Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Unspoken Truths - Liz Mistry #BlogBlitz #Review

Today I am pleased to be able to participate in the blog tour for Unspoken Truths by Liz Mistry.  My thanks go to Bloodhound Books. 

About the Book

In Unspoken Truths, DI Gus McGuire and his team navigate a complex web of intrigue, espionage and murder. Set in Bradford, Manchester and on Saddleworth Moor, Gus is pushed to his physical and psychological limits. 

First a rural train between Manchester and Bradford is deliberately derailed by a vehicle with a boot filled with drugs, then a woman’s tortured body is discovered in Keighley. When Gus’ brother-in-law goes missing, the investigation becomes personal. As he battles against the storms of the Beast from the East, Gus must uncover the links between the dead woman, a pharmaceutical company in Manchester and a research facility in Northern Cyprus, as well as the disappearance of his brother in law. With the body count increasing, Gus sets Compo loose on the Dark Web - how will Gus react when he discovers that things are not as they seem?

Meanwhile, DS Alice Cooper faces extreme danger in prison and, as the evidence piles up against her, Gus and his team’s loyalties are pushed to the limit.

Can Gus stop the blueprint for a deadly bio weapon from falling into the wrong hands? Can he solve a series of murders and track down a psychotic killer? Never before has Gus faced such a demanding test.


This is the 5th DCI Gus McGuire book I’ve read and I would recommend reading these in order, not only because they are a fantastic series and it would be a shame for you to miss out on any of the other books, but also because it does help with the back stories of the characters.   We join the team in this book following on from the previous book Uncommon Cruelty. 

Without giving too much away for those readers that haven’t read the previous books, we join Gus and his team as we come to terms with the loss of two team members for differing reasons.

They are sent to investigate a woman’s murder and find a tortured body.  On investigating this it transpires that this could be connected to a train derailment between Manchester and Bradford.  Are these two incidents connected?    To add to the mix we also have Gus’s EX brother in law  who has also goes missing.  This means that he has to deal with his sister and his ex wife constantly harassing him as to what Gus is going to do to find him.   Added to that and thrown into the mix of investigations they have to deal with the weather that was called “The Beast from The East”, a vicious story that caused chaos and mayhem to the roads and public transport system around the Manchester, Bradford and Saddleworth areas earlier on this year. 

From a personal point of view the storm was that bad, it cut our estate off due to the massive snow drifts that came in (see pics below). 

This is the mound of snow that had to be removed to try and us all off the estate.  The snow was that deep it meant that some cars were buried in it.  My daughter loved it as she got to go climbing over the mountains of snow and had a few snow days from school 

This and the one below are from the top of the estate if you can manage to see it at all.  The snow on the left of the picture was covering people’s front doors.

This and the one above are at the top of the estate if you can manage to see it at all.  The snow on the left of the picture was covering people’s front doors.

We follow the investigations and follow the procedures of a dark web search by the techie geek Compo, with the help of the newcomer Taffy. 

It was good to read a Gus McGuire book set in and around Manchester including the train station Manchester Victoria where I travel to and from every week day, along with the remote are of Saddleworth Moors that is not far from my house.    

This made it even more enjoyable for me as I love books set in and around the areas I know so well.  

We also follow Alice Cooper and what is happening to her since the ending of the previous book, some of the descriptions that were used made me wince through the thought of what was happening and the pain that Alice was going through. 

It was a different story this time following Gus and the remaining members of his team as they conducted the investigation, and also a little bit more of the back story regarding Alice and her early career before joining Gus.   Lots of twists and turns in the book and enough of a mystery to be able to keep you guessing as you were reading. 

All in all I found this to be an enjoyable book and found that the majority of the loose ends were tied up nicely.  It was nice to see more of Compo and Taffy working together and shows that this could be a nice partnership should they be given the opportunity to work together again.    

I am looking forward already to the next book.  

About the Author

Liz writes crime fiction books set in Bradford, West Yorkshire. The DI Gus McGuire series is gritty Northern noir with a bit of Scottish thrown in.  She is currently researching for a Ph. D in creative writing at Leeds Trinity University. As part of her Ph.D she is researching how the teen killer’s voice is portrayed in the adult crime fiction novel with specific reference to the influence of teen social media usage, with a view to writing a crime fiction novel around these issues.

Liz also teaches creative writing, specialising in crime fiction and is a regular panellist at literary festivals throughout the UK.  She enjoys reading her work at Open Mic and Noir at the Bar events. She was chosen to be one of the spotlighted authors at the Bloody Scotland crime writing festival in 2016.  She is the lead blogger for the well renowned crime fiction blog The Crime warp which reviews contemporary, mainly UK based, crime fiction, comments on current issues around the genre and creative writing in general and interviews authors on a regular basis. 

She is available to comment on current issues around creative writing in general and crime fiction in particular and to speak at local and national festivals and conferences.

Social Media Links
Facebook: @LizMistrybooks
Twitter: @LizCrimeWarp

Check out the rest of the blog tour with these fabulous blogs: 

My thanks to Liz Mistry for yet again another brilliant Gus McGuire book and the publishers Bloodhound Books for my spot on the blog tour.  

Tuesday, 30 October 2018

Lost in the Lake - A J Waines #BlogTour #GuestPost

Lost in The Lake – A J Waines 

Today I am pleased to be able to participate in one of the final stops for the blog tour for Lost in the Lake by A J Waines.  My thanks go to Emma Welton and BloodhoundBooks for my spot on this tour.  

