Tag Archives: thriller

Head of State by Andrew Marr

Head of State written by Andrew Marr, the television presenter is another book I rescued from the box that my other half was getting rid of. I normally avoid anything political, but I thought I’d give this one a chance. I was attracted to it, as although published back in 2014, it is a Brexit storyline.

Head of State by Andrew Marr

This is what it says on the back cover.

A young reporter found dead on the streets of London.

A headless body washed up on the banks of the Thames.

A conspiracy so bold it would make Machiavelli wince.

There are three days to go until the referendum, and the future of the United Kingdom in Europe hangs in the balance. Behind the scenes a group of ruthlessly determined individuals will stop at nothing – including murder – to make sure the result tips in their favour…

Making full use of his unrivalled inside knowledge, Andrew Marr’s wickedly clever thriller is a gleefully twisted spin through the corridors of power.

The book starts with a dead body being discovered 3 days before the referendum vote regarding whether Britain should stay or leave the EU. How and why did he die? We are then introduced to some of the other characters before moving back in time to referendum day minus 5. We continue to move back and forth a couple of days or so throughout the book, meeting more new characters, including senior politicians and the king. There is certainly plenty for the reader to try to digest.

At the morgue, there is another unidentified dead body, this time headless and handless. Meanwhile about a third of the way through the book, the reader starts to find out what some of the characters don’t know. We continue to be fed information piecemeal, enough to keep me to the edge of my seat, with all the secrets, plots and intrigues. And that is all I’m going to say.

Head of State is available on Amazon, currently priced at £6.99 in paperback and is also available in hardback or Kindle format. A great story which I highly recommend.

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Guest Post: Inspiration behind Porcelain

Guest post by Lee Cockburn, author of “Porcelain: Flesh of Innocents”.

Porcelain Flesh of Innocents by Lee Cockburn

Porcelain was the name I had actually chosen for my first book, but I don’t think it would have been right for the theme of Devil’s Demise.

Re Porcelain, I’ve never liked porcelain dolls, they give me the creeps and I think they frighten adults far less children.

I wouldn’t say I was inspired to write Porcelain, I was more drawn to the unspoken topic it portrays, the silent suffering of many, the great unsaid.

So many people I have encountered, some friends and others acquaintances, and just folk you meet, have been touched by this evil brush, that scars you deep inside, but very few ever share their dark secret, a fear of releasing a truth that can never be untold, and the irreversible affect on everybody involved, and disbelief that somebody they love could be capable of things like this.

It is a harrowing topic, and as a mother if bores fear deep inside me, but creates a ferocious protector of those little ones that depend on you, they are so precious, and should be treated as such, so innocent and vulnerable.

It took me two weeks to write the beginning of the abduction scene, wondering how I could write this with minimum affect on the child, because even though this topic is hideous, I’m still a mother, and don’t want to harm children, even in writing, I don’t want to harm anyone for that matter.

My theme for all of my books will be good versus evil, harrowing topics that happen in the darkest recesses of evil minds, it may be a difficult to read some of the graphic horror, but hopefully right will defeat wrong before the end.

Enjoy the read.

Lee Cockburn

Porcelain Flesh of Innocents by Lee Cockburn

And you may read my review of Lee’s new book Porcelain: Flesh of Innocents here.

Porcelain: Flesh of Innocents by Lee Cockburn

I have received a free e-copy of the book Porcelain: Flesh of Innocents by Lee Cockburn to review.

Porcelain Flesh of Innocents by Lee Cockburn

Here is the book blurb.

Detective Sergeant Taylor Nick is back and in charge of tracking down a sadistic vigilante, with a penchant for torturing paedophiles, in this unsettling crime thriller by a real-life police sergeant.

High-powered businessmen are turning up tortured, and traumatised, around the city of Edinburgh with one specific thing in common -a sinister double life involving pedophilia. Leaving his ‘victims’ in a disturbing state, the individual responsible calls the police and lays bare the evidence of their targets twisted misdemeanours to discover, along with a special memento of their own troubled past —a chilling calling card.

