Broken River

Broken River

A modest house in upstate New York. One in the morning. Three people—a couple and their child—hurry out the door, but it’s too late for them. As the virtuosic and terrifying opening scene of Broken River unfolds, a spectral presence seems to be watching with cold and mysterious interest. Soon the house lies abandoned, and years later a new family moves in.

Karl, Eleanor, and their daughter, Irina, arrive from New York City in the wake of Karl’s infidelity to start anew. Karl tries to stabilize his flailing art career. Eleanor, a successful commercial novelist, eagerly pivots in a new creative direction. Meanwhile, twelve-year-old Irina becomes obsessed with the brutal murders that occurred in the house years earlier. And, secretly, so does her mother. As the ensemble cast grows to include Louis, a hapless salesman in a carpet warehouse who is haunted by his past, and Sam, a young woman newly reunited with her jailbird brother, the seemingly unrelated crime that opened the story becomes ominously relevant.

Hovering over all this activity looms a gradually awakening narrative consciousness that watches these characters lie to themselves and each other, unleashing forces that none of them could have anticipated and that put them in mortal danger. Broken River is a cinematic, darkly comic, and sui generis psychological thriller that could only have been written by J. Robert Lennon.

My thoughts and review:
Billed as Part Horror, part psychological thriller, I was intrigued to find out what I thought of it. I found myself being slowly but surely being drawn into this, at times,bleak tale.
Having never read anything by J. Robert Lennon before, the thought of a new author and the blurb got the better of my curiosity and I dived in.
The book starts with a couple and their daughter fleeing their home. Why is never fully explained. They are subsequently murdered and their daughter is found later by a neighbour and vanishes from the tale’
The murder is never solved and the locals believe the house cursed.
After years of desolation the house is inhabited again by Karl, Eleanor and their daughter Irina. Leaving New York presumably for a new start
And this is where the real story begins. The story of the supposed curse: but also the story of their lives and others whom the trajectory of their lives bring them into contact with.
It is a story of selfishness and cruelty
Karl is a selfish and immature person. Totally unsuited to be a father and unable to give up his philandering ways.
Elanor also seems trapped in a marriage of convenience and not of love. Though she seems to be trying to make it work.
And Irina the daughter, tired of being the brunt of her parents arguments and the weapon they use against each other: retreats into her own world of the imagination and internet.
There is also an eerie presence known as the Observer.Who or what it is is for each reader to make up their own mind.
Thank to Serpents Tail and Lovereading for the ARC.
The author:
J.  Robert Lennon is the author of a story collection, Pieces For The Left Hand, and seven novels, including MailmanFamiliar, and Happyland. He holds an MFA from the University of Montana, and has published short fiction in The New YorkerHarper’sPlayboyGrantaThe Paris ReviewElectric Literature, and elsewhere. He has been anthologized in Best American Short StoriesBest American Nonrequired Reading, and Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards, and his story “The Rememberer” inspired the CBS detective series Unforgettable. He hosts the podcast Writers at Cornell, and co-hosts another, Lunch Box, with poet Ed Skoog. His book reviews have appeared in The New York Times Book ReviewThe Guardian, and The London Review of Books, and he lives in Ithaca, New York, where he teaches writing at Cornell University.
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Robbing the Dead (Inspector Jim Carruthers, #1)

Robbing the Dead (Inspector Jim Carruthers #1)

In a small Scottish university town, what links a spate of horrible murders, a targeted bomb explosion and a lecturer’s disappearance? Is a terror group involved? If so, who is pulling the strings? And what does something that happened over forty years ago have to do with it?

Having recently returned to Castletown in the hope of winning back his estranged wife, DCI Jim Carruthers finds himself up to his eyes in the investigation.

Struggling with a very different personal problem, DS Andrea Fetcher assists Jim in the hunt for the murderous perpetrators. To prevent further violence they must find the answers quickly. But will Jim’s old adversary, terror expert McGhee, be a help or a hindrance?

The first in a new series featuring DCI Jim Carruthers

My thoughts and review.

