ARC REVIEW: Murder Game – by Caroline Mitchell @Caroline_writes @bookouture

Title: Murder Game
(Detective Ruby Preston #3)
Author: Caroline Mitchell

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Crime
First published: October 31st 2017
Publisher: Bookouture
Finished reading: September 29th 2017
Pages: 285

“It was easy to identify with the killer as some inhuman monster, impervious to their efforts to stop him in his tracks. But killers were people. And people made mistakes.”

*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by Netgalley and Bookouture in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***

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I’m slowly getting back on track with my blogging… No memes, other posts or bloghopping just yet, but I’ll be posting some long overdue reviews during what’s left of October. I’ve missed you all! ❤

I have to confess it took me a while to warm up to the main character Ruby Preston and that was one of the reasons I didn’t enjoy the first book as much as I thought I would. Fortunately enough I had no such problems with book number two, leaving me with very high hopes for Ruby Preston’s newest adventure in Murder Game… And this newest installment definitely didn’t disappoint. No, I found myself on the edge of my seat as soon as I started reading the first page, craving popcorn as a way to calm my nerves while I turned the pages impatiently to find out what would happen next. Because there is no doubt left that Caroline Mitchell has succeeded in creating another monsterly masterpiece of a serial killer! I have a weak spot for serial killer thrillers and this series without doubt manages to satisfy my somewhat onorthodox cravings for creepy and disturbing characters. You will be in for a treat with this one! The writing is very engaging and draws you right in, and I literally finished Murder Game in one sitting. This story works as a stand-alone as well, although especially the second book is highly recommended as well for serial killer/detective thriller fans. You won’t find a boring minute in this story and the fast pace will help you fly through it! Without doubt one of my preferred detective series and one to keep an eye on if you enjoy the genre.

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There is a new killer out there, seemingly playing a twisted game of life or death with his victims… Sending clues to the relatives in the form of three disturbing photos: alive, tortured and dead. Ruby Preston and her team will have to race against the clock to solve the puzzle and stop the killer from striking again… But then there is the question of the uncanning similarity to the crimes of a convicted serial killer. A coincidence or a copy cat? Or did the notorious Lonely Hearts Killer have a partner in crime? It is up to Ruby Preston to find out before it is too late, even if that means using less orthodox methods. Will they succeed?

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If you are looking for a fast-paced, engaging, twisted serial killer thriller that is packed with plot twists, Murder Game is the right fit for you. Unputdownable and action-packed indeed! I literally finished this third book of the Detective Ruby Preston series in one sitting and it was one hell of a ride. Murder Game was just as good as the sequel Sleep Tight and I can definitely recommend giving this series a go even if you weren’t completely convinced by the first book like me!


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ARC REVIEW: Sleep Tight – by Caroline Mitchell @Caroline_writes @bookouture

Title: Sleep Tight
(Detective Ruby Preston #2)
Author: Caroline Mitchell

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Crime
First published: April 20th 2017
Publisher: Bookouture
Finished reading: April 8th 2017
Pages: 345

Ruby craned her head to one side. “You’re talking to the Queen of Fuck-ups. I’m sure it won’t come as any great shock to me.”

*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by Netgalley and Bookouture in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***

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I read the first Ruby Preston book last year and I admit it took me some time to warm up to the main character. But as soon as I saw the blurb of Sleep Tight and realized this sequel was going to be another serial killer thriller, I just had to give Ruby a second chance. And I’m glad I did, because whatever reservations I had about her character in book one have completely vanished by now. Her connections to the organized crime definitely add a whole different level to what is already an interesting plot! Sleep Tight had me hooked right from the start and it has been one hell of a ride. Twisted serial killer… Check. Lots and lots of plot twists… Check. Fast pace and well written prose… Check. Interesting characters… Check. Possible Jack The Ripper reference… Check. What’s more to ask? If you like fast-paced detective thrillers with an original touch, I can definitely recommend this series. Sleep Tight reads like a train and even though the identity of the killer has been revealed a bit early, this won’t stop you wanting to find out how the story ends. Intense until the very last page! I will definitely be waiting impatiently for the next Ruby Preston adventure.

