Dying Breath (Detective Lucy Harwin #2) by Helen Phifer

Dying Breath by Helen Phifer
Dying Breath (Detective Lucy Harwin, #2) 
by Helen Phifer (Goodreads Author)

Reviewed by


EXCERPT: Right there and then he’d known that he was different to most kids, probably most people. They were all scared of death and dead people, whereas he was fascinated with them and couldn’t get enough. He needed to see a real dead person – he wanted to see if they looked as beautiful as his girls had. He wanted to touch one, stroke their skin, run his fingers through their hair. He wouldn’t think twice about kissing one; he wanted to know what it would feel like to put his lips on theirs. He thought about Carrie. He would have kissed her.

THE BLURB: Take a breath. Pray it’s not your last.
Just a few months after a terrifying case that nearly took her life, Detective Lucy Harwin is back with her squad in the coastal town of Brooklyn Bay – and this time, she’s faced with a case more horrifying than anything she’s encountered.

Along with her partner, Detective Mattie Jackson, Lucy is investigating what appears to be a vicious but isolated murder; a woman found bludgeoned to death on a lonely patch of wasteland.

But when a second victim is discovered strangled in an alleyway, then a young family shot in their own home, Lucy and the team must face the unthinkable reality – a killer is walking the streets of their town.

While Lucy and the team try to find the link between these seemingly unconnected murders, they uncover a disturbing truth – these murders are replicating those carried out by infamous serial killers.

Lucy must get to the killer before he strikes again. But he’s got his sights on her, and is getting ever closer… Can she save herself, before she becomes the final piece in his twisted game?

MY THOUGHTS: There are some absolutely chilling moments in Dying Breath by Helen Phifer. “He turned to take one last look at the man who had changed from a monster into his hero, and he grinned at him.” is one of them. It may not seem like much on its own, but when read in context you will feel chills up your spine.

Dark and twisty, Dying Breath had me wondering just who this child had grown up to become, because we never knew his name. . .but we knew what he had become and his life ambition. There are several people he could be, all of whom have some type of fixation on Lucy.

Dying Breath is deliciously suspenseful. Highly recommended ☆☆☆☆

Thank you to Bookouture via Netgalley for providing a digital copy of Dying Breath by Helen Phifer for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions. Please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the ‘about’ page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com for an explanation of my rating system. This review and others are also published on my Goodreads.com page https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2199969913

Breaking Silence by Linda Castillo

(Kate Burkholder series #3)

Breaking Silence by Linda Castillo
Breaking Silence (Kate Burkholder, #3) 
by Linda Castillo (Goodreads Author)

30817744

Reviewed by


EXCERPT: Pickles was midway to his cruiser when his radio cracked to life. “What now?” he growled.

“Pickles, I got a ten-fifty-two out at the Slabaugh farm. David Troyer just called, said they got three people down in the manure pit.”

“Shit.” Pickles fumbled for his lapel mike. Back in the day, a cop had a radio in his cruiser. If he chose to ignore a call, he could. Now, you carried the damn thing around like some weird body part, one end clipped to your belt, one end stuck in your ear, and a microphone pinned to your chest like some damn medal. “You call EMS?”

“They’re en route. Thought you might want to get out there.”

Pickles heaved another sigh; he’d just about had all the mud and shit he could handle for one night. But he knew a manure pit could be a dangerous place. There were all sorts of nasty gases that would do you in faster than a gas chamber if you weren’t careful. “What’s the twenty on that?”

“Three six four Township Road Two.”

Pickles knew the area. It was a dirt track south of town that would be hell to traverse without a four-wheel-drive vehicle. Figuring this was the end of his Lucchese boots, he cursed. “You might want to call the chief.”

“Roger that.”

“I’m ten-seventy-six,” he said, and forced his old legs into a run.

