Book Extract: Perfect Prey by Helen Fields

#BookExtract #BlogTour @Helen_Fields @Sabah_K @AvonBooksUK

Hello! Welcome to my spot on the Perfect Prey Blog Tour. Thank you Sabah, and Avon Books, for inviting me to be part of this tour. Today I’ve got an extract from Helen Fields’ latest novel, Perfect Prey (the sequel to the gripping Perfect Remains). But, before we get into the good stuff, let me tell you a little bit about the book…

About Perfect Prey: 

PerfectPrey

The second in the terrifying DI Callanach crime series. Fans of M.J. Arlidge will be hooked from the very first page.

In the midst of a rock festival, a charity worker is sliced across the stomach. He dies minutes later. In a crowd of thousands, no one saw his attacker. The following week, the body of a primary school teacher is found in a dumpster in an Edinburgh alley, strangled with her own woollen scarf.

DI Ava Turner and DI Luc Callanach have no motive and no leads – until around the city, graffitied on buildings, words appear describing each victim.

It’s only when they realise the words are appearing before rather than after the murders, that they understand the killer is announcing his next victim…and the more innocent the better.

Author: Helen Fields
Published by: Avon Books
Paperback: 464 pages, published 27th July 2017

About Helen Fields: 

Helen Fields studied law at the University of East Anglia, then went on to the Inns of Court School of Law in London. After completing her pupillage, she joined chambers in Middle Temple where she practised criminal and family law for thirteen years. After her second child was born, Helen left the Bar.

Together with her husband David, she runs a film production company, acting as script writer and producer. Perfect Prey is her second novel following Perfect Remains. Both are set in Scotland, where Helen feels most at one with the world. Helen and her husband now live in Hampshire with their three children and two dogs.

Without further ado, I hope you enjoy this extract from Perfect Prey:

Detective Inspector Luc Callanach stood at the spot where the young man had taken his last breath. His identity had not yet been established. The police had pieced together remarkably little in the hour since the victim’s death. It was amazing, Callanach thought, how in a crowd of thousands they had found not a single useful witness.

The young man had simply ceased his rhythmic jumping, crumpling slowly, falling left and right, forwards and backwards, against his fellow festival-goers, finally collapsing, clutching his stomach. It had annoyed some of them, disrupted their viewing pleasure. He’d been assumed drunk at first, drug-addled second. Only when a barefooted teenage girl had slipped in the pool of blood did the alarm ring out, and amidst the decibels it had taken an age for the message to get through. Eventually the screams had drowned out the music when the poor boy had been rolled over, his spilled entrails slinking closely in his wake like some alien pet, sparkling with reflected sunshine in the gloss of so much brilliant blood.

The uniforms hadn’t been far away. It was a massive public event with every precaution taken, or so they’d thought. But making their way through the throng, police officers first, then paramedics, and clearing an area then managing the scene, had been a logistical disaster. Callanach looked skywards and sighed. The crime scene was more heavily trodden than nightclub toilets on New Year’s Eve. There was enough DNA floating around to populate a new planet. It was a forensic free-for-all. The body itself was already on its way to the mortuary, having been photographed in situ for all the good it would do. The corpse had been moved so many times by do-gooders, panicked bystanders, the police, medics, before finally being left to rest on a bed of trampled grass and kicked-up dirt. The chief pathologist, Ailsa Lambert, had been unusually quiet, issuing instructions only to treat the body with care and respect, and to move him swiftly to a place where there would be no more prying cameras or hysterical caterwauling. Callanach was there to secure the scene – a concept beyond irony – before following Ailsa to her offices.

In the brief look Callanach had got, the victim’s face had said it all. Eyes screwed tight as if willing himself to wake from a nightmare, mouth caught open between gasp and scream. Had he been shouting a name? Callanach wondered. Did he know his assailant? He’d been carrying no identifica­tion, merely some loose change in his shorts, not even so much as a watch on his wrist. Only a key on a piece of string around his neck. However swiftly death had come, the terror of knowing you were fading, of sensing that hope was a missed bus, while all around you leapt and sang, must have seemed the cruellest joke. And at the very end, hearing only screams, seeing panic and horror in the sea of eyes above. What must it have been like, Callanach wondered, to have died alone on the hard ground in such bright sunlight? The last thing the victim had known of the world could only have been unalle­viated dread.

