Review: Lethal White by Robert Galbraith

Lethal White by Robert Galbraith (UK edition)

‘I seen a kid killed . . . He strangled it, up by the horse.’

When Billy, a troubled young man, comes to private eye Cormoran Strike’s office for his help investigating a crime he thinks he witnessed as a child, Strike is left deeply unsettled. While Billy is obviously mentally distressed, and cannot remember concrete detrails, there is something sincere about him and his story. But before Strike cam question further, Billy bolts in panic.

Trying to get tot the bottom of Billy’s story, Strike and Robin Ellacott – once his assistant, now a partner in the agency – set off on a twisting trail that leads them through the backstreets of London, into a secretive inner sanctum within Parliment, and to a beautiful but sinister manor house deep in the countryside.

And during this labyrinthine investrigation, Strike’s own life is far from straightforward: his newfound fame as a private eye means he can no longer operate behind the scenes as he once did. Plus, his relationship with his former assistant is more fraught than it has ever been – Robin is now invaluable to Strike in the business, but their personal relationship is much, much more tricky than that . . .

The most epic Robert Galbraith novel yet, Lethal White is both a gripping mystery and a page-turning next installment in the ongoing story of Cormoran Strike and Robin Ellacott.

Series: Cormoran Strike 4
Genre: Crime, Detective Novel, Mystery
Publisher: Sphere (18th September 2018)
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4 stars

Lethal White is the fourth book in Robert Galbraith’s brilliant Cormoran Strike Novel series.  It continues on from the ending of Career of Evil, as if no time has passed between books, before there is a time jump. Business is going well for Cormoran and Robin, and their agency has a lot of work. A troubled young man called Billy turns up at their office wanting to talk to Strike, he wants them to investigate a crime he thinks he witnessed as a child. The encounter unsettled Strike, and then Billy goes missing leaving them with a lot of unanswered questions. Trying to unravel the mystery, Strike and Robin end up taking a job that brings them to Parliament.

I really enjoyed the first three books in this series. They always keep me guessing, and I love the way that ‘real life’ is mixed in with the mystery of whatever case Strike and Robin are on. I have to confess I didn’t know that there was going to be a fourth book in this series until I saw it on the shelves in my local bookstore. I might be a few months late, in terms of the publication date at least, but I didn’t know a lot going into this book other than the blurb which, I think, worked in my favour.

Lethal White was everything I was expecting from a novel in the Cormoran Strike Novel series. The balance between the main case of the novel and Strike’s and Robin’s private lives was brilliantly maintained; neither section took away from the other. It is a huge tome and there is a lot going on and a lot of momentum to the story, which is great in my opinion. Billy’s story is compelling, and it kept me guessing – long time readers of the blog will know that I’m not great at guessing who did it, and this book is not an exception to that.

I did find Lethal White a little slow going, especially at the beginning. I don’t think that was the novels fault per se, I just ended up mega frustrated with one of the characters and the (unfortunately believable) choice they made. This unfortunately impacted on my reading, and this book was a case of a little at time for me until about the middle of the book I think. That being said, I did enjoy the book and how tangled the plot is. Fans of the series will definitely enjoy this addition to the series.

Review: Nucleus by Rory Clements

Nucleus by Rory Clements (UK edition)

Title: Nucleus (Tom Wilde, 2)
Author: Rory Clements
Genre: Crime, Historical Fiction, Mystery, Thriller
Publisher: Bonnier Zaffre (25th January 2018)
Blurb:

June 1939. England is partying like there is no tomorrow, gas masks at the ready . . . but the good times won’t last. In Europe, the Nazis have invaded Czechoslovakia, and in Germany Jewish persecution is rife. Closer to home, the IRA has embarked in a bombing campaign throughout Britain.

But the most far-reaching event of all goes largely unreported: in Germany, Otto Hahn has made the atomic bomb possible. German High Command fears that Cambridge’s Cavendish Laboratory could be close behind; they must discover its secrets before it is safe to wage war.

