Paul Burston: The Closer I Get Friday, Jul 12 2019 

Paul Burston’s The Closer I Get, examines the world of social media and how strong the connection can be between people who meet there—and how those relationships can sometimes go disastrously wrong.

Tom Hunter’s a successful novelist with a first book made into a movie that’s brought notoriety, who’s stumbling with his third book after a bomb of a second. He blames his writer’s block on the suffocating admiration of a woman he’s met online who won’t—or can’t—leave him alone.

Evie is a bit unstable, and has become obsessed with Tom. But online relationships are necessarily two-sided. Just how culpable is Tom? And what of his close friend, Emma? Despite Tom’s homosexuality, Emma has always been a shoulder for Tom to lean on, and he does so now.

What’s at play here for the reader is the idea that perhaps neither Evie nor Tom as reliable narrators, when the police become involved after Tom lodges a complaint about Evie’s obsession with him and her behavior. Cyber-stalking is very real, which makes this a timely and completely believeable story.

Here are two manipulative main characters, finely drawn, and the reader will find themselves siding with each one at times. There are mind games and reversals and lies told to others, but more interestingly, those we tell to ourselves.

A fascinating look at the personas that can be created online that come to be believed. Burston’s observant eye lends total credence to a plausible and chilling tale.

Kerry Lonsdale: Last Summer Tuesday, Jul 9 2019 

An unusual premise starts off Kerry Lonsdale’s Last Summer with protagonist Ella Skye recovering from a car accident which has cost the life of her unborn child. She has amnesia to the accident and the events leading up to it–including her pregnancy.

A senior editor at a tony magazine, married to a busy but successful tech entrepreneur, Ella can see by the changes in her body that she was pregnant, and when she’s discharged, there’s a nursery set up in their home.

But why can’t she recall being pregnant? And why is her husband, Damien, determined to push away any conversation about their lost child so she can grieve properly?

A new magazine profile of a celebrity adventurer may be just the ticket to help her heal, one she thought she’d begun researching before her accident in the hope she would score the interview. Then why is all of her research gone? And why is her husband so determined that she not interview Nathan Donovan?

The strain on her marriage causes Ella to do what she does best: investigate and research. What she uncovers brings her to unsettling and disturbing actions. And then a solution occurs to her that changes everything.

The unusual plot revolves around uncomfortable truths and the secrets we hide, as the suspense builds and Ella learns just how far she is willing to go to hide those truths.

Lesley Thomson: The Playground Murders Sunday, Jul 7 2019 

Please welcome UK author Lesley Thomson, to talk about the setting of her new Detective’s Daughter mystery, The Playground Murders.

Writing Nail-Biting Mystery Stories in a sleepy English Village

Each year our small, willful poodle Alfred and I visit Winchcombe in the Cotswolds, an idyllic part of the UK with honey colored cottages on winding lanes, the church spire’s cockerel glinting in the sun. Our modest dwelling has a woodstove and walls as thick as a castle (don’t picture a candle-lit hovel, we’ve got the internet and Alexa.) Winchcombe is perfect place to write a murder story!

Winchcombe’s nineteen-fifties pace suits me as my head buzzes with the drama of my detectives. Stella runs a cleaning company. Jack’s a train driver on the London Underground. She’s logical and sees dust, he’s fanciful and sees ghosts. Many of The Detective’s Daughter novels are set in London, my home town. Like me, Stella’s a city girl, fazed by cows, mud and pitch darkness at night.

There’s an eighteenth-century house in Winchcombe that’s pure Jane Austen with stone steps to the front door. In The Playground Murders, I put a body in the hall. The Death Chamber refers to a Neolithic burial mound outside Winchcombe. Some ask if it’s wise setting novels on my own doorstep. (Actually. one character dies in our sitting room.) ‘No problem’, I have replied,

Until… Alfred and I were splashed over The Gloucestershire Echo. The crime-writer and her dog. Now we’re recognized in shops. I discuss Stella and Jack with the lovely woman who froths my latte. No more flinging myself together with scant care, I linger over my wardrobe and apply make-up before buying a newspaper.

If you’re jittery as you turn the pages of The Playground Murders, doors and windows locked, imagine the tranquil village in which I write. And Alfred snoozing on the mat, paws in the air.

Lesley first novel A Kind of Vanishing won The People’s Book Prize. The Detective’s Daughter was Amazon UK’s longest running No. one in 2013, knocking JK Rowling (Robert Galbraith) down to No. two. Lesley’s protagonist Stella Darnell is ‘one of the most original characters in British Crime Fiction’ Sunday Times. The Detective’s Daughter series has sold over 750K copies. The Playground Murders, latest in the series, came out in 2019(‘As compelling as its predecessors … A white-knuckle read: The Tablet). Lesley is writing a standalone, Death of a Mermaid. She lives with her partner and small poodle called Alfred in Lewes, a little town in Sussex that boasts a castle and a forbidding Victorian Prison.

