Wednesday, 21 August 2019

The Fault

The Fault by Kitty Sewell-psychological thriller
Sebastian is a structural engineer. He is renowned for designing the near impossible.
His girlfriend Eva is a diver and they have recently moved in together. Sebastian wanted
them to get married as they were in Dubai and cohabitation is illegal. Eva doesn’t want
to and we know there is a reason but not what- a past relationship is hinted at but
nothing more. Eva is troubled by something or someone in her past and wants to tell
Sebastian but hasn't yet found the right moment. Sebastian’s sister Mimi lives with them
and they are now in Gibraltar, Sebastian touting for a new project. Mimi has developed
a relationship with  the man who has the flat below them. As he is in his forties and
she is not quite eighteen, Sebastian is very wary and protective whereas Eva sees it for
what it is- a blossoming friendship. Sebastian himself has his secrets. Mimi couldn’t go
to Japan with him as for some reason he wasn’t allowed to be her guardian, again
something in the past is hinted at. It took me a little while to get into this book but
once I did I was hooked. There are wonderful descriptions of Gibraltar and of the
rock and tunnels and their history, something I knew little about. Each chapter is
by one of the three main characters- Eva, Sebastian or Mimi giving their aspect
of the story. Oh boy! One to throw you around and leave you with your head

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Book Blurb: Chilling thriller set on Gibraltar - at the heart of The Rock are secret tunnels, hard to
navigate and even harder to escape. Sebastian is a civil engineering prodigy and his
latest project is his most ambitious to date: to build a new city on the sheerest face
of The Rock. His fiancee, Eva, a diver, is entranced by the penisula's hidden depths
and concerned that her lover doesn't push himself beyond human limits in his
desire to see his dream realised. Mimi, still in her teens, is desperate to spread
her wings and chafing at the limits placed on her movements by her overprotective
older brother. When Mimi gets into a relationship with a neighbour intent on
fighting the new development, Sebastian's precarious mental health spirals out of
control putting them all in danger. When Mimi is lost amidst their twists and turns
the race is on to find her before the water rises. About Kitty Sewell: Kitty Sewell was born in Sweden, and has had four successive nationalities, living in the
Canary Islands, Central and South America, Canada, England, Wales and Spain where she
now lives in the mountains of AndalucĂ­a. She is a successful sculptor, and bestselling
author. Her books have been translated into 15 languages and she has been short-listed
for the CWA New Blood Dagger Award, the Wales Book of the Year, Winner of the
“People’s Choice” BBC Radio Wales Prize, and the Bertelsmann Book Clubs International
Book of the Month. She also writes as Kitty Harri. With Honno she has published Ice
Trap (2005, later bought by Simon & Schuster) and Hector’s Talent for Miracles (2007)
as Kitty Harri. Social Media: Website: Purchase Links: Amazon UK:
gateway&sprefix=the+fault+kitty+%2Caps%2C143&sr=8-1 Amazon US:
gateway&sprefix=the+fault+kitty+%2Caps%2C198&sr=8-1 Waterstones: Hive: Book Depository: Publishing Information: Published in paperback and ebook formats by Honno Press on 18th July 2019

Monday, 19 August 2019

A Cruel Deception by Kim Booth - True crime
This is the musings of a retired police detective set in the 1970-mid 1980’s.
The main part of the story is about a couple who were duped into lending
money to a woman purporting to be the illegitimate child of the Duchess of
Argyll who needed the money before a large inheritance was sorted out.
When DC Booth begins to investigate so well has the woman prepared her
victims that she has warned them that “the police are likely to visit and it is
just the wrath of the family trying to set things against her”. The rest of the
story is about getting the couple to believe that she is a con artist and the
investigation in order to press charges, interspersed with other interesting
tales that PC Booth came across during the period or to demonstrate the
criminal minds of the time. I think this book would appeal to an older age
group who remember the period- a time of less mobility and certainly no
mobile phones. Some facts are repeated which labours the story a little.
An interesting tale of times gone by and how things were in a bygone
age. not so very long ago. 
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Book Description:

