Wolves In The Dark By Gunnar Staalesen #blogtour

wolves blog tour poster (1)

Synopsis

PI Varg Veum fights for his reputation, his freedom and his life, when child pornography is found on his computer and he is arrested and jailed. Worse still, his memory is a blank…

Reeling from the death of his great love, Karin, Varg Veum’s life has descended into a self-destructive spiral of alcohol, lust, grief and blackouts.

When traces of child pornography are found on his computer, he’s accused of being part of a paedophile ring and thrown into a prison cell. There, he struggles to sift through his past to work out who is responsible for planting the material… and who is seeking the ultimate revenge.

When a chance to escape presents itself, Varg finds himself on the run in his hometown of Bergen. With the clock ticking and the police on his tail, Varg takes on his hardest – and most personal – case yet.

wolves in the dark cover

My review

This was my first time of reading a Gunnar Staalesen novel. This is the eighth book in the PI varg Veum series and it can totally be read as a stand alone book, although saying this, in completing it I’m now really interested to find out more about Varg and will be downloading the other seven in the series. I must admit I am quite getting into Nordic noir novels and really starting to enjoy them.

I was slightly apprehensive about the subject of this novel, child pornography is obviously not a subject that sits comfortably as a bedtime read, it’s a very prickly, uncomfortable subject to read about. However, Gunnar manages to only go into enough detail for you to understand the plot without it being too harrowing to read.

The whole story is full of twists and turns that have you wondering, how on earth Varg Veum could have got himself into such a situation. It is obvious that the beginning of this book finds Varg in a very dark place after the death of his girlfriend Karin. This, in particular, made me want to find out more about the circumstances that surrounded her death and the path that leads Varg to where this story begins.

The story is fast moving and full of blood rushing, adrenalin pumping scenario’s, it’s finished off with a fantastic twist that has you thinking back over the story to see if there were any clues you had missed, I for one definitely did not foresee the ending. This is an absolute 5* review from me.

About the Author

Gunnar Staalesen was born in Bergen, Norway in 1947. He made his debut at the age of 22 with Seasons of Innocence and in 1977 he published the first book in the Varg Veum series. He is the author of over 20 titles, which have been published in 24 countries and sold over four million copies. Twelve film adaptations of his Varg Veum crime novels have appeared since 2007, starring the popular Norwegian actor Trond Epsen Seim. Staalesen, who has won three Golden Pistols (including the Prize of Honour), lives in Bergen with his wife. When Prince Charles visited Bergen, Staalesen was appointed his official tour guide. There is a life-sized statue of Varg Veum in the centre of Bergen, and a host of Varg Veum memorabilia for sale. We Shall Inherit the Wind and Where Roses Never Die were both international bestsellers. Don Bartlett is the foremost translator of Norwegian, responsible for the multaward- winning, bestselling books by Jo Nesbo, Karl Ove Knausgaard and Per Pettersen. It is rare to have a translator who is as well-known and highly regarded as the author.

Wolves in the dark is due to be published by Orenda books on 15th June 2017

I’d like to thank Orenda Books & Anne Cater for allowing me to review Wolves in the dark.

Click here to buy Wolves in the dark

 

The Sixth Victim By Tessa Harris

The sixth victim

Synopsis

London’s East End, 1888: When darkness falls, terror begins

The foggy streets of London’s Whitechapel district have become a nocturnal hunting ground for Jack the Ripper, and no woman is safe. Flower girl Constance Piper is not immune to dread, but she is more preoccupied with her own strange experiences of late.

Clairvoyants seem to be everywhere these days. Constance’s mother has found comfort in contacting her late father in a séance. But are such powers real? And could Constance really be possessed of second sight? She longs for the wise counsel of her mentor and champion of the poor, Emily Tindall, but the kind missionary has gone missing.

Following the latest grisly discovery, Constance is contacted by a high-born lady of means who fears the victim may be her missing sister. She implores Constance to use her clairvoyance to help solve the crime, which the press is calling “the Whitechapel Mystery,” attributing the murder to the Ripper.

As Constance becomes embroiled in intrigue far more sinister than she could have imagined, assistance comes in a startling manner that profoundly challenges her assumptions about the nature of reality. She’ll need all the help she can get—because there may be more than one depraved killer out there…

 

My review

I have never really read novels set in this era but the subject of this book intrigued me. I was captivated from the first chapter!

Set in 1888 as Jack the ripper has just begun his reign of terror the story is told from two perspectives, Constance and Emily’s. The story alternates between the two.