Once again heading the investigation team is Detective Sergeant Taylor Nicks, along with her partner Detective Constable Marcus Black, who are tasked not only with tracking the perpetrator down, but dealing with the unusual scenario of having to arrest the victims for their own barbarous crimes. But with the wounded piling up the predator’s thirst for revenge intensifies and Nicks soon discovers that she is no longer chasing down a sinister attacker but a deadly serial killer.

Inspired by her vast professional experience as a police officer both on the beat and in specialist riot squads in Edinburgh, Porcelain is the second in Lee Cockburn’s DS Taylor Nick’s series.

This book Is very dark. It starts 22 years ago with very young twins Amy and Nathan being abused by their mother and her boyfriend. We then fast forward to the current day to see the police investigating a series of crimes where paedophiles are tortured. And we also follow the investigating officers’ personal lives, which includes explicit lesbian sex scenes. We meet both Amy and Nathan again, who are still troubled by their past.

By chance Amy and Nathan find each other after being separated when they were taken into care. Then a paedophile is murdered rather than tortured. Next a young boy is abducted – it is the son of DC Marcus Black. Can he be found in time? And who is targeting the paedophiles?

Each time a porcelain doll is left at the crime scene. I found this really spooky as I was always scared as a child by the two china dolls that had belonged to my mum and now lived on the bottom shelf of my toy cupboard. I deliberately wouldn’t put any of my toys in there to avoid looking at them.

I won’t say any more about the storyline. but I did sometimes get confused as to whether I was reading about Nathan or Amy.

Porcelain: Flesh of Innocents is available on Amazon, currently priced at £9.99 in paperback and is also available in Kindle format. A dark story which is definitely worth a read if you can handle the subject matter.

This book is recommended for adult readers only, due to its graphic content.


About Lee Cockburn

Lee Cockburn has worked for Police Scotland for sixteen years including as a police sergeant in Edinburgh for seven years and also as a public order officer. Before joining the force, she played for Scotland Women’s rugby team for fifteen years, earning over eighty caps for the Scottish ladies and British Lionesses teams. She also swam competitively for twelve years, successfully representing Edinburgh at the age of fifteen in the youth Olympics in Denmark in 1984. Lee lives in Edinburgh with her civil partner Emily and their two young sons Jamie and Harry. Her first book Devil’s Demise was published by Clink Street Publishing November 2014.

Follow Lee Cockburn on Twitter: https://twitter.com/lee_leecockburn


Porcelain Flesh of Innocents by Lee Cockburn

I’m participating in the blogtour. Do take time to browse round some of the other posts.

And you may see a guest post by Lee, detailing her Inspiration for the book on my blog here.

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Disclosure.  This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

The Ways of the World by Robert Goddard

My other half was clearing out some of his books and several of them including this one by Robert Goddard took my eye.

The Ways of the World by Robert Goddard

This is what it says on the back cover.

Paris 1919. The aftermath of the Great War.

With the fate of the world’s nations hanging in the balance, a secret affair ends with the death of a senior British diplomat.

As the authorities try to pass it off as a bizarre accident, ex-RFC flying ace, James ‘Max’ Maxted is convinced otherwise and throws himself headfirst into the dark heart of a seemingly impenetrable mystery – hellbent on uncovering the truth.

With the stakes impossibly high and friends indistinguishable from foes, the only way is to keep pushing … until you can see who’s pushing back!

The book starts with a phone call from Max’s mother announcing that his father has been killed. Henry had fallen from a roof-top in Paris and the police have declared it accidental. Lady Maxted requests Max and his brother Ashley go to Paris to bring Sir Henry’s body back home.

Max starts to get suspicious when identifying Sir Henry’s body and visiting the scene of his death and collecting his personal effects from the police. Things don’t quite add up for him. Then he meets Madame Dombreux who lived at the address where Sir Henry died. She was Sir Henry’s lover and also believes him to have been murdered. She shows Max a mysterious list that Sir Henry had written.

