Book Tour: The Monk by Tim Sullivan

Posted May 12, 2023 by louisesr in Tour / 0 Comments

Book Tour: The Monk by Tim Sullivan

Book Tour: The Monk by Tim SullivanThe Monk by Tim Sullivan
Series: DS George Cross #5
Published by Head of Zeus on November 9, 2023
Genres: Thriller
Pages: 400
Format: Hardcover
Source: Random Things Tours

To find a murderer, you need a motive . . .


DS George Cross has always wondered why his mother left him when he was a child. Now she is back in his life, he suddenly has answers. But this unexpected reunion is not anything he's used to dealing with. When a disturbing case lands on his desk, he is almost thankful for the return to normality.


The body of a monk is found savagely beaten to death in a woodland near Bristol. Nothing is known about Brother Dominic's past, which makes investigating difficult. How can Cross unpick a crime when they don't know anything about the victim? And why would someone want to harm a monk?


Discovering who Brother Dominic once was only makes the picture more puzzling. He was a much-loved and respected friend, brother, son - he had no enemies. Or, at least, none that are obvious. But looking into his past reveals that he was a very wealthy man, that he sacrificed it all for his faith. For a man who has nothing, it seems strange that greed could be the motive for his murder. But greed is a sin after all...

DS George Cross has always wondered why his mother left him when he was a child. Now she is back in his life, he suddenly has answers. But this unexpected reunion is not anything he’s used to dealing with. When a disturbing case lands on his desk, he is almost thankful for the return to normality.

Today is my turn on the Book Tour for The Monk by Tim Sullivan, thank you so much to Random Things Tours, Tim Sullivan and Head of Zeus for the opportunity to read this book.

The body of a monk is found savagely beaten to death in a woodland near Bristol. Nothing is known about Brother Dominic’s past, which makes investigating difficult. How can Cross unpick a crime when they don’t know anything about the victim? And why would someone want to harm a monk?

My Thoughts
I love this series! Tim Sullivan has created such a unique character with DS George Cross. Cross uses his neurodiversity to his best advantage, he is far more thorough and logical in his approach to murder than other detectives. He doesn’t jump to conclusions, he doesn’t make assumptions, he won’t make the evidence fit his idea of who the suspect should be.

I love my thrillers with shock factor and this isn’t that, it’s not a cosy mystery either but is somewhere in between. There’s no detailed description of the murder, there’s no explicit language. Yet there’s a brutal murder of a monk.

Now we’re on book 5 of the series the relationships established in “The Dentist” have developed. Ottey now knows exactly what to expect from Cross and doesn’t get frustrated as much by his behaviour, they work so well together. Saying that, I don’t think you need to have read earlier books in the series to enjoy this one. It works well as a standalone.

The Monk is available now


Review – An Island Promise by Patricia Wilson

Posted April 13, 2023 by louisesr in Review / 0 Comments

Review – An Island Promise by Patricia WilsonAn Island Promise by PATRICIA. WILSON
Published by Bonnier Zaffre on April 13, 2023
Genres: Historical
Pages: 416
Format: ARC, eBook
Source: NetGalley
Buy on Amazon

This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.


I'll begin with the war, when everything changed for us. In 1943, our comfortable family life came to an abrupt end, thanks to Hitler.

During the Nazi occupation of Athens, Daphne, a young Greek Jewish artist, finds her life suddenly under threat. She's in love with her Austrian art teacher, and together they must risk it all to escape his cousin, an SS officer. Pursued across Greece, their journey leads them to the island of Corfu.
In 2023 Liverpool, as Daphne's 100th birthday approaches, she knows time is running out to share her story. Daphne tells Flora, her granddaughter, of a valuable piece of art from her youth. A masterpiece which bought her freedom but cost her everything she held dear.
Will Flora discover more than she expects as she explores the island her family took refuge on?

“An Island Promise” by Patricia Wilson is a captivating historical fiction novel that weaves together the complexities of war, love, art history, and family heritage. Set partly against the backdrop of Nazi occupied Greece during World War II, this novel takes readers on a journey of self-discovery and resilience.

The story follows Flora, a young woman with a passion for art history. Flora has been left devastated by the loss of her husband and takes an extended holiday visiting her grandmother in Corfu. Here Daphne shares with her details of her past, of the secrets that she’s kept and the sacrifices that she’s made

As Flora is immersed deeper into her grandmother’s history, she discovers secrets that Daphne had kept hidden for decades. Throughout the novel Daphne shares the harrowing experiences she and her fellow countrymen endured during the German occupation of Greece. The author masterfully describes the horrors of war, the sacrifices made by ordinary people, and the resilience of the human spirit.

The historical aspect of the novel is richly portrayed, depicting the beauty of Corfu’s landscapes, its rich cultural heritage, and the devastation brought upon by war. The author’s meticulous research is evident in the vivid descriptions of the island’s history and art, which add depth and authenticity to the story, the novel seamlessly integrates art history into the narrative, making it a treat for history and art enthusiasts alike.

At the heart of the novel is the bond between Flora and her grandmother, Daphne. Daphne’s character is portrayed with warmth, wisdom, and depth, and her relationship with Sophie is beautifully depicted. As Flora uncovers Daphne’s past, she gains a deeper understanding of her grandmother’s sacrifices and the choices she made during the war. The intergenerational connection between Daphne and Flora serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of family, legacy, and the enduring impact of history on our lives.

