Natalie Daniels: Too Close Wednesday, Jul 31 2019 

Natalie Daniels’ has written a psychological thrillerToo Close that is at once as cinematic as it is haunting.

Connie is in a mental institution, being evaluated to see if she can stand trial for a horrific crime involving children that she claims to have no memory of. Emma is the psychiatrist assigned to treat her dissociative amnesia, and try to coax out the story of what led to those events, in order to help Connie remember.

Connie is a writer, and Emma appeals to that instinct and brings in a laptop for Connie to use the word processor. In detailing the memories she does have, Emma is shown what led up to Connie’s emotional breakdown. Connie is a strong woman that everyone depends on, and she can see the truth through things. That can be a fortunate and unfortunate thing when she can no longer hide from her own truths.

The story alternates between the women’s points of view, with Emma learning from Connie about her own insecurities and marriage. Connie’s marriage is complicated; so is her friendship with her beautiful neighbor, Ness, who Emma comes to see is at the heart of what has led Connie to snap.

Making connections between the women, Emma must lead Connie to remember the events leading up to that horrific day and what caused Connie to go mad. Readers won’t be able to put this one down as the story spirals out in the same way Connie’s life seems to spiral out of control.

A terrific debut, filled with insights into women, their friendships, and their relationships with their families and the men in their lives. Highly recommended.

Vanessa Westerman: An Excuse for Murder Tuesday, Jul 30 2019 

Vanessa Westerman’s An Excuse for Murder introduces Kate Rowan, bookshop proprietor and soon to be unwilling amateur sleuth.

Kate lives in her Great-Aunt’s London suburban home, a turreted house large enough to take in boarders. With her gay best friend, Marcus, a local realtor, and two local boys who love crime, Kate is surrounded by murder in her books and the investigations the boys like to play.

When Kate finds one of boarders dead at the bottom of the basement stairs, she’s relieved to find the 40-something man died from natural causes of a simple heart attack. Or did he?

Known the neighborhood as “The Eternal Wife,” Great-Aunt Roselyn has begun behaving strangely. And soon Kate is certain someone is watching the house.

Then Gary, a security expert in the area, starts to watch out for Kate, too, and things escalate with a break-in at the house. What was the thief really looking for? Why is Gary present whenever Kate turns around?

And what really happened to the dead man in the basement and how does that tie in with the murder of a beautiful young woman two years ago?

Readers will enjoy the hint of sexual tension between Gary and Kate, and the twists of the plot. With interesting its characters, and Kate’s skills in many areas, this is an ambitious start to a clever series filled with promise.

Ellison Cooper: Buried Friday, Jul 26 2019 


Ellison Cooper introduced FBI Senior Special Agent Sayer Altair in Caged, and returns with an equally compelling and twisted tale of serial killers in Buried.

Off-duty FBI agent Max Cho and his human-cadaver dog, Kona, start to enjoy a day off in the Shenandoah National Park when his dog alerts. Knowing her skills, he notifies the local park ranger and sets Kona to find her quarry. A sinkhole brings him in close contact with what appear to be the bones of several skeletons.

Figuring out who was the serial killer working inside the FBI saw Sayer take a bullet to her shoulder in the first book. After physical therapy, she’s healed and ready to head back to work shortly. But a call from her Assistant Director soon finds her meeting with Cho and a rag-tag team assembled to figure out who the bones belong to.

During the bones recovery, with a patholgist Sayer knows and respects, two more recent bodies are found near the bones. Now the hunt for the killer of the older bones and the killer of the new ones takes off. With limited resources, the group still puts everything they have into figuring out who the fresh corpses belong to.

One ghastly clue on a body proves a tie to a newly kidnapped woman and her young child. The hunt intensifies as Sayer’s boss, one of the few she trusts, comes under the scrutiny and political microscope of Congressional hearings looking for a scapegoat for the serial killer who had been in their midst in Caged.

