Last Lullaby (Detective Natalie Ward Book 2) by Carol Wyer #BookReview @Bookouture @bonniesbooktalk

I’m really excited to be talking about Carol Wyer’s new book, Last Lullaby on my blog today. I was lucky enough to get an advance copy via Netgalley and wanted to share my review. Below is a brief description and a copy of the fabulous cover!

Last Lullaby

Charlotte’s baby is safe. But is she?

When the body of mother Charlotte Brannon is discovered by her husband Adam, in their bedroom, Detective Natalie Ward is first on the scene. The killer has left a chilling calling card: The word ‘Why?’ written on the wall in blood.

As Natalie begins to delve deeper into the couple’s lives, she discovers that Adam has a dark past he’s been hiding and she’s sure that the Brannon’s teenage babysitter Inge has secrets of her own.

Then another mother is murdered on her doorstep in front of her young son, the word ‘why’scrawled on the wall next to her. 

All the key suspects have alibis and with her own marriage hanging by a thread, Natalie is struggling to stay focused on cracking her toughest case yet.

When a young woman and her baby disappear, a member of Natalie’s own team is put in terrible danger. Can Natalie stop this twisted serial killer and save one of her own before more families are torn apart forever?

Gripping, fast-paced and nail-bitingly tense, this book will send shivers down your spine. Perfect for fans of Angela Marsons, Rachel Abbott and Karin Slaughter.

What people are saying about Last Lullaby:

‘Tense, fast paced and totally engrossing, this is a book that will exasperate you, thrill you, chill you and truly test your detecting skills as you strive to pinpoint whodunnit. I loved Last Lullaby. I have to say that this series is shaping up to be one heck of a killer read and I am relieved to hear that book three is well on its way as I cannot wait to read more.Jen Med’s Book Reviews

‘Another winner for Ms. Wyer!! I started Last Lullaby yesterday around noon & finished it last night.There was no way I could put it down!Last Lullaby was ripe full of excellent character development, lots of twists and turns and a shocking conclusion …I very much look forward to continuing this series.’ Fish Ducky Blog, 5 stars.

Buying links:

British flag   UK:   https://amzn.to/2qprpyU         US flag  US:   https://amzn.to/2OfZcEp

 

Review

As always this publisher churns out the best fiction, so it’s not a surprise that this book was a sure-fire winner. Expertly paced, expertly crafted. Then boom! Another surprise.

Adam Brannon and his wife, Charlotte return from a 30th wedding anniversary a little worse for wear. But when Charlotte wakes up in the night to hear a strange noise coming from the baby monitor, all hell breaks loose. Detective Ward must investigate a chilling murder where all suspects seem to have adequate alibis. But with sightings of two people running from the scene and more characters coming into play, I was flummoxed to say the least! The second murder threw me for a loop due to the similarities and I thought I had it all worked out only to have that theory blown out of the water.

A fast-paced read with plenty of twists to chew on, Detective Natalie Ward is one of the most realistic characters in police procedural books I’ve read so far. Dedicated to family and work, she juggles her own relationships with this horrifying and sinister case. I thought this was cleverly handled and not one of the weak squeaks you can sometimes find in this genre. I didn’t warm to David, finding him unsupportive and potentially hindering Natalie’s progress. Although appearing tough, she could be on the path to cracking emotionally and that I found frustrating. Other characters come into play, Carmichael, Anderson and Jarvis whose sheer determination to crack the case and shatter any foregone conclusions certainly gets to the heart of the matter. Was it him? Was it her? The story moved organically and twists and red herrings were well performed, without exploiting the reader at all.

There’s more depth to this story that needs to be examined. Relationships aren’t what they seem and the web is tricky to untangle. It was one of those ‘just one more chapter before bed’ kind of reads because it’s so hard to trust anyone. I kept racing off the wrong track on more than one occasion and that’s the mark of an excellent writer. Loved it!

Thank you Netgalley, Ms. Wyer and Bookouture for such an entertaining book. It was well worth the wait!

Publication date: December 7, 2018

Find other books by author Carol Wyer here

 

 

 

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New Book News! INTO THE SILENT SEA available for Pre-Order #BlogTour #NewRelease #Suspense #Psychological #Thriller

I’m super excited to see psychological thriller INTO THE SILENT SEA now available to pre-order from Amazon. The eBook price has been reduced to 99c/99p until October 24, 2018. It will then revert to the regular price of $3.99.

 

Into the Silent Sea-RGB v2 (2)

99c/99p

Now on Amazon Pre-Order HERE

Publish date: October 24, 2017

Offer available until October 24, 2018.

