Love #crimefiction – grab a #freebie in the CRIME SPREE story giveaway on @Instafreebie

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One day, a group of internationally bestselling crime authors got together to give away some of their best material for free. Readers were thrilled. The authors were delighted. Then the first corpse was discovered …

For one week only (September 30th to October 6th) you can download short stories from Simon Toyne, Harry Bingham, Tammy Cohen, Chris Ewan, Lucy Dawson, Mason Cross, Rebecca Bradley, Mark Hill and me for free. Just pop over to the Instafreebie website, sign up for the author’s readers club, and the story is yours.

From gritty crime fiction, to nail-biting psychological thriller, and rocket-paced action, there’s something for everyone. Download one, some, or all of the stories. All for absolutely free!

Pop over to Instafreebie and see what takes your fancy by clicking here: GET FREEBIES

Happy reading!

 

Orion Crime Night: The final word …

Brooke Magnanti with her book The Turning Tide

Brooke Magnanti with her book The Turning Tide

Last week I was super excited to be invited along to the Orion crime night – The Final Word in Crime Writing – where Orion publishing were showcasing all the fabulous new books they’ve got coming out this year. Held in the swanky bar ‘Christopher’s’ it was a fun night of books, bookish chat and wine!

As part of the evening, each of the featured authors pitched their upcoming book – timed to one minute by Orion’s Head of Publicity, Angela McMahon. Reviewers and bloggers were given a ‘dance card’ with each author’s picture and name on, and challenged to get a signature from each one. Once the dance card was full, they were entered into a draw to win an iPad mini! It was lovely to chat with all the authors and to hear more about their next books. Here’s a little taster of what to expect from each of them …

The Hanging Tree by Ben Aaronovitch

The sixth book in the PC Peter Grant series takes Grant back to London and facing up to the terrifying legacy of London’s hangings. Out in hardback on 16 June 2016. Follow Ben on Twitter @Ben_Aaronovitch

Jonathan Dark or the Evidence of Ghosts by A.K. Benedict

This gloriously quirky and chillingly creepy crime novel has supernatural elements, and will ensure that you never look at London the same again! It’s out in Trade Paperback on 25 February 2016. Follow Alexandra on Twitter @AK_Benedict

AK Benedict and Ayo Onatade

AK Benedict and Ayo Onatade

The Dead House by Harry Bingham

The fifth novel in the darkly unique DC Fiona Griffiths series is out on 28 July 2016 in Trade Paperback. A police procedural with a twist, this is one not to be missed. Follow Harry on Twitter @Harryonthebrink

The Killing Lessons by Saul Black

The critically acclaimed serial killer thriller The Killing Lessons is out now, and not for the faint hearted. You’ll have to wait until later this year for the second in this spine-chilling series, but put 17 November 2016 in your diary now as that’s when it’ll be out in Hardback.

The Defence/ The Plea by Steve Cavanagh

It’s a great spring for Steve Cavanagh fans – his debut legal thriller The Defence is out in paperback this month, and it’s not long until the second book in the Eddie Flynn series – The Plea – comes out in Trade Paperback on 19 May 2016. Follow Steve on Twitter @SSCav

The Samaritan/Winterlong by Mason Cross

It’s a great spring for Mason Cross fans too! Richard & Judy spring reads pick, The Samaritan, is out in paperback now, and the third book in the Carter Blake thriller series is due out on 30 June 2016 in Trade Paperback. Follow Mason on Twitter @MasonCrossBooks

Mason Cross talking about The Samaritan

Mason Cross talking about The Samaritan

The Turning Tide by Brooke Magnanti

An intriguing thriller about secrets and lies written by the anonymous author of the award-winning blog Belle de Jour and Doctor of Forensic Pathology, Brooke Magnanti. The Turning Tide is out in Trade Paperback on 25 February 2016. Follow Brooke on Twitter @belledejour_uk

Blood, Salt, Water by Denise Mina

The fifth book in the Alex Morrow series will be released in paperback on 24 March 2016. A chilling tale of crimes and secrets set against the picturesque scenery of Helensburgh and Loch Lomond. Follow Denise on Twitter @DameDeniseMina

I Know Who Did It by Steve Mosby

The return of a woman seemingly back from the dead sparks a dark journey of innocence, guilt and retribution. Out in paperback on 1 July 2016 the next book from Steve Mosby sounds scarily intriguing. Follow him on Twitter @stevemosby