The author’s prose is evocative, transporting readers to the island of Corfu and immersing them in its rich culture and history. The pacing of the story is well-balanced, with the right blend of mystery, suspense, and emotion. The plot keeps readers engaged until the very end. The characters are well-drawn and relatable, each with their own unique struggles and motivations.

“An Island Promise” is a poignant and captivating tale of love, loss, and the power of family. Patricia Wilson has crafted a mesmerising novel that seamlessly weaves together historical fiction, art history, and family drama. Her vivid descriptions, well-researched historical details, and compelling characters make this novel a must-read for fans of historical fiction and those interested in World War II, Corfu, and art history. With its evocative storytelling and emotional depth, “An Island Promise” is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and the enduring power of family bonds.


Review – Summer Nights at the Starfish Cafe by Jessica Redland

Posted April 6, 2023 by louisesr in Review / 1 Comment

Review – Summer Nights at the Starfish Cafe by Jessica RedlandSummer Nights at The Starfish Café by Jessica Redland
Published by Boldwood Books Ltd on April 6, 2023
Genres: Romance, Women's
Pages: 406
Format: ARC, eBook
Buy on Amazon

Welcome back to The Starfish Café for a glorious summer, but with a few dark clouds on the horizon...

A new beginning...

As her summer wedding to Jake approaches, Hollie is excited for their new beginning as a family. But when some unexpected news threatens the future she and Jake had hoped for, Hollie will need to find the strength to overcome heartache once more.

A fragile heart....

Single mum, Kerry, loves her job at The Starfish Café, but behind the brave smiles and laughter with customers there is a sadness deep within. So when someone from her past re-appears in her life, Kerry can either hide away or face her demons and try to finally move on from her heartbreak.

A summer to remember...

For Hollie and Kerry it promises to be an emotional rollercoaster of a summer, but the community at The Starfish Café will always be there to help them through - after all, with courage nothing is impossible...

This is the third and final book in the series, I highly recommend reading them in order as the storylines build on each other. I started this series after finishing reading the Hedgehog Hollow books. I needed my fix of Jessica Redland.

My home town is on the NW Coast of England and while it’s not Whitsborough Bay, the beach setting reminds me of home so I got major nostalgia vibes reading this. I just wish that there were the cute independent shops and cafe’s that are present in this book (my home town seems to be dominated by discount stores and charity shops).

I find it very difficult to pidgeon hole these books into a genre. I looked on Amazon and it had this down as romantic comedy, which I kinda get, although I don’t think Redland’s books have the comedy of some other authors in this category such as Katie Fforde or Jill Mansell. It also suggested Literary Fiction, which I also don’t think suits it, I always think of literary fiction as being more high brow and difficult to read (more like The English Patient, Shuggie Bain or A Little Life). I like to categorise this as “feel good fiction”. Although you may not think this at times reading it as Redland always tackles some difficult subjects along the way, but you do finish the novel feeling uplifted.

“Welcome to The Starfish Cafe where you’ll find stunning views, delicious food, and lifelong friendships.”

Anyway, I’ve loved getting to meet Hollie and her friends and family in this series. I love how they’re always there to support each other. As the central character we have grown to know Holly and Jake really well over the course of this series and in this book we finally get their wedding by the sea. Obviously, everything isn’t plain sailing for them and it does hurt to watch them struggle. They’re like family members that we’ve drown to know and love, like the other residents or Whitsborough Bay we want to help them through the hard times as well as celebrate the good times with them. There were definitely tears shed for them while reading this.

We also get to meet Larissa, although not a major character she does have a big impact on Hollie and Jakes life, and not in a good way.

As with all Redland books we also have a second character who we concentrate on throughout the novel. Kerry is a new character to me, she may have been in earlier books as a side character but I honestly don’t remember her. She is a single mum of 4 and works part time in the Starfish Cafe. We get to find out how she ended up a single mum, the chaos of her current life, and cheer her on as she meets her someone special.

If you worry about TW’s then let me know, I don’t want to give spoilers in my review but there definitely are some in here.

About Jessica Redland

I live in Scarborough on the stunning North Yorkshire Coast in the UK. My home inspired the creation of the fictional seaside town of Whitsborough Bay where I set some of my books. The Hedgehog Hollow series takes readers to a gorgeous countryside setting on the Yorkshire Wolds.

I live with my husband, our teenage daughter and sprocker spaniel, Ella. I’m a stationery addict with a notepad obsession who loves chocolate (although it doesn’t love me), hedgehogs, 80s music, collectible teddy bears and lighthouses.

My career has mainly been in HR as a trainer and recruiter. I had a brief detour into retail to set up and manage my own specialist teddy bear shop and started writing my debut novel on quiet days in the shop.

In June 2020, I became a full-time author. I’m so very grateful to anyone who has bought or borrowed my books in whatever format, helping me fulfil a long-held dream of writing full-time. I still can’t believe I get to spend every day chatting to my fictional friends and making stuff up.