THE BLURB: Police Chief Kate Burkholder is called to the scene of a horrific tragedy on a peaceful Amish farm.
The Slabaugh family are model Amish farmers, prosperous and hardworking, with four children and a happy extended family. When the parents and an uncle are found dead in their barn, it appears to be a gruesome accident: methane gas asphyxiation caused by a poorly ventilated cesspit. But in the course of a routine autopsy, the coroner discovers that one of the victims suffered a head wound before death—clearly, foul play was involved. But who would want to make orphans of the Slabaughs’ children? And is this murder somehow related to a recent string of shocking hate crimes against the Amish?

Having grown up Amish, Kate is determined to bring the killer to justice. Because the other series of attacks are designated hate crimes, the state sends in agent John Tomasetti, with whom Kate has a long and complex relationship. Together, they search for the link between the crimes—and uncover a dark secret at work beneath the placid surface of this idyllic Amish community.

MY THOUGHTS: I knew Castillo was good, but this is the best of the Kate Burkholder series yet. Breaking Silence is a real page turner.

There are multiple themes running through Breaking Silence, hate crimes, incest, psycological manipulation, bullying. There are no graphic descriptions, nothing to cause alarm for those for whom one or more of these subjects may be triggers. Everything is dealt with with a great deal of sensitivity. And yet Castillo still manages to deliver a riveting read.

I don’t even begin to understand those who commit hate crimes. What do the perpetrators hope to achieve? It seems to me to be a pointless waste of time on all fronts. I was no closer to understanding it at the end of the book.

The end of the book . . . Just when I thought everything was solved and sorted, Castillo turned in upside down and inside out, and we were off in pursuit of the criminal again. There are lots of twists and turns and plenty of action in this read. Highly recommended. ☆☆☆☆☆

I listened to the audio book version of Breaking Silence by Linda Castillo, narrated by Kathleen McInerney, published by MacMillan Audio via OverDrive. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions. Please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the ‘about’ page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com for an explanation of my rating system. This review and others are also published on my Goodreads.com page https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1238890701

Friday Favorite – The Soul of Discretion by Susan Hill

Looking for something to read over the weekend?

Nothing on your book radar that is screaming “read me!”?

Check out my Friday Favorite  – it may not be new, it may not even be by an author you have ever heard of, but it will be a book that has captured both my imagination and my heart.

I started off by rereading the earlier books in the Simon Serrailler series, and then catching up on the latest book, The Soul of Discretion, which I read this week. WOW!!! I think my review says it all. ….

The Soul of Discretion by Susan Hill
The Soul of Discretion (Simon Serrailler, #8) 
by Susan Hill

30817744
Reviewed by


EXCERPT: He went through the gate and stopped. Later, he said that he would never forget the child’s face until his dying day. Later, he could not sleep because the face was in front of him. Later, he was haunted during his waking hours by sudden flashbacks to the child’s face as it looked up at him. . .

It was a girl. She was perhaps four years old. She was filthy, she had smears of blood on her arms and legs. Her long, fine, fair hair was matted to her scalp. She was completely naked.

THE BLURB: The cathedral town of Lafferton seems idyllic, but in many ways it is just like any other place. As part of the same rapidly changing world, it shares the same hopes and fears, and the same kinds of crime, as any number of towns up and down the land.

When one day DC Simon Serrailler is called in by Lafferton’s new Chief Constable, Kieron Bright, he is met by four plainclothes officers. He is asked to take the lead role in a complex, potentially dangerous undercover operation and must leave town immediately, without telling anyone – not even his girlfriend Rachel, who has only just moved in with him.

Meanwhile, Simon’s sister Cat is facing difficult choices at work that will test her dedication to the NHS. But an urgent call about her and Simon’s father, Richard, soon presents her with a far greater challenge much closer to home.

To complete his special op, Simon must inhabit the mind of the worst kind of criminal. As the op unfolds, Lafferton is dragged into the sort of case every town dreads. And Simon faces the fight of his life.

MY THOUGHTS: OMG!!!!! This is the most compelling, gut wrenching book I have read by this author.

Over the previous seven books in the Simon Serrailler series Susan Hill, while holding me spellbound with her writing and storytelling skills, has lulled me almost into a sense of complacency, of security. Then she goes and turns everything upside down and gives it a shake for good measure.

