Category: Book Review

Deep Cover by Leigh Russell (Gerladine Steel 16)

Deep Cover Synopsis: When a sex worker dies in suspicious circumstances in York, Detective Inspector Geraldine Steel struggles to remain focused on the murder investigation: she is distracted by her worries about her colleague and life partner, Ian Peterson, who has disappeared. As Geraldine becomes close to her new DS, Matthew, she is unaware that Ian is working undercover in London, trying to identify a criminal gang who have been targeting her.

As a second victim is discovered in York, and Ian’s life is threatened by a psychopath the tension mounts. If he fails in his mission, both he and Geraldine may die…

My Rating: 5/5

My Review: I absolutely love this series but for me it has had it’s ups and downs. When Geraldine got demoted I found that she seemed to shrink into herself and I felt like she was struggling. Once again with her working relationship with her colleague Ian went personal it was also a difficult time for her. It felt like she was so up and down and I never knew which version I was going to get. Following the end of the last book I wasn’t sure what would happen to Geraldine and Ian, however the opener of this book makes it perfectly clear. Geraldine is working a murder case however her focus is seriously tested as it seems Ian has upped and disappeared. A new colleague DS Matthew makes an entrance and I worried instantly that this may be where it all went wrong.

On the other side of the fence, Ian is now part of the Drugs squad in London and has chosen to work undercover. Unbeknown to Geraldine he is fighting this case in the hope he can resolve the issues between Geraldine and her sister Helen. I really thought you got to see Ian in a new light with this role and I absolutely loved this book. There is plenty of action and although you probably could read this as a standalone, knowing the back story means you as the reader are way more invested in the outcome. I read this in two days and was sad when it finished, however it made me look forward to the next book even more.

When She Was Good by Michael Robotham (Cyrus Haven Book 2)

51qU9bkgnbS._SY346_ Synopsis: A secret room. A silent girl. A shocking truth.

Evie Cormac was found at a murder scene six years ago, hiding in a secret room. She has never revealed her real name, why she was in that house, or what she saw.

Forensic psychologist Cyrus Haven wants to help the traumatised teenager. He thinks unravelling Evie’s secrets will free her from the past.

But he has no idea what he’s about to unleash . . .

Rated: 5/5

Review: WOW!!! Back in 2019 I picked up Good Girl, Bad Girl and was blown away. It featured Cyrus Haven a psychologist and a very damaged and unusual young girl named Evie Cormack. For me you HAVE to read that book to be able to understand their relationship and to be fair it was an amazing book so why wouldn’t you want to read it? I was really hoping for them to return and when I picked this book up, I assumed it was a standalone. I was thrilled to realise it was book 2 featuring the two of them once again.

Cyrus has his own issues having lost his family as a young child. I think that is why he is so drawn to Evie who is currently residing at Langford Hall which is a secure children’s home. This book shifts between current day and Evie’s past. It is done in such a way there is no confusion, just a slow reveal of her horrific past as each layer is peeled back. We see a real emotional roller coaster for both Cyrus and Evie as they battle their own demons and Cyrus tries desperately to help save Evie. It just isn’t clear who he is saving her from.

This book I would have read in one straight sitting, however sadly I had to go to work and by 3am my eyes were fighting so I had to suffice and finish it the next day. Michael Robotham is a seriously talented author who has created an amazing book with fabulous characters. I am really hoping this isn’t the end for Cyrus and Evie and I would love to see what they do next. HUGELY recommended…

Evil Impulse by Leigh Russell (Geraldine Steel 15)

41r322r6FWL._SY346_ Synopsis: Living with her colleague and long time love interest, Detective Inspector Ian Peterson, it seems that Geraldine Steel has finally found happiness. But life is never that simple.

As a psychopath starts killing random women on the streets of York, Geraldine is abducted by a drugs syndicate who have been threatening her sister. Geraldine has everything to fight for, and her life is on the line…

My Rating: 3/5

My Review: I am shocked to realise I have been reading this series since its inception in 2009. It has now been going 12 years and in my opinion still has legs to run with. Not every book has been perfect but I have thoroughly enjoyed this series and still love the characters (even though I Geraldine has become somewhat lacking in confidence since her demotion). Gerladine is working the case following a number of murders of women all seemingly unrelated. The case itself I thought was a little slow in pace and although reasonably engaging I just felt lit lacked it’s normal sparkle.