Review – Do No Harm by Jack Jordan

Posted March 30, 2023 by louisesr in Review / 0 Comments

Review – Do No Harm by Jack JordanDo No Harm by Jack Jordan
Published by Simon and Schuster on May 26, 2022
Narrator: Lucy Paterson, Sarah Feathers, Jane Collingwood
Length: 10hrs 48min
Genres: Fiction / Thrillers / Political
Pages: 400
Format: Audiobook
Source: Compulsive Readers
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This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.



The man lies on the table in front of me.
As a surgeon, it’s my job to save him.
As a mother, I know I must kill him.
You might think that I’m a monster.
But there really is only one choice.
I must get away with murder.
Or I will never see my son again.


I received this book for free from Compulsive Readers in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

When this released last year it was absolutely EVERYWHERE on social media, to the point that it actually put me off reading it. I couldn’t believe it could possibly live up to all of the hype.

In January, I decided to give it a go. My friend wanted to read it and as we buddy read so many books I had real FOMO. Just after starting it I found out that I needed to have major surgery, at this point I did question my sanity in reading it. Did I really want to read about how easy it is to kill someone on the operating table in the knowledge that I’d soon be under the surgeons knife? I decided to plough ahead but give up if I felt it was getting too much for me (FOMO is a real thing and leads me to make stupid decisions).

I continued with trepidation and I’m so glad I did. I really enjoyed this book! I had absolutely no idea where it was going to go.

At the centre of this book are three different women, three mum’s who are in very different situations trying to navigate their way through life. In all honesty, I hadn’t actually noticed how they were linked by their relationships as mothers until I saw an interview with Jack Jordan (more details of this are available on my Instagram).

Anna is a heart surgeon, she returns home from work to find that her son has been kidnapped and if she wants to get him back then she must kill a VIP who is she is operating on. I had assumed that this would take up the majority of the book, but she actually makes her decision and takes action very early on in the book and the majority of the novel actually concentrates on the aftermath of what she does.

Margot is a nurse during Anna’s surgery. She hasn’t had a great start to life and is struggling to make ends meet. She makes some dodgy decisions which affect both her life and Anna’s life. These two women are forced into making an alliance which have dramatic repercussions which I really didn’t expect.

Finally we have Rachel, a police officer investigating the murder of an elderly woman with no enemies. A woman who appears to have been looking after Anna’s child when she was killed. Rachel has previously lost her own child, now she’s wondering where Anna’s child is. She’s convinced he’s missing, but nobody has reported him missing and her superiors believe it’s all in her head.

This was so good. Although he’s wrote a number of books I hadn’t actually heard of Jack Jordan before this was released. Now, I’m eagerly awaiting his new novel, Conviction, which comes out in June.


Book Tour/Review – Their Final Resting Place by BR Spangler

Posted February 22, 2023 by louisesr in Review / 0 Comments

Book Tour/Review - Their Final Resting Place by BR Spangler

Book Tour/Review – Their Final Resting Place by BR SpanglerTheir Resting Place by BR Spangler
Series: Detective Casey White #8
Published by Bookouture on 21 Feb 2023
Genres: Thriller
Pages: 257
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon

This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.


Out in the field the tall stalks sway in the breeze, hiding a girl lying on the ground as if asleep. But she doesn’t stir when rain falls from the gray sky and lands on her soft cheeks. Her beautiful dark eyes stare up, unseeing, as her blood mingles with the rich brown earth.

When a member of Detective Casey White’s team turns up at her door begging for help, Casey races to find the broken body of twenty-year-old Charlie Robson abandoned in a sunflower field. Yellow petals and broken stalks scatter the ground—and Casey immediately recognizes the red markings all over Charlie’s body as arrow wounds. Heartbroken, Casey vows to find the monster who would hunt Charlie down like this.

Interviewing Charlie’s distraught mother, Casey’s blood turns to ice when she learns about a tightknit group of Charlie’s best friends who once called themselves The Sunflower Girls. They met in archery club and have drifted apart since high school. Casey knows the killer is sending a message with arrows… could the other girls be next?

But as Casey instructs her colleagues to track down the five remaining friends, another girl’s body is found, shot with arrows in her own home. Clutched in her hand is a broken sunflower petal. Turning the house upside down Casey finds a bone-chilling, one-word note: Guilty.

Someone is picking off The Sunflower Girls one by one. But why? Interviewing the four remaining girls, Casey is certain they are hiding a dark secret that stretches back to their school days. Trusting no-one, Casey will have to risk everything to track down a deadly killer… but with her own team keeping secrets too, could the real danger be much closer to home?

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

I swore I wasn’t going to read another book in this series until I’d gone back to the beginning and read the rest of the series. But when Bookouture asked if I wanted to be on the tour for his new novel I just couldn’t say no.

Bodies found in sunflower fields, shot with arrows, no evidence left behind. Who l would want to kill off a group of friends who haven’t seen each other for years, and why?

I loved this book just as much as the previous one in the series and the mix of Casey’s personal life alongside the investigation cemented why I need to go back to the start and read all of these from the very beginning, even though I know where the relationships are now and I’m loving watching them grow, I want to read more details of how they got to this point.

There were so many clues and blind spots in this book, hinting to who the killer may be, I definitely didn’t have it all figured out but it had me captivated from beginning to end.


About BR Spangler

B.R. Spangler is a USA TODAY Bestselling Author of Mysteries and Crime Thrillers.

A resident of Virginia with a wonderful family, including five cats, two birds and a lizard. During the day, the hours are filled with engineering work. Off hours, time is spent writing, editing, and thinking up the next great story.

