A Death In The Family Blog Tour

Today, I’m delighted to host the next stop on the A Death in the Family blog tour by Michael Stanley. I have added the opening paragraph of the novel so you can see how beautifully written it is along with my review.

Opening Paragraph:

‘Assistant Superintendent David ‘Kubu’ Bengu was enjoying his dream. He was at an all-you-can-eat buffet at The Palms hotel. His table was on the patio away from the noisy bar, and Joy, his wife, was visiting her sister, so she couldn’t limit how much he could eat.’

Death in the Family, A (Detective Kubu)

Blurb:

Faced with the violent death of his own father, even Assistant Superintendent David ‘Kubu’ Bengu, Botswana’s keenest mind, is baffled. Who would kill such a frail old man? The picture becomes even murkier with the apparent suicide of a government official. Are Chinese mine-owners involved? And what role does the US Embassy have to play?

Set amidst the dark beauty of modern Botswana, A Death in the Family is a thrilling insight into a world of riots, corruption and greed, as a complex series of murders present the opera-loving, wine connoisseur detective with his most challenging case yet. When grief-stricken Kubu defies orders and sets out on the killers’ trail, startling and chilling links emerge, spanning the globe and setting a sequence of shocking events in motion. Will Kubu catch the killers in time…and find justice for his father?

This is another instalment in the Kubu series which sees Assistant Superintendent David ‘Kubu’ Benga woken in the middle of the night only to be told devastating news that his own father has been violently murdered.As events unfold and Kubu is assigned to a ‘suspected’ suicide he starts to suspect that the murder of his father is not the first and he is on the hunt for a killer who will not stop until they get what they want.

Amazing!!

I loved this novel which is so beautifully written with its vivid imagery which really brings the world of Botswana to life for me, showing the traditions of this culture and its authentic language making this a rich and compelling story.

Detective Kubu is an interesting character who has an inquisitive mind, a thirst for justice and is a wine drinking connoisseurwho has a deep rooted sense of family. This theme of family ties is reflected through the relationships Kubu has with his mother, wife and children which brought in an added dimension to my reading experience. Kubu does struggle with his grief throughout the story which brought some very touching moments in the book which I adored.

I thought this book was full of pace, suspense and has a dark undertone. What amazed me when reading was I had no idea who the killer was until very late on in the novel! The authors did a fantastic job of keeping the culprit hidden with the many red herrings and twists.

This is a fabulous book full of beautiful descriptions, is fast paced with many twists and turns. This is a dark crime novel I would definitely recommend!

To buy this book from Amazon click here.

To buy this book from Waterstones click here.

Michael Stanley is the writing team of Michael Sears and Stanley Trollip. To find out  more follow them  on Twitter @detectivekubu.

In Her Wake Blog Tour – Extract and Giveaway

Today I’m delighted to be hosting the next stop on the fabulous Amanda Jennings’ In Her Wake blog tour to share the prologue with you and to give one lucky person the chance to win their very own copy of this fab book.

In Her Wake HBcover copy 4.jpgBlurb:

A tragic family event reveals devastating news that rips apart Bella’s comfortable existence. Embarking on a personal journey to uncover the truth, she faces a series of traumatic discoveries that take her to the ruggedly beautiful Cornish coast, where hidden truths, past betrayals and a 25-year-old mystery threaten not just her identity, but her life.

In Her Wake by Amanda Jennings

Prologue:

I dreamt vividly the night she died. I’ve had this dream before. In it I am running. Always running. My heart thumps in my ears. My breath comes in short, painful gasps. It is dark and cold and the tress reach out to grab me, as if they are alive, as if they are trying to capture me with their long, twiggy fingers. Their roots are thick and hidden and I trip repeatedly. I think my feet must hurt. I look down to see that I am wearing only one slipper.

When did I lose the other?

Fear has taken hold of me now. A rising panic fills me and I begin to struggle for breath. My chest is tight, like a giant’s hand is squeezing and squeezing, making each gasp impossible. It is getting darker. I must keep running. And then, just when I think it’s all over, there it is, a glorious sunrise appears ahead and forces back the darkness. She is sitting, as she always does, in the pool of light on the forest floor. A little girl in a white nightie, soft, golden curls framing her pale face. I run to her and she lifts her head. When she sees me she smiles. I wave and she waves back and then I laugh because she is wearing my other slipper. We both have one bare foot and one slipper. How funny!

As soon as I laugh, the light begins to fade and so does she. I scream loudly my lungs feel as if they might split open.

I have to reach her before she melts away.

But it’s always too late.

As I stretch my fingers out to touch her, she vanishes.

My hand grasps smoke.

