The Dying Place cover image

The Dying Place cover image

I blogged about this fantastic book in October as part of the eBook blog tour. Today The Dying Place is released in paperback, and in celebration I thought I’d re-run the review …

What the blurb says:

“Once inside THERE’S NO WAY OUT…

DI David Murphy and DS Laura Rossi make a grisly discovery. The body of a teenage boy, dumped in front of a church in Liverpool. His torso covered with the unmistakable marks of torture.

And a shocking fact soon comes to light. Seventeen-year-old Dean Hughes was reported missing six months ago, yet no one has been looking for him. A known troublemaker, who cared if he was dead or alive?

But soon the police realise Dean isn’t the only boy who’s gone missing in similar circumstances. Someone has been abducting troubled teens. Someone who thinks they’re above the law. Someone with terrifying plans for them.”

As a big fan of Luca Veste’s debut novel – Dead Gone – I was thrilled to get my hands on an early copy of the second book in the Murphy and Rossi series – The Dying Place. And, as with his first book, Veste weaves a twisting, turning plot to skillfully produce a fast-paced police procedural that keeps you guessing right to the end.

When the body of a murdered teenager is found outside a church, Murphy and Rossi are called in to investigate. As they delve deeper into the case it becomes clear that someone, or some people, are taking teenagers off the street and holding them against their will, trying to ‘re-train’ them through a brutal form of national service.

This is a hard book to review without giving away any spoilers [and you know how I hate to do that!] but what I will say is that Veste’s Liverpool is an unsettling, dangerous place where frustrations between the older generation and the young run high.

Told through multiple points of view, the story highlights the impact of violent crime on victims’ families – on the parents whose children don’t ever return home and on the adult children whose elderly parents fall victim to teenage gangs – with a nod towards how depending on where you live, and what job you (or your parents have) the value of your life might be perceived by the media.

It also shows how grief can twist into vengeance and how that can be a powerful motivator, exploring the theme of vigilante justice in an up-close and disturbingly convincing way through the eyes of the characters.

As in Dead Gone, Murphy and Rossi are a brilliantly paired double act; the strong bond between them showing through their ever-present banter, and their unswerving loyalty in the face of adversity.

Engaging and thought provoking, The Dying Place is a truly gripping read.

Highly Recommended

If you’re looking for some fabulous crime thriller books to read over Christmas hop on over to http://noorosha.com/giveaways/christmas-giveaway/ where you can be in with a chance to win these 12 fabulous reads in their Christmas Giveaway …

xmas-giveaway-shareable

Want You Dead cover image

Want You Dead cover image

What the blurb says: When Red Westwood meets handsome, charming and rich Bryce Laurent through an online dating agency, there is an instant attraction. But as their love blossoms, the truth about his past, and his dark side, begins to emerge. Everything he has told Red about himself turns out to be a tissue of lies, and her infatuation with him gradually turns to terror. Within a year, and under police protection, she evicts him from her flat and her life. But Red’s nightmare is only just beginning. For Bryce is obsessed with her, and he intends to destroy everything and everyone she has know and loved – and then her too…”

DCI Roy Grace returns in the latest book in Peter James’ best selling detective series – Want You Dead. He’s juggling the new responsibilities of parenthood with planning for his approaching wedding when his team is called to inspect the scene of an apparent suicide. But the suicide is suspicious, and when the dead man is found to be the current boyfriend of Red Westwood, a women whose previous boyfriend – Bryce Laurent – is known for his violent outbursts, Grace and the team are pulled into a deadly race against time to find the killer before he strikes again.

Red is a survivor of domestic abuse, determined to rebuild her life after being betrayed and brutalised by the man she loved. She’s started a new career, and is beginning to date again. But when her boyfriend is found dead, and she starts to catch glimpses of her ex – Bryce Laurent – her confidence begins to crumble.

Bryce is a smart and terrifying villain, able to be both utterly charming and brutally violent. Obsessed with Red, and destroying her and all she holds dear, anyone who threatens his success instantly becomes a target.

Told in short chapters, with points of view alternating between viewpoint characters including Grace, Red Westwood, Bryce Laurent, and Sandy (Roy Grace’s wife who disappeared many years previously) the tension continues to rise as Brighton becomes the setting for a series of devastating fires. Alongside the case, Grace and his fiancé – Cleo – prepare for their wedding, but unknown to them, in the background someone is watching – Sandy, Grace’s first wife, who has now been declared legally dead.

The story twists and turns at break-neck pace towards its dramatic showdown with plenty of shocks along the way. It’s a must-read for fans of the series, and all those who love police procedurals.

Highly recommended.

 

 

This week I’m thrilled to be partnering up with those wonderful folks over at Pan MacMillan as a stop on the David Baldacci Blog Tour and to offer one lucky reader the chance to win a copy of David Baldacci’s latest books – The Escape (out in hardback last week) and The Target (published in paperback last week).

