Tag: RATED 5/5

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…

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!

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!

A Family Recipe by Veronica Henry

A Family Recipe Synopsis: Laura Griffin is preparing for an empty nest. The thought of Number 11 Lark Hill falling silent – a home usually bustling with noise, people and the fragrant smells of something cooking on the Aga – seems impossible. Laura hopes it will mean more time for herself, and more time with her husband, Dom.

But when an exposed secret shakes their marriage, Laura suddenly feels as though her family is shrinking around her. Feeling lost, she turns to her greatest comfort: her grandmother’s recipe box, a treasured collection dating back to the Second World War. Everyone has always adored Laura’s jams and chutneys, piled their sandwiches high with her pickles . . . Inspired by a bit of the old Blitz spirit, Laura has an idea that gives her a fresh sense of purpose.

Full of fierce determination, Laura starts carving her own path. But even the bravest woman needs the people who love her. And now, they need her in return .

My Rating: 5/5

My Review: I have really enjoyed Veronica Henry’s books in the past but this felt like a step up from anything she has written in the past. It was an amazingly good read full of warmth, feeling, love, laughter and tears across two timelines. Lark Hill in Bath with the character Laura is front and centre with this story. Laura is suffering empty nest syndrome when her youngest daughter Willow leaves for University. With her elder daughter already at Uni she finds herself struggling to find her place. Laura’s grandmother Kanga (AKA Jilly) lives on the grounds in the smaller house having given up her house for Laura and her husband Dom to raise their family. In addition to seeing Laura and Dom’s life in current time, we also see Jilly living through the Blitz in the 1940’s.

Both storylines were totally engaging and full of emotion to the point that I really didn’t want to put the book down. Its a real story of overcoming adversity and in the case of Jilly and Laura their love of food and family recipes is one of the key things that they are both drawn to. I don’t need to share any more of the storyline because it will just ruin the book so please take my advice, pick this one up I really don’t think you will regret it!

Sunrise by the Sea by Jenny Colgan (Mure 4)

41MfLOxFySL Synopsis: When she is given the opportunity to move to a remote tidal island off the Cornish Coast, Marisa Rossi decides some peace and quiet might be just what she needs.

Since the death of her beloved grandfather back in Italy, she’s been struggling to find a way out of her grief. Perhaps this will be the perfect place for her to recuperate.

But Mount Polbearne is a far cry from the sleepy little place she was imagining. Between her noisy piano-teaching Russian neighbour and the hustle and bustle of a busy community, Marisa finds solitude is not so easy to come by. Especially when she finds herself somehow involved with a tiny local bakery desperately in need of some new zest to save it . . .

My Rating: 5/5

My Review: Oh how I have missed Mount Polbearne! I was SO excited that this latest book was set in one of my favourite fictional places. We get to see characters from other books such as Polly (but don’t worry if you haven’t read previous books as this won’t affect reading this as a standalone). Marisa Rossi sadly loses her Grandfather and spirals into a place where she cannot function and her solution to this issue is to move to Mount Polbearne which should give her the peace and space she needs to grieve. She didn’t count on a noisy piano teacher Alexei from Russia as her new neighbour.

Polly and her husband Huckle are having financial problems with their bakery and we get to catch up on their lives. When disaster strikes Marisa manages to become involved in the solution to fixing Polly’s problems. As such Polly unwittingly manages to help Marisa deal with her grief and build her confidence once again. These Plobearne books are pure escapism and are books that I think I could read over and over again and still enjoy just as much. Another brilliant book that delivers pure escapism at its finest.

The Last Bodyguard by Sean Black

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Synopsis: In the latest action-packed thriller from the award-winning novelist who writes with ‘the pace of Lee Child, and the heart of Harlan Coben,’ ex-military bodyguard Ryan Lock plunges into the nightmare world of sex trafficking.

When fourteen-year-old Kristin Miller goes missing from her quiet home in the San Fernando Valley, her desperate family turn to ex-military bodyguard, Ryan Lock. Along with his partner, Marine Corps veteran Ty Johnson, Lock sets out on a journey that takes him deep into a dark, disturbing and violent world, where young women are selected, groomed and then exploited by ruthless predators.

