#BookReview “Black Wedding (Beautifully Brutal Book 1)” by Emma Luna

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5/5 Stars!

My dad had a saying, “I can show you better than I can tell you,” and it’s perfect for Brianna O’Kennan and Liam Doughty. What begins as a hostage situation becomes a marriage of convenience… and a perfect match-up hotter than a five-alarm fire!

They enhance and support each other’s positive traits and flaws as Bree gets her a dream… a ruling position in the family business. Organized crime. While not a poor man, the marriage nets professional hitman, Liam, more money than he’d ever imagined. The big plus was it wasn’t money directly connected to his own dysfunctional mafia family.

When I learned Bree was only twenty years old, I almost eye-rolled myself into another dimension.  I wasn’t ready for a spoiled mafia princess who whined her way through the story and was TSTL.

But Bree smacked me with a reality check and made a believer and supporter out of me.  Like her family, I was quick to underestimate and judge her.  And I was wrong. Savvy and with the wisdom of someone twice her age, Brianna O’Kennan owns this story

Arguably the best assassin in the business, Liam’s name strikes fear at the mere mention. He’s good at killing, but what sets him apart is he doesn’t torture or kill because of some twisted inner need. Being a hitman allows him to be an independent contractor, free of the family he loathes, and free to decline permanent positions from organizations like the one run by Bree’s father, Vernon.

It’s Vernon’s refusal to pay for a contracted job that leads Liam to kidnap Bree. And it’s Bree’s contempt for her father’s attitude… and the fine print, that takes Liam and Bree from captor and hostage to a black wedding.

I love a story with a couple that doesn’t waste time on pettiness, whining, and battles between the sexes. I love a couple who knows what they want but aren’t afraid to want more.  Black Wedding delivers that couple. Their issues aren’t with each other, but the dangerous world they’re both a part of.

This well-written read isn’t a romantic comedy. It is truly a dark romance with several scenes that could be triggering to some readers. There is deceit, betrayal, blackmail, extortion, more kidnapping, murder, and sexual assault. Someone doesn’t want a female in a position of power and seeks to stop Bree from taking over. But they have no idea how strong and ruthless she is, or to what lengths Liam will go to protect her. I’m looking forward to  seeing how Liam and Bree deal with a few “loose ends” the next book, and of course, Kellan and Mia’s story!

Enjoy!

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Title: Black Wedding
Series: A Beautifully Brutal Book
Author: Emma Luna
Genre: Dark Mafia Romance
Release Date: September 9, 2021
Cover Design: Dazed Designs

 
If you thought the red wedding was bad, wait until you see the black wedding!

 

My name is Liam Doughty and I’m a hit man.
All I wanted was to get what I was owed. I carried out the hit as I was hired to do by Irish Mob boss, Vernon O’Keenan. It’s not my fault they found out too late that they had the wrong man. All I wanted was my money. I thought I could kidnap the Mafia Princess Brianna O’Keenan and get the ransom money. What I got was so much more!
Ruthless, feisty, and incredibly sexy, she’s far from the timid daddy’s girl I was expecting. Bree has her own agenda. She wants to dominate in a world ruled by men. I have no doubt she can do it, but she will need my help. Her family rules state only males can run the business. So, Bree proposes we get married. She gets to rule, and I get more money than I ever dreamed of.
Two dark, evil worlds collide when we agree to our black wedding. We will fight each others enemies and come out on top. But what happens if we develop real feelings and we realise our wedding wasn’t all that black?
Author Warning
Black Wedding is a dark mafia, kidnapping romance. Due to darker themes it is recommended for 18+ readers. This book features dark themes which may be a trigger for some people. If you would like more detail then please email emmalunaauthor@gmail.com.
Please note this book is set in the UK, and Emma is a British author, therefore the book features British spellings and phrases. Please keep this in mind.

