Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Last Breath by Robert Bryndza

Publication date: 12 April 2017

Published by: Bookouture

Purchase from Amazon here

The Blurb:

He’s your perfect date. You’re his next victim.

When the tortured body of a young woman is found in a dumpster, her eyes swollen shut and her clothes soaked with blood, Detective Erika Foster is one of the first at the crime scene. The trouble is, this time, it’s not her case. 

While she fights to secure her place on the investigation team, Erika can’t help but get involved and quickly finds a link to the unsolved murder of a woman four months earlier. Dumped in a similar location, both women have identical wounds – a fatal incision to their femoral artery. 

Stalking his victims online, the killer is preying on young pretty women using a fake identity. How will Erika catch a murderer who doesn’t seem to exist? 

Then another girl is abducted while waiting for a date. Erika and her team must get to her before she becomes another dead victim, and, come face to face with a terrifyingly sadistic individual.

Gripping, tense and impossible to put down, Last Breath will have you on the edge of your seat, racing to the final dramatic page. 

My Review:

Woo hoo, stop everything because Erika Foster is back, and back with a bang. Last Breath is the fourth and best book of the series so far. I cannot tell you how much I loved it!  If you are a fan of Erika then stop everything and get reading. If you haven’t had the pleasure of reading this series yet – what is wrong with you? You need to rectify that!!

If you like a thriller / crime / police procedural book then this may be the perfect series for you. Erika is a ballsy, sassy, gritty detective who isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty or fly close to the wind in order to get the job done. So much so that when she comes face to face with the scene of a murder she will stop at nothing to get herself on to the investigation team, no matter what she has to do or who she upsets.  

This book picked me up by the scruff of the neck, whirled me around and didn’t release me again until I had turned the last page. I was transported into a whirlwind of action, drama and suspense that was relentless.

The premise of the book is around a serial killer who stalks his victims online before taking them and torturing them before they meet a grisly end. I tell you what, it made me think about just how much information I put online and just how accessible it is. It is quite scary to think that this is the ‘norm’ and to think of the potential for misuse. I am glad I didn’t grow up in the digital age!

Last Breath is full of drama and had me totally engrossed from start to finish. Would Erika be able to solve the puzzle and capture the killer, or would the body count continue to grow? Alongside the killings there is also drama in Erika’s personal and professional life. This book made me feel like I got to see not only her professional Detective face, but also delved deeper inside the skin of her personality and other dimensions of her identity. I feel like there could still be so much more for Erika to give to me as a reader. This is a series I would be happy to see run and run.

Last Breath definitely took my breath away! With descriptive writing that developed a dark central character who is a real nasty, it moved at a pace, and grew in urgency that had me captivated and rushing to turn the page. A truly gritty and at times gruesome book I was on the edge of my seat and loved every second!

Roll on book five…….

Thursday, 6 April 2017

The Idea of You by Amanda Prowse

Out Now

Published by: Lake Union Publishing

Purchase from Amazon here

The Blurb:

With her fortieth birthday approaching, Lucy Carpenter thinks she finally has it all: a wonderful new husband, Jonah, a successful career and the chance of a precious baby of her own. Life couldn’t be more perfect.

But becoming parents proves much harder to achieve than Lucy and Jonah imagined, and when Jonah’s teenage daughter Camille comes to stay with them, she becomes a constant reminder of what Lucy doesn’t have. Jonah’s love and support are unquestioning, but Lucy’s struggles with work and her own failing dreams begin to take their toll. With Camille’s presence straining the bonds of Lucy’s marriage even further, Lucy suddenly feels herself close to losing everything…

This heart-wrenchingly poignant family drama from bestselling author Amanda Prowse asks the question: in today’s hectic world, what does it mean to be a mother?

My Review:

I have heard so many wonderful things about Amanda’s work, but The Idea of You is the first book I have read by her, and I promise you this – it will not be my last! Wow!! What a heart wrenching, emotional, beautiful book this is.

Exploring the struggle to conceive and have a child is something that affects so many people each and every day, and one that whilst we empathise, we have little understanding of how it must feel unless we have been through it. Miscarriage or the inability to conceive is often given the ‘aww’ sympathy reaction but not thought of as a catastrophic loss, which it can be.

The Idea of You explores the impact that this can have both on Lucy personally, but also on the relationship between her and Jonah. That overwhelming urge to be able to carry a baby and become a parent, the secrecy and feeling of failure that you keep from others.

It is further complicated that Jonah already has a teenage daughter Camille who doesn’t make things easy for Lucy, despite her best efforts to make Camille feel welcome. Can they overcome this, especially as Lucy’s urge for motherhood becomes stronger and Camille’s rebellion becomes harder?

This is such a moving book and written with such depth and well developed characters it felt very precious and as I was reading it I could feel my mannerism becoming soft and protective, and I wanted to nurture and honour it. I think this is because Amanda has produced a book so full of reality and realism that it felt like I could be reading someone’s true story and it deserved respect and understanding.

Thank you Amanda for writing a book which will only increase understanding and empathy for the people who have been in this situation, and for writing a book with characters that as a reader I came to care about. They will stay with me in time to come.

Monday, 3 April 2017

The Escape by C.L. Taylor

Out now

Published by Avon Books UK

Purchase from Amazon here

The Blurb:

"Look after your daughter's things. And your daughter…"

When a stranger asks Jo Blackmore for a lift she says yes, then swiftly wishes she hadn't. The stranger knows Jo's name, she knows her husband Max and she's got a glove belonging to Jo's two year old daughter Elise.

What begins with a subtle threat swiftly turns into a nightmare as the police, social services and even Jo's own husband turn against her. No one believes that Elise is in danger.

But Jo knows there's only one way to keep her child safe – RUN.

My Review:

I am a massive fan of C.L. Taylor’s work and got very excited when I saw The Escape was due for release. As always her work is full of drama, suspense, and twists which gripped me and had me hooked throughout.

It all gets off to a fast start as Jo is confronted and her and her daughter threatened. Her husband Max is a journalist and it seems that this could be connected to an investigation he has been involved in. But will anyone actually believe that Jo is being threatened, or will they think that she is in need of psychiatric help.

And so begins a dramatic tale that sees Jo flee her home, family and all around her in pursuit of answers and safety. But will she find it or will she run from one problem to another?

I loved the way the plot has been crafted. Just when I thought ‘aha, I have it’ I would quickly realise I didn’t. I became so engrossed in the story I could feel it and at times wanted to scream at Jo (for a number of reasons). She frustrated the hell out of me at times as she acted differently to how I would have handled the situation, but at the same time I just wanted someone to believe her, or take her under their wing.

The climax of the story had me on the edge of my seat, and unable to tear myself away. Written so descriptively I could sense the sounds, smells and feel the adrenaline. My heart was in my mouth……

The setting is beautiful, and whilst this is a thriller and a tense one at that, I could visualize the village so easily I actually wanted to go and visit the scene and holiday there, it felt real.

Once again C.L. Taylor has written a winning book that is frantic, thrilling, captivating and set my pulse racing!