About the Book

She came at first for answers…now she’s back for you

Amateur viola player Rosie Chandler is the sole survivor of a crash which sends a group of musicians plunging into a lake. Convinced the accident was deliberate, but unable to recall what happened, she is determined to recover her lost memories and seeks out clinical psychologist, Dr Samantha Willerby. 

But Rosie is hiding something…

Sam is immediately drawn to the tragic Rosie and as she helps her piece the fragments together, the police find disturbing new evidence which raises further questions. Why is Rosie so desperate to recover her worthless viola?

When Rosie insists they return to the lake to relive the fatal incident, the truth about Rosie finally emerges. Now Sam is the one seriously out of her depth…

Today on my blog, I am pleased to be joined by A J Waines where she shares her thoughts on the Memory which is a key theme in Lost in the Lake.   Grab a comfortable chair and a nice drink and settle down to find out how the memory is the key theme in the book. 

As a former psychotherapist, I’m interested in a range of mind-twisting themes in my novels. Lost in the Lake, is no exception! One of the key themes in this thriller is memory and most specifically how after a trauma, our brain shuts out the bits that are too distressing for us to assimilate. At the start of the book, a van leaves the road and plummets into a lake  and all but one of the passengers are killed. Or so it seems. The sole survivor, Rosie, however knows in her bones that it wasn’t an accident, but has gaps in her memory. That’s the tangled murder mystery on the surface. It's only half the story. She turns to psychologist, Dr Samantha Willerby, to help recover her memories and that’s when the psychological thriller begins to simmer.

So, how does Dr Sam help Rosie to remember? In this novel, I wanted to give the reader a chance to be a fly on the wall in this intriguing kind of therapy, which normally goes on behind closed doors. One useful tool is to guide patients into a relaxed, meditative state and gently help them to revisit certain aspects of an event by tapping into their subconscious. As you can imagine, this trance-like state has to be managed extremely carefully so as not to traumatise the patient. Helping patients use all their senses to relive moments before their memory went blank can lead to breakthroughs. If someone can smell the leather of the car seats, taste the mint they’d just swallowed, feel the tufted woollen throw beside them and so on, they can often ‘step into’ the scenario and  follow its course from start to finish – given time.

Naturally, our conscious defences may try to block the details of disturbing events, especially when we know the final harrowing outcome. That’s what makes this kind of therapy so challenging and precarious. Two steps forward and one step back a lot of the time. It’s often the case, too, that unrelated buried memories pop up to the surface and throw new light on things. That’s what happens in Lost in the Lake. Furthermore, the flashes of regained memories that come to Rosie during these sessions turn the police operation upside down.

Another technique for retrieving memories involves helping a patient to view a situation from the viewpoint of one of the other people involved. What did the driver of the van see or hear? Can you step into their shoes? Sometimes this can feel safer that trying to recover one’s own memories and from a detective’s point of view, it can reveal new possibilities in terms of what took place and the order of events.

If I hadn’t got hooked on crime fiction, I might have studied a PhD in memory. I’ve always been fascinated by it. Every day, we carry around little snapshots of all the former selves we’ve ever been: the things we’ve done and said, the places we’ve visited, the people we’ve met. Stored inside our head somewhere in that mass of rubbery coils is a back-catalogue of the days, weeks, months and years we have walked the planet.

But our memory is only ever a selection from the past and who knows why some things stick in our mind and others don’t? Then there’s the issue of false memories, such as when a parent tells you about something you did when you were little and you create a ‘mind-video’ of it and think it’s a memory. This issue has had very bad press in recent years in terms of child abuse cases, but it isn’t always about such fraught subjects. Growing up, my parents told me how I fell out of a car window when I was two years old (it was stationary, I must add!). I was fiddling with the window winder and leaning out way too far and plop, I was on the driveway. Because they described it to me several times, my mind played tricks and I was convinced I remembered it, but deep down I know I didn’t.

But, as I said, recovering Rosie's lost memories in Lost in the Lake is only half the story. A chilling, altogether different dynamic is going on underneath the main enigma. Rosie looks like she’s searching for answers about the crash, but very soon it becomes clear that she’s after something else…ENJOY!

Wow, how was that for you.  I know I was riveted reading this and even more so as the book is on my to be read list and seriously needs to be moved up the pile and read.  Now I just need to get the next couple of months out of the way and then I can start getting back to normal with my reading schedule.  

About the Author

AJ Waines is a number one bestselling author, topping the entire UK and Australian Kindle Charts in two consecutive years, with Girl on a Train. Following fifteen years as a psychotherapist, the author has sold nearly half a million copies of her books, with publishing deals in UK, France, Germany, Norway, Hungary and Canada (audio books).

Her fourth psychological thriller, No Longer Safe, sold over 30,000 copies in the first month, in thirteen countries. AJ Waines has been featured in The Wall Street Journal and The Times and has been ranked a Top 10 UK author on Amazon KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing).

She lives in Hampshire, UK, with her husband. Find her books here and visit her website and blog, or join her on Twitter, Facebook or on her Newsletter.

Social Media Links

Find AJ Waines books at:


Check out the rest of the blog tour with these fabulous blogs: 

My thanks to A J Waines for joining me on my blog, the publishers Bloodhound Books and also Emma Welton for my spot on the blog tour.