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“Oh, Princess, not only can I say it, I can do it too. I was just trying to be polite with you, but I won’t hold back if you want the real me. So yes, what I’m asking is if the sack of shits you dated before could give you earth-shattering, toe-curling orgasms, whether they had finished first or not.” His voice has taken on a new gravely tone that sounds almost raspy. As he speaks, he practically growls. The sound of him talking about the mind-blowing orgasms he claims he can give has my ovaries clenching and my pussy starting to feel wet.

“Never…I’ve never had an orgasm given to me by someone else,” I whisper, hoping the ground will swallow me up. Instead, my admission rings through the air as though I shouted it.

“Fuck, you really have dated a lot of twatwaffles. I have no idea what will happen between us or if we will ever progress to a sexual relationship in our marriage, but I can fucking guarantee that you will come every time with me. I would make sure my tongue craves your taste, my fingers desperate to feel your pussy hungrily grip them for more, and my cock owning all your holes. I would make sure I learnt to play your body like a complex instrument, and only I know how to make you sing. You can rule in public, but I am always in charge when it comes to sex, and whether you want to or not, your body would bend to my will. I would own you.” The dirtiness of his words, the hard, sensual look on his face, and the short, sharp breathy moans he releases as he speaks tip me over the edge.

𝘌𝘮𝘮𝘢 𝘓𝘶𝘯𝘢 2021

Releasing May 26, 2022
Emma Luna is an author and editor who lives in Cambridgeshire, UK, despite her heart still very much being Northern. She lives surrounded by her crazy family; her Mum, who is her best friend and biggest fan; her Dad who helps her remember to always laugh; her Grandparents and Brother who can never read what she writes and her long suffering man-child Boyfriend who she couldn’t live without (but don’t tell him that!).

In her spare time she likes to create new worlds and tell the stories of the characters that are constantly shouting in her head. She also loves falling into the worlds created by other authors and escaping for a while through reading.

When she’s not adulting or chasing her writing dream she loves dog-napping her Mums shih-tzu Hector, chilling curled up on the sofa with her Boyfriend binge watching the latest series or movie, drinking too much diet coke (it’s her drug of choice), buying too many novelty notebooks, and completing adult colouring books as a form of relaxation. Oh and she is a massive hardcore Harry Potter geek. Ravenclaw for life!

Thank you for taking a chance on a newbie author – hope you enjoy and come back for more!

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#BookReview “The Murderess Must Die” by Marlie Wasserman

August 16 – September 10, 2021 Tour

Murderess Must Die cover

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5/5 Stars!

I enjoyed every word of this amazing read of historical fiction even if I cared for few of the characters.  But don’t get me wrong. Not liking most of the players had nothing to do with flat, boring characters and everything to do with how well-written they were. While several characters possessed few redeeming social qualities, for me the worst was N.B. Thompson, the Places neighbor. All of his “efforts” to “help” made the former clergyman come across as self-serving, seeking attention and notoriety in the midst of death and suffering. The press came in a close second, behaving much like present-day media… writing news with a few facts buried in sensationalism.

Though told for the most part from Martha “Mattie” Place’s point of view,  several POVs from her siblings to her husbands to her defense counsel are included. And every single word enriches the story.

While her life began as one of poverty, abuse, and neglect, for me, Mattie was still an unsympathetic character. I hesitate to call her a protagonist because the woman could try and antagonize the patience of the saints.

Mattie is also a losing argument for nature versus nurture. She eventually rose from poverty to a life of status but it didn’t change who/what she was. To be fair, it was in part because she was still looked down on and treated with contempt. All that did was make a mean Mattie Place even meaner!

Despite her flaws, it didn’t help that most of those Mattie had contact with during her life saw her as a means to an end, even when she tried to do the right thing. Even the main concerns of the many members of her defense team was payment for their services and how representing “the murderess” could bolster—or harm—their careers.

Along with her own words and actions, in the end, it was also the treatment of women near the end of the nineteenth century that completed Mattie’s undoing.

Based on a true crime, Wasserman’s flawless writing makes it difficult to tell the historical from the fiction. The Murderess Must Die is an engrossing read I highly recommend!

