The Repenting Serpent Blog Tour

Hey all,

I was not lying when I said that this summer was the summer of Blog Tours and so far I’m really enjoying participating in all of them. Today I’m with #BitsaboutBooksBlogTour run by the super kind Caroline!

First off. I’m so glad that she asked me to join in because this is the kind of book that is just straight up my jam.

Okay, now onto the important stuff.

The Repenting Serpent - Wes Markin - book cover

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A DCI Michael Yorke Thriller

A vicious serial killer slithers from the darkness, determined to resurrect the ways of a long-dead civilisation.
When the ex-wife of one of DCI Michael Yorke’s closest allies is left mutilated and murdered, Yorke and his team embark on their greatest test yet. A  deeply personal case that will push them to their very limits.
As Yorke’s team are pulled further into the dark, the killer circles, preparing to strike again.
The Repenting Serpent is a true edge-of-the-seat, nail-biting page turner.

 

The DCI Michael York Thrillers:
#1 One Last Prayer for the Rays – getbook.at/OneLastPrayerRays
#2 The Repenting Serpent – getbook.at/RepentingSerpent

 

My Review

I feel like I’m just fangirling over amazing books lately just flapping around excitedly in my reviews like the crazy inflatable arm man. So. I’m going to try really hard to give you something more than pterodactyl screeches in this review.

This was basically the novel equivalent of Criminal Minds, a really dark and suspenseful police procedural.

[And I am a huge fan of Criminal Minds you know until about season 11]

Markin gives such a delicious read about a series of murders and they all seem to have a very strong connection to something more than just a serial killer getting their fill. This also includes Aztec mythology which is a nice change of pace as we usually hear more about Greek/Roman/Norse mythology in novels these days. [Or at least I do…hopefully it’s not just me lol]

I very much enjoyed seeing how Yorke and his team were piecing together clues and loved the creepy chapters told from the point of the serial killer. I have to say the misdirect worked on me momentarily and to that I tip my imaginary hat to Markin because I really thought I know ‘whodunit.’

Also, Markin is not afraid to do away with characters he’s like the thriller  version G.R.R. Martin, so, you know, try not to get attached, bahaha. I did like that though, it was clear that anyone was capable of dying and the feeling of everyone running out of time had me actually and not just figuratively on the edge of my seat. Martin doesn’t drag on the novel too long and he manages to give a very satisfying story in quite a short period when you realize how much he integrated into the plot and the amount of characters.

So, if you like police procedurals/thrillers, and you want to read an amazing newer series, go grab The Repenting Serpent -or the first one in the series, One Last Prayer for the Rays.- Though this is a series, it’s not necessary to read book 1 to be able to read book 2.

 

About the Author

Wes Markin Author Image

Wes Markin is a hyperactive English teacher, who loves writing crime fiction with a twist of the macabre.
Having finished ‘The Repenting Serpent,’ sequel to ‘One Last Prayer for the Rays,’ he is now working on the third instalment of DCI Michael Yorke’s wild ride. He is also the author of ‘Defined,’ a prequel to his DCI Yorke novels, which takes the reader back to his blood-soaked university days.
Born in 1978, Wes grew up in Manchester, UK. After graduating from Leeds University, he spent fifteen years as a teacher of English, and has taught in Thailand, Malaysia and China. Now as a teacher, writer, husband and father, he is currently living in Harrogate, UK.

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Without A Trace Blog Tour

Without A Trace - Cover
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From the USA Today bestselling author of My Sister Is Missing
Lily’s gone.
Someone took her.
Unless she was she never there…
A little girl has gone missing.
Lily was last seen being tucked into bed by her adoring mother, Nova. But the next morning, the bed is empty except for a creepy toy rabbit.
Has Nova’s abusive ex stolen his “little bunny” back for good?
At first, Officer Ellie James assumes this is a clear custody battle. Until she discovers that there are no pictures of the girl and her drawers are full of unused toys and brand new clothes that have never been worn…

Is Ellie searching for a missing child who doesn’t actually exist?