With too many stories to write, books are split across pen names, writing crime thrillers, science fiction, horrors, paranormal and contemporary fiction.


John Marrs books reading order

Posted February 20, 2023 by louisesr in Book List / 0 Comments

Click on the book name to be taken to the Amazon UK page (his psychological thrillers are available on Kindle Unlimited at the time of writing this). Where I have reviewed I will also link to my review. Where I haven’t reviewed, it’s on my TBR


Although standalone books, they are better to be read in this order due to the occasional “Easter Egg”

When You Disappeared

The Vacation

The Good Samaritan

Her Last Move

What Lies Between Us

Keep It In The Family


All standalone but set within the same world with occasional references and spoilers between books if not read in the following order

The One

The Passengers

The Minders

The Marriage Act


Review: Silent Little Angels by Jennifer Chase

Posted February 17, 2023 by louisesr in Review / 0 Comments

Review: Silent Little Angels by Jennifer ChaseSilent Little Angels by Jennifer Chase
Series: Detective Katie Scott #9
Published by Bookouture on April 19, 2022
Genres: suspense
Pages: 378
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Buy on Amazon

This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.


The water ripples as the girl's body escapes the reeds and floats silently upwards. Her beautiful face-blue eyes frozen open, skin as white as snow-breaks the surface. But it's too late, this innocent soul has taken her final breath...

When camp counselor Carolyn Sable's body is found floating in a lake beside Eagle Ridge Summer Camp, Detective Katie Scott must dig deep to stay focused. As a child, Katie spent many happy weeks at that camp toasting marshmallows on the fire with her best friend Jenny... until the day Jenny disappeared. The loss will always haunt Katie, but Carolyn's inconsolable family need answers.

Searching the area, the devastating discovery of two more bodies sends the case into a tailspin. Suddenly on the hunt for a serial killer, Katie's blood turns to ice when she finds newspaper clippings about her own past cases planted near one of the bodies. Was this twisted killer banking on Katie taking the lead? And why?

Carolyn was adored by children and staff at the camp, so Katie thinks her sudden resignation is key to cracking the case. Uncovering a tragic accident involving a group of children the weeks before Carolyn left, Katie knows she's getting close.

But when the carefully laid trap Katie sets to catch Carolyn's killer backfires, Katie finds herself in unthinkable danger and unable to even trust her own team. Can she stay alive long enough to crack the toughest case of her career, and how many more innocent lives will be lost before she does?

When I chose this book I didn’t realise that it was part of a series (have you noticed I seem to say that a lot, I really should pay more attention). I saw the cover, thought it looked nice and then read the synopsis, I don’t think that I missed out on anything because I’d not read the earlier books in the series, but I am going to go back and start this series from the beginning.

I liked Katie as a detective, she’s a military vet which is mentioned a number of times but I didn’t think that her character really showed this off (other than in one incident towards the end of the book), if she had been a male character I felt that this would have been made more evident throughout the book rather than her constantly having to point it out to the male characters who were trying to mollycoddle her (is that a universal term?)

I did also like McGaven and thought they had a great relationship, although it was s bit weird that sometimes she seemed to be giving him orders and at others he seemed to be ordering Katie around.
I’d have liked Cisco to have featured a bit more prominently. He’s a great addition to the team.

I had my suspicions about a lot of characters throughout the book, and hadn’t guessed who the bad guy was (although I was certain who it wasn’t) and some of my suspicions did prove to be correct.

All in all a solid read and I’m excited to read the rest of the series


About Jennifer Chase

Jennifer Chase is a multi award-winning author and consulting criminologist. She has authored eight crime fiction novels, including the multiple award-winning Emily Stone thriller series along with a screenwriting workbook.

Jennifer holds a Bachelor degree in police forensics and a Master’s degree in criminology. These academic pursuits developed out of her curiosity about the criminal mind as well as from her own experience with a violent sociopath, providing Jennifer with deep personal investment in every story she tells. In addition, she holds certifications in serial crime and criminal profiling. She is an affiliate member of the International Association of Forensic Criminologists.

Jennifer Chase was born and raised in California and still lives there with her husband, dogs and cats. In addition to writing and consulting, Jennifer enjoys spending time outdoors, both at the beach and hiking, and engaging in some amateur photography.


Review: False Witness by Karin Slaughter

Posted February 15, 2023 by louisesr in Review / 1 Comment

Review: False Witness by Karin SlaughterFalse Witness by Karin Slaughter
Published by HarperCollins on June 24, 2021
Genres: Thriller
Pages: 448
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Buy on Amazon

This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.


The stunning new thriller from the No. 1 Sunday Times bestselling authorTwo sistersOne secretSomeone knows what they did...

Leigh doesn’t like to talk about her sister.

About the night that tore them apart.

About what they did.

But someone else is about to.

How far will Leigh go to protect her family?

As with all Karin Slaughter books, this isn’t one for the faint hearted, it is very graphic. If you have any triggers – this isn’t the book for you. The opening chapter is graphic, and it doesn’t let up as the book progresses.

One trigger that I am going to mention is that this book is set in 2020, it reflects the reality of 2020. If that is a year and a situation you would rather forget or you aren’t yet ready to read about then this book isn’t for you.

