ARC REVIEW: Stake-out – by Lily Luchesi

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Title: Stake-out
(Paranormal Detectives #1)
Author: Lily Luchesi

Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance
First published: May 19th 2015
Publisher: Vamptasy Publishing
Finished reading: January 25th 2017
Pages: 128
Rating 3,5qqq

“Who would’ve guessed that, in this world, there were vampires, werewolves and specters lurking around every corner; that evil witches who lived for centuries were being burned to to death a few miles away?”

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

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I confess I’m normally not a fan of vampire stories and tend to stay away from them, especially since I seem to dislike about 99% of them. But when I was approached with the question if I wanted to read the Paranormal Detectives series, something about the description caught my attention and I decided to give it a go. And even though I’m normally allergic to fanged characters, I enjoyed Stake-out a lot better than I thought I would. I was pleasantly surprised by the fact that the vampire element didn’t seem to bother me, which can probably explained by the fact that the vampires are properly scary without all the ‘sparkling’ and cheesiness. I found Stake-out quite a refreshing story and I liked that it had other supernatural creatures; the vampire/creature hunting is a very interesting angle as well. The story was both easy and entertaining to read, although I do have to admit the amount of question marks used can get a bit annoying. The plot and characters make up for it though, and I loved the flashbacks/past life subplot. If you like a good paranormal fantasy story that isn’t fluffy or overly romantic, Stake-out is without doubt a great choice. I will be reading and reviewing both sequels soon!

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When Detective Danny Mancini finds out the murder suspect he is following is actually a 200 year old rogue vampire, nobody actually believes him. The department put him on early retirement despite his many years of service, and things are getting worse from there. Then, two years later, the beautiful Detective Angelica Cross shows up at his doorstep and offers him to join a secret branch of the FBI. She wants him to track down Vincent, the vampire that ended is career two years ago. But Danny’s new life will need some time getting used to…

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Stake-out isn’t just another vampire story. Sure, vampires play a big role, but the plot is more about hunting supernatural creatures and following the main character Danny as he slowly comes to terms with his new world working for the secret branch of the FBI. I especially enjoyed the flashbacks and past life elements and I will be looking forward to find out how the story continues.


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ARC REVIEW: Walk Into Silence – by Susan McBride

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Title: Walk Into Silence
(Detective Jo Larsen #1)
Author: Susan McBride

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Crime
First published: December 1st 2016
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Finished reading: December 11th 2016
Pages: 367
Rating 4qqq

“The human mind is a tricky piece of machinery. It’s hard to anticipate what anyone might do from one day to the next, even the most rational human being, but especially those under severe psychological stress.”

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

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I can always enjoy a good thriller, and this new detective series by Susan McBride immediately caught my eye. I was really looking forward to this one, and Walk Into Silence turned out to be a fast-paced and well written psychological thriller and a series that without doubt will be on my radar. The main character the series is named after, detective Jo Larsen, is a bit of a cliche with her messed up private life and past, but I guess it’s an angle a lot of popular detective thrillers seem to be using in the first place. And in this case the cliche character works rather well together with the case they are investigating, so it didn’t distract too much at all from the main plot. There are quite a few plot twists involved in the story and both the disappearance of Jenny and the mystery around her son Finn’s death are without doubt intriguing. If you like the genre, Walk Into Silence will definitely be right up your alley.

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When a woman disappears from a Texas town, detective Jo Larsen isn’t sure if she simply ran off or if there is something more behind it. She doesn’t really want to believe Jenny’s second husband when he shows up at her desk, but as she digs deeper into the woman’s life, Jo is starting to suspect something might be off. Jenny had a tragic past; her young son died a few years ago and her first marriage was dissolved not long after that. Her doctor claimed she never recovered from the loss, but did Jenny really just want to disappear or should Jo suspect foul play?

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Fast-paced, well written, interesting plot and plot twists, easy to read… Those are a few of the caracteristics I look for when I’m trying to find a new mystery/thriller to read. And Walk Into Silence definitely ticks all those boxes and more. The main character might be a bit of a cliche, but I soon forgot about it as I was drawn into the case of Jenny’s disappearance and Finn’s death. Walk Into Silence is without doubt a strong start to a new detective series!