Callanach studied the domed stage, rigged with sound and lighting gear, and prayed that one of the cameras mounted there might have caught a useful fragment. Someone rushing, leaving, moving differently to the rest of the crowd. The Meadows, an expanse of park and playing fields to the south of the city centre, were beautiful and peaceful on a normal day. Mothers brought their toddlers, dog walkers roamed and joggers timed

the circuit. Strains of ‘Summer is A-Coming In’ sounded in the back of Callanach’s mind from a screening of the original version of The Wicker Man that DI Ava Turner had dragged him to a few months ago. He’d found Edward Woodward’s acting mesmerising, and the images of men and women in animal masks preparing to make their human sacrifice had stayed with him long after the projector had been switched off. It wasn’t a million miles away from the circus in the centre of which this young man had perished.

‘Sir, the people standing behind the victim have been identified. They’re available to speak now,’ a constable said.

Be sure to swing by the blog in August, when I hope to publish a full review! You can check the other posts on the blog tour out here: 

PerfectTour Blog Banner

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blog Tour: Two Lost Boys by L.F. Robertson

#TitanBooks #BookReview #BlogTour @TitanBooks

Hello and welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Two Lost Boys by L.F. Robertson. A big thank you to Philippa at Titan Books for organizing, and including me, on this blog tour.

About the book:

Lost Boys_final

 

Janet Moodie has spent years as a death row appeals attorney. Overworked and recently widowed, she’s had her fill of hopeless cases, and is determined that this will be her last. Her client is Marion ‘Andy’ Hardy, convicted along with his brother Emory of the rape and murder of two women. But Emory received a life sentence while Andy got the death penalty, labeled the ringleader despite his low IQ and Emory’s dominant personality.

Convinced that Andy’s previous lawyers missed mitigating evidence that would have kept him off death row, Janet investigates Andy’s past. She discovers a sordid and damaged upbringing, a series of errors on the part of his previous counsel, and most worrying of all, the possibility that there is far more to the murders than was first thought. Andy may be guilty, but does he deserve to die?

Paperback: 400 pages
Published by:
Titan Books, 16 May – you can order a copy here

My thoughts…

As with any crime book I will keep my review brief as I don’t want to give away any spoilers, ruining the twists and turns of the book for you!

Two Lost Boys is a legal thriller that grips hard as we follow Janet Moodie’s progress during the sentencing of Andy Hardy.

If you’re interested in learning more about the justice system and US prisons then this one is for you. Whilst the characters in Two Lost Boys are complex, the plot and narrative is a little simple, but that’s no bad thing as the story flows exceptionally well. For me, Robertson’s career and legal insights bring the story to life and are what make it.

Justice sits at the heart of the novel; with a man on death row, will a fair trial be had? Innocence, guilt, mercy and grief are also explored throughout, with Robertson’s writing making the legal technicalities easy to digest and understand.

Overall, Two Lost Boys is a compelling, brooding novel full of dark, intense pockets – to the point where it felt quite oppressive at times. I found it fascinating how Robertson drew on her professional experiences to write the book; this made it an authentic, detailed read, with real insight into the criminal justice system.

About the author:

L.F. Robertson is a practising defense attorney who for the last two decades has handled only death penalty appeals. Linda is the co-author of The Complete Idiots Guide to Unsolved Mysteries, and a contributor to the forensic handbooks How to Try a Murder and Irrefutable Evidence. She has had short stories published in the anthologies My Sherlock Holmes, Sherlock Holmes: the Hidden Years and Sherlock Holmes: The American Years.

You can see the other posts from the blog tour here:

Blog Tour Banner.png

I received an advanced copy of Two Lost Boys from the lovely Philippa at Titan Books for an honest and unbiased review – thank you, 

 

 

 

Book Review: Love Me Not (DI Helen Grace #7) by M.J. Arlidge

#Penguin #BookReview @MJArlidge

This review contains a couple of small spoilers – beware!

