Somebody at the Door by Raymond Postgate

Somebody at the Door by Raymond Postgate
Somebody at the Door 
by Raymond Postgate

Reviewed by


EXCERPT: “The German, too, is a possible line. Refugees are a Home Office matter, and Inspector Atkins deals with them. But I remember him telling me one, who sounds very like this man, whom Grayling was making a dead set at. I can’t remember the name, but Atkins will when he comes in. Grayling had written both to us and to the Home Secretary charging the man with being a spy, possessing a bicycle and a radio, and passing himself off falsely as a refugee, using the name of someone the Nazis had, in fact, killed. We didn’t pay much attention, because Grayling had recently become very violent about such things and talked rather wildly. But I seem to remember Atkins spoke as if an arrest wasn’t unlikely.”

THE BLURB: One bleak Friday evening in January, 1942, Councillor Henry Grayling boards an overcrowded train with £120 in cash wages to be paid out the next day to the workers of Barrow and Furness Chemistry and Drugs Company. When Councillor Grayling finally finds the only available seat in a third-class carriage, he realises to his annoyance that he will be sharing it with some of his disliked acquaintances: George Ransom, with whom he had a quarrel; Charles Evetts, who is one of his not-so-trusted employees; a German refugee whom Grayling has denounced; and Hugh Rolandson, whom Grayling suspects of having an affair with his wife.

The train journey passes uneventfully in an awkward silence but later that evening Grayling dies of what looks like mustard gas poisoning and the suitcase of cash is nowhere to be found. Inspector Holly has a tough time trying to get to the bottom of the mystery, for the unpopular Councillor had many enemies who would be happy to see him go, and most of them could do with the cash he was carrying. But Inspector Holly is persistent and digs deep into the past of all the suspects for a solution, starting with Grayling’s travelling companions. Somebody at the Door,” first published in 1943, is an intricate mystery which, in the process of revealing whodunit, “paints an interesting picture of the everyday life during the war.”

MY THOUGHTS: Oh dear. I was so looking forward to reading Somebody at the Door by Raymond Postgate. I usually love these old murder mysteries with their ambience. Unfortunately, this falls a little short.

Somebody at the Door, and I really can’t see the relevance of the title, could easily have been a short story, or novella. The actual mystery itself, although a little obvious, is entertaining. What killed the book for me was the interminable back stories for each and every suspect in Grayling’s death. Each one examined and relayed every minute detail starting from the suspect’s childhood through to the present time. Each one could have been a book on its own. And most of it was irrelevant to the plot. ‘Filling’ I think they call it. I skimmed large tracts of text.

I could not make up my mind between 2 or 3 stars, so 2.5 it is.

Thank you to Poisoned Pen Press via Netgalley for providing a digital copy of Somebody at the Door by Raymond Postgate for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions. A lot of people will like this book more than I did, therefore if you enjoyed the excerpt and like the sound of the blurb, please take a chance and read Somebody at the Door. I will enjoy reading your reviews.

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/2205016042

Friday Favorite – The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

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 joined Goodreads.com in 2014 and, if I remember correctly, The Rosie Project was the first book I gave a ☆☆☆☆☆ review.

Asperger’s is a subject dear to my heart. My youngest brother has Asperger’s, and I can see so much of him in Don Tillman. Thank you Graeme Simsion for giving me some insight into my brother’s world.

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
The Rosie Project (Don Tillman, #1) 
by Graeme Simsion (Goodreads Author)

Reviewed by


EXCERPT: I may have found a solution to the Wife Problem. As with so many scientific breakthroughs, the answer was obvious in retrospect. But had it not been for a series of unscheduled events, it is unlikely I would have discovered it.

The sequence was initiated by Gene’s insisting I give a lecture on Asperger’s syndrome that he had previously agreed to deliver himself. The timing was extremely annoying. The preparation could be time-shared with lunch consumption, but on the designated evening I had scheduled ninety-four minutes to clean my bathroom. I was faced with a choice of three options, none of them satisfactory.

1. Cleaning the bathroom after the lecture, resulting in loss of sleep with a consequent reduction in mental and physical performance.

2. Rescheduling the cleaning until the following Tuesday, resulting in an eight-day period of compromised bathroom hygiene and consequent risk of disease.

3. Refusing to deliver the lecture, resulting in damage to my friendship with Gene.

I presented the dilemma to Gene, who, as usual, had an alternative solution.