Enjoy!

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Synopsis:

 

On a winter day in 1898, hundreds of spectators gather at a Brooklyn courthouse, scrambling for a view of the woman they label a murderess. Martha Place has been charged with throwing acid in her stepdaughter’s face, hitting her with an axe, suffocating her with a pillow, then trying to kill her husband with the same axe. The crowd will not know for another year that the alleged murderess becomes the first woman in the world to be executed in the electric chair. None of her eight lawyers can save her from a guilty verdict and the governor of New York, Theodore Roosevelt, refuses to grant her clemency.

Was Martha Place a wicked stepmother, an abused wife, or an insane killer? Was her stepdaughter a tragic victim? Why would a well-dressed woman, living with an upstanding husband, in a respectable neighborhood, turn violent? Since the crime made the headlines, we have heard only from those who abused and condemned Martha Place.

Speaking from the grave she tells her own story, in her own words. Her memory of the crime is incomplete, but one of her lawyers fills in the gaps. At the juncture of true crime and fiction, The Murderess Must Die is based on an actual crime. What was reported, though, was only half the story.

Praise for The Murderess Must Die:

A true crime story. But in this case, the crime resides in the punishment. Martha Place was the first woman to die in the electric chair: Sing Sing, March 20, 1899. In this gorgeously written narrative, told in the first-person by Martha and by those who played a part in her life, Marlie Parker Wasserman shows us the (appalling) facts of fin-de-siècle justice. More, she lets us into the mind of Martha Place, and finally, into the heart. Beautifully observed period detail and astute psychological acuity combine to tell us Martha’s story, at once dark and illuminating. The Murderess Must Die accomplishes that rare feat: it entertains, even as it haunts.
Howard A. Rodman, author of The Great Eastern

The first woman to be executed by electric chair in 1899, Martha Place, speaks to us in Wasserman’s poignant debut novel. The narrative travels the course of Place’s life describing her desperation in a time when there were few opportunities for women to make a living. Tracing events before and after the murder of her step-daughter Ida, in lean, straightforward prose, it delivers a compelling feminist message: could an entirely male justice system possibly realize the frightful trauma of this woman’s life? This true-crime novel does more–it transcends the painful retelling of Place’s life to expand our conception of the death penalty. Although convicted of a heinous crime, Place’s personal tragedies and pitiful end are inextricably intertwined.
Nev March, author of Edgar-nominated Murder in Old Bombay

The Murderess Must Die would be a fascinating read even without its central elements of crime and punishment. Marlie Parker Wasserman gets inside the heads of a wide cast of late nineteenth century Americans and lets them tell their stories in their own words. It’s another world, both alien and similar to ours. You can almost hear the bells of the streetcars.
Edward Zuckerman, author of Small Fortunes and The Day After World War Three, Emmy-winning writer-producer of Law & Order

This is by far the best book I have read in 2021! Based on a true story, I had never heard of Mattie Place prior to reading this book. I loved all of the varying voices telling in the exact same story. It was unique and fresh and so wonderfully deep. I had a very hard time putting the book down until I was finished!
It isn’t often that an author makes me feel for the murderess but I did. I connected deeply with all of the people in this book, and I do believe it will stay with me for a very long time.
This is a fictionalized version of the murder of Ida Place but it read as if the author Marlie Parker Wasserman was a bystander to the actual events. I very highly recommend this book.
Jill, InkyReviews

Book Details:

Genre: Historical Crime Fiction

Published by: Level Best Books

Publication Date: July 6, 2021

Number of Pages: 250

ISBN: 978-1953789877

Purchase Links: Amazon | Goodreads

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This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Marlie Parker Wasserman. There will be 1 winner of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card (U.S. ONLY). The giveaway runs from August 16th until September 12, 2021. Void where prohibited.

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#BookReview “Of the Lilin (The Sage Chronicles #1)” by Paulette Hampton

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5/5 Stars!