Then everything turns black and the ground beneath me disappears. I am falling through a void, into a pit with windowless walls that stretch up for miles, walls that are slippery with darkness and impossible to climb.

I am lost forever.

This is what I dreamt the night she died.

To find out more about Amanda Jennings follow her on Twitter @MandaJJennings or check out her website here. In Her Wake is published by Orenda Books and is out to buy now. To buy this book on Amazon click here.

FOR A CHANCE TO WIN your very own copy of IN HER WAKE BY AMANDA JENNINGS:

  • Tweet the link to this post with @emms_rachel in the post OR like or retweet one of my tweets about the giveaway. (You’ll need to follow me on Twitter, so that I can send you a direct message if you win.)
  • Rules: 
Only one entry per reader.
  • Open to UK residents only.
  • I will draw the winner at random. There will be no cash alternative
  • The competition closes for entries at 10.00pm GMT on Friday 15th April 2016
  • My decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.

****This competition has now closed****

Don’t forget to check out all the other fab stops on the In Her Wake Blog Tour:

In Her Wake Blog tour.jpg

 

 

First Monday Crime Event

This week I went to the First Monday Crime Event, hosted by Goldsboro Books which was held at City University. This is a new crime/thriller evening which will be held in Central London on the first Monday of every month and which will feature a range of amazing best-selling authors.

The event was an instant hit and featured an awesome panel of authors; Leye Adenle, Elly Griffiths, Mary Paulson-Ellis, Amanda Jennings and chaired by Barry Forshaw. The authors discussed their recent novels, their debuts, their experience at submitting the first draft, book themes, the dreaded second novel syndrome, plotting and the notion of a tidy desk.

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They all gave some great recommendations of crime authors they love including; Wilkie Collins, Edgar Allen Poe, anything by Charles Dickens, Lizzie Thompson, Isabelle Grey and Pace Setter Novels from MacMillian Publishers.

IMG_2962This lively and fun evening featured cupcakes, wine and some fantastic goody bags from Orenda Books. After the panel discussion there was even a chance to buy the books and to get these signed by the authors – which is something I always look forward to at events! The evening ended with a lot of socialising down the local pub.

If you get the chance I would recommend anyone who loves crime/thriller novels to go. There is a small £5 charge to attend but with a friendly, fun and lively atmosphere I think it is definitely worth it.

 

To find out more about the next event or to book tickets visit the Goldsboro books events page here or follow @1stMondayCrime.

The Featured Books:

Brit Noir by Barry Forshaw: The Pocket Essential Guide to British Crime Fiction, Film and TV.

Easy Motion Tourist by Leye Adenle

Blurb: Guy Collins, a British hack, is hunting for an election story in Lagos. A decision to check out a local bar in Victoria Island ends up badly – a mutilated female body is discarded close by and Collins is picked up as a suspect. In the murk of a hot, groaning and bloody police station cell, Collins fears the worst. But then Amaka, a sassy guardian angel of Lagos working girls, talks the police station chief around. She assumes Collins is a BBC journo who can broadcast the city’s witchcraft and body parts trade that she’s on a one-woman mission to stop.

Smoke and Mirrors by Elly Griffiths

Blurb: Brighton, winter 1951.

Pantomime season is in full swing on the pier with Max Mephisto starring in Aladdin, but Max’s headlines have been stolen by the disappearance ­­of two local children. When they are found dead in the snow, surrounded by sweets, it’s not long before the press nickname them ‘Hansel and Gretel’.

DI Edgar Stephens has plenty of leads to investigate. The girl, Annie, used to write gruesome plays based on the Grimms’ fairy tales. Does the clue lie in Annie’s unfinished – and rather disturbing – last script? Or might it lie with the eccentric theatricals who have assembled for the pantomime?

In Her Wake by Amanda Jennings

Blurb: A tragic family event reveals devastating news that rips apart Bella’s comfortable existence. Embarking on a personal journey to uncover the truth, she faces a series of traumatic discoveries that take her to the ruggedly beautiful Cornish coast, where hidden truths, past betrayals and a 25-year-old mystery threaten not just her identity, but her life.

The Other Mrs Walker by Mary Paulson-Ellis 

Blurb: Somehow she’d always known that she would end like this. In a small square room, in a small square flat. In a small square box, perhaps. Cardboard, with a sticker on the outside. And a name . . 

In a freezing, desolate Edinburgh flat an old woman takes her last breath surrounded by the few objects she has accrued over a lifetime: an emerald dress, a brazil nut engraved with the ten commandments – and six orange pips sucked dry.

