Trust Me – Angela Clarke *Exclusive Extract* #BlogTour

Welcome to my turn on the #TrustMe Blog Tour. Today I have an exclusive extract to tempt you…

What’s it all about?


What do you do if you witness a crime…but no-one believes you?

When Kate sees a horrific attack streamed live on her laptop, she calls the police in a state of shock. But when they arrive, the video has disappeared – and she can’t prove anything. Desperate to be believed, Kate tries to find out who the girl in the video could be – and who attacked her.

Freddie and Nas are working on a missing persons case, but the trail has gone cold. When Kate contacts them, they are the only ones to listen and they start to wonder – are the two cases connected?

Trust Me is published by Avon on 15 June 2017 and is available to buy here

Exclusive Extract

Fifteen years old and on the run. It’d make a good film, but it was bleak in real life. Freddie wanted to look into Amber Robertson more; no one else seemed that bothered about the missing girl. She still didn’t get that about police: how could they just compartmentalise all this shit? She opened Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat on her phone. Would a fifteen-year-old really give those up as well as everything else? She herself wouldn’t, and she had nearly ten years on her.

‘I’ve just come from a meeting with the Superintendent,’ Burgone was saying.

She tapped in Amber Robertson and pressed search. A number of profile squares appeared on Facebook. One looked familiar: same girl, same hat. Freddie clicked.

Burgone was still talking and she’d tuned out: ‘And so you can see my problem,’ he finished. His face had a look of concern on it.

Her gut twisted. ‘Sorry, what did you say?’

He sighed. ‘I feared you might find it difficult to hear.’ His sharp navy-suited arms rested authoritatively on the table. His face solemn. ‘We’re having to make cutbacks. I’m sorry, Freddie, but I no longer have the budget for a full time Intelligence Analyst.’

What? ‘Is this a wind-up?’ Burgone had offered her this role when she was broke, and she’d been surprised to discover she loved it. Putting together the pieces of the puzzle. Making a difference. She’d found the link between the Spice Road website and the Tower Hamlets Massive. She could find Amber Robertson. And now he was going to take it away from her? Hell, no. ‘You approached me.’

‘And you’ve done a brilliant job,’ he said.

‘Do you know how late I stayed working on that Paul Robertson lead?’ She was up out of her chair now. Throwing an accusatory finger at him. Burgone’s eyebrows had reacted, but he’d kept the rest of him admirably still.

‘I appreciate you’re upset, Freddie.’

She thought of his privilege, his entitlement. What she’d done trying to scrape together enough for a bloody rental deposit. The fallout to the L word this morning. Had that been a mistake? Now was not the time to think about that. Burgone had probably never worried about money in his life. ‘I don’t think you do, mate.’

‘I will always be grateful for what you did for me and my family.’ Burgone looked uncomfortable whenever he mentioned how they first met: a tense investigation involving his sister.

‘I did what anyone would have done,’ she said, cutting him off. Did he really think she would try and hold it over him? ‘I don’t know how you were raised, but I was brought up to help people when they’re in trouble.’ She thought of the embarrassment in her mum’s eyes when she’d found out that her dad had pinched the money she’d been scraping together for Freddie. Gone in an optic. Literally pissed against a wall. The anger fizzled out. Burgone wasn’t the enemy.

Angela Clarke is on Twitter @TheAngelaClarke

Check out Angela Clarke‘s website

Buy the book Trust Me on Amazon UK

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I Know My Name – C. J. Cooke – *Blog Tour Review* #IKnowMyName #blogtour


Welcome to the start of the #IKnowMyName blog tour. I am proud as punch to present my review. This is exactly my kind of book.

I Know My Name by C. J. Cooke is published by Harper Collins on 15 June 2017 in paperback. It is available now as an ebook here on Amazon UK.

So what is it all about?

Komméno Island, Greece: I don’t know where I am, who I am. Help me.

A woman is washed up on a remote Greek island with no recollection of who she is or how she got there.

Potter’s Lane, Twickenham, London: Eloïse Shelley is officially missing.

Lochlan’s wife has vanished into thin air, leaving their toddler and twelve-week-old baby alone. Her money, car and passport are all in the house, with no signs of foul play. Every clue the police turn up means someone has told a lie…

Does a husband ever truly know his wife? Or a wife know her husband? Why is Eloïse missing? Why did she forget?

The truth is found in these pages…

My review

A few words spring to mind, when describing ‘I Know My Name’ – moving, disturbing and thought-provoking. This is a book to discover, if you want something a little bit different from the run of the mill psychological thriller.

