book review · family · suspense · thriller & crime

Book Review – The Vacation

The Vacation

by M.M. Chouinard

One of them is missing… One of them did it…

The Thanksgiving retreat was meant to be a time for them to get away from it all, miles from the secrets that threaten to tear their family apart. But they’re each hiding something:

Rose hopes the pretty house overlooking the sea is just the break her family needs. But as she gazes at the water and remembers her own childhood, she is utterly terrified.

Brandon knows his wife Rose has barely forgiven him for his affair. He’s started drinking again, a road that led him to disaster once before.

Brianna, Rose’s sister-in-law, is recovering from her fifth miscarriage, and when she looks at her adorable niece, she can’t help but see the daughter she deserves.

Then three-year-old Lily disappears from her bed in the villa. Isolated in what should have been paradise, it quickly becomes clear that one of them took her.

As one by one their secrets are uncovered, who will be destroyed next?

A completely addictive thriller about every parent’s worst nightmare that will keep you guessing into the early hours of the morning. Perfect for fans of The Guest List, One by One and The Sister-in-Law.

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My Review

I’d seen so many great reviews about this book on Goodreads and Twitter starting with “WOW!” or “OMG!”, I had to check it out for myself. Billed as “utterly gripping”, The Vacation had a lot of hype to live up to … and, boy did it meet all those expectations and more.

From the first chapter, I was hooked and the pace didn’t let up. What was meant to be a fun and relaxing way to spend thanksgiving with family and close friends quickly unravelled to expose a plethora of secrets and resentments.

Rose had been worried about going to Jamaica with her two children, but her husband Brandon assured her it would be just the break they needed. And it seemed as though he was right, until midway through the holiday, after an evening of rum cocktails under a balmy breeze, Rose went to check on her sleeping kids. Jackson was snoring softly, his arm over his head when she checked on Lily, only to find the curtain billowing across the little girl’s bed.

It shouldn’t have been billowing though; the window had been shut last time she checked … but now it was open and Lily’s bed was empty. The nightmare scenario that had usurped her thoughts prior to them arriving in Jamaica had suddenly become a reality. Her three-year-old daughter was gone, just like those other little girls she’d spent hours reading about. Lily was missing. (It would be impossible not to draw comparisons here with the true story of Madeleine McCann, which made what happened all the more heartbreakingly believable)

After raising the alarm, Rose, Brandon and the others scoured the villa but there was no sign of her. When the police finally arrived, they assumed a ransom call would soon follow. It didn’t.

Accusations of lazy policing followed as there was no news of Lily’s whereabouts. Scrawlings on the wall outside Lily’s room suggested she’d been kidnapped, so why weren’t the police pulling out all of the stops to find her? Of course, Rose’s thoughts were blinded by fear for Lily’s wellbeing, so maybe blaming the police for inaction was understandable. Yet, the others in her party seemed to be doing the same. It made me wonder if that would prove to be a convenient smokescreen for someone)

When the police did find clues to what might have happened that night, they gathered all the adults together before sharing their information, watching each of them keenly for a reaction. It was voyeuristically addictive and had me biting my nails.

The story is told across multiple viewpoints – each of the adults had their own chapters – and from both the run-up to Lily’s disappearance and the investigation thereafter. This constant swapping kept the pace up; just as I thought I might read just one more chapter, the next viewpoint character’s chapter became more compelling. Inevitably, as each character’s backstory became known, so did they seem to have a motive. But surely none of them could have harmed Lily? Or could they?

As my suspicions bounced from one character to another, so did doubts form in their minds as they started to suspect each other. Though, mainly thanks to some clever manipulation, they soon began to question one of their group more than any other.

Jeez, writing this review without giving any spoilers is super hard 😉

Just when I thought I couldn’t be more on the side of the family, in came a curveball that had me praying for the police to turn up with all the answers. Was it too late? Would the truth be covered up forever? Oh my, the ending was frantic and sublime in equal measures. The clues were all there, but the way in which the author delivered those crumbs meant it was easy to miss them.

The Vacation was a book in which everyone came under suspicion. Full of page-turning suspense and very cleverly executed, this has to be one of my favourite book of the year so far.

As always,

Amazon Reviewer Name
blog tour · book review · crime · series · thriller & crime

Blog Tour ‘n’ Book Review – Villain

Villain

To catch a villain sometimes you have to become one.
Bailey’s Back! From the bestselling author of Jailbird.


Detective Constable Bailey Morgan is back doing what she does best – working undercover.
This time she has to infiltrate the inner circle of a notorious underworld family. Posing as a fellow villain, she is on a one-woman mission to bring the family to their knees.

But things are never that simple. Bailey finds that she is forced to confront shadowy wraiths from her past and will come face-to-face with a set of devastating revelations that will shatter her world and threaten her very existence.

With only herself to trust, Bailey is on her own and the stakes are higher than ever.

Heart-stopping and gripping. Perfect for the fans of hit TV shows such as Line of Duty and Gangs of London.

Purchase Link – https://amzn.to/2V9uUKH

Author Bio

Caro Savage knows all about bestselling thrillers having worked as a Waterstones bookseller for 12 years in a previous life. Now taking up the challenge personally and turning to hard-hitting crime thriller writing, Jailbird was published by Boldwood in October 2019.

Social Media Links

Twitter Profile: https://twitter.com/CaroSavageStory

https://www.instagram.com/carosavage/

Newsletter sign up: http://bit.ly/CaroSavageNewsletter

My Review

5/5 stars

Detective Constable Bailey Morgan prefers working undercover over normal duties. In fact, you might say she’s addicted to the adrenaline rush, the secret life, and maintaining a cover story.