'No one knows this horrifying true crime case better than the detective who cracked it. Kim Booth will take you on an unforgettable journey into lies, deceit, cunning and malice.' Nick Louth
For Joan and Ted Warner, an innocent and trusting couple, a chance encounter with Barbara Hendry, a cunning con-woman who turned their settled lives into a living nightmare
The Warners were not victims of a remote scam, carried out over the internet by fraudsters from afar. For six years, faking a friendship face-to-face, this plausible woman carried off the impersonation of a member of the nobility fallen on hard times, manipulating the emotions of her victims, deceitfully draining them of every penny they had set aside for their retirement, and plunging them into debt.
Hendrys intention was to slip away, having sucked the Warners dry of all their hard-earned savings. But for some dogged investigative work by a determined detective she would have succeeded- and remained free to prey on other vulnerable victims.
Follow this journey of fraud and depravity in the company of the one man who knows the full story - the British detective who cracked the case and brought Barbara Hendry to justice.
A Cruel Deception is an insightful and gripping work of true crime, which illustrates the depth of wickedness and the possibility that we can all be deceived.
The author retired from the Lincolnshire Police as Detective Inspector in charge of the Lincolnshire Police Economic Crime Unit. He now provides anti-fraud advice and fraud investigation on a consultancy basis together with assisting authors with police procedural issues and story lines.

Author Bio:

Prior to joining the police I had numerous jobs, Worked in a chicken factory for next to nothing, In a Bakery, Royal Mail as a Postman, With my dad who was a civil engineer construction roads and sewerage works and finally in a hotel. Had dealings with the CID and thought “I can do that” and joined the police with the sole intention of being a CID man! Joined Lincolnshire Police in July 1975.  

Walked the streets in uniform for 18 months sorting yobbos out then given a car and latched onto drink drivers for a year then went into the CID at Louth in Lincolnshire for a year or so then Skegness for a summer season. Stayed in the CID for twelve years at various location including regional Crime Squad now National Crime Agency conducting static and mobile surveillance nationally dealing with murders extortions Kidnaps and the like then promoted to Uniform Sergeant for two years then back in the CID in the drug squad for four years as a Detective Sergeant, The next move was Detective Sergeant Special Branch dealing with all terrorist matter including surveillance, regional risk assessments on Economic Key points ie Oil and gas terminals, National Infrastructure Gas Electricity and Water and all Military establishments, threat assessments on high profile individuals such a Judges MP’s and witness protection subjects etc. Worked with the Security Services ie MI5 and MI6 and was a member of Home Office National Anti- Terrorism Exercise Programme setting up terrorist exercises both in the UK and abroad to test response of the local enforcement agencies. Promoted to Detective Inspector within Special Branch with 14 staff. Stayed there for five years then moved to Uniform Inspector in charge of the Lincolnshire Police Control room 36 staff dealing and resourcing whatever came in authorised to deploy firearms officers to incidents. Two years in there (more than enough!) the moved to be in charge of the Economic and Hi Tech Crime Unit dealing with all frauds , Internet Crime together with the Paedophile Unit and Proceeds of Crime Unit 27 staff, Stayed there for four years, retired on the Friday and started work the following Monday being the Senior Investigating Officer in charge of a $300 million fraud investigation involving 3300 investors worldwide, worked with colleagues in New Zealand, Japan, America, Hong Kong, Bahamas and Canada, The case concluded in 2010 I retired again! Went fitting UPVC windows with a mate. Did that for 9 months, wrote a book on fraud, did some qualifications at Uni then came to work for TUI (Thomson and First Choice)as a Corporate Security Manager investigating fraud within the travel industry, Hobbies- Property restoration, DIY and motor cycling. That’s a quick snap shot!