Here’s some more about the books …

The Escape cover image

The Escape cover image

The Escape by David Baldacci

What the blurb says: “Military CID investigator John Puller has returned from his latest case to learn that his brother, Robert, once a major in the US Air Force and an expert in nuclear weaponry and cyber-security, has escaped from the Army’s most secure prison. Preliminary investigations show that Robert – convicted of treason – may have had help in his breakout. Now he’s on the run, and he’s the military’s number one target.

John Puller has a dilemma. Which comes first: loyalty to his country, or to his brother? Blood is thicker than water, but Robert has state secrets which certain people will kill for. John does not know for sure the true nature of Robert’s crimes, nor if he’s even guilty. It quickly becomes clear, however, that his brother’s responsibilities were powerful and far-reaching.

With the help of US intelligence officer Veronica Knox, both brothers move closer to the truth from their opposing direction. As the case begins to force John Puller into a place he thought he’d never be – on the other side of the law – even his skills as an investigator, and his strength as a warrior, might not be enough to save him. Or his brother.”

With masterful storytelling and a quick-fire pace that’ll have you hurtling through the pages unable to put the book down, The Escape is a must-read for all thriller fans.

 

The Target cover image

The Target cover image

The Target by David Baldacci

What the blurb says: “A time to kill – or a time to die? The mission is to enter one of the most dangerous countries in the world. The target is one of the toughest to reach. The result could be momentous – or it could be Armageddon.

There is no margin for error. US government operatives Will Robie and Jessica Reel have to prove they are still the best team there is. But are they invincible when pitted against an agent whose training has been under conditions where most would perish?

An old man is dying in an Alabama prison hospital, it seems there is one more evil game he has still to play. And it’s a game which comes close to home for Reel and Robie. But this time the stakes might be way too high.”

The Target hooked me into the story from the very first page. Will Robie and Jessica Reel make for a great, if rather unconventional, duo. With high stakes, and ever-rising tension, this book will leave you breathless.

About the author …

David Baldacci has published twenty-eight novels – all have been national and international bestsellers, and several have been adapted for film and tv. His books have been translated into more than forty-five languages and sold in over eighty countries. He’s received many accolades for his writing, and most recently was inducted into the International Crime Writing Hall of Fame, and received the Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Award. You can find out more about him by popping over to his website http://davidbaldacci.com/ and follow him on Twitter @davidbaldacci

So, to the competition …

*** THIS COMPETITION HAS NOW CLOSED AND THE WINNER NOTIFIED ***

For a chance to win all you need to do is tweet the link to this post (using the Twitter button below) OR retweet one of the CTG tweets about the giveaway. [You’ll also need to follow us on Twitter, so that we can send you a direct message should you win].

Rules
(1) One entry per reader (2) UK residents only – due to postage costs – sorry! (3) We will draw the winner at random (4) No cash alternative (5) The competition closes for entries at 9pm GMT on Sunday 30th November 2014 (6) The judge’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.

Good luck!

 

The Escape by David Baldacci is out now £18.99 (Macmillan)

The Target by David Baldacci is out now £7.99 (Pan)

For more opportunities to win David Baldacci books check out the rest of the blog tour stops …

 

David Baldacci Blog Tour Poster

David Baldacci Blog Tour Poster

Falling cover image

Falling cover image

What the blurb says: “A plane falls out of the sky. A woman is murdered. Four people all have something to hide. Jim is a retired police officer, and a worried father. His beloved daughter has disappeared and he knows something is wrong. Tom has woken up to discover that his wife was on the plane and must break the news to their only son. Cecilia had packed up and left her family. Now she has survived a tragedy and sees no way out. Freya is struggling to cope with the loss of her father. But as she delves into his past, she may not like what she finds.”

This is another fantastic debut for 2014. Right from the start, this psychological thriller is high on tension and drama, plunging us – literally – into the free fall of Cecilia’s plane in the opening scene. Told through the eyes of the four main protagonists, the narrative circles around two seemingly unrelated incidents – the murder of a young woman, and the shocking crash of a passenger plane in a small community – but as the events leading up to both incidents are gradually revealed it becomes clear that the two tragedies might have more in common than it had originally appeared.

It’s an unsettling story, pitching the reader into the worlds of the four main characters and giving a close-up view of their failures and regrets, and how each of them, in their own way, is haunted by their past, and by the lies they tell themselves and others. But it’s also a redemption story – a journey of people facing their deepest fears, overcoming adversity and loss, and finding a way to move forward.

A thought provoking and emotive read that grips you from the first page to the last.

Highly recommended.

 

[with thanks to Arrow Books for my copy of Falling]

 

Peter James

Peter James

Today I’m excited to welcome best selling novelist Peter James to the CTG blog.

His latest novel  – WANT YOU DEAD – is out now (watch out for our review next week) and he kindly agreed to answer a few questions about his many writing projects for us …

Welcome Peter!

Dead Simple, the first novel in the Roy Grace series, is also rumored to venture its way onto the London big stage in January of 2015. Can you share some of the difficulties or advantages of adapting a thriller novel into a production play?