Read this book out of sequence as I read the second in the series first. But it was great to make the acquaintance of Jim Carruthers and Andrea Fletcher again. Obviously less fleshed out than they are in the 2nd book. But the reader can see the start of the dynamic between the two and dear I say it, a romantic and physical attraction?
Jim is a forceful character who can and is a bit of a maverick: whilst Andrea is a more calming character; acting as Jim’s conscience and telling him to think before he acts. Mostly to no avail.
This is a fast moving story, written in crisp prose and keeps the reader enthralled throughout.
This book has every thing. Fife, murders, terrorists and did I say Fife.
Though Tana in this first book is just exploring her settings and characters she pulls it off admirably and when you read the second in the series, which you will want to, you will be hooked on these characters.
As I’ve mentioned in a previous review one of my favourite characters is DS, Harris, a dinosaur, who by a freak of evolution has survived into the second decade of the 21st century.
He is a sexist, chauvinist and an unknowing racist.
What really amuses me is he is generally bemused and hurt by the criticism of his colleagues
A book and series I would highly recommend .
A well deserved 5 stars from me.
Well done Tana and Bloodhoundbooks

 

Tana Collins

Tana Collins
 
Tana Collins is bestselling author of the Inspector Jim Carruthers series set in the picturesque East Neuk of Fife. She was born in Yorkshire but grew up in rural East Sussex where she spent most of her childhood running around in woods creating stories and having adventures. She did a BA at the Polytechnic of North London before moving to Canada to do a Masters in Philosophy and finally ended up in St Andrews. In 1996 she moved to Edinburgh which is where she still lives.

Her debut novel, Robbing the Dead, set in fictional Castletown in Fife, was published on 14th February 2017 and became an Amazon No 1 Bestseller for Scottish Crime Fiction. The follow up in the series, Care to Die, was published 1st June 2017.

“A finely plotted mystery. Tana Collins racks up the suspense on this one. DI Jim Carruthers is a cop to watch.” Peter Robinson

‘A police procedural that delights the reader with a strong sense of place. Tartan Noir at its best.’ Sarah Ward, author of In Bitter Chill

‘Skilfully plotted with a cast of convincing characters who have real depth. A superb debut.’ Alison Tailor Baillie, author of Sewing the Shadows

Anglesey Blue by Dylan H Jones (DI Tudor Manx #1) @BloodhoundBook @tudormanx

Brilliant review Sue x

BOOKS FROM DUSK TILL DAWN

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BOOK DESCRIPTION

MURDER. BETRAYAL. REVENGE.

It’s not the homecoming Detective Inspector Tudor Manx was expecting, but solving the case is just the start of his problems.

Recently transferred from the London Met to the North Wales Constabulary, Detective Inspector Tudor Manx has come to Island of Anglesey hoping for a quiet life.

But his hopes are dashed when a brutally mutilated body is found crucified to the bow of a fishing boat sending shockwaves through the peaceful community.

Manx’s faces pressure to solve the case quickly equipped with an inexperienced team.

Is the body a message or a premonition of more murders to come?

Adding to his mounting problems, Manx’s troubled past returns to haunt him. Manx left the island after the disappearance of his younger sister, Miriam; a cold case that still remains unsolved.

Can Manx solve the case before the body count rises?

How will he cope when…

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Care to Die
 Read over 4 days.

Care to Die

Paperback, 286 pages
Published May 30th 2017 by Bloodhound Books
ISBN
1912175282 (ISBN13: 9781912175284)
My thoughts:
I was lucky to receive a copy from the author herself when she gave a reading at Noir at the Bar in Edinburgh. Her enthusiasm for her book shone through in her reading.
Being the 2nd in the series, there is a certain amount of backstory, but the basics of this are explained and so could be read as a standalone.
The two main protagonists are DI Jim Carruthers and DS Andie Fletcher, who find themselves investigating a double murder which also has connections to an historical child abuse case from the 1970’s.
I wish to say less about the investigation, which is thorough and more about Tana’s writing itself.
Her writing is crisp, sparse and with not a wasted word. Not only does she explore the case but also the dynamics between her two main characters, and also the investigating team its self
Carruthers and Fletcher both struggle with the fall out of their respective pasts and also shying away from what the future may hold. Filling their lives with shallow episodes, whilst filling the immediate void does not fill the obvious gaps in their lives.
Jim Carruthers is a well drawn character, dealing with his recent demotion and marriage breakdown. Also the estrangement of his brother.
Also Andie Fletcher is battling bereavement and the breakup of her own relationship.
What they both share is a wallowing in the past, refusal to face the future and losing themselvesi in their police work.
Also another appeal of the book is the subtle sense of humour.
Another character I liked is Harris. The overweight, arrogant and sexist detective.
When asked during the investigation into 1970’s abuse case why no one came forward to report the abuse, his stock answer is, different times.
I get the impression he would have been happier in these different times and seems baffled and unaware he is in the 2nd decade of the new millennium.
Altogether a first class read and a worthy 5 stars.
Well done Bloodhound Books and most of all Tana Collins.
 