Three children, eldest son is a Police Officer in Lincolnshire. Middle daughter is a first aid trainer and the MK 3 model daughter is a primary school teacher. Met the wife on the docks at Boston Lincolnshire (where she was working as Policewoman I should add!)

Somethings you didn’t know?

(1)Whilst engaged in a terrorist incident and working in COBRA under Whitehall fell asleep on the Home Secretary’s bed! It was a 48 hour shift!

(2) Was engaged for two years putting MI5 and MI6 operatives through police interviews to test their legends (cover stories) under pressure, prior to deployment in foreign countries.

(3) Investigated 23 murders including two serial murderers, nine extortions and Kidnaps involving Sainburys, Imperial Tobacco and Mars and investigated and detected the only murder by postal IED (improvised Explosive Device) in the UK to date and a drugs related “contract killing”

4) As a Uniformed Inspector in the force control room covering Lincolnshire was authorised to deploy firearms officers to incidents but was considered not to be psychologically suitable to hold a Police Firearms permit to possess a firearm! Been a standing joke for years!!!

After retirement for the third time decided to write a few book of my experiences including a crime fiction loosely based on previous events (W.I.P.)

And the rest as they say is history!

Monday, 12 August 2019

The Girl He Used to Know: The most surprising and unexpected romance of 2019 from the bestselling author

The GIRL HE USED TO KNOW by Tracey Garvis Graves-Humerous fiction
Annika works in the library, something she has always dreamed of doing-” to be
surrounded by books for the whole of her adult life”. By chance she bumps into someone
she used to know at university, Jonathan,  and they go out. Alternate chapters take us
through their college life ten years beforehand and the difficulties Annika faced with life
and dealing with others. I quickly grew to like Annika and her sensitivity around others,
of dealing with social situations that others take for granted, and even what to wear when
you have always been comfortable in the same things. Jonathan understands her and
appreciates her as does her friend in college Janice and they both take her under their
wing. We know something happened ten years ago which split them apart but not what.
Annika takes her confidence from those around her and has had some hard knocks-
something most of us can understand in one form or another. “Women are like tea bags
- you don’t know how strong they are until they are in hot water” (Eleanor Roosevelt).
I didn’t take much notice of the dates until it hit me big time. Oh my. I had a lump in
my throat and on the edge of tears. If there is one book to read about hope and
determination then this is it. I have my own 5** for about 10% of books read
(I read around 250 a year) for those that have that special something. This one
deserves 10**. I can't recommend it highly enough.
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Saturday, 10 August 2019

'Reign of Terror' 1940 (Story Telling)

Reign of Terror - Percy Chattey- Non fiction/autobiographical
This is a factual account of the second world war both from a historical point of view and
from the authors own memories. From evacuation and how children were chosen by their
adoptive families to descriptions of how things were at the time. things such as cars not even
having heaters- something unimaginable today. The hardships of the times and how
community spirit won though. This was an easy way of learning of a time long gone and I
think this would be enjoyed by the older generation who remember this and maybe
those interested in a factual read with little embellishment. This is a serious subject
however I felt the book could perhaps have been lifted  a little by having some
humorous anecdotes as I am sure they happened. There are the personal stories but
nothing that raises a smile as I have seen in other similar reads which then puts the
serious things more into perspective and makes for a more interesting account, other
than one very short anecdote from Norman Collier. It is lovely to see some pictures
and posters of the time and would be interesting to see some of the adverts to again
to bring home the reality. That said it is well thought out and a fairly short easy
read (146 pages). A book of memories of a time some of us cannot begin to
imagine what went on and as time goes on there are less and less first hand
experiences to be told so getting them down on paper is a valuable resource. 
A book of reminiscance intermingled with the facts.
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Wednesday, 7 August 2019

