Title: Lockdown

Author: Peter May

Pages: 416 Pages

Publisher: riverrun

The Blurb

‘They said that twenty-five percent of the population would catch the flu. Between seventy and eighty percent of them would die. He had been directly exposed to it, and the odds weren’t good.’

A CITY IN QUARANTINE

London, the epicenter of a global pandemic, is a city in lockdown. Violence and civil disorder simmer. Martial law has been imposed. No-one is safe from the deadly virus that has already claimed thousands of victims. Health and emergency services are overwhelmed.

A MURDERED CHILD

At a building site for a temporary hospital, construction workers find a bag containing the rendered bones of a murdered child. A remorseless killer has been unleashed on the city; his mission is to take all measures necessary to prevent the bones from being identified.

A POWERFUL CONSPIRACY

D.I. Jack MacNeil, counting down the hours on his final day with the Met, is sent to investigate. His career is in ruins, his marriage over and his own family touched by the virus. Sinister forces are tracking his every move, prepared to kill again to conceal the truth. Which will stop him first – the virus or the killers?

Written over fifteen years ago, this prescient, suspenseful thriller is set against a backdrop of a capital city in quarantine, and explores human experience in the grip of a killer virus.

(AMAZON BLURB)

The Review

With London in lockdown due to a deadly pandemic, DI Jack MacNeil has to solve the case of a brutal murder of a child which may in turn lead to the end of lockdown and finally reveal the truth.

Okay, I’ll admit it. I read Lockdown because I was in lockdown – who doesn’t want to live the ‘meta’ life? It seemed fitting. I will also admit that crime novels are not my specialist subject but I actually found myself really enjoying the story. Peter May wrote it over 15 years ago but it was still ridiculously relevant.

In Lockdown (the book, not the current situation), the government are corrupt (erm…) and are to blame for the mass loss of life (I am really trying to keep my political opinions to myself here) and the corruption is all for political power and monetary gain.

There were some parts of the plot of Lockdown that were either a little irrelevant or far-fetched and if they had been left out of the story I don’t feel it would have suffered or lost anything. The most interesting parts were definitely those that focused on the insidious government and their involvement/lack of action when it came to the pandemic. That really helped add to the race against time feeling.

Lockdown is definitely worth a read especially if you are into conspiracy theories or if you like a good mystery to solve.

Lockdown by Peter May is available now.

For more information regarding Peter May (@authorpetermay) please visit www.petermay.co.uk.

For more information regarding riverrun (@riverrunbooks) please visit www.riverrunbooks.co.uk.

Title: Little Deaths

Author: Emma Flint

Pages: 368 Pages

Publisher: Pan Macmillan

The Blurb

It’s the summer of 1965, and the streets of Queens, New York shimmer in a heatwave. One July morning, Ruth Malone wakes to find a bedroom window wide open and her two young children missing. After a desperate search, the police make a horrifying discovery.

Noting Ruth’s perfectly made-up face and provocative clothing, the empty liquor bottles and love letters that litter her apartment, the detectives leap to convenient conclusions, fuelled by neighbourhood gossip and speculation.

Sent to cover the case on his first major assignment, tabloid reporter Pete Wonicke at first can’t help but do the same. But the longer he spends watching Ruth, the more he learns about the darker workings of the police and the press. Soon, Pete begins to doubt everything he thought he knew.

Ruth Malone is enthralling, challenging and secretive – is she really capable of murder?

Haunting, intoxicating and heart-poundingly suspenseful, Little Deaths by Emma Flint is a gripping debut novel about love, morality and obsession, exploring the capacity for good and evil within us all.

The Review

Hmmm…Little Deaths. I don’t really know what I want to say about this story. It is a fictional story that has been inspired by real life events that looks closely at the relationship between women and the societal standards that they were held to in the 1960s.

Ruth Malone is a working class single mother of two. When she is accused of murder her whole life is scrutinised to determine whether she is guilty or not. They don’t just look at the evidence they look at her personally.

Whilst the writing in Little Deaths was very good, I personally felt that the pacing let it down. In one respect it allowed you to reflect and really empathise with Ruth but in the other respect it meant that the punchier storyline of a crime that had been committed lost some of its importance to the plot.

Little Deaths is an interesting read if you look at it as a social construct of how women are perceived by society and the expectations of how to be a woman.

Little Deaths by Emma Flint is available now.

For more information regarding Emma Flint (@flint_writes) please visit www.emmaflint.com.

For more information regarding Pan Macmillan (@panmacmillan) please visit www.panmacmillan.com.

Title: Sleep

Author: CL Taylor

Pages: 368 Pages

Publisher: Avon Books

The Blurb

All Anna wants is to be able to sleep. But crushing insomnia, terrifying night terrors and memories of that terrible night are making it impossible. If only she didn’t feel so guilty…

To escape her past, Anna takes a job at a hotel on the remote Scottish island of Rum, but when seven guests join her, what started as a retreat from the world turns into a deadly nightmare.

