Books/book review/fiction

Cold Case Murders

Concealed in Death Book Cover Concealed in Death
Eve Dallas
JD Robb
Fantasy, crime fiction
July 2104

There is nothing unusual about billionaire Roarke supervising work on his new property - but when he takes a ceremonial swing at the first wall to be knocked down, he uncovers the body of a girl. And then another - in fact, twelve dead girls concealed behind a false wall.

Luckily for Roarke, he is married to the best police lieutenant in town. Eve Dallas is determined to find the killer - especially when she discovers that the building used to be a sanctuary for deliquent teenagers and the parallel with her past as a young runaway hits hard.

As the girls' identities are slowly unravelled by the department's crack forensic team, Eve and her staunch sidekick Peabody get closer to the shocking truth...

I am rationing my JD Robb, Eve Dallas and Roarke. I love these stories and Nora Roberts always writes a good novel, but I stopped reading them for a while as I found the JD Robb series getting a little ‘samey’.

Not so here.

This is a different ‘take’ on a multiple murder. And to my delight we have some wicked references to TV Series  – we have a dog called Bones, owned by a forensic psychologist, who wears sky high designer heels, and flashy duds to crime scenes. All a nod to Rizzoli and Isles and of course Bones and Body of Proof (Jordan may also feature in this character sketch too).

The murders happened 15 years ago and so we have Cold Case also referenced, whereby we have to trace everyone concerned back in the time that the deaths occurred.

I also thought that Nora Roberts had really got into her stride and the book read well with good characterisations, and enough storylines of who and what and why to keep the interest.

Now I am pleased to have bought the rest of the series to date and pre-ordered the next – but am keeping them in a ‘mustn’t binge’ reading pile!

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What lives on the skin

Ink and Bone Book Cover Ink and Bone
Lisa Unger
Fiction, Suspense, Thriller, Crime
Pocket Books
March 28, 2017

In this explosive psychological thriller by New York Times bestselling author Lisa Unger, a young woman’s mysterious gift lands her in the middle of a dangerous investigation of a little girl’s disappearance. For as long as she can remember, twenty-year-old Finley Montgomery has been able to see into the future: dream about things before they happen, see beyond the physical world, and unconsciously make supernatural things happen. But Finley can’t control these powers, and moves to The Hollows to live with her grandmother, a renowned seer who can help Finely understand and master her gifts. But once in The Hollows, Finley’s gift proves to be both a blessing and a curse. Like Finley, Merri and Wolf Montgomery are in the worst possible hell. Their daughter Abbey has been missing for ten months. Leads exhausted, the police have all but given up hope; but Merri is unable to shake the feeling that time is running out, and makes a desperate, last ditch effort to locate her daughter. Finley and Merri are on winding, treacherous paths towards the same point. When they finally come together in The Hollows, nothing is as it seems. But one thing is clear: The Hollows always gets what it wants.

Lisa is an excellent writer with the knack of writing complex stories where you just don’t see the ending. You think you do but it all turns out to be different.

In this book Lisa tells the story of a place called The Hollows which seems to be a vortex of supernatural occurrences including a multitude of different types of psychics.

Eloise developed her psychic abilities after an accident which killed her husband and son but her grand-daughter came by hers naturally. In fact it seems to run in the family.

As a child, Finley :

[yes it’s really a boy’s name but so many American females have boy’s names eg Sidney- that I decided to look up the origins of it. Finley is a Gaelic name and means “white warrior” from Gaelic fionn “white, fair” and laogh “warrior” – and whilst now used for both males an female children, it was originally a male first name. And as for Sidney, whilst popular in the US as a girl’s name it is in fact originally a surname – derived from various place names in England meaning “wide island”, from Old English sid “wide” and eg “island”. ]

So Finley had a childhood playmate – invisible to others but who lived under her bed and played with her and other invisible people to whom she talked regularly. And noises that she listened to, but that her mother tried to persuade her were all her imagination. But in fact they were all ghosts and the noises were made by other ghosts trying to tell her something.

Eventually Finley moves to live with her Grandmother in the Hollows as she feels that trying to suppress the noises and visions – as her mother was encouraging her to do – was not helpful. She felt that Eloise might help explain what was happening to her and be supportive.

After her goes her (ex) boyfriend Rainier – who is also her tattooist. It seems that the ghosts need to be ‘drawn’ onto her skin in order for her to make sense of what she is seeing, and Rainier is an empath and can interpret her dreams and visions into a tattoo.

A number of girls go missing and Finley gets drawn into the hunt for the latest one with a local Private investigator and this is where the story really begins.

Lisa Unger has been compared to Stephen King for the spookiness and sense of menace in her stories and this book really has an underlying sense of things not quite right and wrongness that haunts the characters. It is definitely a page turner and the ending, as I said before, is not what was expected and hinted at – though I had a suspicion that things were not going to end as happily as you might have hoped for all the characters.