I really warmed to both Leigh and Calli, as sisters they couldn’t be more different, they’ve taken what has happened in their lives and it has pushed them both in completely opposite directions but at the same time they are there for each other, and always have been. I loved that the book reflected the inner turmoil that the characters face; Leigh in protecting her family and her career; Calli in fighting her need for drugs, her love for her family, her feelings of worthlessness. My heart breaks that she feels like she has nothing to give and yet she gives so much more to Leigh than you can ever imagine.


About Karin Slaughter

Karin Slaughter is one of the world’s most popular and acclaimed storytellers. Published in 120 countries with more than 40 million copies sold across the globe, her 22 novels include the Grant County and Will Trent books, as well as the Edgar-nominated COP TOWN and the instant NYT bestselling stand-alone novels PRETTY GIRLS, THE GOOD DAUGHTER, PIECES OF HER, and FALSE WITNESS. Slaughter is the founder of the Save the Libraries project—a nonprofit organization established to support libraries and library programming. A native of Georgia, she lives in Atlanta. Her stand-alone novel PIECES OF HER is now streaming on Netflix, starring Toni Collette, and the Will Trent series are in development for television.


Review – One by One by Chris Carter

Posted February 13, 2023 by louisesr in Review / 0 Comments

Review – One by One by Chris CarterOne by One by Chris Carter
Series: Robert Hunter #5
Published by Simon and Schuster on July 31, 2013
Genres: Thriller
Pages: 512
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library
Buy on Amazon

'I need your help, Detective. Fire or water?' Detective Robert Hunter of the LAPD's Homicide Special Section receives an anonymous call asking him to go to a specific web address - a private broadcast. Hunter logs on and a show devised for his eyes only immediately begins. But the caller doesn't want Detective Hunter to just watch, he wants him to participate, and refusal is simply not an option. Forced to make a sickening choice, Hunter must sit and watch as an unidentified victim is tortured and murdered live over the Internet. The LAPD, together with the FBI, use everything at their disposal to electronically trace the transmission down, but this killer is no amateur, and he has covered his tracks from start to finish. And before Hunter and his partner Garcia are even able to get their investigation going, Hunter receives a new phone call. A new website address. A new victim. But this time the killer has upgraded his game into a live murder reality show, where anyone can cast the deciding vote.

I’m a member of a few book clubs but I think my favourite one is the one we have affectionately named The F*cked Up Detectives book club. We read a lot of Chris Carter and Karin Slaughter. The Robert Hunter and Will Trent series are 2 of my favourite series out there. I’m not sure what that says about me.

I’m actually questioning my sanity in having read this. It took me weeks to read, where usually a book takes me a couple of days. This wasn’t the fault of the book but I read this while I was sick. You’d think this would have given me more time for reading, which theoretically it should have, but an inablilty to focus as I was so heavily medicated to stop the pain and a constant feeling of nausea stopped me making much progress. And this is where my sanity comes in to question.

Is it a good idea to read a book about a sadistic serial killer who tortures his victims while feeling nauseas? In all honesty, no. I had to put it down on a regular basis. Now, I read this with the book club mentioned above and the general feeling was that this wasn’t the most graphic or grotesque book that Carter has written, so I’m thinking this is very subjective and was probably influenced by my current state of mind.

Anyway, the storyline… As I mentioned before we have a sadistic serial killer who tortures and murders his victims. He enjoys involving Hunter and Garcia in his crimes and taunts them throughout. Although Hunter is always the star of the show, Garcia is my favourite character. He reminds me more of myself and more “normal” human beings, in how he reacts to the crimes. Whereas Hunter seems to be able to take them more in his stride.


About Chris Carter

Biographies can be an absolute drag, so I won’t bore anyone with a long life story.

I was born in Brasilia, Brazil where I spent my childhood and teenage years. After graduating from high school, I moved to the USA where I studied psychology with specialization in criminal behaviour. During my University years I held a variety of odd jobs, ranging from flipping burgers to being part of an all male exotic dancing group.

I worked as a criminal psychologist for several years before moving to Los Angeles, where I swapped the suits and briefcases for ripped jeans, bandanas and an electric guitar. After a spell playing for several well known glam rock bands, I decided to try my luck in London, where I was fortunate enough to have played for a number of famous artists. I toured the world several times as a professional musician.

A few years ago I gave it all up to become a full time writer.


Review – Twisted by Steve Cavanagh

Posted February 9, 2023 by louisesr in Review / 0 Comments

Review – Twisted by Steve CavanaghTwisted by Steve Cavanagh
on April 4, 2019
Genres: Thriller
Pages: 352
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Buy on Amazon

This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.



1. The police are looking to charge me with murder.
2. No one knows who I am. Or how I did it.
3. If you think you've found me. I'm coming for you next.

After you've read this book, you'll know: the truth is far more twisted...

We’re only in February and I’m already massively behind on my reviews. One of my bookish New Years Resolutions was to post reviews of every book I read so I figured I’d better make a start.

In my defense I have been very sick since mid-December which has meant I’ve had periods where I’ve struggled with reading and where making the effort to actually sit down and write a review has been more than I could think about. And, although I’m not yet better, I do have enough medication to ease the pain and I should hopefully be having surgery in a few weeks which will make a huge difference to me – and give me a couple of months off work to allow me to recuperate (and read more). I have such a huge list of books I want to get through while I’m off!

