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

unnamed (1).jpg

Release: 2018
Publisher: Head of Zeus
Genre: Mystery & Thriller

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.

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

9YSqv-zA_400x400.jpg

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.

Gallows Court Blog Tour Banner Final .png

BUY HERE

Advertisements

Review: The Fifth To Die #4MK by @jdbarker @HMHCo

35682475

Release: 2018
Publisher:  Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Genre: Mystery & Thrillers

In the thrilling sequel to The Fourth Monkey, a new serial killer stalks the streets of Chicago, while Detective Porter delves deeper into the dark past of the Four Monkey Killer.

Detective Porter and the team have been pulled from the hunt for Anson Bishop, the Four Monkey Killer, by the feds. When the body of a young girl is found beneath the frozen waters of Jackson Park Lagoon, she is quickly identified as Ella Reynolds, missing three weeks. But how did she get there? The lagoon froze months earlier. More baffling? She’s found wearing the clothes of another girl, missing less than two days. While the detectives of Chicago Metro try to make sense of the quickly developing case, Porter secretly continues his pursuit of 4MK, knowing the best way to find Bishop is to track down his mother. When the captain finds out about Porter’s activities, he’s suspended, leaving his partners Clair and Nash to continue the search for the new killer alone.

Obsessed with catching Bishop, Porter follows a single grainy photograph from Chicago to the streets of New Orleans and stumbles into a world darker than he could have possibly imagined, where he quickly realizes that the only place more frightening than the mind of a serial killer is the mind of the mother from which he came.

Last year, I read The Fourth Monkey and while I enjoyed it, I felt it ended up being a little predictable. Still, I wanted to keep reading this series because of the mystery and the serial killer theme, which I love, so when the publisher sent me this copy, I quickly began to read it and I was definitely curious.

Soon enough, I realized I was enjoying Fifth To Die way more than its predecessor. I still can’t explain why exactly, maybe it was my mood, or maybe because I didn’t feel like I knew what was going to happen, but I found this sequel to be an amazing mystery novel and I couldn’t stop thinking about the story and its characters.

There are two cases here: 4MK and the salt water deaths, but you quickly realize the two cases are related. How? I had no idea.  But I sure wanted to find out. And what about the parents and the obituaries? My mind was going crazy! Some of the aspects I loved the most about this book were the short chapters and the fast pace. This basically meant there wasn’t a moment of boredom and I couldn’t stop turning the pages. It doesn’t matter if the book is long: you will devour it!

I also enjoyed the way the story was told, how Porter followed a clue while his team continued to investigate the other case. I was equally invested in both storylines. Besides, I really like Porter, Nash, and Clare and I love the way they interact as a team. Some additions were a nice touch as well. I did guess a couple of things but nothing could prepare me for that explosive ending. I can’t get over it!

The Fith To Die ended with a major cliffhanger and I seriously can’t believe the author could leave us like this. TFTD was definitely one of my favorite reads this summer and I’m counting the days until the third installment is released. Don’t miss it!

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

BUY HERE

Review: Pieces of Her by Karin Slaughter @SlaughterKarin

41079956.jpg

Release: 2018
Publisher: HarperCollins
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery & Thrillers

Andrea knows everything about her mother, Laura. She knows she’s spent her whole life in the small beachside town of Belle Isle; she knows she’s never wanted anything more than to live a quiet life as a pillar of the community; she knows she’s never kept a secret in her life. Because we all know our mothers, don’t we?

But all that changes when a trip to the mall explodes into violence and Andrea suddenly sees a completely different side to Laura. Because it turns out that before Laura was Laura, she was someone completely different. For nearly thirty years she’s been hiding from her previous identity, lying low in the hope that no one would ever find her. But now she’s been exposed, and nothing will ever be the same again.

The police want answers and Laura’s innocence is on the line, but she won’t speak to anyone, including her own daughter. Andrea is on a desperate journey following the breadcrumb trail of her mother’s past. And if she can’t uncover the secrets hidden there, there may be no future for either one of them. . . .

