Blood Red City by Rod Reynolds

Blood Red City by Rod Reynolds

Thank you Anne Cater for the invite to read and review Blood Red City by Rod Reynolds. Due to personal reasons I was unable to participate at the time of the blog tour but I will always review. 

Karen Sullivan has found another cracker in Rod Reynolds. As always thank you to Karen for finding another awesome author. My wishlist of books increases every time I read something published by Orenda Books. 

Rod what can I say, Blood Red City kept me on the edge of my seat. To say it was gripping feels like an understatement! Thank you.

The Book

When crusading journalist Lydia Wright is sent a video of an 
apparent murder on a London train, she thinks she’s found the story to revive her career. But she can’t find a victim, much 
less the killers, and the only witness has disappeared. Wary 
she’s fallen for fake news, she begins to doubt her instincts 
– until a sinister call suggests that she’s not the only one interested in the crime.

Michael Stringer deals in information – and doesn’t care which 
side of the law he finds himself on. But the murder on the 
train has left him exposed, and now he’ll stop at nothing to 
discover what Lydia knows. 

When their paths collide, Lydia finds the story leads through 
a nightmare world, where money, power and politics intersect
…. and information is the only thing more dangerous than a 

My Thoughts

Rod Reynolds has hit the nail on the head with his characters. The story starting with Lydia Wright and her investigation of a possible murder is written so well and draws you not only into the excitement of a big breakthrough story for her but also the dangerous situations that she gets into. Lydia is a determined journalist in a relationship which puts her under pressure at work but is she going to listen? 

I love that Lydia keeps going no matter what. Her job, her life and her sanity may be on the line but she keeps on going until the end. This isn’t just about the story for her, it’s about so much more. 

I wasn’t sure what to make of Michael Stringer initially. Is he going to be a good guy or a bad guy? Whilst carrying out his own work he finds himself drawn to Lydia. She has what he needs and he needs to get it soon. Michael is sometimes the guy you want around but he can also be someone so dangerous.

I can see this book made into a film or short TV series. It has everything that is needed. The plot, it commands your attention and has the back stories which draw at your emotions. 

Blood Red City is a must read for any crime thriller reader and for those wanting to try something new. This is definitely a book I will be recommending.

The Author

Rod Reynolds is the author of four novels, including the Charlie Yates series. His 2015 debut, The Dark Inside, was longlisted for the CWA New Blood Dagger, and was followed by Black Night Falling (2016) and Cold Desert Sky (2018); The Guardian have called the books ‘Pitch-perfect American noir.’ A lifelong Londoner, in 2020 Orenda Books have published his first novel set in his hometown, Blood Red City. Rod previously worked in advertising as a media buyer, and holds an MA in novel writing from City University London. Rod lives with his wife and family and spends most of his time trying to keep up with his two young daughters.

Blood Red City was published in ebook on 11 April 2020 and paperback on 23 July 2020 by Orenda Books. Find out where you can buy your copy, go to Orenda Books or any good book shop. 

Ash Mountain by Helen Fitzgerald

Ash Mountain by Helen Fitzgerald

Thank you Anne Cater for inviting me to join the blog tour for Ash Mountain by Helen Fitzgerald. Another chance for me to explore a new author to me.  

My thanks also go out to Karen Sullivan of Orenda Books who published this thought provoking novel.

Last but by no means least, many thanks to Helen Fitzgerald who has written this stunning, heart stopping thriller. 

The Book

Fran hates her hometown, and she thought she’d escaped. But her father is ill, and needs care. Her relationship is over, and she hates her dead-end job in the city, anyway.

She returns home to nurse her dying father, her distant teenage daughter in tow for the weekends. There, in the sleepy town of Ash Mountain, childhood memories prick at her fragile self-esteem, she falls in love for the first time, and her demanding dad tests her patience, all in the unbearable heat of an Australian summer.

As past friendships and rivalries are renewed, and new ones forged, Fran’s tumultuous home life is the least of her worries, when old crimes rear their heads and a devastating bushfire ravages the town and all of its inhabitants…

Simultaneously a warm, darkly funny portrait of small-town life – and a woman and a land in crisis – and a shocking and truly distressing account of a catastrophic event that changes things forever, Ash Mountain is a heart-breaking slice of domestic noir, and a disturbing disaster thriller that you will never forget…

My Thoughts

Ash Mountain was not only gripping by taking you to memories which have come back to haunt Fran and others but also had me laughing out loud with the quips between Fran and The Captain.

The heartbreak of caring for a parent who doesn’t want to go anywhere or talk to anyone outside of their normal daily life is written so well. Although it draws at the heartstrings it is also frustrating not being able to help.

