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Written In Blood By Chris Carter

Written In BloodOn the book tour for ‘Written In Blood’ by Chris Carter, which is the latest book in his Robert Hunter series, I’ve one hard backed copy to give away to one lucky fan.

A serial killer will stop at nothing…

The Killer
His most valuable possession has been stolen.
Now he must retrieve it, at any cost.

The Girl
Angela Wood wanted to teach the man a lesson. It was a bag, just like all the others.
But when she opens it, the worst nightmare of her life begins.

The Detective
A journal ends up at Robert Hunter’s desk. It soon becomes clear that there is a serial killer on the loose. And if he can’t stop him in time, more people will die.

If you have read it
You must die

To be in with a chance of winning a copy of the book, simply answer the following question by leaving your answer in the comment box below.

What is the name of the book series that ‘Written In Blood’ is part off?

Winner will be revealed on Monday 10th August. Good luck!

You can buy ‘Written In Blood’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Family Business Book Tour – Extract

Family BusinessSit back and enjoy an extract from the latest book by Mark Eklid, called ‘Family Business’.

They were probably dead. I knew that as soon as I arrived at the scene. You develop an instinct when you’ve been doing this for as long as I have.

The call from Control said there were reports of fatalities and, naturally, you suspect the worst when you hear those words but as soon as you respond to say you’re on your way you’re already thinking about the best route to get you there as quickly as you can. The sooner you can get there, the better. You never just assume the worst. You should never assume anything in this job because it’s rarely straightforward and often surprises you – sometimes in a good way.

I reckoned I was only about five minutes away when the call came through that night and, because it was so late, there was hardly any traffic around, so I got there no problem. I was the first on the scene.

I started to slow down when I saw the hazard lights of a car parked on the left of the road. There was nobody else around, so I reckoned these had to be the people who had called the accident through. It was the end of a fairly long straight stretch at that point, just before the road turned to the right, and there was no street lighting, so you could see the intermittent blinks of amber light for quite a while in the full beam. I killed the sirens and slowed down.

It’s a bit of a relief, actually, when you see that the witnesses have stayed and waited for you to get there because they don’t always. Sometimes they’ll drive off when they see the police car arriving. Maybe they think they’ve done their bit or maybe there’s a reason why they don’t want to talk to the police at that time, I don’t know, but you have to make sure you get a clear look at them on the camera as you drive up, just in case, so that you’ve recorded their number plate. This time they stayed, which is good. It means you can get a statement from them without having to go through the hassle of having to track them down later.

I pulled up a bit of a way behind the car because I could see in my headlights a gap in the hedge to my left and the steam rising from another vehicle where it had come to a very sudden halt against a very large tree. The other car was a bit further down the road. I positioned my car on an angle, pointing towards the crash scene so that it was illuminated by my headlights, and left the blues going. If anyone was to come down the road from either direction, you want them to see there had been an incident and, hopefully, they work out that they’re not meant to try to continue along the road. You can set up proper road blocks when other units arrive, but you have to do all you can as soon as you get there because it’s important to preserve the scene for the Serious Collision Investigation team to do their jobs properly.

You can buy ‘Family Business’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Finders Keepers By Sabine Durrant

Finders Keepers‘Finders Keepers’ is the latest book by Sabine Durrant.

Ailsa Tilson moves with her husband and children to Trinity Fields in search of the new. New project – a house to renovate. New people – no links to the past. New friends – especially her next-door neighbour, the lonely Verity, who needs her help. Verity has lived in Trinity Fields all her life. She’s always resisted change. Her home and belongings are a shield, a defence to keep the outside world at bay. But something about the Tilsons piques her interest. Just as her ivy creeps through the shared garden fence, so Verity will work her way into the Tilson family.

Finders Keepers is an intense and claustrophobic story about revenge and obsession.

The story is written primarily through the narrative of Verity and in the past and present.

The story begins with Verity caring for Ailsa You’re aware that something has happened, a tragedy but it’s only as the story flows back and forth that you realise that Alisa has been charged with the murder of her husband. Verity is now her carer and Ailsa doesn’t remember much. In the past sequences, we see the sophisticated Alisa and her husband Tom move in beside Verity with their 3 children and Verity and Ailsa become close friends. But Verity doesn’t think that their marriage is as perfect as they make out, as she’s heard the shouting and seen the tense exchanges between the family members.

The story is an observational story. Verity lives alone with her dog and has a lot of time on her hands, so when Ailsa befriends her she jumps at the chance. It’s sad in some senses as Verity is a lonely person and Ailsa cunningly uses this to her advantage getting Verity to babysit or tutor knowing that she won’t say no.

The flow of the story is cleverly written and really pulls the reader in as the two women become firm friends and confide in each other about their past and present. The different tenses really set the tone of the story on the lead up to the murder as well as the developing friendship.

With an intriguing and flawed narrator and a host of interesting characters, ‘Finders Keepers’ is the ideal psychological thriller that made for compulsive reading.

You can buy ‘Finders Keepers’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

If I Had Your Face By Frances Cha

If I Had Your Face‘If I Had Your Face’ is the debut book by Frances Cha.

