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Who is allowed access to a crime scene? What happens when a body is discovered? Will a blood transfusion alter DNA? How can the distribution of gunshot residue inform your plot? The Real CIS – A Forensic Handbook for Crime Writers answers these questions and more in a unique and exclusive insight into crime scene investigation. Using real-life examples and case studies, experienced CSI Kate Bendelow shines a light behind the yellow tape and debunks the myths popularized by the ‘CSI Effect’. Each chapter explores the latest procedures in contemporary practice including: Crime Scene access and preservation; fingerprints and DNA profiling; footwear; trace evidence; fire scenes; drugs and toxicology and, finally, firearms. Packed with insider knowledge, handy tips and compelling storylines, this is the definitive guide for all crime writers who wish to write with authenticity and authority.”Every crime writer should have a copy of this book on their desk.” Lynda La Plante. Illustrated with 59 colour images.
Her next case. She’s in it for good.
Isabel Long is in a funk months after solving her first case. Her relationship with the Rooster Bar’s owner is over. Then the cops say she must work for a licensed P.I. before working solo.
Encouraged by her ‘Watson’ — her 92-year-old mother — Isabel snaps out of it by hooking up with a P.I. and finding a new case.
The official ruling is Chet Waters, an ornery so-and-so, was passed out when his house caught fire. His daughter, who inherited the junkyard, believes he was murdered. Topping the list of suspects are dangerous drug-dealing brothers, a rival junkyard owner, and an ex-husband.
Could the man’s death simply be a case of redneck’s revenge? Isabel is about to find out.
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Author Bio –
Joan Livingston is the author of novels for adult and young readers. Redneck’s Revenge, published by Crooked Cat Books, is the second in the mystery series featuring Isabel Long, a long-time journalist who becomes an amateur P.I. The first is Chasing the Case.
An award-winning journalist, she started as a reporter covering the hilltowns of Western Massachusetts. She was an editor, columnist, and most recently the managing editor of The Taos News, which won numerous state and national awards during her tenure.
After eleven years in Northern New Mexico, Joan returned to rural Western Massachusetts, which is the setting of much of her adult fiction, including the Isabel Long series.
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Joan and I are both published through Crooked Cat Books so I jumped at the chance to review this novel. This is the second novel in the Isabel Long mystery series and I have now read both, and although I’d recommend you read the first one in the series before this one, I don’t think its absolutely necessary. Livingston has done a great job of making this book work as a standalone but its a strong atmospheric series, so why wouldn’t you?
This is an enjoyable mystery that’s well plotted. Livingston is not a new writer and is also an award-winning journalist. This shows in the tight style of the book and it feels well edited. It is confidently written, fast-paced and full of twists. What I personally enjoyed most was the trip to a small town in Massachusetts and that hooked me in from the first page. There’s also an enjoyable dash of romance. It’s well worth a read if you’re looking for something a bit different.
In the summer of 1972, a group of friends is invited to Somerset to help photographer Seymour Stratton renovate a dilapidated cottage on Wyld Farm. Over the next year the group come to regard the farm as offering them a place to be for the rest of their lives, to enjoy ‘the good life’. But despite the commitment and camaraderie the rural idyll collapses.
Twenty-five years later, the group is brought together again in unexpected circumstances. Can events of the past be forgotten? Or will the secrets that are revealed devastate once unbreakable friendships?
I like reading books set in the seventies as I love that era, so when I read the blurb for this book I thought it would be one I’d enjoy. The book opens well and sets the scene and time without being too forceful. For example, The BBC news has just finished. (He does not approve of ITV) It also felt very believable a lot of people were looking to become self-reliant at this time and Wyld farm would be perfect for that.
There’s a lot of tension in the writing and I felt Holmes does a good job of keeping the reader on the edge of their seat. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel throughout and found myself wanting to skip ahead to find out what secrets would be revealed and see what impact these would have.
