Cambridge Black

Please read Cambridge Blue first, and follow the series - The Siren, The Calling, The Silence, The Backs, The promise, and then Cambridge Black, to get the full background of Goodhew's personality and personal goals to reach his finale from Alison Bruce in Cambridge Black. 

A cold case waits to be solved . . . and a killer waits in the wings. Amy was seven years old when her father was arrested for murder. His subsequent trial and conviction scarred her childhood and cast a shadow over her life until, twenty-two years later, new evidence suggests he was innocent and Amy sets out to clear his name. But Amy is not the only person troubled by the past. DC Gary Goodhew is haunted by the day his grandfather was murdered and is still searching for answers, determined to uncover the truth about his grandfather's death and find his killer. But, right now, someone is about to die. Someone who has secrets and who once kept quiet but is now living on borrowed time. Someone who will be murdered because disturbing the past has woken a killer.

A cold case waits to be solved . . . and a killer waits in the wings.

Amy was seven years old when her father was arrested for murder. His subsequent trial and conviction scarred her childhood and cast a shadow over her life until, twenty-two years later, new evidence suggests he was innocent and Amy sets out to clear his name.

But Amy is not the only person troubled by the past. DC Gary Goodhew is haunted by the day his grandfather was murdered and is still searching for answers, determined to uncover the truth about his grandfather's death and find his killer.

But, right now, someone is about to die. Someone who has secrets and who once kept quiet but is now living on borrowed time. Someone who will be murdered because disturbing the past has woken a killer.

It was with trepidation that I picked up this novel, knowing we were heading for the conclusion of this series. 

Alison has a great way of tying in plots with the local areas, cafes, places of interest and more so in Cambridge Black, when a well known café that is mentioned is now closed. 

Nostalgia played a bit part in the storylines and trying to unravel the past crimes with the modern day and how they weaved together. 

We are slowly led through the minds of various characters and how they are challenged by the past, their decisions and actions, and how it is reflecting on the present day. 

The links that hold them together are as strong as they are fragile for others. 

I wasn't sure how the final book was going to go, and I did find i had to concentrate on how the characters played their part, it is a story of finding out the truth and unravelling the past to come to a conclusion for the future. 

It was lovey to have found out a bit more about Gary's Grandmother, and it was one of my favourite parts of this book. 


I found it was a satisfactory ending to the series, but not one of my favourites, possibly because I enjoy a darker, gorier read. Maybe because whatever way the story went I knew it was the ending so it wouldn't be enjoyed as it should. 


I have thoroughly enjoyed seeing Cambridge through fact and fiction and Alison's eye for detail and turning a beautifully diverse City in to a hot bed of crime! Where you can be in a gorgeous open green setting and within minutes lured down a dark alley in to an eerie, claustrophobic street, then back in to the fresh air - if you are lucky. 

If you enjoy police procedures, a bit of a bad boy in Gary with him not always following the lines to get his answers, but like true grit crime then this series is for you and I highly recommend it. 

 

Foul Trade By BK Duncan

There is a free novella available, The Last Post, which gives you an introduction to the main character, it is about half an hour read. Although you don't need to read it as Foul Trade is a Stand Alone, it is always nice to have a feel for a character for a series if you can. 

 

It is March 1920. May Keaps, the Poplar Coroner's Officer, has never failed to provide a jury with sufficient evidence to arrive at a just verdict. The poverty, drunken fights between visiting sailors, drug trafficking, and criminal gangs, haunting the shadows of the busiest docks in the world, mean that the Coroner sees more than its fair share of sudden and unnatural deaths. May relishes the responsibility placed upon her but there are many who believe it's an unsuitable job for a woman. Even May begins to wonder if that is the case when the discovery of a young man's body, in a Limehouse alley, plunges her into an underworld of opium dens, gambling, turf wars, protection rackets and murder. As her investigations draw her into danger, it becomes increasingly clear that whoever is responsible intends to avoid the hangman's noose by arranging to have May laid out on one of her own mortuary slabs. 

It is March 1920. May Keaps, the Poplar Coroner's Officer, has never failed to provide a jury with sufficient evidence to arrive at a just verdict.

The poverty, drunken fights between visiting sailors, drug trafficking, and criminal gangs, haunting the shadows of the busiest docks in the world, mean that the Coroner sees more than its fair share of sudden and unnatural deaths.

