How well do you see?

A different female detective. One not racked – completely – with angst. Thankfully.

And she comes from an ethnic background and is local to her policing area.

This story is set in an area of London I know quite well. I know of the cultural inheritances and the issues that came as new cultures came in and the local and new clashed – from the time of the Huguenots and before! See the Roman Road… Immigration to the UK has often come through the Docks and this affects the architecture as well as the culture.

I did think that the problem of distinguishing between forced and arranged marriages was portrayed well and the tip-toeing around not to tread on toes that is so common that it actually lets illegal activities occur rather than disturb certain elements of the community. As there is often a wall of silence and united front before outsiders this doesn’t help discover the truth.

I thought the author dealt quite well with the issues of inequality as I have seen this area transform – patchily – from nearly slums to desirable residences.

Overall a solid first book in this  new series.

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Find your way out?

A Map of the Dark Book Cover A Map of the Dark
The Searchers #1
Karen Ellis
crime, detectives, mystery, thrillers, female sleuths
Mulholland Books
11 Jan. 2018)

A girl missing
A woman, searching
A killer, planning...

FBI Agent Elsa Myers finds missing people.
She knows how it feels to be lost...

Though her father lies dying in a hospital north of New York City, Elsa cannot refuse a call for help. A teenage girl has gone missing from Forest Hills, Queens, and during the critical first hours of the case, a series of false leads hides the fact that she did not go willingly.

With each passing hour, as the hunt for Ruby deepens into a search for a man who may have been killing for years, the case starts to get underneath Elsa's skin. Everything she has buried - her fraught relationship with her sister and niece, her self-destructive past, her mother's death - threatens to resurface, with devastating consequences.

In order to save the missing girl, she may have to lose herself...and return to the darkness she's been hiding from for years.

Whilst I did quite enjoy this book especially the characters of some of the teenagers – the girl with creative mind and tattoos of her little creatures that kept her sane and operative under very dire circumstances. However, I found the other teenagers a bit wooden.

What irritated me though, is the current fad for this genre of having the female detectives to be very angst driven and this story takes this to the extreme. Whilst use of the angst is made in the story I am sure this was not the only way it could be written. This downgrades this book to a 4 star.

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Who’s Telling the Truth?

The Confession Book Cover The Confession
Jo Spain
mystery, thrillers,
January 11, 2018


Late one night a man walks into the luxurious home of disgraced banker Harry McNamara and his wife Julie. The man launches an unspeakably brutal attack on Harry as a horror-struck Julie watches, frozen by fear.

Just an hour later the attacker, JP Carney, has handed himself in to the police. He confesses to beating Harry to death, but JP claims that the assault was not premeditated and that he didn't know the identity of his victim. With a man as notorious as Harry McNamara, the detectives cannot help wondering, was this really a random act of violence or is it linked to one of Harry's many sins: corruption, greed, betrayal?

This gripping psychological thriller will have you questioning, who - of Harry, Julie and JP - is really the guilty one? And is Carney's surrender driven by a guilty conscience or is his confession a calculated move in a deadly game?

I liked this book and found  it addictive reading. I resented leaving it to live the rest of my life. i just needed to know the why and the real who.

Who needs to confess – and about what?

Slowly, and inexorably we find out the truth and the reasons for the first, really big, confession.

Carefully crafted, this book takes you through the lives of the 2 story-tellers – that explain the final act.


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I Couldn’t Sleep!

While You Sleep Book Cover While You Sleep
Stephanie Merrit
gothic, psychological, thriller,
Oct 2018

A pacy, chilling psychological thriller, set to reinvent the genre.

It begins, they say, with a woman screaming…

On a remote Scottish island, the McBride house stands guard over its secrets. A century ago, a young widow and her son died mysteriously there; just last year a local boy, visiting for a dare, disappeared without a trace.

For Zoe Adams, newly arrived from America, the house offers a refuge from her failing marriage. But her peaceful retreat is disrupted by strange and disturbing events: night-time intrusions; unknown voices; a constant sense of being watched.

The locals want her to believe that these incidents are echoes of the McBrides' dark past. Zoe is convinced the danger is closer at hand, and all too real – but can she uncover the truth before she is silenced?

This is a seriously creepy story – ideal to be told by those camping bonfires at night and in haunted house tours by the side of a blazing fire!

Those dreams – and what of the boy? And the bookseller? and…

Whilst the haunted house on a remote Scottish island could be considered a somewhat cliched start to a story with the single and fearless women determined to live in it, the story digresses quickly from the cliche and twists and turns into a guessing game. whilst it still continued to have odd cliched moments, I found the ending great as it just leaves you wondering. A true ghost story where you believe or you don’t but you can’t make a rational explanation for everything – or can you?

Really enjoyed this story and delighted to find a new author.

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I am here – she claims

Bring Me Back Book Cover Bring Me Back
BA Paris
psychological, suspense, crime fiction, thriller
(8 Mar. 2018)

The Disappearance
Twelve years ago Finn’s girlfriend disappeared.

The Suspicion
He told the police the truth about that night.
Just not quite the whole truth.

The Fear
Now Finn has moved on.
But his past won’t stay buried


A book that builds towards a chilling and unexpected climax.

Although I had some suspicions about what might be the cause of the sudden apparent return of Layla, I couldn’t figure out how 2 such incompatible persons could live in the same body. Thus i dismissed my idea.

But it turned out that I was both right – and wrong.

A well written novel with a nicely judged ending.


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