With law enforcement’s hands tied, Lock dispenses his own brand of street justice as he tracks down Kristin, taking revenge on anyone who stands in his way. Can he get to her before it’s too late?

My Rating: 5/5

I am a HUGE Sean Black fan, and even though this book is a slight departure from the normal format of these books its still a fantastic read. When I say it is different, I mean it is a slightly different (and at times sensitive) topic relating to sex trafficking, but also feels slightly more sedate in terms of Ryan and Ty as characters. This isn’t a simple open and shut case of catching and when necessary killing the bad guys. It’s more of them delving into a new world that they haven’t had to deal with in the past.

Ryan has a seemingly simple task of tracking down a missing 14 year old girl. However, it leads to the murky world of sex trafficking and both he and Ty are dragged into something they just cannot turn their back on. It is still packed with action and the writing and storyline are just as brilliant as all of his other books. However, we see a slightly less than perfect version of them this time around, whether thats age or just taking their eye off the ball I don’t know. What I do know is that as a team they are not a pair you should mess with. Another cracking read that I absolutely loved and I cannot recommend this series highly enough!

Dead Secret by Noelle Holten (Maggie Jamieson 4)

51t3-f23kjL Synopsis: Psychopaths can take root in the unlikeliest soil…

DC Maggie Jamieson crosses paths once again with Probation Officer Lucy Sherwood when a domestic violence survivor stumbles into her new refuge, unable to speak, desperate for help.

Then another case hits Maggie’s desk. A young man has been murdered, and a curious constellation of black dots has been inked onto his cheek.

That’s when DCI Hastings goes missing and Maggie uncovers a shocking connection that turns the case on its head.

Every family may hide secrets, but not every family buries them…

My Rating: 5/5

My Review: I have to say this was my favourite book by Noelle so far….by a mile! Maggie Jamieson is maybe not a conventional character in some ways but is very enjoyable to read about. The storyline involves the murder of a man  clearly murdred but with strange markings on his face.If that wasn’t enough Maggies very own colleague and superior DI Hastings then goes missing and that takes the story up by quite a few notches. Then a woman turns up at a refuge run by Maggies friend Lucy. A lot of the characters you read about have all featured in previous books so as each book passes as the reader you certainly feel more invested in allof the characters.

There is a lot of intrigue and action in this latest book and it took me only a couple of days to plough through it in its entirety. This series seems to be going from strength to strength and even though you can read this as a standalone it always flows better when you have the history of all the characters. I absolutely loved this book and would defintely recommend it and I am really looking forward to the next installment.

Good Girl by Mel Sherratt (Grace Allendale 4)

51-tMaqPvCL Synopsis: When sixteen-year-old Erin Ellis is attacked, she dies in the arms of her best friend Molly, just metres from her home. Molly is the surviving girl but says she easily could have been the victim – it was a random mugging gone wrong.

With inconclusive evidence, DS Grace Allendale must dig deep within the tight-knit Stoke community for leads. And she soon finds that someone had a motive to kill Erin.

As the investigation unfolds, Grace is reminded of a horrifying case she worked on earlier in her career.

Is the past coming back to haunt her? And can she push through her fear to catch Erin’s killer before it’s too late?

My Rating: 5/5

My Review: I was anticipating and dreading this book in equal measures. This is the fourth and last book in this series featuring Grace Allendale. This final book sees Erin Ellis dying in her best friend Molly’s arms. It’s certainly a dramatic opening and one that had me engrossed from the very beginning.  It happened just yards away from Erin’s home and it appears at first glance to be a mugging gone wrong. As with any Mel Sherratt book you know it’s never going to be that simple.

The story progresses with the usual door knocking and delving into Erin’s life and things slowly are uncovered that make it clear it isn’t necessarily cut and dried. Grace’s involvement with the Steele family once again creeps into the investigation. There are a lot of twists and turns and it’s certainly a book that will keep you engaged and totally absorbed. I absolutely loved this final book and the series. Highly recommended