When one of the Cavendish’s finest brains is murdered, Professor Tom Wilde is drawn into the investigation. He unveils a conspiracy in which the fate of the world rests on the discovery of a kidnapped child. Can Tom Wilde discover the truth before it is too late?

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4 stars)
Review:

NUCLEUS by Rory Clements is the second book in his wonderful Tom Wilde series. The story is set in Cambridge during the summer of 1939 and tensions are running high. War has not yet been declared, but the Nazis have invaded Czechoslovakia, in Germany Jewish persecution is rife, and the IRA are active in Britain. Within this in Germany Otto Hahn has made the atomic bomb something possible, no longer relegated to the world of fiction. The German High Command fear that Britain might not be far behind and wants to know exactly what is going on in Cambridge’s Cavendish Laboratory; a world that Professor Tom Wilde finds himself drawn into.

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Review: Rituals by Kelley Armstrong

Rituals by Kelley Armstrong (UK edition)

Title: Rituals (A Cainsville Novel, 5)
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Sphere (15th August 2017)
Blurb:

Olivia Jones must make a choice.

Caught between two rival supernatural forces, she hs been given a brief period in which to make her decision. Now that time has run out.

Whichever side she chooses, someone she loves will pay. Her lover, Ricky. Gabriel Walsh, the man she knows she cannot, must not love. Her parents, already trapped in prison.

And how there is a new, terrifying power rising – one that doesn’t distinguish between good and evil intentions. It feeds on chaos and  destroys without mercy. Unless Liv acts fast, no one will survive.

In this gripping supernatural thriller, international bestselling author Kelley Armstrong brings the Cainsville series to a powerful, richly rewarding finale.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (3 stars)
Review:

RITUALS by Kelley Armstrong is the fifth and final book in the Cainsville series. Over the previous four books Olivia Taylor-Jones has had her world turned upside down. She has discovered the truth about her past, and her link to the mysterious Cainsville. Along the way she has grown close to Gabriel Walsh and to Ricky Gallagher. They negotiated a truce, but now the time has come and she must finally make a choice between the Twyelth Teg and the Cwn Annwn. Whichever side she picks someone she loves will pay. All the while a new power rises; one that doesn’t distinguish between good or evil, and that destroys without mercy.

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A Q & A with Rory Clements

Rory Clements is the author of Nucleus, published by Zaffre, hardback, £12.99. To celebrate the upcoming release of the second novel in the Tom Wilde series he has kindly agreed to stop by and do a Q & A. I have read the first book in the series  Corpus and you can find my thoughts on it here. To make it easier for you to follow, all my questions will be in blue and Rory Clements responses will be in bold. I’d just like to thank Rory for agreeing to doing this Q & A, and I’d also like to thank Emily for organising it. I hope you enjoy the Q & A.


Hi Rory, thank you for agreeing to do this Q & A with me.

I’ll jump straight into the questions:

NUCLEUS is your ninth novel, the second book in your Tom Wilde series, how do you feel with the publication date so close? Are you doing anything to celebrate?

I think I’ll have a glass or two of red wine.

This is probably quite a difficult question for me to ask but, how would you describe NUCLEUS in ten words?

Tom Wilde must save a child to protect the world.

Both of your series are historical novels, what drew you to writing a series set in Elizabethan England and the late 1930s?

They are set at times of extreme peril, when enemies send agents in to England and threaten invasion. They both feature the world’s oldest secret service, founded by Sir Francis Walsingham in Elizabeth’s reign and continued by MI5 and MI6 in more recent days. The perfect canvas for a series of thrillers.

Who or what was your inspiration for Professor Thomas Wilde?

I wanted an outsider – someone not impressed by the rather effete university types found in Brideshead Revisited. So Tom Wilde is half American, half Irish. He is inspired by two specific Americans: Conyers Read, an American historian who studied at Oxford and wrote the definitive biography of Sir Francis Walsingham and was later involved in setting up the Office of Strategic Services, the wartime forerunner of the CIA, and James Jesus Angleton, also American but a survivor of an English public school and later chief of CIA counter-intelligence. He was a friend of Kim Philby and, like everyone else, was betrayed by him. But Tom Wilde is neither of these two men, nor an amalgam of them. He is very much his own man.