I am almost speechless. I never saw any of this coming. I read The Soul of Discretion in one sitting. And now, the next morning, I am still shell-shocked. Still reeling.

I have only one more thing to say. Susan Hill, I hope you are already hard at work on book #9. You can’t leave Simon there!

☆☆☆☆☆ bright, bouncy, shining stars for The Soul of Discretion by Susan Hill. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own. Please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the ‘about’page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com for an explanation of my rating system. This review and others are also published on my Goodreads.com page

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1169832462?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

Shadows on the Street by Susan Hill

The Shadows in the Street by Susan Hill
The Shadows in the Street (Simon Serrailler, #5) 
by Susan Hill

30817744

Reviewed by


EXCERPT: They could never quite decide if he was OK or not. He wasn’t weird. He wasn’t anything. All the same. . .

‘Say what you like,’ Hayley had said, ‘not normal.’

Only he seemed normal, watching them eat the sandwiches he’d made for them, pocket the chocolate bars he’d bought out of his own money, finish off the hot tea or coffee. He had a normal coat, normal blue wool scarf. Normal black shoes. Normal. He was clean, he shaved, he hadn’t got anything special about him or anything peculiar either. Just normal.

Only not.

THE BLURB: Simon Serrailler is on sabbatical on a Scottish island, recovering from an exhausting murder investigation, when he is urgently summoned back to Lafferton. Two local prostitutes have been found strangled. By the time Serrailer has reached the town, another girl has vanished. Is this a vendetta against prostitutes by someone with a warped mind? Or a series of killings by an angry punter? Then the wife of the new Dean at the Cathedral goes missing – has the killer widened their net or is there more than one murderer at large?

MY THOUGHTS: Susan Hill’s Simon Serrailler series is one of my favorite series, for many reasons. It is about so much more than a detective. It encompasses the story of a family, three generations of it, their struggles with their lives, their jobs, and each other. Disappointments, expectations, petty jealousies, health problems, deaths, remarriage, and the joys and problems of raising families. Moral dilemmas. Faith. Loss. Love. Grief. Adjustment. Belonging, or being on the outside looking in.

But there is always a crime to solve, and nothing is ever straightforward. Simon Serrailler, DCI, artist, loner, does not always feature hugely in the plot, but is a presence all the same. In the Shadows in the Street, he doesn’t feature in his police role until quite well into the book. And yet this doesn’t detract from the story at all, instead we get to see a side of Simon rarely shown to us, the recluse, the loner, the artist very much at home on a remote island.

There is always so much more to her books than is at first apparent. And discovering the hidden depths is always a pleasure for me.

A very fond ☆☆☆☆☆ for The Shadows in the Street by Susan Hill, published by Chatto and Windus, a division of Random House. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own. Please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the ‘about’ page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com for an explanation of my rating system. This review and others are also published on my Goodreads.com page https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/963823954

Dying Day by Stephen Edger

Dying Day by Stephen Edger
Dying Day: Absolutely gripping serial killer fiction 
by Stephen Edger (Goodreads Author)

30817744

Reviewed by


EXCERPT: He pulled back the sheet and for a few cold heartbeats Kate was back in the South London mortuary, and she was staring down at the body of Amy Spencer. She shook her head, and the new victim’s face returned to the table. The pale skin clung to the slender frame, save for the patches of yellow and purple bruising around her torso. She couldn’t have been much older than twenty-two; such a tragic waste of life.

THE BLURB: Her dark skin looks almost grey; the effect of the elements and death’s touch. Her limp body left pressed against a wire fence like trash. I make a silent promise that I will do everything I can to catch the person who did this to her…

Exactly a year ago, Amy, a young detective on Detective Kate Matthews’ team, was killed when she was sent undercover to catch a serial killer targeting young girls.

Kate never forgave herself for letting the killer slip through her fingers…

As the case is reopened and the campaign to find the culprit begins again, Kate is told to stay well away, and for good reason: another girl’s body has been found.