Whilst Ashley takes his father’s body home, Max remains in Paris, determined to discover the truth. Plenty of exciting twists to unfold. A real page turner.

The Ways of the World is available on Amazon, currently priced at £6.49 in paperback and is also available in hardback or Kindle format. A great book which I highly recommend. It is book 1 in a trilogy and I shall certainly be adding the other two stories to my wishlist. Wondering why my other half never got round to purchasing the other two.

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Gilding the Lily by Justine John

I have received a free e-copy of the book Gilding the Lily by Justine John to review.

Gilding The Lily by Justine John

Here is the book blurb.

An invitation to her estranged, wealthy father’s surprise 75th birthday party in New York sees Amelia and her husband, Jack, set off across the pond to meet a whole new world of family politics.

Amelia, now a successful businesswoman, feels guilty about never liking her father’s women, so does her upmost to give his new socialite partner, Evelyn, the benefit of the doubt. Wouldn’t it be nice if they could just all get along? But there’s something very dark, determined and dangerous about her…

When Amelia’s father, Roger, becomes ill, Jack grows suspicious that there is more to it. Amelia understands why, but no one else will believe them. They travel back to America to piece together the puzzle, but when Roger goes missing, the couple are driven to their wits’ end. It takes a DEA officer and a secret assassin to bring them answers, but the ruthless truth is something no one expected…

Amelia and husband Jack travel from London to New York to attend a surprise 75th birthday party for her father Roger, organised by his new partner Evelyn. There they meet Evelyn’s step-granddaughter Laura for the first time. Amelia finds it very difficult to get on with Evelyn, but makes friends with Laura, who visits them in London, the next year when over in the UK.

They return to the US for Thanksgiving, but at the airport waiting to go home, they receive a phone call from Miriam, Roger’s housekeeper saying that Roger had been taken into hospital the previous day. They postpone their flight, but Evelyn is not pleased to see them return.

Roger recovers but when he next visits the UK, they are shocked to see how unwell he looks. Ex-cop Jack starts to get suspicious as to why and begins to develop a theory, although there are some red herrings.  I’ll stop at this point to avoid spoilers.

The book switches chapters between narrative by Amelia, Jack and Evelyn, which I enjoyed the different perspective. And the chapters for Evelyn let the reader build up a picture of her history.

Gilding the Lily is available on Amazon, currently priced at £7.99 in paperback and is also available in Kindle format. A great story which I highly recommend.


Here is an extract from chapter 18 of the book for you to read.

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. But a strange dread ran through my veins, as I lay there in the dark. Jack was finally sleeping soundly – the odd snore and mumble emanated from his side of the bed. We’d talked for hours. And now, each thought linked to another in a never-ending chain. “She has enough money of her own so I know she’s not after mine” was what my father told me when they first met. Ironically, it comforted us both. Staring into the blackness, I began to get carried away with Jack’s theory. If it were true then we had to stop it. It would be murder. No, that couldn’t happen, surely, not to us. I tried to mentally rein in my thoughts, as they began to hurry away with me, like a runaway train. Who were we to interfere so belligerently when we could be so wrong? And then again, if we did nothing, and then something terrible happened… that was simply unthinkable.

I turned over to put my arms around my husband. He was warm and his breathing was soft and slow. I tried to relax into his body, and allowed his raising ribs to rock me.

I woke at 6a.m. with a feverish energy. A strange vitality or stamina had suddenly appeared in me – a drive to endure, a surge of power, like a battery charger. I wouldn’t let anyone hurt my dad. Something had to be done. Today.


About Justine John

After over thirty years of working in the corporate sector in London Justine John left the rat race for the stunning countryside of the Surrey Hills where she lives with her husband, horses and two dalmatians.

Website  – http://www.justinejohn.co.uk/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/JustineCJohn
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/justinejohnauthor/
Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15985439.Justine_John


I’m participating in the blog tour. Do take time to browse round some of the other posts.

Gilding The Lily by Justine John

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Disclosure.  This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

Mumsnet Book Club review – Himself by Jess Kidd

I have received another book from the Mumsnet Book Club free to review. It is Himself by Jess Kidd.