For me, this is a really good example of why you should never judge an author by just one book. I absolutely love Cavanagh’s Eddie Flynn series, having read a couple of the later books I have recently done back to the start to read them all in order. I had such high hopes for this stand alone novel, I love a twisty thriller. Yet, it wasn’t for me.

I know it’s called Twisted but I found that there were just too many twists for me to believe and there was a cast of characters that I didn’t like. There was nobody to root for. I think, in essence, that this is where I struggle with some books. I need to have a character that I can get behind, someone that I want to come out on top and that was just missing from this book.

I will also add that I seem to be in the minority with this. The average rating on Amazon UK is 4.3 and on Goodreads it’s 3.95, other people appear to love this book. Maybe it’s because Eddie Flynn so much that my expectations were set too high and couldn’t be met. Maybe it’s because I was ill and grumpy when I read it. I don’t know. But it definitely won’t stop me from reading more Steve Cavanagh books and sharing my Eddie Flynn love.

About Steve Cavanagh

Steve Cavanagh was born and raised in Belfast before leaving for Dublin at the age of eighteen to study Law. He currently practices civil rights law and has been involved in several high profile cases. Selected for the Amazon Rising Stars programme 2015. ACES award winner 2015 from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. The Defence is his debut novel.


New Book Releases 2nd – 8th January 2023

Posted January 2, 2023 by louisesr in Book List, Features / 0 Comments

I’m starting off the year with good intentions and organisation. Let’s see how long it lasts!

One of the things I would like to do is highlight to you each week a number of new releases that are coming out in the next 7 days. I’m going to try to share a variety of genres so that there is something for everyone. If by some miracle I’ve managed to read them ahead of publication date then I’ll share my review, however, I know my limitations. I may have good organisational intentions but reading to a schedule hasn’t worked well for me in the past!

Code Name Blue Wren by Jim Popkin

The incredible true story of Ana Montes, the most damaging female spy in US history, drawing upon never-before-seen material and to be published upon her release from prison, for readers of Agent Sonya and A Woman of No Importance.

Just days after the 9-11 attacks, a senior Pentagon analyst eased her red Toyota Echo into traffic and headed to work. She never saw the undercover cars tracking her every turn. As she settled into her cubicle on the 6th floor of the Defense Intelligence Agency in Washington, FBI Agents and twitchy DIA officers were hiding in nearby offices. For this was the day that Ana Montes–the US Intelligence Community superstar who had just won a prestigious fellowship at the CIA–was to be arrested and publicly exposed as a secret agent for Cuba.

Like spies Aldrich Ames and Robert Hanssen before her, Ana Montes blindsided her colleagues with brazen acts of treason. For nearly 17 years, Montes succeeded in two high-stress jobs. By day, she was one of the government’s top Cuba experts, a buttoned-down GS-14 with shockingly easy access to classified documents. By night, she was on the clock for Fidel Castro, listening to coded messages over shortwave radio, passing US secrets to handlers in local restaurants, and slipping into Havana wearing a wig.

Montes didn’t just deceive her country. Her betrayal was intensely personal. Her mercurial father was a former US Army Colonel. Her brother and sister-in-law were FBI Special Agents. And her only sister, Lucy, also worked her entire career for the Bureau. The highlight of her distinguished 31 years as a Miami-based language specialist: Helping the FBI flush Cuban spies out of the United States. Little did Lucy or her family know that the greatest Cuban spy of all was sitting right next to them at Thanksgivings, baptisms, and weddings.

In Code Name Blue Wren, investigative journalist Jim Popkin weaves the tale of two sisters who chose two very different paths, plus the unsung heroes who had to fight to bring Ana to justice. With exclusive access to a “Secret” CIA behavioral profile of Ana, family memoirs, and Ana’s incriminating letters from prison, Popkin reveals the making of a traitor–a woman labelled “one of the most damaging spies in U.S. history” by America’s top counter-intelligence official.

After more than two decades in federal prison, Montes will be freed in January 2023. Code Name Blue Wren is a thrilling detective tale, an insider’s look at the clandestine world of espionage, and an intimate exploration of the dark side of betrayal.

Amazon | Goodreads

Highly Suspicious and Unfairly Cute by Talia Hibbert

Could you brave the wilderness with your HIGHLY SUSPICIOUS and UNFAIRLY CUTE ex-best friend?

BRADLEY GRAEME is pretty much perfect: he’s a star football player, manages his OCD well (enough) and comes out on top in all his classes . . . except the ones he shares with CELINE BANGURA.

They used to be best friends, until Brad decided he was too cool for conspiracy-theory-obsessed Celine and abandoned her for the popular kids’ table. (At least, that’s how Celine sees it.) These days, there’s nothing between them but insults and academic rivalry.

So when Celine signs up for a two-part survival course in the woods, the last thing she expects is to find Brad right beside her.

Forced to work as a team for the chance to win the grand prize, Celine and Bradley must trudge through not just mud and dirt but their messy past. As this adventure brings them closer together, they start to remember all the good parts of their history. But has too much time passed . . . or just enough to spark a whole new kind of relationship?

