Mistletoe – Blog tour 10 October

Delighted to be involved in my first Blog tour 🙂 It is for a gothic ghost story, right up my reading street.

Jo Fletcher Books | Hardback | 10th October | £14.99

The farmhouse looks perfect to Leah: a place to start afresh, to put tragedy behind her – but she’s not the only person to lose a husband and son, and soon tendrils of the past are pushing into Leah’s future in this spine-tingling new ghost story from Alison Littlewood.

Perfect for fans of Neil Gaiman, Stephen King, Joanne Harris, Angela Carter, Graham Joyce and Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell. Leah thought Maitland Farm could give her a new life – but now old ghosts are dragging her into the past.

Following the tragic deaths of her husband and son, Leah is looking for a new life. Determined to bury her grief in hard work and desperate to escape Christmas and the reminders of what she has lost, she rushes through the purchase of a run-down Yorkshire farmhouse, arriving just as the snow shrouds her new home.

It might look like the loveliest Christmas card, but it’s soon clear it’s not just the house that needs renovation: the land is in bad heart, too. As Leah sets to work, she begins to see visions of the farm’s former occupants – and of the dark secrets that lie at the heart of Maitland Farm.

If Leah is to have a future, she must find a way to lay both her own past and theirs to rest – but the visions are becoming disturbingly real . . .

‘Alison Littlewood has a real talent for building atmosphere, loaded with the promise of things to come – hints of dread with the possibility of hope’ – The Guardian

‘Littlewood is excellent on the horrors of Victorian mental-health treatment and the vulnerability of the women caught in the system…. she creates a chilling atmosphere of skulls, seances, secrets and hysteria’ – The Times, Antonia Senior

‘The atmosphere and tension that Littlewood creates, as well as truly fascinating figure in Victoria Harleston, ensures that this is a great seasonal treat’ – SciFiNow ****

‘Alison Littlewood is one of the brightest stars in the horror genre’ – This is Horror

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Alison Littlewood is the author of A Cold Season, published by Jo Fletcher Books. The novel was selected for the Richard and Judy Book Club, where it was described as “perfect reading for a dark winter’s night.” Her most recent novel, The Hidden People, has recently been published to critical acclaim. Alison’s short stories have been picked for Best British Horror 2015, The Best Horror of the Year and The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror anthologies, as well as The Best British Fantasy 2013 and The Mammoth Book of Best British Crime 10. She also won the 2014 Shirley Jackson Award for Short Fiction with her story The Dog’s Home, published in The Spectral Book of Horror Stories.

Alison lives with her partner Fergus in Yorkshire, England, in a house of creaking doors and crooked walls. You can talk to her on twitter @Ali__L, see her on Facebook and visit her at http://www.alisonlittlewood.co.uk

Mistletoe

Book review – Ice Cold Heart by PJ Tracy

Michael Joseph [Publication date 22.08.19]

A violent murder. An ice-cold killer . . .

On a bitterly cold winter night, Kelly Ramage leaves her suburban home, telling her husband she’s going to meet a friend.

But she never comes back.

When her body is discovered, murdered in what seems to be a sex game gone horribly wrong, Detectives Gino and Magozzi take the case, expecting to find a flirtatious trail leading straight to the killer.

However, Kelly’s sinister lover has done a disturbingly good job of hiding his identity.

This isn’t his first victim.

And she won’t be the last . . .

I always look forward to a new book in the Monkeerench series and this latest book in the series doesn’t disappoint. Set in a wintry backdrop, the plot covers the hunt for war criminals, a perverted killer and organised crime based around cryptocurrency. Detectives Gino and Magozzi , along with Roadrunner from Monkeewrench gain a major role in this book.

Another highly readable novel in the series and as soon as you finish reading it you are eager to read another instalment in the Monkeewrench series. Always a good sign in a long running series.

Book review: JOE COUNTRY by Mick Herron

John Murray [Publication date 20.06.19]

‘We’re spies,’ said Lamb. ‘All kinds of outlandish shit goes on.’