Himself by Jess Kidd

This is what it says inside the front cover.

When Mahony returns to Mulderrig, a speck of a place on Ireland’s west coast, he brings only a photograph of his long-lost mother and a determination to do battle with the lies of his past.

No one – living or dead – will tell Mahoney what happened to the teenage mother who abandoned him as a baby, despite his certainty that more than one of the villagers knows the sinister truth.

Between Mulderrig’s sly priest, its pitiless nurse and the caustic elderly actress throwing herself into her final village play, this beautiful and darkly comic debut novel creates an unforgettable world of mystery, bloody violence and buried secrets.

This book is really unusual as Mahoney, the central character can also see the dead. It starts with a prologue in 1950 when a girl is murdered in front of her baby. The main story is set in 1976 when Mahoney arrives in remote Mulderrig from Dublin, interspersed with historical flashbacks.

Mahoney was brought up in a Dublin orphanage and by the end of chapter 1, he has just found out that his mother was Orla Sweeney of Mulderrig. The reader is left to surmise that Orla was the girl murdered in the prologue. Mahoney finds out from old Mrs Cauley that nobody knows where Orla went and that his grandfather left when Orla was a child and his grandmother died 10 years ago and nobody admitted to being his father. But Mrs Cauley is also able to tell that Mahoney can see the dead. Neither of them believe Orla is alive, although Mahoney has never seen her amongst the dead either.

The book continues with Mahoney trying to discover the truth of what happened to Orla, both from the living and dead. He is sure that some of the villagers know the truth, particularly as some try to force him to leave, even attempting bribery. You’ll have to read it to find out more.

Himself is by Jess Kidd and is published by Canongate. The hardback edition is currently on sale on Amazon for £9.99 compared to an RRP of £12.99. It is also available in paperback and kindle format. I highly recommend this book. A really different great read.

I have previously read the following books from the Mumsnet Book Club.
The Fire Child by S. K. Tremayne
Noonday by Pat Barker
Missing Presumed by Susie Steiner
The Wolf Border by Sarah Hall
The Forgotten Summer by Carol Drinkwater
The Forgetting Time by Sharon Guskin
Pretty Baby by Mary Kubica
Coming Home by Annabel Kantaria
Fallout by Sadie Jones
Falling by Emma Kavanagh
The Girl Who Just Appeared by Jonathan Harvey

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Disclosure.  This post is a review of a book I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

Missing Parts by Lucinda Berry

I have received a free e-copy of the book Missing Parts by Lucinda Berry to review.

Missing Parts by Lucinda Berry

Here is the book blurb.

Growing up abandoned by her father and raised by a single mother, Celeste was determined to create the perfect family, but even perfect families have secrets. Celeste’s days are filled with a rewarding career, a devoted husband, and her four-year-old daughter. Only Celeste knows the precarious house of cards her family is built upon until the day her daughter falls critically ill. Celeste’s world quickly spirals out of control as her secret threatens to destroy her marriage, family, reputation, and sanity. She’ll go to any lengths to protect her family—take any risk, break any law—anything except tell the truth.

Missing Parts carries readers to the darkest corners of the human psyche. It’s a book that must be discussed once it’s finished because of all the heart-wrenching questions it poses about the fierce bonds uniting families and the deceit that can rip them apart.

Straightaway in chapter 1 we get to know that Celeste has a long-time secret from her husband David which she refers to as “That Night”. Shortly afterwards her 4 year old daughter Rori gets critically ill as her kidneys start failing. The doctors diagnose a rare kidney disease which is inherited from both parents. But only Celeste carries the gene, not David. The doctors want to do a blood test on the biological father as a possible kidney match. Celeste’s world is caving in.

With everything out of control and unable to cope, Celeste goes on the run for many months. All she sees is images of blood and David’s hate. She has no idea whether her actions have also denied her daughter’s recovery. We get snippets relating to the secret, but it is not until towards the end of the book that we get to fully understand what happened on “That Night”. I’m not going to say anything else but there is plenty more to come in this gripping tale, which even revisits Celeste’s memories of her childhood.

