CTG’s FIRST TIME “ON AIR”: TWO CRIME WRITERS AND A MICROPHONE PODCAST

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This week I was totally excited to join the awesome Steve Cavanagh and Luca Veste on their brilliant TWO CRIME WRITERS AND A MICROPHONE podcast. Their hilarious show is a must listen for crime fiction fans – the guys are very funny and totally knowledgeable about all things crime and thriller – I’m usually laughing out loud as I listen!

Anyway, having been an avid listener of their weekly show, I was thrilled to be invited to take part, alongside my dynamic publisher Karen Sullivan, and uber blogger Liz Barnsley. It was a lot of fun to record, so I hope it’ll be fun to listen to …

Click HERE to go to the TWO CRIME WRITERS AND A MICROPHONE podcast site.

I totally recommend you listen to all the episodes and sign up for the weekly downloads.

And also be sure to follow them on Twitter @TwoCrimeWriters and like them on FaceBook at www.facebook.com/twocrimewriters/

CTG Reviews: CUT TO THE BONE by Alex Caan

Cut to the Bone

What the blurb says: Ruby is a vlogger, a rising star of YouTube and a heroine to millions of teenage girls. And she’s missing. She’s an adult – nothing to worry about, surely? Until the video’s uploaded. Ruby, in the dirt and pleading for her life.

Who better to head up the investigation than the Met’s rising star, Detective Inspector Kate Riley? She’s leading a shiny new team, high-powered, mostly female and with the best resources money can buy. It’s time for them to prove what they can do. Alongside her, Detective Sergeant Zain Harris – poster boy for multiracial policing and the team’s newest member – has his own unique contribution to make. But can Kate wholly trust him and when he’s around, can she trust herself?

Ruby’s millions of fans are hysterical about what may have happened to her. The press is having a field day and as the investigation hurtles out of control in the glare of publicity, it becomes clear that the world of YouTube vloggers and social media is much, much darker than anyone could have imagined in their worst nightmares.

And the videos keep coming . . .”

CUT TO THE BONE is the latest debut coming out of Bonnier’s Twenty7 Books imprint, and it’s an outstanding edition to their line-up. Utterly contemporary, with a rapid pace and nail-biting tension from the get-go, it’s a super-twisty police procedural that kept me guessing right until the end.

The story starts with the disappearance of superstar vlogger, Ruby Day. This is a novel hot on technology – it’s bang up to date – but the human element is strong too, and Ruby’s story is heartbreakingly compelling. Bullied at school, Ruby turned to vlogging as a way to overcome her demons and help others. When her subscribers grew, she was catapulted into the spotlight, and with that came loyal fans, but also hangers on, and those looking to exploit her for profit. When she goes missing, DI Riley and DS Harris have a number of possible suspects who each has a stake in Ruby, but who would profit most from her disappearance? As the investigation cranks up, and more videos of Ruby in distress are released, it becomes clear that beneath the surface of Ruby’s business relationships and personal relationships there are darker, and seedier, motives than any of them could have possibly imagined.

The two main characters – DI Kate Riley and DS Zain Harris – make for an interesting pairing. Both damaged by the events in their past, they’re equally suspicious of others and find it difficult to trust people. They’re also both exceptional at what they do, and determined to get to the truth, and for justice to prevail (even if Zain’s version of justice may be a little more ‘hands on’ at times). Their origins – finding out why Kate Riley had to leave America and start over in the UK, and why Zain Harris is struggling to fit into his new role as a DS in Riley’s team – are fresh and original, and really made me want to spend time with them.

CUT TO THE BONE is perfect for readers who like their police procedurals fast paced, twisty-turny, and served with a side order of grit. I loved it, and can’t wait to read the next in the series.

CUT TO THE BONE is out in eBook now. You can buy it from Amazon here

Check out my interview with Alex Caan here and be sure to follow him on Twitter @alexcaanwriter

CTG Reviews: #Untouchable by Ava Marsh

Untouchable-new-rondel

What the blurb says: “Stella is an escort, immersed in a world of desire, betrayal and secrets. It’s exactly where she wants to be. Stella used to be someone else: respectable, loved, safe. But one mistake changed all that.

When a fellow call girl is murdered, Stella has a choice: forget what she’s seen, or risk everything to get justice for her friend. In her line of work, she’s never far from the edge, but pursuing the truth could take her past the point of no return.

Nothing is off limits. Not for her – and not for them. But is anyone truly untouchable?”

This is a pulse-pounding crime thriller with a difference – it includes a lot of up close and centre-stage sex.

Stella (real name, Grace) is an escort by choice. She enjoys her job and the financial freedoms it brings, although she does sometimes wonder if she’ll ever be able to stop. That all changes when another high-end escort she recently worked with is murdered. Suddenly she’s feeling on edge with even her regular clients.