Amazon | Goodreads

In The Time of Our History by Susanne Pari

Inspired by her own family’s experiences following the 1979 Islamic Revolution, Susanne Pari explores the entangled lives within an Iranian American family grappling with generational culture clashes, the roles imposed on women, and a tragic accident that forces them to reconcile their guilt or forfeit their already tenuous bonds. Set between San Francisco and New Jersey in the late-1990’s, In the Time of Our History is a story about the universal longing to create a home in this world – and what happens when we let go of how we’ve always been told it should look. 

Twelve months after her younger sister Anahita’s death, Mitra Jahani reluctantly returns to her parents’ home in suburban New Jersey to observe the Iranian custom of “The One Year.” Ana is always in Mitra’s heart, though they chose very different paths. While Ana, sweet and dutiful, bowed to their domineering father’s demands and married, Mitra rebelled, and was banished.

Caught in the middle is their mother, Shireen, torn between her fierce love for her surviving daughter and her loyalty to her husband. Yet his callousness even amid shattering loss has compelled her to rethink her own decades of submission. And when Mitra is suddenly forced to confront hard truths about her sister’s life, and the secrets each of them hid to protect others, mother and daughter reach a new understanding–and forge an unexpected path forward. 

Alive with the tensions, sacrifices, and joys that thrum within the heart of every family, In the Time of Our History is also laced with the richness of ancient and modern Persian culture and politics, in a tale that is both timeless and profoundly relevant.

Amazon | Goodreads

Loathe to Love You by Ali Hazelwood

Three irresistible short stories by the global phenomenon Ali Hazelwood, now available together in paperback for the first time, with an exclusive bonus chapter.

Mara, Sadie, and Hannah are friends first, scientists always. Though their fields of study might take them to different corners of the world, they can all agree on this universal truth: when it comes to love and science, opposites attract, and rivals make you burn….

Under One Roof
An environmental engineer discovers that scientists should never cohabitate when she finds herself stuck with the roommate from hell – a detestable big-oil lawyer who won’t leave the thermostat alone.

Stuck with You
A civil engineer and her nemesis take their rivalry – and love – to the next level when they get stuck in a New York elevator.

Below Zero
A NASA aerospace engineer’s frozen heart melts as she lies injured and stranded at a remote Arctic research station and the only person willing to undertake the dangerous rescue mission is her longtime rival.

Amazon | Goodreads

Love, Clancy by W Bruce Cameron

From the internationally bestselling author of A Dog’s Purpose and A Dog’s Way Home comes Love, Clancy: Diary of a Good Dog, a deeply moving story with a brand new cast of characters, including one very good dog.

You’ve probably never met someone like Clancy. He’s keeping a diary, he’s falling in love, there are rivals for his affections, he lives with his best friend and his worst enemy – even taken together, these factors are maybe not that unusual, except that Clancy is a dog. His point of view is therefore perhaps . . . different.

Told in W. Bruce Cameron’s signature style, a tremendous cast of wonderful characters find themselves jointly and separately navigating the challenges of life, of love, and . . . other pets, including Clancy’s “worst enemy” – one very disdainful cat. It’s a lot to keep track of, especially when things start to spin hilariously out of control, but fortunately, we’ve got the observations of Clancy, a very good dog, who shares a valuable perspective on what is really important.

Amazon | Goodreads

The Stolen Heir by Holly Black

A runaway queen. A reluctant prince. And a quest that may destroy them both.

Eight years have passed since the Battle of the Serpent. But in the icy north, Lady Nore of the Court of Teeth, has reclaimed the Ice Needle Citadel. There she is using an ancient relic to create monsters of stick and snow who will do her bidding and exact her revenge.

Suren, child queen of the Court of Teeth, and the one person with power over her mother, fled to the human world, where she lives feral in the woods. Lonely, and still haunted by the merciless torments she endured in the Court of Teeth, she bides her time by releasing mortals from foolish bargains. She believes herself forgotten until the storm hag Bogdana chases her through the night streets. Suren is saved by none other than Prince Oak, heir to Elfhame, to whom she was once promised in marriage and who she has resented for years.

Now seventeen, Oak is charming, beautiful and manipulative. He’s on a mission that will lead him into the north, and he wants Suren’s help. But if she agrees, it will mean guarding her heart against the boy she once knew and a prince she cannot trust, as well as confronting all the horrors she thought she had left behind.

Amazon | Goodreads

The Villa by Rachel Hawkins

Note: The ebook releases in January but the hardcover isn’t out until February

From New York Times bestselling author Rachel Hawkins comes a deliciously wicked gothic suspense, set at an Italian villa with a dark history, for fans of Lucy Foley and Ruth Ware.

As kids, Emily and Chess were inseparable. But by their 30s, their bond has been strained by the demands of their adult lives. So when Chess suggests a girls trip to Italy, Emily jumps at the chance to reconnect with her best friend.

Villa Aestas in Orvieto is a high-end holiday home now, but in 1974, it was known as Villa Rosato, and rented for the summer by a notorious rock star, Noel Gordon. In an attempt to reignite his creative spark, Noel invites up-and-coming musician, Pierce Sheldon to join him, as well as Pierce’s girlfriend, Mari, and her stepsister, Lara. But he also sets in motion a chain of events that leads to Mari writing one of the greatest horror novels of all time, Lara composing a platinum album––and ends in Pierce’s brutal murder.