May relishes the responsibility placed upon her but there are many who believe it's an unsuitable job for a woman. Even May begins to wonder if that is the case when the discovery of a young man's body, in a Limehouse alley, plunges her into an underworld of opium dens, gambling, turf wars, protection rackets and murder.

As her investigations draw her into danger, it becomes increasingly clear that whoever is responsible intends to avoid the hangman's noose by arranging to have May laid out on one of her own mortuary slabs. 

Having read the novella that introduced us to May Keaps, I pre ordered Foul Trade straight away. 

May is such an interesting character to read about and faces every situation with a sense of level headiness, even if she isn't feeling so calm inside. 

BK Duncan brought to life the era, hardships and unsavoury characters realistically well. By brining this to be a darker novel, than I expected, even with the blurb. 

May works methodically and fairly and I for one was watching out for her, hoping she made it to the end of the book as unscathed as possible. 

This book is not one to be devoured, there is so much wonderful literature on every page, you need to read, digest, breathe as it is a stunningly impressive novel, that is thought provoking, and plenty of mystery that gripped me and I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the world through May's eyes. 

 

Dark Skies By LJ Ross

Dark Skies, is book 7 of the Ryan Mysteries, although it reads well as a stand alone, I suggest reading all or at least book 6 to get the full benefit of  this series. 

 

FROM THE #1 INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF HOLY ISLAND Beware what lies beneath… One fateful, starry night, three friends embark on a secret camping trip but only two return home. Thirty years later, the body of a teenage boy rises from the depths of England’s biggest reservoir and threatens to expose a killer who has lain dormant…until now. Detective Chief Inspector Ryan returns from honeymoon to face danger from all sides. In the depths of Kielder Forest, a murderer has escaped justice before and will do anything to protect the secrets of the past. Meanwhile, back at Northumbria CID, an old foe has taken the helm as Superintendent and is determined to destroy Ryan at any cost. Who will prevail in Ryan’s most dangerous case yet? Murder and mystery are peppered with romance and humour in this fast-paced crime whodunit set amidst the spectacular Northumbrian landscape.

FROM THE #1 INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF HOLY ISLAND

Beware what lies beneath…

One fateful, starry night, three friends embark on a secret camping trip but only two return home. Thirty years later, the body of a teenage boy rises from the depths of England’s biggest reservoir and threatens to expose a killer who has lain dormant…until now.

Detective Chief Inspector Ryan returns from honeymoon to face danger from all sides. In the depths of Kielder Forest, a murderer has escaped justice before and will do anything to protect the secrets of the past. Meanwhile, back at Northumbria CID, an old foe has taken the helm as Superintendent and is determined to destroy Ryan at any cost.

Who will prevail in Ryan’s most dangerous case yet?

Murder and mystery are peppered with romance and humour in this fast-paced crime whodunit set amidst the spectacular Northumbrian landscape.

LJ Ross takes us on episode 7 with Ryan and it isn't getting any easier for him. Life just loves throwing curve balls at him, although he is settling in to married life with Anna and it should be rosier than it is. 

We were introduced to Lucas in the last book, and she is very much conquer and divide, we start to see how this affects the lives of those around Ryan, he is aware of ripples, but I am unsure he is ready for the waves that these will cause. 
 

The setting for Dark Skies is Kielder and is a place that I yet again haven't heard of and Ross yet again has brought a corner of the North alive within her pages, even if all her characters aren't so lucky  to stay so. 

A brilliantly written read of the past catching up with the present and quite a few spanners being thrown in to the works to deter Ryan from the result he requires. 

I am unsure what the future holds for our Hero, but I can't wait for the next read to find out. 

The End Of Lies By Andrew Barrett

New Stand Alone, published by Bloodhound Books. 

My name is Becky. I arrived home to find my husband, Chris, stabbed to death and a gang of men ransacking our house. Turns out that Chris has something that belongs to them. And if I want to stay alive, I have to find it and return it. They have given me seven days. And a beating. There is nowhere to hide and no time left to look. So I will stand my ground as the deadline approaches. All I have is a head full of lies and a very bad plan. This is my story. Fans of Rachel Abbott, Karin Slaughter and Robert Dugoni will be gripped by this page-turning and chilling thriller, guaranteed to keep you reading late into the night.

My name is Becky. I arrived home to find my husband, Chris, stabbed to death and a gang of men ransacking our house.

Turns out that Chris has something that belongs to them. And if I want to stay alive, I have to find it and return it. They have given me seven days. And a beating.

There is nowhere to hide and no time left to look. So I will stand my ground as the deadline approaches. All I have is a head full of lies and a very bad plan.