As a long-time fangirl of DI Helen Grace I’ve been super excited for the next instalment in the series; it was almost time to get my next fix. Being an eager beaver I’d pre-ordered a copy of the seventh book as I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it, however in the end the book Gods were looking down on me and I was lucky enough to receive an advanced copy for review from the publicist (Thank you Angela, you made my day!).

MJArlidge

Set over a single 24-hour period, Love Me Not is a fast-paced thriller with short, punchy chapters that are punctuated by time as the action bounds in. Early in the morning DI Grace is confronted with a brutal death – an innocent woman has been killed on her way to work. Soon the team is called out to the next crime, which is when they realise they have more on their hands than originally thought. Once again a serial killer is on the loose. I won’t say too much else about the plot as I don’t want to give anything major away.

I read Love Me Not in two short sittings – from the first page I was on the edge of my seat and eager to know the conclusion. Like the others in the series it doesn’t disappoint, it’s a crime thriller full of adrenaline, action, gore and suspense. Arlidge’s writing is succinct and snappy; it never fails to hook me in.

Love Me Not didn’t contain as much of Helen Grace’s backstory and personal life as the other six, which makes it great as a stand-alone novel if you’re yet to read any others in the series. She shows a lot more humility and lightness, with little focus on her dark past. As usual, the characters were dark and brooding – I was convinced that Arlidge was going to kill off the pesky, determined journalist Emilia Garanita, but sadly not this time!

If you are new to M.J. Arlidge’s work I heartily recommend that you start at book number one: Eeny Meeny. You won’t be disappointed!

I can’t wait to see what is next for Helen Grace!

 4/5

Give it a go if you enjoyed:  The DS Heck series by Paul Finch or Jo Nesbo

Author: M. J. Arlidge
Published by: Michael Joseph (Penguin)
Hardback: 352 pages

Love Me Not will be published 18th May and can be pre-ordered through my book depository link, here.

Blog Tour: Ashes to Ashes by Paul Finch

#BookReview @paulfinchauthor @AvonBooksUK

Hello again and welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Ashes to Ashes by Paul Finch, a brand new crime thriller published by Avon books as part of the DS Heckenburg series. 

AshestoAshes

A bit about the book…

John Sagan is a forgettable man. You could pass him in the street and not realise he’s there. But then, that’s why he’s so dangerous.

A torturer for hire, Sagan has terrorised – and mutilated – countless victims. And now he’s on the move. DS Mark ‘Heck’ Heckenburg must chase the trail, even when it leads him to his hometown of Bradburn – a place he never thought he’d set foot in again.

But Sagan isn’t the only problem. Bradburn is being terrorised by a lone killer who burns his victims to death. And with the victims chosen at random, no-one knows who will be next.

Least of all Heck…

Paperback: 480 pages
Published by: Avon Books

My thoughts…

Number six in the series, Ashes to Ashes is a thrill-a-minute detective story packed full of gory action. We follow DS Mark Heckenburg (Heck) from London to his hometown of Bradburn on his mission to catch Sagan – during this time the newest criminal on the block, the Incinerator, is burning down the city’s inhabitants quicker than they can catch him. The story is peppered with mystery, police humour and suspense. Intense in places it had enough action to keep me wanting to read more.

As a character, Heck is a maverick and likes to do things on his own terms; he’s dark, brooding and broken, but his flaws are what make him. As the case unfolds we find out nuggets of information about his personal life, which is full of intrigue, as well as his family history – the backstory gives the reader enough information for this to be a stand-alone novel, without having read numbers one-to-five in the series.

Although it’s quite a long book, it is such a blockbuster and it had me racing through the pages eager to find out who the culprit was. At the end of the book I felt like I’d walked through the furnace with Heck. I’ll admit that this was the first Heck book I’ve read, but now that I’m hooked I want to go back to number 1 in the series to start from the beginning properly.

