Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Death Knocks Twice by Robert Thorogood! I'm kicking off the tour with a review and an extract. I've been very excited about this since I'm a big fan of both the Death in Paradise TV show and the other books in the series. I hope I can do the book justice with my review!
Thank you to the lovely Rebekah for organising the tour.
The new Death in Paradise mystery.
Two dead bodies. A family of suspects. One grumpy detective.
Reluctantly stationed on the sweltering Caribbean island of Saint-Marie, Detective Inspector Richard Poole dreams of cold winds, drizzly rain and a pint in his local pub.
Just as he is feeling as fed up as can be, a mysterious vagrant is found dead in the grounds of the historic Beaumont plantation. Immediately assumed to be suicide, DI Poole is not so convinced and determined to prove otherwise. Never mind that the only fingerprints on the murder weapon belong to the victim. Or that the room was locked from the inside.
Before long, death knocks twice and a second body turns up. The hunt is on to solve the case – despite the best efforts of the enigmatic Beaumont family…
Opening the very first page, I was instantly swept straight to Saint-Marie. The heat of the Caribbean and the humour of DI Poole's typical 'Englishness' emanates from the page.
Despite his unorthodox ways, you can't not love Richard Poole. All of the characters are well-developed and their individual characteristics shine through.
I don't think it's necessary to read the earlier books to be able to understand Death Knocks Twice. However both the previous books and the TV series are first class and I definitely think they are worth taking a look at. I feel like this enhanced my understanding of the characters and the setting even more.
The narrative is witty and perfectly paced. I was lead in so many different directions and there were plenty of twists. It was brilliantly plotted and the book was enjoyable from beginning to end.
I love how all is revealed as the group gather together for DI Poole to wrap up the case. I didn't guess who the culprit was at all. It was thoroughly satisfying.
Overall, I'm giving Death Knocks Twice 5 out of 5 and adding it to my Five Star Favourites shelf! It's witty, twisty and it injected plenty of sunshine into a rainy day. It's definitely one of my favourite books of the summer.
Death Knocks Twice is out today! Published by HQ
This book was provided for free in exchange for an honest review.
Within seconds, he was lost. The vines and vegetation pressed into his face, the fetid smell of the jungle was revolting – it seemed to be a pungent mix of rotting fruit and decaying animals – which, when Richard thought about it, was very possibly because the jungle was full of rotting fruit and decaying animals. He felt whole rivers of sweat run down his back. Where had the women got to? Richard heard some branches snapping up ahead, and he made himself push through the sticky vegetation another ten or so paces until he saw the figures of Camille and Lucy through a thick screen of vines. Before he lost his nerve entirely, Richard covered the remaining distance like a mad marionette – his legs and arms lifting as high and wide as possible – until he burst through the wall of vines into a little clearing.
As Richard dashed the burrs, berries and sticky god-knows-whats from his jacket and trouser legs, he could see Camille looking directly at him and smiling broadly. He gritted his teeth. As far as Richard was concerned, it wasn’t his fault he didn’t function well in a tropical jungle, was it? His last posting had been to Croydon, for heaven’s sake.
“You okay, sir?” Camille asked, pretending to be concerned.
“Yes. I’m fine,” he said.
“Then I think you need to see this. I’ve found something.”
Richard went over and saw that Camille and Lucy had found an area of ground that was littered with empty water bottles, paper bags that had once contained fresh food, crushed cigarette packets and an empty bottle of cheap vodka.
“There’s been someone here,” Camille said, indicating the food.
Richard saw a column of bright red fire ants – each seemingly the size of his thumb – marching up to and engulfing a bag that had once contained a pastry of some sort, and he took a couple of steps back.
“Although I don’t see any evidence of anyone sleeping out here,” Camille said, looking about herself. “No tent’s been pitched. Or bivouac. Or rain cover of any sort.”
“I see,” Richard said, lifting his feet up one by one to check that an army of fire ants weren’t already marching up his legs. “So tell me, Ms Beaumont, is there anything else you noticed about the man you saw earlier today?”