Then eBook will be available for $3.99

Book Description:

Dangerous is one thing. Deadly is something else.

When Clodagh Shepherd’s curiosity gives way to obsession, her thoughts turn to revenge.

In the wake of her husband’s affair and subsequent disappearance, Clo makes an impulsive decision to befriend the beautiful stranger who has stolen her life. Answering an ad for a home help, she moves into the home of her husband’s mistress and is immediately drawn into the chilling reality behind the idyllic façade of Hamptons Life. Central to her terrifying nightmare is a deadly secret–a secret someone will kill to keep.

In this dark and twisting thriller, Clo proves the adage ‘hell hath no fury like a woman scorned’ with shocking consequences.

An engaging, pacy read which keeps the reader guessing.’ Bookworm Reviews, 5 stars

What people are saying about INTO THE SILENT SEA

‘A stylish beach thriller. Taut and provocative with a flawed but very likable heroine.’ Avid Reader, 5 Stars

‘Holy cow! What a read! Sun, sea and suspense with a chilling cast of lovers and mistresses. What could be better! Get ready to curl up with this churning, dark mystery.’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars

‘A twisted and suspenseful thriller that entangles an unlikely friendship with a murder… Subtly tips its hat to authors such as Ruth Ware and Paula Hawkins.’ Debonair Debs Reviews, 5 stars.

‘A bracing, knotty ride, where murder won’t rinse clean and plots runs deeper than the ocean itself.’ Bookishly Bookish, 5 stars

Bookpreneur *Kindle Monthly deal picks* #BookReview, THE GIFT and GOLD MEDAL winner news. #Book #SALE! Just *99p/99cents* in the US and UK – EASY PREY by Claire Stibbe 5* – Two best friends. One deadly secret. . .

I have just finished Louise Jensen’s The Gift and I have to say this is a definite five star read from me. I hadn’t heard of this author before so I decided to give it whirl. I’m really glad I did.

Jenna works at a vet clinic, but she is also a heart transplant patient, living on her own after a break up with her boyfriend, Sam. If that’s not trauma enough, read on. After the surgery, she begins to feel different. She’s forgetful and anxious, has dreams and memories she can’t explain, all of which are putting her career at risk. But worse, she is obsessed with her donor’s life. After meeting the family to pay respects and to thank them, not only do unfamiliar sights and sounds become familiar but there’s a noticeable personality shift, culminating in questions as to what really happened that night when Callie was killed in an accident.

After splitting with her long-term partner, Jenna digs deep to get to the truth of Callie’s death despite the danger in which she suddenly finds herself. Living alone and not knowing who to trust, readers will empathize with Jenna, a character with scars on her body and in her mind, where her emotions are raw and so are her struggles. The author gives a powerful and intrusive idea of what it must be like to experience such a serious operation, compounded with her obsession with Callie. I think this is what made the book so unputdownable for me and also perhaps a certain cinematic vibe that transports you into the many layers of Jenna’s life.

Once I started this book, I couldn’t put it down. Jensen has definitely done her homework; Cellular Muscle Memory – an interesting case in hand. I always appreciate the research authors put into their work and this is no exception. The ending was as satisfying as the rest of the book and delivered well beyond my expectations. You can’t help being stirred by Jenna’s story and where a certain residue will remain with you for weeks to come. Definitely another author to watch.

The GiftSynopsis:

The perfect daughter is dead. And a secret is eating her family alive…

Jenna is given another shot at life when she receives a donor heart from a girl called Callie. Eternally grateful to Callie and her family, Jenna gets closer to them, but she soon discovers that Callie’s perfect family is hiding some very dark secrets…

Callie’s parents are grieving, yet Jenna knows they’re only telling her half the story. Where is Callie’s sister Sophie? She’s been ‘abroad’ since her sister’s death but something about her absence doesn’t add up. And when Jenna meets Callie’s boyfriend Nathan, she makes a shocking discovery.

Jenna knows that Callie didn’t die in an accident. But how did she die? Jenna is determined to discover the truth but it could cost her everything; her loved ones, her sanity, even her life.

A compelling, gripping psychological thriller with a killer twist from the author of the Number One bestseller The Sister.

Publisher: Bookouture

Pages: 354

Links:    US https://amzn.to/2NJNp1C     UK  https://amzn.to/2NHWRme

BOOK SALE UPDATE!

Easy Prey by Claire Stibbe is on SALE this week – and on Bookbub – for only 99 cents / 99p. This is an excellent time to grab your copy.

