Friday, 14 September 2018

Win a copy of Trace: who killed Maria James? by Rachael Brown (UK & ROI)


Love True Crime Podcasts ?




Trace: who killed Maria James? by Rachael Brown || Release date: September 13th 2018


The whole place seems cold, and he feels a terrible sense of dread. He calls out, but gets no reply. Taking a knife from the cutlery drawer, he unlocks the back door as an escape route. Then he sees her on the floor. Her eyes and mouth are open, and there is blood everywhere. He’s too late. 


After a strange phone call with his ex-wife, John James had sensed something was wrong and raced over to her house. As he stood in her bedroom doorway, transfixed by the sight of her body, the killer was almost certainly just a breath away, hiding behind the door. Had John walked in, he could have been the next victim. Instead, he left to call the police. The culprit escaped, taking with him the secret of a shocking murder that has shown no sign of being solved for nearly 40 years — until now.


Based on the international #1 podcast, Trace re-examines the 1980 murder of Maria James — the single mother of two sons, one with a disability — revealing abuse in the Catholic Church, cult activities, and claims of incompetence and corruption at the highest levels. Investigating possible conspiracies and uncovering fresh evidence, Rachael Brown's riveting investigation has won multiple media awards and may lead to the reopening of this chilling case.


*****




*****


Win a copy of Trace: who killed Maria James by Rachael Brown


+ This competition is open to entrants in the UK and Republic of Ireland. You must have a UK or ROI postal address to enter.
+Winners details will be supplied to a third party.
+Prize will be sent directly from third party.
+I bear no responsibility for prizes lost or undelivered - alternative prizes will not be offered.
+ One winner will receive a copy of Trace: who killed Maria James? by Rachael Brown.
+This is a sponsored giveaway: please refer to T&C's for further information.
+ Fill in the Rafflecopter Form to Enter!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Podcasts: Five to try if you love True Crime.

The pop culture phenomenon of 2014, the first season of Serial, which has since been downloaded a whopping 175 million times (and counting!) was the one the one that started it all: Serial brought podcasts to the masses and also unleashed the True Crime obsessive in us all (or is that just me?) In any case, if you were obsessed with Serial (and who wasn't?) then you've probably checked out a few dozen or so true crime podcasts in the time since Sarah Koenig detailed her investigation into the 1999 murder of Hae Min Lee via weekly nail-biting instalments.

That's the thing about pop culture phenomenons - they tend to spawn a gazillion offshoots.

True crime podcasts are as popular as ever, but I think it's fair to say that not all true crime podcasts are made equally.  While it might be true that not every true crime podcast is the next Serial, it's also fair to say that a few have come pretty close.  Here are five to try before Serial Season Three launches on September 20th. (I wonder if Kim K. is all caught up yet?!)





The latest podcast phenomenon on the block, The Teacher's Pet is an Australian podcast investigating the disappearance and probable murder of mother-of-two Lyn Dawson back in 1982. 


What They Say: 

A star footballer. His school girl lover. 

A wife who vanishes.

Chris and Lyn appear to have the perfect marriage. But when Lyn goes missing, dark secrets are buried. This is no fairytale, but a sordid story of strangely close twin brothers, teenage student lovers, and probable murder.


Find Out More: 



*****




If you are planning on checking out Dirty John be prepared clear your schedule. This podcast, which details the relationship between Debra Newell, a successful interior designer, and John Meehan, a man who just doesn't check out, is what binge listening was made for.  A TV series based on the podcast, starring Connie Britton and Eric Bana, is currently in the works.


What They Say:

Debra Newell is a successful interior designer. She meets John Meehan, a handsome man who seems to check all the boxes: attentive, available, just back from a year in Iraq with Doctors Without Borders. But her family doesn’t like John, and they get entangled in an increasingly complex web of love, deception, forgiveness, denial, and ultimately, survival. 


Find Out More:


*****





One of the most affecting podcasts I have listened to, Trace is an Australian podcast detailing the murder of Maria James, a mother-of-two, who was stabbed to death in June 1980. 


What They Say:

On a winter morning in June 1980, Maria James turned to her son Mark and looked him in the eyes.

"She said to me, 'if anything happens to me, look after your brother.'"

Later that day she was found stabbed to death at the back of her suburban Melbourne bookshop, where she lived with her two boys.

Was it a scorned lover? A random stranger? Or was the murder tied up in the sins of the Catholic Church?


Find Out More:




*****




One of the podcast hits of 2018, West Cork investigates the 1996 murder of Sophie Toscan du Plantier, and takes a deep dive into the dark side of rural Ireland.


What They Say:



This much we do know: Sophie Toscan du Plantier was murdered days before Christmas in 1996, her broken body discovered at the edge of her property near the town of Schull in West Cork, Ireland. The rest remains a mystery.