“Don, I’ll pay for someone to clean your bathroom.”

I explained to Gene—again—that all cleaners, with the possible exception of the Hungarian woman with the short skirt, made errors. Short-Skirt Woman, who had been Gene’s cleaner, had disappeared following some problem with Gene and Claudia.

“I’ll give you Eva’s mobile number. Just don’t mention me.”

“What if she asks? How can I answer without mentioning you?”

“Just say you’re contacting her because she’s the only cleaner who does it properly. And if she mentions me, say nothing.”

This was an excellent outcome, and an illustration of Gene’s ability to find solutions to social problems. Eva would enjoy having her competence recognized and might even be suitable for a permanent role, which would free up an average of 316 minutes per week in my schedule.

THE BLURB: An international sensation, this hilarious, feel-good novel is narrated by an oddly charming and socially challenged genetics professor on an unusual quest: to find out if he is capable of true love.

Don Tillman, professor of genetics, has never been on a second date. He is a man who can count all his friends on the fingers of one hand, whose lifelong difficulty with social rituals has convinced him that he is simply not wired for romance. So when an acquaintance informs him that he would make a “wonderful” husband, his first reaction is shock. Yet he must concede to the statistical probability that there is someone for everyone, and he embarks upon The Wife Project. In the orderly, evidence-based manner with which he approaches all things, Don sets out to find the perfect partner. She will be punctual and logical—most definitely not a barmaid, a smoker, a drinker, or a late-arriver.

Yet Rosie Jarman is all these things. She is also beguiling, fiery, intelligent—and on a quest of her own. She is looking for her biological father, a search that a certain DNA expert might be able to help her with. Don’s Wife Project takes a back burner to the Father Project and an unlikely relationship blooms, forcing the scientifically minded geneticist to confront the spontaneous whirlwind that is Rosie—and the realization that love is not always what looks good on paper.

The Rosie Project is a moving and hilarious novel for anyone who has ever tenaciously gone after life or love in the face of overwhelming challenges.

MY THOUGHTS: I always studiously avoid anything referred to as hilarious, as i usually find them just plain stupid.

The Rosie Project is the exception to the rule.

I found myself howling with laughter (in public places), and once, rolling around on the floor!

A/Professor of genetics, Don Tillman, wants to get married. He doesn’t require love (an emotional complication he can well live without and does not recognise), but he has a stringent list of requirements for his intended and develops a scientific questionnaire to weed out all those ‘undesirables’ without having to resort to the disastrous dates of the past.

My favorite quote from the book is “But I’m not good at understanding what other people want.’
‘Tell me something I don’t know,’ said Rosie for no obvious reason.
I quickly searched my mind for an interesting fact.
‘Ahhh…The testicles of drone bees and wasp spiders explode during sex.”

This would be one of my top five books of the year. A great read 8:D

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/1103163718

Talkabout Thursday

Why is it that the closer we get to Christmas, the faster the time seems to go! Here it is, Thursday again already. And so it’s time to talk about what I am currently reading, what I am hoping to read in the coming week, and the ARCS I have been approved for.

 

So firstly, what is it that I am currently reading?

City of Masks (Cree Black, #1)

In City of Masks, the first Cree Black novel, parapsychologist Cree and her partner take a case in New Orleans’s Garden District that leaves them fearing for their own lives. The 150-year-old Beauforte House has long stood empty, until Lila Beauforte resumes residence and starts to see some of the house’s secrets literally come to life. Tormented by an insidious and violent presence, Lila finds herself trapped in a life increasingly filled with childhood terrors. It takes Cree’s unconventional take on psychology and her powerful natural empathy with Lila to navigate the dangerous worlds of spirit and memory, as they clash in a terrifying tale of mistaken identity and murder. Daniel Hecht portrays the ambience of New Orleans perfectly, and this book is deliciously creepy in the right places.

Somebody at the Door

One bleak Friday evening in January, 1942, Councillor Henry Grayling boards an overcrowded train with £120 in cash wages to be paid out the next day to the workers of Barrow and Furness Chemistry and Drugs Company. When Councillor Grayling finally finds the only available seat in a third-class carriage, he realises to his annoyance that he will be sharing it with some of his disliked acquaintances: George Ransom, with whom he had a quarrel; Charles Evetts, who is one of his not-so-trusted employees; a German refugee whom Grayling has denounced; and Hugh Rolandson, whom Grayling suspects of having an affair with his wife.

