#BLOGTOUR : #BOOKREVIEW : DARK WATERS BY G R HALLIDAY

Delighted to be taking part in the blog tour today, for Dark Waters by G R Halliday.  The second book in the Monica Kennedy series.

I really enjoyed reading From The Shadows ( my review can be found here: https://babbageandsweetcorn.wordpress.com/2020/06/23/book-review-for-from-the-shadows-by-g-r-halliday ) and meeting Monica and her team but wow! This new book was fantastic! Read on for my review.

 

Dark Waters Tour Poster final

 

Book Blurb

The haunting new novel from G. R. Halliday, author of FROM THE SHADOWS, shortlisted for THE MCILVANNEY DEBUT PRIZE

DARK WATERS is dark and disturbing from page one – in the best possible way. The plot is intricate and layered, and peppered with revelations that will keep you reading into the night’ Yrsa Sigurðardóttir

THREE MISTAKES. TWO MURDERS. ONE MORE VICTIM TO GO . . .

Annabelle has come to the Scottish Highlands to escape. But as she speeds along a deserted mountain road, she is suddenly forced to swerve. The next thing she remembers is waking up in a dark, damp room. A voice from the corner of the room says ‘The Doctor will be here soon’.

Scott is camping alone in the Scottish woodlands when he hears a scream. He starts to run in fear of his life. Scott is never seen again.

Meanwhile DI Monica Kennedy has been called to her first Serious Crimes case in six months – a dismembered body has been discovered, abandoned in a dam. Days later, when another victim surfaces, Monica knows she is on the hunt for a ruthless killer.

But as she begins to close in on the murderer, her own dark past isn’t far behind …

 

My Thoughts

If you like your thrillers a little dark, full of twists and turns, with fantastic characters giving the story new leads and information at every turn then grab a copy of this book!!  A fantastic read where I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough, ever eager to find out what would happen next.  The pace and drama are totally engrossing and the narrative given by the main victim along with our protagonist DI Monica Kennedy was superb.

Following the end results of book one, Monica has cut back on her work by temporarily joining the traffic department, allowing herself time to heal and to spend more time with her young daughter Lucy.  However whilst out on a trip to the cinema, Monica receives her first call in months from her old boss back in MIT.  She is needed back!  After the discovery of a dismembered body in the more remote parts of the Scottish Highlands Monica joins back up with Crawford, Fisher and new team member Khan, on what turns out to be a major murder and abduction investigation.

Yet again the Highlands and their landscape and weather are wonderfully evoked and it was great to meet back up with the team and we learn a little more about them in this new book.  They also seem a little closer after the events of book one.  I loved the way each chapter was told mainly from the point of view of each of the two main characters and how they overlapped within the time frame of the investigation, plus a few back stories and earlier events which gave the story insights into the crimes taking place.  There are a number of characters but the author introduces them well, as you read about their involvement and learn of yet another lead for Monica and her team to follow up.

The chapters told by Annabelle are quite graphic and scary but boy did I found my heart pumping at each of her attempts to escape. Towards the end of the book the story line from Annabelle and Monica are full of such tense drama and adrenaline, and I loved the way their actions are told, one after another, so that you can follow them getting closer and closer but will it all be too late???

This second book can easily be read as a standalone but I’ve so enjoyed reading these two books that I can’t wait for book three and further enjoyment from this new series.

Thanks so much to Mia from Vintage, for my place on the tour and bringing this new series to my attention.

 

BOOK REVIEW – THE MIST – By RAGNAR JÓNASSON

BOOK REVIEWbook clipart

 

SYNOPSIS

Just before Christmas a winter blizzard sweeps across Iceland. In their remote farmhouse, Erla and Einar are hunkering down for the night – when there’s a knock at the door.

It’s a stranger, desperate for shelter. They take him in – but they’ll wish they hadn’t. Because this man is not who he says he is. And, when the power cuts out, it’s the beginning of a terrifying ordeal . . .

Later, Detective Hulda Hermannsdottir – recovering from a family tragedy – is called to an isolated farmhouse. Bodies await her and a haunting mystery . . .

The final instalment in Ragnar Jonasson’s acclaimed Hidden Iceland series completes the story of Detective Hulda Hermannsdottir.

 

MY THOUGHTS

The Mist is the third and final book in the wonderfully evocative, Nordic noir, Hidden Iceland series.  The trilogy started with our main character Detective Inspector Hulda Hermannsdottir about to retire and working on what could be her last case.  The books then travel back in time to the 1990’s and further back again to the 1980’s.  A great device, allowing the reader to slowly understand some of Hulda’s personality and the troubles that she carries on her shoulders.