I feel Helen Fitzgerald has grasped the small town vibe and hit the nail on the head. Bubbling romances, bogans (chavs), gossip and scandal to say a few. Ash Mountain will have you going through so many emotions. 

I love the way that Helen Fitzgerald writes. Being from Australia herself I expected to read a few things that were oh so Australian. Having family in Australia myself I was pleased to see things like Op Shop and Thongs mentioned and knowing what they were. Op shop – Charity Shop and Thongs being flip flops. Oh how I giggled at thongs. I will never grow up!

By the end of Ash Mountain I felt stunned and lost for words. Tears brought to my eyes with the deep sadness of loss, a satisfaction of justice served and the relief of being reunited.

The detail Helen goes into can be described as shocking but so realistic. Bushfires in Australia happen all too often. Although not a true story, Ash Mountain gives you an insight to what it can be like. 

I absolutely recommend it.

The Author

Helen FitzGerald is the bestselling author of ten adult and young adult thrillers, including The Donor (2011) and The Cry (2013), which was longlisted for the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year, and is now a major drama for BBC1. Her 2019 dark comedy thriller Worst Case Scenario was a Book of the Year in both The Guardian and Daily Telegraph. Helen worked as a criminal justice social worker for over fifteen years. She grew up in Victoria, Australia, and now lives in Glasgow with her husband.

Ash Mountain will be published on 14th May 2020 by Orenda Books. Find out where you can buy a copy, go to Orenda Books or any good book shop.

Look out for other reviews on the #BlogTour on Twitter.

I AM DUST by Louise Beech

I AM DUST by Louise Beech

When I heard that Louise Beech was due to release another book this month and that there was the chance to be on the blog tour I jumped at the chance. The email came through and there I was straight on it saying yes please Anne. Anne Cater does an amazing job organsing all of the blog tours and no doubt gets bombarded with requests. Thank you Anne for everything that you do and for giving me the opportunity to review I Am Dust.

Many thanks also goes to Karen Sullivan of Orenda Books for her tireless work and determination to keep things going with no let up in the excitement of what is coming next. Thank you Karen!

How do I thank Louise Beech for this truly out of this world novel. Reading I Am Dust has been an absolute pleasure. Your outstanding talent to turn your hand to any genre is something I haven’t seen before. Thank you Louise, I look forward to what is coming next.

The Book

When iconic musical Dust is revived twenty years after the leading actress was murdered in her dressing room, a series of eerie events haunts the new cast… 

The Dean Wilson Theatre is believed to be haunted by a long-dead actress, singing her last song, waiting for her final cue, looking for her killer… 

Now Dust, the iconic musical, is returning after twenty years. But who will be brave enough to take on the role of ghostly goddess Esme Black, last played by Morgan Miller, who was murdered in her dressing room? 

Theatre usher Chloe Dee is caught up in the spectacle. As the new actors arrive, including an unexpected face from her past, everything changes. Are the eerie sounds and sightings backstage real or just her imagination? Is someone playing games? 

Not all the drama takes place onstage. Sometimes murder, magic, obsession and the biggest of betrayals are real life. When you’re in the theatre shadows, you see everything. 

And Chloe has been watching…

My Thoughts

Wow what an outstanding read. I Am Dust is a mixture of horror, suspense, crime thriller and romance with a little sprinkle of magic which will keep every reader wanting more. 

I read at night in bed before I go to the land of nod. I Am Dust kept me awake not only because I couldn’t put it down but also because it was so scary and felt so real. 

When Chloe, Jess and Ryan start using the Ouigi board the horror went through me. I was scared! Holding my breath, glued to each and every word, heart racing wondering what on earth was going to happen next. Would I be able to get to sleep!?!

I could see the board and the glass moving. Louise Beech sets the scene so well that you feel you could be there with every character.

Finding out who murdered Morgan Miller can only be done in one way, through talking to Morgan herself. Will they find out what happened that fateful night?

Louise Beech writes the devastatingly life changing impact that using the Ouigi board has on each and every character.

Writing this horror suspense thriller and including a lesbian romance makes I Am Dust a Number 1 best seller in all of those categories for me. Louise Beech breaks my heart with romance and love. 

One particular chapter had me in tears and broke my heart not because of romance but because it was full of so much love. Just writing this now brings me to tears. I will not say which one and I will not tell you what happens. Just know that I Am Dust has everything any reader could want. 

My final words on I Am Dust to all readers out there….

Whatever you want in a novel this has it. You will not be disappointed. I dare you to see if I Am Dust scares you, brings a lump to your throat, makes you hold your breath and brings you to tears.