Unwilling to believe the Police’s version of events, and plagued by the feeling that her friend was killed for something she knew rather than who she was, Stella can’t move on. Taking matters into her own hands, she sets out on her own search for the truth, but as she begins to get closer to finding the identity of the killer it becomes clear that her quest could have deadly consequences.

Unflinchingly authentic, this thriller gives a peep into the world of a high-class escort, from the clients and the money, to the drama and tension the profession causes in their personal relationships [but beware, if you don’t want to read graphic sex scenes, this book might not be your thing!]. It’s a real page-turner of a read – darkly funny at times, heart-breaking at others – with a riveting mystery at its heart.

As pacey as Lee Child, racier than EL James, and utterly gripping – Untouchable is unmissable!

To find out more about Ava Marsh pop over to her website at http://www.avamarsh.co.uk and be sure to follow her on Twitter @MsAvaMarsh

To buy UNTOUCHABLE from Amazon, click on the book cover below:

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Also, be sure to check out these great stops on the UNTOUCHABLE blog tour …

UntouchableBlogTour (2)

CTG Reviews: COLD MOON by Alexandra Sokoloff

COLD MOON cover image

COLD MOON cover image

What the blurb says: The hunt for mass murderer Cara Lindstrom is over. FBI Special Agent Matthew Roarke has been working for this moment: the capture of a killer who savagely hunts the worst of humanity. But Roarke remains traumatized by his own near-death at the hands of the serial killer who slaughtered Cara’s family…and haunted by the enigmatic woman who saved his life.

Then the sixteen-year-old prostitute who witnessed Cara’s most recent murder goes missing, and suddenly pimps are turning up dead on the streets of San Francisco, killed with an MO eerily similar to Cara’s handiwork.

Is a new killer on the loose with a mission even more deadly than hers? In the pulse-pounding third Huntress/FBI Thrillers book, Roarke will have to go on the hunt…and every woman he meets, even those closest to him, may prove deadly.”

COLD MOON is the latest instalment in Alexandra Sokoloff’s fabulous The Huntress FBI series and it’s published today.

This is a serial killer story with a difference – this killer is female. Driven by the need to confront ‘It’ – evil – Cara Lindstrom targets those in society who prey on the innocent and the helpless. The story starts with her awaiting trial for murder, but it soon becomes clear that she may not be the only person fighting back against those men who prey on vulnerable women. Detective Roarke – the man responsible for Cara being in jail – is conflicted about the upcoming trial. On the one side he knows Cara is a killer, on the other he is becoming increasingly sympathetic to her cause. And he cannot deny that he’s attracted to her either.

As the trial gets closer, the media and bloggers pick up the story, igniting a growing group of protestors against Cara’s incarceration to take to the streets. Then some new evidence comes to light which changes everything.

Set in California, COLD MOON shows the glamour and the grime, the privileged (and those who abuse that privilege) and the disadvantaged. It’s highly atmospheric, with compelling, dynamic characters and vivid, rapid-paced action.

It also puts real issues front and centre – human trafficking, child prostitution, and corruption and abuse within the prison service – which makes for a gritty and thought provoking read. Like Jeff Lindsay’s DEXTER, Cara only kills those that have committed unspeakable crimes – and so although she is a serial killer, she’s a highly compelling character who I wanted to spend time with.

With super-charged tension and nail biting suspense, this is a real page turner of a read.

Highly recommended for all thriller lovers.

 

And be sure to stop by on Thursday 10th July when we’ll be hosting a tour stop on the COLD MOON blog tour in the form of an interview with Alexandra Sokoloff about her books and her writing process.

In the meantime, check out the other fabulous stops in the blog tour here:

Cold Moon Blog Tour Poster

CTG Reviews: FOLLOW YOU HOME by Mark Edwards

FOLLOW YOU HOME cover image

FOLLOW YOU HOME cover image

What the blurb says: It was supposed to be the trip of a lifetime, a final adventure before settling down. But after a perfect start, an encounter with a young couple on a night train forces Daniel and Laura to cut their dream trip short and flee home.

Back in London, Daniel and Laura vow never to talk about what happened that night. But as they try to fit into their old lives again, they realise they are in terrible danger—and that their nightmare is just beginning…

Mark Edwards’ latest novel takes psychological thrillers to a whole new level of gritty suspense.

Disorientated and unable to cope in their own separate ways, Daniel and Laura are being driven apart by the horror they encountered back in Romania when on their ‘trip of a lifetime’. But whereas Laura doesn’t want to talk about the trip or have any reminder of it, Daniel yearns to resolve the issues he’s battling with before they engulf him entirely. When a succession of strange happenings make him fear he’ll never be free of the past, he seeks professional help, and begins to talk about what happened so he can finally move on.

As the memories of the past threaten to snuff out his future, Daniel battles to get to the truth behind the strange and sinister goings on, and steps up his efforts to convince Laura to talk about what happened. But as both Daniel and Laura start to lose their grip on reality, and people around them start to die, it seems that the past just won’t let them go.