Hear No Lies by Robert Wilson

The next book in the acclaimed Charlie Boxer series sees Boxer uncovering trafficking, political corruption and crime on an international scale. Look out for it on 6 October 2016 (Trade Paperback) and in the meantime follow Robert on Twitter @RobWilsonWriter

Steve Mosby talking about I Know Who Did It

Steve Mosby talking about I Know Who Did It

A big thank you to Orion for inviting me along to this fab event. Look out for all these great books over the coming months and be sure to follow @orion_crime on Twitter and check out their Murder Room blog at www.themurderroom.com for all the latest news.

 

 

 

Your Chance to WIN: Crime Thriller book bundle from Orion Books #bookgiveaway

To celebrate THE DISTANCE by Helen Giltrow coming out in paperback today, those lovely people at Orion have given me three five-book bundles of fantastic crime thrillers to giveaway to three lucky winners.

The Prize:

Each bundle includes the following wonderful books …

The Distance by Helen Giltrow

Missing You by Harlan Coben

Hell’s Gate by Richard Crompton

The Strange Death of Fiona Griffiths by Harry Bingham

Touching Distance by Graham Hurley

It’s a fantastic prize with five great books. To wet your appetite, here’s a bit more info about each of them …

The Distance cover image

The Distance cover image

The Distance by Helen Giltrow

What the blurb says: They don’t call her Karla anymore. She’s Charlotte Alton: she doesn’t trade in secrets, she doesn’t erase dark pasts, and she doesn’t break hit-men into prison. Except that is exactly what she’s been asked to do. The job is impossible: get the assassin into an experimental new prison so that he can take out a target who isn’t officially there. It’s a suicide mission, and quite probably a set-up. So why can’t she say no?”

This breath-taking thriller from Debut Dagger shortlisted author Helen Giltrow is described by bestselling author Lee Child as “Fast, hard and very, very good.”

You can check out my review of The Distance here: https://crimethrillergirl.com/2015/02/25/ctg-reviews-the-distance-by-helen-giltrow-2/ 

 

 

Missing You by Harlan Coben

Missing You cover image

Missing You cover image

What the blurb says: It’s a profile, like all the others on the online dating site. But as NYPD Detective Kat Donovan focuses on the accompanying picture, she feels her whole world explode, as emotions she’s ignored for decades come crashing down on her. Staring back at her is her ex-fiancé Jeff, the man who shattered her heart 18 years ago. Kat feels a spark, wondering if this might be the moment when past tragedies recede and a new world opens up to her. But when she reaches out to the man in the profile, her reawakened hope quickly darkens into suspicion and then terror as an unspeakable conspiracy comes to light, in which monsters prey upon the most vulnerable. As Kat’s hope for a second chance with Jeff grows more and more elusive, she is consumed by an investigation that challenges her feelings about everyone she ever loved – her former fiancé, her mother, and even her father, whose cruel murder so long ago has never been fully explained. With lives on the line, including her own, Kat must venture deeper into the darkness than she ever has before, and discover if she has the strength to survive what she finds there.”

Harlan Coben is an international No.1 bestselling thriller author and a winner of the EDGAR, SHAMUS and ANTHONY AWARDs. His books are published in over 40 languages, with more than 47 million copies in print worldwide.

 

Hell’s Gate by Richard Crompton

Hell's Gate cover image

Hell’s Gate cover image

What the blurb says: When Mollel, a former Maasai warrior turned detective, ends up in a small, fly-blown town on the edge of a national park, it looks as if his career has taken a nose-dive. His colleagues are a close-knit group and they have not taken kindly to a stranger in their midst. Mollel suspects they are guilty of the extortion and bribery that plague the force, but when the body of a flower worker turns up in the local lake, he wonders if they might be involved in something more disturbing… For all is not as it seems in Hell’s Gate. Amid rumours of a local death squad, disappearances and blackmail, Mollel is forced not only to confront his Maasai heritage, but also to ask himself where justice truly lies. In upholding the law, is he doing what is right?”

Richard Crompton lives in Nairobi. Hell’s Gate has been described by bestselling crime writer Ian Rankin as “A compulsive whodunnit set in Kenya”.