I feel like some of it is Geraldine herself. Her relationship with Ian is up and down all the time, add to that the pressures of her sister Helena her mood is seemingly always down. I think this maybe felt a little too much like Geraldine was slightly chaotic and that’s not really what I associate with her as a character. The one thing I really liked was the ending and I feel like there will be more linked to Helena in the next book. Still a great series but this particular book wasn’t as good as some of the others in this series.

Blood Kin by Matt Hilton (Grey and Po Book8)

Blood Kin Synopsis:

When Nicolas ‘Po’ Villere runs into Elspeth Fuchs, an old flame, he’s surprised to find who’s by her side. It’s her son, Jacob, and he’s a dead ringer for when Po was a child. His age lines up with when Po last saw Elspeth, before she left him for Caleb Moorcock and a life in a secluded community.

Elspeth and Jacob are now running for their lives from the abusive Caleb. Po and his partner, Private Investigator Tess Grey, offer shelter. But before Po can dive into the boy’s parentage, Caleb snatches the absconded pair and drags them back to their fortified commune.

Has Po dodged a bullet? Maybe it’s best for them all if he never learns whether he’s Jacob’s father. Who’s he kidding? Po resolves to rescue Elspeth and discover the truth about Jacob no matter what . . .

My Rating: 5/5

My Review: Thank goodness! That’s all I can say….

Book 6 in this series was an absolute banger and then book 7 was kind of middle of the road and I was seriously worried about where the series was heading. Thankfully it was heading straight back into the same area book 6 was in which was brilliant! This book leans heavily on the personal side as Po’s old flame Elspeth Fuchs turns up in a town where Po is, and she has a child with her. The difference is that child is a dead ringer for Po as well as being the right age should the boy be his.

What started as an innocent running into an old flame turns out to be a fight for survival for Elspeth and her son Jacob. It turns out that Elspeth is on the run from her violent partner Caleb and they had been living in a secluded and vert controlled community. What I loved about this book was that emotions were what led both Po and Tess as opposed to it being just a job. Is Jacob Po’s son? If it is his son, can Po fight to keep him safe?

As ever the faithful Pinky lends a hand as Po and Tess closest friend and together they chase after Elspeth and Jacob but don’t bank on coming across Caleb and his friends. This makes for an emotion filled but packed with action thriller book with my favourite characters all in attendance. I can’t help but think this series is seriously underrated by many and I think if people gave it a chance and started from book one they would fall in love with these very un-traditional characters. Sadly I have now caught up with Tess, Po and Pinky so will need to wait until next year for the next instalment.

Hope and Happiness in Bluebell Wood by Ali McNamara

HAHIBW Synopsis: Ava loves city life but when something happens to make her feel unsafe, she retreats to the calm and quiet of Bluebell Wood. The once high-flying Ava now locks herself away in her fairy-tale cottage, only leaving to explore the trails of the nearby woods or to potter in the garden with her dog, Merlin.

When Ava begins to feed the wild birds that flock to her bird table, they start leaving her trinkets of appreciation in return. The gifts seem innocent at first, but they soon seem to take on a deeper meaning.

It isn’t until Ava meets Callum, the handsome parish priest, that she can’t help but wonder if the birds might have been trying to get her out of the house all along. But will their curious behaviour help to heal Ava, and transform her and Callum into the lovebirds they clearly long to be?

My Rating: 5/5

My Review: I have to admit that I am a big Ali McNamara fan and every time I read one of her books I am reminded why! This was an absoluteky joyous book to read. Due to the sheer volume of death and destruction I read about within the thriller books I love, it’s always nice to have a reprieve from that and this is the perfect solution! Ava has given up city life to try living among the peacefull Bluebell Wood. As a reader you don’t know her exact circumstances until much later in the book, you only know she is crippled by anxiety. AMN has such flair when decsribing these beautiful fictional towns that you almost want to go there on holiday.