Navigating this hyper-competitive city are four young women balancing on the razor-edge of survival: Kyuri, an exquisitely beautiful woman whose hard-won status at an exclusive ‘room salon’ is threatened by an impulsive mistake with a client; her flatmate Miho, an orphan who wins a scholarship to a prestigious art school in New York, where her life becomes tragically enmeshed with the super-wealthy offspring of the Korean elite; Wonna, their neighbour, pregnant with a child that she and her husband have no idea how they will afford to raise in a fiercely competitive economy; and Ara, a hair stylist living down the hall, whose infatuation with a fresh-faced K-Pop star drives her to violent extremes.

Over the last while, I’ve developed a bit of an interest in the Korean culture, particularly the K Pop genre and the obsession with achieving perfection physically. So, when I was offered the chance to read a book about Korea and the culture, I jumped at the opportunity.

The story is seen through the narrative of 4 women who all live in the same building. 3 of them are friends, Ara, Kyuri and Miho are friends whilst Wonna lives in the apartment below them.

Ara is a mute hair stylist, who lost her hearing in an attack, Kyuri is a room salon girl who entertains men at bars, pouring drinks and making them feel welcome as well as other job requirements, Miho is an aspiring artist who’s returned from studying in America with her boyfriend and Wonna is a terrified first time mother.

The story flows between the friendships and the neighbour, seamlessly going from each narrative only to come together neatly in the end.

The story is beautifully written with vivid descriptions of the town, the fashion and women themselves, Frances has a stunning flow with her writing that conjures up imagery with her descriptions.

The characters are wonderful to read and all flawed in their own way but all striving for perfection. Although Ara is unable to speak, she is one of the most sought after stylists. Although she appears meek, she is quick to write down her viewpoint. Kyuri is stunning, having created the perfect version of herself, she wishes for love, but sadly it is unrequited. Miho has used the death of her friend to make her art, she’s a bohemian character with a free whilst Wonna comes across as quite an unlikeable character who’s cold towards her husband, but she’s terrified of losing her baby and puts all her emotions into the baby.

I loved this story, from the vivid imagery, the characters and the dialogue, I was enthralled by it all. It was fascinating to read the extent of which women will go to achieve perfection, from the surgeries to the changing colour of the skin. It was also equally sad to read how much pressure they were under in their physical appearance as well as the traditional pressure of settling down and becoming a wife and mother.

With a cover that is my favourite of 2020, ‘If I Had Your Face’ is an unique tale. Observational and insightful, this book is a compelling debut that is culturally fascinating to read.

You can buy ‘If I Had Your Face’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

The Women Who Ran Away By Sheila O’Flanagan

The Women Who Ran Away ‘The Women Who Ran Away’ is the latest book by Sheila O’Flanagan and is currently number one in the book charts in Ireland.

Deira isn’t the kind of woman to steal a car. Or drive to France alone with no plan. But then, Deira didn’t expect to be single. Or to suddenly realise that the only way she can get the one thing she wants most is to start breaking every rule she lives by. Grace has been sent on a journey by her late husband, Ken. She doesn’t really want to be on it but she’s following his instructions, as always. She can only hope that the trip will help her to forgive him. And then – finally – she’ll be able to let him go. Brought together by unexpected circumstances, Grace and Deira find that it’s easier to share secrets with a stranger, especially in the shimmering sunny countryside of Spain and France. But they soon find that there’s no escaping the truth, whether you’re running away from it or racing towards it.

This book is currently number one in Ireland and having spent my Saturday reading it, I can understand why.

The story is seen through the perspective of 2 Irish women called Grace and Diera who are travelling around France and Spain on 2 separate adventures. But a chance encounter brings them together and they end up on an adventure.

After her husband died Ken died, he tasked Grace with a treasure hunt. Leaving her children behind, she packs up the car and is determined to solve all the clues. Diera has stolen her partner’s Audi and taken the holiday that was intended for them. After staying in the same hotel, the 2 women become firm friends and Diera ends helping Grace with the hunt.

I really enjoyed this story, the 2 women are really interesting and found their new friendship lovely to read. As they both accompanied each other on this momentous time in each other’s lives and were there to support each other.

The women are interesting characters both with complex situations. Grace is an interesting woman, having been married for 40 years and living in her husband’s shadow. Ken was a traditional man who preferred Grace to be at home and not working. I didn’t particularly like Ken, he used his intelligence to undermine Grace and was quite sexist in his viewpoint. Whilst Deira, is trying to deal with a breakup and has gone on the holiday to clear her head. For me, I felt such a sympathy for her, having invested so many years of her life only for it to thrown back in her face. I didn’t like how people treated her, particularly her older sister, who constantly frowned at Deira with her decisions and life.

Like Sheila’s previous books, this focuses on relationships, not only romantic but also friendships. It was lovely to join the women on the adventure as they get to know each and confide in each other. They helped build each other’s confidence and find strength the hard times. The story is thoroughly researched and especially during these times of a pandemic, the vivid descriptions of the scenery, the locations and the food was a welcome distraction.

Beautifully written, injected with warmth, Irish charm and humour, ‘The Women Who Ran Away’ is a smart and life affirming story about new friendships, adventures and there’s no age limit to starting over.

You can buy ‘The Women Who Ran Away’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.