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Demon by Matt Wesolowski – a review BLOG TOUR

I am a huge fan of the Six Stories series by Matt Wesolowski so was pleased to be invited onto the blog tour for his latest novel – Demon.

Demon sees podcaster Scott King investigating the murder of 12 year old Sidney Parsons, who in 1995 was killed by 2 school friends. The ‘Demonic Duo’ were released from prison under new identities but refused to ever give any reason or explanation for what had happened on that terrible night. Ever since then the quiet village has been plagued with stories of superstition and supernatural behaviour. As Scott begins to investigate the circumstances surrounding the crime he soon realises that this is an investigation that is leading him towards danger.

Demon was another fantastic read from Matt Wesolowski. As with all this series, the book follows the traditional podcast structure and so is split into six ‘episodes’. Each episode focusses on the interview of one central character and their take on the so called Demonic Duo. I really enjoy this style of writing. The six episode structure gives it a unique feel, and I find it really does move the story along easily.

One of the clever things about this series is the mix of horror and crime. It can be a tricky balance to pull off but it’s a balance that Matt Wesolowski manages expertly. Throughout the story the demons are at the forefront, but the crime element is still perfectly executed. The sense of foreboding created by the writing is palpable, with menace and fear pouring off the page. Yet at it’s heart this is not a supernatural story but an investigation into human behaviour and the consequences of actions and reactions.

There are a range of characters within this story and they all have their flaws yet the human elements also come across to the reader with all of them having secrets and guilt that influences the way they act. Another big part of this novel is the setting. Demon is set in a small fictional village called Ussalthwaite. This is a place filled with folklore and stories and based in North York Moors which give it a bleakness that adds to the menace bubbling under the surface.

I think this is one of the best series I have read for a long time and each novel feels like it’s just getting better. Whilst this would work as a stand alone, I would recommend starting at the beginning (Review of the second in the series Hydra is here) and enjoying them all.

I thoroughly enjoyed this story and would recommend the whole series to anyone who hasn’t yet read them.

Don’t forget to find out what others on the tour thought of the book:

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Sleep Tight by Cass Green – a review BLOG TOUR

I have a bad habit of not thoroughly reading things before agreeing to go ahead and that happened here. I had read and really enjoyed some of the psychological thrillers written by the author so I jumped at the chance to receive a copy of her latest novel Sleep Tight. It wasn’t until I actually looked at my copy I realised that this was something different.

Sleep Tight introduces us to DC Rose Gifford. She is called to investigate the death of a young woman called Hannah who suffocated in her bed within a locked room. It looks like a straightforward crime scene – but the police can’t find the killer. Her roommate can’t think of anyone who might want to harm her although she does mention that Hannah had been suffering from crippling nightmares. Rose then meets DS Moony who runs UCIT, a secret department of the Met set up to solve supernatural crimes. Rose has to put aside her scepticism before anyway else dies.

Regular readers of the blog will know I’m not really a fan of supernatural in crime thrillers, however occasionally there is a cross over that works, and this is one of those. It was a fun read that I really enjoyed.

The character of Rose is interesting, she’s a bit of a strange one who shares her house with an unwelcome visitor, and doesn’t always make the best decisions work wise but she’s definitely a character I’d like to read more about. My favourite however was DS Mooney I liked her understated attitude despite working for such an unusual and eccentric department.

The story was good, I liked the slightly quirky nature of the story and the humour worked well against the back drop of the crime. I found parts of it quite creepy especially the descriptions of the dreams and the nightmares. I very much enjoyed this, although reading the book in bed certainly wouldn’t be recommended!

To find out what others thought of the book have a look at the other stop on the tour.

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Psychopaths Anonymous by Will Carver – a review BLOG TOUR

A while ago I read Nothing Important Happened Today by Will Carver and it was one of those books that stayed with me for a long time after I read it. Therefore I was really pleased to be invited onto the blog tour for his latest novel Psychopaths Anonymous.

Maeve is an independent powerful woman with a great career and an interesting social life. She is also an alcoholic with a penchant for killing men. When she realises that attending AA meetings just makes her want to drink even more she decides to set up her own meeting that will be a better fit. So begins her support group, Friends of Maeve or Psychopaths Anonymous. Unfortunately being a psychopathic killer isn’t always conducive to being in a relationship so when Maeve starts to fall in love things begin getting tricky.

This was an absolutely fantastic read that I thoroughly enjoyed. The novel is equal parts dark humour, gory murders and interesting tale of relationships. Whilst the main character is a serial killer the depth of story makes it much more than that. She wants to make amends to people she has hurt but doesn’t necessarily go about it in the best way (Think Rhiannon of Sweetpea fame meets My Name is Earl.)

I think that Will Carver is a really excellent writer, his novels always feel fresh and unique. The characters and the stories within are those that make you think and question your own reactions to the characters. I love a good female serial killer and this was one of my favourites. It’s unusual to find a book where the main character is equally likeable and unlikeable in equal measure but that’s what I found with Maeve. She’s a blood thirsty killer on the one hand, but on the other she has a compelling humour about her that really drew me in.

I can honestly say that this was one of the best novels I have read this year and would absolutely recommend it. Of course don’t just take my word for it, check out what the other bloggers on the tour thought too.

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Girl A by Abigail Dean – a review

Girl A is the debut novel by Abigail Dean. It was a book I had seen all over social media so when browsing the lovely Fox Lane books recently I purchased a copy.

Girl A tells the story of Lex who is Girl A and is one of the survivors of a horrific family abuse scandal. Lex has moved away to New York and has a successful career as a lawyer having put her past behind her. However, when her mother dies she has to return to the UK and it seems the past is something that can’t be escaped.

I thought this was an astonishing debut story. It flits between present day Lex who is trying to deal with her mother’s estate as well as her elder brothers upcoming wedding, and a young Lex living at home with her brothers and sisters as their father slowly descends into madness.

This genuinely was a novel that I couldn’t put down (luckily I was on holiday when I read it) The skill of the writing meant that every time I thought I had a handle on what was happening something threw me off kilter. The story was excellent and the backwards and forwards timeline was handled really well. The character of Lex was an interesting one and even now I can’t decide if I like her or not, clearly she had survived a horrendous childhood but some of her actions made her hard to like.

This was a story that was heartbreaking at times, yet within the darkness there were also moments of humour that lifted the story. To me the quality of the writing was superb, all the characters were well rounded and believable.  The twist at the end was both upsetting but somehow fitting as the story concluded.

I would absolutely recommend this book to everyone and it’s one that will stick with me for a long time to come.

Visit Fox Lane Books here

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