Kate is determined to connect new evidence to the old to catch this monster before more innocent lives are taken. The trail runs cold when her prime suspect is found dead. But then why is the body count still rising?

The answer is more terrible than Kate could possibly have imagined, and the killer so much closer than she thinks…

MY THOUGHTS: I read Dying Day by Stephen Edger basically in one sitting.

This is a great example of the British crime genre.

The story is told over two timelines and points of view. Amy’s starts prior to her death, twelve months earlier, and counts down towards the event. Kate’s story is in the present, twelve months after Amy’s death, which she is haunted by, her guilt a driving force and coloring all her decisions.

Kate is a very strong character, following her own path irrespective of the restrictions placed upon her by her superiors. But it seems that no matter what she does, the solution to the riddle of Amy’s death remains just out of reach.

Dying Day is full of twists and turns, and although I had my suspicions as to the identity of Amy’s killer, I had no idea of the motive nor the means, and my suspicions were not confirmed until right at the end.

Fast paced and action filled, Dying Day is a solid ☆☆☆☆ read.

Thank you to Bookouture via Netgalley for providing a digital copy of Dying Day by Stephen Edger for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own. Please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the ‘about’ page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com for an explanation of my rating system. This review and others are also published on my Goodreads.com page https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2183060753

Close to the Bone by Stuart MacBride

Close to the Bone (Logan McRae, #8) 
by Stuart MacBride

30817744

Reviewed by


EXCERPT: She holds up the book of matches, licks her lips. She’s practised the words a dozen times until they’re perfect.
‘Do you have anything to say before I carry out sentence?’
The man kneeling on the floor of the warehouse stares up at her. He’s trembling, moaning behind the mask hiding his face. ‘Oh God. Oh Jesus. Oh God. Oh Jesus.’
The chains around his wrists and ankles rattle against the metal stake.
A waft of accelerant curls through the air from the tyre wedged over his head and shoulders. Black rubber and paraffin.

THE BLURB: The first body is chained to a stake: strangled, and stabbed, with a burning tyre around its neck. But is this a gangland execution or something much darker?

Someone’s leaving little knots of bones outside Detective Inspector Logan McRae’s house, but he’s got more pressing things to worry about. Rival drug gangs are fighting over product and territory; two teenage lovers are missing; someone’s crippling Asian immigrants; and Logan’s been lumbered with an ambitious new Detective Sergeant, a mountain of paperwork, and the unwelcome attention of his superiors and the local crime boss.

When another body turns up, it looks as if the similarities between these murders and the plot of a bestselling novel are more than just a coincidence. And perhaps those little knots of bones are more important than they look…

MY THOUGHTS: The blurb doesn’t do Close to the Bone by Stuart MacBride justice, anywhere near justice. Reading this book is a nail-biting, roller-coaster ride of an experience. MacBride has long been a favorite author of mine, but with Close to the Bone, he has taken his writing to a whole new level. This is the best book by this author that I have read.

I have a strong stomach, there isn’t much in the written word that makes me cringe, yet MacBride managed it. Amongst all the horrific descriptions of what the characters in this book are doing to one another, the graphic descriptions of the crime scenes and the decomposing bodies, there is a girl who picks the scabs off her knees AND EATS THEM! That brought me to my knees.

And interspersed with all this, are little gems of MacBride’s black humor. An example – ‘You told me he was dead.’ ‘He got better.’

I loved this book. MacBride had me running the gamut of my emotions. He shocked me, he had me worried, he made me sad, he made me laugh, he broke my heart.