The train journey passes uneventfully in an awkward silence but later that evening Grayling dies of what looks like mustard gas poisoning and the suitcase of cash is nowhere to be found. Inspector Holly has a tough time trying to get to the bottom of the mystery, for the unpopular Councillor had many enemies who would be happy to see him go, and most of them could do with the cash he was carrying. But Inspector Holly is persistent and digs deep into the past of all the suspects for a solution, starting with Grayling’s travelling companions. Somebody at the Door,” first published in 1943, is an intricate mystery which, in the process of revealing whodunit, “paints an interesting picture of the everyday life during the war.” I love murder mysteries from the ‘Golden Age ‘.

Sleeping Beauties

In a future so real and near it might be now, something happens when women go to sleep; they become shrouded in a cocoon-like gauze. If they are awakened, if the gauze wrapping their bodies is disturbed or violated, the women become feral and spectacularly violent; and while they sleep they go to another place. The men of our world are abandoned, left to their increasingly primal devices. One woman, however, the mysterious Evie, is immune to the blessing or curse of the sleeping disease. Is Evie a medical anomaly to be studied, or is she a demon who must be slain?

I started this some time ago, but had to abandon it due to an influx of Netgalley reads all due to be published within a short period of time. Bad planning on my part and I resolve to try and be a bit more organized in the coming year. I am really enjoying this collaboration and will never again look at cobwebs the same way.

I have deliberately left this weeks reading list light as I am working extra hours until Christmas, we have two Christmas work parties to attend, and a friend and I are off to see Jack Johnson in concert under the stars Sunday evening. This week I am only planning on reading two books, and if I find myself with reading time to spare I will pick something from my backlist.

The Runaway Children

A heart-wrenching, unforgettable story of two evacuee sisters during the Second World War… Perfect for fans of Orphan Train, Nadine Dorries and Diney Costeloe.

London, 1942: Thirteen-year-old Nell and five-year-old Olive are being sent away from the devastation of the East End. They are leaving the terror of the Blitz and nights spent shivering in air raid shelters behind them, but will the strangers they are billeted with be kind and loving, or are there different hardships ahead?

As the sisters struggle to adjust to life as evacuees, they soon discover that living in the countryside isn’t always idyllic. Nell misses her mother and brothers more than anything but she has to stay strong for Olive. Then, when little Olive’s safety is threatened by a boy on a farm, Nell has to make a decision that will change their lives forever…

They must run from danger and try to find their way home.

Together the two girls hold each other’s hands as they begin their perilous journey across bombed-out Britain. But when Nell falls ill, can she still protect her little sister from the war raging around them? And will they ever be reunited from the family they’ve been torn from?

An unputdownable novel of unconditional love, friendship and the fight for survival during a time of unimaginable change. The Runaway Children is guaranteed to find a place in your heart.

Killman Creek (Stillhouse Lake, #2)

Every time Gwen closed her eyes, she saw him in her nightmares. Now her eyes are open, and he’s not going away.

Gwen Proctor won the battle to save her kids from her ex-husband, serial killer Melvin Royal, and his league of psychotic accomplices. But the war isn’t over. Not since Melvin broke out of prison. Not since she received a chilling text…

You’re not safe anywhere now.

Her refuge at Stillhouse Lake has become a trap. Gwen leaves her children in the protective custody of a fortified, well-armed neighbor. Now, with the help of Sam Cade, brother of one of Melvin’s victims, Gwen is going hunting. She’s learned how from one of the sickest killers alive.

But what she’s up against is beyond anything she feared—a sophisticated and savage mind game calculated to destroy her. As trust beyond her small circle of friends begins to vanish, Gwen has only fury and vengeance to believe in as she closes in on her prey. And sure as the night, one of them will die.

And only one ARC approval from NetGalley this week, but I have 10 sitting in the pending pile, quite a few of which are wishes I am hoping will be granted. My one approval this week was for

Kill Creek

At the end of a dark prairie road, nearly forgotten in the Kansas countryside, lies the Finch House. For years it has perched empty, abandoned, and overgrown–but soon the door will be opened for the first time in many decades. But something waits, lurking in the shadows, anxious to meet its new guests.
When best-selling horror author Sam McGarver is invited to spend Halloween night in one of the country’s most infamous haunted houses, he reluctantly agrees. At least he won’t be alone; joining him are three other masters of the macabre, writers who have helped shape modern horror. But what begins as a simple publicity stunt soon becomes a fight for survival–the entity they have awakened will follow them, torment them, threatening to make them part of the bloody legacy of Kill Creeknow.

