Saturday, 21 February 2015

Book Review - Silent Scream by Angela Marsons
Silent Scream by Angela Marsons
Released: 20th February 2015
Publisher: Bookouture
Pages: 400
Even the darkest secrets can’t stay buried forever…

Five figures gather round a shallow grave. They had all taken turns to dig. An adult-sized hole would have taken longer. An innocent life had been taken but the pact had been made. Their secrets would be buried, bound in blood …

Years later, a headmistress is found brutally strangled, the first in a spate of gruesome murders which shock the Black Country.

But when human remains are discovered at a former children’s home, disturbing secrets are also unearthed. D.I. Kim Stone fast realises she’s on the hunt for a twisted individual whose killing spree spans decades.

As the body count rises, Kim needs to stop the murderer before they strike again. But to catch the killer, can Kim confront the demons of her own past before it’s too late?
Bookouture is a publisher which has brought some brilliant reads to me over the last eight months of reviewing, so when I heard they had signed a new crime thriller writer I was really excited and Angela Marson’s debut Silent Scream surpasses every expectation I had, I found it to be simply brilliant.
The scene is set back in 2004 when five figures are surrounding a freshly dug and filled grave, vowing to keep the secret of what happened to this body among themselves. Fast forward ten years and head teacher Teresa Wyatt is found dead in her own bath tub, the description of her murder was very realistic and had my heart pounding, a brilliant opening chapter which had me totally hooked.
In steps DI Kim Stone to solve the crime which turns out to be more complicated the Kim and her team expect and as more murders are committed and when children’s bones are found in the grounds of an old children’s home, Kim’s interest in the case becomes more than just professional.
I really loved the main character DI Kim Stone, initially she seems very ruthless with her team and seems to have a hard reputation but as the story unfolds and we learn more about her we realise what she has had to deal with as child.  This made her very real to me as she had a vulnerability about her and the perfect character to lead a new detective series as I feel she has a lot more to share with us. The other character I like was Bryant, I loved his almost cheeky relationship with his boss, which brought a couple of lighter moments to a very involved novel.
This novel is action packed, and totally gripping, my heart was racing all the way through it and I could just not put it down until I knew how it would end. There were a couple of moments where I thought I had it all worked out and then bam nope I was wrong!  The ending which I got was completely not what I expected and that’s one of the reasons I loved this book, you’re left guessing until the very end.
Silent Scream deals with the subject of child abuse and highlights that those with power don’t always treat those children in these institutions with the care that they deserve. When the murders of the children were exposed I was deeply saddened and was rooting so much for Kim to find the murderer before they did any more damage. This topic made the crimes seem more real and tragic somehow rather than killer going on a bloodbath causing rampage.
For me Silent Scream is the perfect crime novel, it had a gritty plot with many twists, some deeply hidden secrets, psychologically damaged characters and a Detective Inspector to solve the crime who had her own flaws so was easier to relate to. It’s just simply brilliant and I think everyone should read it. It’s by far the best crime thriller I’ve read in a long time and I cannot wait to read the next one. I give it 5/5, go buy this book people!


Friday, 13 February 2015

Blog Tour Review - Winter Siege by Araina Franklin and Samantha Norman
Winter Siege by Ariana Franklin and Samantha Norman
Published: 12th February 2015 (paperback)
Publisher: Bantam Press (Transworld)
Pages: 448
Available in Paperback

It’s 1141 and freezing cold.

Gwil, a battle-hardened mercenary, is horrified to stumble across a little girl close to death. She has been attacked, just one more victim in a winter of atrocities. Clutching a sliver of parchment, she is terrified – but Gwil knows what he must do. He will bring her back to life. He will train her to fight. And together, they will hunt down the man who did this to her.

But danger looms wherever they turn. As castle after castle falls victim to siege, the icy Fens ring with rumours of a madman, of murder – and of a small piece of parchment with a terrible secret to tell, the cost of which none of them could have imagined . . .


Winter Siege is a historical novel set in 1141 at the time of the Anarchy between King Stephen and his cousin Empress Matilda, daughter of Henry I. The tale is based on Gwil, a mercenary with a kind heart, Penda the young girl who Gwil takes under his wing after she is brutally attacked and Lady Maud of Kenniford, whose castle comes under siege from the feuding royals.