Was there a particular reason that you chose Cambridge as the main setting for this series?

Cambridge in the 1930s was a political cauldron – and the breeding ground of the spies Burgess, Maclean, Philby and Blunt. It also produced the men who split the atom, developed radar, broke the Enigma code and started the computer age. And it just happens to be a gorgeous place within easy reach of my Norfolk home.

You worked for several newspapers; do you think that background has helped you with your writing?

Undoubtedly. In newspapers you quickly learn what makes a good story, because if you don’t you won’t last long. And then, of course, you have to tell that story well or face the editor’s wrath. It’s a shame so many modern ‘literary’ authors have lost the plot and forgotten their poor readers.

If you could give your younger self any writing tips what would they be?

Write, write, write…read, read, read. Expecting your debut novel to be brilliant is like someone picking up a tennis racket for the first time and going out to face Federer on Centre Court. Tennis isn’t easy, nor is writing. You need thousands of hours of practice. Stick with it and never stop trying to improve yourself.

Typically how much research do you do before you start writing?

Half a year of reading, travelling, experimenting and talking to the experts.

And to end on a lighter note what, if anything, are you currently reading?

I’m reading a mass of history books to help me with No.3 in the Tom Wilde series. The most recent novel I enjoyed was The Binding Song by Elodie Harper. It’s a very atmospheric thriller set in Norfolk. Highly recommended.

Nucleus by Rory Clements is out in hardback on the 25th January 2018. If you want to you can pre-order a copy on Waterstones, Foyles, Amazon UK, and The Book Depository.

Nucleus by Rory Clements

From the award-winning Sunday Times bestselling author of CORPUS

The eve of war: a secret so deadly, nothing and no one is safe

June 1939. England is partying like there is no tomorrow, gas masks at the ready. In Cambridge the May Balls are played out with a frantic intensity – but the good times won’t last… In Europe, the Nazis have invaded Czechoslovakia, and in Germany he persecution of the Jews is now so widespread that desperate Jewish parents send their children to safety in Britain aboard the Kindertransport. Closer to home, the IRA’s S-Plan bombing campaign has resulted in more than 100 terrorist outrages around England.

But perhaps the most far-reaching event of all goes largely unreported: in Germany, Otto Hahn has produced the first man-made fission and an atomic device is now a very real possibility. The Nazis set up the Uranverein group of physicists: its task is to build a superbomb. The German High Command is aware that British and US scientists are working on similar line. Cambridge’s Cavendish Laboratory is where the atom was split in 1932. Might the Cambridge men now win the race for a nuclear bomb? Hitler’s generals need to be sure they know all the Cavendish’s secrets. Only then will it be safe for Germany to wage war.

When one of the Cavendish’s finest brains is murdered, Professor Tom Wilde is once more drawn into an intrigue from which there seems no escape. In a conspiracy that stretches from Cambridge to Berlin and from Washington DC to the west coast of Ireland, he faces deadly forces that threaten the fate of the world.

Review: One Of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus

One Of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus (UK edition)

Title: One Of Us Is Lying
Author: Karen M. McManus
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Young Adult
Publisher: Penguin Books (1st June 2017)
Blurb:

FIVE STUDENTS WALK INTO DETENTION.
ONLY FOUR LEAVE ALIVE.

Yale hopeful BRONWYN has never publicly broken a rule.

Sports star COOPER only knows what he’s doing in the baseball diamond.

Bad boy NATE is one misstep away from a life of crime.

Prom queen ADDY is holding together the cracks in her perfect life.

And outsider SIMON, creator of the notorious gossip app at Bayview High, won’t ever talk about any of them again.

He dies 24 hours before he could post their deepest secrets online. Investigators conclude it was no accident. All of them are suspects.