Love that cover!!!!!!

So happy reading my friends, and I ‘ll see you tomorrow for the Friday Favorite!

 

Evil Crimes by Michael Hambling

Evil Crimes by Michael Hambling
Evil Crimes (DCI Sophie Allen #6) 
by Michael Hambling

Reviewed by


EXCERPT: . . . I think she’s convinced herself that there might be something wrong, and she wants to nip it in the bud before we have another death on our hands. If it is the same woman behind these two deaths, then she’s right to push hard. Killers can soon get addicted to what they do. The boss is worried that she might have already chosen another victim. If that’s the case, it’s a race and we’re handicapped because there’s so much we don’t yet know.

THE BLURB: A young man’s body is spotted in the stormy sea off Dancing Ledge in Dorset.

Did he lose his footing in the gale force winds and fall in? Or is there a more sinister cause of death?

Detective Sophie Allen’s team discover some curious links to a suicide that happened six months earlier.

A strikingly attractive female student connects the cases. Alarming facts slowly come to light as the team probes more deeply.

Is the young woman as evil as she seems or is someone else manipulating her?

DCI Sophie Allen races against time to uncover the tragic secrets behind the crimes and stop any more deaths.

MY THOUGHTS: How have I previously missed out on Michael Hambling? How many times have I said that I wished someone would give me a strong female lead detective who isn’t carrying loads of baggage and lives a relatively normal life? A female Alan Banks.

Well, here she is. DCI Sophie Allen is happily married to the father of her two daughters, one coming up eighteen, the other a little older. She has a great relationship with both her daughters and with her mother, who’s quite a colorful character. She works well with her team. A nice woman who gets the job done. A breath of fresh air!

And if you think that sounds boring, you’d be wrong. The characters are well portrayed, the plot unusual and interesting. I liked this so much that I am planning to gorge myself on the earlier books in the series over the Christmas break.

And, in case you are wondering, Evil Crimes works perfectly well as a stand alone.

Thank you to Joffe Books via Netgalley for providing me with a digital copy of Evil Crimes by Michael Hambling 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/2203231397?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

Chord of Evil by Sarah Rayne

Chord of Evil by Sarah Rayne
Chord of Evil (Phineas Fox #2) 
by Sarah Rayne

Reviewed by


EXCERPT: On the first night she knelt on the window-seat of her room, staring across the darkening landscape towards a huddle of buildings. At first she was not sure what they were. They were too large to be farm buildings, and too neatly laid out to be a village. She thought the word for it might be regimented. Might it be a factory? But as she went on looking, her eyes began to adjust to the darkness – or perhaps the moon simply came out from behind clouds – and she could make out tall gates. She was seeing more details as well now, and sick horror was starting to sweep over her. Because on the eastern side of the buildings, almost exactly as she had seen them in her nightmares, were jutting brick chimneys.

It’s a concentration camp, thought Christa. It’s one of the places where people are shut away and where the skewer-eyed men and the humpback surgeons pull out their bones. Where the brick chimneys sometimes glow with heat, because people – dozens of people – are being burned. For the first time since leaving Lindschoen, she was grateful that Stefan was not with them.

THE BLURB: A mysterious 1940s’ portrait leads researcher Phineas Fox to uncover a devastating wartime secret in this chilling novel of suspense.

Phineas Fox finds it impossible to refuse when his sport-loving neighbour Toby begs for his help in finding out what’s happened to his cousin Arabella, who seems to have disappeared without trace. The only clue to her whereabouts is an obscure 1940s’ portrait left in her flat, a gift from her godfather, Stefan. The painting depicts the mysterious Christa Klein, Stefan’s sister – and an alleged murderess.

Was Christa Klein really guilty of a monstrous crime? What exactly happened within brooding Wewelsburg Castle back in 1941? And what does it have to do with Arabella’s disappearance? As Phin delves further, he uncovers evidence of a lost piece of music and a devastating wartime secret: an atrocity whose repercussions reach to the present day.

MY THOUGHTS: I enjoyed Chord of Evil by Sarah Rayne, although I wouldn’t call it chilling. It is really almost a cosy mystery. Although some of the subject matter, the concentration camps, the Nazi’s treatment of the Jews, could be horrific, it is merely glossed over in favor of presenting a good mystery.