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WARNING: Possible spoilers! Please don’t read this summary if you haven’t read the first book of this series yet. I’ll keep the summary super short but it’s impossible to keep it completely spoiler-free…

A new killer seems to be on the loose in the streets of East London… Various murdered young women are being discovered, their bodies posed into a sickening recreation of fairytale stories. Detective Ruby Preston is determined to find out who is after these deaths, although things are becoming more and more complicated as her ‘dodgy’ lover Nathan Crosby seems to be involved. Ruby shouldn’t be working on the case, but very few people know about their relationship and she risks everything to find proof Nathan is being framed. She will have to find the real killer before her collegues find Nathan… But as more bodies start showing up, it will become more and more difficult to prove his innocence.

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I’ve always been intrigued by serial killer thrillers and the one in Sleep Tight is without doubt a very twisted and disturbing creation. The fairytale/Jack The Ripper references are a nice touch as well and the ‘complicated’ situation of Ruby’s personal life mixed up in the murder investigation adds a whole other level to the plot. Unorthodox police work indeed! This thriller simply reads like a train and I enjoyed every single minute of it. There are some hints in the end that have made me VERY curious about the next book!


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ARC REVIEW: Love You To Death – by Caroline Mitchell

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Title: Love You To Death
(Detective Ruby Preston #1)
Author: Caroline Mitchell

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Crime
First published: November 11th 2016
Publisher: Bookouture
Finished reading: October 30th 2016
Pages: 315
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“She lived and breathed the streets, and would lay her neck on the line to protect its occupants. But how did she tell an idealist that the world was not black and white?”

*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by Netgalley and Bookouture in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***

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I’ve heard great things about Caroline Mitchell‘s books, so when I saw Love You To Death mentioned at Netgalley, I just HAD to request it. I had high expectations for this crime thriller, but unfortunately the story didn’t turned out to be as good as I thought it would be. I have been reading a lot of detective series lately and Love You To Death doesn’t really stand out from the rest. I know I’m in the minority when it comes to my opinion since most of the reviews I’ve seen are really positive, but it seems like I had a completely different experience. I had a hard time getting a proper feel for the story and the first part was a bit slow. That might just be because the POV switch between chapters was a bit confusing in the beginning though. That said, the plot and plot twists are great and Lucy has a lot of potential. She sure has a very twisted mind! I wasn’t really convinced by most of the other characters though. Especially Ruby felt a bit weak as a main character and I had a hard time warming up to her. Nathan’s role in the story makes for a nice twist, although I didn’t really appreciate the romance OR love triangle. In short, while not perfect, Love You To Death offers without doubt still quite an entertaining story with a very promising plot. And I definitely wouldn’t say no to reading the sequel either.

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Detective Ruby Preston and her team are called in after a body was found. And what seems to be an easy case, soon turns out into something a whole lot more complicated… And it seems like they are having a serial killer on the loose. Ruby and her team will have to find out who is to blame before the killer can strike again, but that’s easier said than done. The killer seems to be targetting women who gave up a child for adoption, but it’s a race against the clock to connect the dots on time. And when Ruby receives a sinister email, the case takes a terrifying personal twist… Will she be able to find the killer on time? And what secrets does she hide herself?

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The general plot and plot twists are without doubt excellent and the killer has a lot of potential as a character. Lucy is the perfect ‘crazy’ serial killer and without doubt carries a healthy dose of creepy with her. I actually liked her better as a character than detective Ruby, is that weird? The Ruby chapters are not as strong as Lucy’s, mostly because of the romance/love triangle and the fact that I found her a bit weak as a main character. Aside from that, Love You To Death is still a solid thriller.