Geraldine by John Mead # Blog Tour Rachel’sRandomResources.


Hatred is such a nasty thing – we all deplore it in others but do not necessarily recognise it in ourselves. At what point does resentment, jealousy, betrayal or humiliation turn into anger and then grow to an all consuming hatred? Hatred can be slow, taking years to fester, or can explode in seconds – it can linger for a lifetime or wither in seconds of its conception.

Inspector Matthew Merry and Sergeant Julie Lukula have to deal with the consequences of violence and murder on a daily basis and in the case of Gerry Driver they both see that hatred is the prime motive. But is it, as Julie thinks, one of a series of hate crimes that has led to this killing? Or, is Matthew right in saying, ‘Driver’s death is undoubtedly a hate filled crime but I’m just not convinced that there are sufficient links to suggest it is part of a pattern of hate crimes.’

Only time and their investigation, which takes as many twists and turns as the Thames does along it course through London and past Wapping Old Stairs, will tell.

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‘She was obviously attractive when alive,’ Matthew noted out loud. Her shoulder length, light brown hair was still wet and clung to the woman’s face, exaggerating the finely drawn cheeks and chin. Her thin lips were pulled back slightly, showing a glint of evenly spaced teeth in the residual of a smile. Not a beautiful face, he thought, but a pleasant one denoting a strong character. The body was slim, narrow hips, with long legs. Her breasts where fulsome and still filled her bodice making him wonder if they had been cosmetically enlarged, as the silicon would preserve their shape even while she was supine. Only her feet were overly large for her size and, without shoes, looked out of place. Her whole, otherwise elegant, appearance in a smart blue, knee length dress was marred by bruising around her neck, the signs of strangulation in her face and the greyish blue colouring of her glistening, wet skin.


The inspector recalled studying Geraldine’s face at close quarters and, even after she’d been dead a few hours, there had been no sign of Gerry to give the game away. Such was the persuasiveness of Gerry’s impersonation that he had tricked death into accepting him as Gerald

My Thoughts and Review:

This is my second read by John. I enjoyed this as much as The Fourth Victim.

A woman’s body is dragged from the Thames and Inspector Matthew Merry is called to the scene and what seems to be the body of an attractive young woman is later discovered to be the body of a female impersonator named Geraldine.

As Matthew and his Sergeant Julie Lukula dive deeper into the investigation, they both form different ideas about the motive behind the crime. But one thing they agree on is hatred is the driving force in this crime.

This is a book that takes the reader into the seedier parts of the entertainment business and also the dark places of the City of London itself!

Whilst Merry is investigating the crime he finds himself playing office politics and being accused of sexual harassment and molestation.   A charge that sees him being relieved of being in charge of the investigation.  Julie meanwhile, having just passed her Inspector’s exam, takes over as chief investigating officer.

Matthew is left wondering what his future is if the charge is found to be true?

A very well written book, which shows the reader that nothing is black or white, but more a murky shade of grey. The characters of Merry and Lukula are particularly well drawn. At first polar opposites, have more in common than they like to admit. Julie is the perfect foil for Merry’s curmudgeon character.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and all opinions are my own.

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Author Bio –

John was born in the mid-fifties in East London, on part of the largest council estate ever built, and was the first pupil from his local secondary modern school to attend university. He has now taken early retirement to write, having spent the first part of his life working in education and the public sector. He was the director of a college, a senior school inspector for a local authority, and was head of a unit for young people with physical and mental health needs.

He has travelled extensively, from America to Tibet, and he enjoys visiting the theatre, reading and going to the pub. It is, perhaps, no surprise that he is an avid ‘people watcher’ and loves to find out about people, their lives, culture and history. When he is not travelling, going to the theatre or the pub; he writes.

Many of the occurrences recounted and the characters found in his novels are based on real incidents and people he has come across. Although he has allowed himself a wide degree of poetic licence in writing about the main characters, their motivations and the killings that are depicted.

John is currently working on a series of novels set in modern day London. These police procedurals examine the darker side of modern life in the East End of the city.

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Deadly Harm by Owen Mullen #Review# ARC#Bloodhoundbooks#Cime fiction.



It’s been five years since Mackenzie Darroch was abducted and held captive in a derelict house.

She thought she’d found her way out of the darkness. She was wrong.

When she witnesses a car crash and saves the driver’s life, it sets in motion a chain of events that will alter both their futures.

The two women get involved in a high profile police case and draw the attention of a ruthless reporter. Gina Calvi is convinced Mackenzie is not what she appears and is prepared to do anything to prove it.