Book Information
Paperback: 380 pages
Publisher: Killer Reads; Digital original edition (13 Jun. 2019)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0008324514
ISBN-13: 978-0008324513
Amazon (UK)

 

My Review

The synopsis truly had me intrigued from the start with this book and while it could have easily derailed and been made into a more run of the mill read, I actually felt that Lynch had done a more than decent job with how she’d set this up. I’m not saying that some of you might not find this predictable as far as the mystery goes, I didn’t but I wasn’t looking into finding the answer, I was enjoying the moment, but I think this goes beyond the mystery. Our Author brings a spotlight on domestic abuse and she does it in a way that shows just how hard it is to escape it. There are so many times in society that people wonder why others stay in abusive relationships and I think Lynch did a great job showing the struggle for a spouse to leave an abusive partner, especially when there could be children involved. [I’m not telling, remember I try not to give spoilers!]

You’ll want to read this in a sitting, I had to break it up into a couple of train rides but I flew through it. I loved Ellie, and I loved that she was a female police officer who was having to deal with the backlash of a past incident on a case because I feel that the reaction to her from others on the force was so accurate.

This also isn’t just the tale of one domestic situation but a couple of them and how they truly affect everyone in the long run. Being a victim and feeling powerless is unfortunately a feeling that in this case women feel quite a bit but I do have to say I was impressed that Ellie did remember the tables could be flipped, that just as easily a man can be a victim as well and Lynch got a small round of applause from me for that.

The story situations POVs and I like that in mysteries because it gives you more pieces of the puzzle to work with and I really enjoyed the writing style. I’ve had such a good reading week thanks to Anne Cater, and to the authors and publishers who have been kind enough to send copies of their books such as this one. I actually plan on buying a copy or two for family for Christmas on this one! If you like a psychological thriller, and you are intrigued by the look at domestic violence, I hope you find this particular book in your hands.

About the Author

Carissa Ann Lynch - Author pic

Carissa Ann Lynch is the USA Today bestselling author of My Sister is Missing, Flocksdales Files trilogy, Horror High series, Searching for Sullivan, Shades and Shadows, Midnight Moss, This Is Not About Love, 13 anthology, Twisted anthology and Without A Trace.
She resides in Floyds Knobs, Indiana with her family and collection of books. With a background in psychology and corrections, she’s always been a little obsessed with the darker areas of the human mind.

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The Missing Years Blog Tour

 

 

The Missing Years Cover
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She thought she would never go back…
Ailsa Calder has inherited half of a house. The other half belongs to a man who disappeared without a trace twenty-seven years ago. Her father.
Leaving London behind to settle her mother’s estate, Ailsa returns to her childhood home nestled amongst the craggy peaks of the Scottish Highlands, accompanied by the half-sister she’s never taken the time to get to know.
With the past threatening to swallow her whole, she can’t escape the claustrophobic feeling that the house itself is watching her. And when Ailsa confronts the first nighttime intruder, she sees that the manor’s careless rugged beauty could cost her everything…

Book Information
Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Corvus; Main edition (6 Jun. 2019)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1786495570
ISBN-13: 978-1786495570
Amazon

 

My Review

This book was like the perfect read for me given that I was reading this beauty while actually in the Highlands as I was on a little tour with my friend who is visiting. But aside from the context being perfect, The Missing Years is a GREAT mystery thriller. With Ailsa’s father missing, there’s already mystery and intrigue wrapped around our protagonist, but my favorite part about this book was actually the theories that Aisla had between each chapter about what happened to her father. I thought that was just so creative and loved getting to the end of a chapter to see what her next theory was for her father. Was he dead this time, was he hiding in a tropical climate, did he have a new family?