Anyone who’s followed my reviews for a while is well aware Young Adult is not one of my preferred genres. But I’m also a firm believer in stepping outside of my reading comfort zone. It doesn’t always go well. I’m looking at you, Horror. However, sometimes I end up with an engaging and entertaining read. Of the Lilin is one of those times.

With themes like death/loss and mental health, this read centers on eighteen-year-old Sage Frankle. In quick succession, she loses her mother and a close family friend. Did she mourn her mom long enough? Did she have any part in her friend’s death? Things go from bad to worse for Sage when her stepfather—the only father she’s ever known—ends up a permanent resident of a mental facility… after trying to kill Sage.

Too many fugue states and “nightmares” land Sage in counseling for depression, but is that really her problem?

No one is whom they appear to be in this well-paced slow build… including Sage. (Ok, maybe her bestie, Will!) Characters are uniquely written with warts and all, and it’s hard not to have compassion for even the most wicked characters.

I didn’t see that twist ending coming though and am still wearing my “What just happened?” face. Whoa.

Bring on book two!

Enjoy!

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Of the Lilin (The Sage Chronicles #1)

Expected Publication Date: September 1st, 2021

Genre: YA Paranormal (14+)

The Sage Chronicles, Book One – Of the Lilin follows a depressed and grief-stricken teenager who falls into a realm of darkness and demons, geared to readers fourteen and up.

After the loss of her mother and her stepfather’s mental breakdown due to the sudden and suspicious death of his best friend, 18-year-old Sage Frankle agrees to move in with her aunt and cousin at the Englewood Inn in Vermont. While working through her trauma, Sage meets cryptic guests at her aunt’s inn and discovers more about herself than she bargained for…

It’s a slow-burn story steeped in demons and archangels, myths and legends, romance and dark family secrets.

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#BookReview “Borrowed Treasure” by Jessica Tastet

Borrowed Treasure Cover

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4/5 Stars!

Full of family drama and dysfunctional relationships, this cozy mystery is filled with complicated characters.

Sissy Ames, a struggling young bistro owner. Hunter Wells, the scion of a local wealthy family, and the man Sissy walked away from without an explanation. Cecelia Domangue, selfish and arrogant high school mean girl who never grew up… and Hunter’s current fiancée. And Hunter and Cecelia’s parents, who all appear to have missed more than a few parenting classes.

The story’s bright spots are Grams and Granddaddy, Sissy’s grandparents. They’re a strong loving support network even though her grandfather’s dementia grows worse. She cherishes her time with him, especially his lucid moments.

Thibodaux, Louisiana is one of those small towns where everyone knows everyone else… and their business, but long-held secrets will come to light, along with questionable business practices, an abduction, and the origins—and current whereabouts—of Sissy’s great-grandmother’s ring.

While I enjoyed this read, it loses a star because the Sissy/Hunter past issues didn’t gel for me. Though both were manipulated, a quick conversation would have cleared up everything. But, by allowing the wedge to be driven between them, they appeared childish and immature.

However, good writing and pacing keep this drama moving as Sissy and Hunter realize working together is the only way they’ll find the answers they need to more than one mystery, and maybe even find a way back to each other.

Enjoy!

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Borrowed Treasure

Publication Date: April 13th, 2021

Genre: Womens Fiction/ Clean Romance

Publisher: Dandelion Wish Publishing

Sissy Ames has been driven to succeed her entire life. On her own, she’s turned her Bittersweet Café into a success, and she’s rebuilt a friendship with her cousin Harper after years of going it alone, but her past bad judgement in trusting Hunter Wells during their relationship continues to cast shadows on the future she’s trying to build for herself.

Hunter Wells has been coasting through life, working at the family business and creating the life that his family expects for him. He’d once hoped for a different existence, but he’d been forced to move on and make do after Sissy Ames had ended their three-year relationship without an explanation.

