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Perfect Prey Book Tour – Extract

Perfect PreyOn the book tour for Helen Fields’ gruesome new book, “Perfect Prey’, read an extract from the unsettling tale.

Tripp looked like he didn’t know which way to run.

‘In you come, Tripp,’ Callanach instructed. ‘And you should shut your door, Bunny. It’s late.’

Safely inside, Tripp was a shade of beetroot.

‘New neighbour then, sir? She seems very, um, enthusiastic.’ Tripp raised his eyebrows and seemed to be struggling to control a grin.

‘Was there something important, detective constable? Only I was hoping to get some sleep for the first time in several days.’

‘Of course, yes. Couldn’t send the files over the internet. No time to securely encode them. Here you go.’ Tripp opened a laptop, and clicked on a folder in which two items sat. As the first played, Callanach could hear the now familiar song that the band had been playing when Sim Thorburn had hit the floor. The footage was taken from a few rows in front of the victim, on a mobile phone whose owner was obviously taking a selfie of herself singing along. For a split second, in the background, a shadow passed across Sim’s face. As the shadow cleared the screen, Sim could be seen slightly out of focus, looking down towards his stomach, his face registering confusion. Then he lurched to one side, out of shot.
‘Is that all?’ Callanach asked. ‘It doesn’t tell us any more about the attacker.’

‘One more piece of footage,’ Tripp said. ‘Top right-hand corner of the screen.’

Tripp pressed play. More mobile footage, this time obviously designed to show the scale of the audience, mobile held high in the air, turning around in a three-sixty loop. After a few seconds, Tripp pressed pause and pointed.

‘There,’ he said. ‘Only in shot for a second, but it’s clearer than in the previous footage.’

Callanach looked more closely. Sim Thorburn was hidden from view, but he could see Merel and Niek De Vries. To the left of them, walking in profile, was an adult with dark brown hair flopping over their face. The attacker was wearing large, dark sunglasses. Tripp let the video play to show the person’s sudden change of direction away from the camera and into the crowd.

‘Male or female?’ Callanach asked.

‘Can’t be sure,’ Tripp replied, closing the lid of the laptop. ‘But not that tall, slim and therefore able to move about relatively unnoticed. Caucasian. Hair could be natural or dyed.

Might even be a wig. Clothes didn’t stand out to anyone, so no help there.’

‘Perfect camouflage,’ Callanach said, leaning back on the couch and closing his eyes.

‘Could it be someone from one of the homeless shelters, do you think?’ Tripp asked. ‘Sim would have come into contact with plenty of people suffering mental health problems. No one keeping tabs on them, no one to recognise them.’

Callanach shook his head.

‘I wish I believed that, Max,’ he said. ‘Because sooner or later the person you’re describing would get arrested for something else, have a breakdown and confess, get drunk and show someone the knife. This took planning. It needed care and consideration. More than that, it needed nerves of fucking steel. Can you imagine the psyche of a person who can walk through a crowd of thousands, take out a weapon, cut hard and deep and precisely, then not rush away? To walk on slowly through the crowd, certain you’ve done such a good job that you have the time to get out of there, whilst putting the knife out of sight, making sure you don’t emerge from the crowd covered in blood. This person knew how to cut. They may be a psychopath but they’re not mentally ill, not in the way we think of it. This is someone who feels nothing at all. No panic, no fear, no sense of danger. Nothing at all.’

‘How do we catch them then, sir, if they’re that good?’ Tripp asked.

‘You know what, Tripp? I don’t have a fucking clue.’

Fancy finding out what happens next? You can buy Perfect Prey from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

The Wardrobe Mistress By Natalie Meg Evans

The Wardrobe Mistress‘The Wardrobe Mistress’ is the latest book by Natalie Meg Evans.

London 1945. A young war widow steps aboard a train in search of a new life. Clutching the key to a mysterious inheritance, Vanessa Kingcourt can no longer resist the pull of the old Farren Theatre – an enchanted place seeped in memories of her actor father. Now owned by troubled former captain Alistair Redenhall, The Farren is in need of a Wardrobe Mistress and a new lease of life. With no experience and no budget for supplies, Vanessa must use her intuition to create beautiful costumes from whatever scraps of silk and thread survived the blitz. It’s a seemingly impossible task, but a welcome distraction as she struggles to resist her blossoming feelings for Alistair. What Vanessa discovers could unravel family secrets sewn deep into the very fabric of the London theatre scene . . . but will she repeat the same terrible mistakes her father made? And can she dare to love a man who will never be hers?

Natalie is back with another gripping read set in the aftermath of the Second World War.

In this story, we meet Alistair and Vanessa, an unlikely pair who forge a professional friendship when they work at The Farren, a popular theatre.

After her father left when she was child, Vanessa was consumed with wondering what became of him. She knew he had an acting career at The Farren, so she returns to the old theatre after his death and takes on the old of wardrobe mistress even though she has absolutely no experience in the trade. Meanwhile, Alaistair is the husband of Vanessa’s best friend whose marriage is falling apart, having left the navy after the war, Alaistair takes over the The Farren and prepares for their first performance.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, the background of war ridden London trying to recover itself made for atmospheric reading. The characters are engaging and complimentary with each other, with Vanessa’s humour and outspoken nature and Alaistair’s charisma, they made an entertaining couple, even though they both tried to deny their attraction to each other. There are two parts to the story, as Vanessa delves into her father’s past and tries to solve the mystery of the tiny key that she was given as a child and as she tries to find her place in life.

Filled with flamboyant and dramatic characters, beautiful fashion and riddled with suspense and mystery throughout ‘The Wardrobe Mistress’ is a romantic and luxurious tale that made for memorable reading

You can buy The Wardrobe Mistress from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

A Country Girl Book Tour – Extract

A Country Girl‘On the book tour for Nancy Carson’s new book called ‘A Country Girl’, sit back and enjoy an extract from the historical tale.

