37 Hours By J F Kirwan

37 hours

Synopsis

After two long years spent in a secret British prison, Nadia Laksheva is suddenly granted her freedom. Yet there is a dangerous price to pay for her release: she must retrieve the Russian nuclear warhead stolen by her deadliest enemy, a powerful and ruthless terrorist known only as The Client.

But her mysterious nemesis is always one step ahead and the clock is ticking. In 37 hours, the warhead will explode, reducing the city of London to a pile of ash. Only this time, Nadia is prepared to pull the trigger at any cost…

The deadly trail will take her from crowded Moscow to the silent streets of Chernobyl, but will Nadia find what she is looking for before the clock hits zero?

J F kirwan 2

My review

This is the second book in the Nadia Laksheva spy thriller series. It can be read as a stand alone book, although I’m sure if like me and characters in a book really draw you in, you’ll soon be reading the first book to find out the history of the characters.

37 hours is a gutsy story of espionage and deceit.  Where no one can be trusted and just as you think you know the direction the story is taking you,  J F Kirwan manages to give you virtual whiplash as he changes direction without warning!

Nadia, the main character is ballsy,  courageous and has nerves of steel. She is a mixture of Lara Croft and a female James Bond. There is a softer side to her and the romance between her and jake that runs throughout the story,  makes her very human and 37 hours a real winning read.

Not for the faint hearted, there is plenty of blood and guts, J F Kirwan doesn’t take prisoners and often characters meet an early end when you least expect it.

This is a great read and one I challenge you to not read in one sitting!

Thank you to J F Kirwan and Neverland blog tours for allowing me to review 37 hours.

 

 

All about the author

J F Kirwan

 J.F. Kirwan is a writer for Harper Collins, under their HQ digital imprint. By day he works in aviation and nuclear safety, but at night, during bouts of insomnia, he writes thrillers with significant body counts. He’s an ex-diving instructor, so there is an underwater element in each of his two novels, 66 Metres and 37 Hours. Most readers find his writing has a cinematic feel, as if you are there with the characters. The original inspiration for the protagonist, Nadia, came from Stieg Larsson’s Girl with the dragon tattoo, though David Baldacci and Lee Child have had significant impact on the writing style, plotting and pace. He is currently writing the third book in the series.

Where to find J F Kirwan

Website

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Buy 37 hours here…

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Giveaway

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Give Me The Child by Mel McGrath  #blogtour #giveaway ~Read chapter one here~

GiveMetheChild_Blogtour[2]

 

Synopsis

An unexpected visitor.

Dr Cat Lupo aches for another child, despite the psychosis which marked her first pregnancy. So when Ruby Winter, a small girl in need of help, arrives in the middle of the night, it seems like fate.

A devastating secret.

But as the events behind Ruby’s arrival emerge – her mother’s death, her connection to Cat – Cat questions whether her decision to help Ruby has put her own daughter at risk.

Do we get the children we deserve?

Cat’s research tells her there’s no such thing as evil. Her history tells her she’s paranoid. But her instincts tell her different. And as the police fight to control a sudden spate of riots raging across the capital, Cat faces a race against time of her own…

Compulsive, dark and devastating, Give Me the Child is a uniquely skillful thriller with an unforgettable twist.

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Give me the child extract

CHAPTER ONE

My first thought when the doorbell woke me was that someone had died. Most likely Michael Walsh. I turned onto my side, pulled at the outer corners of my eyes to rid them of the residue of sleep and blinked myself awake. It was impossible to tell if it was late or early, though the bedroom was as hot and muggy as it had been when Tom and I had gone to bed. Tom was no longer beside me. Now I was alone. We’d started drinking not long after Freya had gone upstairs. The remains of a bottle of Pinot Grigio for me, a glass or two of red for Tom. (He always said white wine was for women.) Just before nine I called The Mandarin Hut. When the crispy duck arrived I laid out two trays in the living room, opened another bottle and called Tom in from the study. I hadn’t pulled the curtains and through the pink light of the London night sky a cat’s claw of moon appeared. The two of us ate, mostly in silence, in front of the TV. A ballroom dance show came on. Maybe it was just the booze but something about the tight-muscled men and the frou-frou’d women made me feel a little sad. The cosmic dance. The grand romantic gesture. At some point even the tight-muscled men and the frou-frou’d women would find themselves slumped together on a sofa with the remains of a takeaway and wine enough to sink their sorrows, wondering how they’d got there, wouldn’t they?