In a previous job, she was tortured when her cover was blown. Those scars, both mental and physical, are testament to the danger she puts herself in. Yet, that’s what she does. Most recently (in the previous book of the series – Jailbird) she went undercover in a women’s prison. Bailey Morgan thrives in these conditions, and she gets results too.

When she is called in to work for a meeting over the Christmas break, she knows it has to be for something important. Is she ready? Does she need time to think about throwing herself back in the fray? Hell, no!

The latest job requires her to act as an intermediary, looking to buy arms from the Molloy family. The story develops following a car bombing in which Adraian, the eldest Molloy son was killed. Unbeknownst to his family, Adrian was an informant and the team use that connection to get Bailey introduced to his brother, Rick who heads up the family business under the watchful gaze of his mother, Nancy.

Nancy is hell-bent on avenging Adrian’s death while Rick is super cautious, determined to maintain his “never been caught” record.

Bailey has to convince them that she’s genuine, and they test her at every opportunity, even breaking in to her undercover apartment to check her out. That’s not their only surprise, as she is invited to join them on a shooting spree (for grouse) as well as to the “interrogation” of someone they believe to know who was behind Adrian’s death. Keeping her cover at all times, Bailey plays her best game.

However, her mind is elsewhere when her father falls gravely ill. Even so, she doesn’t slip up. Until a potential date reminds her that trust is a fragile thing and not everyone is deserving of hers.

A fabulous thriller from the outset, plunging the reader straight into the action and ramping up the tension beautifully as the story develops. The drama of the undercover job is complemented by Bailey’s daughterly role and her concern and love for her dad. These life layers given Bailey greater depth as a character and the balance gives the reader time to breathe before the next drama kicks in.

I very much enjoyed Villain and have already added the first book to my Kindle. This is a new author for me, and one whose work I’ll keep an eye out for in the future.

PS – I’m happy to take any coffee creams off Bailey’s hands 😉

For more news and reviews,

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book review · Felicia Denise · must-read · mystery · short story · thriller & crime

Book Review ‘n’ Recommendation – Malice and Forethought

 

Malice and Forethought cover

 

Malice and Forethought:

Short Stories of Malice and Murder

by Felicia Denise

Cover Design: perry elisabeth design

Genre: Crime Thriller / Suspense / Short Stories

Release Date: June 1, 2020


Malice – noun; mal·ice | ˈma-ləs

1 : desire to cause pain, injury, or distress to another
//
2 : intent to commit an unlawful act or cause harm without legal justification or excuse
//ruined her reputation and did it with malice

Everyone is capable of malice and no one is immune to its outcome.

A Hint of Malice – When her last living relative commits suicide after having her identity and assets stolen, a grieving niece longs for justice.

Burned – When the masterminds behind a major drug operation get off with a slap on the wrists, a frustrated police detective warns them their wealth cannot shield them from everything.

The Marshall Sisters – After seeing her sister mistreated by far too many men, Leslie Marshall is proud of Paula for standing up for herself and accompanies her on a cold winter’s night to confront her boyfriend, but even Leslie isn’t ready for the new, assertive Paula.

The Watcher – Shamed into exile by his family because of his sexual fetish and hanging on to the shreds of his sanity, a man plots the ultimate date night with his new neighbor.

What’s done in the dark always comes to the light.

99c / 99p

KINDLE UNLIMITED

https://geni.us/Malice

Malice 3D mockup

~~~

About the Author

After writing as a hobby for most of her life, at the urging of a good friend, Felicia took on the challenge of NaNoWriMo in 2015, writing what would become her first published work, In the Best Interest of the Child. It was released in the fall of 2016. Free, a Novella, which began as a three-installment series on her website, was published as a short story in May 2017.

Currently working on projects in several genres, Felicia plans to release book 2 of In the Best Interest of the Child – Family Matters, as well as anthologies of her suspense and women’s fiction short stories in 2020.

A long-time blogger, she also features books by indie authors daily on her blog, Nesie’s Place.

Felicia lost her husband of nearly 36 years of May of 2019 and is a strong advocate and supporter of the National Kidney Foundation. She has three adult children, four grand-pups, and as one of nine children, she has too much extended family to even go into!

In her free time-when not reading-Felicia sews and enjoys experimenting with new dishes in the kitchen. She always has a cup of robust coffee and far too many pun jokes nearby.

~ Stalk Felicia on Social Media ~

Author Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Amazon Author Page

Instagram | Pinterest | Goodreads | Newsletter