And it is a good mystery, one that had me turning the pages rapidly to find out who was going to survive and just whether or not Christa was a murderess.

Don’t expect any great historical depth, or in fact much depth at all. If you want a quick, enjoyable mystery to read, Chord of Evil fits the bill admirably. If I get the chance to read more in this series, I will definitely be taking it.

Thank you to Severn House via Netgalley for providing a digital copy of Chord of Evil by Sarah Rayne 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/2202189458?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

Mother by S. E. Lynes

Mother by S.E. Lynes
Mother 
by S.E. Lynes (Goodreads Author)

Reviewed by


EXCERPT: He worried these things would make him sound wierd, and with that monster on the loose – and in Yorkshire – she might think it was him. The idea filled him with a cold, sick feeling. The Ripper’s victims: bodies mutilated and abandoned in wasteland, behind cemeteries or left to rot in parks. When he thought of these women, these murders, these bodies, something dark niggled away at any peace, however short lived, he might feel. He thought he knew what they meant by ‘bodies’, the fathomless dark the term concealed. All around him,he could sense the terror that still permeated the female student population, judging by the frenzied conversations he had overheard in the shuffle of the lecture halls, the squash of the corridors and the clatter of the university canteen. Normal women had been murdered. Normal women, just like them.

And if the victims included normal women, he wondered, was the Ripper a normal man, a man as normal or as troubled as any other man – a man like him.

THE BLURB: Christopher would never hurt anyone. Not intentionally. Even after everything that’s happened I still believe that…

Christopher Harris is a lonely boy. A boy who has never fitted into his family. Who has always felt something was missing from his life. Until one day, when he discovers a suitcase in his family’s attic. And a secret about his mother that changes everything. What price would you pay for the perfect family?

Christopher finally has a chance at happiness. A happiness that he will do anything to protect…

MY THOUGHTS: Mother by S. E. Lynes is told from three points of view. That of Christopher, Ben, and someone not identified until almost the end of the book. Which was kind of frustrating/annoying. The change in narrator was never announced – headings on the chapters would have been useful. Several times I had to go back to the beginning of a chapter and reread it once I realised that the narrator was different.

While the idea behind the plot is good, the full potential was not tapped. The first half of the book dragged, the second half was more interesting, but at no time did I feel a real connection to any of the characters and, in the end, I didn’t really care about the outcome. It all felt rather contrived and somewhat overdone. Like a good steak that has been ruined by overcooking.

The most interesting part of the book for me, was the references to the Yorkshire Ripper. It was this that provided the atmosphere, a little suspense.

A grudging ☆☆☆ for a book that I suspect could have been a lot better. But I adore the cover!

Thank you to Bookouture via Netgalley for providing a digital copy of Mother by S. E. Lynes for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions. A lot of people will like this book more than I did, therefore if you enjoyed the excerpt and like the sound of the blurb, please take a chance and read Mother. I will enjoy reading your reviews.

For an explanation of my rating system please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the ‘about’ page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com. This review and others are also published on my Goodreads.com page https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2178621932?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

Her Best Friend by Sarah Wray

Her Best Friend by Sarah Wray
Her Best Friend 
by Sarah Wray

Reviewed by


EXCERPT: As I step back inside, I see it on the mat and acidic saliva forces itself up my throat.

Another brown envelope.

This time I don’t wait. I rip the envelope straight open and shove my hand inside. It’s cold, metal; a thin chain. When I pull it out and hold it up, the room feels as if it spins like a fun house. It’s the gold chain with the heart shaped locket, the one they said Victoria was missing that night, that never turned up.

My fingers are shaking but I am eventually able to turn it over – the ‘VP’ engraving is there like I knew it would be.

Before I wasn’t sure. Now I am certain. Someone knows what happened to Victoria that night and this is a message.

THE BLURB: Two girls. A murder. And a secret that binds them forever.
As a teenager, Sylvie Armstrong’s life was shattered when her best friend, Victoria Bland, was murdered. The killer has never been caught – and Sylvie has never spoken about what happened that day.

Now, two decades have gone by and after the death of her mother, Sylvie is forced to return to her home town, along with her newborn daughter – only to be confronted by the secrets that she has been running from for twenty years.

But then Sylvie receives the locket Victoria was wearing on the night she died – and it becomes clear that somebody knows what really happened to Victoria.