I’ve read another book recently that borrows the Kierkegaard quote,

‘Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards’.

I thought this was very appropriate here too!

This book is set in a very remote location in the Christmas of 1987.  Snow has cut off a farm house, even from a walk to the local village and the weather and dark, dark days are superbly described.  A stranger knocks on the door, claiming he is lost in the storm and the couple who live at the farm offer him shelter, the done thing, but the wife soon becomes suspicious.

We also follow the backstory to Hulda’s home life and ‘meet’ her husband, daughter and mother, and read as Hulda becomes more and more impatient and concerned with their behaviour.  With work taking up a lot of her time, she is called in to a case of a discovery at a remote farmhouse……….. thus, as in book 2, the two threads of the story come together.

I found this quite a slow moving and subtle read, but at the same time still full of the author’s dark, chilling and remote setting, atmosphere and events.  I thought it gave a quieter conclusion to the series which for me felt fitting, with something more shocking ending the first book and this book confirming answers to questions that I had built up over reading the other 2 books.

I enjoyed this series very much and found reading them backwards was a clever idea.  They can be read as standalone and I guess in the other direction. But I would recommend you read them as the author intended.  If you like Nordic Noir you should definitely give these a try.

The Mist was released this week and is available to buy now!

 

Thank you to the publisher and to NetGalley for an advanced copy of this book.

 

 

Book Review for THE MURDER GAME by Rachel Abbott

 

FINAL Murder Game BT Poster

 

Today I am thrilled to take part in the blog tour for Rachel Abbott’s new book The Murder Game.  Second in the Stephanie King series. A what a corker it was!

Thanks to the publishers Headline Books for my proof copy and to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for my invite and spot on the tour.

 

SYNOPSIS

A year ago today, we all gathered for Lucas’ wedding at his glorious Cornish home overlooking the sea.

But no one was married that day.

Now Lucas has invited us back to celebrate the anniversary. But the anniversary of what? The wedding that never happened, or the tragedy that occurred just hours before the ceremony was due to begin?

He’s told us that tonight he has planned a game. We have our costumes, we have our parts, and everyone must play. The game, he tells us, is about to begin.

What does Lucas want from us? What are we not being told? And what’s going to happen when this terrible game is over?

 

MY THOUGHTS

 

What a great read this was!  Set in the most amazing sounding location of Polskirrin, a beautiful large house set in glorious gardens by it’s own private beach, in a remote part of Cornwall, you couldn’t get a better location for a mystery!

The book opens with a group of friends travelling down to Polskirrin, the home of one of the wealthier of the friends, for his wedding weekend.  Idyllic it sounds, but a tragic incident occurs right before the celebrations are about to start.

Skip a year and a lot has changed.  When each of the original guests receives an invitation to celebrate the couples first wedding anniversary, they are somewhat bemused. All except one…..Lucas, the owner of Polskirrin, for he has devised a little game for them all to play……….

This was an brilliantly written, great paced mystery that hooked me in right from the start.  The brilliant location full of a group of friends that seem to hold a lot of secrets.  Not always a particular friendly bunch there is a lot of rivalry, weird devotion, and a sense that everyone knows something about the other.  All of this adding to the mounting tension within the story.  It uses the character of Jemma, a wife of one of the friends, and therefore not known to them, or them to her, from childhood making it a clever way to look in on the group from an outsiders perspective.

It tells the story mainly in the present, looking back on the wedding weekend and what happened. But then in walks Stephanie, with yet another mystery to throw into the mix.  Making this a wonderfully complex and twisting read, full of mystery, that is so absorbing I raced through this book.  I particularly enjoyed the first half of the book, getting to know the characters, ‘watching’ how they all acted amongst each other, and  reading the fabulous build up to the story, as every aspect of it comes together. Highly recommended reading!

This is the second in the Stephanie King Series but can easily be read as a standalone. Released on April 16th by Wildfire it’s available to buy now!

 

rachel-abbott

About The Author

Rachel Abbott began her career as an independent author in 2011, with Only the Innocent, which became a No.1 bestseller on Kindle, topping the chart for four weeks. Since then, she has published eight further psychological thrillers and sold over 3 million copies. She is one of the top-selling authors of all time in the UK Kindle store, and her novels have been translated into 21 languages.

Rachel splits her time between Alderney – a beautiful island off the coast of France – and the Le Marche region of Italy, where she is able to devote all her time to writing fiction.

#TheMurderGame Twitter: @RachelAbbott Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/RachelAbbott1Writer