My review on Murder At The Bailey is a little different to my norm. It’s a different sort of read for me, and while it took me a little while to get into the style and the pacing etc, I found myself wanting to find out how it would end.
Plot: A notorious loan shark is shot dead, in broad daylight, right outside the front doors of the Old Bailey. The killer is arrested at the scene and Adrian Stanford is lined up to take on the toughest defence case of his career. Can he steer his client past the no-nonsense Detective Chief Superintendent ‘Iron-Rod’ Stokes, hell-bent on achieving a murder conviction in his last case before retirement? That’s assuming he can keep his client alive in prison long enough for the trial to go ahead. Can his illustrious defence QC, Patrick ‘The Edge’ Gorman, swerve the case past the acerbic judge known to all as Mack the Knife, whose own resolve is being tested to the limit by an adulterous wife? And why is London underworld numero uno Big Jake Davenport showing such a keen interest in the proceedings?
A wickedly eccentric cast of brilliantly drawn characters populate this daring debut from one of Britain’s top criminal defence lawyers. Dripping with sparkling dialogue and delicious wit, Murder at the Bailey is a masterly picaresque romp through the courtrooms, custody suites and London restaurants graced by the cognoscenti.
The synopsis felt this could be a cliché read, following the pattern of a lot of psychological thrillers. Although in places it was predictable, I enjoyed this: it kept me gripped and threw enough curveballs that it didn’t fall into the typical patterns. Here’s my review on The Happy Family.
Publisher: HarperCollins UK / One More Chapter | Date: 2021 | Genre: Thriller
Plot: A mother who disappeared… When Beth was 10 years old, her beautiful, wild mother Alice walked out and never came back. Beth’s life since hasn’t always been smooth sailing, but now she is happy and settled, with a successful career, a loving family and a beautiful home.
An unexpected visitor… Then one day there’s a knock at the door. Alice has returned. Overjoyed to have the chance to rebuild their relationship, Beth invites her mother to move in.
A life that comes crashing down… At first, everything seems wonderful. But then Beth’s friends begin to drift away, strange things start to happen at home, and rumours begin to circle about her past. As the mysterious events around Beth become darker and more dangerous, she is forced to question everything. Is somebody in her life trying to destroy her happiness? And how far will they go?
I remember thoroughly enjoying He Said/She Said but haven’t read anything by Erin Kelly since. When I saw this one, I was eager to give it a go. Full of twists and turns across a split narration, it certainly didn’t disappoint. Keep reading for my review on Watch Her Fall.
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Publisher: Hodden and Stoughton | Date: 2021 | Genre: Thriller | Buy it here*
Plot: Swan Lake is divided into the black acts and the white acts. The Prince is on stage for most of the ballet, but it’s the swans audiences flock to see. In early productions, Odette and Odile were performed by two different dancers. These days, it is usual for the same dancer to play both roles. Because of the faultless ballet technique required to master the steps, and the emotional range needed to perform both the virginal Odette and the dark, seductive Odile, this challenging dual role is one of the most coveted in all ballet. Dancers would kill for the part.
Ava Kirilova has reached the very top of her profession. After years and years of hard graft, pain and sacrifice as part of the London Russian Ballet Company, allowing nothing else to distract her, she is finally the poster girl for Swan Lake. Even Mr K – her father, and the intense, terrifying director of the company – can find no fault. Ava has pushed herself ahead of countless other talented, hardworking girls, and they are all watching her now.
But there is someone who really wants to see Ava fall…
I thought I’d return with a mystery this time! I thought this was going to be really predictable, but it certainly caught me out. The mystery was good, but it was hard to connect to the characters. Here’s my The Chalet review by Catherine Cooper.
After thoroughly enjoying The Head in the Ice, I was looking forward to seeing where the adventure would take George Bowman next. Head back in time for a new mystery set in the Victorian era with my review of The Devil in the Dock.
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Considered a loose cannon, Detective Inspector George Bowman of Scotland Yard is despatched to London’s docks where he can do no harm.
When an explosion rips through the wharves, however, he’s soon pitched into a world of intrigue and extortion.
With the whole of Victorian London in the grip of the mysterious Kaiser, Bowman must find the strength to escape the ghosts that haunt him. Just who is the Kaiser, and what do they have to do with his wife’s death?
Happy Monday! Time for a new post, and today I’m sharing my The Woman on the Cliff review! An intriguing mystery with great characters, I stayed invested throughout the entire book and really enjoyed Frost’s writing style. An author I’ll look out for again, for sure.
Plot: 1988. The body of Moira Mackie, a St Andrews University student, is found on a clifftop path. Her ex-boyfriend is found days later, hanged in his uncle’s garage with a suicide note confessing that he killed her. The case is abruptly closed.
Thirty years later, Ros Maitland has seemingly moved on from the horrific murder of her housemate Moira. Then her daughter takes up a place at the same university, and old demons reawaken.
Was Moira murdered in a lover’s quarrel? Or was her death part of something far larger, uglier and more calculated? What really happened that terrible night?
Policeman, Innes Nevin, investigated Moira’s death and has been haunted by it ever since. It was his first murder case, and he knew it had been closed too soon. Innes and Ros must delve back into the painful past to finally bring the truth to light.
Then comes a brutal turn of events. Someone wants their investigation stopped at all costs. In an electrifying standoff, Ros must risk everything she cares about.Can she find the truth about the death and escape with her life?
New week; new book. Jess Ryder is a new author to me but the synopsis of this one really caught my attention. While at times I felt it was predictable, this book kept me engaged, gripped and – turns around – wasn’t nearly as predictable as I thought. Keep reading for my review on The Girl You Gave Away.
It is the day of Erin’s fortieth birthday party. Pink and silver balloons drift through her garden, the platters of food are empty and the recycling is overflowing with empty wine bottles.
As Erin mingles with groups of family and friends, surrounded by love and laughter, she feels like the luckiest woman alive. She has no idea what fate has in store …
Then a little red envelope lands on the doormat and everything changes.
Inside is a birthday card from somebody she never dreamed would get in touch. Its message is a chilling reminder of the dark past that Erin has worked so hard to bury, a past that could put her precious family in terrible danger…
Just released from a Lunatic Asylum, Inspector George Bowman is in no shape to lead an investigation, but the discovery of a severed head in the frozen waters of the River Thames sees him back in service at Scotland Yard. As he delves into the dark heart of the city in search of answers, the memory of the death of his wife threatens to derail his investigation and place his very sanity in peril.
Bowman must confront his demons and the part he played in her demise before he can solve the case; a case that leads him across Victorian London in pursuit of a killer.
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Despite seeing C.L Taylor come up a lot, I’ve never actually read one of their books before. I was looking forward to this one and seeing whether the author is worth the hype. I think it’s fair to say that the answer is yes from me – here’s my review on Strangers.
Publisher: Avon Books UK | Date: 2020 | Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Plot: Ursula, Gareth and Alice have never met before.
Ursula thinks she killed the love of her life. Gareth’s been receiving strange postcards. And Alice is being stalked.
None of them are used to relying on others – but when the three strangers’ lives unexpectedly collide, there’s only one thing for it: they have to stick together. Otherwise, one of them will die.
Three strangers, two secrets, one terrifying evening.
The million-copy bestseller returns with a gripping new novel that will keep you guessing until the end.