I listened to Close to the Bone by Stuart MacBride, narrated by Steve Worley who did a magnificent job, on audio via Overdrive. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own. Please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the ‘about’ page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com for an explanation of my rating system. This review and others are also published on my Goodreads.com page https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1020255342

Broken Bones (D. I. Kim Stone series)

Broken Bones by Angela Marsons
Broken Bones (D.I. Kim Stone, #7) 
by Angela Marsons (Goodreads Author)

30817744
Reviewed by


EXCERPT: ‘It is lucky for you that I have a way for you to pay me back. You’re not the first, you see. You craved your independence, sought a way to speed your journey to adulthood and you have succeeded. This is your debt and your responsibility. You got exactly what you wanted.’
(She) could not deny that there was some truth in his words.
‘You have been successful in escaping the clutches of your mother. She is no longer in charge of your decisions and this next one you will make yourself.’
(She) held her breath. There was a mesmerizing quality to his voice that, although it filled her with fear, she felt compelled to listen to.
‘You are here, alone, with no money, no friends and no safety net yet you have the one thing that will set you free.’
(She) frowned.
He raised one eyebrow and looked her up and down. ‘You have your body.’
For a few seconds, (she) was confused. She thought about her hands, arms, legs, feet and as she thought about the bits in between her fear turned to abject horror.

THE BLURB: They thought they were safe. They were wrong.
The murder of a young prostitute and a baby found abandoned on the same winter night signals the start of a disturbing investigation for Detective Kim Stone – one which brings her face to face with someone from her own horrific childhood.

As three more sex workers are murdered in quick succession, each death more violent than the last, Kim and her team realise that the initial killing was no one-off frenzied attack, but a twisted serial killer preying on the vulnerable.

At the same time, the search begins for the desperate woman who left her newborn baby at the station – but what looks like a tragic abandonment turns even more sinister when a case of modern slavery is uncovered.

The two investigations bring the team into a terrifying world of human exploitation and cruelty – and a showdown that puts Kim’s life at risk as shocking secrets from her own past come to light.

MY THOUGHTS: Angela Marsons just keeps on writing absolutely compelling, gripping thrillers. Broken Bones is #7 in the DI Stone series, and mostly by now, with a few notable exceptions, the author has either run out of steam and is rehashing tired old story lines, or I have become bored with the series. Not so with Marsons. I made the mistake of beginning Broken Bones when I went to bed. At 1.30 am I was still reading.

Marsons character development is crucial to her success. With every book in this series we learn a little more about Kim, about what makes her tick, and we see progression in her relationships with her team, and of those between the team members.

I haven’t always liked Kim. I understood why she was like she was, but I didn’t like her. Admired, but not liked. However, over the series, Kim has grown and in Broken Bones we see a side of Kim that we never previously knew existed. And I wanted to hug this prickly, independent woman.

This is a story of human greed, greed for money, for position, for power. But it is also a wonderfully touching story of mothers, and just how far they will go to protect their children. But beware, there is also an extremely evil mother in evidence, one who sees in her daughter the way to escape her own sordid life.

5 very bright stars. 💓☆☆☆☆☆💓

Thank you to Bookouture via Netgalley for providing a digital copy of Broken Bones by Angela Marsons for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own. Please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the ‘about’ page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com for an explanation of my rating system. This review and others are also published on my Goodreads.com page https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2171468915

Kisscut by Karin Slaughter

Kisscut by Karin Slaughter
Kisscut (Grant County, #2) 
by Karin Slaughter (Goodreads Author)

Reviewed by


EXCERPT: At twenty-eight weeks old, Jenny Weaver’s child might have been viable outside the womb had its mother not tried to flush it down the toilet. The foetus was well developed and well nourished. The brain stem was intact and, with medical intervention, the lungs would have matured over time. The hands would have learned to grasp, the feet to flex, the eyes to blink. Eventually, the mouth would have learned to speak of something other than the horrors it spoke to Sara of now. The lungs had taken breath, the mouth gasped for life. And then it had been killed.
For the past three-and-a-half hours, Sara had tried to reassemble the baby from the parts Jenny Weaver had left in the bathroom and in the red book bag they found in the trash by the video game room. Using tiny sutures instead of the usual baseball stitches, Sara had sewn the paper thin flesh back together into the semblance of a child. Her hands shook, and Sara had redone some of the knots because her fingers were not nimble enough on the first try.
Still, it was not enough. Working on the child, tying the tiny sutures, was like pulling a thread on a sweater. For every area repaired, there was another that could not be concealed. There was no disguising the trauma the child had been through. In the end, Sara had finally accepted that her self-appointed task was an exercise in futility. The baby would go to the grave looking much the way it had looked the last time her mother had seen her.