FOLLOW YOU HOME is a real cracker of a psychological thriller – bags of suspense, tonnes of tension and a dark and troubling undercurrent of terror throughout the story. It had me gripped to the very last page. Highly recommended.

To find out more about Mark Edwards and his books hop over to his website at www.markedwardsauthor.com and be sure to follow him on Twitter @mredwards

 

[with thanks to NetGalley, Mark Edwards and Thomas & Mercer for my copy of FOLLOW YOU HOME]

CTG Reviews: ONLY THE BRAVE by Mel Sherratt

Only the Brave cover image

Only the Brave cover image

What the blurb says: “When one of the notorious Johnson brothers is murdered and a bag of money goes missing, a deadly game of cat and mouse is set in motion. DS Allie Shenton and her team are called in to catch the killer, but the suspects are double-crossing each other and Allie has little time to untangle the web of lies. As she delves deeper into the case, things take a personal turn when Allie realises she is being stalked by the very same person who attacked her sister seventeen years ago and left her for dead.”

This is the third book in the fantastic DS Allie Shenton series following on from Taunting the Dead and Follow the Leader. Taking place over forty-eight hours, the story centres around a fatal stabbing – one where there are many people who seem to know something about the incident, but none of them are going to give up that information easily to Allie and her team.

Allie is used to working hard, but this case has more personal connections than Allie is comfortable with. History is dredged up when Terry Ryder’s daughter – Kirstie – turns out to be the girlfriend of the victim, pushing Allie back into contact with Ryder, something she would much prefer to avoid.

The emotional stakes are high in this story as Allie’s sister Karen, whose health took a turn for the worse at the end of the previous book ‘Follow the Leader’, is getting progressively more ill. Allie is torn between finding the killer and being there for her sister. Unable to choose, she tries to do both – exhausting herself both physically and psychologically. But as she gets closer to solving the murder case, there is another danger lurking nearby – a person who’s been waiting a very long time to get Allie to themselves – and as the book hurtles along towards its dramatic conclusion, Allie has to use every ounce of her determination and resolve if she’s to escape with her life.

Slickly plotted and a real page-turner of a read, ONLY THE BRAVE is a rollercoaster of grit and emotion.

Highly recommended.

 

[with thanks to Mel Sherratt and Thomas & Mercer for my copy of ONLY THE BRAVE] 

#TheLie Blog Tour: CTG reviews The Lie by C.L. Taylor

The Lie cover image

The Lie cover image

I’m delighted to be part of the #TheLie Blog Tour, and for the tour stop today I’m posting my review of this fabulous psychological thriller …

What the blurb says: “Jane Hughes has a loving partner, a job in an animal sanctuary and a tiny cottage in rural Wales. She’s happier than she’s ever been but her life is a lie. Jane Hughes does not really exist. Five years earlier Jane and her then best friends went on holiday but what should have been the trip of a lifetime rapidly descended into a nightmare that claimed the lives of two of the women. Jane has tried to put the past behind her but someone knows the truth about what happened. Someone who won’t stop until they’ve destroyed Jane and everything she loves . . .”

How well do we really know our friends, and how strong are those bonds when they’re tested to the limit? These are two of the questions C.L. Taylor’s latest psychological thriller prompts the reader to think about as they follow the dual storyline narratives of The Lie to their explosive conclusion.

The story pulls you in straight away, and the flowing narrative holds you captive until the final page has been turned. It’s a story packed with tension, twists and turns, immersing you into Jane’s world and feeling the fear inside her building as she’s contacted by someone who can’t possibly be alive. Or can they?

Deeply unsettled, Jane relives the horror of the past through a series of flashback chapters which transport her (and the reader) back in time to the ‘trip of a lifetime’ she took with her then best friends – Daisy, Leanne and Al – to Nepal. As they travel from their hotel to a remote retreat in the mountains it soon becomes clear that the ripples of tension and jealousy within the group are rising, and it’s not long before the friendships start to unravel with devastating consequences. As the creepy, shocking truth (and serious danger they’re in) becomes more apparent in the Nepal timeline, the threat level in the present escalates to a critical level.

I can’t really say much more about the story without giving away some of the excellent twists, but what I will say is that C.L. Taylor has brilliantly captured the complex and changing dynamics between the four young women on their adventure turned nightmare, bringing them to life in a wholly believable (and therefore very scary!) way. Jane is a wonderfully complicated character – she’s passionate about her job at the animal sanctuary and determined and bold in dealing with the difficult characters she encounters, yet claustrophobic and terrified into panic when a trigger to a memory from the past is pressed. She’s a character that I found myself really caring about and rooting for.

High drama and high stakes, this is a real pulse-pounder of a psychological thriller and a must-read for 2015.

Highly recommended.

 

You can find out more about C.L. Taylor and her books at www.cltaylorauthor.com and follow her on Twitter @callytaylor

And be sure to check out all the other #TheLie blog tour stops …

BlogTour