About the Author:

Tana Collins

Tana Collins
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Tana Collins is bestselling author of the Inspector Jim Carruthers series set in the picturesque East Neuk of Fife. She was born in Yorkshire but grew up in rural East Sussex where she spent most of her childhood running around in woods creating stories and having adventures. She did a BA at the Polytechnic of North London before moving to Canada to do a Masters in Philosophy and finally ended up in St Andrews. In 1996 she moved to Edinburgh which is where she still lives.

Her debut novel, Robbing the Dead, set in fictional Castletown in Fife, was published on 14th February 2017 and became an Amazon No 1 Bestseller for Scottish Crime Fiction. The follow up in the series, Care to Die, was published 1st June 2017.

“A finely plotted mystery. Tana Collins racks up the suspense on this one. DI Jim Carruthers is a cop to watch.” Peter Robinson

‘A police procedural that delights the reader with a strong sense of place. Tartan Noir at its best.’ Sarah Ward, author of In Bitter Chill

‘Skilfully plotted with a cast of convincing characters who have real depth. A superb debut.’ Alison Tailor Baillie, author of Sewing the Shadows.

 

 

Blue Wicked

Blue Wicked

The tortured corpses of young alcoholics and drug addicts are turning up in Glasgow and only Eddie Henderson seems to know why. When he tries to tell the police, his information is ridiculed and he’s told to stop wasting their time.
One officer, junior detective Catherine Douglas, believes him, and together they set out to discover why the dregs of Glasgow’s underbelly are being found, dead and mutilated.
My thoughts:
This is the 2nd book by Alan that I’ve read. This was a well written book , fast paced and keeps you turning the pages. The short chapters told about a different character  adds to the fast pace of the book.
A word of warning though. If you are of a disposition that cannot stomach descriptions of cruelty to animals, told in a graphic style and also a liberal sprinkling of swear words, then this may not be a book for you.
I personally found it added to the realism of the book and we all know at times life can be cruel.
At the onset of the book we find Eddie a veterinary surgeon investigating a series of animal deaths that involving cruelty and poison.
Later in the narrative Eddie joins forces with Catherine, a young DC. who is investigating a series of murders that bear an eerie resemblance to the animal deaths.
Could they be committed by the same person?
This book was written about  an area I know well. West central Scotland which added to my enjoyment of the book. But equally it could’ve been set in any part of the UK.
If you like your crime gritty,gruesome and fast paced then this could be the book for you. I recommend it. Well done Alan Jones. A worthy five stars.

GET A COPY

 

 

Her Last Secret by Barbara Copperthwaite #BlogTour @Bookouture @BCopperthwait

Ace review Sue x

BOOKS FROM DUSK TILL DAWN

Firstly I wish to thank Noelle Holten of Bookouture for inviting me on the Blog Tour for HER LAST SECRET by Barbara Copperthwaite

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BOOK DESCRIPTION

There are some secrets you can never tell.

The last thing to go through Dominique Thomas’s head was the image of her teenage daughter’s face and her heart lifted. Then the shot rang out.

They were the perfect family. Successful businessman Ben Thomas and his wife Dominique live an enviable life, along with their beautiful children; teenager Ruby and quirky younger daughter, Mouse.

But on Christmas Day the police are called to their London home, only to discover a horrific scene; the entire family lying lifeless, victims of an unknown assailant.

But when Ruby’s diary is discovered, revealing her rage at the world around her, police are forced to look closer to home for the key to this tragedy.

Each family member harboured their own…

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