Aisla wears the years of her father’s disappearance internally and even to an extent an outsider as another character or even as us the reader can see how this has left a mark on her. With her mother recently passed and what happened to her Father still unanswered, she’s a woman who has seemed to keep many people at arm’s length, including her half sister Carrie. Trying to redeem that relationship, Aisla asks her sister to join her at the house she’s halfway inherited. The other half still technically belonging to her father.

With a life keeping people at a safe distance, Aisla is temporarily stuck in a small community, one that knows each other and all the goings on, and that includes knowing about her, and her family. People who were friends with them, people that had run-ins for better or worse with them, and Aisla is faced with the fact she can no longer hide.

There was such a great chilling and supernatural undertone to this and this is just another book I could sing praises for repeatedly. I loved the Manse itself and I loved the setting. [I’m not totally biased at all living in Scotland.]

Another aspect that really made this book enjoyable was the reconnecting of Aisla and Carrie, it felt really organic and natural. They have a big age gap, Aisla has been absent, and they don’t immediately become close as ever and I love that they struggled but obviously cared deeply for each other.

Elliott does a good job of keeping you guessing for a good chunk of the book. You may have inklings but you’re just not quite sure for a while and she just makes everything feel so natural as if Aisla is this real person and I find it hard to believe she wasn’t and this is just a story! Elliott also does a good job with giving us some LGBTQIA rep. She also doesn’t tie up everything too neatly at the end though she does give you a satisfying ending which is a huge bonus in this genre.

Overall definitely a 4 star read and one I plan on giving a reread someday!

 

About the Author

Lexie Elliott Author picture

Lexie Elliott has been writing for as long as she can remember, but she began to focus on it more seriously after she lost her banking job in 2009 due to the Global Financial Crisis. After some success in short story competitions, she began planning a novel. With two kids and a (new) job, it took some time for that novel to move from her head to the page, but the result was The French Girl, which will be published by Berkley in February 2018 – available to pre-order on Amazon now!

When she’s not writing, Lexie can be found running, swimming or cycling whilst thinking about writing. In 2007 she swam the English Channel solo. She won’t be doing that again. In 2015 she ran 100km, raising money for Alzheimer Scotland. She won’t be doing that again either. But the odd triathlon or marathon isn’t out of the question.

www.lexieelliott.com
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Random Attachment Review


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GoodReads:

A coming of age, dark, humorous, romantic thriller. A twenty-first century Cinderella. The protagonist, seventeen year old Mia Dent, is overweight, unhappy, dormant at school and a crutch for her alcoholic mother. Together they live on a dangerous West London estate. On route to school one morning Mia spots Flynn Mason; he is the catalyst to change. In Mia’s imagination she constructs a personality and a back story for Flynn. She fantasises about them together. Following a second sighting she begins to purposely seek him out. In the background The Wolf is abducting young women and whilst Mia watches Flynn the watcher becomes the watched. 

For older [YA] readers.

I haven’t read many YA Thrillers and so my knowledge is limited I would say, but, I absolutely adored this one.

Thank you Gertrude T. Kitty for sending me a copy, I’m happy to leave my review after devouring this book.

Because that’s what happens, you devour it.

This is not without its faults but we’ll get to the good stuff first!

[Very Minor Spoiler here and there but doesn’t give too much away as the book does go from present to past so things are revealed but not put together all at once.]

Mia is someone who goes through so much shit, really, she has a horrible home life and her mother is basically evil incarnate. You sympathize SO MUCH for her as you read along and you cheer her onward in her bettering herself, in her mental health and with treating her body as something more than to be ignored.

She goes through weight loss, as she’s realized her attachment to food is unhealthy. [Remember there is absolutely nothing wrong with being overweight, but her relationship with food was using it to ignore other things wrong in her life and Mia deals with that in a better manner, nor does she really starve herself or deny herself foods she likes as she loses the weight, she just finds her appetite has diminished as her focus changes gears.]