The story concerns the mystery of Eloise. A woman in her thirties finds herself on a Greek island. She has amnesia. Who is she? Why is she there? On the island, the handful of inhabitants want to help her. Can she trust them? In England, a woman has gone missing, vanished into thin air. Her small children have been left home alone. She is married to Lochlan. Can the police and Lochlan trace her? What made her leave her loved ones? What are her secrets?

In essence, this is a delightful and rather clever mystery. Cooke slowly reveals Eloise and her background to us. We hear from Eloise on the island and some of her relatives fill in the gaps, of her life in the present day and the past. As it all beautifully unravels, it makes complete sense why this mystery woman is on a beach with little in the way of real memory. The explanation is dark and emotionally compelling. Cooke handles the subject matter expertly. Eloise is just mesmerising.

Excellent. Recommended!

I Know My Name link to Amazon UK

C. J Cooke on Twitter

Check out the rest of the Blog Tour ..

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Monster in the Closet – Karen Rose (Baltimore Book 5)


Monster In The Closet is published by Headline on 1 June 2016 and is available to buy here

A mother is dead, and now her killer hunts the child that witnessed the brutal crime…

Private Investigator Clay Maynard locates missing children for clients, but has nearly given up hope of finding his own daughter, cruelly stolen from him by his ex-wife twenty-three years ago.

Equine therapist Taylor Dawson has chosen to intern at Daphne Montgomery-Carter’s stables so that she can observe the program’s security director – her father, Clay Maynard. Trying to reconcile the wonderful man she’s getting to know with the monster her mother always described, Taylor never expects to become the target of a real monster, the man who murdered the mother of the little girls she works with at the stable. Neither does she expect to fall for Ford Elkhart, Daphne’s handsome son, who is dealing with his own demons. As family and friends gather for a wedding, Taylor starts to imagine a permanent life in Baltimore.

But not if the real monster gets to her first…

My thoughts

Monster In The Closet is the latest from Karen Rose. This is her fifth book in the Baltimore Series.

This book would be best enjoyed if you have read the previous books in the series. If you have a photographic memory, all the better. I did struggle, with who was who! I think I could do with a detailed diagram to just remind me of the links and who is related to who.

The story is all about children and survival. Taylor has graduated with a Psychology degree and is working as an intern with the children in an equine therapy centre. She is also desperate to get close to her birth father, a man she was raised to hate. This man is Clay Maynard, who we have previously met. Two children come to her care. They are not speaking and it is clear that they are in a state of shock. Taylor finds that she can relate to eleven year old Jazzie and her experiences of fear. Quickly, we understand the danger the children are under. As witnesses to murder, their lives are threatened. We see the killer and wait for him to act.

With Karen Rose, you know what to expect. She is the Queen of Romantic Suspense. You can’t go wrong with a murder, shootings, a desperate killer and a spot of romance thrown in. I do find the whole massive family and friends connections a trifle distracting at times. We see romance slowly blossom between Taylor and Ford, a previous character from early on in the series. Taylor is reunited with her birth father and starts to build a relationship with him. Two fathers is a bit excessive though. That is just greedy. But then the general theme of fathers and daughters is explored here. The good and the bad!

Entertaining and fun. Karen Rose fans will not be disappointed. Long may it continue.




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Love Me Not – A. J. Arlidge (Helen Grace #7)


Love Me Not was published on 18 May 2017 by Michael Joseph and is available to buy here


She Loves Me
A woman’s body lies in the road. At first it looks like a tragic accident. But when Helen Grace arrives on the scene it’s clear she’s looking at a coldblooded killing. But why would anyone target a much-loved wife and mother?

She Loves Me Not
Across town, a shopkeeper is killed while his customers are left unharmed. But what lies behind the killer’s choices?

She Loves Me
Who lives? Who dies? Who’s next? The clock is ticking.

She Loves Me Not
If Helen can’t solve this deadly puzzle then more blood will be shed. But any mistake and it might be her own …

My thoughts

After the thrills of the last two books in the series, Love Me Not should have been gripping and highly emotive. Yes it was fabulous to have Helen Grace back, fighting crime and being her moody self. This is now the seventh book, in what has been a rather excellent UK crime series to date. I could not help feeling that the series has lost a certain special something here.