Easy Prey SALE

Synopsis: Two best friends. One deadly secret.

Something dark and brooding stalks the mysterious Bosque nature reserve. Bird watchers fall prey to the menace and thefts of rare falcons are on the rise. But it is the body of a murdered girl discovered on the banks of The Rio Grande River that eventually brings Detectives Temeke and Santiago onto the trail.

During a camping weekend, Jessie Bowman’s best friend, Bree, has disappeared. Guilt ridden, yet determined to do the right thing, she tracks the man she believes is responsible and begins to unravel a mystery that tests every ounce of her resilience. She has only two choices – fight or flight. And Jessie is done with running.

Now Detectives Temeke and Santiago must locate Jessie before the madman snares his final prey.

‘Stibbe handles the latest mystery in the Detective Temeke series with the dexterity of a master falconer. The climax will swoop down and seize you when you least expect it, leaving you feeling as if you too have become ‘easy prey’. Dr Maurice Singleton, PhD in Narrative Theory, Author and Lecturer

‘A gripping story with some of the most vivid writing I’ve read this year. Unpredictable and absorbing, it was one of those books that hooked me right from the start.’ Bonnie’s Books

‘If there is a crime fan who hasn’t discovered the Detective Temeke series yet, go and read them all immediately. I love books with that extra-special something, where the author puts you at every scene and doesn’t let go until the last heart-pumping chapter.’ 23rd Avenue Book Club.

Publisher: Bookpreneur

Page: 348

Links:    🇺🇸 US      🇬🇧 UK 

BLOG NEWS:

Last, but by no means least, is a GOLD MEDAL from Feedspot. Bookpreneur has been selected as one of the Top 25 Thriller Book Blogs on the web. How cool is that! Why not head on over and take a look.

BADGE

Excerpt from Top 25 Thriller Book Blogs:

The Best Thriller Book Blogs from thousands of Thriller Book blogs on the web using search and social metrics. Subscribe to these websites because they are actively working to educate, inspire, and empower their readers with frequent updates and high-quality information.

These blogs are ranked based on following criteria

  • Google reputation and Google search ranking
  • Influence and popularity on Facebook, twitter and other social media sites
  • Quality and consistency of posts.
  • Feedspot’s editorial team and expert review

Right Behind You – an FBI Profiler Novel.

Right Behind You is a great follow-up thriller by Lisa Gardner. Not quite as dark at the others, but still dark enough. In this, FBI profilers Quincy & Raine try to piece together the past abuse suffered by their thirteen-year-old foster daughter, Sharlah. Her brother Telly has not been seen for many years and whose past is so bleak, I couldn’t help feeling wound up and totally wrung out. On the run and wanted for questioning, there’s an underlying menace and nightmarish melancholy you would expect from a book like this, especially when the main goal for Quincy and Raine is to keep Sharlah safe.

What I liked about it was the deep and meaningful characters we have come to expect in Gardner’s novels. Sheriff Atkins was my favorite in this one. Authentic backstory, much of which is narrated from Telly’s point of view, reads in a fast and furious pace which is impossible to put down. Told in alternating viewpoints, the story created enough suspense for me to read it in two days – afternoon and evening of the first day and morning of the second – leaving an after flavor I didn’t expect.

The research, as always, is excellent, although I did feel some of it weighed down the plot for me. I’m referring to the gun chapters involving Telly and Frank, and some of the descriptions of criminal personalities and tracking. I could have done with less of the processes which, although perfect for the setting were a little long-winded.

Overall, the writing is first rate. Characters are complex, plot was riveting and extremely compelling with its backstory of childhood abuse, foster care, trauma and corruption.

Although this book is part of a series, you won’t need to read the previous books to enjoy this one. Plenty of twists and turns to keep you up all night.

Right Behind You

Book Description:

THE #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER!

Lisa Gardner’s latest thriller following her runaway hit Find Her takes her wildly popular brand of suspense to new heights.

Eight years ago, Sharlah May Nash’s older brother beat their drunken father to death with a baseball bat in order to save both of their lives. Now thirteen years old, Sharlah has finally moved on. About to be adopted by retired FBI profiler Pierce Quincy and his partner, Rainie Conner, Sharlah loves one thing best about her new family: They are all experts on monsters.

Then the call comes in. A double murder at a local gas station, followed by reports of an armed suspect shooting his way through the wilds of Oregon. As Quincy and Rainie race to assist, they are forced to confront mounting evidence: The shooter may very well be Sharlah’s older brother, Telly Ray Nash, and it appears his killing spree has only just begun.