 

Not that Tom and I really had anything to complain about except, maybe, a little malaise, a kind of falling away. After all, weren’t we still able to laugh about stuff most of the time or, if we couldn’t laugh, at least have sex and change the mood?

‘Let’s go upstairs and I’ll show you my cha-cha,’ I said, rising and holding out a hand.

Tom chuckled and pretended I was joking, then, wiping his palms along his thighs as if he were ridding them of something unpleasant, he said, ‘It’s just if I don’t crack this bloody coding thing…’

I looked out at the moon for a moment. OK, so I knew how much making a success of Labyrinth meant to Tom, and I’d got used to him shutting himself away in the two or three hours either side of midnight. But this one time, with the men and women still twirling in our minds? Just this one time?

Stupidly, I said, ‘Won’t it wait till tomorrow?’ and in an instant I saw Tom stiffen. He paused for a beat and, slapping his hands on his thighs in a gesture of busyness, he slugged down the last of his wine, rose from the sofa and went to the door. And so we left it there with the question still hanging.

I spent the rest of the evening flipping through the case notes of patients I was due to see that week. When I turned in for the night, the light was still burning in Tom’s study. I murmured ‘goodnight’ and went upstairs to check on Freya. Our daughter was suspended somewhere between dreaming and deep sleep. All children look miraculous when they’re asleep, even the frighten- ing, otherworldly ones I encounter every day. Their bodies soften, their small fists unfurl and dreams play behind their eyelids. But Freya looked miraculous all the time to me. Because she was. A miracle made at the boundary where human desire meets science. I stood and watched her for a while, then, retrieving her beloved Pippi Longstocking book from the floor and straightening her duvet, I crept from the room and went to bed.

Sometime later I felt Tom’s chest pressing against me and his breath on the nape of my neck. He was already aroused and for a minute I wondered what else he’d been doing on screen besides coding, then shrugged off the thought. A drowsy, half-hearted bout of lovemaking followed before we drifted into our respective oblivions. Next thing I knew the doorbell was ringing and I was alone.

Under the bathroom door a beam of light blazed. I threw off the sheet and swung from the bed.

‘Tom?’

No response. My mind was scrambled with sleep and an anxious pulse was rising to the surface. I called out again.

There was a crumpling sound followed by some noisy vomiting but it was identifiably my husband. The knot in my throat loosened. I went over to the bathroom door, knocked and let myself in. Tom was hunched over the toilet and there was a violent smell in the room.

‘Someone’s at the door.’ Tom’s head swung round.

I said, ‘You think it might be about Michael?’

Tom’s father, Michael Walsh, was a coronary waiting to happen, a lifelong bon vivant in the post-sixty-five-year-old death zone, who’d taken the recent demise of his appalling wife pretty badly.

Tom stood up, wiped his hand across his mouth and moved over to the sink. ‘Nah, probably just some pisshead.’ He turned on the tap and sucked at the water in his hand and, in an oddly casual tone, he added, ‘Ignore it.’

As I retreated into the bedroom, the bell rang again. Whoever it was, they weren’t about to go away. I went over to the window and eased open the curtain. The street was still and empty of people, and the first blank glimmer was in the sky. Directly below the house a patrol car was double parked, hazard lights still on but otherwise dark. For a second my mind filled with the terrible possibility that something had happened to Sally. Then I checked myself. More likely someone had reported a burglary or a prowler in the neighbourhood. Worst case it was Michael.

‘It’s the police,’ I said.

Tom appeared and, lifting the sash, craned out of the window. ‘I’ll go, you stay here.’

I watched him throw on his robe over his boxers and noticed his hands were trembling. Was that from having been sick or was he, too, thinking about Michael now? I listened to his footsteps disappearing down the stairs and took my summer cover-up from its hook. A moment later, the front door swung open and there came the low murmur of three voices, Tom’s and those of two women. I froze on the threshold of the landing and held my breath, waiting for Tom to call me down, and when, after a few minutes, he still hadn’t, I felt myself relax a little. My parents were dead. If this was about Sally, Tom would have fetched me by now. It was bound to be Michael. Poor Michael.

I went out onto the landing and tiptoed over to Freya’s room. Tom often said I was overprotective, and maybe I was, but I’d seen enough mayhem and weirdness at work to give me pause. I pushed open the door and peered in. A breeze stirred from the open window. The hamster Freya had brought back from school for the holidays was making the rounds on his wheel but in the aura cast by the Frozen-themed nightlight I could see my tender little girl’s face closed in sleep. Freya had been too young to remember my parents and Michael had always been sweet to her in a way that his wife, who called her ‘my little brown granddaughter’, never was, but it was better this happened now, in the summer holidays, so she’d have time to recover before the pressures of school started up again. We’d tell her in the morning once we’d had time to formulate the right words.