If you read my blog often, you know that Karin Slaughter is undoubtedly one of my favorite authors. I absolutely loved The Good Daughter and I was looking forward to reading her new novel: Pieces of Her. I think I’ve mentioned before how much I love reading books during my vacations, and this year, Malta’s choice was Karin’s new standalone. Now, every time I think about the trip, I will remember how much I enjoyed reading this novel while lying on the beach.

If you’ve read other reviews, you already know that Pieces of Her is quite a different book and unlike her usual mysteries. I wouldn’t say this is a mystery per se, although, of course, Andrea is trying to find out more about her mother and her past. But I’d say this is more of an adventure… and what a ride! Andrea wasn’t an easy character to like, as she appeared to be pretty bland in my opinion, but I still wanted to know what was going on. However, the past narration was my favorite aspect of the novel and one storyline that will be incredibly hard to forget.

I don’t want to say much because I’d love for you to find out for yourselves, but I was incredibly gripped from the moment the flashbacks started. At first, I wasn’t sure what the book would be about, but once we started to get to know Laura a bit more, the book took a direction I honestly didn’t expect and I really like stories like this one. The story reminded me a bit of Diane Chamberlain’s The Secret Life of Ceecee Wilkes, and, after all, that is definitely a favorite of mine.

I am well aware that this will not be for everyone because it’s not exactly fast-paced and it’s quite long, but if it manages to grip you like it did with me, I’m sure you will love it, too. It’s not full of twists, as the story is pretty straight-forward, but it’s so incredibly well-written and full of interesting dynamics between the characters, that I couldn’t help to admire Karin Slaughter’s ability to make me care about her characters no matter what she writes about.

BUY HERE

Blog Tour: Overkill by @VandaSymon @OrendaBooks

Overkill Cover .jpeg

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

895593.jpg

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.

Overkill Blog Tour Poster.jpg

BUY HERE

Review: The Disappearance of Stephanie Mailer by @JoelDicker

91tRjd9qPEL.jpg

Genre: Mystery & Thriller

The night of the 30th of July of 1994, the first theater festival takes place in the quiet town of Orphea, the Hamptons. But strangely, the mayor is late… Meanwhile, Samuel Paladin desperately looks for his wife, until he finally finds her dead body next to the mayor’s house. Inside, all the family has been murdered. 

Jesse Rosenberg and Derek Scott are the two young New York cops who solve the Orphea murder case. However, in 2014, journalist Stephanie Mailer confronts them and tells them they were wrong all along. Stephanie claims to have proof. A couple of days later, she vanishes without a trace… 

First of all, I want to say that I have read this book in Spanish, and it’s not available in English yet. The author wrote it originally in French, so I had to read the translation. It was a buddy read with a friend and we had so much fun reading it! I recommend doing it this way because you’re able to share theories and laugh at the cringey scenes (believe me, there are many). Years ago, I read The Truth About The Harry Quebert Affair, a massive book that I finished in just 2 days. While this one was equally long, it took me about a week. It wasn’t as addictive as that one, but it was a fun book overall and I’m glad I read it.

I think Joel Dicker’s writing is similar to Camilla Lackberg’s. I always find their characters cliché and kind of unrealistic, but they both have a way to keep you hooked from the beginning. Joel Dicker’s strength is at crafting the actual mystery, as you never know who’s the villain until the very end. Plus, the last 25% of this novel was super twisty, so it made up for the slow-ish middle. And I loved the idea behind the crime. I would have never guessed it.

If you want a novel full of dialogue, dozens of suspects and a strong female protagonist, this book could be for you Keep in mind it’s about 650 pages. I liked Anna, the Orphea detective, and found her to be likable and fun. Jesse and Scott were okay, but Jesse was too melodramatic for my taste. If you prefer more serious reads with a focus on strong writing and descriptions, then I’m afraid this one is not for you.

Overall, The Disappearance of Stephanie Mailer is a super entertaining mystery novel that shouldn’t be taken too seriously. It was the perfect summer escapism and I will definitely read Joel Dicker’s next novel.