As the clock winds down on a massive hunt for Telly, Quincy and Rainie must answer two critical questions: Why after eight years has this young man started killing again? And what does this mean for Sharlah? Once upon a time, Sharlah’s big brother saved her life. Now, she has two questions of her own: Is her brother a hero or a killer? And how much will it cost her new family before they learn the final, shattering truth? Because as Sharlah knows all too well, the biggest danger is the one standing right behind you.

Lisa Gardener

New York Times #1 bestselling crime novelist Lisa Gardner began her career in food service, but after catching her hair on fire numerous times, she took the hint and focused on writing instead. A self-described research junkie, she has parlayed her interest in police procedure, criminal minds and twisted plots into a streak of bestselling suspense novels. Her 2010 novel, THE NEIGHBOR, won Best Thriller from the International Thriller Writers. Most recently, she was honored with the Silver Bullet Award for her work with at-risk kids and homeless animals. Lisa loves to hike, travel the world, and yes, read, read, read!

Readers are invited to enter the annual “Kill a Friend, Maim a Buddy” Sweepstakes, where they can nominate the person of their choice to die in Lisa’s latest novel. People have nominated themselves, spouses, bosses. It’s cheaper than therapy and twice as much fun! For more details, visit Lisa’s website.

Lisa lives in the mountains of New England with her family, as well as two highly spoiled dogs. Her latest novel is LOOK FOR ME, where Boston Detective D.D. Warren must join forces with victim-turned-vigilante Flora Dane to find a missing sixteen-year-old girl, who may be the next victim…or the perfect killer.

More Books by Lisa Gardner:

Lisa G Pix

 

#BookReviewWednesday – The 9th Hour

Joseph Mark Brewer

The book-a-week challenge continues with The 9th Hour (A Detective Temeke Crime Series Book 1) by Claire Stibbe.

9thHourAlbuquerque cops thought they had seen it all, but there was nothing like their serial killer aiming for teen girls. And the cops at the Northwest Area Command had seen nothing like Detective David Temeke. British, Ethiopian descent, Temeke immigrated to the U.S. to escape cold, wet England. Bald, muscular, handsome, skin darker than tar, Temeke is all business. Problems with colleagues at Homicide sent him to Northwest. It went unsaid that seven dead teen girls was also part of the reason why.

So begins Claire Stibbe’s The 9th Hour. It is a police procedural par excellence, a serial killer tale quite gruesome in detail but thoroughly compelling. If it wasn’t so well written, so captivatingly smart and imaginative, it could have been a bloody mess. It’s not. Stibbe’s sentences have a life of their own…

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Top Six Books I’ve Read This Year

Due to a transfer in career from New Mexico to Utah, I decided to take a brief hiatus from writing. Having completed a stand-alone thriller and nearing the end of the Detective Temeke series, there’s no better escape than reading books. Here are six of my favorites this year written by brilliant, talented writers.

AAA Oliver

Publisher: Gallery/Scout Press, (Simon and Schuster) Pages: 273. Rating 4.3. Reviews 315. Genre: Family Life, Psychological Thriller, Mystery, Thriller and Suspense.

Brief Description: Oliver Ryan has the perfect life. Elegant and seductive, he wants for nothing, sharing a lovely home with his steadfast wife, Alice, who illustrates the award-winning children’s books that have brought him wealth and fame. Until one evening, after eating the dinner Alice has carefully prepared, Oliver savagely assaults her and leaves her for dead.

Described as a whydunnit rather than a whodunnit, Unraveling Oliver is an intricately woven story of a man who apparently has everything. Or does he? Highly suspenseful and told from the perspectives of the injured parties, it is the tragic story of a fractured mind. Some of the reviews indicate that readers found the alternating points of view hard to get to grips with, but I love this style. If a book doesn’t have that extra layer it can fall flat for me and I end up distracted and looking for food. This story intrigued me and after the last page, the plot was thick enough to stick for at least a week. Highly recommended.

The wife between us

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press. Pages: 342. Rating 4.2. Reviews 1,739. Genre: Women’s Fiction, Psychological, Detective, Suspense.

Brief Description: When you read this book, you will make many assumptions.
You will assume you are reading about a jealous ex-wife.
You will assume she is obsessed with her replacement – a beautiful, younger woman who is about to marry the man they both love.
You will assume you know the anatomy of this tangled love triangle.
Assume nothing.