I definitely recommend Ashes to Ashes if you’re looking for a dark, violent crime thriller to read. 

HOOKEDONHECK

Give this a go if you enjoyed: Hide and Seek by M.J. Arlidge or Ragdoll by Daniel Cole

And that’s not as all for today as the lovely folk at Avon have given me an extract of Ashes to Ashes to share with you – enjoy!

Heck stood up, but slammed himself flat against the wall beside the steps, crooking his neck to look along the passage. He understood her thinking. If he went running down there and tried to grab the two cops, there was every possibility Sagan would open the door and catch all three of them. If he kept out of the way, however, it was just vaguely possible the duo had some routine business to conduct with the guy and might be on their way out again in a minute, with no one any the wiser about the obbo. That latter option was a long shot, of course. Like SCU, the Organised Crime Division was part of the National Crime Group. They didn’t deal with routine matters. There was one other possibility too, which was even more depressing. Suppose Cowling and Bishop were up to no good themselves? Could it be they were here to see Sagan for reasons unconnected with police-work? If so, that would be a whole new level of complexity.

Heck squinted down the gloomy passage. The twosome had halted alongside number 36. They didn’t knock imme­diately, but appeared to be conferring. He supposed he could try to signal to them, alert them to an additional police presence, but the idea was now growing on him fast that these two might have nefarious motives.

A fist thudded on the apartment door. Heck held his breath. At first there was no audible response, then what sounded like a muffled voice.

‘Yeah, police officers, sir,’ Cowling said. ‘Could you open up? We need to have a chat.’

Heck breathed a sigh of relief. They weren’t in cahoots with Sagan after all. But now he felt uneasy for other reasons. Given the severity of Sagan’s suspected offences, this was a very front-on approach – it seemed odd the two detectives had come here without any kind of support. Did they know something SCU didn’t, or did they simply know nothing? Had ambition to feel a good collar overridden the necessity of performing some due diligence?

The muffled voice intoned again. It sounded as if it had said ‘one minute’.

And then two thundering shotgun blasts demolished the door from the inside, the ear-jarring din echoing down the passage.

The Ashes to Ashes blog tour continues until 19th April – you can find the other stops here:

 

Blog tour.png

I received an advanced copy of Ashes to Ashes from the publishers in exchange for a fair an unbiased review. 

Blog Tour (Pt.2): Extract of Follow Me Down by Sherri Smith

Hello and welcome back to my stop on the Follow Me Down blog tour – if you haven’t read my previous post, which will tell you a bit about this book as well as my review, you can view it here.

Now, as promised, here’s an extract of Follow Me Down – I hope you enjoy it!

Back inside, I picked up the photo and slid it back under the palm tree magnet. Opened my brother’s fridge. It was nearly empty. A carton of eggs, the usual condiments, and three cans of beer still yoked by the plastic rings, a small pile of six-pack rings next to it. I took one of the cans, opened it, took long swallows, then pressed it to my cheek and wandered down the hallway.

The bathroom light was on. The door half closed. I wanted to hear a shower running, an electric razor buzzing, but nothing. I pushed the door open. There was his toothbrush, fully pasted and ready to go, sitting on the side of the sink. It was like he was standing over the sink, looking into the mirror, about to brush his teeth when he decided, fuck it, and walked out on his life. But that didn’t make sense. Wouldn’t he at least brush his teeth before becoming a fugitive on the run? Wouldn’t he take his toothbrush with him? Or his expensive electric razor so he could maintain his neatly edged two-day beard and the look of a European soccer player? Or his hair gel or his cologne? Lucas was vain; he would still want to look good.

Even if, and I couldn’t believe he’d risk such a very public fall from grace, but even if he were to have become sexually involved with one of his students who, just through sheer bad luck, happened to be murdered, he would stay and fight the charges. He wouldn’t be able to stand that people thought he did it. His need to be known as a good guy was almost pathological. We were the approval-seeking by-products of our histrionic alcoholic mother; we just went about it differently. I cared less about being likable than being considered impressive, whereas Lucas really wanted to be liked, the guy everyone wanted around, and that was who he’d always been.

