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The Angel By Katerina Diamond

The Angel’The Angel’ is the latest book by Katerina Diamond.

When a burned body is found in a disused signal box, suspicion falls on lonely teenager Gabriel Webb. There’s no doubt he was at the scene of the crime, but does he really deserve what awaits him in prison? DS Imogen Grey is certain there’s more to the case than meets the eye. But while she struggles to convince those around her of the truth, her partner DS Adrian Miles is distracted by his own demons. When a brutal double murder is reported, their investigation is stopped in its tracks. Is the body in the box even who they thought it was? The duo realise Gabriel might have been locked up for a crime he didn’t commit. But with enemies watching Gabriel’s every move, they may be too late.

I spent my weekend with my head buried in this book, as I do love this detective duo but as much I love Adrian and Imogen I did feel there was a sense of finality to the couple.

In this book, we meet Gabriel, a young man who is in the wrong place at the wrong time when a man is found dead and he’s the prime suspect. Only at 19, he finds himself in prison and fearing for his life when he becomes the unlikely object of a fellow inmate’s attention. But being in prison has hardened Gabriel and he’s not going to let himself be bullied.

On the outside, Adrian and Imogen are investigating the case that Gabriel is arrested for as well as the gruesome murder of an elderly couple which has gone viral. As the pair of them investigate the horrendous case, they find themselves delving into something a lot more deeper, darker and a lot more closer to home than they ever expected. This story investigates the deep and twisted worlds of children’s homes and the detrimental effects these homes can have on people and how they mould people for life.

Grim and gruesome from the very beginning, this book is a gripping story that really pulls the reader in. It’s unsettling in parts and can make for uncomfortable reading as it’s primarily about child abuse. But, for every dark moment in the book, Katerina occasionally adds an element of humour between Adrian and Imogen.

A thrilling rollercoaster of a story that keeps the reader on their toes, ‘The Angel’ is a well paced and twisted story was impossible to put down until I got to the final page.

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

Christmas At Log Fire Cabin Book Tour – Extract

Christmas At Log Fire Cabin I’m kicking off the book tour for Catherine Ferguson’s new book ‘Christmas At The Log Fire Cabin’. Sit back and enjoy an extract from this festive story.

When I woke, I knew – even before I drew back the curtains – that it had snowed overnight.

The light was subtly different and there was an eerie, muffled quality to the early-morning sounds out in the village of Angelford, where the shop-owners were gearing up for another chaotic, till-ringing day of pre-Christmas cheer and gift-buying.

I slipped out of bed and crossed to the window. The snow glittered in the weak early-December sunlight, swathed like a smooth layer of white icing over our tiny front garden, making comical bulbous shapes out of the holly bush and the little rickety gate.

Standing there, I thought of that other Christmas long ago, when I was twelve. Our mad snowball fight. How I’d battled to keep the snowballs coming to defend myself, hurling them too soon in my excitement so that they ended up as little more than puffs of snow rising up into the air. I remember squealing with laughter as icy water leaked down the back of my coat, my hands numb and raw with the cold because, despite Mum’s best efforts, I wouldn’t wear my gloves.

The snow always brought the memories of that time flooding back.

Not that I ever forgot.

I’d tried to wipe it from my mind. Pretend it didn’t matter. But meeting my real dad when I was twelve, only for him to turn his back on me, wasn’t exactly the sort of thing you could blot out at will.

I’d spent four days with him that Christmas. Days that were full of kindness and laughter and learning all about exotic Italy, the place where he was born. And how to make the perfect snowball.

Alessandro Bianchi made me feel that I was worth knowing. He’d listened intently to the things I told him about my life and laughed at my jokes, such a stark contrast to the way my bullying stepfather, Martin, made me feel. Although it had happened years ago – I was thirty now, all grown up – I could still recall that breathless sense of wonder when Mum told me Alessandro was my real dad.

I’d had a sense that I was on the brink of something really special; that a whole new life was opening up for me …

How wrong I’d been.

My insides clenched and I turned away from the snowy scene.

It never did me any good to think about the time my real dad came to visit; to linger on those few days I spent with him, as Mum stood by, wary and watching, like a hen protecting her chick.

In my hopeful childhood innocence, I’d assumed it would be the start of something real and life-changing. But in the end, those few days of Christmas turned out to be sparkling but transitory, like the snow itself. All too soon they had melted away into nothing…

If you enjoyed that, then good news as you can pre-order Christmas at the Log Fire Cabin from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 30th November 2017.

The Angel Book Tour – Extract

The Angel Sit back and enjoy an extract from Katerina Diamond’s latest gruesome tale called ‘The Angel’.

Gabriel Webb was a killer. He didn’t know it yet, but before the day was out he would know what it felt like to take someone’s life. He turned the music up in his bedroom to drown out the sound of his parents arguing about him. Apparently, he was ‘out of control’ and ‘needed to be taken in hand’. His mother had suggested sending him to live with an aunt in Cheltenham. His father had suggested forcing him to join the army, which ‘might show him how good he had it at home’. All this because Gabriel had shoulder-length hair and occasionally wore eyeliner.