This is my story.

Fans of Rachel Abbott, Karin Slaughter and Robert Dugoni will be gripped by this page-turning and chilling thriller, guaranteed to keep you reading late into the night.

An Authors name I have heard bandied about, but not quite made my reading list until now. 

WOW! if this is what I have been missing I do apologise to Barrett, and will soon be adding his books to my collection of reads. 

The End Of Lies, starts with an enticing beginning and does not let go until the very last page. 

An enthralling, entertaining read, that i couldn't read fast enough. 

Absolutely plotted with brilliance. 


As soon as you think you have a grasp on what is going on, the story tailspins you and you are again hooked on to a new thread and boom! He has taken you down another path of thinking. 

This really is a crime thrilling read with events that take you on a rollercoaster of a read, and you are relived you are reading it rather than living it. 

Superb ending!  

 

Sweet Pea By C J Skuse

The last person who called me ‘Sweetpea’ ended up dead… I haven’t killed anyone for three years and I thought that when it happened again I’d feel bad. Like an alcholic taking a sip of whisky. But no. Nothing. I had a blissful night’s sleep. Didn’t wake up at all. And for once, no bad dream either. This morning I feel balanced. Almost sane, for once. Rhiannon is your average girl next door, settled with her boyfriend and little dog…but she’s got a killer secret. Although her childhood was haunted by a famous crime, Rhinannon’s life is normal now that her celebrity has dwindled. By day her job as an editorial assistant is demeaning and unsatisfying. By evening she dutifully listens to her friend’s plans for marriage and babies whilst secretly making a list. A kill list. From the man on the Lidl checkout who always mishandles her apples, to the driver who cuts her off on her way to work, to the people who have got it coming, Rhiannon’s ready to get her revenge. Because the girl everyone overlooks might be able to get away with murder…

The last person who called me ‘Sweetpea’ ended up dead…

I haven’t killed anyone for three years and I thought that when it happened again I’d feel bad. Like an alcholic taking a sip of whisky. But no. Nothing. I had a blissful night’s sleep. Didn’t wake up at all. And for once, no bad dream either. This morning I feel balanced. Almost sane, for once.

Rhiannon is your average girl next door, settled with her boyfriend and little dog…but she’s got a killer secret.

Although her childhood was haunted by a famous crime, Rhinannon’s life is normal now that her celebrity has dwindled. By day her job as an editorial assistant is demeaning and unsatisfying. By evening she dutifully listens to her friend’s plans for marriage and babies whilst secretly making a list.

A kill list.

From the man on the Lidl checkout who always mishandles her apples, to the driver who cuts her off on her way to work, to the people who have got it coming, Rhiannon’s ready to get her revenge.

Because the girl everyone overlooks might be able to get away with murder…

A dark read with a bucketload of humour, graphic kills, sex and kill lists. It shouldn't work, but it did! 

We are taken through internal monologues with Rhiannon and get to know her through these diary entries as well as her daily life. 

I enjoyed the humour within the read and found myself not only laughing, but agreeing with her kill list. I was also in fear as if she met me I would have made the list more than once. 

This was such a refreshingly different read, but I did find maybe on the whole it was slightly too much...maybe due to the partly light-hearted way of telling and there were a few threads I would have like to have investigated further and found maybe a few ideas less in the book would have been more. 

I didn't love or hate it, and if a sequel was written I would be interested enough to read on. 

I found the ending a bit weak, but not sure how the story would have benefited with an alternative. 

Dark, humorous and worthy of a read - it is a marmite book, but I am sitting on the fence with this one. 

Nearly Dead By Conrad Jones

This is the Prequel to The Child Taker - you can read this first, after, or in between the series as I did, in whichever order, don't miss out. 

The renovation of a remote farmhouse on the outskirts of Liverpool uncovers a chamber of horrors but the crimes are historical. DI Alec Ramsay must sift through the evidence to identify both the victims and the perpetrators, while trying to dismantle the dangerous drug gangs that plague the city. The prequel to The Child Taker, this book is a must for fans of the Alec Ramsay series.

The renovation of a remote farmhouse on the outskirts of Liverpool uncovers a chamber of horrors but the crimes are historical. DI Alec Ramsay must sift through the evidence to identify both the victims and the perpetrators, while trying to dismantle the dangerous drug gangs that plague the city. The prequel to The Child Taker, this book is a must for fans of the Alec Ramsay series.

