’s in a race against time.
But the killer is looking for another victim to add to his collection… Will Beth be able to save her? Or will he get there first?
A tenacious young detective with scars both physical and emotional, Beth Young will stop at nothing in her fight for justice for the innocent. The Silent Dead is the first book in the series. Set in the Lake District, it is perfect for fans of Joy Ellis, LJ Ross, and Peter James. 
Author Bio:
Graham Smith is the bestselling author of four explosive crime thrillers in the Jake Boulder series, Watching the Bodies, The Kindred Killers, Past Echoes and Die Cold. Watching the Bodies spent over two weeks at number one in the Amazon UK chart and Amazon CA charts. Graham is also the author of the popular DI Harry Evans series and has collections of short stories and novellas. His latest novel – The Silent Dead is published by Bookouture and set in Cumbria / the Lake District, featuring DC Beth Young.
He is the proud father of a young son. As a time served joiner he has built bridges, houses, dug drains and slated roofs to make ends meet. Since 2000 he has been manager of a busy hotel and wedding venue near Gretna Green, Scotland.
An avid fan of crime fiction since being given one of Enid Blyton’s Famous Five books at the age of eight, he has also been a regular reviewer for the well-respected review site Crimesquad.com since 2010.
When not working, his time is spent reading, writing and playing games with his son. He enjoys socialising and spending time with friends and family.
Author Social Media Links:
FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/grahamnsmithauthor/
TWITTER:  https://twitter.com/GrahamSmith1972
WEBSITE: https://grahamsmithauthor.com/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5446655.Graham_Smith?from_search=true

The Girl Who Lied, by Shannon Hollinger

The Girl Who Lied book cover
TRIGGER WARNING: infanticide, child neglect/abuse
Chief Maggie Riley discovers a body then moments later a young woman wanders out of the wood. Maggie begins an investigation into the death but becomes personally involved with Heather’s recovery from her shock as she finds out the truth about the teen’s awful home life. Meanwhile Maggie and her boyfriend Steve are both hiding secrets…
The Girl Who Lied is the first book in a new detective series set in America.
Maggie was a high flying detective until her little brother disappeared and she lost her family and career. She retreated to a small town where nobody knew her and was satisfied with the low profile crimes she faced. But a murder victim changes everything and Maggie is startled to find links between the dead man and her colleague as well as vulnerable Heather.
The book is written from multiple perspectives, some (Maggie, Steve and Heather) in the first person which provide an emotional pull towards these characters. Maggie and Steve have both been keeping secrets from each other about their pasts but now they need to be open and honest.
Heather’s character arc is hugely emotive and Maggie is forced to call in social services to deal with the child abuse and neglect that she discovers at their family home. Heather admits to a crime but Maggie believes that there are extenuating circumstances which diminish her culpability. The original murder case is not entirely straight forward and there are significant twists along the way.
The Girl Who Lied is a gripping crime and detective thriller with a strong emotional element. The next book in the series, Their Angel’s Cry is also available now (see blurb below) and I intend to read ASAP!
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Book: The Girl Who Lied & Their Angel’s Cry
Author: Shannon Hollinger
Pub Day:  August 2nd 2023
Buy Link(s):
The Girl Who Lied | Book 1: https://geni.us/B0BZZHKKQGsocial
UK: https://ow.ly/5nEX50PavLm
US: https://ow.ly/qgEq50PavL1
Listen here:https://ow.ly/3Rn550PavKq
Their Angel’s Cry | Book 2: https://geni.us/B0BZZJLSHNsocial
UK: https://ow.ly/FUPB50PavSM
US: https://ow.ly/FXSQ50PavSP
Listen here: https://ow.ly/XP6p50PavSN
About the Books:
The Girl Who Lied
Rain hammers the earth and a vicious wind rattles the trees. Then lightning strikes, the flash illuminating a young girl staggering out of the woods, her brown eyes wide with fright, a silent scream on her lips…
There’s a storm approaching the tiny Maine town of Coyote Cove when Chief Maggie Riley comes across the body of a man, blood seeping from stab wounds into the damp forest floor. As she desperately struggles to secure the evidence before the rain hits, Heather, a local teenage girl, emerges from the woods, shivering and unable to talk.
Maggie, once a high flying big-city detective, lost everything when her four-year-old brother went missing five years ago. Heart-broken, she’s never stopped searching for him: but now she is plunged back into the world she left behind.
The victim, Maggie discovers, knew secrets about everyone in isolated Coyote Cove. It seems there are more local suspects in this case than people she can rule out. And with Heather still traumatised, Maggie struggles to unravel her strange appearance at the crime scene. Until, following a faint, bloody trail deep into the forest, she’s horrified to unearth what the terrified girl’s been hiding…
But when Heather is kidnapped, the battle to identify the killer becomes a race to save an innocent girl’s life. And with the whole town terrified, Maggie is shocked to uncover that this twisted killer is much closer to home than she’d ever imagined. Battling her own demons and memories of her missing brother, how far will Maggie have to go to save Heather? Or will another innocent young life be lost forever…?
A totally addictive crime thriller packed with suspense. If you love Lisa Regan, Louise Penny and Melinda Leigh, you’ll love The Girl Who Lied.
Their Angel’s Cry:
The little dog trembles and whimpers, but refuses to move. Maggie reaches further into the undergrowth, trying to tempt it out. But as she moves closer, she sees something that stops her heart—a tiny, shivering baby, wrapped in a thin, pink blanket, saved only by its loyal protector.
There’s a ferocious storm heading toward the isolated town of Coyote Cove when Chief Maggie Riley gets the call every cop dreads. Three bodies have been found on Rattlesnake Mountain, half a day’s hike from civilization. And when Maggie finally reaches the site, exhausted and freezing, she discovers something even more terrifying—a tiny baby girl, kept alive only by the warmth of a small dog who refuses to leave her side.
As Maggie races the baby to safety, she wonders, why on earth the family risked hiking the mountain in this weather? Who were they and who could possibly have killed them?
A former detective, Maggie may be an experienced investigator, but she’s still an unwelcome newcomer. Battling town prejudice, her fears for the orphaned baby, and the increasingly dangerous weather, Maggie soon discovers the case is far more complicated than she could have imagined. The family is not who they seemed. The mother has never had a baby, there’s no link between them at all. So whose baby is it, and where are they now?
With Coyote Cove cut off by the storm, Maggie knows that wherever the killer is, they won’t be able to leave. Stuck in town with a murderer on the loose, Maggie must race to find them before anyone else gets hurt. But she hasn’t counted on the killer taking matters into their own hands, and going after Maggie first…
An utterly compelling and addictive crime thriller, perfect for fans of Melinda Leigh, D.K. Hood and Lisa Regan.
Author Bio
With degrees in Crime Scene Technology & Physical Anthropology, Florida author Shannon Hollinger hasn’t just seen the dark side of humanity – she’s been elbow deep inside of it! She finds writing to be a much cleaner way to spend her time than the autopsy suite. Most days it smells better, too.
Her debut novel, the psychological thriller Best Friends Forever, is the first of a five-book deal with publisher Bookouture.
Her short fiction has appeared in Suspense Magazine, Mystery Weekly, and The Saturday Evening Post, among a number of other magazines and anthologies, and her story Lady Killer was a finalist for the 2021 Al Blanchard Award sponsored by the New England Crime Bake.
Social Media
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thiswritersays
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Website: www.ShannonHollinger.com
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