He pulled on his red tartan punk trousers and leather New Rock boots, feeding the laces through the chrome shin panels on the front. Searching through his tops, he tried to decide which one to wear today, which one would be best for what they had planned. His phone beeped and he looked at the screen. An array of emojis all signifying excitement from his girlfriend Emma, listed in his phone as Proserpina, Roman Goddess and Queen of the underworld. He was in her phone as Pluto, the God of Death. Embracing darkness was part of the fun of being a goth. Tonight, they were going to see Apocalyptica, a nu-metal band, in a local club, a rare occurrence in Exeter now that the artisan hipster gin bars had all but taken over the city.

Gabriel pulled on his black wet-look cycling top; it hugged his lean muscular frame and he loved the way Emma looked at him when he was in it. He would catch her eyes resting on his chest as she swallowed hard, suppressing whatever desire his body aroused in her until they were alone. He grabbed the black buckled leather cincher out of his wardrobe and put it on, despite his parents’ voices echoing in his head. A man in a corset? Ridiculous. It wasn’t like it pulled his waist in or anything, it was just a fashion statement – not a nod to his sexuality. He couldn’t worry about what his parents thought though. His clothes were an expression of himself, for himself. It wasn’t about shocking anyone or even about rebelling. It was about feeling good in his skin, and this outfit made Gabriel feel good. He wrapped black electrical tape around his wrists and hands, then picked up the black eyeliner and drew a star on his left cheek. He was ready.

On entering the kitchen, his mother took a deep breath and turned her attention to the kitchen sink. Avoiding being a part of the conversation that was about to happen.

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

99 Red Balloons By Elisabeth Carpenter

99 Red Balloons’99 Red Balloons’ is the first book by Elisabeth Carpenter.

When eight-year-old Grace goes missing from a sweetshop on the way home from school, her mother Emma is plunged into a nightmare. Her family rallies around, but as the police hunt begins, cracks begin to emerge. What are the secret emails sent between Emma’s husband and her sister? Why does her mother take so long to join the search? And is Emma really as innocent as she seems? Meanwhile, ageing widow Maggie Taylor sees Grace’s picture in the newspaper. It’s a photograph that jolts her from the pain of her existence into a spiralling obsession with another girl – the first girl who disappeared.

’99 Red Balloons’ is Elisabeth’s debut novel and it was a book that consumed my attention one afternoon.

The story is about every parents nightmare, when their child is suddenly snatched from their lives, never to be returned and the parents are then to spend the rest of their days, wondering and hoping that their child will return to their lives, safe and sound.

Right from the start in this atmospheric book, we are drawn into the innocent world of a little girl, when a strange man approaches her. She is puzzled and scared of this man and has always been warned against strangers. But once he assures her that he’s acting on behalf of her mother, she trusts and warms to this stranger, who she naively thinks that her safety is his only concern.

The story flows between three main characters, the little girl who has been kidnapped. Stephanie, who’s little niece Grace is taken one day and follows her as the family deal with being the subject of the police’s investigation as well as they count every passing minute as they fear that Grace maybe in danger. The story also follows an older woman called Maggie, who’s granddaughter disappeared over twenty years ago, which resulted in her own daughter, Sarah taking her life. Maggie is convinced that the recent kidnapping has a lot of similarities with Zoe’s disappearance and we see this elderly woman become obsessed with the case and begin her own investigation.

The story is really cleverly and realistically written, that it feels like your own child has been taken, as the plot really explores the emotions of the nightmare and tensions that it can have on a family. The story flows quickly between the characters, each chapter flowing seamlessly into each one and leaves the reader gasping at each turn.

The inclusion of Maggie’s perspective was also really smart. The story is primarily seen through the eyes of younger characters, so Maggie’s narrative was interesting. She’s old, frail and has nearly given up on life but the recent disappearance has given her a new sense, driving her on to finally put her own ghosts to rest. There was also a deep sense of poignancy in the chapters with the child, as before your eyes, you see the child stripped of their innocence and having to face the harsh reality ahead.

Riddled with suspense, dodgy characters and situations that makes everyone a suspect, this book was impossible to put down.

If you’re looking for an atmospheric and intelligent thriller that pulls you centre stage into every parents nightmare when a child goes missing, then ’99 Red Balloons’ is a must read for you.

You can buy 99 Red Balloons from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Angela Clarke Writers Tips

Angela ClarkeAuthor of ‘Trust Me’, Angela Clarke shares her writing tips for aspiring authors.

Make sure that you have a strong hooky plot that can be condensed (and sold) on one or two snappy sentences. If those sentences reel people in and make them want to hear more, you know you’ve got a strong idea.