~~~

~~~

My Review

Some time ago, I read the author’s first book, “In the Best Interest of the Child”, and so I knew she could tell a story that pulled at the heartstrings. But let me tell you, whoa …does she have a dark side. And, you know what, it’s DELICIOUS! 😉

In A Hint of Malice, Jessalyn Hunter sets out to avenge her aunt’s death because, in her words, “Put in the right situation, anyone can kill.” And Jess was in that zone … the scumbag gigolo protected by his privileged family connections had it coming.

Vigilante justice served up beautifully for one newly stone-cold dead guy.

Burned tells the story of a stake-out in Creighton, where a multi-million dollar drugs haul puts the spotlight on an arrogant millionaire businessmen when his son is caught up in the raid. Soon-to-be-retired cop, Pat Sinclair understands that when drug barons don’t get what they paid for, then someone has to pay. Unfortunately for the wealthy tycoon, he doesn’t grasp the danger around the corner and opts to ignore the cop’s warning.

You know, some people just cannot be helped!!!

I love, love , love The Marshall Sisters. Doing what sisters do, Leslie Marshall takes on a supportive role as her older sibling, Paula, finally calls time on her relationship with Allen Bailey, a serial cheat and love-rat. What Leslie doesn’t know, however, is exactly how she is lending her support to Paula …not until the news anchor mentions those blue trash bags used to clean up the scene.

What a great twist!

Finally, The Watcher brings an end to this wonderful collection of sinister tales. Disowned by his family and exiled from Chicago, Hart Stanhope refuses to accept the new life imposed upon him. How dare they suggest his act was any worse than their own! He walks away from anything they’ve touched and starts over …watching his new neighbour and determined to make her his. But Penny Driver sees him watching her and she’s ready for him in a way he never suspects.

Turning the tables has never been so much fun.

Packed with twists and shocks aplenty, these stories are bound to entertain. Felicia Denise is a master at creating characters who draw you into their world and make you root for them. Indeed, she does that here, but she also dishes up some unsavoury characters who you would not wish to even share a lift with, let alone any substantial part of your life. Yet these are not caricatures, these are people we can all recognise, and each carries a secret that stains their lives and burns a hole in their soul. Acts of malice are their only escape …and their stories make for great reading.

Be sure to get your copy, and revel in the darkness.

As always,

 

 

books · cosy · crime · ebooks · FREE books · Free copies · Giveaways · mystery · suspense · thriller & crime

FREE Books – Mystery & Crime (plus: Win a $25 giftcard)

If you’re a fan of mystery and crime books, then this is going to be right up your street.

Find your next crime or mystery novel among these FREE ebooks.

From cozy mystery to cold cases, suspense to hard-boiled police procedural, there is sure to be something to take your fancy.

You’ll be asked to sign-up to the authors’ newletters in return for your free book(s), but you can unsubscribe at any time. Although, hopefully you’ll be keen to see what else these authors have to offer and newsletter subscribers tend to get access to advanced copies and other freebies. Oh, and did I mention there’s a chance to win a $25 giftcard too.

What have you got to lose?

 

Follow this link for more details. You may even find you next new favourite author too.

Many thanks to Book Cave and author, Christer Tholin for organising this awesome deal.

 

PS – the prequel to my cold cases cosy mystery series is included in this promotion. This story is currently only available to my newsletter subscribers, so if you’re interested, please check out “Never Forgotten” under my pen name bea kendall.

As always,

 

 

blog tour · book review · justice · mystery · thriller & crime

Blog Tour ‘n’ Book Review – Guilty Until Proven Innocent

Mystery/Thriller
Date Published: July 17, 2020
Publisher: Blue Fortune Enterprises LLC, Cactus Mystery Press
 photo add-to-goodreads-button_zpsc7b3c634.png
Check your email. Help is out there…
When Sherry and Beth discover what their boyfriends have been up to, they want in on the action. Working as vigilantes and providing justice for wrongs committed is a noble thing to do, but the women decide the stakes need to change.
Once again, the conflict is personal.
This follow-up to Roundabout Revenge follows former Professor Phil Philemon as he and his friends continue to seek elusive justice for victims who may not have been able to speak for themselves. Lurking in chat rooms, the group finds a large number of women who have been sexually harassed on the job. Sexually harassed in horrible ways. Harassed until their jobs, their reputations, and their sanity is on the line. And what they find is that the story of he said-she said is not always one that ends well.
But not everything goes as planned, and soon the four friends need to come to terms with a larger reality, including a crime of arson and an FBI investigation.

My Review

This book follows on from Roundabout Revenge, which I haven’t read. This might explain one of my misgivings which I’ll come to later.

The kind of “vigilante justice” that is served up here is done so in a novel way, and makes for a great concept. Very much in line with the #MeToo movement, the justice-seekers set out to ensure that women’s voices are heard. After identifying those they wish to help through a private chat room, they install cameras in the women’s workplaces to catch the perpetrators of sexual harassment in the act, they then set up a foolproof process which enables the women to file complaints knowing there is video evidence to support their grievances.

And it works like a dream … in fact, I’d go so far as to say it works too well. There are a few instances where things happened a tad too conveniently, meaning they always got away with installing the cameras without being caught. I can let that go as creative licence though as they needed to have some success to keep the story going. What I did feel, however, that the introduction of each new case proved to be a repetition of the last one, with the process being explained once (or twice) too often. This led to me skimming through to the action, as by case number three I knew the process all too well and will regard sprinkler systems differently from hereon.

The fact that the women had to resort to threats of exposing their company to get any action to be taken is an absolute crime in and of itself, but it perfectly sums up the situation many find themselves in.

My earlier misgiving centres on the misconception by the vigilante team that breaking and entering was their only crime. It glossed over completely the preamble that Phil and Ralph had been poisoning people in their first forays into exacting revenge justice. Maybe this is where not reading the first book became an issue, but based on what I knew about them I couldn’t dismiss their crimes so easily. Am I glad they helped those women? Absolutely? Was breaking and entering to install cameras their own crime? Not in my book!

I enjoyed the subplot of Phil’s lunch club discussing diverse topics like immigration and climate change, and when it came to them discussing Phil’s covert activities that was particularly good fun. I reckon Phil enjoyed that too 😉

Once the team’s activities piqued the interest of the FBI, the pace picked up dramatically, as did the tension – I read through those final chapters at ease wondering if they’d get away with it … you’ll have to read to find out. Overall it was a quick and absorbing read based on an interesting and topical concept.

About the Author

Robert Archibald was born in New Jersey and grew up in Oklahoma and Arizona. After receiving a BA from the University of Arizona, he was drafted and served in Viet Nam. He then earned a M.S. and Ph.D in economics from Purdue University. Bob had a 41-year career at the College of William & Mary. While he had several stints as an administrator, department chair, director of the public policy program, and interim dean of the faculty, Bob was always proud to be promoted back to the faculty. He lives with his wife of 47 years, Nancy, in Williamsburg, Virginia.
Contact Links
Purchase Links

RABT Book Tours & PR
As always,
blog blitz · book blitz · Felicia Denise · Giveaways · must-read · mystery · short story · thriller & crime

PreOrder Blitz – Malice and Forethought

Malice and Forethought Banner