THE BLURB: Saturday night dates at the skating rink have been a tradition in the small southern town of Heartsdale for as long as anyone can remember, but when a teenage quarrel explodes into a deadly shoot-out, Sara Linton–the town’s pediatrician and medical examiner–finds herself entangled in a terrible tragedy.

What seemed at first to be a horrific but individual catastrophe proves to have wider implications. The autopsy reveals evidence of long-term abuse, of ritualistic self -mutilation, but when Sara and police chief Jeffrey Tolliver start to investigate, they are frustrated at every turn.

The children surrounding the victim close ranks. The families turn their backs. Then a young girl is abducted, and it becomes clear that the first death is linked to an even more brutal crime, one far more shocking than anyone could have imagined. Meanwhile, detective Lena Adams, still recovering from her sister’s death and her own brutal attack, finds herself drawn to a young man who might hold the answers. But unless Lena, Sara, and Jeffrey can uncover the deadly secrets the children hide, it’s going to happen again . . .

MY THOUGHTS: Grant County is a series that needs to be read in order, from the beginning, to get the full benefit from the storyline.
Kisscut by Karin Slaughter is not a pretty story. It is not a pleasant read. It contains references to child abuse, and while it doesn’t go into specific detail, we all know enough to fill in the blanks. But Kisscut is compelling reading. Even though this is a reread for me, I found myself totally embroiled in the plot and the fates of the characters.
This is Slaughter at her best, and I still love the Grant County series best of all.
I listened to Kisscut by Karin Slaughter,narrated by Kathleen Early, on audiobook via OverDrive. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own. Please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the ‘about’ page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com for an explanation of my rating system. This review and others are also published on my Goodreads.com page https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2177382184

Friday Favorite – Silent Scream by Angela Marsons

Looking for something to read over the weekend?

Nothing on your book radar that is screaming “read me!”?

Check out my Friday Favorite  – it may not be new, it may not even be by an author you have ever heard of, but it will be a book that has captured both my imagination and my heart.

I am currently reading Broken Bones by Angela Marsons, #7 in the DI. Stone series, and newly published just this week. It is not often that an author can maintain their focus and momentum through a series of seven books, but Marsons has done just that.

So while I am up in the middle of the New Zealand night devouring Marsons latest offering, I thought I would introduce you to the first in the series, Silent Scream.

WARNING: Unless you are planning on a sleepless night, don’t start this when you are going to bed, otherwise you will find yourself doing as I am, sitting up all night reading because you are going to read just one more chapter before you turn out the light. ..

Silent Scream by Angela Marsons
Silent Scream (D.I. Kim Stone, #1) 
by Angela Marsons (Goodreads Author)

Reviewed by


EXCERPT:
PROLOGUE
Rowley Regis, Black Country, 2004
Five figures formed a pentagram around a freshly dug mound.
Only they knew it was a grave.
Digging the frozen earth beneath the layers of ice and snow had been like trying to carve stone but they’d taken turns.
All of them.
An adult-sized hole would have taken longer.
The shovel had passed from grip to grip. Some were hesitant, tentative. Others more assured. No one resisted and no one spoke.
The innocence of the life taken was known to them all but the pact had been made.
Their secrets would be buried.
Five heads bowed towards the dirt, visualising the body beneath soil that already glistened with fresh ice. As the first flakes dusted the top of the grave, a shudder threaded through the group. The five figures dispersed, their footprints treading the trail of a star into the fresh, crisp snow.
It was done.

THE BLURB: Even the darkest secrets can’t stay buried forever…

Five figures gather round a shallow grave. They had all taken turns to dig. An adult sized hole would have taken longer. An innocent life had been taken but the pact had been made. Their secrets would be buried, bound in blood …
Years later, a headmistress is found brutally strangled, the first in a spate of gruesome murders which shock the Black Country.