Two victims- Helen Durrant- Crime 

Agnes is a practice nurse at a GP surgery. She likes to help out the homeless and needy
when she can and also helps at the local homeless hostel. When she is found dead
with a bullet through her head things don’t add up as everyone appeared to like her
but there are rumours of her making a profit which adds to the confusion. When the
scene is investigated another body is found close by, again of a woman killed by a
bullet around two months before hand. DCI Rachel King is trying to put the pieces
together whilst also trying to keep away from her past in the form of an ex-criminal
who happens to be the father of one of her children. A secret she would rather not
reveal. As ever Helen quickly gets the reader into  both the plot and the characters,
so skillul is her writing. You quickly feel as if you know these people and that you are
a bystander at a safe distance. Nothing that is going to give you nightmares or put
you off your dinner (other than a murder or two!) and a smile along the way. Well
rounded characters that have that extra something to them- not just a part of the
plot. There are subplots and threads so although this would stand alone it is better
read as part of the series to give some of the back story. (This is number two in the
series.) I very much look forward to DCI Rachel’s next case. 
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Detective Rachel King has two victims to deal with. The first woman was local nurse, Agnes
Moore. One of the victim’s friends makes contact but then disappears. Does Rachel have a serial killer on her hands? And what was Agnes really helping local girls with? Will Rachel’s former lover, well-know villain Jed McAteer come back to haunt her with his
connections to the victims. Who will pay the ultimate price next? A MYSTERY WITH A STUNNING TWIST AND A RACE AGAINST TIME TO SAVE HER CAREER
AND STOP A MURDER SPREE. Perfect for fans of Angela Marsons, Kimberley Chambers, Damien Boyd, Rachel Abbott
, Patricia Gibney or Mark Billingham. DCI Rachel King. Thirty-nine year-old mother of two teenage daughters. Divorced from Alan
.  She lives in the Cheshire village of Poynton – about ten miles from central Manchester.
She is good at her job, gets results but does make mistakes. One of them was getting
involved with a budding villain in her teens. No one, family, friends or colleagues know
anything about this. ALSO BY HELEN H. DURRANT RACHEL KING Book 1: Next Victim Book 2: Two Victims

HELEN H. DURRANT OVER 750,000 books sold of her Calladine & Bayliss and DI Greco Series I’m one of the ‘baby boomer’ generation. I was born in Edinburgh to an English father
and Scottish mother. My father was from the North West of England and this was where
the family settled. I know the area well, both the good and the bad, and so I set my books here. Sitting
between two counties, Lancashire and Yorkshire, and between the city and the hills,
it offers a rich mix of the industrial and the countryside and all the character therein.
I always planned to write crime novels — to create the characters in my books. Since
my retirement from a busy teaching job in FE, this is what I’ve done — almost to
exclusion of anything else! I have a grown-up family and five grandchildren. They see me as something of an
eccentric — always on my laptop writing away. Writing is something of a second
career and, despite having a bus pass, keeps me busy, young and tuned in the
world as it currently is. Twitter @hhdurrant Facebook Facebook Page
614047648616619?ref=hl Website

Tuesday, 6 August 2019

The Fifth Grave-Rob Jones Crime
A man is a keen metal detectorist and hasn’t been around this part of the woods before.
It is part of a historic site and there could be treasure. when he finds a gold ring but
attached to a finger, it isn’t what he was anticipating. Tree roots have grown over the
body and hence the police quickly know that this is a cold case- one from 26 years ago
that was never solved. When the next morning there is another murder victim in this
sleepy backwood there has to be a connection. DCI Jacob is just back from leave as he
lost his fiancee in a fire. He is appointed SIO but his boss is unsure if he is really ready
to be back. When he covertly brings in a criminal psychologist and things don’t add up
from the old investigation Jacob finds he is juggling some rather dodgy balls and if
things don’t go the right way it could be his that are on the line. There was something
special about reading this book, that “je ne sais quois” that kept me turning the pages.
A quality of writing, an excellent plot and well rounded characters.  I liked Jacob and
his tenacity in the face of adversity and his relationship with Sophie gave him that
other side- one of being human and having feelings not “just” a man in a job.
I very much look forward to the next two in the series.
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Book Description:

A stunning new crime thriller from #1 bestselling author Rob Jones.