~~~

Malice and Forethought cover

 

Malice and Forethought:

Short Stories of Malice and Murder

by Felicia Denise

Cover Design: perry elisabeth design

Genre: Crime Thriller / Suspense / Short Stories

Release Date: June 1, 2020


Malice – noun; mal·ice | ˈma-ləs

1 : desire to cause pain, injury, or distress to another
//
2 : intent to commit an unlawful act or cause harm without legal justification or excuse
//ruined her reputation and did it with malice

Everyone is capable of malice and no one is immune to its outcome.

A Hint of Malice – When her last living relative commits suicide after having her identity and assets stolen, a grieving niece longs for justice.

Burned – When the masterminds behind a major drug operation get off with a slap on the wrists, a frustrated police detective warns them their wealth cannot shield them from everything.

The Marshall Sisters – After seeing her sister mistreated by far too many men, Leslie Marshall is proud of Paula for standing up for herself and accompanies her on a cold winter’s night to confront her boyfriend, but even Leslie isn’t ready for the new, assertive Paula.

The Watcher – Shamed into exile by his family because of his sexual fetish and hanging on to the shreds of his sanity, a man plots the ultimate date night with his new neighbor.

What’s done in the dark always comes to the light.

~ PreOrder ~

99c / 99p

KINDLE UNLIMITED

https://geni.us/Malice

Malice 3D mockup

~~~

Bloggers needed for release day blitz!

https://forms.gle/dpv4tbNt1uMr5Q8i6

~~~

~ G I V E A W A Y ~

One randomly chosen winner will a $15 Amazon Gift Card or $15 in PayPal Cash!

(Open Internationally!)

E N T E R

~~~

About the Author

After writing as a hobby for most of her life, at the urging of a good friend, Felicia took on the challenge of NaNoWriMo in 2015, writing what would become her first published work, In the Best Interest of the Child. It was released in the fall of 2016. Free, a Novella, which began as a three-installment series on her website, was published as a short story in May 2017.

Currently working on projects in several genres, Felicia plans to release book 2 of In the Best Interest of the Child – Family Matters, as well as anthologies of her suspense and women’s fiction short stories in 2020.

A long-time blogger, she also features books by indie authors daily on her blog, Nesie’s Place.

Felicia lost her husband of nearly 36 years of May of 2019 and is a strong advocate and supporter of the National Kidney Foundation. She has three adult children, four grand-pups, and as one of nine children, she has too much extended family to even go into!

In her free time-when not reading-Felicia sews and enjoys experimenting with new dishes in the kitchen. She always has a cup of robust coffee and far too many pun jokes nearby.

~ Stalk Felicia on Social Media ~

Author Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Amazon Author Page

Instagram | Pinterest | Goodreads | Newsletter