And then the killer starts to try to pick off members of Sayers small team. In a race against time with the lives of two young children and their mothers at risk, the strident pace ratchets up even higher. Working without sleep, the team cracks on, each member bringing his or her expertise to the forefront.

There will be politicking, a highly placed psychopath in DCs elite who wants Sayers’ work to continue, and the bizarre ideas of a psychopath who wants to prove that any person can become a murderer.

Cooper mixes neuroscience with mythology to create a fascinating tale of how inhumane humans can be to each other. Nonstop action, a strong but compassionate protagonist with tons of smarts, and a fascinating team make this a step above the typical serial killer thriller.

Graham Jones documentary: Rainy in Glenageary Wednesday, Jul 24 2019 

Auntie M is doing something different this week: she’s in Quebec with her writing group for a week of novel critiques and sightseeing treats to celebrate their 15th year working together. So it seems only fitting to treat readers to something different, too, and instead of a crime book review, she’s sharing her thoughts on a spectacular true crime documentary, Rainy in Glenageary.

Documentary filmmaker Graham Jones has never shied away from tough topics, and he brings his artistic eye to the story of the still-unsolved murder in 1999 of pretty blonde schoolgirl, Rainoaid Murry, known as Rainy.

The film is unlike most true crime movies with their clinical dissection of a case. This film is packed with visceral images, while it’s an homage to a young woman, who despite her teen antics, certainly didn’t deserve to die.Beautifully shot and edited, you won’t be able to look away, with lasting impact.

The police in the South Dublin area, known as Gardai, appear to have severely impeded their investigation by their own actions of intimidation, threats, and in at least one case, physical violence against Rainy’s friends. Not the best way to create an environment that lends itself to confidences. This accusatory attitude caused the teens to cower in fear and effectively shut them down. Any important information they held was lost.

Until Jones revisits the scene, and Rainy’s friends, who have had time and distance as well as maturity to step back from their fears, finally open up. Yet those who spoke with Jones’s crew soon found themselves outcast by others, a suspicious turn of events that reinforces the long-held belief that Rainy was murdered by someone who knew her.

The pretty area, filled with Victorian red-brick homes residing alongside newer, comfortable modern homes hardly feels like the setting to encourage murder. Yet the fact remains that 17 yr-old Rainy left her local pub and never made it home.

This is Jones’s 9th film, so he’s no stranger to controversy or to way to document them. At once compelling, told in the soothing voice of the narrator and the artful scenes shots, the film is also poignant in its sadness.

While a brilliant tribute to a young life tragically cut short, and told in a captivating way, there’s no escaping the impression that the viewer receives:
Someone out there is shielding a murderer.

Kristin Lepionka: The Stories You Tell Monday, Jul 22 2019 

PI Roxane Weary returns in Kristin Lepionka’s The Stories You Tell. Having a strong protagonist means allowing her to change and grow, and Lepionka does this successfully with her flawed and likeabbe Roxane, who’s surname fits as she navigates life.

While Roxane is learning about herself, she’s trying to help her brother, Andrew, who has come under suspicion when a young woman goes missing. It seems he was the last person to see her. Or was he?

Andrew had an unexpected late-night visit from DJ and former fling, Addison, scared and frightened, who begs to use his phone. She leaves as quickly as she arrived and isn’t seen again, worrying her roommates and her family, which is when police become involved and Andrew falls under suspicion.

Rxoane steps in to help look for Addison and soon finds herself probing the depths of Addison’s social media and computer history with startling results, just as her personal life starts to fall apart.

Then a detective out on medical leave is found dead, and his last sighting was at the same nightclub where Addison worked. Only the club is suddenly closed and its workers in hiding.

Roxane’s investigation will lead her to the stories people make up for their digital personnas. How is she to distinguish truth from reality? How will this lead her to find Addison and clear Andrew’s name is the thrust of a story that will have you flipping pages .

It’s a timely storyline, with cutting-edge technology bringing a believeable thread to events. This unconventional investigator nevertheless has gut instincts and a determined streak that will carry the reader through the twists and turns of a plot with a climax that won’t be seen at the outset.