Let the words take you there!

The Author

Louise Beech is an exceptional literary talent, whose debut novel How To Be Brave was a Guardian Readers’ Choice for 2015. Her second book, The Mountain in My Shoe was shortlisted for Not the Booker Prize. Both of her previous books Maria in the Moon and The Lion Tamer Who Lost were widely reviewed, critically acclaimed and number-one bestsellers on Kindle. The Lion Tamer Who Lost was shortlisted for the RNA Most Popular Romantic Novel Award in 2019. Her short fiction has won the Glass Woman Prize, the Eric Hoffer Award for Prose, and the Aesthetica Creative Works competition, as well as shortlisting for the Bridport Prize twice. Louise lives with her husband on the outskirts of Hull, and loves her job as a Front of House Usher at Hull Truck Theatre, where her first play was performed in 2012.

I Am Dust was published on 16th April 2020 by Orenda Books. Find out where you can buy a copy, go to Orenda Books or any good book shop.

Look out for other reviews on the #BlogTour on Twitter.

Sister by Kjell Ola Dahl

Sister by Kjell Ola Dahl

I would like to thank Anne Cater for all of her hard work putting this and many other #BlogTours together. She works tirelessly to get the tours and us bloggers organised, arrange for the books to be sent out and keep on top of reviews when they are published. Thank you for being so encouraging and allowing me to be part of the #BlogTours you organise. 

My thanks also go to Karen Sullivan of Orenda Books who works so hard to keep the absolutely outstanding books coming from all of her authors. Keeping us readers entertained and looking forward to each and every book. You have a talent to spot the most amazing and gifted authors. I haven’t been disappointed by a book published by Orenda Books yet.

To Kjell Ola Dahl I can only say bring it on. I can’t wait for the next in the series. Thank you for sharing your talents with us. It has been a pleasure to read and review Sister.

The Book

Oslo detective Frølich searches for the mysterious sister of a young female asylum seeker, but when people start to die, everything points to an old case and a series of events that someone will do anything to hide…

Suspended from duty, Detective Frølich is working as a private investigator, when his girlfriend’s colleague asks for his help with a female asylum seeker, who the authorities are about to deport. She claims to have a sister in Norway, and fears that returning to her home country will mean instant death.

Frølich quickly discovers the whereabouts of the young woman’s sister, but things become increasingly complex when she denies having a sibling, and Frølich is threatened off the case by the police. As the body count rises, it becomes clear that the answers lie in an old investigation, and the mysterious sister, who is now on the run…

A dark, chilling and up-to-the-minute Nordic Noir thriller, Sister is also a tense and well-plotted murder mystery with a moving tragedy at its heart, cementing Kjell Ola Dahl as one of the greatest crime writers of our generation.

My Thoughts

When I start reading books which are written by authors and then translated I wonder if any part of it will be lost in translation. With Sister this is not the case. As I was reading I got swept into the hussle and bussle of the cases Frank Frølich was taking on or being forced into.

Frank Frølich is a private investigator who is struggling to get work. Then a case comes his way which not only breeds other cases but puts his life in danger.

Originally taking on a case, albeit reluctantly, looking for an asylum seekers sister little did he know that this case would lead him to follow a path of dead bodies. But who is committing these heinous crimes.

The way Kjell writes had me glued. All of these cases were coming out of the woodwork and I had no idea where they were going or who the murders were. Sometimes you have an idea where books are leading you but with Sister Kjell didn’t give anything away.  

I also loved the relationship between Frank and his girlfriend Matilde. The holiday they went on to meet her brother and the intimacy between them was written so well. 

If you like crime that is going to keep you guessing then this is the book for you. I can’t recommend it enough.

The Author

One of the fathers of the Nordic Noir genre, Kjell Ola Dahl was born in 1958 in Gjøvik. He made his debut in 1993, and has since published eleven novels, the most prominent of which is a series of police procedurals cum psychological thrillers featuring investigators Gunnarstranda and Frølich. In 2000 he won the Riverton Prize for The Last Fix and he won both the prestigious Brage and Riverton Prizes for The Courier in 2015. His work has been published in 14 countries, and he lives in Oslo.

Sister will be published on 30 April 2020 by Orenda Books. Find out where you can buy a copy, go to Orenda Books or any good book shop.

Look out for other reviews on the #BlogTour on Twitter

Containment by Vanda Symon

Containment by Vanda Symon

Thank you Anne Cater for Random Things Through My Letterbox for the opportunity to review Containment and take part in the #BlogTour. Many thanks to Karen Sullivan of Orenda Books for publishing this emotive and gripping crime thriller. Thanks most of all to Vanda Symon for writing this crime thriller that not only had me laughing but worried for DC Sam Shephard and what would happen to her next.