The story itself is rather mundane, in what should be an action packed chase across a Southern British landscape. Helen is out of prison, with her old job back. She feels out of place. She hasn’t quite adjusted to her new role, as a free person. She is suspicious of everyone. A leader cannot lead, when she is doubting everyone around her. Added to this, she encounters on the road a female shot at close range. Death seems to follow Helen. There are two spree killers on the loose, in the Southampton locality. A young disaffected pair, a modern day Bonnie and Clyde! Will Helen and her team work out what is driving the spree killers? Will Helen find a way to reunite her with her team? Over the space of a day, we follow the action and hope for a fast resolution.

I wanted to enjoy this. I tried to like it. However I felt very let down by the spree killer plot. The strengths came from Helen and her coming to terms with her ordeal behind bars, together with the redemption of Emilia Garanita, the journalist without a conscience. As well as Helen returning from her cosy prison cell, Emilia has been sacked from the posh London papers and has come home to the backwater of Southampton. She is desperate to be top dog again, in crime journalism.

The murderous spree offered very little that was new. Disaffection tick, revenge tick, access to guns tick, anger tick; plus we saw it all being played out as a race against time. I think the author missed a trick in sticking with bland stereotypes, instead of having a touch more pyschological insight to challenge the reader. I have just seen this done so much better; Emma Kavanagh with her excellent Hidden takes spree killing to a whole new level.

Overall I was highly disappointed with the latest instalment in the Helen Grace series. I can only hope that the next book is of a higher quality and gets the series back on track. Love Me Not pretty much describes my feelings.


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Need You Dead – Peter James


Need You Dead was published on 18 May 2017 by Pan Macmillan and is available to buy here

Roy Grace, creation of the CWA Diamond Dagger award winning author Peter James, faces his most mysterious case yet in Need You Dead.

Lorna Belling, desperate to escape the marriage from hell, falls for the charms of another man who promises her the earth. But, as Lorna finds, life seldom follows the plans you’ve made. A chance photograph on a client’s mobile phone changes everything for her.

When the body of a woman is found in a bath in Brighton, Detective Superintendent Roy Grace is called to the scene. At first it looks an open and shut case with a clear prime suspect. Then other scenarios begin to present themselves, each of them tantalizingly plausible, until, in a sudden turn of events, and to his utter disbelief, the case turns more sinister than Grace could ever have imagined.

My thoughts

As a long term totally addicted huge fan of the Roy Grace series, let me scream loudly with excitement! Need You Dead is here. This is the thirteenth book in the Brighton based crime series, by the much loved Peter James. We are back in the lives of our most favourite policeman in the whole world! Life couldn’t get any better.

As with any series that has evolved beautifully, we know the main characters; Roy and his wife Cleo, Roy’s sidekick Glenn Branson and his dreadful boss, Cassian Pewe. We have seen Roy Grace through the hard times with his missing ex-wife Sandy and her cruel abandonment of him. We now know what happened to her and the son, Bruno, that Roy never met.

The latest case brings the world of marital deceit and abuse to the forefront. Roy finds himself heading to Germany to collect his ten year old son and bring him back to Sussex. He has a new sidekick, in the form of Temporary DI Guy Batchelor. Branson is away on his holiday with his girlfriend. Lorna Belling, a hairdresser from Hollingbury, is found dead in a rented flat in Hove. What happened to her? She had recently reported her husband Corin to the police for domestic violence. Has he gone one step further and killed her? Why is she not at home, with her pet Labradoodles? Lorna’s life is complicated, with a violent partner and a mystery lover. Solving her murder is not as straight forward, as it should be.

Peter James marvellously lets us see what happened to Lorna, in her final hours. We may not know whodunnit, but we see how events play out with her forensically aware killer. We know a great deal more than the murder investigation team. Then we follow Batchelor, Grace and the team as they try to make sense of the crime scene in the Hove flat. Peter James knows how to send his readers down a few dark alley ways en route to the truth. His attention to detail is just perfect. This is crime at its best!

One new character Bruno, the son of Roy Grace turned out to be quite entertaining. Bruno is not your typical ten year old boy. I cannot see St Christopher’s School in Hove knocking much sense into him. I forsee challenging times ahead for Roy with his brand new son!

Exceptional crime! Gorgeous Brighton. Thank you, Peter James.

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Sometimes I Lie – Alice Feeney


Sometimes I Lie was published by HQ on 23 March 2017 and is available to buy here

‘A bold and original voice – I loved this book.’ – Clare Mackintosh

‘Intriguing, original and addictive.’ – The Sun

My name is Amber Reynolds. There are three things you should know about me.