The two biggest difficulties are firstly containing the action within the very limited confines of a stage and the maximum number of set changes is it possible to have, and secondly reducing the number of characters in a book into the relatively small amount it is possible to have, both for economic and logistic reasons, in a play. The biggest challeng we have in bringing Dead Simple to the stage is that one of the central characters spends around two thirds of the entire play buried alive in a coffin. In the novel, much of the suspense comes from things that are happening to him – water rising within the coffin, his air supply being cut off, the excruciating claustrophobic fear of the enclosed dark space. So we’ve had to explore all kinds of different ways to portray this, from projecting the image of the actor in the coffin onto a screen, to simulating the feeling of being in a coffin by plunging the entire auditorium into darkness.

You recently contributed to the New York Times best selling novel, FaceOff. What were the highlights from the collaboration with Ian Rankin? Any challenges?

The whole concept of FaceOff, asking crime and thriller writers to have their central detective characters collaborate with another fictitious detective was both brilliant and highly daunting. Also although Ian Rankin and I are both British, the laws and police procedures in Scotland, where his character John Rebus operates are different to those in England where my character, Detective Superintendent Roy Grace operates. But right from the getgo, this collaboration was a really joyful experience. I’ve known him for some years and always found him to be a delightful, friendly, generous spirited guy, and all of this came through in spades during our time working together on this. Ian has a huge amount of knowledge about music, and it was his idea to hang the story around a cold case, and a rock and roll era, connecting our two cities of Brighton and Edinburgh. We met over a pint – or three – of beer in Scotland to kick it around, Ian started the ball rolling by writing a couple of pages which he sent to me, then I continued while he went off on tour to the US. We wrote the story in quite a short time period, with no arguments whatsoever. It was a strange feeling writing some of the scenes in which I had his central characters act and speak – I felt as if I was treading on sacred ground! I think the only real challenge was the amount of alcohol consumption the whole collaboration required :-)

Want You Dead cover image

Want You Dead cover image

With 25 novels translated into 36 languages, publishing the world’s first electronic novel, Roy Grace’s 10th novel, a children’s novel, a novella, your involvement in Hollywood, your endless devotion and support to your hometown of Brighton, and charitable work under your belt we are all left wondering what is next for the man who seems to have done it all, and more importantly, how do you celebrate your successes?

Thank you! The big goal I now have in front of me is to see my books really break through in the USA. I’ve spent so much of my working life to date in the US, I feel as at home in North America as I do in England. I’m completely certain, from both the wonderful reviews I consistently get in the US press and from the enthusiasm of my fans, that it is possible. As to how I celebrate my success – it may sound strange, but I celebrate very cautiously. I know I’m incredibly lucky to have such a huge and global readership, to be able to make a living doing what I love, and to be able to travel so much, but equally I know, from my own experiences as a reader, just how many of my favourite authors seemed to decline as they became increasingly famous – almost as if they felt they didn’t have to make the effort any more. I’m determined not to let that happen, and I try my hardest to raise the bar with each book I write. My extravagances, when I am in full celebratory mood, are fine wines and fast cars – but not together!!!

 

A huge thank you to Peter James for taking time out of his busy schedule to visit with the CTG blog.

You can find out more about Peter by hopping on over to his website: http://www.peterjames.com

Visit him on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/peterjames.roygrace

And follow him on Twitter @peterjamesuk

Crow Bait cover image

Crow Bait cover image

What the blurb says: “Jail was hell for Davie McCall. Ten years down the line, freedom’s no picnic either. It’s 1990, there are new kings in the West of Scotland underworld, and Glasgow is awash with drugs.

David can handle himself. What he can’t handle is the memory of his mother’s death at the hand of his sadistic father. Or the darkness his father implanted deep in his own psyche. Or the nightmares …

Now his father is back in town and after blood, ready to waste anyone who stops him hacking out a piece of the action. There are people in his way. And Davie is one of them.”

CROW BAIT puts the reader up close and personal into the world of criminal gangs in Scotland back in the 1990s. It’s a tense, dangerous and often brutal world where trust is fragile, alliances between criminals and police are made and broken, and the rise of the drug trade is causing rising friction between gang members.

Davie McCall is a compelling narrator – his strong sense of justice, inner conflicts, and loyalty to his friends giving an interesting counterpoint with his capability for extreme violence. Fresh out of prison, he’s soon drawn back into his old criminal activities. But things are different – he’s convinced someone close to him is responsible for killing his old mentor, and he wants to find out who. Then the strange phone calls start, and the murders mimicking that of his mother, and Davie knows his father is back and coming for him. As the story twists and turns towards the final brutal showdown, Davie discovers who his friends and allies really are – on both sides of the law.

This dark, gritty crime thriller is packed with brooding, menacing atmosphere, up-close action and brilliantly drawn characters. It’s a must-read for fans of Tartan Noir.

Recommended.