“I’m sorry,” Lucy said. “I’ve told you everything I can remember. He was definitely a man. And he was definitely old. I didn’t really notice his clothes, but he had this beard – sort of whitish, sort of grey – and long-flowing grey hair. That’s all I saw. And I had no idea that he had any kind of camp in the jungle here.”
Richard looked about himself. It wasn’t much to go on, was it? An old tramp had been spying on Lucy from the jungle. And when Lucy had tried to confront him, he’d run away.
There was a sudden bang from nearby – followed by a flock of parrots squawking into the air above the jungle.
“What was that?” Lucy asked.
“That sounded like a gunshot,” Camille said to her boss.
“What?” Lucy said, panicking.
“Quiet!” Richard ordered, trying to work out where the sound had come from. Like Camille, he’d already guessed that the sharp retort had been from a gun of some kind.
There was a second bang, and, without thinking, both Camille and Richard started running towards the noise – Richard this time pushing through the vines and vegetation without any thought for his personal safety – or that of his suit – and they soon burst out of the jungle and back into the blinding sunlight of the cobbled yard. There was no-one nearby. So where had the gunshot come from?
About the Author
Robert Thorogood is the creator of the hit BBC One TV series DEATH IN PARADISE.
He was born in Colchester, Essex, in 1972. When he was 10-years old, he read his first proper novel – Agatha Christie’s Peril at End House – and he’s been in love with the genre ever since.
He now lives in Marlow in Buckinghamshire with his wife, children and an increasingly cranky Bengal cat called Daniel.
Today is my slot on the blog tour for the wonderful Not a Sound by Heather Gudenkauf! Along with a review, I also have a copy of Not a Sound to give away! Details to enter will be at the bottom of the post! (Giveaway copy provided by Midas PR and HQ) Finally, thank you to the lovely Rebekah for organising the blog tour! :)
'I’m going to die tonight. But I won’t go quietly.'
Amelia Winn has a lot of regrets. She regrets the first drink after she lost her hearing. She regrets destroying her family as she spiralled into depression. Mostly, she regrets not calling Gwen Locke back.
Because now Gwen is dead. And as Amelia begins to unearth the terrible secrets that led to Gwen’s naked body being dumped in the freezing water, she realises that she might be next.
But how do you catch a killer when you can't hear him coming?
Having never previously read any books by Heather Gudenkauf, Not a Sound made me realise how much I've been missing out on!
Amelia's character is truly brought to life through the skilled writing of Heather. She's intelligent and capable and it's devastating that she's not able to nurse after her accident. The level of detail included about Amelia's feelings and how she has adjusted to becoming deaf, really enabled me to feel close to her. The loneliness she felt was heart-breaking and this made me root for her all the more. The effect it had on her life and relationships was truly emotional.
After learning about her backstory, it was lovely to read about Amelia's friendship with Jake and her connection with Stitch (who was definitely my favourite character!) as these two played an integral role in getting her life back on track.
Whilst I did have an idea of who the murderer was about half-way through, I found the plot captivating and still managed to be surprised about some of the details.
The book was well-paced, concluding with a heart pounding showdown which had me frantically flipping the pages.
For me, the ending was ideal. I felt like it suited the book perfectly, wrapped everything up and everyone had the ending they deserved.
Overall, I would give Not a Sound 5 out of 5 and add it to my Five Star Favourites Shelf! It was intense, emotional and a real page-turner. I wholeheartedly recommend it!
Not a Sound is published by HQ
This book was provided for free in exchange for an honest review.
About the Author
Heather Gudenkauf is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of The Weight of Silence and These Things Hidden. The Weight of Silence was a TV Book Club pick.
Heather Gudenkauf was born in Wagner, South Dakota, the youngest of six children. Having been born with a profound unilateral hearing impairment, Heather tended to use books as a retreat and escape the world around her.
Heather lives in Iowa with her husband, three children, and a German Shorthaired Pointer named Lolo.
Now for the giveaway! As mentioned earlier, I have a copy of Not a Sound to give away! To enter, all you need to do is follow me on twitter (@mistimoobooks) and retweet the tweet announcing the competition! I'll then pick a winner at random to receive a copy of the book! The giveaway is open for two weeks, until August 6th and is open to international entries. Good luck! :)
Today is my stop on the Orenda blog tour for Dying to Live! Thank you to Anne for organising the tour and be sure to check out the rest of the stops!