As Sylvie struggles to discover the truth behind the lies, she finds herself in increasing danger from those who will stop at nothing to keep their secrets. Someone who threatens not only Sylvie, but everything she loves…

MY THOUGHTS: ‘Truth is like the sun. You can shut it out for a time, but it ain’t going away.’

Her Best Friend by Sarah Wray is deceptive. For around the first third of the book, I thought it was okay, but nothing really special. But what it actually is, is a cleverly crafted, slow burning read. Like one of those fireworks that appears to be fizzing, gives a couple of experimental spurts, then bursts into a beautiful technicolor display of pyrotechnics. The second third of the book had me reading avidly, and the final third? You couldn’t have paid me to put the book down.

You may not like the characters, but they are well drawn and realistic. The story takes place over two timelines, now and twenty years previous. Sylvie, the pivotal character, is no more self assured now than she was then. She revolved in Victoria’s orbit, followed her lead, was her acolyte.

Relationships between the characters are more complex than they first appear. I had several suspects in mind for the death of Victoria. I changed my mind several times throughout the read. I settled on two, but couldn’t make my mind up which of them it was, and was wrong. Completely and utterly way off base. Which pleases me greatly.

4.5 sparkling stars for Her Best Friend by Sarah Wray which came to me in the form of a digital ARC from Bookouture via Netgalley, for which I thank them. 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/2185446623

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

Friday Favorite – Old Friends and New Enemies by Owen Mullen (Charlie Cameron #2)

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.

We first met Charlie Cameron in  Games People Play, which featured in an earlier Friday Favorite blog. Old Friends and New Enemies, the second book in the Charlie Cameron series, is the third book by Scottish novelist Owen Mullen that I have featured on my blog, an honor so far only awarded to one other author, Susan Hill.

But I think that Owen Mullen has a spectacular writing style, and is a name you are going to be hearing a lot of in the future, right up there with Stuart MacBride and Val McDermid. Of the other two books by Mullen that I have featured, Games People Play was long-listed for Bloody Scotland McIlvanney Crime Book Of The Year 2017, and And So It Began, book #1 in the Delaney series, was awarded ⭐Star Pick from the Sunday Times Crime Club.

So, you see, you’re onto a good thing here . . .

Old Friends and New Enemies by Owen Mullen
Old Friends and New Enemies (Charlie Cameron, #2) 
by Owen Mullen (Goodreads Author)

Reviewed by


EXCERPT: They dragged him from the boot of the car, down an embankment to the shore; gagged, bound and blindfolded. His feet scraped grass and stones, a shoe came off and was left behind. At the jetty, Kevin Rafferty waited in the boat. In a long career of violent persuasion, this guy had been the hardest to break. But it wouldn’t last, when the blindfold came off he’d realise the loch was to be his grave.

THE BLURB: The body on the mortuary slab wasn’t who Glasgow PI Charlie Cameron was looking for.
But it wasn’t a stranger.
Suddenly, a routine missing persons investigation becomes a fight for survival. As Charlie is dragged deeper into Glasgow’s underbelly he goes up against notorious gangster Jimmy Rafferty and discovers what fear really is.
Rafferty is so ruthless even his own sons are terrified of him.
Now he wants Charlie to find something. And Jimmy Rafferty always gets what he wants.
There is only one problem… Charlie doesn’t know where it is.

MY THOUGHTS: Old Friends and New Enemies: A tense and gripping Scottish Crime Thriller – all true, but neither tense nor gripping does this book justice.

This book follows on from Games People Play and again we meet with Charlie Cameron, who specialises in locating missing people; Jackie, the Manager of New York Blues, Charlies ‘local’ for want of a better word; Pat Logue, Charlie’s sidekick and husband of the long-suffering Gail; and DS Andrew Geddes, sometimes friend of Charlie who has been known to push the limits on what he unofficially reveals to Charlie.

Charlie is looking for a man who went missing after his teenage son committed suicide. There is an unidentified body in the morgue who just may be the man Charlie is trying to locate. Instead he finds an old friend, Ian Selkirk, whom he hasn’t seen for years. Ian has been tortured. Whoever killed him wanted something. And now they think Charlie may have it……

I have never before read an author who can pack so much meaning and imagery into so few words. His writing style could almost be called terse. It is also refreshing, dynamic and (as I have said previously) totally unputdownable.

Gripping? Yes. Thrilling? Yes. But both these words pale in the face of Owen Mullen’s talent. Here is a new writer with a brilliant future.

Thank you to author Owen Mullen for a digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest and unbiased 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/1575855828