Unless. Unless he’s dead too. I wasn’t just posturing for Pruden. This was a real fear. Some yahoo, maybe the same yahoo who lit his truck on fire, went after him. The kind of red-necked guy who’d want bragging rights at every bar that he took care of that sicko teacher preying on teenage girls. I could come up with half a dozen names right now, on the spot. Guys who’d at least claim that if they were alone in a room with Haas they’d cut his dick off, but not necessarily go through with it. Guys who’d trash his truck, go after him online, but only grumble something under their breath to him in person.

I couldn’t think this. It was too hard. If some vigilante spent the last few days bragging about giving Lucas the beating of his life (that ended his life), wouldn’t Pruden have heard about it by now? I wouldn’t put it past Pruden to cover it up, but would he really keep up with a bogus hunt for Lucas? Would he have even called me here?

Fuck. Stop.

Lucas called me Friday. Pocket dial or not, he called me and that meant he was alive. I knew this was some loose reasoning, but what else could I do? Thinking my brother was dead was last-resort thinking.

I went into his bedroom. Again it was a mess, but I knew there was a method to his madness. The last time we lived together was only five years ago. Lucas came to stay with me with big plans to live in Chicago. He was dabbling in acting and modeling. It was his first attempt at something after accepting he was not going to be a professional hockey player. After the initial excitement of getting some extra work playing a firefighter on a soapy TV drama wore off, he mostly loitered around my tiny apartment between sporadic shifts as a waiter, charming my off-limits roommates, watching SportsCenter, and eating cereal from a mixing bowl. With no real direction, he claimed to be having a serious quarter-life crisis while I’d just finished my pharmacy degree and was leafing through MBA programs at different Ivy Leagues. I had dazzling visions of myself in a top hat and tails, twirling a gratuitous walking stick as I climbed the pharma corporate ladder. I’d have nicknames like Conglomerate or Powerhouse or just Moneybags.

Then, just like that, Lucas decided to move back to Wayoata and get a teaching certificate.I pressured him to stay, pointed out he had given the whole acting thing only eight months, and even if he decided to do something different with his life, there were more and better opportunities in Chicago, but I couldn’t convince him. He invoked our mother as an excuse to run home, tail firmly between legs. She’s all alone. No one goes to visit her most of the year.

There was nothing I could say to that, even if we both knew he was bullshitting. He hadn’t been that worried about Mimi before things got a little hard and aimless, so I backed off, thinking he’d quickly get bored in Wayoata anyway. Obviously, that didn’t happen.

I opened drawers, came across a leather glove at the back of his sock drawer that I guessed was the one from Mimi’s car. The sight of it gave way to the skin-crawly seasickness I always got when I thought of Mimi, her “accident.” I slammed the drawer shut. Sunk down, hugged my knees. I couldn’t decide why he would have kept it all these years. I took a few nausea-battling breaths, then reminded myself it wouldn’t be the first time we were on the receiving end of the Wayoata police department’s incompetence.

We were seventeen when our mother had her car accident. Her injuries were severe (her sodden brain hit the inside of her skull like wet toilet paper on ceiling tiles, splot). But when Lucas and I were given the go-ahead to clean out her beige-gold LeSabre (Lucas insisted we do this ourselves, like it was some kind of pseudo funeral rite), he noticed that our mother’s change was still stacked in its holder, her sunglasses still clipped to the visor. The dent on the front of the bumper where she’d smacked into a tree was underwhelming. There was even a man’s leather glove. Just one. It didn’t add up. At least not in Lucas’s opinion. I knew better. I’d tried to point out Mimi’s car was a total sty and it wasn’t really that odd that we’d find a stray glove under the heap of store receipts, flattened cigarette packets, torn panty hose, stubby lipsticks. Lucas wanted to pursue it anyway. He was fixated on the glove.