Missing Parts is available on Amazon, currently priced at £9.99 in paperback or £2.45 in Kindle format. A great gripping read with plenty of twists. Highly recommended. I’m now waiting for Lucinda’s next novel Phantom Limb to be published.

The author, Dr. Lucinda Berry’s background is as unique as her story. She has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology, specializing in trauma. She is the Assistant Director of Evidence-based Practice at UCLA’s National Center for Child Traumatic Stress. She uses her experience to create compelling tales that blur the lines between fiction and nonfiction.

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Disclosure.  This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

The Fell Hound of Adversity by Parker T. Geissel

I have received a free e-copy of the book The Fell Hound of Adversity by Parker T. Geissel to review. To find out more about the author you may visit his website.

The Fell Hound of Adversity by Parker T. Geissel

Here is the book blurb.

Hard-boiled Suspense! Two-fisted Romance!! Bare-knuckle Thrills!!!

A down-and-out line cook gets mixed up with a beautiful federal agent and a sinister plot to destroy the city in the run-down, hard-luck town of Adversity, battling criminal thugs, crooked politicians, and something even worse that stalks the violent streets.

The author described it to me as a pulp/noir style thriller with a culinary theme. However I didn’t realise it was also going to be fantasy, which is not a genre that I am keen on. Most of the books that I have previously read with a culinary theme have been light romantic comedies.

I really struggled with this book but persevered to the end. It is set in the Charmed City of Adversity. Colonel Dashenka Ivanovna Stavrogin and her team have been sent by the Inland Revenue from the capital to carry out an audit but they seem to have a violent way of going about it. At the same time there are murders going on, with the bodies being found in a horrific dismembered state. Are the murders down to the local crime boss, The Princess of Darkness or perhaps the Fell Hound beast?

Meanwhile Rudimental Quince used to be a sous chef at a top restaurant but now scrapes a living helping at a sandwich bar. His downfall apparently due to falling out with his best friend, Blazing Buck Cortez, another chef. And Rudi’s brother Lenient is into dodgy dealings which get him captured. So his neighbour Marlene gets Rudi to try to rescue him.

All the politicians of the city like the Council Chairman Tinpot and Chief Auditor Leland Cue seem to be up to no good. Almost every character the book is violent or corrupt. And nobody dares venture into the West Side of the City due to rumours about the beast.

Even romance between ill-matched characters. And so on. There just seem to be too many threads intertwined in this book. Not for me, but if it sounds like your cup of tea, then give it a try.

The Fell Hound of Adversity is available on Amazon, currently priced at £9.99 in paperback or £2.28 in Kindle format.

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Disclosure.  This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

I Kill by Lex Lander

Earlier this year I reviewed End As An Assassin, the first book in the Manhunter series by Lex Lander. I have now received a free e-copy of book two “I Kill” to review.

I Kill by Lex Lander

Here is the book blurb.

When she was taken from him he went after her and sealed her fate – his too

Racked by guilt over his accidental killing of a young Italian girl, contract killer André Warner has effectively retired himself from his ‘profession’ and taken to drink and other palliatives, while sinking slowly into a mire of depression.

A contract in Tangier to assassinate an Arab drug trafficker lures him out of retirement and self-pity. Soon after his arrival he encounters attractive American widow, Clair Power, and her precocious sixteen year-old daughter, Lizzy, who bears such a striking resemblance to the girl Warner killed that his waning anguish is instantly rekindled. He attempts to assuage it by embarking on a fling with Clair which brings him into conflict with a mysterious Dutchman named Rik de Bruin, who also appears to have designs on her.

The contract on the drug merchant is cancelled with no explanation given, but Warner, now seriously involved with Clair, is more relieved than disappointed. Their budding romance is not destined to blossom however. Clair disappears and Warner is landed with the role of de facto guardian to Lizzy.

