Saturday, 31 March 2018

ABEL'S REVENGE: A gripping serial killer thriller like no other

Abel’s Revenge- Ross Greenwood- 5* 

Oh wow! I wasn’t prepared for that. Another wonderfully described book from the master of words. This begins telling two stories. One is from Abel’s point of view- his childhood and his demons and how he deals with them and his dark past. The other is of a couple trudging through the treacle that is their relationship, possibly the end of it,  and dealing with their young children . When one party doesn’t pull his weight at home- in fact Olivia may as well be dealing with another child. Ross has a way with words (He was my author of the year for 2017) that beautifully describes each scenario. Caring and tender when it needs to be and then gritty and raw to flip the coin. Enough action to draw you in and characters that you take to- or not in one case! You wonder where the two are going to meet - just having that feeling that they might. Jamie Lawson wasn’t wrong when he said “I wasn’t expecting that”. I won’t give anything away …..I’ll just say.. wow, wow, wow. Stunning.

Ross Greenwood Author Bio:

Ross Greenwood was born in 1973 in Peterborough and lived there until he was 20, attending The King's School in the city. He then began a rather nomadic existence, living and working all over the country and various parts of the world.Ross found himself returning to Peterborough many times over the years, usually, so he says “when things had gone wrong.” It was on one of these occasions that he met his partner about 100 metres from his back door whilst walking a dog. Two children swiftly followed. And, according to Ross, he is “still a little stunned by the pace of it now.”Lazy Blood book was started a long time ago but parenthood and then four years as a prison officer got in the way. Ironically it was the four a.m. feed which gave the author the opportunity to finish the book as unable to get back to sleep he completed it in the early morning hours.Ross Greenwood’s second book, The Boy Inside, was picked up by Bloodhound Books, and in September 2017, Fifty Years of Fear was published. All his books are thought provoking, and told with a sense of humour.Ross Greenwood hopes you enjoy reading them.

Please feel free to get in touch on

Author Links

Author Website:

Facebook Author Page: 


Abel’s Revenge Book LinksAmazon UK/US                 

Other Books by Ross GreenwoodLazy Blood (Sept. 2016) Amazon UK:
The Boy Inside (Febr 2017) Amazon UK:
The Boy Inside (Febr 2017) Amazon UK: The Boy Inside (Febr 2017) Amazon UK: Years of Fear (Sept.2017) Amazon UK:

Thursday, 29 March 2018


The Good Samaritan- John Marrs 5*
Laura volunteers at the  “End of the Line” helpline for people in distress-those with
emotional, sexual, physical or mental issues. Those that sometimes have no one else
to talk to, or in some cases no hope of where else to go other than to think about a
way out. Laura, however, has her own agenda- to make them do as she wants.
She chooses her victims according to a strict criteria , the rest of the time she
comes across as the caring person who listens.  Laura has had her own issues
to deal with- illness, childhood trauma and her marriage is not quite as it should be.
Ryan has lost his wife. In the blink of an eye he went from being happily married
husband and expectant father to widower and he can’t understand why.
He won’t accept that Charlotte just “did it”. This is an unsettling book to read.
Laura is not a woman you would want to meet, let alone cross. Dark and
twisted doesn’t cover it . You just get the feeling that something will happen,
just not quite what, and it does. Oh boy it does! John’s words as ever draw
you in from the start and keep you captivated throughout. A read to spin you
around, throw you occasionally and never really get comfortable with
(in a good way) until the end. A brilliantly entertaining read.
For more reviews please see my blog

or follow me on Twitter @nickijmurphy1
The Child Next Door by Shalini Boland

The Child Next Door- Shalini Boland- 5* Psychological thriller

Kirstie Rawlings has a sixth month old daughter. When rushing upstairs having heard
wails over the child monitor, Daisy is fast asleep and she realises that she is hearing
things from another house- but whose? No one else around there has a child of that
age. She becomes convinced that someone is trying to steal Daisy despite her
husbands reassurances and is constantly checking the doors and windows.
Their neighbour Martin, who lives alone,  is strange to say the least and Kirsty
wonders why he has built a basement in to his house. When visiting she saw
bags from a childrens store by the door to the basement and she has received
messages basically saying “keep your nose out” which she feels are from Martin
disguising his voice. She is tired, insecure and anxious and can’t help thinking
that she and Daisy are in danger. Shalini has done it again- produced a book
that I just want to devour in one sitting. Oh boy! Anxious? Kirstie wasn’t
the only one- what was going on? I HAD to find out more, and more… you
get the picture. A book to enjoy, a read to spin you around. Shalini has a
talent (which includes keeping me sat down- no mean feat!) I can’t wait
for the next book from this wonderful author.