Like the ringing of a dead man’s phone, or an unwelcome guest at a funeral…

In Slough House memories are stirring, all of them bad. Catherine Standish is buying booze again, Louisa Guy is raking over the ashes of lost love, and new recruit Lech Wicinski, whose sins make him outcast even among the slow horses, is determined to discover who destroyed his career, even if he tears his life apart in the process.

And with winter taking its grip Jackson Lamb would sooner be left brooding in peace, but even he can’t ignore the dried blood on his carpets. So when the man responsible breaks cover at last, Lamb sends the slow horses out to even the score.

This time, they’re heading into joe country.

And they’re not all coming home.

The sixth book in the Jackson Lamb series and Mick Herron keeps the high quality of his plotting and writing going. This time the majority of the team become involved in unfolding events in snow covered Pembrokeshire and the action comes thick and fast. I do like the author’s knack of stopping action on a cliff-hanger before switching to another part of the plot, which again often ends in a cliffhanging moment. Although Slough House is for the secret service outcasts where they are meant to be given menial tasks, they often seem to find a way into a hot piece of political action.

If you are a fan already then this will already be on your reading list, and new readers would be best advised to read the series in order just because you get references to characters/events earlier in the series. Either way, ‘Joe Country’ proves that Mick Herron is top of the spy thriller tree.

Book review: Then She Vanishes by Claire Douglas

Michael Joseph [Publication date 27.06.19]

The blurb…

Everything changed the night Flora disappeared.

Heather and Jess were best friends – until the night Heather’s sister vanished.

Jess has never forgiven herself for the lie she told that night. Nor has Heather.

But now Heather is accused of an awful crime.

And Jess is forced to return to the sleepy seaside town where they grew up, to ask the question she’s avoided for so long:

What really happened the night Flora disappeared?

This is the second book by Claire Douglas that I have read and she is now on my ‘must read’ authors list. The story is told from various characters’ viewpoints and the story also switches from present day to the past, however it is not too difficult for the reader to keep up with it all!

I particularly like the reporter Jess’s character as she faces some tough choices when reporting on the case as she is personally and emotionally involved.

If you enjoyed TV dramas such as ‘Broadchurch’ I would heartily recommend this book as each of the main characters have a skeleton or two in their closets and these impact on the story as the book progresses.

Highly recommended.

Book review – Cold As The Grave by James Oswald

The ninth book in the Inspector McLean series and you don’t have to read them in order, although like any long running crime series the author will refer back to events in the past covered in previous books.

The opening sees the discovery of a mummified body hidden in the dark corner of a basement room, a room which seems to have been left untouched for decades. The plot unfolds from here to include a mysterious circus, human trafficking, a 60’s rock star and a djinn.

James Oswald is similar to John Connolly in that both add in supernatural elements to their books and they work well, also like Stephen King’s excellent Mercedes man trilogy.

Although used a lot in book reviews, ‘Cold As The Grave’ is a proper page turner as you want to keep on reading to see what happens next, such are the twists and turns in the plot. Highly recommended and James Oswald joins my select list of ‘must read’ crime writers.

Book review – A Beautiful Corpse by Christi Daugherty

Harper Collins [Pub Date 04 Mar 2019]

It’s a thin line between love and murder…

A tense new thriller, perfect for fans of Clare Mackintosh, Cara Hunter and Lisa Jewell

A murder that shocks a city… 
Shots ring out on one of Savannah’s most famous streets. A beautiful law student lies dead.
  
A case full of secrets and lies…
Three men close to the victim are questioned. All of them claim to love her. All of them say they are innocent of her murder.
 
An investigation that could prove deadly…
As crime reporter Harper McClain unravels a tangled story of obsession and jealousy, the killer focuses on her. He’s already killed one woman. Will he kill another?

Second book featuring crime reporter Harper McClain, this time she is investigating the murder of a law student and the events that unfold afterwards, including plenty of references to the first novel.

Different view as it is not a standard police procedural novel, instead it focues on a murder from the press viewpoint and Harper McClain soon becomes entangled in the case in a dangerous way. Fast paced, with minimal description, Christi Daugherty has written an enjoyable thriller. Good enough to have the reader looking forward to the next McClain novel.