 

 

 

The Strange Death of Fiona Griffiths by Harry Bingham

cover image

cover image

What the blurb says: “When DC Fiona Griffiths says ‘yes’ to her policeman boyfriend, it’s an affirmation that she wants finally to put her psychological breakdown behind her, and become a resident of ‘Planet Normal’ like everybody else. But she still can’t resist the challenge of an undercover policing course, and finding it remarkably easy to assume a new identity, she comes top of the class. So when an ingenious payroll fraud starts to look like the tip of a huge criminal iceberg, Fiona is selected to infiltrate the fraudsters’ operation, posing as a meek former payroll clerk now forced to work as a cleaner. But as she penetrates deeper into their operation, coming closer to identifying the mastermind behind it, she faces another, even more frightening danger – that her always fragile grip on her sense of self has now been lost and she may never find her way back.”

You can check out my review of The Strange Death of Fiona Griffiths here: https://crimethrillergirl.com/2014/03/11/ctg-reviews-the-strange-death-of-fiona-griffiths-by-harry-bingham/ 

 

 

Touching Distance by Graham Hurley

cover image

cover image

What the blurb says: “DS Jimmy Suttle is trying to get his life back on track. His marriage has fallen apart and he rarely sees his young daughter, Grace. But then a murder shuts the door on the chaos of his personal life… The victim was shot through the head at the wheel of his car on a lonely moorland road. The only witness? His two-year-old son, strapped into the rear child seat. Within days, two more killings, equally professional, equally without motive. Meanwhile, Suttle’s estranged wife is embarking on an investigation of her own in the world of journalism. But the story brings her to the question at the very heart of Jimmy’s case – what does it take to make a man kill?”

Graham Hurley has twice been shortlisted for the THEAKSTON’S OLD PECULIER CRIME NOVEL OF THE YEAR AWARD, and has been praised as one of the INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY’s five best UK crime writers.

 

 *** THIS COMPETITION HAS NOW CLOSED ***

So, to the competition …

For a chance to win a five-book bundle 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 winners at random (4) No cash alternative (5) The competition closes for entries at 9pm GMT on Wednesday 4th March 2015 (6) The judge’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.

Good luck!

CTG Giveaway: Win a #FIONAGRIFFITHS Crime Series Book Bundle

To celebrate publication of THE STRANGE DEATH OF FIONA GRIFFITHS – the third book in Harry Bingham’s fabulously quirky Fiona Griffiths crime series – those lovely folks over at Orion have given us five bundles of the first three books in the series to giveaway.

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].

OR

If you’re not on Twitter don’t worry. You can also enter by emailing crimethrillergirl[at]gmail[dot]com. Give your email the header FIONA GRIFFITHS and give your name and postal address.

Rules
(1) One entry per reader (2) UK residents only – due to postage costs – sorry! (3) We will draw the winners at random (4) No cash alternative (5) The competition closes for entries at 9pm GMT on Sunday 23rd March 2014 (6) The judge’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.

THIS COMPETITION HAS NOW CLOSED

Here’s what the prize includes …

Talking to the Dead cover image

Talking to the Dead cover image

Book 1: TALKING TO THE DEAD

What the blurb says: “For rookie detective constable Fiona Griffiths, her first major investigation promises to be a tough initiation into Cardiff’s dark underbelly. A young woman and her six-year-old daughter have been found brutally murdered in a squalid flat, the single clue a platinum credit card belonging to a millionaire businessman who died in a plane crash six months before.

For her fellow cops, it’s just another case of a low-rent prostitute meeting the wrong kind of client and coming to a nasty end, but Fiona is convinced that the tragic lives and cruel deaths of this mother and daughter are part of a deeper, darker mystery. Fiona, however, has secrets of her own. She is still recovering from a crushing psychological breakdown, and the feelings which haunt her are constantly threatening to undermine the mask of normality she has learned to wear.

As she begins to piece together a bizarre and terrifying conspiracy, Fiona finds that what makes her vulnerable also gives her a unique insight into the secrets of the dead, and in solving the murders of Janet and April Mancini she can begin to start solving the riddles of her own past.”