I don't know what possessed Jones to write a prequel, but I am pleased he did. 

The child taker in one sick character, and I am half way through the series...but, when I saw this was out I needed to backtrack to read it, before reading on. 

Wow, it is like falling down a grim hole and you have to fight your way through the mire, grit and gruesome minds of the characters, to come out the other side and breathe fresh air again. 

A squirmy read that is as unsettling as it is brilliant. 

I highly recommend to read this new addition to the series. 
An array of perfectly written baddies, that you need to know what the out come for them is. 

Jones is a gritty writer with a talent for showing some humanity in a few of his characters that are the sludge of mankind. 

Leaving you needing to know what happens next, even though the grimness leaves you little desire to read on. 

Whether you have previously read this series or new to it, this is a book you must read. 

Untainted Blood By Liz Mistry

Ccontinuing DI Gus McGuire's epic journey. 

this is the Third in the series. I recommend reading them in order

Unquiet Souls

Uncoiled Lies

 

In a city that is already volatile, tensions mount after a Tory MP in Bradford Central is discredited leaving the door open for the extreme right-wing candidate, Graeme Weston, to stand in the resultant by-election. However, Graeme Weston is not what he appears to be and with secrets jeopardising his political career, he must tread very carefully.  Meanwhile, a serial killer targets Asian men who lead alternatives lifestyles and metes out his own form of torture.  As DI Gus McGuire’s team close in, the deranged killer begins to unravel and in an unexpected twist the stakes are raised for Gus.  Are the murders linked to the political scandals or is there another motive behind them?  DI Gus McGuire and his team are back and this might be their toughest case yet.

In a city that is already volatile, tensions mount after a Tory MP in Bradford Central is discredited leaving the door open for the extreme right-wing candidate, Graeme Weston, to stand in the resultant by-election.

However, Graeme Weston is not what he appears to be and with secrets jeopardising his political career, he must tread very carefully.

 Meanwhile, a serial killer targets Asian men who lead alternatives lifestyles and metes out his own form of torture.

 As DI Gus McGuire’s team close in, the deranged killer begins to unravel and in an unexpected twist the stakes are raised for Gus.

 Are the murders linked to the political scandals or is there another motive behind them?

 DI Gus McGuire and his team are back and this might be their toughest case yet.

D.I. Gus McQuire is back, he is still battered and reeling from his last case. 

Untainted Blood has many political themes that are current, running throughout and it leaves me disheartened to knowing the reality isn't far from the fiction, or actually is worse. 

Liz delivers the storylines with immense insight without it being too dry or at the cost of entertaining us, by being too flippant.

The story left a sleazy feel of greasiness to it, like you had touched something dirty that made you flinch.

Within this Gus and his team work together in a positive way that had you routing for them to get the case solved with minimal damage to all involved.

Gus is fast becoming one of my favourite characters and we journey with his battles throughout. Mistry, gives Gus humanity and fragility, without undermining the threads in the storylines. I would love to spend a day with this character and his family, but maybe with a take-away for dinner!

Untainted Blood was perfectly pitched without compromise, or being overly dramatic, but tension fuelled to the last. 

The Honeymoon By Tina Seskis

For as long as she can remember, Jemma has been planning the perfect honeymoon. A fortnight's retreat to a five-star resort in the Maldives, complete with luxury villas, personal butlers and absolute privacy. It should be paradise. But it's turned into a nightmare. Because the man Jemma married a week ago has just disappeared from the island without a trace. And now her perfect new life is vanishing just as quickly before her eyes. After everything they've been through together, how can this be happening? Is there anyone on the island who Jemma can trust? And above all - where has her husband gone?

For as long as she can remember, Jemma has been planning the perfect honeymoon. A fortnight's retreat to a five-star resort in the Maldives, complete with luxury villas, personal butlers and absolute privacy.

It should be paradise. But it's turned into a nightmare.

Because the man Jemma married a week ago has just disappeared from the island without a trace. And now her perfect new life is vanishing just as quickly before her eyes.

After everything they've been through together, how can this be happening? Is there anyone on the island who Jemma can trust? And above all - where has her husband gone?

I found the narrative interesting, unreliable, claustrophobic, a locked in mystery to the disappearance of your newly wed husband in a location of paradise and wow!!

I didn't connect as well as I would have liked with the main characters, even the ones that weren't in the story much. Especially Gemma, however I don't know if we were supposed to and that is what made it interesting reading. 