Mia ups her game at school realizing her best shot of getting out of this horrible cycle of life with her mom is go off to Uni and be far away.

However, not everything happens according to plan and though Mia perseveres through her troubles, she’s handed more and more as she goes as well. Her father’s health is not the greatest, and she’s developed a new unhealthy obsession. Flynn.

What starts out as an innocent fantasy of romanticizing a stranger turns into something more as she finds herself in such a spiral that she has become a stalker. Her attraction to him borders on unhealthy and any manner of this sort of behavior should never ever be rewarded in real life. However since this is not real life, Mia finds herself interacting with Flynn and it ends up in a restraining order, this is good because it does show there is a consequence to her actions but I do feel that the plot with Flynn is not something I want to encourage as they progress past that.

However, there is something else going on in the streets of London, young girls have gone missing ‘The Wolf’ is at hand and there are already two bodies on his counter. But, who is this man, and what is his connection to Mia, and why is he so fascinated with her?

Can I just say that the parallel between The Wolf and Mia as both people who have stalked is actually super intriguing and Kitty pulls it off really well by showing you how it can be in extremes and that Mia in a way has a connection to The Wolf in that they both have kept an eye on what they want.

I think that Mia and Flynn’s origins of their arc is the only thing I have a really hard time dealing with. I loved them, but I really hated that something came from her stalking. Remember this is a story, in real life guys, this will never happen and it is not something to glorify. This is the only reason I didn’t give it five stars to be fair.

But back to other good things, I loved how Kitty shows the police mishandling so much because of a prejudice against Mia and it shows how it can put so much else at risk. Not to mention I loved how horrible Mia’s mom was, and not because it was ‘juicy’ but because she seems like such a real person, which is horrifying but great because it sucks you more into the story and has you rooting for Mia all the more.

Kitty’s manner of storytelling is wonderful, she has a great way with words and aside from a couple of minor typos the rest of the book was flawless in her style, as far as my tastes go!

If you are okay with things I have mentioned or keep them in mind and are intrigued I highly suggest reading this and I truly, truly hope that we see more thrillers/writing from Gertrude T. Kitty in the near future.

Content Warning: Body image issues, people fat shaming the MC, sexual assault, attempted rape, violence, forcibly restrained/kidnapped characters, mention of others being raped -but not described- and alcohol abuse.

Black Water ARC Review


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GoodReads:
I killed the boy…

Jig loves football and his dog, hates school, misses his granda and knows to lie low when his ma’s blitzed on the vodka and tablets.

He’s just an ordinary boy on the mean streets alongside Dublin’s Grand Canal. Streets that are ruled by Ghost and his crew. And now Ghost- inked, vicious, unprincipled- has a job for Jig.

A job that no one can afford to go wrong- not the gangs, the police, the locals, and least of all not Jig.

First off, thank you to BW Publishing for sending me a copy to read, I’ve been in a thriller mood the past couple of months so this fit right into my ‘mood.’ I’m giving an honest review in exchange for this gifted copy!

I would say comparing it to ‘The Wire set in Dublin’ was a really accurate comparison and if you love shows like ‘Law and Order’ or movies like ‘The Departed’ then you’ll probably really enjoy reading this, I know I did!

The pacing was great the whole way through, nothing was stretched out too long and the chapters were kept short and concise as to allow O’Keeffe to give us the whole picture of what was going on. You get the inside of Gangland feel, a great look at the Garda and those whose lives are affected by the gang violence, whether by contributing to it or being witnesses of information.

Jig was certainly my favorite character, the boy was only a product of his habitat and ‘nurture’ and I really just hated thinking about how many kids may have to deal with situations like that, ones they shouldn’t be in. But I also really liked how O’Keeffe didn’t handle Jig with ‘kid gloves’ as a kid growing up in that situation wouldn’t have many innocent tendencies that others might in other types of homes.

Shay was also a favorite of mine, I loved his story arc most probably.

