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.

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.

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.

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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Past Offences: Classic crime, thrillers and mystery book reviews

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

Pamela J Castrucci

Navigating self-publishing without a net.

Lee Lofland

The Graveyard Shift

Being Author

Book promotion & authors BLOG

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.

Gaslight Crime

Authors and reviewers of historical crime fiction

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