In tracking down Clair, Warner crosses a line that brings him into conflict with the local police and he is deported from Tangier with a distraught Lizzy in tow. Back at his Andorra villa she slowly recovers from her mother’s disappearance and launches an assault on Warner’s good intentions. Her increasingly provocative behavior disturbs yet excites him, and when Rik de Bruin pitches up in Andorra and begins to take an interest in Lizzy too, Warner gets possessive the only way he knows.

Too late, alas, to save Lizzy from an unspeakable fate.

I really enjoyed the first book in this series so was looking forward to getting reacquainted with André again. And I wasn’t disappointed. Once again the story starts with André in retirement from his lucrative professional killer role. But he is tempted back out of the monotony of sex and drinks for a job in Tangier. He assumes a pseudonym, Alan Melville. There he meets Clair Power and daughter Lizzie. Clair is being pestered by Rik de Bruin but is only too happy to have a holiday romance with “Alan”.

De Bruin asks “Alan” to meet him at the Chico Bar to offer him a partnership in his porn movie business. All he wants in exchange is for “Alan” to cease contact with Clair and Lizzie. “Alan” turns down the offer, even with 200,000 euros included, (see extract below).

The next day “Alan” glimpses Clair and Lizzie in trouble by the roadside. Some thugs are bundling them into a car. “Alan” trys to give chase but only catches up when Lizzie jumps from the moving vehicle. “Alan” kills one of the kidnappers, but the others drive off with Clair. Meanwhile “Alan” attempts to convince the police with his version of events and then ends up with the British Consul.

“Alan” searches for de Bruin but finds he has returned to Holland. No leads. He and Lizzie are then mugged, by apparently the same gang as who kidnapped Clair. The police ask them to leave Morocco for their own safety. “Alan” attempts to take Lizzie to live with her uncle but on discovering that he is a drug addict living in squalor changes the plan and takes Lizzie home with him to Andorra.

However de Bruin tracks them down in Andorra and kidnaps Lizzie. I won’t tell you how or what happens next, but there are plenty more twists. I loved this book. A real page turner. Also it is a stand-alone story. No need to have read End As An Assassin.


Here is an extract from the book to give you a taster.

Mysterious Dutchman, Rik de Bruin, is pestering Clair and Lizzy, Warner’s new love and her daughter, and convenes a meeting to try and buy Warner off.strong>

De Bruin was holding a handkerchief to his flattened ear and hadn’t moved from the table. Beefcake slowly turned his head towards him, seeking guidance.
‘All right, all right,’ de Bruin shouted, flapping the handkerchief like a flag of surrender. ‘We let you go, Melville.’
Big of him. Being let go wasn’t enough though. I took a backward peek at the station wagon pair. They were behaving themselves, even to the extent of clasping their hands behind their necks, unasked. Arabs have a lot of respect for guns.
I beckoned de Bruin. ‘Come here. The rest of you, on your bellies.’ I repeated the instruction in French.
De Bruin stayed put. The rest, taking their cue from him, stayed vertical.
I lifted the gun and ripped off a three round mini-burst, a hacking cough of gunfire. Birds erupted by the hundred from every ledge and crevice, dimming the sun and blotting out all sound with their cries. The blizzard of thrashing wings took a while to disperse. When quiet was restored I lowered the long barrel to fire a second burst, a fraction above head height. To a man, and in concert, the minions hit terra firma, and de Bruin started walking towards me, albeit on dragging heels. Amazing what a little lead slinging will do.
De Bruin stopped, leaving a metre of so of space between us. He licked his slug-like lips.
‘Two hundred thousand euros,’ he said. ‘I will give two hundred thousand. A hundred and fifty now, the rest later today.’
‘You never give up, do you?’
I went up to him, and we stood there, a foot apart, breathing hard, glaring at each other. Then I lashed him across the bridge of his nose with the gun barrel, so abruptly he had no hope of avoiding the blow, and so violently that the jolt travelled all the way to my shoulder. A shout of pain, a gush of blood, and he fell to his knees in the gravel.
I stepped away from him, panting a little.
‘Let that be the end of it, de Bruin.’