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Books/book review/fiction/crime fiction

Amy and Katie together

Dear Amy Book Cover Dear Amy
Helen Callaghan
female sleuths, crime, mystery, thriller
Michael Joseph
January 8, 2016

FIRST CLASS PSYCHOLOGICAL SUSPENSE FROM A MAJOR NEW VOICE IN FICTION Margot Lewis is the agony aunt for The Cambridge Enquirer. Her advice column, Dear Amy, gets all kinds of letters - but none like the one she's just received: Dear Amy, I don't know where I am. I've been kidnapped and am being held prisoner by a strange man. I'm afraid he'll kill me. Please help me soon, Bethan Avery Bethan Avery has been missing for years. This is surely some cruel hoax. But, as more letters arrive, they contain information that was never made public. How is this happening? Answering this question will cost Margot everything . . .


This story is set in Cambridge UK where we find that as it opens Katie is kidnapped. Katie is an angry teenager who stormed out of the house in the rain, and thus, according to many including the police, may have just run away. But we know better.

Margot, who writes the Dear Amy advice column for teenagers on the local newspaper and who teaches English at a private school, starts to receive letters. Letters written apparently by a child, posted the day before receipt, and yet the signature is of a girl, Bethan,  who disappeared 20 years before.

All this is set against a time in Margot’s life where she is emotionally at sea. Her marriage has crashed and her mental state is fragile. But for some reason she decides to investigate the letters and Bethan’s disappearance.

You feel strongly Margot’s despair and deep need to restablish a stable life after her crashed marriage.

As the story continues a sense of menace grows – well described from Margot’s perspective as a person with anxiety disorders – and thus how much does she imagine? And how much is real?


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How the Assassin died



Genre: Paranormal-Romance, Urban-fantasy

Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press

Date of Release­­: June 16, 2016

Cover Artist: Eugene Teplitsky

Find Online: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Goodreads


 Technically, Layla hasn’t killed anyone. Ask the witnesses. It was a misstep here, a trip-and-fall there—accidents happen.

And Layla is paid very well to ensure that they do.

Her mother once traced their lineage back to ancient times. Go flip through The Odyssey. Some great-great-great grandmother is in there beckoning sailors to rocky deaths. For eons her kind has made it their business to bring hapless men to quick and messy ends. Layla can’t help it that Saint Roch City has job listings for someone who can cause blameless death. You go where the work is.

When the most difficult hit of her career goes sideways, Layla finds out that what she’s been told about her own history may not be so accurate. And there is no forgiveness in the business of assassinations. When you’re paid to kill someone, there better be a dead body.

About The Author:

Ian Hiatt is the crazy guy who lives on your block. You know the one that all the neighborhood kids point at and whisper about. He’s cleverly hidden himself by marrying an incredibly tolerant woman and finding himself an adorable dog. This is the best disguise for living in New England. The villagers have not yet run him out of his castle.

When he’s not scrawling delusional words about mythical-filled cities or dinosaurs, he’s busy tapping out code for websites and software. If he’s kept away from writing implements, he treks aimlessly through forest hiking trails, across abandoned beaches, and wandering the shelves of bookstores. These three things don’t overlap except for that one time, and that was a really weird day.

Find the author Online:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Curiosity Quills Press (CQ) is a small hybrid publishing company specializing in genre fiction of the highest quality. With 150+ titles in our catalog already and approximately 6 new books coming out each month, there’s never a dull moment at CQ. We work with major retailers such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Audible to ensure that you, the reader, can find whatever you are looking for at your convenience.

Founded in 2011 by Eugene Teplitsky and Lisa Gus, CQ was initially a resource portal for writing and publishing, created in an effort to help writers, like themselves, survive the publishing industry. After rapid success, CQ morphed into publishing press that over time has solidified its share in the market. Now we spend our days searching for the next great escape!

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads


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Books/book review/fiction/crime fiction

Looking for a Grave?

Never Buried Book Cover Never Buried
Volume 1 (Leigh Koslow Mystery)
Edie Clare
Crime, Thriller & Mystery, female sleuths
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
31 May 2012

he truth about what happened in 1949 went to Paul Fischer's grave... Too bad his body didn't!

Advertising copywriter Leigh Koslow doesn't pack heat--just a few extra pounds. And she doesn't go looking for trouble. When she moved into her cousin Cara's refurbished Victorian house, she wasn't planning on discovering a corpse--certainly not one that had been embalmed ten years before. But as anyone in the small Pittsburgh borough of Avalon could tell her, her cousin's house has a history attached. A history dating back to two mysterious deaths in the summer of 1949.

Someone wants Leigh and Cara out of the house--someone who has something to hide. But that someone doesn't know Leigh's impetuous cousin, and when Cara digs her heels in, Leigh looks to her old college chum, local policewoman Maura Polanski, for help. But the answers the trio find only point to more questions. Were the scandalous deaths of fifty years ago really an accident and a suicide? Or were they murder?

The nearer the women get to the truth, the more desperate someone becomes. Because some secrets are better off kept. Especially when they hit close to home!

So we have Leigh who has trouble keeping a job but is good at writing. And she finds an embalmed body – problem is that this man was supposed to have been buried a long time ago. So the question arises: why isn’t he in his grave?

And then it appears that he was never in his grave – so where was he kept? between his burial and now?

And then it seems the corpse is that of the old owner to her friend Cara’s house – a Paul Fischer – and Leigh’s curiosity gets the better of her.

In the cozy genre this is a fairly typical murder/mystery and light reading.

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