~~~

~~~

blog blitz · book review · crime · legal · series · thriller & crime

Mini Blog Blitz ‘n’ Book Review – Spider Games

Spider Games

 Kate O’Brien is pure dedication; she believes in the justice system. This feisty, no-nonsense attorney works herself to the bone every day, tirelessly building her reputation and career. She is on the path to being a legal star. That is until her corrupt law partner, Bill Brown, a criminal defense attorney, achieves a degree of notoriety which attracts the interest of the Drug Enforcement Administration.

When the inconceivable happens, Bill is arrested, charged with multiple counts of drug trafficking and money laundering leaving the law firm in chaos. As Kate slowly digs her way out, what she finds sends her down a dark path that could lead to her imprisonment or death. Bill has meticulously set her up to pay for his malevolent crimes. His cohorts, fearing she knows too much, have marked her for death. Can she stay ahead of the FBI and unravel crimes that reach as far as China and Russia? Or will she need to assume a new identity to save her own life?

A fast-paced thriller that keeps you guessing until the end. Suspenseful crime fiction with twists and turns throughout this masterfully plotted novel keeps you on the edge of your seat. It may be read as a standalone and serves as the first book in the series, A Conspiracy of Betrayal.

Purchase Links

UK

US

About the author

Kathleen McGillick is a fiction writer in the Mystery Thriller Suspense genre.

She was born in Manhattan and lived in Florida while she attended the University of Miami School of Nursing. After twenty years of teaching nursing in New York, she headed south leaving the snow behind. She has lived in Georgia over thirty-five years and is a practicing attorney in Cherokee County.

Her passions are international travel and art. And much like a CIA agent she has a “GO” bag packed to leave for a trip whenever possible. It’s not a reach to realize her stories are culled from her travel adventures and there are tons of adventures to share. Her favorite place outside the US is the UK but her love of art was born at the Louvre requiring return pilgrimages to rejuvenate her soul. You can follow her travels at travelingesquire.smugmug.com/

A grandmother of two and lover of her cats she enjoys writing her books much like Lee Child, by the seat of her pants. Her characters are flawed, her plots twist and turn and the endings you never see coming.

 

Social Media links

https://www.facebook.com/KJMcGillickauthor/ 

Kathleen McGillick

@KJMcGillickAuth

 http://www.kjmcgillick.com/

https://twitter.com/KJMcGillickAuth

https://www.goodreads.com/Kmcgillick 

My Review

5/5 stars

This is not the first book I’ve read by KJ McGillick, and it sure won’t be the last. She is definitely one of my go-to authors and I know she’ll deliver. In Spider Games, the first in the A Conspiracy of Betrayal series, she does exactly that.

The story centres around Kate o’Brien, a  family court lawyer who runs a legal practice with a friend, colleague and business partner, Bill Brown, ably assisted by the fabulous Paralegal, Norma. Things are progressing steadily, business is decent and Kate seems to have successfully put an abusive past behind her. 

When she is asked to stand in for Bill to attend a bail hearing for one of his clients, Kate soon realises she’s in over her head. With a murder charge in the offing, the client is uncooperative and Bill is nowhere to be found. When she finally tracks Bill down, she is moved aside as the FBI swoop in.  Kate is shocked and defensive of Bill, until it becomes apparent that he does not afford her with the same concern. Forging her signature is the least of his misdemeanours when we learn Bill has implicated Kate in every step of his web of lies and deceit. 

For Kate, extricating herself from his crimes and keeping herself and Norma safe becomes a major concern. Threats come at her from all angles, some with devastating effect.

Spider Games is a fast moving story. Once you start it, you’re in for the long haul. This is a series I’ll be following closely. Book one had all my favourite elements in a story – court cases, FBI agents, art and culture crime, Toby the cat, quick wit and sharp dialogue from a whole host of great characters … all progressing at breakneck speed into a cohesive whole. 

In a time when escapism is worth its weight in gold, you can do no wrong in losing yourself in this latest offering by McGillick. I’d totally recommend this to fans of quality legal and crime thrillers. 

For more news and reviews, here’s the schedule:

As always, 

blog tour · book review · forensics · mystery · series · thriller & crime

Blog Tour ‘n’ Book Review – No Stone Unturned

No Stone Unturned by Andrea Kane Banner

 

 

No Stone Unturned

by Andrea Kane

on Tour March 16 – April 17, 2020

Synopsis:

No Stone Unturned by Andrea Kane

WHAT IF YOU FOUND YOUR FRIEND DEAD AND FEARED YOU’D BE NEXT?

Jewelry designer Fiona McKay is working on her latest collection of Celtic-inspired jewelry. She’s excited by the possibilities uncovered by Rose Flaherty, the antiquities dealer helping her research the heirloom tapestries inspiring her new collection. So when Rose calls to tell her she has answers, Fiona hurries to meet her. But her artistic world is shattered when she finds the lifeless body of the elderly woman.

Why would anyone kill such a harmless person? And what if Fiona had arrived just a few minutes earlier? Would she have been killed as well? Unnerved, she heads for her brother’s Brooklyn apartment seeking advice and comfort.

Ryan McKay, Forensic Instincts’ technology wiz is not amused by his little sister interrupting his evening with his girlfriend and co-worker, Claire Hedgleigh. But when Ryan and Claire hear the details of Rose’s murder, they fear that Fiona could be next, and quickly assume the role of her protectors. What they’re unaware of is how many people are desperately seeking the information now buried along with Rose.

A former IRA sniper. A traitorous killer who worked for the British. Two vicious adversaries taking their epic battle to America. A secret Irish hoard as the grand prize in a winner takes all fight to the death.

As the story woven into the tapestries passed down from McKay mother to daughter unravels, Forensic Instincts realizes that Fiona and her family are in grave danger. Together, the team must stay one step ahead of two rival assassins or risk Fiona’s life and the McKay family tree.

Book Details:

Genre: Suspense Thriller Published by: Bonnie Meadow Publishing LLC Publication Date: Number of Pages: March 17, 2020 ISBN: 978-1-68232-039- Series: Forensic Instincts Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Read an excerpt:

Slowly, Rose Flaherty made her way over to the front window of her Greenwich Village antique shop, leaning heavily on her cane as she did. Preoccupied with the ramifications of her research findings, she barely took note of the passersby on Bedford Street, most of them headed home for the evening. A few of them glanced in her window, their unpracticed eyes seeing none of the beauty attached to the treasure trove of antiques and antiquities, instead seeing only the dusty surfaces, the random pieces, and odd assortment of furnishings that bespoke unwanted junk from the past. At seventy-nine years old, Rose had long ago stopped caring what people thought. She knew who and what she was. And she knew it was no accident that her established clientele, many of whom were wealthy and educated in the realm of ancient civilizations—including Egyptian, Etruscan, Roman, Byzantine, Greek, and her beloved Celtic—came to her for her expertise as well as her one-of-a-kind offerings. Her knowledge was vast, her list of contacts vaster still. The levels of research she performed were always a labor of love. However, her current project was even more than that. It was a thrilling adventure, a fascination of possibilities that transcended anything she’d dealt with in the past. She couldn’t wait to delve deeper. Impatiently, she squinted at her watch, barely able to make out the hands without the aid of her glasses, which she’d left somewhere. Ah. Five fifteen. Forty-five minutes to go. Given the magnitude of her findings, there was just one way to pass the time. She limped her way over to her Chippendale desk, sliding open the bottom drawer and pulling out the bottle of rare, old Irish whiskey she kept on hand for special clients. It was sinfully expensive. How fortunate that one of her prominent clients, Niall Dempsey, was a wealthy real estate developer who also appreciated fine Irish whiskey and who had been kind enough to gift this to her. She poured the whiskey into a glass, making sure to put out a second for her client. They certainly had something to toast to. She would just get a wee bit of a head start. “Rose?” Glenna Robinson, Rose’s assistant, poked her head out of the back room. Glenna was studying archeology at NYU and thoroughly enjoyed her part-time job at the shop. The fragile, white-haired owner was an intellectual wonder. Learning from her was an honor—even if she was becoming a bit more absentminded as she neared eighty. Absentminded about everything except her work. In that precious realm, her mind was like a steel trap. “Hmmm?” Rose lifted her lips from her glass and turned, initially surprised to see Glenna was still here. Ah, but it wasn’t yet five thirty, and Glenna never left before checking in, so she should have expected to see her shiny young face. Such was the level of Rose’s absorption with the task at hand. “Yes, dear?” Glenna’s gaze flickered from the glass in Rose’s hand to its mate, sitting neatly beside the whiskey bottle on the desk. “Do you need me to stay late? You mentioned an evening appointment, obviously an important one… even if it’s not in the calendar.” “It was last minute.” Rose smiled, giving a gentle wave of her hand. “There’s no need for you to stay. This is a meeting, not a transaction. If you’d just collect the mail and drop it off, you can go and enjoy your evening.” Glenna smiled back, trying not to look as relieved as she felt. Her friends had invited her to join them for pizza and beer. After a long week, that was exactly what she needed. But she wouldn’t leave Rose in the lurch. “Are you sure?” she asked. “Positive. Now run along.” “Thank you. See you tomorrow afternoon.” Glenna blew Rose a kiss, then retraced her steps into the small back room—the business office, as she and Rose laughingly called it. It was barely larger than a closet, but it served its purpose. Glenna used it to answer phone calls, schedule appointments, email invoices, do reams of paperwork, and keep track of the countless Post-its Rose stuck on every inch of available surface space. She called it Glenna’s to-do list, but Glenna was well aware that the reminders were really for Rose, not for her. All part of Rose’s charm. The Post-it-spotted room contained a jam-packed file cabinet, a rusty metal desk, an on-its- last-legs photocopier, and a computer that Glenna had nicknamed Methuselah because it was older than time. Still, it was enough for their needs and Rose didn’t know how to use it anyway. That was part of Glenna’s job. She’d been doing it since she was sixteen, and she had no desire to go elsewhere. She scooped up the stack of mail and was about to leave when she spotted a manila envelope propped up against the outbox with the name of the addressee penned on it in Rose’s neat hand. No street address. No postage. Typical forgetful Rose. Recognizing the client’s name, Glenna quickly scanned their contacts list, found the requisite address, printed it on a label that she adhered to the envelope, and carefully marked the parcel: hand cancel. She’d take care of the postage at the post office. Jimmy would move the process along. He was an efficient postal worker with a wild crush on her. She’d be in and out in a flash. After tucking the envelope beneath the rest of the mail, she shut down Methuselah for the night, then grabbed her lightweight jacket and left the shop. The tinkling sound of the bells over the door echoed behind her. Twenty minutes later, they tinkled again. Rose had been sitting in a chair midway in the shop, her back turned to the entrance as she sipped her whiskey and stared idly at the marble fireplace that stayed lit year-round to ward off dampness and mildew. Hearing the bells, she reached for her cane and came to her feet, surprised but delighted. Her client was early. She turned, a greeting freezing on her lips. It wasn’t a client who had come for her. *** Excerpt from No Stone Unturned by Andrea Kane. Copyright 2019 by Andrea Kane. Reproduced with permission from Andrea Kane. All rights reserved.

 

 

Author Bio:

Andrea Kane Andrea Kane is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of thirty novels, including sixteen psychological thrillers and fourteen historical romantic suspense titles. With her signature style, Kane creates unforgettable characters and confronts them with life-threatening danger. As a master of suspense, she weaves them into exciting, carefully-researched stories, pushing them to the edge―and keeping her readers up all night. Kane’s first contemporary suspense thriller, RUN FOR YOUR LIFE, became an instant New York Times bestseller. She followed with a string of bestselling psychological thrillers including NO WAY OUT, TWISTED and DRAWN IN BLOOD. Her latest in the highly successful Forensic Instincts series, NO STONE UNTURNED, showcases the dynamic, eclectic team of maverick investigators as they solve a seemingly impossible case while narrowly avoiding an enraged law enforcement frustrated over Forensic Instincts’ secretive and successful interference in a murder case. The first showcase of Forensic Instincts’ talents came with the New York Times bestseller, THE GIRL WHO DISAPPEARED TWICE, followed by THE LINE BETWEEN HERE AND GONE, THE STRANGER YOU KNOW, THE SILENCE THAT SPEAKS, THE MURDER THAT NEVER WAS, A FACE TO DIE FOR, and DEAD IN A WEEK. Kane’s beloved historical romantic suspense novels include MY HEART’S DESIRE, SAMANTHA, ECHOES IN THE MIST, and WISHES IN THE WIND. With a worldwide following of passionate readers, her books have been published in more than twenty languages. Kane lives in New Jersey with her husband and family. She’s an avid crossword puzzle solver and a diehard Yankees fan.