Meanwhile, across the city, Kirsty McBride, a young single mother, is persuaded to leave a violent relationship. Her partner, Malkie Boyle a Glasgow hardman, is due to be released from prison. Once back on the street and bent on revenge, Boyle is determined to find the people responsible for stealing his family from him.

Can Mackenzie save them or will Boyle get his revenge?





I was sent this ARC by the author himself. So thanks Owen for the chance to read it. The heroine of the book is Mackenzie Darroch, 5 years on from her kidnapping. She has found herself the caretaker of a home which is a refuge for victims of domestic violence.

She saves a woman from a car crash and takes her to her refuge. She thinks that will be the end of the matter, but she is wrong. The two women find themselves embroiled in a high profile case.

The women are also drawn into contact with a ruthless journalist Gina Calvi who will stop at any means to get her story.

Enough of the story and more of Owen’s  writing and his characters. All are well drawn and the recurring characters like Mackenzie have all grown in stature.

Also there’re cameos by people from earlier series by Owen. Such as PI Charlie Cameron. But the biggest character is the setting of the book. The Lennoxtown area where the refuge is set.


He has also opened up moral questions as to whether everything is black or white, or shades of grey. Would Mackenzie or any other resort to means that are not entirely legal. How far would you go to protect the people close to you. Also if were an upholder of the law; would you keep to the straight and narrow? Or would your human emotions get the better of you?

Owen has set up a tale where the violence has not made the women weaker but rather the opposite, they are stronger

If you have read the first book in this series you relish this like a favourite meal. If you are not aware of Owen’s writing I would you to read his books because you are missing a treat! All the stars from me!




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Bestselling author Owen Mullen is a McIlvanney Crime Book Of The Year long-listed novelist.
Owen graduated from Strathclyde University, moved to London and worked as a rock musician, session singer and songwriter,. He had a hit record in Japan with a band he refuses to name; He still loves to perform on occasion. His passion for travel has taken him on many adventures from the Amazon and Africa to the colourful continent of India and Nepal. A gregarious recluse, he and his wife, Christine, split their time between Glasgow, and their home in the Greek Islands where Owen writes.


Carved In Bone by Michael Nava# Blog Tour# Rachel’sRandomThings#


About the Book;

Carved in Bone
A new mystery by six-time Lambda Literary award winner, Michael Nava. Set in San Francisco in 1984, Henry Rios, a gay criminal defense lawyer, is fresh out of rehab and trying to put his life back together. He’s hired by an insurance company to investigate the apparently accidental death by carbon monoxide poisoning of Bill Ryan in the Castro Street apartment he shared with his lover, who survived. As he delves into Bill Ryan’s life, Rios becomes convinced Ryan’s death was no accident, and that his young lover is implicated. Meanwhile, the tsunami of AIDS is bearing down on San Francisco’s gay community.
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My Thoughts and Review: 

This was a first for me. My first read by this author and my first read of gay fiction.

This was a superb story on multiple fronts. A superb mystery and a documentary on  the aids epidemic  of the 1980’s.

A richly constructed read that is told in two timelines. The story of Bill a gay teenager who finds himself in the gay scene of San Francisco after he is disowned by his family for being gay.

Also Henry Rios, a gay  insurance investigator,  who fresh out of rehab  finds himself investigating Bill’s death and the claims on his life insurance policy. Henry finds himself questioning the  circumstances of his death. And the deeper the investigation goes the more suspicious Henry becomes.  That is the mystery.

The side of the book that appeals to me was Michael’s superb writing and storytelling. Also his superb documentation of the aforementioned Aids epidemic that swept the gay community in the 1980’s.  A community that not only finds itself shunned by the hetrosexual world, Persecuted by the media of the time.

This book is not only a superb story but also gives the reader a bit of historical context of the human story behind the sensational headlines. This book was a revelation and an education. Thanks Michael.

Carved In BoneMichael Nava

Author Bio – Michael Nava is the six-time Lambda Literary Award author of the Henry Rios novels and recipient of the Bill Whitehead Award for Lifetime Achievement in LGBTQ Literature. The New York Times praised him as “one of our best” crime fiction writers. The New Yorker called Henry Rios “a detective unlike any other previous protagonist in American noir.” Carved In Bone is the first Henry Rios novel in 20 years. Says novelist David Ebershoff (The Danish Girl) Carved In Bone is “rich, haunting and deeply engaged with the world.”
Social Media Links – Twitter @micnavawriter
Instagram: @micnavawriter
Podcast: The Henry Rios Mysteries Podcast (I-tune, Spotify, etc.)

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