I think its best to read this novel in one or two sittings, if possible, as I felt it was more enjoyable like that. The novel feels confidently written and well plotted. I know this is not the authors first novel and it shows. I had high expectations from the blurb and I didn’t feel disappointed. I’d highly recommend Wyld Dreamers. its one of the best books I’ve read this year. I am now going to seek out Pamela Holmes first novel, The Huntingfield Paintress.
Its been a long few months and I wanted a change of pace from some of the dark fiction I’ve read recently and thought this book would be a good place to start. I don’t often read much romance but I thought the book cover looked fun and thought I’d give the book a go. It looked like it would be a good read.
I was right. This is a wonderfully light, funny page turner. Viggiano does touch upon some deeper tender moments but its all done in a light-hearted way, which I thought was very effective. The author does a wonderful job of hooking the reader and the short chapters make it hard to put down. Its well written and I absolutely loved Hattie.
If you want something a bit different and fun, then I’d highly recommend The man you meet in heaven.
When Hattie Green pops to the shop one afternoon, she never expects her life to flash before her eyes between the tins of baked beans and a special offer on sliced white. One minute she’s loading her trolley and thinking about what to give her son for dinner, and the next she’s speaking to a gorgeous man in a glowing white suit about what her life could have been…
If you had the chance to go back and relive it all, what would you do differently? Go on that date, take that promotion… eat that second biscuit? Hattie is about to discover where she went wrong, but will her mystery second chance reveal some STONKING secrets in her past that probably should have stayed hidden?
A gorgeous romantic comedy from the bestselling author of What Holly’s Husband Did. Perfect for fans of Tracy Bloom, Marian Keyes and Dawn French.
Prior to turning her attention to writing, Debbie Viggiano was, for more years than she cares to remember, a legal secretary. She lives with her Italian husband, a rescued pooch from Crete, and a very disgruntled cat. Occasionally her adult children return home bringing her much joy… apart from when they want to raid the fridge, or eat her secret stash of chocolate. Follow Debbie’s (intermittent!) blog: www.debbieviggiano.blogspot.com Tweet @DebbieViggiano or look her up on Facebook!
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The Fake Date
Nine hours and eleven minutes…
That’s how long it’s been since Ella Hope was beaten to within an inch of life and left for dead.
She lies, unable to move and praying for somebody to find her, as she counts down the minutes and wonders who could have hated her so much to have hurt her so badly.
Was it the man she went on a date with the previous evening, the man linked to the deaths of two other women? Or somebody else, somebody who wants her out of the picture so much they’re willing to kill?
Whoever it is, they will pay … all she has to do first is survive..!
Author Bio –
Lynda grew up in the mining village of Bentley, Doncaster, in South Yorkshire,
Her own chaotic life story, along with varied career choices helps Lynda to create stories of psychological / romantic suspense, with challenging and unpredictable plots, along with (as in all romances) very happy endings.
Lynda joined the Romantic Novelist Association in 2014 under the umbrella of the New Writers Scheme and in 2015, her debut novel House of Secretswon the Choc Lit Search for a Starcompetition.
She lives in a small rural hamlet near Doncaster, with her husband, Haydn, whom she’s been happily married to for over 20 years.
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When I read the brief blurb for this book I thought the title sounded interesting and the premise was intriguing and original. Well, I wasn’t disappointed. This is a well written fast paced page turner that had me hooked from the first page, and with a brilliant opening: “Nine hours and eleven minutes,” Ella whispered as she stared continually at the watch that lay beside her. I raced through this story and read it in one sitting. Something I don’t normally do. Its intelligently written and I wasn’t sure what was going to happen throughout. Although the novel deals with fairly dark subject matter, its well balanced with lighter moments and romance. The characters are well drawn out and three dimensional. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and think it will appeal to a lot of readers, I did feel it was more of a crime thriller/ romantic suspense than phycological read and definitely not your average romance.