Constance is a flower girl and comes from a poor family, she and her sister make money by stealing from the rich, whilst Constance sells the flowers, Flo pickpockets the customers. She lives in Whitechapel, one of the poorest parts of London and the place where the Jack the ripper murders are taking place.

Emily Tindall is from a good background, she is a Sunday school teacher and has taken Constance under her wing, teaching her to read and showing her a life far removed from her own.

The sixth victim is one of those amazing books that pulls you into the pages, I connected with the characters and couldn’t wait to follow the twists and turns of the story. Very early on you find that Emily isn’t quite what you believe. I don’t  want to spoil the book for you, but when you discover the ‘secret’ it makes you see the story in a whole different light.

The book runs alongside the murders of Jack the ripper but they are very much in the background, the main story is Constance’s search for Emily who seems to have gone missing and how her psychic abilities slowly, to her amazement grow. Constance is also approached by a lady from the upper classes who fears her sister has been victim to Jack the ripper. The lady asks for Constance’s help to solve the mystery.

I loved the way the stories entwined and developed, how characters ended up linking.  The way Tessa portrays Emily’s story is beautiful, it is as if Emily is talking to the reader directly, here is a snippet of a piece of Emily’s story hat shows this perfectly;

Constance does sleep, albeit fitfully, so we shall leave her to return to my own story. For now, it is time to take you on a terrifying journey”

This is the first in ‘Constance Piper Mystery’ series, I’m waiting with baited breath for the second installment which Tessa tells me will be out in 2018.

About the Author
Tessa Harris is the author of the acclaimed Dr. Thomas Silkstone Mysteries, including Secrets in the Stones and The Anatomist’s Apprentice. A graduate of Oxford University with a History degree, Tessa has also been a journalist and editor, contributing to many national publications such as The Times and The Telegraph. She has also acted as a literary publicist for several well-known authors. Readers can visit her website at www.tessaharrisauthor.com

Thank you to Tessa harris for allowing me to review The sixth victim.

Click here to buy The Sixth Victim

 

 

Faithless by Kjel Ola Dahl #BlogTour

Faithless cover

Synopsis

Oslo detectives Gunnarstranda and Frølich are back … and this time, it’s personal… When the body of a woman turns up in a dumpster, scalded and wrapped in plastic, Inspector Frank Frølich is shocked to discover that he knows her … and their recent meetings may hold the clue to her murder. As he ponders the tragic events surrounding her death, Frølich’s colleague Gunnarstranda investigates a disturbingly similar cold case involving the murder of a young girl in northern Norway and Frølich is forced to look into his own past to find the answers – and the killer – before he strikes again. Dark, brooding and utterly chilling, Faithless is a breath-taking and atmospheric page-turner that marks the return of an internationally renowned and award-winning series, from one of the fathers of Nordic Noir.


Review

I’m new to Nordic Noir and wasn’t sure if it was my thing, but i did really enjoyed my first taste .

Faithless is a slowly unfolding thriller that ambles along picking up pace in the final chapters.

The two main characters Frølich and Gunnarstranda are true to life. Their investigation techniques are at times very relaxed and they don’t always do things to the book, nor are they always politically correct, but it makes the characters very likeable. In fact the whole book is very relaxed and a real joy to read. The nice thing is that you find out alot of background about the police officers personal lives, i like this in a novel, it makes the characters have alot more depth and enables you to feel as if you know them.

There are 2 cases running alongside each other, a missing student and the murder of a woman who has been left in a dumpster. The case becomes hard for Frølich when he discovers he knows the murder victim .

I really liked the female police officer  Lena who is feisty, smart and sassy. She really shows her worth in the last few chapters. Although the book is quite slow paced it does really pick up speed in the last few chapters and had me on the edge of my seat!

The ending leaves an definite opening for the nest instalment whicch i will definitely be awaiting!

About the Author

Dahl-Kjell-Ola_Foto-Rolf-M-Aagaard

 

One of the fathers of the Nordic Noir genre, Kjell Ola Dahl was born in 1958 in Gjøvik. He made his debut in 1993, and has since published eleven novels, the most prominent of which is a series of police procedurals cum psychological thrillers featuring investigators Gunnarstranda and Frølich. In 2000 he won the Riverton Prize for The Last Fix and he won both the prestigious Brage and Riverton Prizes for The Courier in 2015. His work has been published in 14 countries, and he lives in Oslo.

Thank you to Anne Cater for allowing me to take part in this Blog Tour and also a big thank you to Orenda Books.