ARC REVIEW: The Girls Next Door – by Mel Sherratt

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Title: The Girls Next Door
(Detective Eden Berrisford #1)
Author: Mel Sherratt

Genre: Thriller, Mystery, Crime
First published: October 27th 2016
Publisher: Bookouture
Finished reading: November 17th 2016
Pages: 318
Rating 3qqq

“No one in the shop came to her aid. She had been condemned the same as her daughter. Guilty until proven innocent.”

*** 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 am always a sucker for a good crime thriller, so it was easy to say yes to another new detective series. The blurb of The Girls Next Door had me intrigued right away, and the story had without doubt quite a powerful start. The beginning of this story was just as gripping and edge-of-your-seat as the cover has promised, but unfortunately I don’t think the story was actually able to maintain that level of intensity. I think the main problem was the sheer amount of characters that is introduced throughout the story, which can get quite confusing at times. I personally had a hard time identifying where each character stood in the story, and that made it a little more difficult to enjoy the story. The amount of characters also made their individual stories seem a bit rushed at points. What I did like was the fast pace and the new main character of this series. Eden Berrisford is one of the exceptions to the detective cliche and she doesn’t have a messed up private life distracting from the case. In fact, she doesn’t really play that big of a role in the story… Which makes The Girls Next Door into the first book of a refreshing new detective series I will definitely be keeping in mind despite the few things that bothered me.

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Six months after that terrible night where sixteen-year-old Deanna Barker was stabbed, someone is coming after the teenagers of Stockleigh. A wave of vicious assaults troubles the community, and everyone is left wondering why those teenagers were attacked. Was it because of what happened to Deanna? Or is something more going on? Detective Eden Berrisford has to race against the clock to catch the person behind the attacks, but the case gets personal when her own niece goes missing…

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This story is without doubt a fast-paced and easy-to-read thriller, although it did lose its intensity later on in the story. There were too many different characters involved to my taste, or at least they managed to confuse me at times as it was hard to figure out where each of them stood in the story. I also wasn’t sure about the credibility of part of the plot, although the case itself is quite interesting. Eden Berrisford has won points for originality as a detective character! In short, while The Girls Next Door has its flaws, I have the feeling it’s still the start of a refreshing new detective series. Make sure to give it a go if you like the genre.

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
Rating 3qqq

“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.

ARC REVIEW: Worth Killing For – by Ed James

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Title: Worth Killing For
(DI Fenchurch #2)
Author: Ed James

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Crime
First published: October 11th 2016
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Finished reading: October 24th 2016
Pages: 412
Rating 4qqq

“He’s like napalm, Kay. Give him something to work on and watch it explode.”

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

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I read the first book of this series The Hope That Kills not that long ago and enjoyed it, so it was quite an easy decision wanting to read the sequel as well. And I can say I ended up enjoying Worth Killing For even better than the first book. Sure, the main character Fenchurch is still a mayor detective cliche with his messed up private life and all, but in this series it just works. And why change a formula that seems to be working for so many authors in the first place right? Worth Killing For is without doubt a fast-paced read and literally packed with action scenes. I mean, the story even opens with a wild suspect chase! The story reads superfast and the case is without doubt interesting, although a bit on the limit with the race triggers. That said, this crime thriller is without doubt an excellent choice for any fan of the genre. And that ending! I will be waiting impatiently for the third book to come out to find out more about that cliffhanger…

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

A young woman is attacked in broad daylight and left bleeding to death on the pavement, and DI Simon Fenchurch and his wife are among the eyewitnesses. Fenchurch doesn’t hesitate long and starts pursuing the attacker and eventually arrests a teenager with a bunch of stolen phones. What seems to be an easy case turns into something else… Did the guy Fenchurch arrested really do it ? And was it really all just about a smartphone? Fenchurch is starting to feel something is off, but before he can probe further he is removed from the case. That won’t stop him though…

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Worth Killing For is without doubt a strong sequel to what was already a great start of a new detective series. It’s fast-paced and literally packed with action scenes that will keep you on the edge of your seat as soon as you start reading the first chapters. The prose is easy to read and even though I had some minor issues, I can recommend this story to any crime fiction fan.

