The Murder Club (Miller Hatcher, #2) by Nikki Crutchley #RBRT #BookReview @NikkiCAuthor

Cover: The Murder Club
(Miller Hatcher, #2)
by Nikki Crutchley

 

The author sent me an ARC of this book (epub format) in exchange for an honest review (a member of Rosie’s Book Review Team).

My rating:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)

Plot
(by Goodreads)

A dead body. An anonymous letter. This is only the beginning.

‘Not all evil, on the surface, is ugly and menacing. It doesn’t always lurk in city centres after dark. It mows your lawns, frequents your local pub, takes its kids to school and contributes to communities.’

When the first letter arrives saying that ‘tonight it begins’, journalist Miller Hatcher ignores it. But then the body of a murdered woman is discovered, strangled, a scarf around her neck.

Cassie Hughes has always vowed to find the man who murdered her mother. Cassie knows he’s out there and wants him to pay, and Miller agrees to bring the cold case back into the public’s eye.

Logan Dodds has been obsessed with true crime ever since his sister was murdered thirty years ago. He has turned his obsession into a career and has created the True Crime Enthusiasts Club and his newest venture, True Crime Tours.

The lives of Miller, Cassie and Logan – all affected differently by murder – become entwined as The Scarf Killer, desperate for infamy, and Miller’s attention, makes his mark on the small town of Lentford.

 

Genre(s): > International Mystery & Crime (Kindle Store)
> International Mystery & Crime (Books)
> Women Sleuths (Kindle Store)
Series: Miller Hatcher, #2
File size: 304 pages
Release date: >>> 2020-08-31 <<<

 

Teaser


Kahu nodded ‘What’s up?’

Miller withdrew the two letters from her bag. She’d already been home to get the other one she’d received on Friday.

‘Take a look at these. That first one I opened on Friday night, but it’s dated the day before. I didn’t really think much of it. Just another crazy. This one here,’ she said, handing over the other envelope, ‘was hand-delivered to the office by the looks of it. Not sure when. Probably last night when the office was closed or early this morning. I guess It could’ve been delivered over the weekend.’


My Opinion

This book reintroduces you to Miller Hatcher, a young journalist who moved back to her deceased mother’s house; sober for quite a while and working at the local newspaper, she starts receiving anonymous letters.

With “The Murder Club” (2nd in the Miller Hatcher series), Nikki Crutchley has created another gripping as well as a chilling story with a plot that keeps its promises. It is a plot that kept me glued to my eReader, drawing me very close to Miller and to Kahu. Nikki Crutchley created a well-elaborated suspense story with a complex and likeable heroine – as well as a colourful variety of further important characters. Miller and the others are believable, complemented by the aptly written plot. There is a lot more to the story than simply good versus bad; there are some insights into the human behaviour that will make you wonder. It is a highly enjoyable read with authentic characters, interesting turns, and a great flow. A memorable book to read again, written by a new author to watch out for!

This is a book for you if you like intriguing suspense, feisty heroines, believable characters, and if you appreciate cleverly elaborated stories.

Highly recommended!

In brief:

Cover ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)
Writing ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)
Plot ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)
Characters ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)
Mood Suspenseful
Pace Fast
POV Third person – past tense
Language :mrgreen: – 😳  (some mild swearwords)
Violence 😳  (some violence)
Sexual content :mrgreen: – 😳  (some activities without details)

 

About the author

After seven years of working as a librarian in New Zealand and overseas, Nikki now works as a freelance proofreader and copy editor. She lives in the small Waikato town of Cambridge in New Zealand with her husband and two girls.

Nikki has been writing on and off her whole life and recently has had success in flash fiction. She has been published in Flash Frontier, Flash Fiction Magazine and Mayhem Literary Journal. Crime/thriller/mystery novels are her passion. Nothing Bad Happens Here is her first novel (but hopefully not her last), set on the Coromandel Coast of New Zealand.

Connect with the author:

Please take a look at my statement on reading in My train of thoughts on …reading.  Now I am asking you.  🙂

My questions for you bibliophiles:
What about you?  What did you think about “The Murder Club”?  Or – if you did not yet read “The Murder Club” – are you now interested in reading it yourself?

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂

Karen_RBRT

rosies-book-review-team-1

 

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The Girl Who Wasn’t There #RBRT #BookReview @NickClausen9

Cover: The Girl Who Wasn’t There
by Nick Clausen

The author sent me an ARC (mobi format) in exchange for an honest review (a member of Rosie’s Book Review Team).

My rating:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (5  stars)

Plot
(by Goodreads)

A young girl disappears without a trace.
The police have no clue as to what might have happened.
The severed family is thrown into despair as weeks go by, and still no sign of her.
The girl’s older brother begins looking for her on his own.
Soon he becomes convinced that a supernatural being has taken her.
Unfortunately, it turns out he’s right …

The Girl Who Wasn’t There is a gripping supernatural thriller.