About the Book
Bramfield, near Leeds, a sleepy little market town nestled on the borders of West and North Yorkshire. Detectives Stewart Gardener and Sean Reilly discover the naked corpse of Alex Wilson, nailed to the wall of a cellar in his uncle’s hardware store. His lips are sewn together and his body bears only one mark, a fresh scar near his abdomen.
Within forty-eight hours, their investigation results in dead ends, more victims, no suspects and very little in the way of solid evidence. Gardener and Reilly have a problem and a question on their hands: are the residents of Bramfield prepared for one of history’s most sadistic killers, The Tooth Fairy?
Implant is the perfect read for fans of Peter May, Mark Billingham and Peter James.
Publication Day: 9th August 2018
Publisher: Urbane Publications
Category: Fiction, Genre: Thriller / Crime / Psychological
I wanted to review Implant because it was set near Leeds (In the fictional town of Bramfield) and I haven’t heard of the author before. The blurb also said that this book was the perfect read for fans of Peter James, Mark Billingham and Peter May, so I felt this was a novel I’d personally enjoy reading. I wasn’t disappointed, Implant is well written and fast paced. I was aware this was the third in the series, but it worked well for me as a standalone. I didn’t feel lost at any point or confused by what had happened previously. There are also plenty of plot twists and turns throughout the story to keep the reader hooked and the chapters are short, so it’s easy to read on. I think this is the kind of novel you get more from if you can read it in a couple of sittings at the most. The characterisation is excellent, Gardener and Reilly had great dialogue between them and both felt very real and there’s plenty of dry humour along the way, the novel feels confidently plotted and written with a strong voice. The story itself is very intriguing – there’s a sadistic killer and very little evidence for Gardiners team to follow.
This is an enjoyable read and I’d highly recommend it and I will read the rest of the novels in this series.
About the author
The British Fantasy Society published Ray Clark’s first work in 1995 – Manitou Man: The World of Graham Masterton, was nominated for both the World and British Fantasy Awards. In 2009, Ray’s short story, Promises To Keep, made the final shortlist for the best short story award from The Tom Howard Foundation. Ray is based in Goole, and has set his Gardener and Reilly crime series in nearby Leeds.
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Psychologist Dr Magnus Paul is tasked with the patients of Dortmund Asylum – nine criminally insane souls hidden from the world due to the extremity of their acts.
Magnus has six weeks to prove them sane for transfer to a maximum-security prison, or label them as incurable and recommend a death sentence under a new government act.
As Magnus delves into the darkness of the incarcerated minds, his own sanity is challenged. Secrets squeeze through the cracks of the asylum, blurring the line between reality and nightmare, urging Magnus towards a new life of crime…
The rural western town of Dortmund and its inhabitants are the backdrop to the mayhem on the hill.
It’s Silence of the Lambs meets Shutter Island in this tale of loss, fear and diminishing hope.
Purchase Link – http://mybook.to/dortmundhibernate
Author Bio –
C.J. Sutton is a writer based in Melbourne, Australia. He holds a Master of Communication with majors in journalism and creative writing, and supports the value of study through correspondence. His fictional writing delves into the unpredictability of the human mind and the fears that drive us.
As a professional writer C.J. Sutton has worked within the hustle and bustle of newsrooms, the competitive offices of advertising and the trenches of marketing. But his interest in creating new characters and worlds has seen a move into fiction, which has always pleaded for complete attention. Dortmund Hibernate is his debut novel.
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I’ve been looking for different books to read recently so jumped at the chance to review newly released psychological thriller Dortmund Hibernate. This book is published by the same publisher as my debut novel, so I was very intrigued by it and it sounded exactly like something I’d enjoy. The tagline of the book is ‘It’s Silence of the Lambs meets Shutter Island in this tale of loss, fear and diminishing hope.’ This is Sutton’s debut novel and I was very surprised by this as it read like it was written by an experienced author and it is confidently written throughout.
