Blog Tour: The Promise by Katerina Diamond @TheVenomousPen @AvonBooksUK

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When troubled teen Connor moves to Exeter from the US to escape his past, he finds himself embroiled in a world of popular kids and easy girls. Everyone wants to be his friend, but they don’t know about what he did…and they don’t know about his father. As Connor’s life in England begins to unravel, DS Adrian Miles and his partner Imogen Grey are working up against the clock to catch a serial killer who dates his victims before he kills them. Determined to uncover the truth, Imogen is forced to act as bait – but will she take it too far and risk her own life?

 

My review:

The Promise is the fourth book in the Imogen Grey & Adrian Miles mystery series and this is really a series that I can’t get enough of. To be honest, I think they get better with each new book. This last installment was as exciting and as addictive as always and although the mystery storyline wasn’t my favorite, the storyline focused on Imogen and Adrian was the absolute best.

The team is investigating a serial killer who takes the victims on a date before killing them. And when they find out he chooses them while playing a mobile app, Imogen decides to act as bait. She’s not living a good moment after a romantic breakup and neither is Adrian, who had his heart broken in the last book.

The relationship between Imogen and Adrian has always been one of my favorite parts of this series. It’s not romantic, or at least it isn’t yet, and it’s so complex and beautiful that I would read about them for many more years. In this book, their relationship is more special than ever and their scenes had me on the edge of my seat.

As it is common in Katerina Diamond’s novels, we have multiple perspectives here. This time, the three voices are from Imogen & Adrian, a young troubled teenager called Connor who’s new in town, and the mysterious young woman from the journal pages. As you can expect, there’s a connection between them, and while there’s not a twist as there was in The Angel, the plot was thrilling and I read about 75% of The Promise in one sitting.

This book is everything you can expect from a cop procedural. The mystery is amazing and I care so much about these characters that I can’t wait until the next book is out! Hopefully soon.

Extract

‘Was she sexually assaulted?’ Sarah said, her body tense, as though she almost didn’t want to know the answer. ‘Did he rape her? I asked but no one would tell me.’
‘There were signs of sexual activity, but at this point there is no evidence of sexual assault, we will know more when we get the post mortem.’
‘You think they met before? She wasn’t the kind of person who would sleep with someone on the first date.’ Imogen handed her the box of tissues that were on the table; the girl took one and clutched it to her, ready for the tears to come out. ‘Is there a possibility it was someone from her work at the recruitment agency?’ Imogen asked gently.  Sarah shook her head. ‘No, she kind of hated everyone there, she was looking for another job anyway. I don’t think so.’
‘Did she have any hobbies? Go to any clubs? Any cafés she went to regularly?’ Imogen said. ‘No, she used to get lunch in the theatre; they did these sandwiches she liked and she never had to wait because no one else ever thought to go there for
lunch. It was always empty.’ ‘What about your parents? Is she likely to have told
them anything?’ Adrian said. ‘Our dad lives in Spain with my stepmother; we aren’t very close. Mum died five years ago.’ ‘I’m sorry to hear that,’ Adrian said, inclining his head. ‘Is there anything else you can tell us that might help find out who she was with?’ Imogen asked.

Katerina Diamond

Katerina Diamond was born in Weston in the seventies. She moved to Thessaloniki in Greece and attended Greek school where she learnt Greek in just 6 months. After her parents’ divorce, they relocated to Devon. After school, and working in her uncle’s fish and chip shop, she went (briefly) to university at Derby, where she met her husband and had two children. Katerina now lives on the East Kent Coast with her husband and children. She is a Sunday Times and Kindle bestseller.

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Thanks to the publishers for providing me a copy in exchange for an honest review

 

Blog Tour: Before I Let You Go by Kelly Rimmer @KelRimmerWrites @headlinepg

Before I Let You Go Cover (1)As children, Lexie and Annie were incredibly close. Bonded by the death of their beloved father and their mother’s swift remarriage, they weathered the storms of life together. When Lexie leaves home to follow her dream, Annie is forced to turn to her leather-bound journal as the only place she can confide her deepest secrets and fears… As adults, sisters Lexie and Annie could not be more different. Lexie is a doctor, successful in her practice and happily engaged. Annie is addicted to heroin – a thief, a liar, and unable to remain clean despite the fact that she is pregnant. When Annie’s newborn baby is in danger of being placed in foster care, Annie picks up the phone to beg her sister for help. Will Lexie agree to help and take in her young niece? And how will Annie survive, losing the only thing in her life worth living for?