I Kill is available on Amazon, currently priced at £3.49 on Kindle and is published by Kaybec Publishing. I loved it and highly recommend it, Looking forward to the third book in the Manhunter series.


About Lex Lander

British-born thriller writer Lex Lander was raised in France, earned his degree in French and Italian in New Zealand and currently lives in Montreal. Lander is the author of political thriller ANOTHER DAY, ANOTHER JACKAL, published by Kaybec in 2013. Vol III in the series, THE MAN WHO HUNTED HIMSELF, will be published by Kaybec in the autumn. The first two volumes in the André Warner series, END AS AN ASSASSIN and I KILL by Lex Lander (published by Kaybec 1st May 2016) are available to buy online from retailers including amazon.co.uk. and all good bookstores including WHSmiths.

I’m participating in the book tour and you may like to check out some of the other blog stops on the tour.

I Kill by Lex Lander

And you can read a guest post by Lex Lander that I published previously on his inspiration for the Andre Warner series here.

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Disclosure.  This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

Mumsnet Book Club review – The Fire Child by S. K. Tremayne

I have received another book from the Mumsnet Book Club free to review. It is The Fire Child by S.K Tremayne.

The Fire Child

This is what it says inside the front cover.

It only took six words to shatter her dreams…

When Rachel marries dark, handsome David, everything seems to fall into place. Swept from single life in London to the beautiful Carnhallow House in Cornwall, she gains wealth, love, and an affectionate stepson, Jamie.

But then Jamie’s behaviour changes, and Rachel’s perfect life begins to unravel. He makes disturbing predictions, claiming to be haunted by the spectre of his late mother – David’s previous wife. Is this Jamie’s way of punishing Rachel, or is he far more traumatized than she thought?

As Rachel starts digging into the past, she begins to grow suspicious of her husband. Why is he so reluctant to discuss Jamie’s outbursts? And what exactly happened to cause his ex-wife’s untimely death, less than two years ago? As summer slips away and December looms, Rachel begins to fear there might be truth in Jamie’s words:

‘You will be dead by Christmas.’

I was really pleased to receive this book as I had seen so many great reviews of S.K. Tremayne’s debut novel The Ice Twins. Even the cover image gets you wondering. And it didn’t let me down. A really gripping read with a great pace and an unexpected ending.

Rachel is newly married to wealthy lawyer David and is starting to discover her new home, Carnhallow which has been in David’s family for generations along with several old Cornish mines, one of which David’s first wife Nina tragically died in. Carnhallow is huge with 2 wings, cellars and 18 bedrooms. Rachel is also getting to know her new family, Jamie her stepson and David’s mother Juliet who is suffering from the first signs of dementia and living in a self-contained adjoining apartment. Plus there is Cassie, the live-in help.

Jamie tells Rachel of his dreams. First he has seen a hare and Rachel with blood on her hands. A couple of weeks later in dreadful weather, Rachel is driving home and hits an animal. She gets out and picks up the animal which dies in her hands. It is a hare. This is the first of Jamie’s scary predictions to come true. Some of what Jamie says about his mother starts Rachel researching Nina’s death. Everything starts spiralling onward. Are they haunted by Nina’s ghost or is Nina really dead at all? You’ll have to read it to find out more.

The Fire Child is by S.K Tremayne and is published by Harper Collins. The hardback edition is currently on sale on Amazon for £6.00 compared to an RRP of £12.99. It is also available in kindle format and will be released in paperback early next year. I highly recommend this book.

I have previously read the following books from the Mumsnet Book Club.
Noonday by Pat Barker
Missing Presumed by Susie Steiner
The Wolf Border by Sarah Hall
The Forgotten Summer by Carol Drinkwater
The Forgetting Time by Sharon Guskin
Pretty Baby by Mary Kubica
Coming Home by Annabel Kantaria
Fallout by Sadie Jones
Falling by Emma Kavanagh
The Girl Who Just Appeared by Jonathan Harvey

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Disclosure.  This post is a review of a book I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.