Sleep Tight (DCI Tom Douglas #3) by Rachel Abbott

Olivia’s world is destroyed when her boyfriend walks out on her and their baby. When her parents die just a couple of weeks later she falls into the protective arms of the man who has just purchased her flat. Olivia’s life might be safe but it becomes increasingly narrow and her freedom is restricted but after an attempt to rectify that she fears that she will be bound forever, a prisoner within her own life.

In this complicated plot, Abbott has yet again shown the strength that her female characters are capable of. This novel had me on the edge of my seat because things are always twice as scary when you put children into the mix. The psychological element really shines through and DCI Tom Douglas and his side-kick Becky worked well untangling the mystery.

http://www.gothic-mansion-books.com/

Sleep tight

 

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The Sinner’s Touch (A Manwhore Series #2) by Apryl Baker

When Angel steps out of the bar for a breath of fresh air she has no clue as to what is waiting for her. An unfortunate case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time sends her life spiralling out of control when she comes face to face with Boston’s most notorious serial killer, body in hand. When the police arrive, she has to deal with her second shock of the day and she has no idea that her week is about to get a whole lot worse.

Angel is a sweet character who has a back story that won’t let her move on and Kade’s interruption to her life is an emotional one. Kade appears, at first, to be a little on the shallow side but when the events of the past unravel the reader gets to see the inner turmoil.

I like the way Baker has turned a thriller into a romance with a strong lead detective element. The Russian brothers are a nice change from the all-American boy and I look forward to hearing the rest of the Kincaid stories.

http://www.gothic-mansion-books.com/

The Sinners Touch

Only the Innocent (DCI Tom Douglas #1) by Rachel Abbott

Hugo’s wife, Laura, is the prime suspect for Hugo’s murder but she has a watertight alibi. The closer Tom gets to the case the more he realises that Hugo wasn’t the hero he was portrayed to be and any number of people would have good cause for wanting him dead. Can he solve the case and locate what Hugo has been hiding all this time or will his attraction to the suspect cloud his judgment?

I am already a fan of Tom Douglas having read the series out of sequence but aside from a few issues I’ve managed to keep up. Now that I’ve read the first book everything had slotted into place.

Abbott doesn’t choose light-hearted subjects, in fact, she takes the grittiest, most uncomfortable subjects and explores them in detail. Her detective style leaves you dangling in suspense until the very last minute, after the thrill of the ride, where you finally catch your killer, or not.

Abbott’s characters are realistic and have the regular flaws but they are also full of hope and love which balances the darker side to her subjects nicely. Tom’s vulnerability keeps me wanting to read because I genuinely like the DCI and he gives the reader a reprieve from the depravity of Abbott’s villains.

http://www.gothic-mansion-books.com/

Only the Innocent

Try Not to Breathe by Holly Seddon

While Amy is suspended in a long-term coma Alex struggles to go from day to day without letting her alcoholism take control of her life. When she stumbles upon a story far more exciting than the one her editor is expecting she reawakens a chance to solve Amy’s cold case.

This psychological thriller works backward from Amy’s narration and in the present from Alex’s. The parallels between them slowly close in as their lives become entangled together. Not only is Alex getting closer to the truth, but she begins to understand her own illness. The novel feels like it is two stories pulled together and it works. Alex’s struggle with alcohol reminds me of The girl on the Train in some ways and it highlights the problems that surround the topic.

I’m giving this book four stars because although I really enjoyed it I would like to have known more about the emotional and psychological state of the attacker.

http://www.gothic-mansion-books.com/

Try not to breathe

My Sister and Other Liars by Ruth Dugdall

When Sam’s sister is brutally attacked and left for dead Sam begins a perilous journey to solve the mystery denying herself food in the process. The journey takes her to places that no child should visit, but she’s not finished. Only from the relative safety of the Ana unit can she fully understand everything that has happened and finally learn to forgive herself.

This is a disturbing and emotional story told in a unique way. Sam’s emotional strength goes hand in hand with her physical fragility causing a juxtaposition within herself. The story delves into some of the darkest subjects imaginable and the innocence of Sam, Jena, and even Rob creates striking characters in a world of pain.

The story is a coming of age novel with a thriller setting and a detective narrative. Dugdall has created something dark, beautiful, and most of all memorable.

http://www.gothic-mansion-books.com/

my sister and other liars

Black Widow (Jack Parlabane #7) by Chris Brookmyre

Diana has been married to her work for so long that relationships seem like an impossible inconvenience, that is until she meets Peter who seems to understand her in ways that no one else has. After a whirlwind romance cracks begin to show in their relationship and just as she’s starting to wonder if she’s rushed into the marriage he dies in a terrible car crash.

Parlabane gets sucked into this case and at first, it looks clear cut. Diana is obviously a cold psychopath with tunnel vision but as he delves deeper something else appears and Parlabane is shocked to his core.

Having not read any more from the series or any of Brookmyre’s work before I found the story difficult to follow but with perseverance I soon found myself hooked. The plot is intricate and dark and unfolds slowly towards a shocking finale. The characters are full and interesting but you get the sense that they never fully give up their secrets. I may have to start the series from the beginning because I think it has plenty to offer a thriller fan.

http://www.gothic-mansion-books.com/

Black Widow

 

The Chessmen (Lewis Trilogy #3) by Peter May

Fin is yet again drawn into a mystery with crimes that span decades. His boyhood relationships are called into question as Fin uncovers the truth that starts with a loch that disappears overnight leaving something behind. His past is re-examined in great detail as he tries to put the pieces together but it seems that everyone on the island has their own version of the truth.

I have really enjoyed this series and this last book saw Fin’s emotions laid out. I would have a box of tissues ready for Fin’s big speech at the end where he faces his friend’s accusers.

May has a poetic way with words that I have become quite addicted to and I would describe it as almost gothic with his stunning descriptions of the Hebridean world. I highly recommend the audiobook version because the narrator’s accent brings out the beauty of May’s work.

http://www.gothic-mansion-books.com/

the-chess-men