Catch Up With Andrea Kane: AndreaKane.com, Goodreads, Twitter, & Facebook!

 

Tour Participants:

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Enter The Giveaway!!

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Andrea Kane. There will be 6 winners for this tour. One winner will receive (1) Amazon.com Gift Card and 5 winners will receive No Stone Unturned by Andrea Kane (eBook). The giveaway begins on March 16, 2020 and runs through April 19, 2020. Void where prohibited.

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My Review

4/5 stars

I was intrigued by the premise of the book, so much so I didn’t really check to see if it was a series. Fortunately, despite being the eighth in the series (can you believe I missed that many?!), this was easy to read as a stand-alone novel.

The idea of a team of experts with various skills, all coming together to beat the FBI to the solution, is pure joy.  When Fiona, a jewellery designer finds the lady (Rose, her mentor and advisor on Celtic symbols) at the antiquities shop dead, it makes sense for her to tell her brother Ryan, the tech expert of the FI team. This leads to a fascinating investigation (can you tell it was my first book in the series??) I loved how Claire could get vibes from simply touching an object, such vibes told her much about the personality of the owner, a useful skill to have when investigating suspects without them knowing.

But who killed Rose? And why? Somehow it all seemed connected to the symbols Fiona was using to make her jewellery, symbols from tapestries handed down to her mother. The mystery woven into those tapestries, each depicting various scenes, kept me rapt: What did the symbols mean? How did the individual tapestries fit together? Is Fiona in danger? Intrigue of the highest order!

As the truth behind the scenes in the tapestries became clearer and the “treasure” was in sight, a fast-paced drama ensued. Who would get to it first?

A compelling read with the perfect balance of mystery and character detail. Given this is book number eight, those character details were invaluable, and certainly allowed me to follow the story without wondering too much what had happened in previous books. There’s a blend of historical information with the unravelling mystery, centring on Ireland’s violent past, and it all hangs together really well.

What’s not to love about interesting characters, forensic techniques, Irish history and a race to the end? I feel obliged to go back and read the others in the series now.

I received a complimentary digital copy of this book through Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours. This does not affect my thoughts on the book in any way.

On a related issue, readers may be interested in the website that the author has launched, featuring Fiona’s designs. Why not pop over and take a look for yourself:  fionamckayjewelry.com  

 

As always,

 
book review · crime · NetGalley · psychological suspense · thriller · thriller & crime

Book Recommendation ‘n’ Review – The Good Neighbor

The Good Neighbor

by Cathryn Grant

Sometimes the past just won’t stay buried.

When 14 year old Brittany disappears one night, her parents are devastated, certain she has been taken.

They can’t bear to think about who has done this and what might be happening to their precious girl.

Even worse, the police seem to see them as suspects, implying that they may have had a part in their own daughter’s disappearance. Only their neighbor, Taylor, is a rock. She organizes search parties, feeds the volunteers, works night and day to help them find Brittany.

But as this affluent California community becomes focused on the hunt for the missing girl, it slowly becomes clear that her disappearance is linked to terrible secrets from the past.

Secrets that must be kept hidden at all costs….

The Good Neighbor is a gripping psychological thriller that twists and turns as it races towards its nerve-shredding climax. Perfect for fans of K. L. Slater, Teresa Driscoll and Mark Edwards.

What readers are saying about The Good Neighbor:

‘I don’t even know where to start! This book has left me speechless. I love all of the mystery and drama The Good Neighbor provided.’ – NetGalley Reviewer

‘The Good Neighbor is a thrilling read that will have you gripped right from the beginning till the final page. If you love a story that is full of secrets, mystery, suspense with twists and turns, then this is the book for you.’ – Onceaponatimebookblog.com

‘Omg, this is a totally and utterly AMAZING book. It’s an intense tale of manipulation, lies, suspicion, deception and secrets that poses the question. Is it always best to do the right thing?’ – NetGalley Reviewer

‘Wow! To say this book “packs a punch” is such an understatement – it more ‘smacks you around the head with a 9 iron!’ There were twists and turns around every corner all neatly packaged within this highly readable tale.’ – ReadandRated.com

‘A great, can’t put it down suspense mystery novel. Read it in one day! It is rare to be surprised at how a story twists and turns I highly recommend for a great take on a plot that isn’t predictable.’ – NetGalley Reviewer

‘I loved the characters in this book…The book developed a hold over me…I was drawn into this story from the first word on the first page and Cathryn kept my attention throughout the book…a very well deserved 5* out of 5*.’ – gingerbookgeek.wordpress.com

‘A fantastic psychological thriller. Suspense filled and a very exciting read. Loved it. A good and exciting mystery.’ – NetGalley Reviewer

My Review

Well, am I chuffed to have found this book or what? A very clever story that is both tense and intense.

The Good Neighbor is Taylor Swanick, who just wants to bring some community spirit to the quiet – and frankly, dull – cul-de-sac in which she lives with her husband. Everyone seems to just go about their business, but Taylor wants more from her neighbours; she wants a sense of camaraderie, of pitching in together, sharing and generally being neighbourly.

The latest additions to the street are, however, more reserved and hermit-like than ever. But when, one night, Taylor is woken by someone frantically knocking on her front door, little does she realise things will never be the same again. Careful what you wish for …as Taylor was about to find out.

Her new neighbour, Moira, is screaming hysterically, convinced her daughter Brittany has been abducted from her bedroom. Taylor’s determination to get the whole street involved soon sees them all searching the open space behind their homes. All to no avail. But, Taylor, doesn’t stop there, nor does she do as her husband advises and leave it to the police. She starts a Facebook page, appealing to the public to find Brittany.

Let’s just say, that she doesn’t expect to get so many hoax responses to her plea for help. Nor does she expect to find someone like Crystal who knows Moira and her family all too well. In fact, Crystal knows an awful lot about them, and she’s not going to be hushed this time.