But when human remains are discovered at a former children’s home, disturbing secrets are also unearthed. D.I. Kim Stone fast realises she’s on the hunt for a twisted individual whose killing spree spans decades.

As the body count rises, Kim needs to stop the murderer before they strike again. But to catch the killer, can Kim confront the demons of her own past before it’s too late?

Fans of Rachel Abbott, Val McDermid and Mark Billingham will be gripped by this exceptional new voice in British crime fiction.

Watch out for more from D.I. Kim Stone
A Detective hiding dark secrets, Kim Stone will stop at nothing to protect the innocent. Silent Scream is the first book in the series – watch out for EVIL GAMES coming soon.

MY THOUGHTS: The cover states that this is an edge of the seat serial killer thriller – and yes, it does deliver what it promises!
A headmistress is found brutally strangled, the first in a spate of gruesome murders which shock the Black Country.
Then human remains are discovered buried in the grounds of a former children’s home, threatening to bring to light a legacy of disturbing secrets.
How far will the killer go to protect these secrets?
The characters, some of whom are quite horrifying, are all well portrayed and well rounded.
This book had me gasping in shock, then shedding tears at moments of extreme compassion and tenderness.
Strongly recommended. But beware – this book is almost impossible to put down.

Thank you to Bookouture via Netgalley for providing a digital copy of Silent Scream by Angela Marsons for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own. Please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the ‘about’ page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com for an explanation of my rating system. This review and others are also published on my Goodreads.com page https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1180418128

Bloodline by Mark Billingham

Bloodline by Mark Billingham
Bloodline (Tom Thorne, #8) 
by Mark Billingham

Reviewed by


EXCERPT: The woman was face down, arms by her sides. Her shirt had been lifted, or had ridden up, showing purplish patches on her skin just above her waist where the liver mortis had started and revealing that her bra had not been removed.

“Something, I suppose,” said a female CSI as she walked past.

Thorne raised his eyes from the body and looked towards the single window. There were plates and mugs on the draining board next to the sink. A light was flashing on the front of the washing machine to let somebody know that the cycle had finished.

There was still a trace of normality.

THE BLURB: DI Tom Thorne is back…

It seems like a straightforward domestic murder until a bloodstained sliver of X-ray is found clutched in the dead woman’s fist – and it quickly becomes clear that this case is anything but ordinary.

Thorne discovers that the victim’s mother had herself been murdered fifteen years before by infamous serial killer Raymond Garvey. The hunt to catch Garvey was one of the biggest in the history of the Met, and ended with seven women dead.

When more bodies and more fragments of X-ray are discovered, Thorne has a macabre jigsaw to piece together until the horrifying picture finally emerges. A killer is targeting the children of Raymond Garvey’s victims.

Thorne must move quickly to protect those still on the murderer’s list, but nothing and nobody are what they seem. Not when Thorne is dealing with one of the most twisted killers he has ever hunted…

A chilling, relentlessly paced thriller, Bloodline is the most gripping Tom Thorne novel yet.

MY THOUGHTS: I absolutely agree with the final sentence in the blurb. Bloodline is chilling. The pace is relentless. And this is the most gripping of the Tom Thorne series yet.

The killer is twisted, and very clever. He has laid his plans and prepared his ground meticulously. He leaves a trail for the police to follow, and he sits back and waits…

Meanwhile, Thorne is dealing with a personal crisis, or perhaps not dealing with it might be more accurate.

Billingham’s characters are ordinary people. They have likes and dislikes, bills to pay, meals to plan, children to get to school. I think this is one of the reasons I enjoy Billingham’s books so much. These people could be your neighbors, your friends, could even be you.

I like the matter of fact way Billingham writes, and his little injections of black humor.

An exciting and thrilling read. Although these are best read in order of the series to gain the most out of the character development, Bloodline will work as a stand alone book. 4.5☆

Bloodline was narrated by Paul Thornley and I listened to the audio version via OverDrive. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own. Please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the ‘about’ page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com for an explanation of my rating system. This review and others are also published on my Goodreads.com page https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/942705195