Click here to buy Faithless

A Dangerous Crossing by Rachel Rhys

Dangerous crossing Synopsis

Sparkling cocktails, poisonous secrets …

1939, Europe on the brink of war. Lily Shepherd leaves England on an ocean liner for Australia, escaping her life of drudgery for new horizons. She is instantly seduced by the world onboard: cocktails, black-tie balls and beautiful sunsets. Suddenly, Lily finds herself mingling with people who would otherwise never give her the time of day.

But soon she realizes her glamorous new friends are not what they seem. The rich and hedonistic Max and Eliza Campbell, mysterious and flirtatious Edward, and fascist George are all running away from tragedy and scandal even greater than her own.

By the time the ship docks, two passengers are dead, war has been declared, and life will never be the same again.

My Review

Where do i start with this fantastic novel! Firstly i love this era so for me it was off to a good start. By the second chapter i was hooked and drawn into the plot.

A Dangerous Crossing has a mix of everything, love, suspense, murder, mystery, as well as being a historic novel. The twist at the end……amazing and totally unexpected, but i’m not going to spoil it for you, instead i urge you to click on the link at the end of this review and read it for yourself, i promise you won’t be disappointed!

 

The first pages start where the story ends, 4th September 1939, Sydney, Australia. A woman is led down the gangplank of a ship which left Tilbury Docks five and a half weeks earlier. She is in handcuffs and fllanked by a policeman either side of her. What is her crime? Why was she on board the ship?

The story centres around Lily Shepherd. It’s 29th July 1939 she is leaving England to create a new life, the government are offering young women who are prepared to go into domestic work in Australia, a free ticket with a promise of  2 years of work. Lily is running away from life in England and the reason why slowly unfolds as you delve deeper into this book.

The other characters all have secrets they are trying to escape, the rich and damaged Max and Eliza Campbell. They are flamboyant, larger than life and not like anybody Lily has ever met or socialised with before. She is warned about the couple many a time but something draws her back to them.

Helena and Edward Fletcher are brother and sister, Edward’s health has been very poor, Helena has given up her life in England to travel to Australia to make a new life where hopefully Edward’s health will improve, but is there more to them than meets the eye?

Running through the story as an under current is the increasing threat of war and the effect it will have on everyone. As well as the divides of class and nationality.

Lily is a strong and very likeable characater. At the beginning of the story she is very naive, as you follow her journey you feel her changing yet still trying to stay true to who she is. The story has a main core of characters who’s individual stories and secrets slowly unfold.

The only down side of A dangerous crossing is it had to end! This book really does give you a taste of everything and has the ability to keep you up far to late ‘just reading one more chapter’

This is a definite 5 star read for me!

I’d like to thank Alison Barrow from Transworld for allowing me to discover this fab book.

Click here to buy A Dangerous Crossing

Bryant & May Wild Chambers by Christopher Fowler #Blogtour

Bryant & May 2

Synopsis

Our story begins at the end of an investigation, as the members of London’s Peculiar Crimes Unit race to catch a killer near London Bridge Station in the rain, not realising that they’re about to cause a bizarre accident just yards away from the crime scene. And it will have repercussions for them all…
One year later, in an exclusive London crescent, a woman walks her dog – but she’s being watched. When she’s found dead, the Peculiar Crimes Unit is called in to investigate. Why? Because the method of death is odd, the gardens are locked, the killer had no way in – or out – and the dog has disappeared.
So a typical case for Bryant & May. But the hows and whys of the murder are not the only mysteries surrounding the dead woman – there’s a missing husband and a lost nanny to puzzle over too. And it seems very like that the killer is preparing to strike again.
As Arthur Bryant delves in to the history of London’s ‘wild chambers’ – its extraordinary parks and gardens, John May and the rest of the team seem to have caused a national scandal. If no-one is safe then all of London’s open spaces must be closed…
With the PCU placed under house arrest, only Arthur Bryant remains at liberty – but can a hallucinating old codger catch the criminal and save the unit before it’s too late?

My Review

It’s my stop today on the blog tour for Christopher Fowler’s fourteenth novel in the Bryant & May series.

This is the first Bryant & May book i have had the pleasure to read and it certainly wont be the last!

The story begins as an investigation comes to an end. A traffic diversion due to the investigation causes a fatal accident involving a young child and his Nanny,  from here the ripple effect resulting from this leads to a whole new investigation a year later.

Fast forward a year…….A murder,  in a well to do area of London in a private secluded park, turns out to be a case for the PCU (peculiar crimes unit). This and the subsequent murders all seemingly link back to that fateful day a year ago.  But how and what is the link to London’s parks and garden’s?