This is a gripping story, and once that humongous twist comes at the halfway stage I can assure you there’s no going back until you finish. The story is filled to the brim with larger than life characters. Not all of them are remotely likeable, and some are definitely not playing with a full deck. Yet, despite that they seem so normal. It’s scary to think that beneath the surface these people are nothing like you could ever imagine. Taylor most certainly was not prepared for what happened …and nor was I.

Don’t be thinking this is just a story about a missing teenager, because it’s way more than that. This is a story about people. Taylor is just looking for a sense of community; Moira and Alan are looking to stay under the radar, and Crystal is after the truth and justice. The story is told primarily from the viewpoints of Taylor and Moira, but also includes young neighbour, Luke, as well as some insight into who Brittany is and the life she has been leading thus far.

This is a well-paced story that hooked me early on, and included some major curve balls that blew me away. I’ve not read anything by this author before, but I surely will look out for her other work from hereon.

I received a copy from Netgalley, and wish to thank the author and her publishers for making it available.

As always,

blog tour · book review · thriller & crime · truth

Blog Tour ‘n’ Book Review – Why She Lied

WhyShelied

Welcome to the blog tour for a truly unique, true crime type thriller, written memoir style called, Why She Lied  by Julie Coons. Please read on for an excerpt and a chance to win a copy of the book!

*Warning: This book has many extreme triggers including but not limited to, sexual assault, child abuse, violence, and various types of trauma.

44177430Why She Lied

Publication Date: March 3rd, 2019

Genre: True Crime/ Memoir

Will she have to lose her child to save her child?

The day she tells her boyfriend she’s pregnant, is the same day he tells her he’s been accused of molestation. His trial is set to begin the following day.

She needs answers…

To get them, she tricks her boyfriend into signing a release form, giving her full access to all of his legal documents. She uncovers the truth, he’s guilty.

To save her unborn child from this monster, she gets an abortion.

FIVE YEARS LATER and still rebuilding her life, Julie finds out her ex-boyfriend has just become the most wanted man in America, involved in human trafficking. When detectives ask for her help locating him, she gets drawn into a baffling mystery. What began as a seemingly simple search soon turns into a much darker reality.

Someone from her past is watching…

Bit by bit, the tapestry of her own secret childhood begins to unravel. What she learns about her past will haunt her forever: family isn’t always what it seems.

Can she help bring this predator to justice, or will she die trying?

Add to Goodreads

Excerpt

I wanted to throw up. It was so disturbing to hear her talk about a grown man trying to have sexual relations with a child. I expressed my deepest condolences to her.

Then she asked me the million-dollar question: “Are you still with James?”

“No way, of course not, but I have a problem. I found out the day before he told me about his court date that I was pregnant with his child.”

I could actually hear her gasp on the other end of the phone.

Without taking another breath she said, “You have to get rid of that baby.”

Available on Amazon

Giveaway: Print Copy for residents of the United States, and a digital copy internationally!

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About the Author

author pic

JULIE COONS lives in a small town in Oregon. THIS DOES NOT LEAVE THIS HOUSE was her debut memoir. Amy’s bookshelf reviews awarded it the #1 position for top 10 books of 2018. Her second book WHY SHE LIED is based on a true story. Her books are written to lead a movement toward positive change. She tells the stories of her life with honesty and strength.

Julie Coons | FacebookTwitter

My thoughts

3.5/5 stars

As a fictional story, this made for one hell of a thriller, but being based on real life events made it super creepy. If only Julie had trusted her instincts and never dated James, she would have totally dodged a bullet. However, the trafficking would have continued, her abusive past would still have happened, and the nightmare scenario would continue to play out for the other victims involved.

There are an awful lot of triggers attached to this story since it does indeed deal with some very hardcore issues. And knowing this was based on a true story made it more difficult to read. Not because of the topics covered – I was ready for that – but rather it was the memoir style of delivery that I struggled with. I found it difficult to stay in the story because of the blur of fiction and truth, at times it felt incredulous that some events and thought processes happened. Much of the story was told in a ‘stream of consciousness’ style which, for me, was distracting and slowed the pace considerably at times when events were really taking off.

That said, there were some moments that had me absolutely gripped and fascinated, desperate for a satisfying and timely conclusion. There is no depth to which these monsters will not sink to get their way, and this story highlights how they groomed some very vulnerable people through manipulation at every level. We know, unfortunately, that trafficking happens, yet seeing it from this angle was an eye-opener. kudos to the author for wearing her heart on her sleeve and sharing the story with us.

I received a copy of this book as part of a blog tour and write this review voluntarily.

Amazon reviews appear on the UK and ES sites by meandthemutts

 

WhyShelied

Blog Tour Schedule

September 2nd

Reads & Reels (Spotlight) http://readsandreels.com

Breakeven Books (Spotlight) https://breakevenbooks.com

LoopyLouLaura (Review) https://www.loopyloulaura.com/

September 3rd

Scarlett Readz & Runz (Interview) https://scarlettreadzandrunz.com/

Touch My Spine Book Reviews (Spotlight) https://touchmyspinebookreviews.com

LIBRORUM IN SEMPITERNUM (Review) http://libroruminsempiternumhome.wordpress.com

September 4th

Just 4 My Books (Review) http://www.just4mybooks.wordpress.com

Shalini’s Books and Reviews (Spotlight) https://bookreviewsbyshalini.com/

Reviews and Promos by Nyx (Review) https://nyxblogs.wordpress.com/

September 5th

Kim Knight (Interview) http://kimknightauthor.wordpress.com

Jessica Belmont (Review) https://jessicabelmont.wordpress.com/

My Bookish Bliss (Review) http://mybookishbliss.com

September 6th

Mermaid in these Jeans (Spotlight) https://mermaidinthesejeans.com

Dash Fan Book Reviews (Review) https://dashfan81.blogspot.com/

Misty’s Book Space (Review)  http://mistysbookspace.wordpress.com

The Faerie Review (Review) http://www.thefaeriereview.com

The Magic of Wor(l)ds (Spotlight) http://themagicofworlds.wordpress.com

Entertainingly Nerdy (Review) https://www.entertaininglynerdy.com

Blog Tour Organised By:

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R&R Book Tours