Love Story, With Murders cover image

Love Story, With Murders cover image

Book 2: LOVE STORY, WITH MURDERS

What the blurb says: “DC Fiona Griffiths is called to the scene and finds, amidst the remains of an old widow’s freezer goods, a human leg. Surprisingly well preserved. And wearing a pink high-heeled shoe. The search begins for the rest of the corpse, but this treasure hunt soon turns out to be darker and stranger than anything the police have encountered before, as the victim’s body-parts start popping up all over western Cardiff: in garden sheds, roof voids and car boots.

And then, even more bizarrely, parts of a second corpse start appearing. But this time the victim is male – and completely fresh.

The two murders must be connected – but how? Why so similar and yet so different? And if there’s a message, who is meant to read it?

Investigating the double crime draws Fiona into a web of obsession, money, deceit – and acute personal danger. Which is exactly where she likes to be: in the middle of a gruesome puzzle with a pitch-black secret at its heart.”

cover image

cover image

Book 3: THE STRANGE DEATH OF FIONA GRIFFITHS

What the blurb says: “When DC Fiona Griffiths says ‘yes’ to her policeman boyfriend, it’s an affirmation that she wants to finally put her psychological breakdown behind her, and become a resident of ‘Planet Normal’ like everybody else.

But she still can’t resist the challenge of an undercover policing course and, finding it remarkably easy to assume a new identity, she comes top of the class. So when an ingenious payroll fraud starts to look like the tip of a huge criminal iceberg, Fiona is selected to infiltrate the fraudsters’ operation.

Posing as a cleaner, Fiona Griffiths becomes Fiona Grey, hoping the criminals will try and recruit her – knowing that if they discover her real identity, she’s dead meat. But as Fiona penetrates deeper into their operation, coming closer to identifying the mastermind behind it, she faces another, even more frightening danger – that her always fragile grip on her sense of self has now been lost and she may never find her way back.”

To read our review of the latest book THE STRANGE DEATH OF FIONA GRIFFITHS click here

And to find out more about Harry Bingham and his books, pop on over to his website here www.harrybingham.com

You can also check out the Orion Books website here https://www.orionbooks.co.uk/books/detail.page?isbn=9781409153108

CTG Reviews: The Strange Death of Fiona Griffiths by Harry Bingham

cover image

cover image

What the blurb says: “When DC Fiona Griffiths says ‘yes’ to her policeman boyfriend, it’s an affirmation that she wants to finally put her psychological breakdown behind her, and become a resident of ‘Planet Normal’ like everybody else. But she still can’t resist the challenge of an undercover policing course and, finding it remarkably easy to assume a new identity, she comes top of the class. So when an ingenious payroll fraud starts to look like the tip of a huge criminal iceberg, Fiona is selected to infiltrate the fraudsters’ operation. Posing as a cleaner, Fiona Griffiths becomes Fiona Grey, hoping the criminals will try and recruit her – knowing that if they discover her real identity, she’s dead meat. But as Fiona penetrates deeper into their operation, coming closer to identifying the mastermind behind it, she faces another, even more frightening danger – that her always fragile grip on her sense of self has now been lost and she may never find her way back.”

The Strange Death of Fiona Griffiths is published this week. It’s the third novel in the series featuring Harry Bingham’s quirky, unpredictable protagonist Fiona Griffiths.

This novel picks up where the second book – Love Story with Murders – ended, and sees Cardiff based DC Fiona Griffiths train as an undercover detective. She passes with flying colours, and is soon offered an assignment that requires her to assume the identity of Fiona Grey. She assimilates into the role easily, becoming first a cleaner and then a payroll clerk in order to infiltrate the criminal gang. She’s the perfect undercover officer – where her unpredictable nature and lack of regard for orders is usually a problem, while undercover her quick thinking and improvisation are the things that keep her alive.

But as she gets deeper undercover, the boundaries between her true self and her undercover ‘legend’ begin to blur. She finds herself taking bigger and bigger risks, both with the operation and with her personal relationships as she gets closer to her criminal colleagues. As the criminal ring get closer to pulling off the largest payroll fraud in history, only Fiona has the access and the knowledge to bring them down. Question is, will she?

This is a police procedural with a twist. Quirky, gripping and, rather like its lead character, utterly unconventional. That’s what makes it such a delight to read.

Highly recommended.

[many thanks to Orion Books for my copy of The Strange Death of Fiona Griffiths]

My Favorite Books of 2012

My favorite books of 2012

My favorite books of 2012

At this time of year everyone seems to be making lists of their top ten, twenty, fifty or hundred things of 2012.