Meanwhile, guided by the flip of a coin, Margaret Penny arrives back at her old family home, escaping a life in London recently turned to ash. Faced with relying on a resentful mother she has never really known, Margaret soon finds herself employed by the Office for Lost People, tasked with finding the families of the dead: the neglected, the abandoned, the lost. Her instructions are to uncover paperwork, yet the only thing Mrs Walker, the old woman in her current case, left behind is a series of peculiar objects.

But in the end it is these objects that will unravel Mrs Walker’s real story: a story rooted in the London grime and moving from the 1930s to the present day, a story of children abandoned and lost, of beguiling sisters and misplaced mothers, of deception and thievery, family secrets and the very deepest of betrayals; in which the extraordinary circular nature of life will glitter from the page. For in uncovering the astonishing tale of an old woman who died alone, Margaret will finally discover her own story too . . .

 

 

Wicked Game Blog Tour

Today it’s my pleasure to share a sneak peek of Matt Johnson’s superb thriller Wicked Game as part of the Wicked Game Blog Tour and to give one lucky person the chance to win their very own copy of this fab book.

Wicked Game copy 2.jpgWicked Games extract:

‘Fucking hell, Jed, what is that smell?’ asked Blackwood, as they joined the other passengers on the short, stifling walk across the tarmac to the waiting airport bus.

Garrett had smelled Kalikata before. Sweat, exhaust fumes and local spices combined to produce a pungent, musty aroma that some loved but many found hard to bear.

‘That’s the smell of India, Mac. Get used to it, we’re gonna be here a while.’

As they boarded the bus, Garrett could see his friend becoming impatient. He was anxious to get to their hotel and get their business underway. Garrett smiled. Mac was going to have to adjust to the slower pace of life here. The perpetual heat and humidity would soon put paid to any ideas of doing things quickly. Mac Blackwood was used to the chilly, windswept streets of Glasgow, whereas Garrett was from Florida and had been to India many times before.

In the welcome air-conditioned atmosphere of the arrivals hall, Mac relaxed again.

‘No wonder they call this the black hole of Calcutta,’ he said pointing through the window of the crowds who stood outside waiting to beg from, or sell to, the arriving travellers. There were hundreds of them. Men, women and children of all ages. Kids with filthy hands, blackened nails and puppy-dog eyes chased around, pleading for small change from the tourists.

‘I fuckin’ hate this place already.’ Blackwood turned away from the window. ‘Ach, for Christ sake. Look at the state of that kit.’ He pointed to the uniforms of the soldiers who milled around the airport concourse, trying to looks efficient.

Garrett was starting to get tired of his companion’s constant moaning. He stayed silent until their bags appeared on the carousel.

Outside, he hailed a taxi. But as the driver took their bags, children surrounded them, their tiny hands open and extended. ‘Gimme dollar, gimme dollar.’

One youngster held up a soiled copy of Penthouse. ‘You buy, you buy,’ he called.

As Mac Blackwood reached for his pocket, Garrett grabbed his arm and pulled him towards the car. He knew giving just one child some cash would mean another fifty blocking their way.

‘Oberoi Hotel,’ he told the driver. Blackwood had to prise tiny fingers from the door handle before he could join Garrett in the back. They accelerated slowly away, stained and grimy hands smacking incessantly on the windows as the taxi driver sought out a route through the throng.

With the noise and bustle of the airport fading away behind them, Garrett sighed and shook his head at Blackwood. ‘Over three million kids die every year in this country from diseases caused by poverty,’ he said. ‘They’ll do whatever they can to survive. Help one, and they’ll all want a piece of you.’

Blackwood simply nodded. Not helping a needy kid didn’t sit comfortably with him.

They had been travelling for only a minute or two when the taxi started to slow.

‘What now?’ Blackwood leaned forward. The taxi driver was stopping to let a cow cross the road.

‘Cows are sacred here, Mac,’ said Garrett, putting a hand on his friend’s shoulder. ‘ Just be patient.’

At that moment, the front passenger door swung open and a filthy teenager in a simple shirt and trousers jumped in. The first thing Blackwood noticed was the smell. Garrett saw the holdall the kid carried.

‘American?’ The boy smiled as he turned to ask them the question.

‘Canadian,’ Garrett lied. Canadians were popular everywhere.

‘Have a nice day.’

The last thing Jed Garrett saw were the two wires that stuck out from the side of the bag the boy was carrying and the swift movement as he reached down to press them together.

To find out more about Matt Johnson follow him on Twitter @Matt_Johnson_UK or check out his website here. To buy this book on Amazon click here.