Poised to return to work after a long bereavement leave, Detective Chief Inspector Jacob is called away from the sanctuary of his home to attend the grim discovery of human remains over a quarter of a century old. Found deep in woodland with its own grim history, they give little up, but he is soon confronted with local gossip of hauntings and witches.

The mystery deepens when a second person is murdered in the same woods, and Jacob soon realises he is hunting a killer who will stop at nothing to keep the darkest of secrets buried in the past. Working alongside Dr Sophie Anderson, a criminal psychologist with her own damaged past, they close the net until tragedy strikes again in this gripping romantic suspense thriller.

Set in the wild and beautiful Wiltshire Downs, The Fifth Grave is a fast-paced whodunit with a dash of humour and romance and a killer twist.  

Author Bio:

Rob Jones is the internationally bestselling author of seventeen archaeological adventure novels, including thirteen in the Joe Hawke series. Originally from England, today he lives in Australia with his wife and three children.

Twitter: @AuthorRobJones

Monday, 5 August 2019

Sunshine over Bluebell Castle by Sarah Bennett Holiday fiction
Iggy and her two twin brothers run Bluebell castle which Arthur the eldest male inherited
from their father. Iggy is technically the eldest but being female prevented her from
inheriting- something she really isn’t bothered about as Arthur has the headache of
keeping the place going. A chance finding of a work of art has put things on a better
footing and they are working hard towards getting things ready for the august bank
holiday when they hope to be able to open to visitors. Matt is a celebrity gardener-
or at least he was until things took off and now misses getting his hands dirty as he
spends most of his time designing and chatting to clients rather than what he loves-
the groundwork. He has teamed up with a reality star which is convenient for both
of them to not only keep admirers away but to give them much needed coverage-
something Matt is now getting very tired of. Iggy would love Matt to help with the
castle garden but after a phone call he is far too busy and sounds above such things
. can they get things ready in time and can Matt get back to the work he so loves?
A highly enjoyable read with a smile- perfect for the summer
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Sunshine over Bluebell Castle The summer she will never forget… Time’s running out for Iggy Ludworth to restore the wild gardens of Camland Castle in time
for the Summer Fete, so she ropes in hotshot gardener Will Talbot… But she regrets her decision as soon as he sets foot in the historic grounds – not only is Will
arrogant and bossy, he’s totally gorgeous! And very soon, sparks are flying amongst the bluebells. Yet with summer nearly over, will
their summer fling convince Will and Iggy to go the distance? Perfect for fans of Trisha Ashley, Rachael Lucas and Hilary Boyd. Book 1: Spring Skies Over Bluebell Castle Book 2: Sunshine Over Bluebell Castle Book 3: Starlight Over Bluebell Castle Purchase Links

Author Bio – Sarah Bennett has been reading for as long as she can remember. Raised in a family of
bookworms, her love affair with books of all genres has culminated in the ultimate Happy
Ever After – getting to write her own stories to share with others. Born and raised in a military family, she is happily married to her own Officer (who is
sometimes even A Gentleman). Home is wherever he lays his hat, and life has taught
them both that the best family is the one you create from friends as well as relatives. When not reading or writing, Sarah is a devotee of afternoon naps and sailing the high
seas, but only on vessels large enough to accommodate a casino and a choice of restaurants. Sarah is the author of the Butterfly Cove, Lavender Bay and Bluebell Castle trilogies,
published by HQ Digital UK. Social Media Links – Twitter Facebook Amazon Author Page

The Note

The Note- Andrew Barrett- 5* A short story written in the first person by CSI Eddie Collins. Eddie is the sort of bloke who calls a s...