My review:

A couple of years ago I read A Mother’s Confession and completely fell in love with it. When I saw that Kelly Rimmer had written a new book, I instantly knew that I wanted to read it. Before I Let You Go is yet another beautiful and devastating novel that had me in tears when I finished it.

This is the story of two sisters, Lexie and Annie, who don’t have an easy childhood. But as it usually happens, some kids face tragedies better than others. And while Lexie grew up to be a successful doctor, her sister Annie, who was full of life and creativity, became addicted to drugs. During many years, Annie turned to Lexie when she didn’t know what to do, but this time it’s her worse yet: she’s pregnant and her baby might be in danger. So Lexie tries to help her one more time… but is it too late for Annie and the baby?

I find stories about addicts to be extremely interesting, and the more books I read about this topic & the more films I watch, the more I believe this illness to be one of the scariest ones. When I was younger, I didn’t understand how people could so easily become addicted and I didn’t even feel super sorry for them. However, many years later, I can understand them perfectly and I wish there were more things we could do about drug addiction.

This book is told in two different voices: first of all, we have Lexie’s story in the present, when we learn all about Annie’s pregnancy and her fight to give up drugs once and for all. But every few chapters, we also read about Annie’s and Lexie’s childhood, told by Annie in a journal format that fitted the story so well. Both storylines were equally compelling, but as usual, I’m always more attracted to the coming of age part of the story, and especially here, because we learn how Annie became the person she is now.

This is a wonderfully written book, smart and delicate, perfect for fans of emotional reads and Diane Chamberlain. Be aware that it’s not a happy novel, so definitely have some tissues nearby… However, even if you cry, I’m sure you will find Before I Let You Go as beautiful as I did.

P.S Does anyone else think that Lexie’s husband was too perfect? I’m so used to thrillers that I was totally waiting for him to become the villain of the story lol

Kelly Rimmer

Kelly Rimmer is the USA Today bestselling women’s fiction author of five novels, including Me Without You and The Secret Daughter. She lives in rural Australia with her husband, two children and fantastically naughty dogs, Sully and Basil. Her novels have been translated into more than twenty languages.

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Thanks to the publishers for providing me a copy in exchange for an honest review

 

Blog Tour: Gallows Court by Martin Edwards @medwardsbooks @HoZ_Books

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1930, London. An enigmatic heiress, a family secret and the thirst for justice. A headless corpse; an apparent suicide in a locked room; a man burned alive during an illusionist’s show in front of thousands of people. Scotland Yard is baffled by the sequence of ghastly murders unfolding across the city and at the centre of it all is mysterious heiress Rachel Savernake. Daughter of a grand judge, Rachel is as glamorous as she is elusive.

Jacob Flint, a tenacious young journalist eager to cover the gruesome crimes, is drawn into Rachel’s glittering world of wealth and power. But as the body count continues to rise, Jacob is convinced Rachel is harbouring a dark secret and he soon becomes part of a dangerous game that could leave him dancing at the end of the hangman’s rope if he pursues the truth.

My review:

Gallows Court is a mystery novel that reminds us of classic detective stories. Only this one is much more twisty and full of despicable characters. What I loved more about this book at first is that it gets interesting as soon as it starts. You’re the witness of a conversation you don’t really know what’s about and you read about a crime that’s not your traditional one. And then there’s Rachel, of course. The woman at the centre of it all, as the blurb appropriately says.

Jacob Flint is the hero of this book, our dear main character and the victim of a conspiracy that seems too big to understand at first. He’s likable, he’s fun to be around and he’s tenacious, he will never stop trying to find out what’s really going on. When he becomes obsessed with Rachel, we know he’s determined to uncover her secret, even if it seems impossible at first.

I found Rachel’s character to be completely fascinating. It’s one of those situations where you don’t really know if a person’s pure evil or there are actually good reasons behind their actions. But you can’t wait to find out. But Rachel’s not the only female character I loved here. I really appreciate how Martin Edwards has created such multi-layered female characters in Elaine and Sara as well. Even if it’s the 1930’s, women also have things to say. This is one of the details that made me appreciate the book even more.

Although I did guess part of the mystery, the story was incredibly twisty and full of surprises. If you enjoy traditional mysteries with compelling characters and a dose of psychological suspense, then Gallows Court is perfect for you!

Martin Edwards

Martin Edwards is internationally recognised as an expert on crime fiction and has won the Edgar, Agatha, H.R.F. Keating, and Dagger Macavity awards as well as being shortlisted for the Theakston’s prize and the CWA John Creasey Dagger. He is President of the Detection Club, Chair of the CWA and consultant to the British Library’s bestselling classic crime series.