Genre(s): > Teen & Young Adult Monster Fiction eBooks
> Teen & Young Adult Ghost Stories eBooks
> Teen & Young Adult Mythical Creatures eBooks
Series: n.a.
Length: 292 pages
Release date: 2020-04-01

Teaser


Lisa says something.

Andy opens the book.

>fight back<

Andy is very surprised by Lisa’s answer. “What do you mean, should I … shove her back? No, I can’t. She’s a girl.”

>bring her here>

Andy bursts into laughter at how unexpected the line is, then he looks around guiltily. Luckily, no one is around to hear him.

“Why would I bring her here? What would you do to her if I did? Beat her up? You’re only a ghost, remember?”


My Opinion

The story starts when Andy leaves his little sister outside the library. When he returns some minutes later – she is gone.

With The Girl Who Wasn’t There”, Nick Clausen has created an intriguing plot about a boy who wants to save his sister; he is soon convinced that she has been abducted, and luckily gets unexpected advice at his favourite location. “The Girl Who Wasn’t There” comprises authentic characters with sufficient depth; I got very close to Andy and his mindset. Nick Clausen introduces his characters with care. I had a great time reading – this is a very compelling read; I was drawn into the story right away, close to Andy and his allies. The plot offers food for thought, still keeps me thinking. There were some surprising turns, and I was fascinated to see in what manner Nick Clausen’s story reaches the finishing line.

The cover is great – perfect for this story.

This is for you if you like thought-provoking stories and teen and young adult horror and mystery.

A remarkable story to read again.

Recommended.

In brief:

Cover ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)
Writing ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (four stars)
Plot ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)
Characters ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)
Mood Suspenseful
Pace Steady
POV Third person – past tense
Language :mrgreen:  (some mild swearwords)
Violence 😳 – 😡  (some violence that might be disturbing)
Sexual content :mrgreen:  (n.a.)

About the author

I write chilling horror and apocalyptic tales so that I don’t need to work a real job. I grew up reading Stephen King and still haven’t fully recovered. My books have been published in four different languages, and I’m currently working on ending the world in my zombie series Dead Meat.

I was born in a small country far, far away where people eat a lot of rye bread and are generally suspicious of success. I learned English thanks to Netflix and audiobooks. Originally, I wrote in my native tongue, but I switched to English in 2018 to reach more readers.

I married my public-school sweetheart and we recently had a son who looks so much like me I fear he’ll never get a date, the poor guy. My stories are fast-paced and thrilling and hopefully never boring. You should check them out, if you haven’t already.

Connect with the Author:

Please take a look at my statement on reading in My train of thoughts on …reading.  Now I am asking you.  🙂

My questions for you bibliophiles:
What about you?  What did you think about The Girl Who Wasn’t There”?  Or – if you did not yet read The Girl Who Wasn’t There”  – are you now interested in reading it yourself?

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂

rosies-book-review-team-1

 

Odd Numbers by JJ Marsh #RBRT #BookReview @JJMarsh1

Cover: Odd Numbers
by JJ Marsh

 

The author sent me an ARC (mobi format) in exchange for an honest review (a member of Rosie’s Book Review Team).

My rating:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (4  stars)

Plot
(by Goodreads)

The Guilty Party meets The Secret History

Can you forgive a friend?

Strange things bring people together. Like a tragic death.

Over two decades, five friends reunite every other New Year. They celebrate, grieve and heal. Memories grow dusty and the nightmare starts to fade.

On the 20th anniversary, in a remote snowy chalet, old doubts surface.
Wounds reopen and morality comes into question.

Is friendship a safety net or a tie that hobbles to the past?

They thought they knew each other’s secrets.
Did they miss the biggest one of all?

When history is rewritten, they must act to preserve the future.
A fatal decision means this reunion will be their last.

A psychological drama with beautifully portrayed characters and an intricately woven plot. The suspense emerges between the lines, grabs you softly but never lets go.

Genre(s): > Contemporary British Fiction
> Action & Adventure Literary Fiction
> Psychological Literary Fiction
Series: n.a.
Length: 199 pages
Release date: 2020-05-01

Teaser


“I still cannot believe it will be twenty years,” said Lovisa, her gaze on the mountains across the water.

Of all of us, Lovisa was the one who wanted to talk about it the most.

“I know. Weird how it turned out that the first time I got to organise was the twentieth anniversary.” I paused, thinking back to 2009 in Mallorca, one of the happiest reunions we’d had. “Twenty years. Sometimes it’s like a bad dream.”

