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From The Ashes By Deborah Masson

From The Ashes‘From The Ashes’ is the third book in the ‘DI Eve Hunter’ series by Deborah Masson.

In the dead of night someone starts a fire in a home for underprivileged children in Aberdeen. The flames spread quickly, and one person doesn’t make it out alive. But the victim wasn’t found in their bedroom; they were discovered locked inside a secret basement underground. As DI Eve Hunter and her team search the blackened ruins, the case takes them into even darker territory. Soon Eve unearths a horrific discovery at the heart of the property – one that turns the whole investigation on its head. Everyone in this home has something to hide, but who has a secret worth killing for?

Although this book is the third book in a series, it’s actually the first one that I’ve read and if you’re a fan of police procedural books then the ‘DI Eve Hunter’ series is for you.

The story is about a fire that takes place at a children’s home and one little boy tragically dies. Whilst investigating this case, DI Eve Hunter’s partner DI Scott Ferguson sees an accident with a homeless teenage boy that’s left him in a coma and is determined to find out his identity.

This story is a terribly sad one, about a place where children are offered sanctuary and a second chance only for it to be cruelly taken away. And as DI Hunter delves into the dark and grisly history of the home, they discover murky secrets that were never wanted to be found. As well as the current investigation around the fire, the accident, there is also the inclusion of a back story about previous residents in the home and this is quite interesting reading as it’s seen from the perspective of an unknown person.

Set against the bleak and poverty stricken backdrop of Scotland, Deborah has written a taunt, police procedural novel that really tugs on the reader’s heartstrings, the death of a child, children without a home and this cleverly crafted plot line makes for gripping reading with regular twists along the way that hooks your attention.

Packed with tension, suspense and an underlying sadness throughout, ‘From The Ashes’ is a pacy thriller and great introduction to a new crime series.

You can buy ‘From The Ashes’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Listen To Me By Tess Gerritsen

Listen To Me‘Listen To Me’ is the 13th book in the ‘Rizzoli & Isles’ crime series by Tess Gerritsen.

The murder of Sofia Suarez is both gruesome and seemingly senseless. Why would anyone target a respected nurse who was well-liked by her friends and her neighbours? As Detective Jane Rizzoli and Forensic Pathologist Maura Isles investigate the baffling case, they discover that Sofia was guarding a dangerous secret — a secret that may have led the killer straight to her door. Meanwhile, Jane’s watchful mother Angela Rizzoli is conducting an investigation of her own. She may be a grandmother, not a police detective, but she’s savvy enough to know there’s something very strange, perhaps even dangerous, about the new neighbours across the street. The problem is, no one believes her, not even her own daughter. Immersed in the hunt for Sofia’s killer, Jane and Maura are too busy to pay attention to Angela’s fears. With no one listening to her, and danger mounting in her neighbourhood, Angela just may be forced to take action on her own.

Tess is back with a new thriller and it’s the latest in her Rizzoli and Isles series, a detective and pathologist.

The story weaves between Detective Jane Rizzoli and her inquisitive mother. Jane’s latest job is the find the killer behind an ICU nurse, a seemingly quiet and friendly woman who met a horrendous whilst dealing with her mother’s paranoia over her less than warm new neighbours. There’s also inclusion from Maura Isles, the talented pathologist and Jane’s friends.

Tess is still a relatively author for me, I’ve not read many of her books but each time I do, I’m always determined to read more and ‘Listen To Me’ had exactly the same effect.

Set against the cold winter in Boston, this detective thriller flowed at a fast pace that held my attention throughout. I really liked Jane, a thorough detective in a predominantly male environment, she’s conscious and quietly watches the world around her. Unlike her mother Angela, a key figure in the neighbourhood where little gets past her and when her new neighbours keep to themselves, this makes her determined to find out just what they’re up to.

Packed with police procedures, gritty crime and a dark history that’s never been laid to rest, ‘Listen To Me’ is a perfect crime to get absorbed in. With suspicious characters and twists a plenty, this fast paced thriller is a must read!

You can ‘Listen To Me’ from Amazon and other good bookshops.

WAKE By Shelley Burr

WAKE‘WAKE’ is the debut novel by Shelley Burr.

Mina McCreery’s sister Evelyn disappeared nineteen years ago. Her life has been defined by the intense public interest in the case. Now an anxious and reclusive adult, she lives alone on her family’s destocked sheep farm. When Lane, a private investigator, approaches her with an offer to reinvestigate the case, she rejects him. The attention has had nothing but negative consequences for her and her family, and never brought them closer to an answer. Lane wins her trust when his unconventional methods show promise, but he has his own motivations for wanting to solve the case, and his obsession with the answer will ultimately risk both their lives.

This debut is an absolute cracker of a story. Set in the rural outback of Australia. Lane Holland is a private investigator and is looking into the disappearance of Evie McCreery who disappeared over 20 years without a trace.

The story is seen through the narrative of Mina, the twin sister of Evie who’s had to live with people assuming she was behind her disappearance whilst Lane, is determined to get the reward for solving the disappearance and provide a better life for his little sister.

I loved this story, it’s dark, atmospheric and riddled with tension. A case of whodunnit set in the outback, everyone has a theory, whether that’s the people of the small town or online.

