Tuesday, 3 March 2020

Perfect Kill

Perfect Kill by Helen Fields
Published by Avon Books
February 2020

He had never heard himself scream before. It was terrifying.

Alone, trapped in the darkness and with no way out, Bart Campbell knows that his chances of being found alive are slim.
Drugged and kidnapped, the realisation soon dawns that he’s been locked inside a shipping container far from his Edinburgh home. But what Bart doesn’t yet know is that he’s now heading for France where his unspeakable fate is already sealed…

This is the sixth outing for DI Callanch, currently based in France through the efforts of his on/off love interest DCI Ava Turner to create some space between them.  However he soon appears back on the scene when a young Scottish man is found with all of his vital organs missing across the Channel, and you know it will take the combined skills of these two detectives to begin to catch a killer or killers.

The story begins with student Bart Campbell waking up in the dark, chained up and frightened for his life.  He doesn't remember much after leaving the restaurant where he works but it soon turns out he is locked in a shipping container bound across the Channel to France.  There he meets others who have also been transported in shipping containers but what fate awaits them is anyone's guess.

Meanwhile back in Edinburgh foreign women are being sold into prostitution, and much worse, to the highest bidder.  Helen Fields really doesn't leave anything to the imagination here so be prepared for some stomach churning scenes that truly demonstrate just how terrible the human race can be.  The book flits between organ harvesting and people trafficking so there really is no respite here and with Ava and Luc trying to keep their feelings for each other under control there is no time to lose.

Of course the book concludes with an ending that will make fans of the series desperate to read what will hopefully be the next book in the series!

Happy Reading

Miss Chapters x

Monday, 24 February 2020

The Liar's Daughter

The Liar's Daughter by Claire Allan
Published by Avon Books
February 2020

No one deserves to be taken before their time. Do they?
Joe McKee – pillar of the Derry community – is dead. As arrangements are made for the traditional Irish wake, friends and family are left reeling at how cancer could have taken this much-loved man so soon.
But grief is the last thing that Joe’s daughter Ciara and step-daughter Heidi feel. For they knew the real Joe – the man who was supposed to protect them and did anything but.
As the mourners gather, the police do too, with doubt being cast over whether Joe’s death was due to natural causes. Because the lies that Joe told won’t be taken to the grave after all – and the truth gives his daughters the best possible motive for killing him…

The Liar's Daughter starts with a dying man.  Joe McKee hasn't been given long to live from his cancer diagnosis by doctors and is taken home to be cared for, rather unwillingly by his step-daughter Heidi.  From the very beginning though, you can tell that there isn't much love lost between the two of them, though it's clear from what everyone else thinks that he is a 'good man' who has spent his life raising Heidi as his own.  As the book progresses we meet Ciara, Joe's daughter from his first marriage, the one he left to begin a new relationship with Heidi's mum.  There is definitely no love lost between the two women though and even when faced with Joe's imminent demise, the two cannot forge a bond.

With everyone in the house looking after Joe in his final hours, it isn't long until he passes away and the family can start to move on; that is until the body is examined post-mortem and it turns out that Joe didn't die of natural causes after all.  Suddenly everyone is a suspect: his cold and seemingly unloving step-daughter Heidi, his own daughter Ciara, who has never forgiven him for abandoning her as a teenager, Heidi's husband Alex who is learning more about his wife's childhood the longer he is in her family home and Joe's sister Kathleen who has come all the way over from England to be with him during his last days.  Which of these, if any of them, would have killed this sick man who only had a short amount of time left to live, and more importantly, why?

Finger soon start being pointed with Ciara blaming Heidi and threatening to go to the police to tell them what she thinks is the truth.  Suddenly both women are having to face truths both of them put to one side over a decade ago and it might be that they aren't the only ones with secrets to protect.

This is an interesting book in examining family relationships though it does contain aspects that may trigger some readers.  An interesting twist at the end that I didn't see coming!

Happy Reading

Miss Chapters x

Monday, 3 February 2020

Little Boy Lost

Little Boy Lost by J.P.Carter
Published by Avon
January 2020

Innocence is no protection against evil…
One early October afternoon, ten-year-old Jacob Rossi begins the short walk home from school. But he never makes it.

Days later, DCI Anna Tate is called to the scene of a burning building, where an awful discovery has been made. A body has been found, and the label in his school blazer reads: J. Rossi.

As Anna starts digging, she soon learns that a lot of people had grudges against the boy’s father. But would any of them go so far as to take his son?
And is the boy’s abductor closer than she thinks?

