Comatose by @janebadrock

COMATOSE…and her nightmare is just beginning.

Two car crashes, one location, one survivor.

Newly promoted DS Karen Thorpe is determined to prove these are no accidents.

But the only witness is in a coma. Now there’s a rapist on the loose.

Karen’s in the fight of her life…and her boss isn’t on her side.

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The driver stared ahead at the road, her face set.

1

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(@QuestionPress, 22 April 2021, 318 pages, ebook, copy from the author and voluntarily reviewed)

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I’ve read and enjoyed other books by the author so was looking forward to reading this, a bit different from her other books, a thriller which I read a lot of. I enjoyed this book. It contains a lot of elements I expect from a good thriller such as fast pace, twists and turns and misdirection that kept me flicking the pages wondering if the dots would ever connect. My only real criticism is the title of the book, it’s a bet meh. Some of the plot twists seemed ludicrous at first and it took a few chapters to fall into place. Overall, this is a decent thriller and an enjoyable read.

#LessonsInLoveAndOtherCrimes by @DrNChakrabarty

Tesya has reasons to feel hopeful after leaving her last job, where she was subjected to a series of anonymous hate crimes. Now she is back home in London to start a new lecturing position, and has begun an exciting, if tumultuous, love affair with the enigmatic Holly. But this idyllic new start quickly sours. Tesya finds herself victimized again at work by an unknown assailant, who subjects her to an insidious, sustained race hate crime. As her paranoia mounts, Tesya finds herself yearning for the most elemental of desires: love, acceptance, and sanctuary. Her assailant, meanwhile, is recording his manifesto and plotting his next steps. Inspired by the author’s personal experiences of hate crime and bookended with essays which contextualize the story within a lifetime of microaggressions, Lessons in Love and Other Crimes is a heartbreaking, hopeful, and compulsively readable novel about the most quotidian of crimes.

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In the future, there is a body.

1, LOVE IN THE DARK

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(@PressIndigoThe, 15 April 2021, 272 pages, ebook, copy from the publisher and voluntarily reviewed)

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This is a new author for me. I had no idea what to expect when I started to read this but it sounded like something very different from the books I usually read and something I’d really enjoy. I was engrossed, almost obsessed from the first few pages. The book uses an unusual structure in that there is a lengthy autobiographical introduction about how the author’s own life and experiences of racism and harassment served as the catalyst for the book. There are also author notes included after some chapters which reflect on important moments in the book. These sections may sound intrusive and I expected them to be but they really weren’t. They just made the book richer and more enjoyable. I’m a white woman and I haven’t experienced any form of racism but I could still relate to the author’s experiences because I was bullied in school because I liked to read and was overweight. I loved the way the events move from Tesya’s experience of racism in her last job to her experiences in her new job which horrifying mirror what happened the previous year. I felt every moment of her terror and confusion as she wonders, how can this be happening again? This is an incredible book.

#AMapwalkerTrilogy by @JFPennAuthor

A place written out of history. A world off the edge of the map.

In this fantasy adventure trilogy, Sienna and the Mapwalker team must defend Earthside from the invasion of the Borderlanders and face their darkest challenge against the Shadow.

MAP OF SHADOWS

A map of skin etched in blood. A world under threat from the Borderlands.

A young woman who must risk the shadows to save her family.

When her Grandfather is murdered under mysterious circumstances, Sienna Farren inherits his map shop in the ancient city of Bath, England. She discovers that her family is bound up with the Ministry of Maps, a mysterious agency who maintain the borders between this world and the Uncharted.

With the help of Mila Wendell, a traveller on the canals, Sienna discovers her own magical ability and a terrifying place of blood that awaits in the world beyond.

But when she discovers a truth about her past and the Borderlands begin to push through the defences, Sienna must join the team of Mapwalkers on their mission to find the Map of Shadows – whatever the cost.

In a place written out of history, a world off the edge of the map, Sienna must risk everything to find her father … and her true path as a Mapwalker.

MAP OF PLAGUES

A city threatened by an ancient plague.

A love across borders.

A desperate choice that could break their worlds apart forever.

When a fragment of a deadly map is recovered from a medieval plague pit in London, the Mapwalker team must cross over into the Borderlands once more.

In a race against time, they must find the remaining pieces of the map in a journey across long-lost cities before the Shadow Cartographers wield it against Earthside in a devastating attack.

Can Sienna resist the call of the Shadow as she struggles to save her home? Will Finn take a risk on love across borders or leave the Earthsiders to their fate?

