Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Circle - The Diary of Stella Moore (Peter Dudgeon)

 Product Details

Circle – The Diary of Stella Moore (Peter Dudgeon)

First of all my extreme thanks and gratitude go to the author Peter Dudgeon for letting me read an advance copy of this kindle edition.  I was lucky enough to read the first book in this series Chance and you can read my review here

Circle – The Diary of Stella Moore is the follow up to Chance and picks up the story approximately 7 years later.  For those that have read the first book this book continues with Cassie, who is living with Laura at presently but still experiencing those “visions”.   Cassie is now in her teens and has a new life with Laura.  They are trying to put the past behind them, trying their best to move on and start again.

Just as you get to understand some of what has happened in the past (for those that haven’t read Chance), you are then introduced to diary entries from a girl called Stella Moore. 

Who is Stella Moore? 
What is the connection between the diary entries and the story?
What is happening to Stella Moore?  

Detective Sargent Frank  Simmons who was in the last book, plays a major part in this one and enlists Cassie’s help with a case he is working on privately after being suspended from the police force.  The case is trying to figure out why Annie Mendoza mysteriously disappeared.

We are then as the book progresses introduced into the world of sado masochism, the horrible   world of domestic abuse, the way things are viewed by people on the internet who seem to thrive on seeing pictures of abuse.  This is however done in such a way that you are left wanting to read just one more page to see if you can suss out what is happening or what will happen. 

Circle is a darker more mysterious book than Chance was.  Peter has put a lot of thought and research into this book and I have to say that his writing skills and knowledge of the subject through research alone is impeccable and one he should be proud of.    

I would personally recommend that you read Chance before reading Circle as it will give you a better insight into the world of Cassie Janus and help you understand the hidden gift that she has that can help people. 

I am lucky to know another blogger who has also read this book and was lucky enough to get an interview with the author.  Her blog page is called The Haphazardous Hippo and she has kindly agreed to me inserting her link to her review and interview for you lucky readers.  Pop across and have a look and check out some of her other books she has reviewed.  (You will be in for a treat, there are some fab books on there, and some that I have even added to my own wish list).  Her link is

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Sycamore Gap – L J Ross (DCI Ryan #2)
 Sycamore Gap– L J Ross (reviewed 25.11.2015)

THE EXPLOSIVE SEQUEL TO THE UK #1 BESTSELLER HOLY ISLAND The past never stays buried for long... Detective Chief Inspector Ryan believes he has put his turbulent history behind him. Then, in the early hours of the summer solstice, the skeleton of a young woman is found inside the Roman Wall at Sycamore Gap. She has lain undiscovered for ten years and it is Ryan's job to piece together her past. Enquiry lines cross and merge as Ryan is forced to face his own demons and enter into a deadly game of cat and mouse with a killer who seems unstoppable. Murder and mystery are peppered with a sprinkling of romance and humour in this fast-paced crime whodunnit set amidst the spectacular scenery of Hadrian's Wall country in Northumberland.

My Review 

It may help the reader to read the first book, but in my opinion this book can be read as standalone read.  There are subtle references to the first book, however I would imagine the reader will be able to understand the story, the first book will enable you to understand the characters and some of their traits.   
Detective Chief Inspector Ryan is back and again with another case that grips you from the start.
The book starts off with us introduced to DCI Ryan and his team who are called in to investigate another “potential” murder again set in Northumberland, this time near Hadrian’s Wall.  A body of a young girl who has been missing for what becomes apparent is 10 years, found hidden deep inside the wall.   Ryan and his team recognise the girl once the initial forensic tests have been conducted due to Dr Kier (yes he’s back) having a photograph in his possession despite being incarcerated. 
Ryan is determined to be involved in this case and despite warnings from his boss Gregson continues to investigate and pursue this matter.  He has a personal interest in Dr Kier and quietly right!    
This book is set approximately 6 months on from the end of Holy Island (L J Ross’ first book). 
This is a dark murder mystery with plenty of twists to keep you enthralled.  The mysterious society known as the "Circle" is mentioned again, and as the story of Sycamore Gap grabs you, further members of the “Circle” are discovered and make you realise how large this group is and that the members include people who are in high powered positions. 
Relationships between Ryan and his colleagues keep the reader entertained.  His love of work; finding the right result for the right reasons comes across; his enthusiasm for his team including Phillips (who has a love of garish ties), MacKenzie (the female investigation officer who is an invaluable member of the team), Lowerson (who without giving anything away is now reunited with the team).  The love of his life Anna who again makes an appearance in the book. 
Again, as with the first, this instalment ends with a cliff-hanger, leaving you wanting the author L J Ross to write faster and quicker to put you out of your misery.  I for one want to know answers to some questions.
I will add that I don’t like doing spoilers in my reviews, I like to think that anybody reading the review wants to know what happens and therefore they will buy the book (and hopefully the first one as well) as they are intrigued as to what happens next!
If that person is you, and you want to know what this fantastic author has to offer then I’m afraid, yes you’ve guessed it you’re going to have to read the book.  If you don’t then you really are missing out on a gem of a read. 
I would like to say a special thanks to the author L J Ross who contacted me via my blog to ask would I like to review this book and again I am so pleased that I said yes!      

Sunday, 8 November 2015

Holy Island - L J Ross


Detective Chief Inspector Ryan retreats to Holy Island seeking sanctuary when he is forced to take sabbatical leave from his duties as a homicide detective. A few days before Christmas, his peace is shattered and he is thrust back into the murky world of murder when a young woman is found dead amongst the ancient ruins of the nearby Priory.