Everyone has secrets, right?

What really matters is how far you’ll go to protect them.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (5 stars)
Review:

ONE OF US IS LYING by Karen M. McManus is a cross between the film The Breakfast Club (1985) and a who-done-it. It tells the stories of five high school students who end up in detention together and one of them ends up dead. There’s Bronwyn who wants to go to Yale, Cooper who has a promising career in baseball ahead of him, Nate who the gossip mill claims is on probation, Addy the prom queen, and Simon the creator of the notorious Bayview High gossip app. He dies twenty-four hours before he could lift the lid on the other four’s darkest secrets, and the police say it’s no accident.

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Review: Blade Bound by Chloe Neill

Blade Bound by Chloe Neill

Title: Blade Bound (Chicagoland Vampires, 13)
Author: Chloe Neill
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Gollancz Fiction (27th April 2017)
Blurb:

The thrilling final installment of Chloe Neill’s New York Times bestselling urban fantasy series sees sinister sorcery advancing across Chicago, and it might usher in the fall of Cadogan House . . .

Since the night of her brutal attack and unwilling transformation into a vampire, Merit has stood as Sentinel and protector of Chicago’s Cadogan House. She’s saved the Windy City from the forces of darkness time and again with her liege and lover, Ethan Sullivan, by her side.

When the House is infiltrated and Merit is attacked by a vampire who seems to be under the sway of dark magic, Merit and Ethan realize the danger is closer than they could have imagined. As malign sorcery spreads throughout the city, Merit must go to war against supernaturla powers beyond her comprehension. It is her last chance to save everything – and everyone – she loves.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4 stars)
Review:

BLADE BOUND is the final instalment in Chloe Neill’s brilliant Chicagoland Vampires series. This book brings to an end Caroline Evelyn Merit’s adventures from newly turned vampire, to Sentinel of Cadogan House. Merit has gone through many changes and challenges since her first appearance in SOME GIRLS BITE twelve books ago, but she still has one final challenge to face – one that threatens the whole of Chicago. It starts when a vampire, who seems to be under the sway of dark magic, attacks Merit when she should have been safe inside Cadogan House. This attack seems to be a symptom of a larger problem, along with the harmful sorcery spreading through the city.

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Review: The House by Simon Lelic (Blog Tour)

This review is part of the #TheHouse blog tour.

The House by Simon Lelic

Title: The House
Author: Simon Lelic
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Source: The publisher
Publisher: Penguin (3rd November 2017, 17th August 2017 in ebook)
Blurb:

The heart-stopping thriller about a husband and wife who are hiding something from each other, and from you…This book won’t let you go until you’ve found out the truth. Perfect for fans of Erin Kelly, Gillian Flynn and Fiona Barton.

Whose story do YOU believe?

Londoners Jack and Syd moved into the house a year ago. It seemed like their dream home: tons of space, the perfect location, and a friendly owner who wanted a young couple to have it.

So when they made a grisly discovery in the attic, Jack and Syd chose to ignore it. That was a mistake.

Because someone has just been murdered outside their back door.

AND NOW THE POLICE ARE WATCHING THEM.

(Blurb taken from Penguin.co.uk)

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4 stars)
Review:

THE HOUSE is Simon Lelic’s first venture into the psychological thriller genre. The book is narrated by Londoners Jack and Sydney; a happy couple who, after years of scrimping and saving, managed to buy their first house together. The house seems perfect; everything they wanted to continue their lives properly together for the first time. The only slight downside to their purchase is that the house comes with contents from the previous owner and they have to decide what to do with it. Then Jack discovers something gruesome in the attic, but they decide to ignore it until someone is murdered right outside their back door.

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Review: I Know A Secret by Tess Gerritsen

I Know A Secret by Tess Gerritsen (UK edition)

Title: I Know A Secret (Rizzoli & Isles, 12)
Author: Tess Gerritsen
Genre: Crime, Detective Novel, Mystery, Thriller
Source: The publisher
Publisher: Bantam Press (10th August 2017)
Blurb:

I have a secret.
And someone wants to make sure I never tell . . .