Reluctantly, heart pounding in my chest, I had gone along with him to urge the police to investigate what he thought might be a staged accident, but luckily, Pruden was no Marge Gunderson. Before Lucas could even finish what he’d been referring to as his opening argument, before he could wave the black glove around, Chief Pruden cut him off. “The roads were icy. Your mother was drunk and wasn’t wearing a seat belt. Let’s not pretend she didn’t ever drive in that sort of condition. Just be happy she hit a tree and didn’t kill some nice family.”

Case closed.

Except, during those months before leaving for college, if we saw Pruden around town, my brother would eye him up and down. Make menacing but harmless gestures, like rubbing his middle finger on the bridge of his nose or, once, the pow of a finger gun. He’d tell anyone who’d listen that Pruden was an incompetent asshole. He was seventeen and angry and felt he’d been ignored. Now I couldn’t help but wonder if Pruden hadn’t held a grudge and was taking pleasure in pinning something on my brother.

I stood up again, opened his closet, and looked for an empty space from which a suitcase had been taken, where he’d packed his spare toothbrush and spare razor. Nothing was missing but Lucas.

And his ATM card. The reminder was a gut-punch. He could technically just buy it all, toothbrush, T-shirt, jeans. He could empty his account in one fell swoop after crossing the Canadian border and then really disappear. He would go to Canada, wouldn’t he? I mean it’s right there. Only if he was guilty, but he wasn’t.

I sunk down into his bed. What the fuck was happening? I was reeling. I truly understood what it meant to reel now. I felt cold and feverish. The dim ceiling light pulsed. I rolled over and cried into the pillow that still smelled like my brother’s hair gel.

 

Blog Tour: Follow Me Down by Sherri Smith (Titan Books)

#BlogTour #FollowMeDown @TitanBooks @SL_Smith_

Hello and welcome to my stop on the Blog Tour for Follow Me Down by Sherri Smith, a brand new thriller from Titan Books.

Follow Me Down_final

A bit about the book…

Mia never intended to go home again, but has no choice when her twin brother goes missing. Back to the people she left behind, the person she used to be, and the secrets she thought she’d buried. Her brother Lucas, a popular teacher, has disappeared on the same day as the murdered body of one of his students was pulled from the river. Trying to wrap her head around the rumors of Lucas’s affair with the teenager, and unable to reconcile the media’s vicious portrayal of Lucas with her own memories of him, Mia is desperate to find another suspect.

All the while, she wonders, if he’s innocent, why did he run?

Sherri Smith has previously written two historical fiction novels with Simon & Schuster UK. When not writing, she spends time with her family and two rescue dogs, and restores vintage furniture that would otherwise be destined for the dump. She lives in Winnipeg, Canada, where the long, cold winters nurture her dark side.

Paperback: 400 pages
Published: Titan Books, 21 March 2017

My thoughts on the book…

Whilst living in Chicago and working as a pharmacist, Mia Haas gets an out of the blue phone call from the police in her hometown – her twin brother Lucas has gone missing and is the prime suspect in a gory murder case. In a flash, Mia is thrown back into small-town life and is forced to search for her brother to prove his innocence, whilst also having to confront her demons head on; tackling everything from her complex relationship with her mother, to her underlying pill addiction.

Throughout, Smith’s writing is pacy and evocative giving you a feel for how oppressive small-town life can be. Police corruption is rife in Follow Me Down; the chief sides with the richest, most powerful family in town, but on this occasion all the wealth in the world can’t buy them the verdict they believe to be true.

Follow Me Down leads the reader on a dark path through Mia’s screwed-up mind alongside the unwinding murder case; I liked how well-developed she was as a character, both gritty and flawed. Alongside Lucas’ disappearance there was a parallel storyline examining Mia’s relationship with her brain-damaged, alcoholic mother, which added another dimension to the book.

About half way through, I really thought I’d cracked the conclusion, but boy-oh-boy was I wrong. All-in-all, Follow Me Down is a thriller that really packs a punch, it is full of twists and turns, with multiple storylines woven together culminating in one epic ending.