When former local girl Dr Anna Taylor arrives back on the island as a police consultant, old memories swim to the surface making her confront her difficult past. She and Ryan struggle to work together to hunt a killer who hides in plain sight, while pagan ritual and small-town politics muddy the waters of their investigation.

Murder and mystery are peppered with a sprinkling of romance and humour in this fast-paced crime whodunit set on the spectacular Northumbrian island of Lindisfarne, cut off from the English mainland by a tidal causeway.

My Review
Detective Chief Inspector Ryan currently on leave from the force (he was asked to take a sabbatical from the force and you are left wondering why at the beginning but all becomes clear as the book progress) and escaped to “Holy Island” an island which twice a day is cut off from the mainland.  Whilst on the island, a place that seems like it could become his home, a place he seems to have settled in and away from everyone that knows him, a place he feels like he can put the past behind him and move on that is until a horrible murder takes place. 
The murder is of Lucy Mathieson, a local of the island and the discovery of her body at the Lindisfarne Priory.  DCI Ryan takes charge due to being on the island and insists to his boss (Gregson) that he is fit for duty and capable of running the investigation properly. 
During the course of the investigation Dr Taylor arrives on the island to assist as a Police consultant as the killing is linked to certain holy rituals.  Dr Taylor has a specialism in ceremonial rituals. However Dr Taylor (Anna) is a familiar face to the island having lived there when she was young with her parents and sister.  Her sister Megan is still living on the island. 
During the course of the investigation it becomes apparent that DCI Ryan has feelings for Dr Taylor and a relationship starts, rather predictable really but don’t despair this is the only predictable part in the book.  Ryan comes across as rugged, strong with a sensitive side to him possibly classed as a knight in shining armour.  As the investigation progresses and more murders happen DCI Ryan is left with a feeling that Anna wasn’t chosen to assist for her specialism but for other unknown reasons and wants to protect her with every waking moment despite what’s happening on the island. 
What are the reasons I hear you say, well I asked myself the same questions as I was reading the book: -
1.       Is there a reason Anna has been asked to assist?
2.       Is Ryan (due to his personal situation) able and capable of solving a murder?
3.       How many more people are going to die whilst this investigation is continuing?

I will add that I don’t like doing spoilers in my reviews, I like to think that anybody reading the review wants to know what happens and therefore they will buy the book as they are intrigued as to what happens next!
If that person is you, and you want answers to these questions then I’m afraid, yes you’ve guessed it you’re going to have to read the book.  If you don’t then you really are missing out on a gem of a read. 
*Lindisfarne is a real island just off the coast of Northumberland and is known as Holy Island and anyone that has read my reviews before will know I’m a UK thriller / mystery kind of girl.  This is an excellent book, excellent story and yes you’ve probably guessed it in my opinion an excellent story. 
I would like to say a special thanks to the author L J Ross who contacted me via my blog to ask would I like to review this book and I am so pleased that I said yes!        

Sunday, 6 September 2015

Down Among The Dead Men – Kerry Wilkinson

Down Among the Dead Men

I was lucky enough to win a copy of this book as an ARC and first of all thanks go to the author for the pleasure and privilege. 
Down Among The Dead Men is due for release on 22nd October 2015


‘I’m going to do you a favour: I’m going to tell you my name and then I’m going to give you thirty seconds to turn and run. If any of you are still here after those thirty seconds, then we’re going to have a problem.’

Jason Green’s life is changed for good after he is saved from a mugging by crime boss Harry Irwell. From there, he is drawn into Manchester’s underworld, where stomping into a newsagents and smashing the place up is as normal as making a cup of tea.

But Jason isn’t a casual thug: he has a plan that doesn’t involve blowing his money on the usual trappings. That is until a woman walks into his life offering one thing that money can’t buy – salvation.

My review

Wasn’t sure what to expect when I received this book for review but have to say Kerry has done it again.  This is an excellent stand-alone read and one that has allowed me to get my reading mojo back (have been picking up books and reading them and enjoying but this author yet again as usual had me HOOKED).  

Jason Green would be the guy you walked past in the street, a normal guy who doesn’t stand out in a crowd. He is ordinary but unbeknown to some inhabits a shady criminal underworld and therefore does not want or wish to be noticed.  He doesn’t make friends easily and has a group of people he relies on.  

However, someone has noticed him and someone will go out of their way to ensure Jason helps them. 
The story is told across a period of 11 years and you are treated to flashbacks in the story behind Jason Green, the boy he was and the man he is becoming. 

You have his rescuer, Harry Irwell (who is a name you know through organised crime), Harry’s right hand man “Carter” along with other people that Harry relies on.  You have Harry’s rival (or are they) Richard Hyde along with Jason’s brother Chris and his mum.  You are made to feel sorry for Jason in one step and unsure of where your loyalties will lie in another.  

The book had me hooked and has been read in a week (which lately with a family and a full time job) can be hard work.  However yet again Kerry Wilkinson has done it and yet again I am left waiting patiently for the next book.    Kerry has a flare for (in my honest opinion) of providing books with unexpected endings.  I have questions which are left unanswered and left to draw my own assumptions of how things conclude.  This is a book that has the potential to be made into a series but is excellent as a stand-alone read. 

My rating is 5 / 5.