MAP OF THE IMPOSSIBLE

A journey through the realm of the dead.

A threat that will change the world.

A choice that might save everything—or end it all.

As natural disasters sweep Earthside, a mutant army rises in the Borderlands, driven by the dark force behind the Shadow Cartographers. Sienna and the Mapwalker team must use the Map of the Impossible to journey through the realm of the dead and face the nightmare at its heart.

But when one of their number is taken and the team begins to break apart, each Mapwalker must face their greatest challenge.

Can the Mapwalker team reach the Tower of the Winds before the Shadow claims Earthside?

Will Sienna choose Finn — or turn away from the Borderlands forever?

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Michael Farren sat at his desk in the old map shop, an antique parchment in front of him portraying the ancient city of Bath.

CHAPTER 1 (MAP OF SHADOWS)

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(Curl Up Press, 22 February 2021, 680 pages, ebook, copy from the author and voluntarily reviewed)

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MAP OF SHADOWS: I’ve read this book before and really enjoyed it. I liked it more on a second read through. I’ve never been to Bath but this book makes me want to really visit the city. I loved the concept of the book and I loved how the story develops. I’m a huge fan of fantasy fiction and Map of Shadows has all the trademarks of the best of the genre. I loved the Earthside and Borderlands, a light and dark version of the same world. I thought the concept of the book was very original and it reminds me a lot of other fantasy and even horror fiction I’ve read. I’m looking forward to reading the other two books.

MAP OF PLAGUES: This time around Sienna and the team need to stop a mad-man in the Borderlands from finding ancient plague maps and unleashing a plague on Earthside which would decimate the world making it easy for the Borderlands to break through and seize control of the world they believe should be theirs. You find out a lot more about the Borderlands in this book and how different it really is from Earthside. Many of the people live in poverty, women bred, often against their will, to see if they can create a new magical strain, controlled by a deranged fanatic, a world where people with important magic are drained until they become husks. Sienna and the team make a terrible decision to stop the plague which has consequences for everyone in both worlds.

MAP OF THE IMPOSSIBLE: This is a corker of an end to what has been an enjoyable, addictive trilogy. The author hints there may be more books featuring the Mapwalkers in the future and I certainly hope there is. This is set some time after the events of Map of Plagues with Sienna and her team dealing with the aftermath of the choice made at the end of the last book which have let to devastating natural disasters Earthside and likely worse horrors in the Borderlands. Sienna and the team must find a way back to the Borderlands to try and repair the damage but at what cost.

#KillingTheGirl by @wickedwriteruk

A perfect life, a perfect love – and a perfect murder.

For over forty years Carol Cage has been living as a recluse in her mansion, Oaktree House. Fear is her constant companion. She’s been keeping a secret – and it’s about to be unearthed.

When she receives a compulsory purchase order for her home, she knows that everyone is going to find out what she did to survive her darkest weeks in 1970. She writes her confession so that we can understand what happened because she wasn’t the only one living a lie. The events that turned her fairy-tale life into a living hell were not all they seemed.

She’s determined not to pay for the mistakes of others; if she has to face justice, then they will too.

Carol Cage has a terrible secret … and she’s about to exact retribution on everyone who had abandoned her.

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Perry Cutler and I buried Frankie Dewberry in the orchard.

PROLOGUE

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(Independently Published, 14 April 2019, 312 pages, ebook, copy from the author and voluntarily reviewed, #BlogTour 19 February via @RandomTTours)

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This has been on my radar for ages since I read some rave reviews online. I was delighted to get a chance to take part in the #BlogTour and couldn’t wait to get lost in the book. I thought it was a terrific read and not quite what I expected, in a good way. I thought it would be a fast-paced thriller but it’s a very different book. It’s a compelling book and I couldn’t stop once I started to read because I got sucked right into the book. The author uses one of my favourite styles, split timeline with the chapters moving between 1960/1970 and now. I liked the way the plot unfolds. I’m glad I finally got a chance to read this and would recommend it.

#AlterEgo by @kamasson_writer

Pounding on the door. My seven-year-old son shaking me awake. My head fuzzy with sleeping pills. The hallway flashing with blue light. This morning my life will change forever.

Alex Kendrew is juggling single parenthood, work and dating; with a wild, impetuous streak that’s hard to keep in check, she struggles to find a balance and feels perpetually guilty for the choices she makes.

In K.A. Masson’s domestic noir thriller, Alex begins a passionate affair when an old flame gets in touch. But one morning, the police arrest her for his attempted murder. Someone is framing her; can she prove her innocence as the evidence mounts against her?