This novel hooks the reader from the first page with one of the best openings I’ve read: ‘Dark work, reporting on the minds of the condemned.’ This novel feels very well paced throughout and I found it easier to read a few chapters at a time then come back to it and it’s the kind of book you’ll think about long after you’ve finished it. The chapters are also quite short which I think works well for this kind of novel. Sutton effectively deals with a lot of violence, dark and raw subject matter, that I felt this was a book I needed to take my time with. I think it would make perfect reading group material. Sutton’s characterization is excellent throughout and each of his characters gets under your skin. I did feel at times that his writing was reminiscent of Stephen King and Glen Chandler’s stage play, Killers. I enjoyed the fact that were introduced to each inmate individually and we hear their story with a unique voice that brings each character to life an each had their own unique voice when they tell their story to Dr Magnus Paul who has the unenviable task of deciding if they should die or sent them to a maximum-security prison. I could definitely see this novel working as a stage play or a film. I can’t wait to read more from this author. If you are looking for an original psychological thriller and enjoyed Shutter Island, I think you will love this.
1985, Edinburgh. Thatcher’s policies are biting deep – fat cats and street-kids, lovers, losers and the rest struggle to survive. Hume sets up a business catering for the rich and their ever-growing appetites. But by the new millennium, these appetites have become too demanding . . .
Powerful, challenging and very funny, Billionaires’ Banquet is an immorality tale for the 21st century.
About the Author
With an international reputation as a prize-winning novelist, RON BUTLIN is a former Edinburgh Makar / Poet Laureate. Now over to Ron –
Before becoming a writer, I was a pop-song lyricist (3 records and a brief appearance in a justly-neglected film. I was also a footman attending parties for the great and good, the rich and bad (see my forthcoming novel ‘Billionaire’s Banquet’), a barnacle-scraper on the Thames and a male model. My work has been widely translated, and ‘The Sound of My Voice’ has been twice been awarded a ‘Best Foreign Novel’ prize as well been made into a film, a rather short film.
Ron is a novelist, poet, children’s author, opera librettist, playwright – one of these, on a good day. Ron has been auctioned twice for charity, and put in a cage outside parliament for The Day of the Imprisoned Writer. All very character-building.
Ron has given readings world-wide including at the House of Lords, John Knoz’s pulpit in St Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh, and an Arab tent in Bahrain.
Ron lives in Edinburgh with my wife, the writer Regi Claire, and their dog (Note – Nessie, as she’s called in the book, features in my first novel for early teens, ‘Steve & FranDan Take on the World’ which is due out this spring. She is great fun on paper and in real life).
I jumped at a chance to review this book it sounded right up my street, set in Edinburgh in 1985. I struggled at the beginning of the novel until as I found it difficult getting to grips with who was who. However, once I got to about page 49 I was hooked and especially intrigued as to what would happen with DD and Hume. The way the novel is written reminded me of a film script – a character would end a chapter then that ending would be picked up again and I really enjoyed that.
The author also handles multiple points of view perfectly. It’s extremely well written and darkly humorous. What I most enjoyed was the way the author evoked Edinburgh and the weather and the streets. The author is masterful at creating vivid scenes and is highly descriptive. This is my favourite read of the year. I can’t wait to read more from this author.
About the book
A betrayed criminal. A kidnapped child. A deadly race against time.
On the Island of the Gods, expedition leader Hiram Kane is on holiday after a long season guiding in the Peruvian Andes.
When a good friend’s greed leads him to betray Bali’s most notorious gangster, their peaceful community is left shell-shocked after the six-year-old daughter of its leader gets kidnapped in a vicious and violent raid.
What follows is a whirlwind race across the paradise island to rescue the girl before ‘The Rooster’ takes his sadistic revenge, and with the waking giant of volcanic Mt. Agung threatening to destroy them all, Kane risks everything to prevent a devastating tragedy.
The Tiger Temple is the exciting new starter to the Hiram Kane adventure series. For fans of Russell Blake and Clive Cussler, Steven Moore’s action thriller will leave you breathless.