FOR A CHANCE TO WIN your very own copy of WICKED GAME BY MATT JOHNSON:

  • Tweet the link to this post with @emms_rachel in the post OR like or retweet one of my tweets about the giveaway. (You’ll need to follow me on Twitter, so that I can send you a direct message if you win.)
  • Rules: 
Only one entry per reader.
  • Open to UK residents only.
  • I will draw the winner at random. There will be no cash alternative
  • The competition closes for entries at 9.30pm GMT on Tuesday 5th April 2016
  • My decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.

* ****This competition has now ended and the prize winner notified *******

 

Wicked Games Blog tour.jpg

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Thriller Review: Wicked Game by Matt Johnson

First Line: ‘Jed Garrett and Mac Blackwood stepped out of the artificially cool aircraft cabin into a wall of heat.’Wicked Game copy 2

What the blurb says: 2001. Age is catching up with Robert Finlay, a police officer on the Royalty Protection team based in London. He’s looking forward to returning to uniform policing and a less stressful life with his new family. But fate has other plans.

Finlay’s deeply traumatic, carefully concealed past is about to return to haunt him. A policeman is killed by a bomb blast, and a second is gunned down in his own driveway. Both of the murdered men were former Army colleagues from Finlay’s own SAS regiment, and in a series of explosive events, it becomes clear that he is not the ordinary man that his colleagues, friends and new family think he is. And so begins a game of cat and mouse a wicked game in which Finlay is the target, forced to test his long-buried skills in a fight against a determined and unidentified enemy.

Meet Robert Finlay, a soldier turned policeman with a wife and new baby girl who has long since buried his murky military past. When a series of murdered policemen turn out to be former Army colleagues from Finlay’s own former SAS regiment, he realises that his past is coming back to haunt him and that he is the next on the target list.

Faced with the terrifying prospect of losing his wife and child, Finlay must face his demons and dig deep into his past to use his long-buried fighting skills to protect his family. But can he find the enemy before it is too late?

This gripping debut novel is set in 2001 and contains a lot of dramatic action which refuses to let up. I loved the main character Robert Finlay, a strong, determined yet resourceful policemen who would do anything to protect his family. The novel also uses many flashbacks of Finlay’s military past which I found as a reader gave me a better understanding of his character and evoked a lot of empathy.

I found the vivid descriptions and settings really brought the novel to life for me, making it feel like I was right in the action.

This is a breath-taking, debut novel which will have you on the edge of your seat.

To buy this book on Amazon click here

To buy this book on Waterstones click here

To find out more about Matt Johnson follow him on Twitter @Matt_Johnson_UK or check out his website here

 

Killer Review: Nightblind by Ragnar Jónasson

First Line: ‘Unsettling. Yes, that’s the word. There was something unsettling about that ancient, broken-down house.’

What the blurb says: 

Siglufjörður: an idyllically quiet fishing village on the northernmost tip of Iceland, accessible only via a small mountain tunnel.
Ari Thór Arason: a local policeman, whose tumultuous past and uneasy relationships with the villagers continue to haunt him.
The peace of this close-knit community is shattered by the murder of a policeman – shot at point-blank range in the dead of night in a deserted house. With a killer on the loose and the dark arctic winter closing in, it falls to Ari Thór to piece together a puzzle that involves tangled local politics, a compromised new mayor, and a psychiatric ward in Reykjavik, where someone is being held against their will. Then a mysterious young woman moves to the area, on the run from something she dare not reveal, and it becomes all too clear that tragic events from the past are weaving a sinister spell that may threaten them all.

This is a brilliant novel in the Dark Iceland series which sees the return of Ari Thor, a local policeman, in the small town of Siglufjörður, with his girlfriend and ten-month old son which is set five years after Snowblind – the first book in the series.

When the new inspector, Herjólfur, is killed – the first time a policeman has ever been murdered in Iceland, Ari Thor is faced with the impossible task of finding out what really happened. But as Ari Thor delves deeper into the investigation he is drawn into local politics and long buried family secrets where nothing is as it seems as he struggles to keep his own personal life at bay long enough to uncover the killer.

It was so easy to be sucked into this novel; with the brooding character of Ari Thor fraught with insecurities about his own abilities as a policeman, the dark and surprising twists in the investigation and set within the stunning but creepy atmosphere of Iceland makes for a very exciting read.

This is a classic murder mystery infused with dark undertones which really brings the beautiful and eerie setting of Iceland to life.

I am very much looking forward to the next book in the series out, Blackout, which is out later this year.

With thanks to Karen Sullivan at Orenda Books for my copy of Nightblind.

To buy this book on Amazon click here

To buy this book on Waterstones click here

To find out more about Ragnar Jónasson follow him on Twitter @ragnarjo or visit his website here