This is the third book by J.P.Cater to feature DCI Anna Tate.  Anna is currently off work due to being reunited with her abducted daughter only to be recalled once the streets of London become filled with unrest and looting and a young boys body is found chained to the walls of a derelict pub.  His father has a high social media presence and the only possible leads they have to the death of Jacob are the number of hate messages that he has been receiving.  Could one of these people be responsible for his son's death?

As Anna sets to work to find the killer, she leaves her daughter in the care of her boyfriend Tom, warning him that the names and addresses of police officers have been leaked to the gangs that are taking to the streets.  While trying to get Chloe to safety, Tom is attacked by a group of youths and Chloe is left to fend for herself on the streets.  It's not a safe place to be for an adult let alone a 12 year old girl who has spent the majority of her life living abroad.  Chloe is totally alone and at the mercy of anyone who wants to take advantage.

The book has two clear narratives - that of what happens to Chloe as she desperately tries to find her mum, and secondly, of who is responsible for the death of Jacob Rossi.  The two stories merge well together and the story concludes with a twist I didn't see coming.  Not only is this a crime story though, it is a novel built around relationships which J.P.Carter tackles well.  I'm excited to see what is coming up for Anna Tate in his next book.

Happy Reading

Miss Chapters x

Tuesday, 14 January 2020

Nine Elms

Nine Elms by Robert Bryndza
Published by Sphere
January 2020

Kate Marshall was a promising young police detective when she caught the notorious Nine Elms serial killer. But her greatest victory suddenly became a nightmare.
Fifteen years after those catastrophic, career-ending events, a copycat killer has taken up the Nine Elms mantle, continuing the ghastly work of his idol.
Enlisting her brilliant research assistant, Tristan Harper, Kate draws on her prodigious and long-neglected skills as an investigator to catch a new monster. But there's much more than her reputation on the line: Kate was the original killer's intended fifth victim . . . and his successor means to finish the job.

Robert Bryndza's latest novel is a page-turner from start to finish.  We go back to the moment that DCI Kate Marshall realises who the Nine Elms serial killer is and the book progresses from thereon in. Kate will always be intrinsically linked to the man who planned to make her his fifth victim.  Whilst he is safely locked up though, it appears that a fan has plans to bring the serial killer back to notoriety by carrying out a series of killings in a copycat fashion and the police have no idea who he is or whom his next victim could be.   Kate is asked to look into the disappearance of one of the four victims of the Nine Elms killer by her parents in the hope that as a former detective she might be able to find her body and give them some sort of closure.  With her research assistant Tristan they set themselves up as private investigators and using Kate's inside knowledge of the investigation start to question previous witnesses and discover threads that had previously been left unnoticed. 

However whilst this is going on, more young girls are being killed and the copycat killer is on his way to matching the same number of bodies as that of his idol; Kate and Tristan are running out of time because little known to her, her nemesis has plans for her that she thought were over and done with.There are some moments here where I think as a reader you have to suspend disbelief and go with the fact that this is indeed fiction but putting that to one side, this is a gripping, fast-paced narrative with lots of twists and turns throughout.  There are some fantastically gory moments and the characters are very well developed and believable.  I'm certainly looking forward to reading the next in the series.

Happy Reading

Miss Chapters x

Monday, 16 December 2019

I Dare You

I Dare You by Sam Carrington
Published by Avon Books
December 2019

Mapledon, 1989
Two little girls were out playing a game of dares. Only one returned home.
The ten-year-old told police what she saw: village loner Bill ‘Creepy’ Cawley dragged her friend into his truck and disappeared.
No body was found, but her testimony sent Cawley to prison for murder. An open and shut case, the right man behind bars.
The village could sleep safe once again.
Anna thought she had left Mapledon and her nightmares behind but a distraught phone call brings her back to face her past.
30 years ago, someone lied. 30 years ago, the man convicted wasn’t the only guilty party.
Now he’s out of prison and looking for revenge. The question is, who will he start with?

There's nothing like a small village for keeping secrets, and Mapledon is no stranger to that.  Some thirty years ago, Jonie Hayes disappeared after playing a game of Knock, Knock, Ginger with her best friend Bella.  Her body is never found, but Bella tells the police that she saw Jonie being taken away by the local wierdo Bill Cawley.  He pleads guilty to her disappearance and is sent down for murder but now he has been released and is desperate to find out what really happened as both he, and others in Mapledon know he isn't the killer. 

Bella (now going by the name of Anna) returns to Mapledon at the request of her mother who has been experiencing some threatening behaviour of late that has left her a little scared.  Anna isn't keen to return to the home she grew up in but she knows that her mother needs her.  Whilst she is there she meets Lizzie, a journalist, who also has a connection to the area; one that she is keeping close to her chest.  As the book progresses, it seems that there is more than one person who has some idea of what happened to little Jonie, but it's anyone's guess as to what actually happened and who was responsible.