Ava is struggling but persisting in her need to get over her problems such as leaving the house. Somehow Bluebell Wood and the retal cottage she is staying in seem to cast a spell over her.  You get to meet many villagers including Callum the parish priest. Ava also shares her journey with Marvin her new dog. There is something so calming about the book, the characters and the setting. It was a purejoy to read something so lovely and it certainly put a smile on my face.There are many that say these type of books are too predictable but thats the joy of these books. They may have a sad story behind varioud characters but it’s the joy in seeing them grow, adapt and overcome. Another wonderful book by an author I think is amazing!

Deadly Revenge by Leigh Russell (Geraldine Steel #14)

Deadly Revenge

Synopsis: When a hysterical mother reports her baby’s sudden disappearance, suspicion immediately falls on the absent husband. But Detective Geraldine Steel’s gut instinct tells her this case is not as simple as her colleagues think…

Complications in the mother’s life begin to surface, including her relationship with her controlling father, a controversial political figure. As the police investigate, their urgent attempt to find the missing infant grows ever more perplexing.

Steel is forced to suspect everyone associated with the family and when a body is discovered, matters take a deadly turn.

My Rating: 4/5

My Review: It’s been way too long since I have read about Geraldine and figured it was high time I caught up. Geraldine and the team are working a case of a baby’s disappearance. It’s a strange case as the baby’s father Jason is apparently away for the weekend, except nobody who knows Jason knows anything about this so-called stag weekend he is meant to be on. Jason’s wife Jessica is hysterical, and it seems obvious from the early days that she is very controlled, but the question is by whom?

Before long the standard search procedures are interrupted by another murder linked directly to the case. The story hits the pace perfectly and you feel like you are back with old friends when Geraldine and Ian are working a case. It seems that Geraldine and Ian are still working things out on the personal front, but this makes for such an interesting thread that has run throughout the series and gives you a real glimpse into their personal lives.

This book was the perfect mix for me and was a real ‘who dunnit’ kind of book. I am also additionally pleased as I am binge reading a few series of books now and I know that I have book 15 in this series to read. Another cracking read and a series I would recommend.

Collision Course by Matt Hilton (Grey and Po Book 7)

Collission Course Synopsis: Private investigator Tess Grey feels duty bound to help when the missing girl she has been asked to find becomes involved a high-stakes case of extortion.

Private investigator Tess Grey’s latest case involves tracking down Hayley Cameron, a young girl who has fled after discovering that she was adopted. Tess, aided by her fianc� Po Villere, traces Hayley to the apartment of Madison Toner – one of Hayley’s college friends – in Bangor, Maine.

Despite Tess’s pleas, Hayley refuses to return to her adoptive mother. Both Tess and Po believe there’s more to her running away than it seems, especially when they see Madison’s father bloodied and beaten. Concerned for Hayley’s well-being, they conduct a stake-out.

When thugs turn up to extort Madison and Hayley, Tess and Po feel duty bound to get involved. But what are the girls embroiled in? Who are after them and to what lengths will they go? Tess and Po don’t know it yet, but events are about to grow deadly.

My Rating: 4/5

My Review: After the belter of a book being the last in this series I couldn’t help feeling a little disappointed in this latest book. Don’t get me wrong it wasn’t a bad read, it just wasn’t as great as the last one I read. This latest case for Tess involves Hayley Cameron and tracking her down as she has run away from her adoptive mother. It is soon uncovered that the girl is caught up in her friend Maddison’s scam which is putting them in the middle of a dangerous situation.

Maddison and her Father become rather central characters in this story but I couldn’t help feeling this was just a bit too run of the mill for my liking. The story was okay just I found it not that exciting. Although we see PO and Pink make their appearances there just seemed to be some of the normal magic from the characters missing in this book. Still a fantastic series but this book didn’t hit the high of the last one. Hopefully book 8 will bring the magic back!

Rough Justice by Matt Hilton (Grey and Po Book 6)

Rough Justice Synopsis: Tess Grey is tasked with investigating a plane crash in the Great North Woods after rumors surface of a survivor… but she and her partner Po aren’t the only ones heading there.

Three field biologists are distracted from their studies when a plane crashes in the Great North Woods. They find two pilots dead only to be confronted by a female survivor. Once they call the authorities, they claim they found only the pilots.

