BOOK REVIEWS

REVIEW OF ‘BLOOD LINES’ BY ANGELA MARSONS

Published by Bookouture, 4th November 2016

Blood Lines: An absolutely gripping thriller that will have you hooked (Detective Kim Stone crime thriller series Book 5) by [Marsons, Angela]

5 stars *****

A victim killed with a single, precise stab to the heart appears at first glance to be a robbery gone wrong. A caring, upstanding social worker lost to a senseless act of violence. But for Detective Kim Stone, something doesn’t add up.

When a local drug addict is found murdered with an identical wound, Kim knows instinctively that she is dealing with the same killer. But with nothing to link the two victims except the cold, calculated nature of their death, this could be her most difficult case yet.

Desperate to catch the twisted individual, Kim’s focus on the case is threatened when she receives a chilling letter from Dr Alex Thorne, the sociopath who Kim put behind bars. And this time, Alex is determined to hit where it hurts most, bringing Kim face-to-face with the woman responsible for the death of Kim’s little brother – her own mother.

As the body count increases, Kim and her team unravel a web of dark secrets, bringing them closer to the killer. But one of their own could be in mortal danger. Only this time, Kim might not be strong enough to save them…

*****

Another blindingly good read from Angela Marsons in this most excellent DI Kim Stone series.
Bringing Stone’s nemesis, Alex Thorne, back was a stroke of genius by the author. Courtesy of the psychopathic Thorne, we see another few layers peeled from Kim’s troubled past in this, Book 5. But this fascinating subplot is expertly weaved into the main, riveting serial killer plot, with all its unfathomable twists and turns.
I particularly liked the build-up to the ending, not only to discover whodunit, but also to enjoy Kim’s interaction with Alex Thorne . . . which I can’t elaborate on without fear of letting spoilers slip.
Suffice to say, I highly recommend this book as a fantastic read . . .  can’t wait for Book 6!

5 out of 5 stars
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for the ARC

REVIEW OF ‘INTERFERENCE’ BY AMELIE ANTOINE

Published by AmazonCrossing, 1st September 2016

Interference by [Antoine, Amélie]

4 stars ****

Young married couple Gabriel and Chloé have a picture-perfect life. But when athletic Chloé suddenly drowns, Gabriel is left to grapple with the mysterious circumstances of her death. Brokenhearted, he pours out his grief in a bereavement group and is consoled by photographer Emma. While the two grow closer, Gabriel can’t help but feel Chloé’s presence everywhere he goes. And as revelations about Chloé slowly emerge, he begins to wonder, is Emma really that different?

From prize-winning and bestselling author Amélie Antoine comes a dark and evocative novel that will keep readers guessing until the final moments—will Gabriel be able to move on with Emma, or will the mystery of Chloé’s death consume him?

****

I found this book an easy, smooth read. The build-up of tension and mystery was good and kept me turning the pages. The characters were well drawn and the issue of grief is explored thoroughly and sensitively.

However, about two-thirds of the way through comes the big twist which somehow feels a bit of a cheat on the author’s part. Of course, as readers, we suspend our disbelief willingly…to a certain extent. But when a twist could never happen in real life, not least because it would be morally wrong and cause outrage (and that’s all I can say without giving a spoiler), it kind of ruins the feel of what promised to be a good story and reliable characters.

In the last third there are a couple more unexpected twists which turn everything upside down again. I gave ‘Interference’ four stars despite the twist disappointment because I enjoyed the first two-thirds so much.

4 out of 5 stars

Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for the ARC.

REVIEW OF ‘BEFORE I LET YOU IN’ BY JENNY BLACKHURST

Published by Headline, 28th August 2016

517nW6vBzYL[1]4  stars ****

Karen is meant to be the one who fixes problems.

It’s her job, as a psychiatrist – and it’s always been her role as a friend.

But Jessica is different. She should be the patient, the one that Karen helps.

But she knows things about Karen. Her friends, her personal life. Things no patient should know.

And Karen is starting to wonder if she should have let her in . . .

****

This psychological thriller kept me turning the pages throughout.

All of the characters are interesting and we witness them going through big changes, dealing with their respective problems and suspicions and the storyline did keep me guessing as to who the mystery client was and who could be responsible for certain deeds.

The characters were all well-drawn and the narrative is tight, pacy and well-constructed.

Recommended!

4 out of 5 stars

Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for the ARC.

REVIEW OF ‘THE DEVIL’S WORK’ BY MARK EDWARDS

Published by Thomas & Mercer, 13th September 2016

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4 Stars ****

A gripping psychological thriller from the bestselling author of Follow You Home and The Magpies.

It was the job she had dreamed of since childhood. But on her very first day, when an unnerving encounter drags up memories Sophie Greenwood would rather forget, she wonders if she has made a mistake. A fatal mistake.

What is her ambitious young assistant really up to? And what exactly happened to Sophie’s predecessor? When her husband and daughter are pulled into the nightmare, Sophie is forced to confront the darkest secrets she has carried for years.

As her life begins to fall apart at work and at home, Sophie must race to uncover the truth about her new job…before it kills her.

****

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, as I have all of Mark Edward’s psychological thrillers. It’s full of creepy tension and red herrings and I didn’t guess the twist at the end!

The story is set in a publishing office and the author ramps up the tension right away with several unexplained and awful things that happen to Sophie, a new employee who has returned to work after maternity leave. Anyone who has worked in an office environment will appreciate the taut atmosphere and mutual suspicions when things start to go wrong.

I thought the intermittent flashbacks worked well and they added to the suspense, keeping the reader wondering what could have happened to certain characters in the missing years.

This thriller is dark at times but compelling and certainly kept my interest. Recommended!

Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for the ARC.