I loved the characters particularly Lane and found myself racing through the book to find out more about his background and the motivation into Evie’s disappearance. Mina was a sympathetic character who’s life never moved on since Evie disappeared and has lived in her shadow ever since.

This book was CWA Debut Winner in 2019 and it’s thoroughly well deserved with the taunt writing, a well crafted storyline along with a wealth of suspicious characters that filled me with unease and doubt.

Gripping from the first page and filled with shocks throughout. Written with skill and compassion, ‘Wake’ delves into the terrible tragedy of a child’s disappearance and when privates lives become public property.

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

The Last To Disappear By Jo Spain

The Last To Disappear‘The Last To Disappear’ is the latest book by Jo Spain.

When young London professional Alex Evans is informed that his sister’s body has been pulled from an icy lake in Northern Lapland, he assumes his irresponsible sister accidentally drowned. He travels to the wealthy winter resort where Vicky worked as a tour-guide and meets Agatha Koskinen, the detective in charge. Agatha is a no-nonsense single mother of three who already thinks there’s more to Vicky’s case than meets the eye. As the two form an unlikely alliance, Alex also begins to suspect the small town where his sister lived and died is harbouring secrets. It’s not long before he learns that three other women have gone missing from the area in the past and that his sister may have left him a message.

The latest book by Jo Spain is a dark and intense story set against the backdrop of the snowy slopes of Koppe, Lapland and this makes for atmospheric and chilling reading.

The story begins with the tragic death of Vicky Evans, a young woman who was found drowned. Detective Agatha Koskinen has been called in to solve the case. When Alex Evans finds out the sudden death of his sister, he lives England and finds himself becoming Agatha’s sidekick as he’s determined to find his sister’s killer. In doing this, Alex has to delve into his sister’s life and learn a side to her that as a brother, he never wanted to know. Whilst Agatha is trying to find Vicky’s killer, there’s still the unsolved disappearances of the three women who disappeared over the years.

The story is written in the past and present tense, the present tense is the investigation of Vicky’s death whilst the past tense is set in 1998, at the time of the first disappearance.

For fans of Nordic-Noir, this book ticks all the boxes. It’s gritty, claustrophobic and filled with suspicious characters. The story is beautifully descriptive from the chilling and eerie landscape that sets the tone perfectly in this thriller. What’s interesting about the story is the location which is Lapland, the homeland connected to Santa Claus and even though it’s described as a winter wonderland, this book is a far from a wonderland!

Agatha is an interesting detective determined to find the killer all whilst dealing with her own personal problems. Alex feels guilty about having an estranged relationship with Vicky and hopes finding the killer and bringing them to justice will ease his conscience.

Intense from the first page and wonderfully atmospheric, Jo has delivered a chilling thriller that made for gripping reading. Packed with drama, twists and turns ‘The Last To Disappear’ made for exciting reading.

You can buy ‘The Last To Disappear’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

The Couple At The Table By Sophie Hannah

The Couple At The Table‘The Couple At The Table’ is the latest book by Sophie Hannah.

You’re on your honeymoon at an exclusive couples-only resort. You receive a note warning you to ‘Beware of the couple at the table nearest to yours’. At dinner that night, five other couples are present, and none of their tables is any nearer or further away than any of the others. It’s as if someone has set the scene in order to make the warning note meaningless – but why would anyone do that? You have no idea. You also don’t know that you’re about to be murdered, or that once you’re dead, all the evidence will suggest that no one there that night could possibly have committed the crime.

It’s been a while since I’ve read a book by Sophie Hannah, so when I got the opportunity to read her latest, I jumped at the chance.

If you’re a fan of Cluedo then settle in, as this book has all the key components of a gripping whodunnit, packed with suspicious characters who all had motives and one huge thing in common – they all despised the victim. Newly wed Jane to William, the ex husband of Lucy who had an affair whilst Lucy was pregnant with their daughter Evin. Lucy is now engaged to the kindhearted Pete and they decided to go away on a weekend, unknown that Jane and William, Lucy will also be staying at Tevendon, couples resort with three other couples. Whilst on this break, Jane manages to annoy everyone and when she receives a note saying “Beware”this gets her back up. So, when she’s found with stabbed in the back, couple Charlie and Simon who were off the beat with their job find themselves consumed with case and trying to find the killer.

This story is written in the past and present tense, the moment leading up to the murder and the couples in the months after as they all try to piece those last moments together knowing that there is a killer amongst them. Lucy who was once friends with Jane when she was her doula, is obsessed with the case and resorts to writing letters to all the visitors of the resorts as if they are the killer, just to get some movement on the case. Her obsession is the main plotline in the story and does make for dark reading as we learn more about the nasty character that Jane was.

Simon the police officer is also consumed with case, much to the pain of his colleagues and spends his day drawing maps and constantly accounting for each moment whilst staying at Tevendon. What’s interesting about the story, is the wide range of characters, who are all flawed in some way and all harbour secrets that they never want expose and this makes the pace of the story increase and the suspects mount up as you’re constantly wondering what if.

An extraordinarily gripping and cleverly crafted book riddled with deceit and uncertainty from the first page, ‘The Couple At The Table’ is a taunt and observational story about complex relationships that had an ending that will blow your mind.

You can buy ‘The Couple At The Table’ on Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.