Give this a go if you like: fast-paced thrillers full of secrets or intricate mysteries

As part of my stop on the #FollowMeDown blog tour, I’m also pleased to be able to share an extract from the book with you, which will be up later this afternoon and up until 7th April you can see more from the other bloggers on the tour. Info below:

Follow-Me-Down-blog-tour#3.jpg

Blog Tour: Ragdoll by Daniel Cole

#BookReview #TrapezeBooks #Daniel_P_Cole #RagdollBook 

Ragdollbooktour.jpg

Hello and welcome to my stop on the 3 days, 40 victims Ragdoll blog tour. If you don’t already know (and if you don’t, WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?) Ragdoll is Daniel Cole’s debut, the thriller which everyone is talking about!

The hardback copy comes out on Thurs 23rd Feb and is published by the lovely folk over at Trapeze (one of Orion’s newest imprints).

A bit about the book…

A body is discovered with the dismembered parts of six victims stitched together, nicknamed by the press as the ‘Ragdoll’. Assigned to the shocking case are Detective William ‘Wolf’ Fawkes, recently reinstated to the London Met, and his former partner Detective Emily Baxter.  

The ‘Ragdoll Killer’ taunts the police by releasing a list of names to the media, and the dates on which he intends to murder them. With six people to save, can Fawkes and Baxter catch a killer when the world is watching their every move?

What did I think?

As soon as I read Ragdoll’s blurb I knew that I had to get my hands on it. Everyone on Twitter was talking about it and I just had to read it as it sounded right up my street. Crime thrillers, detective stories, murder mysteries – whatever it is, you name it, without a doubt crime is my favourite genre. Generally speaking, the gorier the better. Therefore I was pretty pumped when I was lucky enough to win a proof copy of Ragdoll on Twitter, which I was absolutely thrilled about.

So, a bit about the book – Ragdoll walks alongside broken detective William “Wolf” Fawkes as he tries to solve the crime of the ‘Ragdoll Killer’, a gruesome and gory corpse that has been stitched together made up of six unsuspecting victims. Fawkes is full to the brim with attitude, despair and loneliness, with his ex-wife being the lead journalist reporting the case and with the police questioning his capability, he is desperate to come up trumps and solve the mystery. Although Wolf is angry and maniacal he is also such a likeable character – I was really rooting for him. I also loved the strong female characters Cole created, from Andrea, Wolf’s crazy, fame-hungry ex-wife, to his faithful sidekick, Baxter.

The story has everything you’d want from a thriller; a psychotic killer, action packed twists and turns, dark wit and humour, gory details and a fast paced, gripping plot. Honestly my heart was pumping ten to the dozen towards the end and I think I even held my breath in suspense as I was reading the last twist! I wanted to race through it but I also didn’t want it to end, the sure sign of a good thriller. Also, the ending was so unexpected and left me wanting more – please Daniel Cole, please write a sequel! We need another dose of Wolf in our lives.

I really don’t want to say too much as it’ll give the game away. You just have to read it for yourselves.

I’ve already decided that this is my number one thriller of the year – yes, I know we’ve still got 10 months left to go, but I’ll be amazed if another thriller comes out that grips me as much as this did. I genuinely can’t wait to see what Cole writes next. I’ve recommended this to countless friends already and will continue to do so until they succumb and finally read it!

Ragdoll is already out in eBook and audio book and comes out in hardback 23rd February 2017 – you can purchase it from the Book Depository here. As mentioned, I was lucky enough to get a proof copy of Ragdoll in advance, in exchange for a fair and honest review. All views are my own.

Without a doubt, I’m giving this 5/5.

What other bloggers have said about Ragdoll:

I highly recommend you go and read the other reviews from the blog tour, but here are some snippets from the other bloggers:

My Chestnut Reading Tree“I think this will be the Gone Girl or The Girl on the Train for 2017, you know, THAT book that everyone wants to emulate and aspire to.”

Northern Crime – “Stop doing whatever it is you are doing, grab a copy and be prepared to fall in love with Wolf! You won’t want it to end. Recommended!” 

Have Books, Will Read – “Ragdoll is full of action and cleverly planned murder scenes which seem impossible but are entirely possible – scary stuff!”

The Book Magnet“My mind was racing and my heart was pounding – sure signs of a superb debut.”