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Sweet home Summer- Michelle Vernal- 4*  
Isla is back home in New Zealand having left her job and taken time in California on
the way. She is living with her grandmother which does them both a favour as the
elderly lady fell a while ago and no one was around. At times Isla remembers her
past life and loves and time at a sanctuary along the way. Her old flame Ben has a
new girlfriend and she thinks about what could have been. She begins to put down
roots and life begins to flourish. (I did have to look up what a Neenish slice was, mind!).
A story of life, of chances and of making the most of what we have around us and
maybe don’t always appreciate. I took to Isla although it did take me a few chapters
to get into this book. Once I did it was a cozy read with a smile along the way that
I thoroughly enjoyed.
For more reviews please see my blog

or follow me on Twitter @nickijmurphy1

Sweet Home Summer

What’s a Matchmaker? I’m thinking a really, really old Irish version of Tinder…

Isla Brookes was terrified of leading a little life in the small New Zealand town where 
she was born and where her gran and mum were also born and bred. To escape their fate,
she breaks it off with her teenage sweetheart and runs away to London. She’s spent 
the last ten years climbing the interior design career ladder and meeting the wrong kind 
of man until one day she wakes up and wonders what it’s all been for. Leaving her
 latest unsuitable man and job for dust Isla winds up sitting on a beanbag in therapy
 at a Californian retreat, where she realises it’s time to go home.

They breed em tough on New Zealand’s West Coast. A fact Isla’s grandmother,
 Bridget prides herself on. Her heart was broken once, and she won’t let it happen 
again, but now ever since her husband passed away, someone’s been sending her 
Valentine’s Day cards.

When the dance hall, the scene for this heartbreak, falls into decline, Bridget decides
 the link to her first love must be restored even if the events of long ago can’t be put 
right. She’s never heard of dating apps, so in a nod to her Irish ancestry, she decides
 to hold a fundraising Matchmaker Festival.

Then Rohan Sullivan blows into town on a strange wind offering his services as a 
bona fide matchmaker; suddenly it’s time for both women to remedy the mistakes 
of their past.

About Michelle Vernal

Hello, my name is Michelle Vernal, and by way of introduction, I’m Mum to Josh and
 Daniel and am married to the super supportive Paul. We live in the garden city of 
Christchurch, New Zealand with our three-legged, black cat called Blue. BC
 (before children) Paul and I lived and worked in Ireland, the experiences we 
had there have flavoured my books.

I’ve always written, but it was only after my first son was born that I decided to attend
a creative writing course at Canterbury University. Oh the guilt dropping him at 
pre-school so I could learn the basics of story writing, but oh the joy of having 
conversation to contribute other than the price of nappies that week!  The first 
piece I ever penned post course was published by a New Zealand parenting 
magazine. I went on to write humorous; opinion styled pieces of my take on 
parenting, but when the necessity for being politically correct got too much,
I set myself the challenge of writing a novel. Six books later and a publishing 
deal with Harper Impulse here I am. These days I write for a lifestyle magazine
 and my latest book Sweet Home Summer has just been released by Harper 

Social Media Links –

Thursday, 22 March 2018


Checking out- Nick Spalding 5*
Nathan has a headache- one that won’t go away. When his words are not quite what
he expected and no alcohol is involved, he decides he needs to see a doctor. It turns
out that he has an almost unpronounceable brain tumour and may have anything
from six minutes or 6 months or maybe even longer to live - or not. This is about
how this affects his relationships with those around him- as well as of course how
others deal with him- one refusing to believe his diagnosis- as well as how he is
dealing with things himself. I didn’t quite know what to expect from this book in
that it’s a sensitive subject- and found that it is very well dealt with indeed.
A book that makes you think about life and how fragile we can be, whilst at the
same time dealing with things with a smile and seizing the moment. Some very
philosophical words, and so very true. Very well written, very enjoyable and
one I would recommend. Carpe Diem and One life- live it.
For more reviews please see my blog

or follow me on Twitter @nickijmurphy1

The Stranger: A gripping story of secrets and lies for fans of Dangerous Crossings and Dinah Jefferies