***

‘Mum, wake up. Mum, there’s someone at the door’

  I was dreaming, surely.

PROLOGUE, NOW

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(Bellenden Projects, 17 October 2020, 545 pages, ebook, copy from the publisher and voluntarily reviewed, #BlogTour 17 February via @RandomTTours)

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This is a new author for me. I haven’t read many domestic thrillers and they’re a genre I think I should read more of so this seemed like a good place to start. I really enjoyed Alter Ego and will read the author again. I liked the characters in the book; they are all quite unique and well developed even minor ones. The book starts off innocently enough with Alex being swept into an affair and struggles with self-control when an old lover crashes into her life. Things got much darker than I expected and I didn’t know where the book was going to go. I’d recommend this.

#BestServedCold by @davidgatward

When a tragic farm accident turns out to be foul play, DCI Harry Grimm finds himself up against a murderer years in the making and out for revenge.

With the local community in self-imposed lock down, and the body count quickly climbing, Harry and his team are in a race against time to stop a killer as invisible as they are brutally effective.

But with some threatening to take the law into their own hands, and the wounds of his own past once again starting to bleed, DCI Harry Grimm is about to take a trip into Hell.

And beyond.

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JOHN ‘BEEF’ CHAPSTICK HAD THE TEMPER OF A BULL WITH A SORE HEAD AND THE BUILD AND FACE to match.

CHAPTER ONE

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(Weirdstone Publishing, 16 October 2020, 267 pages, ebook, copy from the author and voluntarily reviewed)

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This is my first time reading the author. I really enjoyed Best Served Cold. I’m reading three books in the DCI Grimm series for a blog tour so look forward to finding out more about Grimm, his cases and what kind of person he is. As you can probably tell from the title, the driving force behind the book is revenge, though the reason for the revenge is not revealed until much later in the book. I felt great sympathy for the killer when their revealed along with their motivations. They aren’t a psychopath killing for pleasure; they believe they are seeking justice for something terrible that happened thirty years before. I could relate to their motivations. I’d recommend this.

#CorpseRoad by @davidgatward

To catch the hunter, become the prey.

When the body of a female backpacker is found on the Yorkshire moors, the killer seems obvious, the motive clear.

If only.

Because Grimm and his team are up against not just a murderer, but a predator, and when the key suspect disappears, it’s only a matter of time before another body is found.

To catch one of the most dangerous killers he has ever faced, and to have any chance of staying alive himself, Grimm will need to not only draw on his skills as a detective, but as a soldier, and to trust his team with his life as he goes to war once more.

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He had hunted before, but tonight would be his first kill.

CHAPTER ONE

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(Weirdstone Publishing, 21 December 2020, 336 pages, ebook, copy from the author and voluntarily reviewed, #BlogTour 27 January via @RandomTTours)

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I’ve read and thoroughly enjoyed the first two Harry Grimm thrillers and was really looking forward to Corpse Road. I wasn’t disappointed. I’ve got to know Harry and his team quite well, so I was in my comfort zone as I read with a good idea of who they key players were and how they were likely to responded to the investigation. Harry is a great character, grizzled and larger than life though he’s started to mellow just a little and there’s even a hint he may sample Wensleydale’s local delicacy of cake and Wensleydale cheese (which sounds delicious if you ask me, I bloody love Wensleydale cheese). This book has everything I’d expect from a good thriller, gruesome murder, lots of clues, no suspects and lots of questions and uncertainty. I enjoyed the fact everything isn’t made clear until a couple of chapters from the end. I hate books that drop so many hints you know who the killer is and their motive by chapter 3. The pacing is spot on. I’d recommend this.

#GrimmUpNorth by @davidgatward

Welcome to Wensleydale, where the cheese is famous, the scenery beautiful, and the locals have murder on their minds …

Detective Chief Inspector Harry Grimm is forced to take leave from Bristol’s Major Investigations Team when his boss, tired of Harry chasing the ghost of his murderous father, sends him north on secondment.

Used to city life and high stress, Harry fears his life will now be spent handing out speeding tickets, finding lost sheep, and directing tourists. But when a local teenager runs away, Harry finds himself pulled into an investigation much worse than anyone could have ever expected.

The nicer the place, the darker the secrets. Wensleydale is beautiful, everyone is friendly and welcoming, and people just don’t get murdered … do they?

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A TWO-WORD TEXT message changed fifteen-year old Sophie Hodgson’s life for good, but not for the better, not by a long shot.