This wasn’t really a character-driven novel, and that’s great considering the plot of this would have been bogged down otherwise, but, O’Keeffe is impressive and gives you a connection to the characters in a limited amount of time and does it so that it doesn’t feel rushed.

I wasn’t always a fan when the chapters might change part-way in, to another character’s situation but I thought it was done well enough that it didn’t end up bothering me and I got used to it but fair warning it could feel a bit jumpy if you’re not used to that.

The last 100 pages were just hard to put down, I needed to know what was going to happen, I felt like the clock was ticking and I was on the edge of my seat! Who was going to make it, who wasn’t, it was just making me push forward to know all the answers about the endgame.

There is extensive violence, and mention of drugs and alcohol given this is a book quite focused on at least a couple of gang members and so please remember that before jumping into reading this amazing book if this would be an issue.

Definitely 4/5 Cups of Coffee from me and would recommend to any crime or thriller fan! A great debut novel for the genre.

The Favorite Daughter ARC Review


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GoodReads Blurb: 
From the author of the page-turning domestic suspense Best Day Ever, comes another gripping novel of psychological suspense set in an upscale Southern California community, for fans of B.A. Paris and Shari Lapena.

The perfect home. The perfect family. The perfect lie.

Jane Harris lives in a sparkling home in an oceanfront gated community in Orange County. It’s a place that seems too beautiful to be touched by sadness. But exactly one year ago, Jane’s oldest daughter, Mary, died in a tragic accident and Jane has been grief-stricken ever since. Lost in a haze of anti-depressants, she’s barely even left the house. Now that’s all about to change.

It’s time for Jane to reclaim her life and her family. Jane’s husband, David, has planned a memorial service for Mary and three days later, their youngest daughter, Betsy, graduates high school. Yet as Jane reemerges into the world, it’s clear her family has changed without her. Her husband has been working long days—and nights—at the office. Her daughter seems distant, even secretive. And her beloved Mary was always such a good girl—dutiful and loving. But does someone know more about Mary, and about her last day, than they’ve revealed?

The bonds between mothers and daughters, and husbands and wives should never be broken. But you never know how far someone will go to keep a family together…

Thank you SO much to Wunderkind PR for sending me this great book! I’m giving my honest review in exchange for this gifted copy.

First off I want to say that it’s almost hard to put into words just how much I enjoyed this book. It did something that thrillers can’t always do for me since I’ve read so many and that was keep me in suspense and not because it was anything scary but because you just needed to know what was in store for Jane and her family at every turn.

I could barely put this book down! It was right up there with Miracle Creek for being one of my fave non fantasy reads/dramatic reads for the year.

Jane Harris is truly one of the most unique narrator voices I have read and though she’s the main character, you’ll do anything but root for her. Her sense of entitlement the way she warps things in her mind are scary because I think most of us do know someone like Jane.

The hold she has on people is incredible and watching her manipulate everything around her just had me on the edge of my seat. Not to mention it addresses an issue that can come with a style of parenting not really talked about which was a nice change of pace, and it really looked at the family dynamics.

I don’t want to give too much away, and it’s no secret that Jane is not a great person but the book does throw some surprises your way.

The rest of the cast are not a matter of being ‘good’ while Jane is bad, no one is without their faults and that’s great because it extends that suspension of disbelief and you live in this world and believe these characters are real. These people are all flawed and they’ve all made mistakes the question is, who has made the biggest mistake? What happened to Mary?

This was creepy in all the right ways and Kaira Rouda was a master at weaving the story, honestly I was in shock with how much I enjoyed this book and how quickly I flew through it.

If you’re looking for something different, a thriller told in a way to send shivers down your spine from the revelation of characters then I strong suggest #TheFavoriteDaughter, you can bet that I will be reading everything that @kairarouda comes out with now!