The Stranger- Kate Riordan-  4*
Think Brideshead but land girls (or women) working in a garden during the wartime
in a country manor.  Three strangers brought together- but are they? One has been
near there years ago for a holiday where she met what she thought at the time, her
first love. She is now a married woman but thinks seeing him can’t hurt- can it?
The youngest of the group who is not their of her own accord  and the third, well,
this is mostly about her. A woman who worms her way to friendship for her own
ends, who turns away others but longs to be liked. She delves and she pries but
what secrets is she really keeping herself?Partially written as a diary, this is the
story of the three women mostly prior to the “event”- the timeline counts down
as the book proceeds.  This is a beautifully described piece set in Cornwall and
you can picture the sea and the lighthouse as backdrops to the characters.
A twist I was not expecting brought the book to a wonderful conclusion.
A very different read for me which I enjoyed.
For more reviews please see my blog

or follow me on Twitter @nickijmurphy1

Midday- David Lyons-4*
Vincent and Ryan lead a happy life- so they think about each other. Vincent is in
charge of four banks in Dublin although originally his heart was far from going into
the financial sector. Ryan, his partner, was in PR but left after Vincent encouraged
him to do what he had always wanted to- write a book. However for the last 19
months he has sat and done nothing. Jack (JR) has lost his wife who was the
daughter of one of Dublin’s gangland bosses whom no-one messed with.
Darragh has dreams of owning a penthouse similar to the one Vincent and
Ryan live in. The easiest way of achieving this is to get Vincent to take two
million euros from each of banks once morning and arrive back by midday-
or Ryan will be shot. This is a very interesting premise and I like how it has
been tackled. Each short snappy  chapter is by one of the four main characters
and gives a backstory to each of them so that you get to know them a little.
Jack and Darragh although criminals have their own characters and life
stories which makes them that little bit more real. Vincent and Ryan very
different lives. I enjoyed this, it was a very different read. One to ponder
after reading. A very well thought out scenario, well written.
For more reviews please see my blog
or follow me on Twitter @nickijmurphy1

Author Bio:

Dublin-born author David B. Lyons has a new twist on the psychological thriller. His debut, Midday, will be released on March 22nd and promises readers a thrilling ride. It’s the story of the same extraordinary morning, told from the perspective of four different characters.

David comes from a journalistic background. He worked, mainly, in the areas of football and music reporting for over 12-years, notching a few awards along the way. He tried to write creatively in his spare time, but found the formulaic writing nature of his day job a hindrance. He met with producers about both a play and a TV pilot he had written, but both fell short of being green lit, much to his disappointed. However, it gave him the opportunity to fulfil a life-log dream of finally penning a novel. He completed a BA Hons Degree in Creative Writing and soon after, completed Midday. Three months later, that debut was picked up by Bloodhound Books and early buzz suggests a promising writing career lies ahead for the thirty-nine-year-old.

He now lives in Birmingham, UK with his wife Kerry and daughter Lola. He has read fiction all of his life and notes Dean Koontz as a real inspiration. He is also a big fan of Gillian Flynn as well as rising star Liz Nugent.

Author links

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Low Lake- Gretta Mulrooney 4*

Two years ago a woman drowned after suffering an epileptic fit whilst at a lake
side. She had been close to drowning as a child and hence had a fear and stayed
away from water.  Her close friend Jack doesn't believe that it was an accident
although the police came up with very little at the time. Tyrone Swift is a private
investigator and finds out more than the police ever did. This is a book with
wonderful descriptions- of people and places and scenes. Of a complex family
structure with a web in amongst it of secrets. A tale of murder and intrigue,
of friendships and relationships. Whom you can trust and whom you can’t.
A good length novel , a good value read. Number five in the Tyrone Swift
series(but happily stands alone)
For more reviews please see my blog