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Blog Tour: Overkill by @VandaSymon @OrendaBooks

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Release: 2018
Publisher: Orenda Books
Genre: Mystery & Thriller

When the body of a young mother is found washed up on the banks of the Mataura River, a small rural community is rocked by her tragic suicide. But all is not as it seems. Sam Shephard, sole-charge police constable in Mataura, soon discovers the death was no suicide, and has to face the realization that there is a killer in town. To complicate the situation, the murdered woman was the wife of her former lover. When Sam finds herself on the list of suspects and suspended from duty, she must cast aside her personal feelings and take matters into her own hands. She must find the murderer, and clear her name.

Overkill is the first book in a New Zealand crime series, published by Orenda this September. This book is a classic police procedural with an original twist: the main detective is actually one of the suspects. I read this book pretty quickly, as I finished it in a couple days. Overkill was smart, fast-paced and, something I’ve really come to appreciate: everything made sense and nothing felt out of place. This was a very staisfying read and, above all, a solid crime novel perfect for fans of the genre.

From the tense prologue, -so scary!- to the last few pages where the main character makes an important decision regarding her life, I was always incredibly hooked and wanting to know more about the mystery. The book took a direction I honestly didn’t expect and although it’s not usually a topic I’m interested in, I believe the idea for this novel was rather original.

My favorite aspect about Overkill by Vanda Symon, is, hands down, the main protagonist, Sam Shephard. It usually takes me a few books to warm up to detectives in crime series, but I loved Samantha right from the start. She’s not your usual tortured detective: she’s fun, she’s human, relatable, and she’s not afraid to admit she makes mistakes. I thought she was super likable and I would definitely read many more books featuring her investigations.

The remote setting was also a key ingredient and I had never read book set in New Zealand. Overkill has made me curious about this country. It’s so far away from mine that it seems like it could be another planet, but I’d love to visit it someday, it seems like such a fascinating area.

Vanda Symon

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Vanda Symon (born 1969) is a crime writer, TV presenter and radio host from Dunedin, New Zealand, and the chair of the Otago Southland branch of the New Zealand Society of Authors. The Sam Shephard series has hit number one on the New Zealand bestseller list, and also been shortlisted for the Ngaio Marsh Award for best crime novel. She currently lives in Dunedin, with her husband and two sons.

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Blog Tour: The Psychology of Time Travel by @KateMascarenhas @HoZ_Books

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Release: 2018
Publisher: Head of Zeus
Genre: Science Fiction

1967: Four female scientists invent a time-travel machine. They are on the cusp of fame: the pioneers who opened the world to new possibilities. But then one of them suffers a breakdown and puts the whole project in peril…

2017: Ruby knows her beloved Granny Bee was the pioneer that went mad, but they never talk about it. Then they receive a message from the future – a newspaper clipping reporting the mysterious death of an elderly lady…

2018: When Odette discovered the body she went into shock. But when the inquest fails to answer any of her questions, Odette is left frustrated. Who is this dead woman that haunts her dreams? And why is everyone determined to cover up her murder?

I can’t believe August is being this good! I’ve read three wonderful books in a row and each one was completely unique in its one way. But no story has been more original than Kate Mascharenhas’ The Psychology of Time Travel. If you love time travel, stories focused on women, and diversity, believe me: this book is perfect for you.

I love a good time travel story, so the moment I read the blurb, I was immediately interested. And a time travel story focused on women? Three women invented time travel? It couldn’t get better than that. Plus, the early reviews were great, so I was sure this wouldn’t disappoint me. Turns out I was right. This book was such a delight!

At first, I admit I was more than a bit confused. So many points of view! So yes, during the first few chapters, I struggled. But I kept reading because there was something about this book that made it compulsively readable. Without barely realizing it, I checked the % and I discovered I had read more than 60% of the story. And. I. Couldn’t. Stop.

Although the time travel bits were incredible, my favorite aspect of this novel was the beauty of its characters. I loved Ruby, Bee, and Odette so much! Grace was wonderful as well. And I liked how everyone seemed to have an important part in how the events unfolded. I enjoyed discovering every small secret as I kept on reading. It was a wonderful experience.

I wish we could all read more books like this one. We need stories like this which are diverse, feminist and tackle important issues without feeling preachy. Novels that are smart and original… and above all, incredibly satisfying.

Kate Mascarenhas

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Kate Mascarenhas is a half-Irish, half-Seychellois midlander. She is a qualified child psychologist, dabbling in doll-making and bookbinding in her free time. She lives with her husband in a small terraced house, which she is slowly filling with Sindy dolls. This is her first novel.

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