She looked at me, her eyes the colour of the bottle of Bombay Sapphire. “I’ve been seeing a counsellor again. First time in fifteen years I felt the need.”


My Opinion

The story starts in 1999 when six friends (Clark, Dhan, Gael, Lovisa, Mika, and Simone) want to celebrate the Millenium close to Prague at a cabin by a lake.

With Odd Numbers”, JJ Marsh has created an expertly woven plot, an intriguing novel of five friends who cope with the death of the sixth friend. “Odd Numbers” comprises authentic characters with sufficient depth; Gael is the one I took to the most; my sympathies for her friends underwent slight changes as the story evolved. JJ Marsh delicately introduces her characters. I had a great time reading – this is a very compelling read; I was drawn into the story right away, close to Gael and her friends. The plot offers food for thought, still keeps me thinking. Even if I anticipated some outcomes, I was intrigued by the way JJ Marsh directs her readers there.

I could imagine this a perfect plot for the “Fantasy Film Festivals” (they are known for unusual stories).

The cover is great – perfect for this story.

This is for you if you like thought-provoking stories and psychological fiction.

A remarkable story to read again.

Recommended.

In brief:

Cover ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)
Writing ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (four stars)
Plot ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (four stars)
Characters ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (four stars)
Mood Suspenseful
Pace Steady
POV First person – present/past tense (character-depending)
Language :mrgreen:  (decent enough)
Violence :mrgreen:  (none to speak of)
Sexual content :mrgreen: – 😳  (some clear mentions, not too many details)

About the author

Jill grew up in Wales, Africa and the Middle East, where her curiosity for culture took root and triggered an urge to write. After graduating in English Literature and Theatre Studies, she worked as an actor, teacher, writer, director, editor, journalist and cultural trainer all over Europe.

Now in Switzerland, she writes crime and literary fiction to entertain readers with enthralling stories and endearing characters.

Her Beatrice Stubbs crime series topped the Amazon best sellers in “International Mystery & Crime” in Australia, Canada, the UK and the US.

Connect with the Author:

Please take a look at my statement on reading in My train of thoughts on …reading.  Now I am asking you.  🙂

My questions for you bibliophiles:
What about you?  What did you think about Odd Numbers”?  Or – if you did not yet read Odd Numbers”  – are you now interested in reading it yourself?

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂

rosies-book-review-team-1

 

Highland Cove by Dylan J. Morgan

Cover: Highland Cove
by Dylan J. Morgan

 

The author sent me an ARC (epub format) in exchange for an honest review (a member of Rosie’s Book Review Team).

My rating:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (4  stars)

Plot
(by Goodreads)

Highland Cove Sanatorium sits abandoned on a desolate island one mile off the Scottish mainland. It’s a dark, foreboding place, filled with nightmares. Even darker are the asylum’s secrets: a history of disease and mental illness, macabre experiments and murder.

The tales of ghostly appearances are said to be more fact than fiction, but no one has ever documented the phenomenon. Codie Jackson aims to change all that. Arriving from London with his small independent film crew, they plan to make a documentary that will forever change their lives.

But when one of the crew disappears, things begin to spiral out of control. A storm closes in to ravage the island, and in the darkness Highland Cove’s true horrors are revealed. Now lost within the institution’s labyrinthine corridors, Codie and his team realize that their nightmare is only just beginning.

 

Genre(s): > Ghost Fiction
> British Horror Fiction
Series: n.a.
File size: 3663 kb
Release date: 2020-03-30

Teaser


Liam looked up, caught a glimpse of shadow fluttering over the grime-coated wall. The wheelchair turned a gentle arc outside the open door. Pressing the record button on his EVP recorder, he held it out at arm’s length and stared at the wheelchair as it settled against the wall.

“Hello,” he addressed the hallway. “Can you hear me? What’s your name?”

A murmur, indistinct and barely audible, drifted from the shadows at the end of the passage…


My Opinion

The story starts sixty years earlier when Polish psychiatrist professor Bukoski was head of the Highland Cove asylum. The stories about Highland Cove intrigue Codie and his team to document the ghostly appearances. I will not tell you more about the story than shown in the Goodreads plot description. This would spoil the fun of reading this book yourself.

With Highland Cove”, Dylan J. Morgan has created an expertly woven plot, a thrilling horror novel. “Highland Cove” comprises authentic characters; Codie is a very likeable guy, I liked him from the start. You learn more about the team as the story processes; the more you learn about them, the more you are inclined to take sides. Dylan J. Morgan easily provides that fine chill that soon lets shivers run down your spine. There are turns that I did not see coming; most of my question marks were answered towards the end. I had a great time reading – this is a very compelling read. I was drawn into the story right away, close to Codie and Kristen and relieved to be invisible.