Gripping, yet ever elusive, join the real-life hunt for answers in the year’s first not-to-be-missed, true-crime series. Investigative journalist, Sam Bungey, and documentarian, Jennifer Forde, guide listeners through the brutal, unsolved murder and the tangled web of its investigation, while introducing an intricate cast of characters, a provocative prime suspect, and a recovering community whose story begs to be heard.



Find Out More:



*****




Season One of Up and Vanished investigated the 2005 disappearance of high school teacher Tara Grinstead - and got results. Season Two, which premiered August 20th, delves into the case of Kristal Anne Reisinger, a young mother who disappeared from the tiny town of Crestone, Colorado, in 2016.


What They Say: 


On July 13, 2016, Kristal reportedly disappeared from a full moon drum circle. She has not been seen since. After 2 years with no arrests, Saguache County Sheriff’s Office is no longer treating Kristal’s disappearance as a missing persons case, but rather suspected foul play.


Find Out More:



*****




So, there you have it: five podcasts to try if you love True Crime. I could easily have made this a Top Ten (so many great podcasts that haven't made the cut today - but maybe I'll do a Part 2?) If you're a fan of True Crime and have any podcast recommendations, I'd love to hear them!

Monday, 10 September 2018

Book Review: You Let Me In by Lucy Clarke.



Product details:
Publisher: HarperCollins.
Hardcover 416 pages.
Release date: September 6th 2018.
Rating: 4 out of 5.
Source: Received from publisher for review.

Spine-tingling, chilling, and utterly compulsive, YOU LET ME IN is the stunning new novel from Richard & Judy Book Club author, Lucy ClarkeNothing has felt right since Elle rented out her house . . .

I’M IN YOUR HOUSEThere’s a new coldness. A shift in the atmosphere. The prickling feeling that someone is watching her every move from the shadows.

I’M IN YOUR HEADMaybe it’s all in Elle’s mind? She’s a writer – her imagination, after all, is her strength. And yet every threat seems personal. As if someone has discovered the secrets that keep her awake at night.

AND NOW I KNOW YOUR SECRETAs fear and paranoia close in, Elle’s own home becomes a prison. Someone is unlocking her past – and she’s given them the key…



Thinking of renting out your home on Airbnb? You might think again when you read You Let Me In by Lucy Clarke...

With her debut novel, Wild Fear, author Elle Fielding enjoyed the kind of runaway success most writers can only dream of.   Wild Fear made all of Elle’s dreams come true, affording her the life she always wanted, including her dream home, a beautiful old house on the Cornish coast. The thing about dream homes is that they don’t come cheap; Elle has spent most of the six-figure advance she received for her second novel renovating her home to perfection. Now, the money is gone and with the deadline for her highly-anticipated sophomore novel looming, Elle is starting to panic. The problem is, Elle’s work in progress is currently nothing more than a masterclass in procrastination. Elle might have been living a whirlwind life of festivals, signings and talks while meeting her adoring fans, but what she hasn’t been doing is a whole lot of writing. 

What’s a girl to do when her advance is gone and she’s behind on her mortgage repayments? Why, let a bunch of paying strangers live in her house for a few weeks, of course!

This sharing economy we live in today is all well and good – if you don’t think about it too deeply or too often. The thing about You Let Me In is that it makes you think about this stuff; this book makes you think about posting your personal information online (as Elle does – along with the rest of us), it makes you think about all the people that sign up to Airbnb and hand over their house keys to complete strangers without a second thought. When you think about it, it’s totally insane that we do this stuff! After all, there’s nothing to stop those strangers getting your keys copied. There’s nothing to stop them using those keys to sneak into you’re your house late at night...Eeek! 

However, when Elle returns from her trip, it seems that any fears she had about letting strangers stay in her house were unfounded. Apart from a few kids toys left lying around, Elle’s house is just as she left it: pristine.  Elle is pretty house proud, just FYI.  The thing is, though everything seems to have gone well, Elle appears to be troubled. She can’t sleep on her first night back. And she feels uneasy, almost as if someone is watching her...Then there’s the shard of glass on Elle’s bedroom floor; the shard of glass -  placed right in front of her floor-length mirror - that pierced her foot. There’s that uneasy feeling again. There’s something strange about the placement of that shard of glass. It’s almost as if it was staged – almost as if it was put there on purpose to hurt Elle. But who would want to hurt Elle? After all, Elle has never hurt anybody. Or has she?

As things go from bad to worse and Elle’s dream life turns into the stuff of nightmares, it soon becomes clear that a blank word document and a dwindling bank account are not the only things Elle has been keeping secret from the people in her life. 


 Tense, tightly-plotted and highly original, You Let Me In wins in terms of shocks and surprises, twists and thrillers. In short, it has everything I want in a thriller. A winner! 




P.S: Enter to WIN a copy of YOU LET ME IN.

Thursday, 6 September 2018

Win a copy of You Let Me In by Lucy Clarke! (UK & ROI)

Looking for a great new thriller?