The Book

Chaos reigns in the sleepy village of Aramoana on the New Zealand coast, when a series of shipping containers wash up on the beach and looting begins. 

Detective Constable Sam Shephard experiences the desperation of the scavengers first-hand, and ends up in an ambulance, nursing her wounds and puzzling over an assault that left her assailant for dead. 

What appears to be a clear-cut case of a cargo ship running aground soon takes a more sinister turn when a skull is found in the sand, and the body of a diver is pulled from the sea … a diver who didn’t die of drowning… 

As first officer at the scene, Sam is handed the case, much to the displeasure of her superiors, and she must put together an increasingly confusing series of clues to get to the bottom of a mystery that may still have more victims…

My Thoughts

I am new to Vanda Symon and the DC Sam Shephard series so I wasn’t sure what to expect. Well I am hooked! I will be adding the rest of the series to my to buy list. 

I love the way Vanda Symon writes with suspense and humour. I found myself chuckling away. I know what it is like to work with an office full of guys and Vanda hits the nail on the head. You can really picture everything happening throughout Containment, you are put right in the thick of it all. 

Containment has its very emotive moments where I couldn’t hold back my tears. Sam’s relationship with her family, colleagues, friends and boyfriend are so realistic. I believe most people will relate in one way or another. 

Despite the sarcasm and bitterness from her colleagues DC Shephard is determined to solve this case which was originally give to her by DI Johns in what felt like spite. 

If you want gripping, emotion and humour you have come to the right place with Containment. Forget a TV crime series and pick up crime books. 

The Author

Vanda Symon is a crime writer, TV presenter and radio host from Dunedin, New Zealand, and the chair of the Otago Southland branch of the New Zealand Society of Authors. The Sam Shephard series has climbed to number one on the New Zealand bestseller list, and also been shortlisted for the Ngaio Marsh Award for best crime novel. She currently lives in Dunedin, with her husband and two sons.

Containment was published in paperback on 5 March 2020 by Orenda Books. To find out where you can get a copy go to Orenda Books

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Mexico Street by Simone Buchholz

MEXICO STREET by Simone Buchholz

Thank you Anne Cater of Random Things Through My Letterbox for the opportunity to review Mexico Street and take part in the #BlogTour. Many thanks to Karen Sullivan of Orenda Books for publishing this thought provoking and heartbreaking novel. Last but certainly not least, thank you to Simone Buchholz for taking me into a different world of crime.

The Book

Hamburg state prosecutor Chastity Riley investigates a series of arson attacks on cars across the city, which leads her to a startling and life-threatening discovery involving criminal gangs and a very illicit love story…

Night after night, cars are set alight across the German city of Hamburg, with no obvious pattern, no explanation and no suspect. 

Until, one night, on Mexico Street, a ghetto of high-rise blocks in the north of the city, a Fiat is torched. Only this car isn’t empty. The body of Nouri Saroukhan – prodigal son of the Bremen clan – is soon discovered, and the case becomes a homicide.

Public prosecutor Chastity Riley is handed the investigation, which takes her deep into a criminal underground that snakes beneath the whole of Germany. And as details of Nouri’s background, including an illicit relationship with the mysterious Aliza, emerge, it becomes clear that these are not random attacks, and there are more on the cards… 

My Thoughts

Mexico Street had my mind going all over the place. Fearing for the lives of Aliza & Nouri not knowing where they would be safe and who they should be running from. Things seem to be going right for Nouri but that doesn’t last.

With Nouri found dead in a burnt out car Chastity Riley, the public prosecutor, is given the case but doesn’t find it easy. The criminal underworld is vast and the deals made between the Saroukhan and Anteli families only go on to add fuel to the fire.

Simone Buchholz gives her characters life….. and death! I love Aliza’s strength knowing that she doesn’t want to be sold on to live a life of control, violence and rape and getting away whilst she can. 

I’m starting to be that person myself!

Although she is a public prosecutor Chastity gets deeply involved in the investigation, going wherever it takes her even if that means putting her life in danger. With her own personal problems she has decisions to make: will she find love with an old flame or head for new adventures!?!

This is the first Chastity Riley crime novel I have read and I won’t be leaving the rest on the shelves. The way Simone Buchholz writes make me as the reader feel like I am having an adrenaline rush. Mexico Street is thougtht provoking briefly telling the story of Melika, Aliza’s sister, being sold.

