Lie Beside Me – Gytha Lodge

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This is the third in the series of DCI Jonah Sheens novels by Gytha Lodge. I read the first one but seemed to have missed the second, something I intend to rectify. It can easily be read as a standalone story.

Louise wakes up with a severe hangover. She discovers a dead body next to her. It is a man she doesn’t recognise and he has been stabbed and there is blood everywhere. She moves the body outside and calls the police.

She had been with her best friend, April. Louise’s husband, Niall, considers April a bad influence in terms of the amount of alcohol the two women consume when they are together.

This is a cleverly plotted storyline which weaves in and out of numerous twists and turns right up until the end. There are issues with the different police characters involved and a real shocker for one of them at the end. No spoiler alerts from me but keep reading and enjoy. I did. Absolutely loved it. I’m always one for the unusual ending with a bit of drama.

Thank you NetGalley, Penguin Michael Joseph UK and Gytha Lodge for my ARC of ‘Lie Beside Me’ in return from my honest review.

Excellent read.  Highly recommended.

Kill A Stranger – Simon Kernick

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I have read a few of Simon Kernick’s novels before and this is the best to date.

Once again, this author gives a fast-paced, exciting story with a clever, well-structured plot throwing out many twists and turns along the way.

It begins with DCI Cameron Doyle having three murder suspects in the police station who, he believes, are all lying to him.

The novel looks at the situation from different viewpoints but mainly Matt and Kate, who are married with Kate being two months’ pregnant. They are in England, having a break from running their hotel in Sri Lanka. 

Matt arrives back at the holiday cottage to find a dead woman in the bed, and it is not Kate. Kate is missing. She has been taken and her life is threatened and the kidnapper sends Matt a link to a website showing her almost being hung.

This is one of those reads which I couldn’t put down and had me fearful, disbelieving and laughing out loud in parts. The scene with the guy in a Barbour jacket and the undercover policeman had me guffawing.

Many thanks to NetGalley, Headline and Simon Kernick for my ARC in return for an honest review.

This has to be made into a film. Highly entertaining and a cracking good read. Couldn’t recommend a novel more.

Sleepless – Louise Mumford

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This is the debut novel for Louise Mumford and I enjoyed it.

Thea has insomnia and anybody who has ever suffered from it and the debilitating effects it can have will understand her desperation to find a cure. Luckily it is not something I have suffered from for a significant time, just on occasions.

Thea decides to give up everything and participate in a clinical trial to cure her. This is on an island where there are several others. Although fiction, I needed to suspend all reality. Having said that I did enjoy the characters, especially Thea, and how she becomes embroiled in the deaths.

Well plotted with some interesting twists and turns.

Thank you to NetGalley, HQ Digital and Louise Mumford for my ARC of ‘Sleepless’ in return for my honest review.

Good read, recommended

Deadly Cry – Angela Marsons

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The Kim Stone series (book 13) ‘Deadly Cry’ is yet another brilliant read.  I have been a huge fan of Angela Marsons since the first book in this series and the author seems to get the balance spot on every time.  Human interactions combined with gritty plots which never pull punches. 

I would say that having read the previous twelve novels my enjoyment is enhanced as I understand the characters and the sub-plots surrounding them but this can easily be read as a stand-alone.

It begins with a young girl found, without any parents, in a shopping centre clutching her teddy bear. Her mother, Katrina, is missing and her body is found hours later in an abandoned building, with her neck snapped. She has scratches on her arm.

A few days later the second victim is found, with her neck broken in the same way although no scratches this time. However, her son is missing, assumed kidnapped by the murderer. Why the change?

At the same time as DI Kim Stone is investigating these murders after receiving letters directly addressed to her from, what appears to be, the killer, Detective Stacey Wood is looking into an old rape case where nobody was charged.

Cleverly plotted, numerous twists and turns with some unpleasant, devious characters littering the sub-plots.

Thank you to NetGalley, Bookouture, and Angela Marsons for the ARC in return for my honest review.

Another exceptional read and highly recommended.

The Girl She Wanted – K.L. Slater

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I have read all of K L Slater’s previous novels and have thoroughly enjoyed them. ‘The Girl She Wanted’ is no exception and I would put it as one of the best so far.

The story revolves around Alexa, married to Perry who frequently works away and her sister Carrie, who is living with the couple along with their daughter Florence as her marriage has broken up.

Carrie is the nurse in charge at a busy A&E department in the local hospital and recently two deaths have occurred even though the patients seemed to be recovering. An investigation is instigated by a junior doctor and Carrie finds herself in the middle of it all.

Clever characters, all with something to hide, along with excellent, fast-paced plotting. There were many twists, turns and sub-plots and a brilliant ending.

Another great read and highly recommended.  Thanks to NetGalley, Bookouture and KL Slater for the ARC in return for my honest review.