At the top of the landing I paused, leaning over the bannister. A woman in police uniform stood in the glare of the security light. Thirties, with fierce glasses and a military bearing. Beside her was another woman in jeans and a shapeless sweater, her features hidden from me. The policewoman’s face was brisk but unsmiling; the other woman was dishevelled, as though she had been called from her bed. Between them I glimpsed the auburn top of what I presumed was a child’s head – a girl, judging from the amount of hair. I held back, unsure what to do, hoping they’d realise they were at the wrong door and go away. I could see the police officer’s mouth moving without being able to hear what was being said. The conversation went on and after a few moments Tom stood to one side and the two women and the child stepped out of the shadows of the porch and into the light of the hallway.

The girl was about the same age as Freya, taller but small-boned, legs as spindly as a deer’s and with skin so white it gave her the look of some deep sea creature. She was wearing a grey trackie too big for her frame which bagged at the knees from wear and made her seem malnourished and unkempt. From the way she held herself, stiffly and at a distance from the dishevelled woman, it was obvious they didn’t know one another. A few ideas flipped through my mind. Had something happened in the street, a house fire perhaps, or a medical emergency, and a neighbour needed us to look after her for a few hours? Or was she a school friend of Freya’s who had run away and for some reason given our address to the police? Either way, the situation obviously didn’t have anything much to do with us. My heart went out to the kid but I can’t say I wasn’t relieved. Michael was safe, Sally was safe.

I moved down the stairs and into the hallway. The adults remained engrossed in their conversation but the girl looked up and stared. I tried to place the sharp features and the searching, amber eyes from among our neighbours or the children at Freya’s school but nothing came. She showed no sign of recognising me. I could see she was tired – though not so much from too little sleep as from a lifetime of watchfulness. It was an expression familiar to me from the kids I worked with at the clinic. I’d probably had it too, at her age. An angry, cornered look. She was clasping what looked like a white rabbit’s foot in her right hand. The cut end emerged from her fist, bound crudely with electrical wire which was attached to a key. It looked home-made and this lent it – and her – an air that was both outdated and macabre, as if she’d been beamed in from some other time and had found herself stranded here, in south London, in the second decade of the twenty-first century, in the middle of the night, with nothing but a rabbit’s foot and a key to remind her of her origins. ‘What’s up?’ I said, more out of curiosity than alarm. I smiled and waited for an answer.

The two women glanced awkwardly at Tom and from the way he was standing, stiffly with one hand slung on his hip in an attempt at relaxed cool, I understood they were waiting for him to respond and I instinctively knew that everything I’d been thinking was wrong. A dark firework burst inside my chest. The girl in the doorway was neither a neighbour’s kid nor a friend of our daughter.

She was trouble.

I took a step back. ‘Will someone tell me what’s going on?’ When no one spoke I crouched to the girl’s level and, summoning as much friendliness as I could, said, ‘What’s your name? Why are you here?’

The girl’s eyes flickered to Tom, then, giving a tiny, contemptuous shake of the head, as if by her presence all my questions had already been answered and I was being obstructive or just plain dumb, she said, ‘I’m Ruby Winter.’

I felt Tom’s hands on my shoulder. They were no longer trembling so much as hot and spasmic.

‘Cat, please go and make some tea. I’ll come in a second.’

There was turmoil in his eyes. ‘Please,’ he repeated. And so, not knowing what else to do, I turned on my heels and made for the kitchen.

While the kettle wheezed into life, I sat at the table in a kind of stupor; too shocked to gather my thoughts, I stared at the clock as the red second hand stuttered towards the upright. Tock, tock, tock. There were voices in the hallway, then I heard the living room door shut. Time trudged on. I began to feel agitated. What was taking all this time? Why hadn’t Tom come? Part of me felt I had left the room already but here I was still. Eventually, footsteps echoed in the hallway. The door moved and Tom appeared. I stood up and went over to the counter where, what now seemed like an age ago, I had laid out a tray with the teapot and some mugs.

‘Sit down, darling, we need to talk.’ Darling. When was the last time he’d called me that?

I heard myself saying, idiotically, ‘But I made tea!’ ‘It’ll wait.’ He pulled up a chair directly opposite me.

When he spoke, his voice came to me like the distant crackle of a broken radio in another room. ‘I’m so sorry, Cat, but however I say this it’s going to come as a terrible shock, so I’m just going to say what needs to be said, then we can talk. There’s no way round this. The girl, Ruby Winter, she’s my daughter.’