Mexico Street has something for all crime readers. It will keep you turning the pages wondering what on earth will happen next. A spectacular novel you won’t want to put down.

Thank you Simone

The Author

Simone Buchholz was born in Hanau in 1972. At university, she studied Philosophy and Literature, worked as a waitress and a columnist, and trained to be a journalist at the prestigious Henri-Nannen-School in Hamburg. In 2016, Simone Buchholz was awarded the Crime Cologne Award as well as runner-up in the German Crime Fiction Prize for Blue Night, which was number one on the KrimiZEIT Best of Crime List for months. She lives in Sankt Pauli, in the heart of Hamburg, with her husband and son.

Mexico Street was published on 5 March 2020 by Orenda Books. To find out where you can get a copy go to Orenda Books

Follow the #BlogTour on Twitter 

Deep Dark Night by Steph Broadribb

Deep Dark Night by Steph Broadribb

Thank you Anne Cater of Random Things Through My Letterbox for inviting me to review Deep Dark Night and take part in the #BlogTour. Many thanks to Karen Sullivan of Orenda Books who always knows a great author when she sees one. Last but certainly not least thank you to Steph Broadribb for writing this chilling thriller.

The Book

The fourth book in the award-winning Lori Anderson series, Deep Dark Night sees daring bounty hunter and single mother Lori Anderson journey from Florida to Chicago to take down a notorious crime family. Published to coincide with International Women’s Month, it will see the full series rebranded a fresh, contemporary new look.

Working off the books for FBI Special Agent Alex Monroe, Florida bounty hunter Lori Anderson and her partner, JT, head to Chicago. Their mission: to entrap the head of the Cabressa crime family. The bait: a priceless chess set that Cabressa is determined to add to his collection.

An exclusive high-stakes poker game is arranged in the penthouse suite of one of the city’s tallest buildings, with Lori holding the cards in an agreed arrangement to hand over the pieces, one by one. But, as night falls and the game plays out, stakes rise and tempers flare.

When a power failure plunges the city into darkness, the building goes into lockdown. But this isn’t an ordinary blackout, and the men around the poker table aren’t all who they say they are. Hostages are taken, old scores resurface and the players start to die.

And that’s just the beginning…

My Thoughts

Have you ever read a book, got to the end and shouted ‘NOOOOOO, you can’t leave it like that’!?! Well Deep Dark Night sucked me in so much that this was me at the end. It’s like coming to the end of a TV series and having to wait 6 months to find out what happens next. Wow Steph what an ending! When’s the next Lori Anderson thriller out?

I challenge anyone to read Deep Dark Night and not find themselves holding their breath, shaking in anticipation and desperately trying to keep their eyes open so they can continue reading.

I am reading a lot of new authors recently and have to say I thought there couldn’t be that many out there that are this good. What the hell do I know!

Deep Dark Night is so intense it is almost difficult to describe. I never knew where Steph Broadribb was taking me and what was going to happen next. Lori Anderson and JT are such strong characters in what they achieve and how real they are. They are not superheroes or Jason Statham types that will win their battles first time and move on to the next. They have to really fight physically and mentally to get what they want.

Most of us rely on technology and having things like mobile phones makes us feel safe. What if the very technology that was built to keep us safe was used against us!?!

The situation that Steph Broadribb has put the characters in is one of utter dread that would scare the hell out of most people. I felt my breath being taken from me and the heat rising within me as though I was there with them (or was it the menopause!). Deep Dark Night really draws you in!

An absolutely astonishing read. If it wasn’t for the fact that I could not keep my eyes open I would have read this in one go. 

I will certainly be buying the others in the series!

The Author

Steph Broadribb was born in Birmingham and grew up in Buckinghamshire. Most of her working life has been spent between the UK and USA. As her alter ego – Crime Thriller Girl – she indulges in her love of all things crime fiction by blogging at, where she interviews authors and reviews the latest releases. She is also a member of the crime-themed girl band The Splice Girls. Steph is an alumni of the MA Creative Writing (Crime Fiction) at City University London, and she trained as a bounty hunter in California, which inspired her Lori Anderson thrilliers, She lives in Buckinghamshire surrounded by horses, cows and chickens. Her debut thriller, Deep Down Dead, was shortlisted for the Dead Good Reader Awards in two categories, and hit number one on the UK and AU kindle charts. My Little Eye, her first novel under her pseudonym, Stephanie Marland was published by Trapeze Books in April 2018.

Deep Dark Night will be published in paperback on 5 March 2020 by Orenda Books. To find out where you can get a copy go to Orenda Books

Follow the #BlogTour on Twitter