The body of a Bushman is discovered near the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, and the death is written off as an accident. But all is not as it seems. An autopsy reveals that although he’s clearly very old, his internal organs are puzzlingly young. What’s more, an old bullet is lodged in one of his muscles … but where is the entry wound? When the body is stolen from the morgue and a local witch doctor is reported missing, Detective ‘Kubu’ Bengu gets involved. As Kubu and his brilliant young colleague, Detective Samantha Khama, follow the twisting trail through a confusion of rhino-horn smugglers, foreign gangsters and drugs manufacturers, the wider and more dangerous the case becomes… A fresh, new slice of ‘Sunshine Noir’, Dying to Live is a classic tale of greed, corruption and ruthless thuggery, set in one of the world’s most beautiful landscapes, and featuring one of crime fiction’s most endearing and humane detectives.
About the Author
Michael Stanley is the writing team of Michael Sears and Stanley Trollip. Both were born in South Africa and have worked in academia and business. Their first mystery, A Carrion Death, which introduced Detective ‘Kubu’ Bengu of the Botswana Criminal Investigation Department, was a finalist for five awards, including the CWA Debut Dagger. The series has been critically acclaimed, and their third book, Death of the Mantis, won the Barry Award and was a finalist for an Edgar award. Deadly Harvest was a finalist for an International Thriller Writers’ award, and book 5, A Death in the Family, was an international bestseller.
Dying to Live is Book 6 in the Detective Kubu Series but it works perfectly fine as a standalone novel and I didn’t feel that I had missed out by not reading the other books. (Apart from missing out on a quality read if they’re as good as this one!)
I found the plot to be captivating and particularly unique. The stories surrounding the witch doctors fascinated me and the storyline was extremely twisty, always taking surprising turns.
Another thing that played a big part in my enjoyment of the book was the fantastically immersive and vibrant setting. Combined with the vivid descriptions, I felt that I was drawn right into the book and transported. I almost forgot where I really was!
I loved the cast of characters section at the beginning with the pronunciation guide. It helped to be able to refer to it when reading to remind myself who a character was and I kept the page bookmarked. I also liked the glossary. I feel that the language added authenticity and the glossary enabled me to check words if necessary without leaving the book and getting distracted.
Overall, I’m giving this book 4 out of 5. It was dark but twisty and intriguing and I’ll be going back to read the others in the series.
Dying to Live is published by Orenda Books
This book was provided for free in exchange for an honest review.
I'm very excited to bring you a guest post from J.D.Barker for my stop on the #4MK Blog Tour today! Thank you so much to J.D.Barker for taking the time to write the post. I hope you all enjoy it!
The difference between the writing and publication of Forsaken and of The Fourth Monkey.
Oh, this was night and day. When Stephen King read my first novel, Forsaken, and granted me permission to use some of his characters from Needful Things, I figured the submission process would be a piece of cake. It was anything but. I sent query letters off to more than 200 agents and couldn’t get a single response. I submitted to some publishers directly and although I received offers to publish, the advance numbers just didn’t make sense. Ultimately, I decided to indie publish the book and hope that I could use it to draw the attention of the larger publishers and agents down the road. I knew if I indie published though, I’d have to put out a product that could compete with traditionally published books. I couldn’t just upload it to Amazon and hit GO. So I hired the best editors, cover designers, and publicists. I released the book on 11/14/2014 as a hardcover, softcover, and audiobook, and followed this with a mass-market paperback. Then the real work began with marketing. Ultimately, the book sold well and more than a little bit of that was timing, luck, and more luck.
When it came time to publish The Fourth Monkey, I fully expected to indie publish it like the first book. Financially I did well and once I got used to the added workload, I didn’t mind it much. It seemed like a fair trade for the control I was able to retain. My wife (who is way smarter than me) told me I should send the book out to agents, give it a few months, and if I don’t get anywhere, go ahead and indie publish again, so that’s what I did. On February 11, 2016, I sent query letters out to 53 agents for The Fourth Monkey. Within a week, I had eleven requests to read the book and eight offers of representation. I didn’t expect this at all. The publication process went just as fast with film and TV rights selling before the book.