CHAPTER ONE

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(Weirdstone Publishing, 8 July 2020, 238 pages, ebook, copy from the author and voluntarily reviewed)

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This is the first Harry Grimm novel. I read the sequel Best Served Cold first. Colour me confused. I really enjoyed this. I felt very familiar with some of the characters after reading the other book, but it was good to find out a bit more about Harry and how he ended up in Yorkshire. Grimm Up North delves into his past a bit more as a Para. The book has a similar feel to the Shetland books by Ann Cleeves, also set in a small town, or an island so the setting and people have a similar feel. Harry is a great character. I love his name, it’s funny, and a bit of an in-joke because of his facial scarring due to an incident when he was a Para but it’s also a bit serious as well. He really comes to life and I loved the time I spent in his company. I love Wensleydale cheese by the way and was horrified by Harry’s disdain. You haven’t lived unless you’ve eaten so much Wensleydale and Cranberry cheese you have crumbs all over your mouth and face. What seems a simple case of a teenage girl running away after a row turns into something far darker and more sinister than Harry’s fellow officers are used to dealing with, offering him a chance to shine and redeem himself for the mistakes that led to him being sent to Wensleydale in the first place. I can’t wait to read book number three.

#Trobairitz by @CMicklefield

Book One of the Trobairitz trilogy. Set in Languedoc, feisty truck driver, Weed never gives her personal details to other drivers. She avoids the intimacy of real friendship. Instead, she entertains the truckers by telling the story of ex-courtesan, seventy-six-year-old Catherine Joubert and the mysterious hold she has over young mayor, Henri-Claude Noilly and his grandfather.

In her private life, it’s so long since Weed had any fun with a man she wonders if all her bits still work but Jimi, one of the other drivers sets her senses tingling. A natural disaster at Christmas sees Weed and Jimi working together to deliver vital supplies but will Weed be able to separate fact from fiction in time to save her love life?

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THEY CALL ME TROBAIRITZ.

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(Independently Published, 25 November 2014, 303 pages, ebook, copy from the publisher and voluntarily reviewed, #BlogTour 19 January 2021 via @RandomTTours)

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This is my first time reading the author so wasn’t sure what to expect. The book sounded like something a little different to get lost in. I really enjoyed this book. I was pulled into Weed’s life and her story from the opening lines. I loved the setting, a small town in France. The author does a brilliant job of bringing it to life, I could feel, hear, taste and smell everything, and my senses were fully engaged. The book is well-written, engaging and absorbing. The unique thing about this book is that Weed tells stories to the other truck drivers and often multiple stories wind through the book simultaneously which held my attention and made me want to read on. I didn’t want the book to end as I was enjoying myself so much. This is the first of three books. I will check out the other two.

#PerFineOunce by #PeterVollmer

The nukes are missing and there is only one man for the job.

Commander Geoffrey Peace, an ex-submarine commander and now a trained agent in MI6, is sent undercover to the picturesque Southern tip of Africa shortly after Nelson Mandela’s release and the unbanning of the African National Congress. Posing as Lord Digby Brentwood, Peace must infiltrate a group of ultra-right-wing Afrikaners in a country undergoing great political change.

The hard-right Afrikaner movement in South Africa, with prominent Afrikaner gold-mining industrialist Anton Van Rhyn as one of its leaders, refuses to forfeit its supremacy in the new democratic South Africa. To that end, they hijack gold bullion shipments to finance their insurrection and sabotage the decommissioning of South Africa’s nuclear arsenal, while retaining a number of warheads for themselves.

Not only must he find and disarm the nukes, but he must salvage the shipment of gold that lies buried in the ocean on the Skeleton Coast of Namibia. Peace prefers to work alone, but this time the Vice Admiral has paired him with covert MI6 agent Cherry Boxx. Together they will traverse deserts and snow-covered mountains and save a country from a threat it did not realise was right on its doorstep.

Now all Peace has to do is keep them both alive…

***

I remain in awe of those who have control in fulfilling their aspirations – this usually from a young age and already evident during the senior school years.

PROLOGUE

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(@lume_books, 23 July 2020, 336 pages, ebook, copy from the publisher and voluntarily reviewed, #BlogTour 13 January 2021 via @RandomTTours)

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I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book. I’ve never read any James Bond books and spy thrillers tend to leave me cold. Still, the blurb and the story of how the book came into being intrigued me and I decided to give it a shot. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this. It’s well written and fast paced and the characters are all spot on. I enjoyed the fact the book is mostly set in South Africa, the author does an impressive job of bringing the country, people and culture to vivid life.

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