The book flits back and forth over the thirty year period filling the reader in on the characters of Bella and Jonie as children and of what the village was like in 1989.  Many of the residents still live there though friendships have both ended and grown since the night Jonie vanished.  It would seem that there are many regrets and lies having been told, but someone in Mapledon seems to have figured out just what occurred, and is hoping that the killer will finally admit what happened so that Jonie can be laid to rest.  Sam Carrington puts in lots of twist and turns to keep you guessing 'whodunnit' throughout the book.  It kept me hooked to the very last page!

Happy Reading

Miss Chapters x

Monday, 9 December 2019


Magpie by Sophie Draper
Published by Avon Books
December 2019

She’s married to him. But does she know him at all?
Claire lives with her family in a beautiful house overlooking the water. But she feels as if she’s married to a stranger – one who is leading a double life. As soon as she can get their son Joe away from him, she’s determined to leave Duncan.
But finding out the truth about Duncan’s secret life leads to consequences Claire never planned for. Now Joe is missing, and she’s struggling to piece together the events of the night that tore them all apart.
Alone in an isolated cottage, hiding from Duncan, Claire tries to unravel the lies they’ve told each other, and themselves. Something happened to her family … But can she face the truth?

This is the second book by author Sophie Draper following on from her debut thriller Cuckoo.  Claire lives with her husband Duncan, their son Joe and dog Arthur in a beautiful home in Derbyshire.  However looks can be deceiving and Claire's relationship with her husband is not what it appears to be.  Duncan is having an affair (and not the first one by all accounts) and Claire is determined to leave him this time.  But leaving a marriage is never easy as Claire is about to find out, with devastating consequences; if only she can remember what they are.

Magpie is told from the perspectives of both Duncan and Claire in a before-and-after format.  This always works well as you get both sides of a story which always makes a novel feel more well-rounded in my opinion.  On the surface Claire has everything she could wish for, except that in reality, she doesn't.  Son Joe has become obsessed with metal detecting and trying to find ancient hidden treasure on the hills of Derbyshire, a risky business for a teenager when so many professionals are on the scene too, as Joe is about to discover. Despite their differences Duncan and Claire share a secret, one that they are determined to hide, but when a body is found on their land, it seems that as always the truth will out in the end.

Sophie Draper's book is full of twists and turns and examines the destruction of not only a relationship but that of a family too.  Look out for the twist at the end - I certainly didn't see it coming! If you have a kindle, at the time of going to press, Magpie is currently only 99p.

Happy Reading

Miss Chapters x

Monday, 4 November 2019

Through The Wall

Through The Wall by Caroline Corcoran
Published by Avon Books
October 2019

Lexie’s got the perfect life. And someone else wants it…
Lexie loves her home. She feels safe and secure in it – and loved, thanks to her boyfriend Tom.
But recently, something’s not been quite right. A book out of place. A wardrobe door left open. A set of keys going missing…
Tom thinks Lexie’s going mad – but then, he’s away more often than he’s at home nowadays, so he wouldn’t understand.

Tom and Lexie have a flat in a shared building in London.  They're doing pretty well because Tom's parents pay for it, so Lexie can concentrate on her freelance work and on getting pregnant which is her main focus.  They are neighbours with Harriet, a woman who writes musicals and spends much of her time either playing the piano or having raucous late-night parties.  The three have never actually met.  One day Harriet spots Tom getting into the communal lift - her heart skips a beat, he suddenly reminds her of Luke, her ex-fiance and Harriet is smitten.  Through the walls she can hear that Lexie and Tom are having some troubles, maybe her neighbours aren't living quite the perfect life that she thought they were; maybe Tom wants someone else?!

Harriet decides to focus on hooking Tom, she contacts him at work pretending to be someone else and soon starts flirting with him online.  Meanwhile Lexie is getting more and more despondent about having a baby, things aren't going well, and Tom, well Tom seems distant, less interested in her.  With secret phone calls and emails, and certain items being discovered in the flat that have no place in being there, Lexie soon convinces herself that her boyfriend is having an affair - but with whom?

Through The Wall reminded me at times of the 90s film thriller Single White Female which in itself is no bad thing (I love that film) but I did feel at times that the middle of the story dragged and I wanted to know which way the book was going to go and which female was going to come out on top.  Harriet has a past - this much is hinted at throughout the opening part of the book, but what did she do when her and Luke split up that makes her so dangerous?  I was itching to find out.

Having read this I'm only thankful I don't have neighbours!  Through The Wall is out now in paperback and at the time of writing, is a bargain 99p on Amazon Kindle!

Happy Reading

Miss Chapters x