1. I’m in a coma

2. My husband doesn’t love me any more

3. Sometimes I lie

Unnerving, twisted and utterly compelling, you won’t be able to put this new thriller down. Set to be the most talked about book in 2017, it’s perfect for fans of Behind Closed Doors, The Girl on the Train and The Widow.

My thoughts 

This is a tough one for me to review. I really didn’t get on with this. It was a quick psychological drama, that probably should have been entitled ‘The Girl in the Coma’.

It is the mystery of Amber. Amber is lying unconsious, in a hospital bed. We follow her thoughts, as she tries to piece together her life. She is in a world of her own; with a few members of her family visiting her and hospital staff providing care. How did she get there? Was this an attempt on her life? As she is a self confessed liar, how much of what she says can we trust? Amber has memory loss, which is rather handy. There are the usual misdirections en route to the truth. Plenty of secrets to be revealed and much to get your head scrambled.

I seem to be in the minority in finding Sometimes I Lie really rather average. It misses the believability factor. There is just too much thrown together and it gets very silly for Amber. On the plus side, the author does a good job of letting you into Amber’s world. I enjoyed the claustrophobic feeling generated by having the protagonist distanced from the world. Her commentary was interesting, at times.

Sometimes I Lie – a miss from me! I could be wrong. Read it for yourself and make up your own mind.

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Streets of Darkness – A. A. Dhand

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Streets of Darkness was published on 16 July 2016 by Transworld Digital and is available to buy here

Luther meets The Wire, this is the first Detective Harry Virdee novel

The sky over Bradford is heavy with foreboding. It always is. But this morning it has reason to be – this morning a body has been found. And it’s not just any body.

Detective Harry Virdee should be at home with his wife. Impending fatherhood should be all he can think about but he’s been suspended from work just as the biggest case of the year lands on what would have been his desk. He can’t keep himself away.

Determined to restore his reputation, Harry is obliged to take to the shadows in search of notorious ex-convict and prime suspect, Lucas Dwight. But as the motivations of the murder threaten to tip an already unstable city into riotous anarchy, Harry finds his preconceptions turned on their head as he discovers what it’s like to be on the other side of the law…

My thoughts

As a Bradfordian who left a long time ago, I had very mixed feeling about reading Streets of Darkness. Bradford was my birthplace and where I spent my childhood. Streets of Darkness is a dark, gritty drama capturing some of the reasons why I find Bradford a tough place to be. This is Bradford crime noir!

Dhand cleverly shares the real Bradford with his readers. This is a Bradford that I am familiar with and also unfamilar with. I never lived in any of the areas of mentioned, but I was aware of them. I glimpsed its darker side, from the prostitution at Thornton Road and the infamous Lumb Lane to the no go areas. Bradford is incredibly segregated racially and religiously with areas totally Asian and areas totally White. To anyone living outside of Bradford, it may seem strange that there are areas you do not venture into. It has a rich cultural history of industrialisation with the mills. It was the hunting ground of the Yorkshire Ripper. Bradford has been in decline for as long as I can remember. In spite of some investment into the city, I see little evidence of real change since I left in the 1990s. As someone who grew up in Clayton (Bradford 14) and saw the potential of Bradford, it is rather sad. This all makes Bradford the ideal setting for a crime novel! A Gotham City, in need of a hero to fix it.

Into the rather bleak landscape of Bradford, we get to know Sikh DI Harry Virdee. Virdee is a law unto himself. He has found himself in trouble and in now suspended from the police. He breaks the rules. He has a temper. He is a real joy to get to know. He stands out married to a Muslim, the very pregnant Saima. That is unusual and very frowned upon. It has separated him from his family and his community. We see Virdee on the tail of a man blamed for the death of a Muslim MP from Bradford West. The MP has been found at Bradford Grammar School with a Swastica on his body. It seems that racial tensions in the city are rising again, with the real threat of violence and riots. Virdee is asked by his boss to find the suspect in the killing of the Bradford MP quickly. As he is suspended, this means he can operate outside the law. This suspect is Lucas Dwight, released from prison a few days ago with far right extremist BNP views.

Dhand does an excellent job establishing Harry Virdee, as a kind of lone ranger copper. He sets the scene beautifully, giving readers a chance to get to know the tough, dirty and complex city, with its drugs, cultural conflicts, manipulative individuals behind the scenes and politics. Nothing is what it seems.

Streets of Darkness is highly recommended and totally and utterly original. More please, Mr. Dhand. You will all want to discover Virdee for yourself!

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