In a house decorated with horror movie posters, a young woman’s body is found. She lies on her bed, two bloodied objects clutched in her palm. Detective Jane Rizzoli and Forensic Pathologist Maura Isles are called to the murder scene, but even faced with this gruesome sight they are unable to identify the immediate cause of death.

Their investigation leads them to a high-profile murder case that was seemingly solved years before. But when another body is found in horrific circumstances, the link between the two victims is clear. Was the wrong person sent to prison? Is the real killer out there right now, picking off new targets?

One woman knows the killer is coming for her next. She’s the only one who can help Rizzoli and Isles catch him.

But she has a secret that she has to keep . . .

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (5 stars)
Review:

I KNOW A SECRET by Tess Gerritsen is the twelfth instalment of her fantastic Rizzoli & Isles series. Detective Jane Rizzoli and medical examiner Maura Isles are on the case of a murderer who killed a horror film producer and gruesomely staged it. Maura cannot identify the cause of death; the woman seems perfectly healthy and yet she is dead. With no clues about the how or the why, Rizzoli and Isles are perplexed by the case. Things get even weirder when there appears to be a link to a high-profile murder case that was seemingly solved years ago. And a woman with a secret to keep knows the killer is coming for her.

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Review: Blood Sisters by Jane Corry

Blood Sisters by Jane Corry (ARC edition)

Title: Blood Sisters
Authors: Jane Corry
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Source: The publisher
Publisher: Penguin Books (29th June 2017)
Blurb:

Three little girls set off to school
one sunny May morning.
Within an hour, one of them is dead.

Fifteen years later, Alison and Kitty are living separate lives. Kitty lives in a care home. She can’t speak, and she has no memory of the accident that put her here, or her life before it.

Art teacher Alison looks fine on the surface. But the surface is a lie. When a job in a prison comes up she decides to take it – this is her chance to finally make things right.

But someone is watching Kitty and Alison. Someone who wants revenge for what happened that day.  And only another life will do…

(Blurb taken from Goodreads)

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4 stars)
Review:

BLOOD SISTERS is the intricate new novel from Jane Corry. The novel follows the stories of Alison and Kitty fifteen years after a horrific event: one sunny May morning three girls set off to school, on the way one of them died. Kitty lives in a care home unable to speak with no memory of that tragic day or her life before it. Alison meanwhile has become an art teacher, and on the surface everything looks fine with her. But looks can be deceiving. Someone is watching both girls, because they think they got away lightly. Someone wants them to pay for what happened on that sunny May morning.

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Review: Do Not Become Alarmed by Maile Meloy (Blog Tour)

DoNotBecomeAlarmed-blogtourbannerNEW

This review is part of the Do Not Become Alarmed blog tour.

Do Not Become Alarmed by Maile Meloy (ARC copy)

Title: Do Not Become Alarmed
Author: Maile Meloy
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Source: The publisher
Publisher: Viking (6th July 2017)
Blurb:

When Liv and Nora decide to take their husbands and children on a holiday cruise, everyone is thrilled. The ship’s comforts and possibilities seem infinite. But when they all go ashore in beautiful Central America, a series of minor mishaps lead the families further from the ship’s safety.

One minute the children are there, and the next they’re gone.

What follows is a heart-racing story told from the perspectives of the adults and the children, as the distraught parents – now turning on one another and blaming themselves – try to recover their children and their shattered lives.

(Blurb taken from Penguin.co.uk)

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4 stars)
Review:

DO NOT BECOME ALARMED is the latest book to come from Maile Meloy. It’s a standalone novel that tells the story of a group of tourists who are on a cruise in Central America. Liv and Nora are cousins who decide to take their husbands and children away together to celebrate the holidays. After days spent aboard the ship they start to feel restless so they decide to leave the ship, and take part in one of the activities organised by the cruise liner. Unfortunately a series of small mishaps lead to a larger disaster for the women: their children go missing.

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