Even in their small town, the two have managed to avoid each other, but then Hunter’s fiancée, Sissy’s nemesis, disappears after a suspicious confrontation, leaving them both looking like likely suspects. The only hope they have of clearing their names and figuring out what led to the disappearance is to find the one item that drove them apart two years ago: The Ames BORROWED TREASURE.

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About the Author

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Born and raised in Raceland, Louisiana, near Bayou Lafourche, Jessica Tastet uses the places and people of her childhood to create the backdrop of her fictional South Louisiana town in her Raleigh Cheramie series as well as her Treasure Trilogy.

An avid reader, she began writing stories in the sixth grade. The result was a mystery story she promptly shared with all her family and whoever she could convince to read it. She learned the first of many valuable writing lessons with this endeavor: don’t draw your characters too close to real-life people. Since then. she has earned her editing certification from the University of California and an MFA in Creative Writing from National University in California. Presently, she resides in her hometown with her husband and five teenagers where she works with Curriculum for the local school district.

Jessica Tastet | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

 

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#BookReview “Hard Way Home” by Dana Fraser

HardWayHome_FINAL

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5/5 Stars!

Having to abandon his semi in Illinois because of mechanical problems, Cash Bishop just wants to get home to his family in Tennessee. Hitchhiking and catching rides with other truckers, his impatience turns to fear and confusion when he reaches his dispatch office in time to witness a power failure.

Gritty and realistic, Hard Way Home reads like a playbook, showing how quickly the country can fall into chaos and terror when all power is lost in the United States. No communication. No fresh water. No food. No gas, and no idea what is happening and who’s responsible.

There is also no one to trust. It’s survival of the fittest—or most heavily armed—and that includes law enforcement and the military. Everyone has gone rogue.

Prepared for this unexpected journey by his time in the military, Cash continues his journey home on foot, but the distance isn’t as daunting and the danger he isn’t always able to avoid. When he meets up with Hannah Carter, a young scientist, and her brother, they try to piece together what little information they have about drug cartels and jihadists taking over major cities and slaughtering their residents. Cash finds it hard to believe criminals are responsible for such an apocalyptic attack.

And he’s right.

Not only are those responsible watching their plan play out, but they are also pleased with the pillaging and looting… and death. The only thing the group’s director wants now is Hannah. And he’ll do anything, and kill anyone to bring the scientist back into the fold she isn’t even aware she’s part of.

Told from multiple points of view, this read delivers the fear, angst, anger, frustration, and yes, even the evil. Cash is the reluctant hero to cheer for, but the supporting characters are no less heroic and intent on survival. They rise to the occasion a do what has to be done. Special props to Cash’s mom, Evelyn!

The story ends on an upbeat note with our small, determined group safe for now, but the story is far from over. Start the Deep State Down journey today!

Enjoy!

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Hard Way Home (Deep Down State #1)

Publication Date: June 1st, 2021

Genre: Post- Apocalyptic/ Survivor Thriller

Two strangers. Almost no chance of survival. Even less hope. When a massive cyber breach hits every U.S. hydroelectric station just as the Gulf Coast refineries are decimated by a volatile storm, the attack knocks out the nation’s entire power supply, instantly throwing America into a deadly new dark age.

For Army veteran Cash Bishop, getting back to his family before it’s too late becomes a fight to survive in a race against time. His only ally? A brilliant energy scientist who may be the only person still alive with more things to be afraid of than the impending apocalypse.

Dr. Hannah Carter doesn’t know who’s after her or when she became a target. But getting captured is not an option. Seems the stranger she meets on her dangerous cross-country trek is the only person she can trust now to help get her home. And keep her alive.

With chaos escalating and the country on the brink of collapse, Cash and Hannah need to figure out who executed the attacks on the U.S. power grid, and why these people are so willing to kill him to get to her.

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#BookReview “Her Previous Self” by Anne Allen

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5/5 Stars!

After the loss of a child and the end of her marriage, Lucy Stewart doesn’t believe life could get any worse.

Of course, she’s wrong.