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My review

Give me the child is a fast reading, page turning every mother’s nightmare read.

Set against the backdrop of London in 2011 during the Tottenham riots, Give me the child touches on mental health, domestic abuse and the consequences of infidelity.

What would you do if your partner’s secret love child turned up on your doorstep accompanied by two police officers? Her Mother now dead, life is thrown into complete turmoil.

Cat, Tom and Freya seemingly have a normal family life, until the fateful night when Ruby Winters enters into their world.

Very quickly you are thrown into the unexpected arrival of Ruby Winters. At first it seems to be the story of a husbands betrayal, a child that has been kept a secret. The unfortunate and untimely death of Lily Winters, Ruby’s Mother.  It soon becomes apparent that the death of Lily winters is not all as it seems.

The slow realisation that Ruby is a very dark and calculating character, a child who is far beyond her years really makes this book a riveting read.

It’s hard to understand how Cat handles the situation in the beginning with such a calm head. There were times when I wanted to climb into the book and drag her and Freya out of the situation which you could see was spiraling out of control. It becomes frighteningly clear that Ruby is a danger to Freya.

The darkness of the story, the conniving secrets between father and daughter are chilling.  This is a fantastic read and one I promise will haunt you for a long time after you have turned the final page.

I’d like to thank Mel McGrath & HQ stories for allowing me to review Give me the child

 

About the Author

Melanie-McGrath

Mel McGrath is an Essex girl, the author of the critically acclaimed and best-selling family memoir Silvertown. She won the John Llewellyn-Rhys/Mail on Sunday award for Best Writer Under 35 for her first book, Motel Nirvana. She has published three Arctic mysteries featuring the Inuit detective Edie Kiglatuk under the name MJ McGrath, the first of which, The Boy in the Snow, was shortlisted for a CWA Gold Dagger.

In the last year she has been one of the founders and moving lights of the website Killer Women, which has rapidly established itself as one of the key forums for crime writing in the UK. This new standalone marks a change in direction.

Where to find Mel McGrath

Website

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Buy Give me the child here

Deep Down Dead by Steph Broadribb #loveaudio #teamorenda


Synopsis

Lori Anderson is as tough as they come, managing to keep her career as a fearless Florida bounty hunter separate from her role as single mother to nine-year-old Dakota, who suffers from leukaemia. But when the hospital bills start to rack up, she has no choice but to take her daughter along on a job that will make her a fast buck. And that’s when things start to go wrong. The fugitive she’s assigned to haul back to court is none other than JT, Lori’s former mentor – the man who taught her everything she knows … the man who also knows the secrets of her murky past.

Not only is JT fighting a child exploitation racket operating out of one of Florida’s biggest theme parks, Winter Wonderland, a place where ‘bad things never happen’, but he’s also mixed up with the powerful Miami Mob. With two fearsome foes on their tails, just three days to get JT back to Florida, and her daughter to protect, Lori has her work cut out for her. When they’re ambushed at a gas station, the stakes go from high to stratospheric, and things become personal.
Breathtakingly fast-paced, both hard-boiled and heart-breaking, Deep Down Dead is a simply stunning debut from one of the most exciting new voices in crime fiction.

My review

I have just listened to the last chapter of Deep down dead and I have one word……..WOW! My heart has only just returned to a steady beat. I am now entering that stage after reading a fantastic book, or in this case, listening to a fantastic book, that I like to call ‘book mourning’. The moment when you actually don’t think you can live without a daily dose of the characters.

I haven’t listened to an audio book in such a long time but jumped at the chance when I received an email from Anne. I have a long journey to and from work so this was actually an ideal opportunity to rekindle my love of audio.

Jennifer Woodward the narrator brought the book to life, her Southern American drawl was perfect for the main characters and she managed amazingly to put a different spin on the male voices.

Now to the storyline and what a storyline it is! If you like cute, steady paced, predictable books, this is not the book for you, but if you like edgy, gutsy, fast moving, edge of your seat type of books then…..jackpot!

Meet Lori who has more guts than a lion tamer and just so happens to be a kick ass bounty hunter. Deep down dead throws you at high speed into the world of the bounty hunter. Lori has medical bills to pay for her daughter Dakota. Dakota is in recovery from cancer. Lori is struggling financially, so when this job comes up with a very healthy sum of money in return for the capture of a convicted criminal, she decides it’s a no brainer. The problem is, well there are a few problems. One being Lori has no one to look after Dakota and secondly the fugitive just happens to be JT, the man who taught Lori all there was to know about being a bounty hunter and the man who she has way too much personal history with.