About the Author
Steven Moore grew up (apparently) by a beach in England. An avid (average) sportsman, painter, photographer and reader, those loves were only trumped by his love of travel and writing. To date he has visited 53 countries, and has lived and worked on five continents. Highlights include trekking in the Andes and Himalayas, scuba diving all over the world, teaching English in Korea, and eating anything and everything, wherever he happens to be. Oh yes, and sampling local beers, obviously.
Steven now lives in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico with his wife, freelance journalist Leslie Patrick Moore, and though they’ve at last found a beautiful home base, the next adventure is always just around the corner.
Steven has recently published the first three installments of his action thriller series, ‘The Tiger Temple’, ‘The Samurai Code’, and ‘The Condor Prophecy’, to great acclaim, and the 4th, ‘The Shadow of Kailash’, is coming in spring of 2018.
Early tributes for ‘The Samurai Code’:
“Starts fast and doesn’t let up.”
“An unremitting whirl throughout.”
“Thrilling from start to finish.”
“Great action, history & a dash of mystery.”
“Fast-paced and brilliantly written adventure thriller.”
“Moore has a crisp, economical style, and sets the scene well. The story, while bleak, is shot through with moments of pathos…compelling from start to finish” – Mark Dawson, bestselling author of the John Milton, Beatrix Rose, Isabella Rose and Soho Noir series.
Steven has also published a well-received literary coming of age novel, ‘I Have Lived Today’, as well as a popular short story, ‘The Death of Helena.’
To follow Steven’s writing career and learn about new releases, go to his imaginatively named author website, ‘Steven Moore, Author.’
When I was asked to review this novel by Simon Leonard. I didn’t know what to expect but as it was the start of a new series I thought I would give it a try. (Two more in the series are available on Amazon.)
I was also told fans of Clive Cussler would not be disappointed, so I had very high expectations before I read the first page. Overall the novel is well balanced and there’s a great deal of action and space for the reader to digest it. The books feel well written by an experienced author and thoroughly edited and original. I like to read novels in one sitting and this is definitely one that benefits if you can do that, I don’t think you would enjoy it as much if you read it in small sittings. It’s very short coming in at around 135 pages and is a nice easy read, I think it would also suit younger teen readers. The length worked well for the story and the pacing. The novella is an enjoyable page turner.
I’d recommend it for afternoon reading or holiday. Even though it is part of a series, it does work as a standalone and I think it’s a great introduction to the author if your looking for something a bit different or looking for a new series to try.
You can get the book here:
For hyper-successful wedding photographer and blogger, Zody Lee Swabler, anonymous death threats come with the territory. When warned by email not to continue booking jobs, she responds by accepting the next request that comes in.
When a strangely eager woman approaches her about the emails, she accepts the woman’s invitation to visit her home. So begins Helena Hoath’s elaborate plan to take over the life and profession of the photographer she wishes she could be.
And when Zody unleashes her own revenge scheme, she discovers that the unhinged woman may still have the wit to turn a successful photographer’s own talents against her.
Zody and Helena’s lives begin to intertwine in ways that neither could have foreseen…
Purchase Link – http://mybook.to/noreception
Author Bio – Maisie Porter works as a professional photographer in Australia, with wide experience covering weddings, though she has neither abducted nor been abducted by any competitors. No Reception is Maisie’s first novel.
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Maisie and I are both published by Crooked Cat books so I was really looking forward to this novel. If you’re looking for something quick to read and a fast paced story, I think you will enjoy this thriller. It’s set in Australia and I think this is the first Australian thriller I’ve read. It’s well written and although I don’t normally enjoy first person – this style compliments the story and works well. The novel is well structured – very pacey which makes it a great page turner to read in one or two sittings at most and the author does a good job of intertwining the story. It is told from the viewpoint of two women, Zody and Helena. It has a lot of unexpected moments and is different to a lot of the thrillers I’ve read recently. If you are looking for something chilling and original. I would highly recommend this great read.
I learned that this was Maisie’s first novel, although, I struggled to believe it was. I am looking forward to Maisie’s next novel already.