I post book reviews as often as possible but at least once a week every Wednesday! I hope they help you to find some new books that you'll love as much as I did!
Today is my stop on the blog tour for You Die Next by Stephanie Marland! Thank you so much to Alex for organising the tour and don’t forget to check out the rest of the stops!
You can run - but you can't hide...
When a group of urban explorers stumble across a murderer's kill room in a derelict film studio, terror strikes. And when one of the group is found dead, the team realise - they're being hunted.
DI Dominic Bell is investigating the murder, but as the body count rises, time is running out. The only person who can help him is a figure from his past, Clementine Starke - but Clementine is haunted by her own demons. Can the two of them pair up to catch the killer? Or is it already too late?
I was on the blog tour for the first book in this series, My Little Eye, and I absolutely fell in love with Marland’s writing. As soon as I started reading You Die Next I instantly remembered why that was. The short chapters which flick between perspectives keep the pacy, fresh feel while the multi modal aspects such as the messages and live streams make the plot totally original and contemporary and Marland’s skilful writing keeps you hanging on to every word.
As I mentioned above, this book is the second in the series and while the case from the previous book plays a big part in this one, it’s explained in enough detail so that you’ll have no problem understanding if you haven’t read the first book. Additionally the main plot regarding the ‘Urbexers’ is standalone so you can jump right into that, however I think that to get a proper insight into the characters’ relationships, particularly Clementine’s relationships with others and specifically with Dom, you’d benefit from reading the first book too. (And trust me, that’s far from a chore!)
The plot has a really up to date feel with unique and well-developed characters and themes throughout. I did guess who the culprit was towards the end, but this didn’t spoil my enjoyment at all as not only was I compelled to keep reading to see if I was right, but the tension and action really ramped up so I couldn’t have stopped reading even if I’d wanted to!
Overall, I’m giving You Die Next 5 out of 5! It’s riveting, contemporary and entirely unique. I’m going to have to try really hard to be patient for the next book in the series!!
This book was provided free in exchange for an honest review
About the Author
Stephanie Marland has worked in the University sector for over ten years and published research on how people interact and learn together in virtual environments online. She's an alumni of the MA in Creative Writing (Crime Fiction) at City University London, and an avid reader of all things crime fiction, blogging about books at www.crimethrillergirl.com. Steph also writes the Lori Anderson action thriller series (as Steph Broadribb) for Orenda Books, the first book Deep Down Dead is out now.
DI Richard Poole is hot, bothered and fed up. He’s stuck on the tropical island of Saint-Marie, forced to live in a rickety old shack on a beach, and there isn’t a decent cup of tea to be found anywhere.
When a boat explodes in the harbour, Richard and his team soon realise there’s a new murderer on the loose. But who is it? And why did the killer leave behind a ruby at the scene of the crime?
As the police dig deeper, they uncover secrets that go back decades, and a crime from the past that can never be forgiven.
Worse still, they soon realise this is only the beginning. They’ve got to catch the killer before there's another death in paradise…
I can’t express enough how much I love the Death in Paradise series, in both the television and book format. So the latest addition, Murder in the Caribbean, got me very excited.
However if you’re new to the Death in Paradise series, don’t be put off, as there’s no need to read the books in order and you can easily start with this one and then go back to the others as you choose. Personally, I love the way that opening a Death in Paradise book is like greeting an old friend, (as you get to know the characters and their quirks better and gain more of an understanding of them the further the series progresses) and so I’d recommend starting from the first one so that you have that experience, but as I said, by no means do you have to and they can easily be read in whichever order you choose.
The opening of this book is fantastic and grabbed my attention straight away. I think that Robert Thorogood is an absolutely brilliant writer with a real talent for immersing you in the story and the world he creates, with every detail brought to life on the page. His warm and witty writing style made me smile throughout and brought a very welcome hit of sunshine into a cold, grey day.
As I mentioned when I reviewed the last book, Death Knocks Twice, despite Richard Poole’s unorthodox ways, you can’t help but love him and his typical ‘englishness’ and he works really well as the DI for me. In fact, all of the characters work really well and it’s not at all difficult to imagine them - at times I felt I could almost hear their voices.