And so begins a roller coaster ride, buckle up and sit tight as you are thrown into the midst of the lowest of the low criminals, drugs and a paedophile ring run by a trusted, high flying business man.

I can’t recommend Deep Down Dead highly enough, it has a twist of a romance thrown in too. The ending leaves the story open for a return of Lori Anderson, I just hope it’s sooner rather than later!

Thank you to Orenda books and Anne Cater for allowing me to take part in the Deep Down Dead audio blog tour.

About the Author

Steph Broadribb was born in Birmingham and grew up in Buckinghamshire. Most of her working life has been spent between the UK and USA. As her alter ego – Crime Thriller Girl – she indulges her love of all things crime fiction by blogging at http://www.crimethrillergirl.com, where she interviews authors and reviews the latest releases.Steph is an alumni of the MA in Creative Writing (Crime Fiction) at City University London, and she trained as a bounty hunter in California. She lives in Buckinghamshire surrounded by horses, cows and chickens. Deep Down Dead is her debut novel.

Where to find Steph Broadribb


Dying To Live by Michael Stanley #blogtour

dying to live blog tour poster

Synopsis

When the body of a Bushman is discovered near the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, the death is written off as an accident. But all is not as it seems. An autopsy reveals that, although he’s clearly very old, his internal organs are puzzlingly young. What’s more, an old bullet is lodged in one of his muscles… but where is the entry wound? When the body is stolen from the morgue and a local witch doctor is reported missing, Detective ‘Kubu’ Bengu gets involved. But did the witch doctor take the body to use as part of a ritual? Or was it the American anthropologist who’d befriended the old Bushman? As Kubu and his brilliant young colleague, Detective Samantha Khama, follow the twisting trail through a confusion of rhino-horn smugglers, foreign gangsters, and drugs manufacturers, the wider and more dangerous the case seems to grow. A fresh, new slice of ‘Sunshine Noir’, Dying to Live is a classic tale of greed, corruption and ruthless thuggery, set in one of the world’s most beautiful landscapes, and featuring one of crime fiction’s most endearing and humane heroes.

My review

DYING TO LIVE cover

I found this book totally fascinating. The subject of witch doctors and the myths that surround them intrigued me,  and in parts astounded me! The thought of someone breaking into a morgue to steal body parts to make potions for various outcomes was totally unbelievable but yet again very believable, So much so that I wanted to keep turning the pages.

I loved the fact that you gradually grew to know Detective kubu’s family, especially the story around his adopted daughter Nono, and her journey with HIV which runs alongside the main story and is very moving.

The story is fast paced and intricate and leaves you looking at the clock for when you can next sneak a minute to read a few more pages.

The characters all have depth and are extremely likeable, by the end of the book they feel like old friends. This is actually the sixth book in the Detective Kobo series and can definitely be read as a stand alone book. This a 5* review from me.

 

 

Thank you to Anne CaterOrenda books and Michael Stanley for allowing me to review Dying to live

Click here to buy Dying to live

 

 

 

 

 

All about the author

Michael Stanley photo

Michael Stanley is the writing team of Michael Sears and Stanley Trollip. Both were born in South Africa and have worked in academia and business. Stanley was an educational psychologist, specialising in the application of computers to teaching and learning, and is a pilot. Michael specialises in image processing and remote sensing, and teaches at the University of the Witwatersrand. The series has been critically acclaimed, and their third book, Death of the Mantis, won the Barry Award and was a finalist for an Edgar award. Deadly Harvest was a finalist for an International Thriller Writers award.

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

 

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

The trophy child by Paula Daly

twist. A great suspense thriller.
I have walked around like a zombie for the last week whilst reading ‘The Trophy Child’, mainly because I literally could not put it down and had way too many late nights just wanting to finish a chapter! The story had me gripped and the ending was a great unexpected twist.
Karen is a ‘tiger mum’, she pushes Bronte to the limit with out of school activities and extra tuition. Noel, Karen’s husband buries his head in the sand and throws himself into his work & the occasional extra marital dalliance

Verity, Noels’s daughter from his first marriage lives with them, Verity’s Mum has MS and is in a care home. Verity mildly puts up with Karen but her anger tends to over flow when she witnesses how horrible Bronte’s life is becoming at the hands of her Step Mum.

Everything changes on the day Bronte disappears, it starts a whole domino effect of events. Everyone comes under scrutiny and the family is never the same again, but this isn’t entirely a bad thing!