or follow me on Twitter @nickijmurphy1

The Haunting of Hattie Hastings Part 2 - 3.5*

Hattie’s husband Gary is dead. And a ghost to boot. He is able to talk and appear
to her but not at will- it just seems to happen. He now has a new little friend ,
Marty who arrives with his toy Grump(love it!). Their spirit guide is Clarence
( remember It’s a Wonderful Life?). This is a wonderful, lighthearted quick read
to sit with a coffee and enjoy. For me, I wish it was one book rather than three
so that I could continue the enjoyment uninterrupted. Hattie is not done yet!
For more reviews please see my blog

or follow me on Twitter @nickijmurphy1

Monday, 19 March 2018

Murder by Fire- Faith Martin-4*
A lonely religious man is found dead in his garden in the middle of what looks like a bonfire.
Although many disagreed with his lifestyle and harsh words, there is no-one who disliked
him so much as to go as far as murder. What is going on? DI Hillary Greene and her team
are back in another wonderful tale. I feel that I almost know these people and really
wouldn’t be that surprised if I bumped into them in the street. They come across so well
with rounded characters and backgrounds that they live on the pages. Faith makes every
story page turnable with interesting plots and characters that you always know that
you are in for a comfortable read. Oh the end! I won’t spoil anything but I very much
look forward to the next in the series.
For more reviews please see my blog

or follow me on Twitter @nickijmurphy1

Sunday, 18 March 2018


Doll Face - Dylan H Jones- 4*
A woman is found murdered and eviscerated- a message having been placed in a
body part adds to the macabra nature of the killer. She was Skyping her friend a
short time beforehand. Could this give clues to the killers identity- and why is
something just not quite right. DI Manx again has his work cut out to solve the
crime and his team around him each with their own issues. A good solid storyline
and I like that there is some back story to some of the main characters. This is
the second in the DI Manx series but would happily stand alone. THen again
why miss out on another brilliant read( ANglesey Blue being the first one)
A well written gritty tale to keep you turning the pages and wonder who
the perpetrator is and why.
For more reviews please see my blog

or follow me on Twitter @nickijmurphy1

The Rise of Eris- Nesly Clerge-5*  
Wow! This is one of those reads that I really didn't want to put down.
I empathised with the main character and when her turn came for revenge,
I stood back and admired her determination and tenacity. Kathryn Eris Barnes
is a child. An eight year old child in a home that we cringe to read about.
A Mother beaten by her lover and nothing in privacy. Kathryn  sees everything
and has to fend for herself. She is gifted in geometry as well as other things
that she hasn’t yet discovered, but at home has to hide her books and barricades
herself in her room in case “he” comes in and does unspeakable things.
Eventually she finds herself, after being maligned all her life so far , surrounded
by equally talented women. Women who not only empathise but have the
means to do change things and the way of the world. A gritty tale for the first
part which may be hard to read for some, but stick with it and I am fairly sure
that you will smile. A little science fiction, a little science, some excellent research
and a truly brilliant plot. What goes around comes around. Karma?
Perhaps with a little help from your friends.
For more reviews please see my blog

or follow me on Twitter @nickijmurphy1

Thursday, 15 March 2018

The Pact: A gripping psychological thriller with heartstopping suspense

The Pact- S. E Lynes- 5**

5** Do not, I repeat do not, read this book unless you want to disappear in to the
pages and not emerge until the end. I found myself turning faster and faster as I
had to find out what was going on. Rosie feels like she is underwater. Her mother
Toni has a pact with her sister Bridget about something that happened to them
30 years beforehand. Rosie is remembering parts of her life to date as she floats
around the seabed in her opalescent world. She was a budding actress in her local
drama group and then following a play an agent approached her. She was a typical
teenager, “like” being every other word and a world of snapchat, Instagram and
Facebook. When a friend of a friend “likes” her her world begins to change.
Oh what a clever idea and so very well done. I really didn’t see the who’s or
where’s (as it should be). I think this should be on the school curriculum in
secondary schools. They know all about it but this would really bring it home.
“It”? I am not going to give anything away as I don’t want to spoil it for you.
If you are a parent read it.Again we have all seen the headlines but this brings
things home so very cleverly. A stunning read and one that will stay with me
for a very long time (and I’m not a parent!). Read and learn. One brilliant book.
For more reviews please see my blog

or follow me on Twitter @nickijmurphy1

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...