So, just to be a little different, I’m not going to make a list.

Instead, I’m going to talk about my five favorite books of 2012 and why I loved them. And I’ll talk about them in the order that I read them in.

Here goes …

Talking to the Dead by Harry Bingham (Orion). This part police procedure, part psychological thriller follows Detective Constable Fiona Griffiths on her first murder case. It’s beautifully written, darkly quirky, and leaves you wanting more. And luckily for us there will be more. I believe the second book in the Fiona Griffiths series will be out in 2013.

The Fall by Claire McGowan (Headline). This  crime thriller tells the interwoven stories of three strangers – Charlotte, Keisha, and DC Matthew Hegarty – who are thrown together in the aftermath of a murder in a nightclub. With hugely compelling characters, a super-rapid pace and numerous twists and turns, it’s a real page turner. Claire McGowan’s next book, The Lost, is definitely one to look out for when it comes out in April 2013.

The Affair by Lee Child (Bantam Press). Another great Jack Reacher novel. This one is set six months before the opening of Killing Floor and follows Reacher on a mission in a small town in Mississippi. It’s everything you’d expect – quick-paced action, imaginative problem-solving, a love interest, and the bad guys getting Reacher’s very own brand of justice.

Heart-Shaped Bruise by Tanya Byrne (Headline). This young adult crossover novel is a real rollercoaster read. In diary form, it tells the story of Emily Koll, Archway Young Offenders Institution’s most notorious inmate. It’s sad yet funny, tense yet light-hearted, chilling yet warming, and fragile yet powerful. Through Emily’s story of love, grief, hate and revenge, you discover what drove her to do what she did.

Sleepwalkers by Tom Grieves (Quercus). This gripping psychological thriller follows the stories of adult Ben and teenage Toby – two strangers experiencing vivid and terrifying dreams – as they try to make sense of the jumbled up fragments of forgotten memories that haunt them. A real edge-of-your-seat read, I found this story un-put-downable.

So, there you have it. My favorite books of 2012.

What were your favorites?

Review: Talking to the Dead by Harry Bingham

A quirky, dynamic and utterly unique detective novel

“For Detective Constable Fiona Griffiths, her first murder is a case of jumping in at the deep end – a woman and her six-year-old daughter killed with chilling brutality in a dingy flat.  The only clue: the platinum bank card of a long-dead tycoon, found amidst the squalor – and the rookie DC’s task is to figure out why.

Her boss, DCI Jackson, is confident Fiona is worth her place on the team.  She’s already proved herself whip-smart, resourceful and dedicated to the job.  But there’s another side to her that Fiona is less keen to reveal.  Something to do with a mysterious two-year gap in her CV.  With her strange inability to cry. And a disconcerting familiarity with corpses.

Fiona is desperate to put the past behind her.  But as more gruesome killings follow, the case starts leading her inexorably back into those dark places in her own mind where another dead girl is waiting to be found.  Herself.”

This book is different to any other detective novel I’ve read.  In a good way.  In a very good way.

Fiona Griffiths is a dynamic, smart and highly resourceful DC.  With the story told from her viewpoint, we get a highly personal view of the hunt for the truth about what happened to Janet and April Mancini.  As an early-career DC, Fiona has to fight for her place on the team investigating the murders, and fight (and win) she does.

Whilst Fiona, due to her past, is a rather troubled character, she’s also refreshingly up-beat and energetic to be around.  A bit of a maverick, she often ‘goes the extra mile’ (read: not necessarily following procedure), usually to the irritation of her DCI.  But even while I was cringing, hoping she didn’t get caught doing something ‘off the book’, I couldn’t help admire her for her determination and resolve.  Because for Fiona finding out the truth, and unravelling a mass of seemingly unrelated clues, is critical.

And it’s that drive to find the truth that, as she gets closer, begins to threaten both her safety and her sanity.  As the body-count increases, Fiona stays focused despite the rising danger, and equips herself with the tools she needs to feel in control – even if they’re not exactly standard police issue!

This is a story, and a character, that’ll stay with you long after the book is finished.  Intriguing, terrifying and quirkily fun, this novel will make you miss the train, be late for work, and want to stay in to read a few more chapters rather than party.  And it’ll be worth it.

Highly recommended.