This is a series favorite of Auntie M’s, so if you haven’t had the pleasure of reading this award-winning author yet, start out with The Last Place You Look and keep going.

Candy Denman: The Jocasta Hughes Series Sunday, Jul 21 2019 

Please welcome UK author Candy Denman, who has written for such shows as The Bill
and Heartbeat, and is now the author of three Jocasta Hughes novels.

Killing women

There has been much in the press in recent times about crime writers who are apparently killing a disproportionate number of women in their serial killer fictions, and often in sadistic ways.

The writers have been accused of pandering to those that get off on reading about it, and even that they are helping to produce the environment that encourages violence against women. This has led to many crime writers, both male and female, entering the debate and they can be found huddled in corners at crime festivals and blogging about the issue at every opportunity——so here I am adding to the mix!

My first two books in the Dr Jo Hughes series, Dead Pretty and Body Heat, both feature female victims, but in #YouToo the bodies are all male.

The next planned books in the series also feature a variety of victims, although I won’t venture into killing children or animals!

Statistics show that the majority of readers, and writers, of serial killer fiction are women, and that if you take gang killings out of the mix, the majority of victims in real life are also women, although, increasingly, other vulnerable groups such as gay men and the sick and elderly are featuring.

However, fiction about serial killers isn’t as scary as real life (unsurprisingly) and some say (including myself) that it can even be comforting because the killer gets caught. Far from glamorising killers, the stories also make the point that murder is wrong.

I also like that the person stopping the serial killer is often a feisty and intelligent woman, and this is the case in my Dr Jo Hughes series. She has a female best friend who also helps her solve the mysteries, and Detective Inspector Miller who sometimes has to come to the rescue (although in #YouToo, it is Jo who has to rescue him!)

So, I intend to carry on reading and writing serial killer chillers because I enjoy them, but rest assured, the bad guy always gets caught in my books, and usually by the strong female protagonist, often with a little bit of help from her knight in shining armour, riding in to the rescue. Like I say, it’s comforting.


Candy Denman:

Dead Pretty (published 2017)
Body Heat (published May 2018)
# You Too (to be published May 2019)

Candy Denman spent most of her life as an NHS nurse but now concentrates on writing full time. She has written extensively for television programmes such as The Bill and Heartbeat\. Having enjoyed writing both crime and medical stories, she decided to combine the two in her series featuring Dr Jocasta Hughes set in Hastings. The medical stories might come from Candy’s previous work, but the serial killer elements come strictly from her imagination.

http://www.candydenman.co.uk
http://www.facebook.com/CrimeCandy
http://www.twitter.com/@CrimeCandy
http://www.instagram.com/candydenman

Links to each book are:

Dead Pretty: https://www.amazon.com/Dead-Pretty-Jocasta-Hughes-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B0743BZ89B/ref=sr_1_2?crid=2DDOCNQNHYFTK&keywords=candy+denman&qid=1562407633&s=gateway&sprefix=candy+denman%2Cstripbooks-intl-ship%2C653&sr=8-2

Body heat: https://www.amazon.com/Body-Heat-Jocasta-Hughes-mysteries-ebook/dp/B07CWG5S4Z/ref=sr_1_3?crid=2DDOCNQNHYFTK&keywords=candy+denman&qid=1562407529&s=gateway&sprefix=candy+denman%2Cstripbooks-intl-ship%2C653&sr=8-3

#YouToo: https://www.amazon.com/YouToo-Jocasta-Hughes-Mysteries-Book-ebook/dp/B07QP8QH43/ref=sr_1_1?crid=2DDOCNQNHYFTK&keywords=candy+denman&qid=1562407633&s=gateway&sprefix=candy+denman%2Cstripbooks-intl-ship%2C653&sr=8-1

Victoria Helen Stone: False Step Friday, Jul 19 2019 

A young boy goes missing from his Denver home, and Veroncia Bradley, along with everyone else in the area, looks at her own young daughter and prays he will be found safely in Stone’s compelling False Step.