Just two weeks after returning to live with her parents on the Island of Guernsey, they inform her they’re taking a “much needed” three month vacation… and she is charged with looking after the ninety-year-old grandfather she barely knows and fears a little.

Surprised but not shocked by her selfish parents, Lucy feels she’ll never be free of her dark depression. However, life begins to brighten for her as she reconnects with old friends, makes new friends, and finds a loving relationship with her grandfather.

Now if she could just make sense of her connection to the woman in the two-hundred-year-old portrait that hangs in her bedroom.

Lucy learns the woman, Mary Carre, is a distant relative who not only lived in the same house, but Lucy now occupies her bedroom. As Lucy gets more and more glimpses into Mary’s sad and tragic life, she doesn’t know if she’s having visions, actually going back in time, or living a past life. But it doesn’t matter. She feels Mary is leading her to something and she’s determined to find out what.

One of the things I admired most in the story was as Lucy shared her experiences with others, no one called her crazy or bonkers even if they were skeptical. Perhaps it was owing to the lore of Guernsey, but people pulled together to support her instead of shunning her.

A compelling read, Her Previous Self has a great sense of balance with Lucy/Mary. While both women suffered through loss and tragedy, and Lucy’s glimpses into Mary’s life were heartbreaking, I believe Lucy became stronger for it, “seeing” Mary live in a time where having no agency over her life only deepened her misery. But, knowing recovery didn’t happen overnight, Lucy knew she could/would recover and make her own choices and decisions.

Excellent writing and pacing made this a one-sitting read that I do recommend!

Enjoy!

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SYNOPSIS

Two women, living two hundred years apart but closer than sisters.

Mary, miserable in her marriage to Thomas Carre, a merchant and privateer and living in the newly built family mansion in Georgian Guernsey.

Lucy, separated from her husband after a tragic loss and now acting as an unwilling sitter for her elderly grandfather, Gregory Carre, who has inherited the same mansion.

Lucy is haunted by Mary’s continued presence in the house and finds herself being pulled more and more back in time. How is it possible for her to live as Mary? To experience scenes from her tragic life? I forced Lucy to come to terms with Mary’s grief as well as her own.

The more enmeshed she becomes the more anxious Lucy is to discover the truth. Why is Mary still restless? What caused her mysterious disappearance two hundred years ago?

And can Lucy move on from her own loss to find happiness again?

Purchase Links

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Giveaway

Enter for a chance to win a paperback copy of Her Previous Self (UK winner) or an e-copy for an international winner.

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*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will be passed to the giveaway organizer and used only for the fulfillment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for the dispatch or delivery of the prize.

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#BookReview “Love Me Tender” by Lorraine Mace

 

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5/5 Stars!

Always a pleasure to sit down with my guy, Paolo Sterling, even when he’s off his game.

The former DI is now Detective Chief Inspector but doesn’t feel any of the pride and sense of accomplishment such promotions usually bring. It’s been six months since his protegee and good friend, DS Dave Johnson was murdered, and Paolo’s grief is as painful as the day it happened. And it doesn’t help that the man he holds most responsible for bullying and goading Dave, DC Jack Cummings, has a target on Paolo’s back.

However, what I love most about the DCI is he trudges on.

The drug overdose of one young woman and the murder of another who believed she was being stalked appear unconnected. But when another woman goes missing, Sterling and his team find links to all three women, a local nightclub, a popular gym… and far too many shady, drug-dealing characters who could all be killers.

When Jack is brutally attacked while on a voluntary stakeout of the nightclub, Paolo’s stress and guilt are only deepened. He detested the man but he didn’t wish that kind of harm on him.

The assault on Jack—and the misguided rantings of his boss—are gut punches to the DCI that serve to spur him on to resolve the investigations… and find the missing woman alive.

Lorraine Mace does a superb job of taking us inside the mind of a sociopath twisted by his upbringing.  Raised by his equally psychotic and abusive grandfather whom he hates and the submissive grandmother he adores, this murderer never stood a chance. He’s almost a sympathetic character, except for the kidnapping and killing part.