I have to confess that before being asked to be part of this blog tour I had never read any of Ariana Franklin’s novels, or even heard her name before. Having read one I can understand why she has such a following, Winter Siege is a tale which draws you into the lives of the three main characters and makes you emotionally attached to them. I would love to have been able to spot the point where Samantha Norman took over writing, however I found it flowed seamlessly from beginning to end.

I felt this book did have a slow start and it wasn’t until Gwil, Penda and Maud were altogether that I really began to enjoy the story as that was when we got to know more about the feelings of both Penda and Maud which was far more enjoyable to me the battle for who was going to be England’s ruler. My favourite character was Penda, I thought she made a brilliant male and female character and would love there to be a follow up book to find out what happened next to her. I loved the way she changed from being shy and frightened to being quite cheeky, especially with Gwil and also that she stood and shot her bow with the men which must have been pretty daunting for anyone.  

One thing that did bother me about this book was the over use of expletive words which were used in the dialogue throughout the book, so if this bothers you be warned.

Overall I found Winter Siege to be an enjoyable and will in the future seek out Ariana Franklin’s previous novels and look out for anything else which Samantha Norman writes. I would rate this book 4/5.

Thank you to Transworld for my review copy and asking me to join with this tour, please visit other blogs on the tour for more insight into this book.

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Book Review - Fragile Lies by Laura Elliot

Fragile Lies by Laura Elliot
Published: 13th February 2015
Publisher: Bookouture
Pages: 424
Available in Paperback and on Kindle
His name is Michael Carmody.
He is a writer and a father.
His son is lying in a coma, fighting for his life.

Her name is Lorraine Cheevers.
She is an artist and mother.
An illicit affair has destroyed her marriage.

Michael is desperate to find the couple who left his son for dead, a victim of a hit and run.

Lorraine is desperate to start a new life for her and her daughter.

Michael and Lorraine are about to cross paths – damaged souls, drawn to one another.

They don’t know that their lives are already connected.

They don’t know the web of lies surrounding them.

They are each searching for the truth. But when they find it, it could destroy them both.
Firstly I would to thank the publishers Bookouture for sending me a review copy through Netgalley. Fragile Lies is the story of adultery, tragedy, deception and secrets.
I thought the prologue to this book was just brilliant, I was totally sucked into the story of this adulterous couple and who they were.  How long had it been going? Were they married? How did it start? How could they leave the accident so quickly? How could they live with the guilt? I was full of questions and just had to keep reading to find out the answers.
Fragile Lies is the story of two people Lorraine and Michael and how they become drawn to each other, unaware just how connected their lives are before they even meet. Once all the secrets are out can these two ever recover from the damage?
Lorraine Cheevers, an artist has fled Dublin to the seaside town of Trabawn to recover from her the breakdown of her marriage. Out of the public eye Lorraine in the sanctuary of a house she knew from many happy summers spent in Trabawn as a child. Struggling to get through each day Lorraine is at a lost as to how to move her life on, until meeting Michael sparks something in her again.
Michael Carmody is after some answers. His son Killian was knocked down in a hit and run accident and Michael wants justice. He thinks he knows who is to blame, but is he right?
When these two meet there is an instant attraction between them, but can they form a relationship when they are both hiding so many secrets and are surrounded by lies. As Lorraine begins to learn what happened to Michaels son she begins to realise who is to blame for his accident and just how connected their two lives really are.
It took me a while to really get into this book, which surprised me after such a good prologue. After the first two parts I became really hooked and couldn’t wait to find out what happened next. This book is definitely a slow burner so stick with it.
I really liked the way the characters in this book were portrayed and particularly liked how we get to see them as they were as children through the flashbacks in part two of the book. I really didn’t like Adrian at all, he came across as weak and greedy and unable to really make a good go of things without being led by other people. Virginia was also not a nice character, I really wanted her to have some remorse or a little bit of sadness, but there just didn’t seem to be any feeling in her at all.
Fragile Lies was well written and after a slow start had a good ending which I didn’t expect. I found that with the characters I either loved them or hated them. I would give this book 4/5 and would love to read more by this author.