I found this story intriguing although a little slow to begin with. A twisty plot of love and betrayal written from two points of view, Nellie (the bride) and Vanessa (the disturbed ex). You you get the impression fairly early on that we are not getting the whole story and I had to go back and reread sections to make sure I had it down correctly. It’s well-read territory, twists and turns are a little contrived but around the half-way mark the reveal took me by surprise. The book is described as a clever suspense novel and compared to The Girl on the Train and Gone Girl. I’m not sure it’s quite up there, but it’s well worth the read.

Silent Girls

Publisher: Witness Impulse/Harper Collins. Pages: 411. Rating 4.0. Reviews: 1,406. Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense. Heist. Supernatural. United States.

Brief Description: Frank Rath thought he was done with murder when he turned in his detective’s badge to become a private investigator and raise a daughter alone. Then the police in his remote rural community of Canaan find an ’89 Monte Carlo abandoned by the side of the road, and the beautiful teenage girl who owned the car seems to have disappeared without a trace.

I had heard of Eric Rickstad but not read any of his novels. Needless to say, I was hooked at the first few pages. He has a rhythmic writing style I love, although I could have done with less of the short sentences. They were a little choppy and when more than one character (narrative voice) attempted the same style, it can get confusing. This was another book I thought I had figured out, but nope. The ending, for me, was a serious twist. Not everyone likes cliffhangers, so I hope he comes up with a second book. Recommended.

I let you go

Publisher: Berkley, Penguin Group. Pages: 377. Rating: 4.3. Reviews: 1,275. Genre: Women’s Fiction, Crime, Mystery, Thriller, Suspense. Detective. Psychological.

Brief Description: On a rainy afternoon, a mother’s life is shattered as her son slips from her grip and runs into the street… I Let You Go follows Jenna Gray as she moves to a ramshackle cottage on the remote Welsh coast, trying to escape the memory of the car accident that plays again and again in her mind and desperate to heal from the loss of her child and the rest of her painful past.

The blurb for I Let You Go enticed me to buy it and I was glad I did. The book tells the story of a mother who loses her child in an accident (not a spoiler since this is in the blurb) during those one of those dangerous split seconds of inattention. Its the hit-and-run the reader focuses on and Jenna’s way of coping with this terrible tragedy.  Unputdownable and disturbing, and brought home by brilliant, atmospheric writing. Just too many layers of this particular onion that I enjoyed, a truly emotional journey that made me feel no matter what Jenna did, she was going to pay the price at some point. Highly recommended.

all the light

Publisher: Scribner, Simon and Schuster. Pages: 545. Rating: 4.6. Reviews: 28,078. Genre: Historical Fiction, French, German, Military.

Brief Description: Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. When she is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great-uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.

Probably one of my favorite books of all time, All The Light We Cannot See takes you through the lives of Marie-Laure, her father and the gadget-obsessed German orphan Werner, tied together by a dangerous and priceless gem. It’s an intricate masterpiece that draws you in so you can’t fail to become personally connected. With alternating character chapters, the atrocities and the lasting scars on each will very likely create an image of war some of us have never imagined. I think this book will haunt me for some time. Highly recommended.

Beneath a Scarlet Sky

Publisher: Lake Union Publishing. Pages: 526. Rating: 4.8. Reviews: 19,097. Genre: Literary Fiction, Biographical, Women’s Fiction. 

Pino Lella wants nothing to do with the war or the Nazis. He’s a normal Italian teenager—obsessed with music, food, and girls—but his days of innocence are numbered. When his family home in Milan is destroyed by Allied bombs, Pino joins an underground railroad helping Jews escape over the Alps, and falls for Anna, a beautiful widow six years his senior.

With phenomenal ratings—4.8—it’s no surprise that this cinematic and literary work was chosen by Pascal Pictures to be made into a movie. Based on a true story and set against the backdrop of Nazi-occupied Milan during World War II, this book carries an intense pace and leaves you feeling like one of the characters and not just the reader. Pino becomes a driver for Major General Leyer, and through his eyes we ‘see’ all the harrowing Nazi atrocities and the allied advances to liberate northern Italy. Full of action and suspense, it will keep you on the edge of your seat. The writing is poetic and impeccable and as quoted within the opening chapters, nothing will ever be the same. Highly recommended.

There’s nothing like reading a book with that extra special magic, the type of book you can’t bear to finish. If you’re searching for a compulsively readable novel, these must-read books, complete with publisher information, ratings, genre and descriptions, are impossible to put down. 

Next, I will be reading a book by Tess Gerritson, Paula Hawkins and K.L. Slater.