The ending was what I least anticipated; I could imagine two quite different possibilities for a second book or just say ‘Well, I really did not see that coming – but I accept it.’

I could imagine this a perfect plot for the “Fantasy Film Festivals” (they are known for gory horror films); I would admittedly opt to see a milder version, though.

The cover is great – perfect for this story.

This is for you if you like some shivers running down your spine, a creepy atmosphere and a gruelling mystery that needs to be solved.

A remarkable story to read again.

Recommended.

In brief:

Cover ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ (four stars)
Writing ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ (four stars)
Plot ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ (four stars)
Characters ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ (four stars)
Mood Suspenseful, creepy
Pace Steady
POV Third person – past tense
Language :mrgreen: (some mild swearwords spread sparsely)
Violence 😡  (not for the faint of heart)
Sexual content :mrgreen:  (mentions)

About the author

Now living and working in Norway, Dylan J. Morgan was born in New Zealand and raised in the United Kingdom. He writes during those rare quiet moments amid a hectic family life: after dark, with limited sustenance, and when his creative essence is plagued the most by tormented visions.

If you’re searching for that light at the end of the tunnel then stop looking—you won’t find it here.

Connect with the Author:

Please take a look at my statement on reading in My train of thoughts on …reading.  Now I am asking you.  🙂

My questions for you bibliophiles:
What about you?  What did you think about Highland Cove”?  Or – if you did not yet read Highland Cove”  – are you now interested in reading it yourself?

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂

rosies-book-review-team-1

 

Were We Awake by L. M. Brown #RBRT #BookReview @lornakvaternikb

Cover: Were We Awake
by L. M. Brown

 

The author sent me an ARC of this book (mobi format) in exchange for an honest review (a member of Rosie’s Book Review Team).

My rating:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (four stars)

Plot
(by Goodreads)

In each story of this collection, events make the characters understand that their world is not as it seemed.

In Hidden, the discovery of an affair between her father and aunt is only the start of finding hidden secrets for Hazel.
What it Means to Be Empty-Handed is narrated by a fourteen–year-old daughter of an alcoholic. Her denial and elaborate imagination starts to disintegrate when she lies to the wrong person.
In Crashing, a middle-aged woman lives a life of servitude until she hits a teenage boy with her car.
A thirty-year-old murder takes its toll on the victim’s family in Walking A Country Road.
The stories are set in Boston and Ireland.

 

Genre(s): > Short Stories (Books)
> Single Authors Short Stories
> Literary Short Stories
Series: n.a.
File size: 236 pages
Release date: 2019-11-20

 

Teaser


Dermot was still in bed when she got back to the house. She dried the dog, and thought that she’d have to peel the whole bag of spuds because her son was a demon for potatoes. He liked the carrots too. He’d complain if he put a ladle into the saucepan and it didn’t come up full of vegetable and meat. He’d say he thought it was a stew and not soup.

Once, when Catherine had said that was exactly what it was before him he’d actually looked up the definition of stew and showed her that it was a dish of meat and vegetable cooked slowly in liquid.

“See,” he’d said, “Cooked in liquid, not swimming in it.”


My Opinion

This book offers you thirteen interwoven short stories.

With “Were We Awake”, L. M. Brown has created a collection of interwoven short stories with incredibly authentic characters. Each story kept me very close to the protagonists, taking me back to that time and region. L. M. Brown presents thirteen well-elaborated stories which are intriguing and offer food for thought at the same time; even if you do not know the Northwest of Ireland or Boston, Massachusetts, at that time you will get a good idea about it; the stories may be gloomy yet they provide hope. The protagonists are believable, complemented by the aptly written stories. There are some insights into the human behaviour that will make you wonder. It is a pretty absorbing read with authentic characters, interesting turns, and a good flow.

This is a book for you if you like intriguing contemporary fiction, believable characters, and food for thought.

Recommended.

In brief:

Cover ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (four stars)
Writing ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (four stars)
Plot ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (four stars)
Characters ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (four stars)
Mood Suspenseful
Pace Steady
POV Third person – past tense
Language :mrgreen:  (some mild swearwords spread sparsely)
Violence :mrgreen:  (harmless enough)
Sexual content :mrgreen: – 😳  (several mentions)

 

About the author

L.M Brown grew up in Ireland but now resides in Massachusetts with her husband and three daughters. She has a master’s in Creative Writing from Emerson College and is the author of the novel Debris. Her stories have been published in over a dozen literary magazines.

Connect with the author:

Please take a look at my statement on reading in My train of thoughts on …reading.  Now I am asking you.  🙂

My questions for you bibliophiles:
What about you?  What did you think about “Were We Awake”?  Or – if you did not yet read Were We Awake” – are you now interested in reading it yourself?

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂

Karen_RBRT

rosies-book-review-team-1

 

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