David Bell: Layover Friday, Jul 5 2019 

David Bell examines the unlived life in his new thriller Layover.

The book opens with Joshua Fields, a frequent flyer in his father’s business, passing time during an Atlanta layover from his home base of Chicago, enroute to a Florida business meeting.

When he bumps into a beautiful woman, their one drink leads to more true conversation than he’s had in a long time, and he feels an instant connection to Morgan. That’s why it’s frustrating when, after a passionate kiss that leaves no doubt she feels the same connection, Morgan apologizes and tells him they will never see each other again.

The impromptu meeting changes Joshua’s life. He switches planes to follow Morgan, who refuses to acknowledge with him, and when he tries to follow her, has to answer for his actions.

At the same time, Kimberly Givens, a Kentucky police detective, runs interference with the Mayor of her small town, after a wealthy businessman goes missing. How the two incidents tie together form the backbone of the story, alternating the search for missing people.

Things continue to spiral in terms of tension, with lies and secrets Morgan and others are holding at the center. Joshua finds himself feeling as if he’s in an alternate reality, one in which he and Morgan have a future together, if only he can find out what’s haunting her and why she’s running.

A hint of romance adds to the tension of an ordinary man in extraordinary circumstances.

Alison Gaylin: Never Look Back Tuesday, Jul 2 2019 


Edgar-Award winner (for If I Die Tonight) Alison Gaylin returns with a powerful psychological suspense thriller, Never Look Back.

Using the timely idea of podcasts to examine true murder, Gaylin introduces podcast producer Quentin Garrison, determined to find closure of his own through the podcast aptly named Closure.

In 1976, teens April Cooper and Gabriel LeRoy ran amok in Southern California, killing almost a dozen victims in a two-week period as they ran from polce before dying in a fire.

Decades later, Quentin has lived in the shadow of those killings after a troubled childhood. Things start to spin out of control when he’s given credible evidence that leads him to believe April Cooper survived that fire.

As Quentin leaves his husband to follow the trail across the country, NYC film columnist Robin Diamond, already doubting the strength of her marriage and her husband’s fidelity, has a tough day at work when her new column sparks a series of horrific internet trolls. Her week only worsens after a call from Quentin and a home invasion that turns everything she thought she knew on its head.

The main points of view belong to Quentin, Robin, and the young April Cooper, who finds herself in a situation she could never imagine, and describes events in a series of letters to her unborn child.

Looking at the distorted lens of parent and child relationships adds depth to this thriller, while asking the question: how much of our lives are down to our parents behavior, and how much to our own actions and choices.

Being haunted by the past, despite the efforts of some of the characters, is almost an impossible feat, and it wouldn’t be a spoiler to say that “closure” may not be what some of these interesting characters find.

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Lee Lofland

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Writers & Writing, my own & other people's; movies, art, music & the search for a perfect flat white - the bits & pieces of a writing life.

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John Harvey on Books & Writing - his own & other people 's - Art, Music, Movies, & the elusive search for the perfect Flat White.

A thrilling Murder-Mystery...

...now being made into a radio drama

Past Offences: Classic crime, thrillers and mystery book reviews

The best mystery and crime fiction (up to 1987): Book and movie reviews

Lee Lofland

The Graveyard Shift

Being Author

An online writing community

S L Hollister, author

Welcome to Leeward

Liz Loves Books

The Wonderful World of Reading

The Life of Guppy

the care and feeding of our little fish

dru's book musings

Reading is a wonderful adventure!

JoHanna Massey

"I tramp the perpetual journey." Walt Whitman

MiddleSisterReviews.com

(mid'-l sis'-tǝr) n. the reader's favorite sister

My train of thoughts on...

Smile! Don't look back in anger.

K.R. Morrison, Author

My author site--news and other stuff about books and things

The Wickeds

Wicked Good Mysteries

John Bainbridge Writer

Indie Writer and Publisher

Some Days You Do ...

Writers & Writing, my own & other people's; movies, art, music & the search for a perfect flat white - the bits & pieces of a writing life.

Crimezine

#1 for Crime

Mellotone70Up

John Harvey on Books & Writing - his own & other people 's - Art, Music, Movies, & the elusive search for the perfect Flat White.

A thrilling Murder-Mystery...

...now being made into a radio drama

Past Offences: Classic crime, thrillers and mystery book reviews

The best mystery and crime fiction (up to 1987): Book and movie reviews