Seriously, 5/5 Cups of Coffee, I could fangirl over this all day long. I just want to say if it’s the sort of book you’d think you’d enjoy please go read it! This book releases on May 21 in the US!

 

WWW Wednesday

It’s time for the WWW Wednesday meme brought to you all by Taking on a World of Words

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What Are You Currently Reading?

GoodReads Blurb: 

From the author of the page-turning domestic suspense Best Day Ever, comes another gripping novel of psychological suspense set in an upscale Southern California community, for fans of B.A. Paris and Shari Lapena.

The perfect home. The perfect family. The perfect lie.

Jane Harris lives in a sparkling home in an oceanfront gated community in Orange County. It’s a place that seems too beautiful to be touched by sadness. But exactly one year ago, Jane’s oldest daughter, Mary, died in a tragic accident and Jane has been grief-stricken ever since. Lost in a haze of anti-depressants, she’s barely even left the house. Now that’s all about to change.

It’s time for Jane to reclaim her life and her family. Jane’s husband, David, has planned a memorial service for Mary and three days later, their youngest daughter, Betsy, graduates high school. Yet as Jane reemerges into the world, it’s clear her family has changed without her. Her husband has been working long days—and nights—at the office. Her daughter seems distant, even secretive. And her beloved Mary was always such a good girl—dutiful and loving. But does someone know more about Mary, and about her last day, than they’ve revealed?

The bonds between mothers and daughters, and husbands and wives should never be broken. But you never know how far someone will go to keep a family together… 

I was so lucky to have Wunderkind PR send me this book, it is a really cool cover but more than that, it is an AMAZING read so far. There is something creepy to it and more than that Jane is not like the usual MC you get in these novels and I am LOVING it so far. Like I could barely put it down after I started it this afternoon but then I realized…I needed to post haha.

 

What Did You Recently Finish Reading?

 

GoodReads Blurb:

Kent Fisher gets more than he bargained for when Detective Inspector Ashley Goodman enlists his help with a ten year old murder. She’s on a mission and needs a big case to put her career back on track. 

And they don’t come much bigger than Miles Birchill, Downland’s wealthiest and most divisive resident. 

Not for the first time, Kent has doubts about the case, forcing him to make choices. But who do you trust when everyone has something to hide? 

Caught in the middle, he has no alternative but to solve the murder, unaware that his every move is being watched. 

The Kent Fisher novels offer a fresh and contemporary reworking of the classic whodunit and murder mysteries of authors like Agatha Christie. 

This was a really fun and quick read, I’d say more but it’s my turn for its Blog Tour tomorrow so…you’ll just have to wait and see.

 

What Do You Think You’ll Read Next?

GoodReads Blurb:

The second book in a series where your favorite literary characters come to life, inspired by the timeless classic, Little Women!

There’s no one better than the boy next door. At least not according to Aurora Campbell, fourteen, who has been in love with Tobias May since their very first sandbox kiss. The problem is, he’s in love with her older sister, Merrilee. And Merri is already dating one of his best friends.

Rory is learning all about pining as her class reads The Great Gatsby, a book she doesn’t find “great” at all. Also not great—her GPA, something she needs to fix, quickly, if she’d like to apply for the chance to spend a week studying art with her hero in New York City over winter break. But when Ms. Gregoire assigns her to read Little Women for extra credit, Rory discovers more than she expected—both about herself and Toby. Maybe she wasn’t in love with the boy next door. . . but the boy next story.

Love is complicated, and it’s all about to get even trickier for Rory at Reginald R. Hero Prep . . . where with the help of one quirky English teacher, students’ fantasies come true, often with surprising consequences.

Another Blog Tour, remember I signed up for quite a few of these for the summer, and I’m really excited to read this one. Most reviews for June will be Blog Tour posts and memes/tags and original content, not too many regular reviews of mine thrown in because I don’t want book reviews to be the only thing you all see on my blog. It’s important to me not to just flood you all with too much of the same.