The plot had me engaged, with plenty of red herrings keeping me guessing in the lead up to a very satisfying ending.
Overall, I’m giving Murder in the Caribbean 5 out of 5 and adding it to my five star favourites shelf! It’s engaging, twisty and thoroughly entertaining. I couldn’t think of a better book for my last review of 2018!
This book was provided free in exchange for an honest review.
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 and children.
When single mum Joanna hears a rumour at the school gates, she never intends to pass it on. But one casual comment leads to another and now there’s no going back . . .
Rumour has it that a notorious child killer is living under a new identity, in their sleepy little town of Flinstead-on-Sea.
Sally McGowan was just ten years old when she stabbed little Robbie Harris to death forty-eight years ago – no photos of her exist since her release as a young woman.
So who is the supposedly reformed killer who now lives among them? How dangerous can one rumour become? And how far will Joanna go to protect her loved ones from harm, when she realizes what it is she’s unleashed?
What. A. Book. The Rumour is one of those reads that hooks you instantly and keeps you locked in until the very last word.
I didn’t find out that it was a debut until I’d finished reading and I never would’ve guessed! It really is outstanding.
Kara is a master at predicting what you’ll be thinking and keeping you right where she wants you. I suspected everyone - and I mean everyone - coming up with elaborate theories about how it might all fit together, but I wouldn’t have guessed the ending in a million years! Kara was one step ahead the whole time and had me in the palm of her hand.
I loved the writing style and the vividly written scenes added to the atmosphere as the sense of foreboding grew.
At times it was so tense that I held my breath and towards the end the tension only grew. I don’t think I’ve ever used so many exclamation marks in my notes as when I was writing about how tense this book was!!
My heart flipped at one of the final twists and I don’t think I can put it better than what I wrote in my notes at the time: WHAT. A. KILLER. TWIST. SO CLEVERLY WRITTEN. TRULY CHILLING
The ending is phenomenal, so tense and emotionally charged. Just when you think it’s all over, yet another chilling detail sends you spinning once again.
I absolutely loved this book. I could go on and on, but I’d rather you read the book and see for yourself, you won’t regret it.
Overall I’m giving The Rumour 5 out of 5 and adding it to my five-star favourites shelf. It’s chilling, addictive and a really phenomenal read. This is the epitome of a five star read for me, I couldn’t fault it.
This e-book was provided free in exchange for an honest review
About the Author
Lesley Kara is an alumna of the Faber Academy ‘Writing a Novel’ course. She lives on the North Essex coast. The Rumour is her first novel.
Richard Pryce is an smooth-tongued barrister who has made a fortune out of divorces - and a lot of enemies in the process. He lives in a modern, architecturally designed house on the edge of Hampstead Heath.
Or rather he used to ...
When he is found murdered, the police confront the most baffling of mysteries: who was the visitor who came to Pryce's house moments before he died and while he was still on the phone?
“You shouldn’t be here. It’s too late…” were his last recorded words but what exactly did he mean?
Why did his killer paint a three-digit number on the wall before leaving the crime scene? And why was he bludgeoned to death with an expensive bottle of wine when he didn't drink alcohol?
The police are forced to hand the case to Private Investigator Daniel Hawthorne, who takes it on with characteristic relish.
But Hawthorne himself has secrets to hide and as our reluctant narrator becomes ever more embroiled in the case he realises that these are secrets that need to be exposed - even if it puts his own life in danger ...
Anthony Horowitz is back with another instalment in the series featuring Daniel Hawthorne, and yet again he doesn’t disappoint. Returning with the unique format of Anthony himself partnering up with Hawthorne as he solves the crime, The Sentence is Death keeps you hooked from the first page to the last.
While it’s part of a series, it’s perfectly possible to read The Sentence is Death without reading The Word is Murder first, but in my opinion, to get the most from the story it’s best to read them in sequence, especially to better understand Hawthorne’s character and his relationship with Anthony.