Expectations on my third book (a prequel to Dracula) are even higher than The Fourth Monkey. I wouldn’t have it any other way. I welcome the pressure to top the previous success, it keeps me motivated. Whenever I feel overwhelmed, I take a step back and remind myself - I make a living making shit up. It’s as fun as it sounds, and I can’t imagine doing anything else.
Once again, thank you so much to J.D.Barker for my very first guest post!
(Here's a link to my review for #4MK in case you'd like to read it! http://www.mistimoobookreview.co.uk/home/the-fourth-monkey-by-jdbarker )
Brilliant. Complicated. Psychopath.
That’s the Four Monkey Killer or ‘4MK’. A murderer with a twisted vision and absolutely no mercy. Detective Sam Porter has hunted him for five long years, the recipient of box after box of grisly trinkets carved from the bodies of 4MK’s victims. But now Porter has learnt the killer’s twisted history and is racing to do the seemingly impossible – find 4MK’s latest victim before it’s too late…
With echoes of the films Se7en and Silence of the Lambs, THE FOURTH MONKEY is a rollercoaster-paced reading experience which will have you white-knuckling the pages at every heart-pounding twist and turn.
About J.D Barker:
J.D. Barker is the international best-selling author of Forsaken, a finalist for the Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in a Debut Novel. A strong emerging voice in the horror and crime world, J.D. Barker will be setting the bar high for a new wave of serial killer thrillers with #4MK.
Today is my stop on the blog tour for The Silence, a wonderful novel by Katharine Johnson! Be sure to check out the rest of the fantastic bloggers taking part and see the bottom of my post for details on how to enter to win one of two e-copies of the book!
"A gripping tale of secrets and lies remembered long after the last page.” – Amanda James, author of Behind the Lie.
Doctor Abby Fenton has a rewarding career, a loving family, an enviable lifestyle - and a secret that could destroy everything. When human remains are discovered in the grounds of an idyllic Tuscan holiday home she is forced to confront the memories she has suppressed until now and relive the summer she spent at the villa in 1992. A summer that ended in tragedy. The nearer she gets to the truth the closer she comes to losing her sanity. In order to hold onto the people she loves most, she must make sure they never discover what she did. But the reappearance of someone else from that summer threatens to blow her secret wide open.
About the Author:
Katharine Johnson is a freelance writer and editor and has worked for a variety of magazines. She has a passion for crime novels, old houses and all things Italian (except tiramisu). She grew up in Bristol and has lived in Italy. She currently lives in Berkshire with her husband, three children and madcap spaniel. When not writing, she plays netball badly and is a room guide in a stately home. The Silence, a psychological/coming of age story set in Tuscany will be published on June 8th. For Katharine's latest news, writing advice, book releases and gossip follow her on twitter @kjohnsonwrites Facebook.com/katharinejohnsonauthor website/
Blog www.katyjohnsonblog.wordpress.com www.crookedcatbooks.com
I'd had my eye on this book for a while. As soon as I read about it on Katharine's website I was desperate to review it and I was ecstatic when I later got the opportunity to be on the blog tour too! I had high hopes for the novel since it sounded so intriguing and the Tuscan setting was something new and different. After reading it in one sitting, I can say that it definitely didn't let me down! It was everything I'd hoped it would be and more.
The Tuscan setting was perfect for the story. It was masterfully described which brought a great atmosphere to the book and transported me right there.
All of the characters were developed brilliantly throughout and each evolved as the story went along. Their motives began to become clearer and their pasts were gradually revealed through twists that I never saw coming. I found Abby's character extremely interesting as I was constantly learning new things about her and there was so much to be explored.
I thought the ending was also brilliant. Without giving too much away, I felt that it wrapped things up as much as possible in the circumstances and it was an area I particularly enjoyed.
Overall, I'm giving The Silence 5 out of 5! It was masterfully written with plenty of twists, turns and excitement.
Where to buy:
Click to enter a Rafflecopter giveaway in which you could win one of two e-book copies of this thrilling book!
Finally, thank you to Emma for organising the tour! I'm so grateful to be part of it.
This e-book was provided for free in exchange for an honest review.