 Look no further!  Today sees the release of You Let Me In by Lucy Clarke and it just so happens -
with thanks to Harper Collins -  that I have a shiny new copy of this most excellent book to give away to one lucky winner! I'll be reviewing You Let Me In next week (spoiler alert: I loved it!) but for now you can find more details on both book and blog tour below:




You Let Me In by Lucy Clarke || Release date: September 6th 2018

Spine-tingling, chilling, and utterly compulsive, YOU LET ME IN is the stunning new novel from Richard & Judy Book Club author, Lucy Clarke
Nothing has felt right since Elle rented out her house...
I’M IN YOUR HOUSE
There’s a new coldness. A shift in the atmosphere. The prickling feeling that someone is watching her every move from the shadows.
I’M IN YOUR HEAD
Maybe it’s all in Elle’s mind? She’s a writer – her imagination, after all, is her strength. And yet every threat seems personal. As if someone has discovered the secrets that keep her awake at night.
AND NOW I KNOW YOUR SECRET
As fear and paranoia close in, Elle’s own home becomes a prison. Someone is unlocking her past – and she’s given them the key…

*****



*****


WIN A COPY OF YOU LET ME IN BY LUCY CLARKE!


+ This competition is open to entrants in the UK and Republic of Ireland. You must have a UK or ROI postal address to enter.
+Winners details will be supplied to a third party.
+Prize will be sent directly from third party.
+I bear no responsibility for prizes lost or undelivered - alternative prizes will not be offered.
+ One winner will receive a copy of You Let Me In by Lucy Clarke.
+This is a sponsored giveaway: please refer to T&C's for further information.
+ Fill in the Rafflecopter Form to Enter!



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, 3 September 2018

Book Reviews: Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager & All the Beautiful Lies by Peter Swanson.




Hot on the heels of a successful exhibition, artist Emma Davis should be on top of the world. Instead, Emma feels like a fraud, her paintings borne out of a tragedy that happened fifteen years earlier. Emma resolves to move on with her life and her work – but she can’t let go. She can’t stop thinking about Vivian, Natalie and Allison – three girls who disappeared without a trace from their shared cabin at summer camp fifteen years ago. These girls dominate every aspect of Emma’s life – her work, her dreams – most of all her nightmares. Even now, all these years later, Emma can’t stop thinking about the missing girls of Camp Nightingale. She also can’t stop thinking about all the lies she told in the aftermath of their disappearance. 

When Emma is presented with an opportunity to return to the newly opened Camp Nightingale as an art tutor, she knows she shouldn’t go – deep down she knows that re-visiting her past is a bad idea. But Emma also wants to move on with her life; she’s determined to resolve the mystery of the missing girls of Camp Nightingale, so that she might finally lay the ghosts of her past to rest. 

Emma might want to let go of her past, but there’s just one problem: Emma’s past is very much not done with her yet. 

Inspired by Picnic at Hanging Rock, Sager’s follow up to the excellent Final Girls is slow moving at times, but its killer denouement and delicious final twist make Last Time I Lied a mystery that is definitely worth checking out. 


3.5 Stars -- Good read. I enjoyed it pretty much. Worth checking out. 
Published July 12th 2018 by Ebury Press. 
Received for review.


*****





Harry Ackerson is just days away from college graduation when he receives news that shocks him to the core: Harry’s father has fallen to his death from the cliffs near his house in Maine. Grief stricken, Harry returns to Maine to lend support to his step-mother during this tragic time. Once home, Harry learns the police believe his father died by suicide. But Harry knows that’s not true. It can’t be. Bill Ackerson had everything to live for, not least a happy home life with his beautiful, much younger, wife, Alice. The news of his father’s possible suicide is something that doesn’t sit right with Harry. It just doesn’t add up. Guess what? Harry’s hunch is correct. Bill Ackerson didn’t fall from those cliffs. He didn’t commit suicide either. No - judging from the marks on Bill Ackerson’s head, Harry’s father was quite clearly, brutally, murdered. But why? 

As Harry begins to conduct his own investigation into his father’s murder, he’s distracted by one thing: Alice. Now, grief does strange things to people, but it’s fair to say that Alice’s behaviour towards her step-son in the aftermath of his father’s death is more than a little odd. Not that Harry’s complaining. After all, beautiful Alice is hard to resist. After all, Alice always gets what she wants. 

If you’re a veteran of Peter Swanson’s novels (The Kind Worth Killing, Her Every Fear) then you’ll know that this author writes thrillers that are wickedly twisted and often feature female protagonists that, though rotten to the core, you’ll find yourself rooting for (Lily Kintner, anyone?!) Alice is no different. She’s a woman with a complicated past, let’s say. And that's just for starters.... 

A compelling thriller that kept me hooked from start to finish, All the Beautiful Lies is yet another winner from master of mystery Peter Swanson. 


Up next from Peter Swanson: Before She Knew Him releases March 2019.


Four Stars -- Very good read. Liked it a lot. Recommended.
Published April 3rd 2018 by William Morrow.
Received for review.

***** 
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