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.

Title: Messages from Henry

Author: Rebecca Scarberry

Pages: 30 Pages

Publisher: Amazon Media

The Blurb

Henry is special. Evelyn Bury becomes the unlikely victim in a random kidnapping. Henry, her loyal homing pigeon, flies to the rescue. Tammy, Evelyn’s next-door neighbour, the lackadaisical authorities,, and Evelyn’s son assist in Evelyn’s rescue. Henry hurdles many obstacles to the point of endangering his own life in order to save his dear master.

You will find yourself routing Henry on, cheering his progress and praying for Evelyn’s safe return. Read Messages from Henry and lose yourself in a fun, fast-paced suspense thriller written for age twelve up, but mainly adults will find this book extremely entertaining.

The Review

Messages from Henry is a farcical story passing as a mystery.

When Tammy’s neighbour Evelyn goes missing Tammy is alerted to the crime by a note attached to the leg of Henry, Evelyn’s chicken. Now, you would think at this point the premise would be enough to make me put down the book but as a child I loved the movie That Darn Cat so I kind o accepted it and carried on.

What I can’t accept is the ineptitude of the police in this silly crime caper and also the police are constant checking in with Tammy. What investigation keeps civilians in the loop?

None. None is the answer.

Messages from Henry is just plain ludicrous.

Messages from Henry by Rebecca Scarberry is available now.

For more information regarding Rebecca Scarberry (@Scarberryfields) please visit www.scarberryfieldsforever.blogspot.com.

1 star

The Blurb

Seventeen-year-old Tessa, dubbed a ‘Black-Eyed Susan’ by the media, became famous for being the only victim to survive the vicious attack of a serial killer. Her testimony helped to put a dangerous criminal behind bars – or so she thought.

Now, decades later the black-eyed susans planted outside Tessa’s bedroom window seem to be a message from a killer who should be safely in prison.

Haunted by fragmented memories of the night she was attacked and terrified for her own teenage daughter’s safety, can Tessa uncover the truth about the killer before it’s too late?

The Review

I’ve never been a huge fan of the thriller genre. In fact, I would say that up until this year I have only ever read a small handful of thriller books. However, after reading books such as Disclaimer I have found myself dipping not only a toe but a whole foot into the genre…and liking it.

Black Eyed Susans is no exception.

Creepy and sinister from the get go, you are invited into Tessa’s story. She is the lone survivor of a vicious killing spree that has left one man fighting for his life on death row. Tessa, and what she said in court, put him there. But now she has doubts.

Black Eyed Susans is a story of fighting for justice all the while knowing that if she is right and the man currently on death row didn’t commit the heinous murder then the man who tried to kill her is still out there.

And is he the person that keeps planting Black Eyed Susans in her back garden?

Overall, this is a well written, well paced thriller. I was hooked from the get go and frequently had my heart pounding in my chest. If you are like me, you won’t guess the outcome. I’ve said it before and I will say it again, I would be the world’s worst detective.

If I am honest, I am not sure if I like how things turned out in the end. Obviously, I don’t want to ruin things for you so when you read it please do come and tell me what you think. However, this is a book that I would recommend to fans of crime thrillers. Gripping to the very last page.

Massive thanks to Francesca Russell who sent me a review copy.

Black Eyes Susans by Julia Hea Berlin is available now.

Follow Julia Hea Berlin (@juliathrillers) on Twitter.

Black Eyed Susans