The chapters flicker back and forth from past to present with ease and the timelines were well structured. 
This is quite a slow burn book in revealing what is happening these usually annoy me, but the setting, cast of characters the shadows of who and what kept me turning the pages and I really enjoyed this read. With some really, wow that is an interesting turn of events I wasn't expecting.

Right to the last - brilliant story

Strategy By Anita Waller

This is the follow on the Anita Waller's 34 Days, please read this first to get the full effect of this tragic story. 

A gripping psychological thriller from an international best-selling author How much can one family take? Jenny Carbrook murdered three people to make it look as though there was a serial killer at work in Lincoln, when the only person she wanted to kill was Ray Carbrook, her father-in-law, who had raped her the week before her marriage to Mark, Ray’s son. Jenny wrote letters detailing her crimes in order to protect everyone she loved, but was forced to go into hiding before retrieving the evidence against her.  Not only did she leave the letters behind but also her young daughter, Grace. Now Jenny has a plan, a strategy, to get the letters back. But it’s not only the letters that Jenny has in her sights…   Strategy is the follow up to the international best-seller 34 Days, it can be read as a sequel or an unmissable stand-alone. Anita Waller is the best-selling author of Beautiful, Angel, 34 Days & Winterscroft

A gripping psychological thriller from an international best-selling author

How much can one family take?

Jenny Carbrook murdered three people to make it look as though there was a serial killer at work in Lincoln, when the only person she wanted to kill was Ray Carbrook, her father-in-law, who had raped her the week before her marriage to Mark, Ray’s son.

Jenny wrote letters detailing her crimes in order to protect everyone she loved, but was forced to go into hiding before retrieving the evidence against her.  Not only did she leave the letters behind but also her young daughter, Grace.

Now Jenny has a plan, a strategy, to get the letters back. But it’s not only the letters that Jenny has in her sights…

 

Strategy is the follow up to the international best-seller 34 Days, it can be read as a sequel or an unmissable stand-alone.

Anita Waller is the best-selling author of Beautiful, Angel, 34 Days & Winterscroft

Wow and wow again, after reading 34 Days and thoroughly enjoying it, I was satisfied with the ending...  Anita Waller took on the task and has written an astonishing follow up that is astoundingly heart breaking and twisted.


We got right in to the minds of the characters from the aftermath of 34 Days and it packed a punch.


I found Strategy highly addictive reading, that was such a page turner I couldn't put it down, and with such deliverance in emotional trauma! 

Highly recommend these two books that will take you on a journey you don't expect. With tension running deep throughout.

Till The Dust Settles By Pat Young

Published by Bloodhound Books, 27/7/17 available at present in E format and Paperback. 

A gripping & unmissable debut thriller Two women will never meet, but their lives are about to collide.  Lucie married young. Her husband has become abusive, controlling and violent. Having lost everything as a result of the marriage, Lucie decides it is time to walk away.  As she leaves the house on the morning of September 11th, heading to a job interview at the World Trade Centre and the promise of a new life, the unthinkable happens. On a street in New York, choking on the dust, Lucie stumbles upon an opportunity to start again.  She thought the grass would be greener but starting again is never that simple. And sometimes, what lies ahead is even more deadly.

A gripping & unmissable debut thriller

Two women will never meet, but their lives are about to collide. 

Lucie married young. Her husband has become abusive, controlling and violent. Having lost everything as a result of the marriage, Lucie decides it is time to walk away. 

As she leaves the house on the morning of September 11th, heading to a job interview at the World Trade Centre and the promise of a new life, the unthinkable happens.

On a street in New York, choking on the dust, Lucie stumbles upon an opportunity to start again. 

She thought the grass would be greener but starting again is never that simple. And sometimes, what lies ahead is even more deadly.

The beginning of Till the Dust Settles was intense and within the first few pages I was hooked, really invested in the character Lucie. 

Who is Lucie? What life is she running away from? 

She took an opportunity and literally ran from it. 

There then was a real sense of better the devil you know, the more you read, the more you wanted to keep reading! 

Pat brought an interesting character in to a situation that due to it's reality gave the book strength, plausibility, and what if? While giving us a fictional take, the clever placement of the beginning events woke up the horror of what happened on 9/11 and took me back to when I just stood watched, shocked and shaking my head with disbelief. 

Pat used these events with sensitivity to weave her characters story around survival. 

 A superb debut novel that had my heart in my mouth many times. 

I found it an extremely well written debut, that was an intense read, where peoples lives are at the centre and survival is the game.