ARC REVIEW: Dark Water – by Robert Bryndza

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Title: Dark Water
(DCI Erika Foster #3)
Author: Robert Bryndza

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Crime
First published: October 20th 2016
Publisher: Bookouture
Finished reading: October 17th 2016
Pages: 341

Rating 3,5qqq

“Erika, even cats run out of lives. Use the ones you have left wisely.”

*** 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 have been a fan of this series ever since I first read The Girl In The Ice back in April, and I’m still in awe with the fact that Robert Bryndza is able to write and publish so many quality crime thrillers in such a short time. Dark Water is already the third book in the DCI Erika Foster series, and as we have grown used to it involves yet another gruesome and complex murder mystery. The main character sure has her fair share of difficult cases! I don’t like the development in Erika’s character though. She seemed a lot less likeable in this third book, which is a shame after the improvement in The Night Stalker. The change to a different unit came as a surprise as well… I liked the dynamics she had with Peterson and Moss! Dark Water is without doubt still a fast-paced and entertaining read, although I would have liked to see less romance in the plot and I essentially thought the ‘spark’ of especially the second book was missing. The ending was a little disappointing as well: I kind of already saw the final plot twist coming…I can’t deny it was still a solid thriller read though. This third book is yet again packed with mayor plot twists and quite a few action scenes; perfect for fans of the genre and highly entertaining.

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

After a tip-off that key evidence for a major narcotics case is stashed in a disused quarry on the outskirts of London, Detective Erika Foster orders for it to be searched. They end up finding more than they had hoped for… The drugs are recovered, but so is the skeleton of a young child. They are able to identify the remains quite quickly: they belong to the seven-year-old Jessica Collins, who went messing twenty-six years ago. Erika is determined to get the case and find the person who harmed the little girl all those years ago. But it isn’t easy… Erika and her team will have to try and piece together new evidence with the old, and she soon realises this is going to be one of the most complex and demanding cases she has ever taken on.

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While I found Dark Water to be not as good as the first two books in this series, it doesn’t take away that this third book is still an excellent crime thriller on its own. It might have a few more flaws and I would have liked to see less romance, but it is without doubt fast-paced and full of action. The prose is easy to read and overall Dark Water is without doubt an entertaining read. I’ll be looking forward to the next book for sure!

ARC REVIEW: The Hope That Kills – by Ed James

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Title: The Hope That Kills
(DI Fenchurch #1)
Author: Ed James

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Crime
First published: September 1st 2016
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Finished reading: September 17th 2016
Pages: 366
Rating 3,5qqq

“He didn’t look like a hot-blooded killer, but then who did?”

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

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Those who know me are probably already aware of the fact that it’s really hard for me to say no to a proper crime thriller. When I saw The Hope That Kills mentioned I ended up giving in and requesting it at Netgalley, and now I’ve read it I’m glad I did. This first book of a new detective series is without doubt an action-packed thriller that reads like a train. The case they are investigating is interesting enough even though some of the plot twists and developments did seem to be a bit farfetched. The main character Fenchurch is a bit of a detective cliche with his messed up private life and all, and I think the story in general lacks a bit of originality. Also, there is quite some colorful language and slang included in the story, which might or might not slow you down a little. That said, The Hope That Kills is without doubt still a fast-paced and entertaining read any crime thriller lover will enjoy reading.

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The body of a young woman is found on the streets of East London without any ID on her. DI Simon Fenchurch is in charge of the investigation, and he is struggling to both identify her and find out who brutally murdered her. They are faced with cruel indifference during their investigation, since nobody seems to care about yet another dead prostitute. Fenchurch is still haunted by the memory of his missing daughter even after ten years, and is determined to find justice for the murdered young woman. Then a second body is discovered, and things are getting more and more complicated. There seems to be something a whole lot more complex and bigger going on than just another random murder…

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I’m a sucker for crime thrillers and even though The Hope That Kills lacks originality, it is without doubt still an highly entertaining and fast-paced read. The case is interesting enough although the sex trade theme (as well as the colorful language and slang) might turn some people off. If you’re not bothered by those and don’t mind meeting another cliche detective main character, make sure to add this new series to your wishlist.