CC—DS Cathy Connors—is a standout as Paolo’s new “partner.” She knows Dave’s death is with her boss daily, and she knows when to push and when to give him space while still being a stellar investigator.

Lydia, the ex-wife is still around. Grrr.  She was a coworker of the murdered woman and the reason Paolo got involved even before they knew she’d been killed. The murder heightens their concern for their daughter, Katy, off volunteering in remote villages in Africa and out of touch for weeks at a time. However, even without all the arguing and blame-placing, I’m still not a Lydia-fan. Meh.

Rebounding from his assault, Jack’s continued lies and machinations only serve to tighten the noose around Sterling’s neck and threaten his job. But the pragmatic detective has grown weary of being the whipping boy and does what he does best… solve cases. As I said, he trudges on, but with a lighter step and his confidence back in place.

This is another great installment in the Sterling series that delivers!

Enjoy!

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IF HE WANTS YOU . . . THERE’S NO ESCAPE.

A brutal murder . . .

Responding to a tip-off, newly promoted Detective Chief Inspector Paolo Sterling arrives at an apartment block to find the dismembered body of a young woman. And with no indication of a break-in, all signs suggest the killer was known to her.

An abduction in plain sight . . .
Then the victim’s friend is snatched with no witnesses and the unanswered questions mount up.

At the same time, Sterling’s team are leading the surveillance of a local club, thought to be involved in a drug operation. But when one of his colleagues ends up in hospital close to death, Paolo begins to lose his grip.

A detective on the edge . . .
With the odds stacked against him, and time running out, can DCI Sterling uncover the truth before it’s too late? Or will this case finally tip him over the edge?

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/3vHyDxT

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/36WOjDg

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#BookReview “Coldharbour” by John Mead

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5/5 Stars!

Matthew Merry is not a man to be envied. There are never enough hours in a day for a law enforcement officer to investigate crimes and bring in those responsible for a date with justice.

However, Merry’s life is not that simple.

As Chief Inspector of the Met Police’s Major Investigation Team, an uptick in crime has Merry buried in victims and bodies and very few answers. Only a few months in his new position, his pragmatic style does little to advance investigations into gang-related stabbings and a murdered housewife.

It also does little to comfort his wife, Kathy. The school administrator was drugged and raped by a coworker. Her trauma is exacerbated by the ensuing investigation and trial as another of her attacker’s victims severs all ties with the trial.

As with his job, Matthew’s efforts to support his wife fall short, and at times, seem halfhearted.

This is not to say Matthew Merry is cold, detached, or even a bad person.

He’s simply a deeply flawed man in over his head while fighting his demons and guilt.

Matthew does have flashes of clarity—and brilliance—as crimes become linked by victims and perpetrators. Those links will take the investigation outside the UK and find international connections to crimes Merry and his team never saw coming.

The strong writing of this slow build read kept me engaged and turning pages, and I appreciated how well-developed the characters were throughout the story. For me, it was as much a character analysis of Merry as it was excellent crime fiction. Though unexpected, the ending is satisfying… or is it a new beginning?

Enjoy!

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Synopsis

The Met Police’s Major Investigation Team East has its hands full: a rash of tit for tat gang related stabbings, a strangled housewife, the decomposed remains of a woman found in a ditch and more to come. Adding to their woes is their boss, Chief Inspector Matthew Merry, being distracted by his problems at home.

For Matthew’s wife, Kathy, her only concern is dealing with the aftermath of being drugged and raped by a co-worker. Will the trial of the man responsible be enough to give her the justice she demands. Or, as her therapist states, is it revenge she really desires. She doesn’t know. As her emotions see-saw from elation to depression, her only certainty is that her husband seems more concerned about his work than her.

And Matthew is only too aware of his failings both at home and work. But the police machine grinds on, seeking information and sifting evidence — justice is not their concern.

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