When the miracle happens, it’s her own husband, the charming Johnny who finds young Tanner Holcomb, grandson of a wealthy local family, when he’s out on one of his hikes. The rescue brings Johnny notoriety and something he needs even more: new clients for his fitness trainer business. With Veronica an occupational therapist, the little family has struggled financially.

Their young daughter, Sydney, is the focus of Veronica’s life. With her own father a philanderer who broke her mother’s heart before their divorce, Veronica never plans to divorce Johnny, even if their marriage has gone stale.

But Veronica does have a secret life that keeps her going, and it revolves around Johnny’s best friend. It’s an intense time at the Bradley house, made worse by the media focus, and all of Johnny’s fair weather friends coming to party.

Then news comes that Tanner didn’t just wander off, and suddenly things are changed. Veronica’s secret under threat, she treats everyone Johnny has in his circle with suspicion, as the police circle Johnny and the scrutiny becomes intense.

With a twisted tension that never leaves, readers will watch as Veronica desperately tries to maintain the facade she’s set up to get through her life. Until it all falls apart in a devastating manner.

A page-turner that feels all too believable.

Alex Dahl: The Heart Keeper Wednesday, Jul 17 2019 

Alex Dahl’s newest Scandanavian Noir, The Heart Keeper, comes with a giveaway! One lucky reader who leaves a comment will be chosen to receive a copy of the book, so all you readers and lurkers out there, leave a comment today!

The book has a harrowing premise that makes it irresistible. Alison is the former celebrated journalist who became a mother later in life, and then lost her little girl to a drowning accident. The tragedy is one she cannot get over, and she’s consumed with grief. It’s ruining her health and her marriage.

But one thought helps her through her sorrow: that other children have been helped by the donation of Amalie’s organs.

Iselin has her own daughter, a sickly child who needed a heart transplant. She has received Amalie’s heart, and two struggle to find normality after the effects of the huge surgery Kaia’s had.

The single mother, hurting for money, is surprised but welcomes Alison’s interest in her and her child, not realizing the connection.

Alison becomes convinced that Amalie lives in Kaia as things start to spiral out of control. The pace becomes frenetic as Alison puts in force a plan she’s been working on–a plan that will allow her to recapture Amalie, even a little bit.

It’s an all-too believeable premise that makes for a gritty tale of motherhood and obsession as Alison spirls out of control. A dark thriller.

Wendy Corsi Staub: Dead Silence Giveaway Tuesday, Jul 16 2019 

Exciting news: Leave a comment and your email in case you are one of THREE lucky winners to receive copies of Wendy Corsi Staub’s new thriller, DEAD SILENCE!

Copies will be mailed directly to you by the publisher, so I’ll need your email to contact you for your snail mail address if you’re one of the three winners chosen. Don’t delay! Leave a comment and you could be a winner!

DEAD SILENCE by Wendy Corsi Staub (on sale 7/23/2019)

New York Times Bestselling Author Wendy Corsi Staub is the master of psychological suspense. Here, she delves into the twisted mind of The Angler, who lures his human prey the way he catches fish. Sometimes, he gets one worth keeping . . . for a little while . . .

ABOUT THE BOOK:
No Such Thing as Coincidence . . .

Staring into his frightened blue eyes, investigative genealogist Amelia Crenshaw Haines vows to help this silent little boy who is unable—or unwilling—to communicate his past. Though her own roots remain shrouded in mystery, she relies on tangible DNA evidence to help fellow foundlings uncover theirs . . . until a remarkable twist of fate presents a stranger bearing an eerily familiar childhood souvenir.

NYPD Missing Persons Detective Stockton Barnes has spent his career searching for other people’s lost loved ones and outrunning a youthful misstep. Now a chance encounter with a key player from that fateful night leads him on a desperate quest to locate the one woman he’s ever regretted leaving—unless a savage killer finds her first.