Each of the guests have a secret, but one of them is lying – about who they are and why they’re on the island. There’s a murderer staying in the Bay View hotel. And they’ve set their sights on Anna.

Seven strangers. Seven secrets. One deadly lie.

Someone’s going to sleep and never wake up…

The Review

Crime fiction is not necessarily my genre of choice; however, I am the perfect audience for crime writers. I never see the ending coming.

Sleep by CL Taylor is one of the few crime/thriller books that I will probably read this year but if any story was going to get me reading more then this would be the one.

The majority of the story is set in a secluded hotel (already it had me creeped out) on an island that is difficult to get to or get off for that matter. It has a cast of characters that all seem to have secrets. One of them is the killer and we need to figure out who before it is too late.

I honestly loved Sleep. I would have read it in one sitting but everyone in my house was going to bed and I was that freaked out I couldn’t read the rest. I know I am no expert in this genre but CL Taylor seems to have mastered the craft.

If you like crime dramas then Sleep is the perfect book for you.

Sleep by CL Taylor is available now.

For more information regarding CL Taylor (@callytaylor) please visit www.cltaylorauthor.com.

For more information regarding (@AvonBooksUK) please visit www.avonbooks.co.uk.

Title: Thirteen

Author: Steven Cavanagh

Pages: 368 Pages

Publisher: Orion Books

The Blurb

‘To your knowledge, is there anything that would preclude you from serving on this jury?’

Murder wasn’t the hard part. It was just the start of the game.

Joshua Kane has been preparing for this moment his whole life. He’s done it before. But this is the big one.

This is the murder trial of the century. And Kane has killed to get the best seat in the house.

But there’s someone on his tail. Someone who suspects that the killer isn’t the man on trial.

Kane knows time is running out – he just needs to get to the conviction without being discovered.

(AMAZON BLURB)

The Review

I would make a terrible detective and a terrible lawyer and a terrible FBI agent for that matter. For I am Lisa Bentley, the person who never quite cottons on to clues given in crime thriller novels. In essence, I am the perfect audience for crime fiction.

This brings me to the review of Thirteen by Steve Cavanagh. Holy moly, this is a great novel. Let’s forget that I didn’t solve the crime, yada yada yada, but instead look at the way Steve Cavanagh builds tension and suspense in his novel. The chapters are palatably sized, you are always kept wanting more, to read more. His dual narrative makes you think you know what is going on and what is going to happen next (you really don’t) and the added inserts about jury members keeps you on your toes and invariably keeps you guessing over who the bad guy is. All in all, Steve Cavanagh did good.

Thirteen is actually the fourth book in the Eddie Flynn series. I haven’t read the earlier books because as I have said, crime fiction is not really my genre of choice. If I was asked to recommend a book – which I very often am – and they want a crime/mystery/thriller, then Steve Cavanagh will be at the top of that list.

Read Thirteen. It will either make you feel really smart if you guess whodunit or like me it will make you marvel at someone else’s genius and not your lack of mad detective skills.

Thirteen by Steve Cavanagh is available now.

For more information regarding Steven Cavanagh (@SSCav) please visit www.stevecavanagh.com.

For more information regarding Orion Books (@orionbooks) please visit www.orionbooks.co.uk.

Title: Dead Girls

Author: Abigail Tartellin

Pages: 448 Pages

Publisher: Mantle Books

The Blurb

When her best friend Billie is found murdered, eleven-year-old Thera – fearless and forthright – considers it her duty to find the killer.

Aided by a Ouija board, Billie’s ghost, and the spirits of four other dead girls, she’s determined to succeed. The trouble with Thera, though, is that she doesn’t always know when to stop – and sometimes there’s a fine line between doing the right thing and doing something very, very bad indeed.

Tense, visceral and thought-provoking, Dead Girls is the new novel from Abigail Tarttelin, the critically acclaimed author of Golden Boy.

(AMAZON BLURB)

The Review

I absolutely adored Abigail Tarttelin’s novel Golden Boy and since then she has become an author whose work I will actively seek out and – in the case of Dead Girls – pre-order.

Dead Girls is the story of Thera and her best friend Billie. Thera is eleven years old, on the brink of going to high school and so very close to beginning the journey into adolescence. However, Thera has bigger things to deal with when the body of her best friend Billie is discovered. Her best friend has been murdered.

Since the murder, Thera has been visited by the spirits of Dead Girls – including Billie – and Thera sets out a vigilante mission to find and destroy those who committed the crime. With the adults in her life keeping secrets from Thera, she really begins to doubt who she can trust – even down to her own parents.

If I am being completely honest, I don’t know how I feel about Dead Girls. I know that it made me feel uncomfortable which is great because some books are meant to do that to the reader. They are meant to challenge you but I can’t be sure how I feel about it as a novel. I don’t know if I enjoyed having a child protagonist. I just don’t know.

Give it a read and let me know what you think.

Dead Girls by Abigail Tarttelin is available now.

For more information regarding Abigail Tarttelin (@ajktarttelin) please visit her Twitter page.

For more information regarding Mantle Books (@MantleBooks) please visit www.mantle.panmacmillan.com.