As was the case last time, I really enjoyed how the story is told from Horowitz’s perspective and I found it fascinating learning little things about the filming of Foyle’s war and the writing process. I felt that Horowitz’s voice really came through on the page and I thoroughly enjoyed the humour that came with that.
I found myself riveted throughout, with the most suspenseful scenes leaving me wide eyed and never wanting to put the book down. I must say, it took a lot of self-control when it came to times where I had to stop reading, and on a few occasions I was actually tempted to just stay on the train so I could keep going!
I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of reading this and didn’t want it to end, but when I did finish it, the ending was really satisfying and I most certainly didn’t guess the solution, in fact I wasn’t even close!
Overall, I'm giving The Sentence is Death 5 out of 5 and firmly placing it on my Five Star Favourites Shelf. It’s thrilling, enthralling and masterfully written. I can’t recommend it more highly. Get yourself a copy as soon as possible!!
This book was provided for free in exchange for an honest review
About the Author
Anthony Horowitz is the author of the bestselling teen spy series, Alex Rider, and is responsible for creating and writing some of the UK's most loved and successful TV series, including Midsomer Murders and Foyle's War.
He has also written two highly acclaimed Sherlock Holmes novels, The House of Silk and Moriarty; and his stand-alone novel, Magpie Murders, was a Top Five Sunday Times bestseller.
He is on the board of the Old Vic Theatre, and was awarded an OBE for his services to literature in January 2014.
Investigative reporter Ross Hunter nearly didn’t answer the phone call that would change his life – and possibly the world – for ever.
‘I’d just like to assure you I’m not a nutcase, Mr Hunter. My name is Dr Harry F. Cook. I know this is going to sound strange, but I’ve recently been given absolute proof of God’s existence – and I’ve been advised there is a writer, a respected journalist called Ross Hunter, who could help me to get taken seriously.’
What would it take to prove the existence of God? And what would be the consequences?
This question and its answer lie at the heart of Absolute Proof, an international thriller from bestselling author Peter James.
The false faith of a billionaire evangelist, the life’s work of a famous atheist, and the credibility of each of the world’s major religions are all under threat. If Ross Hunter can survive long enough to present the evidence . . .
I first heard about Absolute Proof when I watched an episode of Pointless featuring Peter James and Martina Cole and heard James talking about how the book came about. Ever since then, I’ve been desperate to read it and when I finally got my hands on a copy I was delighted! With the Pointless episode, the book’s synopsis and absolutely stunning cover, I had really high hopes for Absolute Proof but even so, it exceeded all of my expectations!
The plot is exciting and action packed while at the same time really thought provoking, no matter which angle you’re coming at it from.
James writes with a skill that draws you into this absorbing thriller right from the start and doesn’t let you go. From this book alone, it’s easy to see why Peter James is best seller!
For me it was a very different experience to the books from James’ Roy Grace series that I’ve read, but as a standalone, it’s meant to be different and that’s not to say it wasn’t just as good. In fact, I think purely based on how much I enjoyed reading it, it just tips the balance towards being better!
Overall, I’m giving Absolute Proof 5 out of 5 and adding it to my five-star favourites shelf! It’s tense, perfectly paced and totally riveting. I loved it!
This book was provided free in exchange for an honest review
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About the Author
Peter James is a UK No. 1 bestselling author, best known for writing crime and thriller novels, and the creator of the much-loved Detective Superintendent Roy Grace. With a total of 13 Sunday Times No. 1s under his belt, he has achieved global book sales of over 19 million copies to date and has been translated into 37 languages.
Synonymous with plot-twisting page-turners, Peter has garnered an army of loyal fans throughout his storytelling career – which also included stints writing for TV and producing films. He has won over 40 awards for his work, including the WHSmith Best Crime Author of All Time Award, Crime Writers’ Association Diamond Dagger and a BAFTA nomination for The Merchant of Venice starring Al Pacino and Jeremy Irons for which he was an Executive Producer. Many of Peter’s novels have been adapted for film, TV and stage.
His new book Absolute Proof – a stand-alone thriller – was published by Pan Macmillan on 4th October 2018.
Visit Peter James on YouTube: www.peterjames.com/youtube
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