As Emily digs into the villa’s complicated history, she begins to think there might be more to the story of that fateful summer in 1974. That perhaps Pierce’s murder wasn’t just a tale of sex, drugs, and rock & roll gone wrong, but that something more sinister might have occurred––and that there might be clues hidden in the now-iconic works that Mari and Lara left behind.

Yet the closer that Emily gets to the truth, the more tension she feels developing between her and Chess. As secrets from the past come to light, equally dangerous betrayals from the present also emerge––and it begins to look like the villa will claim another victim before the summer ends.

Inspired by Fleetwood Mac, the Manson murders, and the infamous summer Percy and Mary Shelley spent with Lord Byron at a Lake Geneva castle––the birthplace of Frankenstein––The Villa welcomes you into its deadly legacy.

Amazon | Goodreads

Without A Trace by Danielle Steel

Without a Trace is a moving tale of second chances and creating a life worth living from the Number One bestselling author, Danielle Steel.

Charlie Vincent feels trapped in his treadmill of a life. He’s wealthy and successful doing a job he doesn’t want to do, in a marriage to a woman where the romance died many years ago. All that interests Isabelle is his money to fund her extravagant lifestyle. The children have left home and there is nothing for him to look forward to.

One Friday evening he leaves work in Paris after yet another row with his CEO, to head to their Normandy chateau where Isabelle has invited guests for the weekend. He’s been working late every night, he’s tired and he’s not concentrating. Just an hour away from the chateau, his car veers off the road, down a cliff and into the sea. The accident should’ve killed him and he almost felt ready to die. However, he does escape the vehicle and he somehow finds the strength to climb to safety. The area is remote but in the growing darkness he sees a light on in a cottage in the woods. He knocks on the door and is greeted by Aude, an artist who is escaping her own demons.

This fateful meeting will change Charlie’s and Aude’s lives forever.

Amazon | Goodreads


Review: Stranded by Sarah Goodwin

Posted December 14, 2022 by louisesr in Review / 1 Comment

Review: Stranded by Sarah GoodwinStranded by Sarah Goodwin
Published by HarperCollins Publishers on February 28, 2022
Genres: suspense, Thriller
Pages: 400
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Buy on Amazon

You'll want to stay. Until you can't leave...

A group of strangers arrive on a beautiful but remote island, ready for the challenge of a lifetime: to live there for one year, without contact with the outside world.

But twelve months later, on the day when the boat is due to return for them, no one arrives.

Eight people stepped foot on the island. How many will make it off alive?

This is such a strange book to review. I really enjoyed it and Sarah Goodwin is a great writer but if I had to provide a summary then in all honesty, I don’t think that much really happened. However, I did really want to read more and struggled to put it down.

This is a novel that shows how one power hungry male, can influence a group to target the weakest member. I’d read a lot of things about this being like Lord of The Flies and so I’d expected a lot more murder amongst them, which we don’t get.

I also really struggled to believe that a reality tv show such as this wasn’t being aired on a weekly basis while it was being filmed, but instead was saved up until everyone left the island to then be edited and broadcast – so not going to happen.


Review: Shiver by Allie Reynolds

Posted December 12, 2022 by louisesr in Review / 0 Comments

Review: Shiver by Allie ReynoldsShiver by Allie Reynolds
Published by Penguin Publishing Group on December 28, 2021
Genres: suspense, Thriller
Pages: 416
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
Buy on Amazon

This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.


When Milla accepts an off-season invitation to Le Rocher, a cozy ski resort in the French Alps, she's expecting an intimate weekend of catching up with four old friends. It might have been a decade since she saw them last, but she's never forgotten the bond they forged on this very mountain during a winter spent fiercely training for an elite snowboarding competition.

Yet no sooner do Milla and the others arrive for the reunion than they realize something is horribly wrong. The resort is deserted. The cable cars that delivered them to the mountaintop have stopped working. Their cell phones--missing. And inside the hotel, detailed instructions await them: an icebreaker game, designed to draw out their secrets. A game meant to remind them of Saskia, the enigmatic sixth member of their group, who vanished the morning of the competition years before and has long been presumed dead.

Stranded in the resort, Milla's not sure what's worse: the increasingly sinister things happening around her or the looming snowstorm that's making escape even more impossible. All she knows is that there's no one on the mountain she can trust. Because someone has gathered them there to find out the truth about Saskia...someone who will stop at nothing to get answers. And if Milla's not careful, she could be the next to disappear...

I seriously loved this book!! Allie Reynolds is a former Snowboarding champion and that really came through in her writing, I don’t think any amount of research would have been able to convey so well the thoughts and fears of a professional snowboarder, yes, they could have wrote about the technical terms but I think you got an added depth to the story from her experience.

I really enjoyed the dual timeline, the present day where someone has called together a group of friends in order to find out what had happened to one of their group 10 years earlier. And 10 years earlier where we see the season leading up to the disappearance of Saskia.

Honestly, when you’re looking for who would have a motive for killing her, you’re not going to be short of suspects. She was one ruthless, evil person. I’d have quite happily buried her under an avalanche by half way through the book.

I think I suspected everyone at some point in this novel. However, the ending was ultimately pretty satisfying for me.

If you liked The Sanatorium, The Guest List or The Chalet then I would highly recommend this. I’ll be looking out for more work by Allie Reynolds.