The sinking sun cast a long, animated shadow of Algie Stokes as he ambled that evening along the rutted road known as Moor Lane on his way to see Harriet Meese. To his right lay a rambling Georgian mansion, an island of prosperity set in a sea of stubble fields. The grand, symmetrical house seemed entirely at odds with the tile works, the slag heaps and the worked-out mines which it overlooked. No doubt it had existed long before its sooty neighbours had been dreamed of; a rural haven, set in bowers of peace and tranquillity. But no more. Yet it never occurred to Algie what the well-to-do occupants might think of the black, encroaching gloom of industry. He never noticed any of it, taking for granted these immovable, and probably eternal, man-made elements of the unromantic landscape.

The crimson glow from the sun at his back was augmenting the ruddiness of the red-brick terraced houses he was passing. He bid a polite good evening to a passer-by, and his thoughts returned to the golden sunshine of Marigold Bingham’s natural loveliness. Yet, strangely, he was finding that he could not ponder Marigold without Harriet Meese also trespassing unwanted into his thoughts. Mental comparison was therefore becoming inevitable. Maybe it was a guilty conscience playing tricks.

Harriet was twenty years old, the second of seven daughters belonging to Mary and Eli Meese. Eli was a respectable trader who described his business as ‘a drapery, mourning and mantles shop’, situated in Brierley Hill’s High Street, where the family also lived above the shop. Four of the seven daughters were sixteen or over – of marriageable age – but Harriet was blessed with the most beguiling figure of them all, wondrously endowed with feminine curves. She was slender and long-legged, her curves and bulges were in the appropriate places, and as delightful in proportion as Algie had ever had the pleasure to behold in or around Brierley Hill. However, to his eternal frustration he had never been privileged to know Harriet’s sublime body intimately. Nor was such a privilege likely as long as they remained unmarried. Chastity had been instilled into Harriet from an early age, both at home and at church. So, despite Algie’s most earnest endeavours, he had never so much as managed to unfasten one button of her blouse, nor lifted her skirt more than eight inches above her ankle without a vehement protest and an indignant thump. It was, of course, her figure which was the sole attraction, since her face was her least alluring feature.

After a twenty minute walk, Algie strolled up the entry that lay between Eli Meese’s drapery shop and his neighbour, and tapped on the door. Priscilla, Harriet’s older sister, a school teacher who was manifestly destined for eternal spinsterdom, answered it. Facially, she was unfortunate enough to resemble Harriet but, even more regrettably, not in figure. Her crooked lips stretched into a thin smile, yet her eyes, the most attractive feature in her face, creased into a welcoming warmth as she led him into the parlour.

You can buy A Country Girl from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Adele Parks Reveals New Book – The Image Of You

The Image Of YouExciting news as Adele Parks has already revealed the name and cover to her new book called ‘The Image Of You’.

What the back cover says:

When all you can see is what they want you to see… Can you ever trust someone you meet online?

Anna and Zoe are twins. Identical in appearance, utterly different in personality, they share a bond so close that nothing – or no one – can rip them apart.

Until Anna meets charismatic Nick.
Anna is trusting, romantic and hopeful; she thinks Nick is perfect.

Zoe is daring, dangerous and extreme; she thinks Nick is a liar.

Zoe has seen Anna betrayed by men before. She’ll stop at nothing to discover if Nick is as good as he seems.

The problem is, lies may hurt. But honesty can kill.

I absolutely adored Adele’s previous book, ‘The Stranger In My Home’ so I can’t wait to read this one!

You can pre-order The Image of You from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops.

Final Girls By Riley Sager

Final Girls‘Final Girls’ is Riley Sager’s debut novel.

They were the victims of separate massacres. Grouped together by the press, and dubbed the Final Girls, they are treated like something fresh out of a slasher movie.

When something terrible happens to Lisa, put-together Quincy and volatile Sam finally meet. Each one influences the other. Each one has dark secrets. And after the bloodstained fingers of the past reach into the present, each one will never be the same.

I first became aware of ‘Final Girls’ when I spotted it on social media, it was everywhere and with Stephen King singing the book’s praises, I was curious to see if the book was worthy of all its hype.

The story is primarily seen through the narrative of Quincy Carpenter. A happy go lucky baker in a settled relationship but with a very dark and troubled past. Many years ago, when she was at university, Quincy was the last survivor of a massacre when all her friends were killed. Quincy then became known as one of the Final Girls. Her and two other girls were the sole survivors in massacres, but then one of the girls apparently kills herself and the other one turns up at the Quincy’s house, forcing Quincy to face up to the life and the past that she had hidden very deeply.

The story is written in two tenses, past and present as both Quincy faces up to the ghosts that changed her life dramatically and the present time, where for the second time in her life, she has become the focus of the American press.

As she tries to move forward with her life, there are constant reminders particularly when Sam, the other Final Girl wants to know very single detail of that fateful night, so much so that Quincy begins to doubt her memories of the nights’ events.

Around her, Quincy has a strong network of support from her boyfriend Jeff and Cooper, the policeman who rescued her that night and has become one of her closest friends during the tough times.

I spent an afternoon reading this book and was unable to put it down. Quincy is a great character, for everything that she has been through, she’s remarkably strong and quick-witted, but as the story progresses and she delves deeper into her memories, things are different and this makes her doubt the pattern of events.

Fast paced and with the inclusion of the past events, which sets the scene and atmosphere of the story tremendously. ‘Final Girls’ is a dark and gruesome tale. A cleverly written psychological thriller which is riddled with suspense from the first page, this book is a must read.

You can buy Final Girls from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.