Private Investigator Tess Grey is hired by an insurance firm to investigate rumors another person was aboard the downed plane. She sets off into the woods with her partner Po Villere and friend Jerome ‘Pinky’ Leclerc in order to search the crash site and interview the biologists.

But they aren’t the only ones heading into the woods. There are also teams of mercenaries investigating the crash and killers hunting Pinky to claim a bounty that has been placed on his head. Can Tess get to the bottom of what happened at the crash site while they’re also being hunted?

My Rating: 5/5

My Review: I am straight onto this book having just finished book 5. This time there is a plane crash in the Maine forest and it’s a team of biologists who are researching in the area that get to the crash site first. The rumours start about how there was a woman at the scene, but it seems nobody, the researchers included, have anything to say about it. Tess is asked by the insurers to check out the plane crash so she decides to take along her fella Po as well as their long time friend Pinky.

Aside from the issue of them all checking out the crash site, Pinky has a slight worry going on as now he has given up the criminal world of illegal gun trading there is now a bounty on his head. This book I absolutely LOVED. It had so much going on and you were always wondering what was coming next. There is a lot of action, especially towards the end and I was thoroughly engaged from start to finish. Thankfully as I know there are still books ahead of me to read in this series, I luckily didn’t feel too heartbroken that I had finished another of these books.

I absolutely love all the characters that make up these books as they are a fry cry from your bog-standard hero’s, and I have grown very attached to all of them. I can highly recommend this series and can’t wait to move onto book 7!

False Move by Matt Hilton (Grey and Po Book 5)

False Move

Synopsis: When an ex-cop goes on the run from his employers, his daughter seeks help from an old friend . . . Tess Grey.

Ex-cop Aaron Lacey is on the run from Elite Custodian Services, a protection service of ex-military and police – and his current employers – and they will stop at nothing to track him down. His disappearance results in his daughter reaching out to her old schoolfriend, Tess Grey. But when Tess’s mother urges her to turn down helping her friend, Tess begins to question why.

Is her mother simply being overprotective, or is there more to her past with Lacey than Tess realises? Why has Lacey gone underground and why are the Elite so determined to catch him?

As Tess and her partner Nicolas Villere get involved, they need to figure out who can be trusted and what secrets they are hiding.

My Rating: 4/5

My Review: I have not had much free time so when I decide to binge read I decided it was high time I caught up with Tess and Po in this series I have come to love. This latest instalment sees an old school friend of Tess named Stella reach out to her with a request. Her father Aaron Lacey who is an ex-cop has gone missing. Aaron was working for a company called Elite Services and it looks at first glance like he has done a runner, the question is why?

Tess and Po decide to help her out and as usual butt heads with people from the get go. Of course no book would be complete without their loveable friend Pinky. I liked this story and as per usual the characters are totally what makes these books so engaging. There is a lot of action and it is reasonably fast paced. It took me only two sittings to read and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I cannot wait to move onto the next book in the series.

Don’t Let Him In by Howard Linskey

51fMv6dwuVL._SY346_ Synopsis: Eriston is a small town.  Where everyone knows your name – and your secrets. Rebecca hasn’t been back in years, but she grew up in the shadow of a dark local legend: the countless unexplained deaths.

Her father Sean had always warned her of the dangers. And when Rebecca returns, she discovers that her father wasn’t willing to let the legend lie.

He was on the verge of uncovering the town’s darkest truth. He thought he was on the trail of a killer. Sean knew too much. Now he’s dead.

My Rating: 4/5

My Review: I am a huge fan of Howard Linskey and was looking forward to getting my teeth into a new book by him. This latest release features Rebecca as our main character. She has returned to her hometown of Eriston where she hasnt been in years following the death of her father. As Rebecca returns to her home town no sooner has she set foot in the first place as the reader you just know this town has something going on.  It has an element of creepiness about it that I just couldn’t put my finger on. As Rebecca starts to arrange things such as her Dads funeral she is dragged into something she had no idea was going on. Not only are women beingmurdered in the town but Rebecca is now questioning her own Fathers death.

She meets up with her ex-boyfriend Alan as well as meeting the local policeman who seems to be investigating the murders in his own time. Although this took a little time to gather momentuim it was a really enjoyable book to read and I will as always look forwardto the next release.