I loved the characters in this book, Bryant & May are believable if somewhat eccentric.The relationships between the key characters were well established and you could tell that these have developed over the last thirteen books. I could quite imagine watching this drama unfold as a tv series. The clues to the case were there but had me turning the page and wanting to find out more. The chracters were all woven together like an intricate patchwork quilt, the suspects and victims all had common links which had me trying to fit the pieces together myself.

The authors historical knowledge of London was apparent throuhghout with references to lots of interesting facts.

There were some moments in the book that really made me laugh out loud and although it wasn’t a sit on the edge of your seat type of thriller it definitely had me gripped and wanting to find out more.

Reading wild chambers has made me want to go back to the beginning of the Bryant & May novels to find out more about their partnership and how they have got to where they are in this current story.

Thank you to Sophie Christopher from Transworld, Christopher Fowler and Doubleday for allowing me to take part in this blog tour.

Click here to buy

Christopher fowler

Christopher Fowler is the award-winning author of many novels and short story collections, and the Bryant & May mystery novels, which record the adventures of two Golden Age detectives investigating impossible London crimes.

His latest books are the Dubai-set thriller ‘The Sand Men’ and the Bryant & May novel ‘Strange Tide’. Other recent work includes a graphic novel, ‘The Casebook of Bryant & May’, and a Hammer horror radio play under the Hammer Chillers label.

Christopher was born in Greenwich, London. He attended Colfes, the Royal Leathersellers Guild School, and after joined J Walter Thompson as a copywriter. At the age of 26 he founded The Creative Partnership, a company that changed the face of UK and international film marketing, and spent many years working in film, creating movie posters, trailers and documentaries.

A self-confessed movie-obsessive, he handled films like ‘Reservoir Dogs’, ‘Trainspotting’, ‘Goldeneye’, ‘Moulin Rouge’ and ’28 Weeks Later’. He worked with directors like Mike Leigh, Martin Campbell and Peter Greenaway, and on countless Hollywood blockbusters. He has written for everyone from Kenneth Williams to Michael Caine, the Spice Girls, Pierce Brosnan, Leslie Nielsen, Julie Walters, John Cleese and Eric Idle. He has written comedy and drama for the BBC, including Radio One’s first live broadcast drama in 2005.

He is a five-time British Fantasy Award-winner. His first thriller was the bestseller ‘Roofworld’. Subsequent novels include ‘Spanky’, ‘Disturbia’, ‘Psychoville’ and ‘Calabash’. His books have been optioned by everyone from Guillermo Del Toro (‘Spanky’) to Jude Law (‘Psychoville’).

His graphic novel for DC Comics was the critically acclaimed ‘Menz Insana’. His short story ‘The Master Builder’ became a feature film entitled ‘Through The Eyes Of A Killer’, starring Tippi Hedren and Marg Helgenberger. His filmed short stories include: ‘Left Hand Drive’, ‘On Edge’, ‘Perfect Casting’, ‘The Most Boring Woman In The World’ and ‘Rainy Day Boys’.

In 2010 he wrote and produced the fringe play ‘Celebrity’ at the Phoenix, London. In 2011 he created the ‘War Of The Worlds’ videogame for Paramount, starring Sir Patrick Stewart. He has written for The Times, the Financial Times, Telegraph, Guardian, Daily Mail, Time Out, Smoke, Big Issue, i-D magazine and many others.

Last year he was nominated for 9 national book awards. He is the winner of the Edge Hill prize for ‘Old Devil Moon’, the Last Laugh prize twice for ‘The Victoria Vanishes’ and ‘The Burning Man’, the Green Carnation Award for ‘Paperboy’, the E-Dunnit Award for ‘Bryant & May and the Invisible Code’ and the CWA 2015 Dagger In The Library for his body of work.

Christopher has achieved several pathetic schoolboy fantasies, releasing a really horrible Christmas pop single, working as a male model, writing two London stage shows, posing as the villain in a Batman graphic novel ‘Man-Bat’, running a Soho night club, appearing in the Pan Books of Horror, and standing in for James Bond. After living in France and the USA he now lives in King’s Cross, London and Barcelona.

His short stories have appeared in Best British Mysteries, The Time Out Book Of London Stories, The New English Book Of Internet Stories, Dark Terrors, London Noir, Neon Lit, Cinema Macabre, Inferno, Gutshot, Dead Letters, Zombie Apocalypse 1 & 2 and many others. His award-winning memoirs ‘Paperboy’ and ‘Film Freak’ have been published to critical acclaim.

Find out more about Christopher Fowler here