I’ve been lucky enough to have a bit of a flurry of blog tours these past couple of weeks, with some excellent books, but I have to say this latest one is definitely in my top five so far!
Smoke Screen is a joint collaboration between authors Thomas Enger and Jorn Lier Horst. Set in Oslo, the story begins with a suspected terror attack on New Year’s Eve. One of the injured is the mother of a young girl who went missing ten years before, and has never been found. Both Police Office Alexander Blix and journalist Emma Ramm are on the scene when the explosion happens, and therefore have a personal interest in the case. As the terror threat is increased it becomes clear that the missing girl case is not all it seems.
I’m a big fan of Nordic Noir and this one didn’t disappoint. Smoke Screen was a great story that I thoroughly enjoyed. I found both the main characters to be really engaging. Blix is almost a brother to Emma, and I liked the fact that there didn’t seem to be anything other than friendship between them. Emma has clearly been through a tough time, and sadly things don’t seem to be improving for her. She is used to reporting on tough cases but this time it is distinctly personal.
I found this story really gripping, it’s hard to review without giving too much away, but suffice to say it’s definitely worth a read. It was a fast paced novel, that flits between present day and ten years prior. Gradually the story of the attack and the missing girl unravel as both Blix and Ramm get caught up in their investigations, until the explosive finale.
Smoke Screen is actually the second in the series, although was the first book I’ve read by the pair. It can definitely be read as a stand-alone (as I did) but I loved it so much that as soon as I finished I ordered the first one.
Thanks to Orenda Books and Random Things Tours for inviting me ont this tour. To find out what others thought of the book visit the other stops on the tour:
I have read a number of the Geraldine Steel series by Leigh Russell so was pleased to be invited onto the blog tour for her latest Evil Impulse.
Evil Impulse brings us up to date with the latest in the life of DI Geraldine Steel. Still living in York, now with long term love interest DI Ian Petersen, she seems to finally be happy. When a body is found in the river initially they think she fell in and drowned, but when it is revealed that she was actually killed days before she entered the water it becomes clear that there is a dangerous killer on the loose.
I enjoyed this story although I have to admit it didn’t keep me gripped as much as some of the previous ones. The murder story was good but I felt that a random kidnapping and disappearing sister storyline actually distracted from the main event and felt a bit shoehorned in. It may just be that I’m always more interested in a grizzly murder than a persons relationship!
I like the character of Geraldine. She has certainly had a complicated life and it was nice to see her happy, at least for a while. She does have a tendency to be a bit ‘hot headed’ and there were times when you want to bang her and Ian’s heads together, but I still always find myself rooting for her.
The setting in York is both a good and bad thing. I enjoy reading stories set in the place I’ve called home for over twenty years, but I also realise I spend a good bit of my time tracing the steps in my mind working out how accurate things are (yes I’ve become one of those people!) I’m pleased to say it was all very accurate.
Whilst this could be read as a standalone you will definitely enjoy it more if you know all the back story. This is book 15 of this great series and I’ll look forward to the next. Don’t forget to find out what the other stops on the blog tour thought:
Deity is the latest in the six stories series by Matt Wesolowski. I have devoured all of these books so was very excited to be invited onto the blog tour of his latest.
Pop superstar Zach Crystal is the mysterious singer at the centre of the newest Six Stories podcast hosted by internet sensation Scott King. Zach died in a fire at his mansion. Since then there have been numerous allegations made against the recluse. Was he really an abusive monster like his critics say or was he the caring charity worker his fans believe? It is down to Scott to try and find out the truth.
This was another gripping story that I thoroughly enjoyed. As with all of the series, this book is split into 6 podcast episodes, for each one a different person is interviewed. Interspersed throughout is an interview that was recorded with Zach just before he died. I really like this style of storytelling, it is short and to the point and you know that at every episode you get a certain closure whilst still having the cliff hanger to keep you reading.
The story was interesting and kept me turning the pages (well pressing the next page button on the kindle) This is a disturbing read, with parallels undoubtedly being drawn with some real life scandals that have come to light, yet it is more than that. With interesting characters littered throughout we are drawn into a web of folklore and legend, that all spins around the Zach Crystal story.
It is hard to review these books without giving much away, but if you like punchy thrillers with elements of the supernatural then I would definitely recommend them.
To find out what others thought of the book find out by visiting the other stops on the tour.
I am a huge fan of Lisa Gardner so I was delighted to be invited onto the blog tour for her latest book, Before She Disappeared.
In Before She Disappeared we are introduced to Frankie. She dedicates her life to searching for missing people when everyone else has given up. Her latest case brings her to Boston where a young Haitian immigrant Angelique vanished a year ago. Frankie takes a job behind a local bar that comes with accommodation (as well as a rather feral room mate). She starts to look into the case despite a luke warm reception from the missing girls family and hostility from the Boston PD, and soon realises there is more to this case than just a runaway teenager.
Before She Disappeared was a great read that I raced through. The story was interesting with lots of red herrings scattered throughout and I enjoyed the way it seemed to change pace, one minute it is quite slow and the investigation has almost stalled, the next we are in the middle of a gun chase. Whilst the background of the story is quite bleak, as with all of Lisa Gardner’s writings there are elements of humour throughout, and it’s a testament to the skill of the author that the two can sit side by side.
It is a standalone book that was very character focused. I really liked the main character of Frankie, of course she is flawed. An ex-alcoholic with a past that haunts her, she acts with little regard to her own life, yet there was something about her that I really warmed to. Her interaction with other characters shows different sides to her from the tough investigator, to the caring friend.
I very much enjoyed this book and although this is currently a standalone I do hope we haven’t seen the last of Frankie Elkin.
To find out what others thought of Before She Disappeared don’t forget to visit the other stops on the blog tour.