As Amelia and Barnes uncover intertwining truths—and lies—the real horror emerges not in crimes already committed, but in evil yet to come . . .

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
New York Times and USA Today bestseller Wendy Corsi Staub is the award-winning author of nearly ninety novels and is a three-time Mary Higgins Clark Award nominee. She lives in the New York City suburbs with her husband, their two sons, and a trio of rescue kitties. Learn more about Wendy at http://www.wendycorsistaub.com.

Ian Patrick: Rubicon and Stoned Love Sunday, Jul 14 2019 

Please welcome guest Ian Patrick, to discuss writing a series. Ian’s the author of the DS Sam Batford thrillers, with the third, Fools Gold due later in 2019. Rubicon and Stoned Love are books 1 and 2 in this series hailed for its authenticity:

For those of you that don’t know me, my name is Ian Patrick and I’m a crime fiction author in Scotland. Whenever I’m talking about writing I always present the caveat that it’s just my experience. Use what you can and discard what’s unimportant. If we all follow the same path and write the same way then the world of story telling would be poorer for it.

I’ve been asked to talk about what it’s like to write a series now that I have two books out and another in August. I never set out to write a series but the initial response to my debut, Rubicon, led to it happening. It’s one thing capturing the attention of a publisher but it’s readers that keep an author and publisher in employment.

One thing to consider from the outset is the age of your protagonist. Will he or she be able to age with your books or does it matter? Lee Child and Ian Rankin have successful leads after many years with the same lead so it really is up to you. With a detective lead be mindful that at some point they will be too old to be in the force. Rankin has survived this with Rebus but it’s worth bearing in mind all the same.

Make sure you enjoy the protagonist and that you want to stay with them book after book. If you tire of them then so will the reader. Keeping ideas and storylines fresh is also a challenge. I carry a notebook and record observations and conversations. Despite twenty-seven years policing experience, times change so you have to keep up to date.
d
I was based in London and my experience of procedures will be different to my colleagues elsewhere in the UK. There are police consultants out there who will help writers. Some charge for a service and others don’t. Twitter is a great place to find ex-cops and consultants. Twitter is a great platform for engaging with readers and was where I connected with Marni.

Above all, enjoy what you’re doing. It’s not an easy industry to be a part of and it will have its good and not so good days. Treat your work with respect and before you send it out on submission get it professionally edited. A good editor will work with you not against you. They will maintain your voice while improving your story. I recommend Emma at

https://edmcreatingperfection.com

Watch out for Rubicon hitting your TV screens as it’s in development with the BBC for a six part series. Links to my books and more about me can be found at https://www.ianpatrick.co.uk

Fahrenheitpress.com also offer a free ebook of the same title with every paperback bought direct from them.

http://www.fahrenheit-press.com/books_rubicon.html

Many thanks to Marni for being a great host.

I was educated in Nottingham, leaving school at sixteen. I spent three years in the Civil Service paying out giro cheques. I enjoyed public service but wanted something more. My career choice happened while standing on a picket line and seeing the way the police operated. Calmly and professionally doing their job of maintaining order while letting us peacefully protest against government cuts. I was sold and applied to join the Metropolitan Police. I spent twenty-seven years as a police officer, the majority as a detective within the Specialist Operations Command. I retired as a Detective Sergeant. I’ve investigated many offences from theft to murder and completed my final seven years within SO10 – Covert Policing.
Ill health forced my retirement. Muscular Dystrophy was the culprit and a very rare form at that. I’m still young and needed an outlet that would lead to an income.
A career in policing is a career in writing. I’ve been used to carrying a book and pen and making notes. I found the need to explore a different type of public service and found that writing fiction was something I could do.
Rubicon is my debut novel published by Fahrenheit Press. Stoned Love the second in the series with another, Fools Gold, out later in 2019. The BBC has optioned Rubicon for a six part TV series currently being written.
I now live in rural Scotland where I divide my time between family, writing, reading, and photography.

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