Rod Reynolds is fast becoming a favourite author of mine and therefore I was delighted to be able to join the blog tour for his latest Black Reed Bay.
Black Reed Bay starts with a panicked phone call to the police from a woman who is running away from an upmarket gated community and believes her life is in danger. The call gets disconnected before the police can find out any more information. Detective Casey Wray is sent to investigate when it seems that the young woman has disappeared without a trace. At first she thinks it is just a simple domestic dispute gone wrong, until more bodies appear and more secrets are uncovered.
This was an interesting story that I very much enjoyed. What I really liked was the pace of the novel, the only way I can think to describe it is an ebb and flow of a novel. Everytime I felt like it was slowing down and I was going to take a break something shocking was thrown in and I had to keep reading. This is a really atmospheric book and the contrast between the perceived privedged background of a rich gated community and the dark misery of the criminal world gives it an extra depth.
The character of Casey was interesting, there was enough of a back story given to make her seem real, yet there was a sense that there were hidden depths not explored in this story. She works hard and clearly cares about her cases but not to the detriment of everything else.
There was lots going on within Black Reed Bay and at one point it’s difficult to see how on earth things are all going to be tied up. However Rod Reynolds manages to wrap all of them up neatly in a satisfying end. Overall a great story.
To find out what others though of Black Reed Bay 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:
I am a big fan of Before I Go To Sleep by SJ Watson, therefore I was really pleased to get the chance to read his latest novel, Final Cut.
Final Cut is set in the fictional town of Blackwood Bay, a formally busy seaside town now struggling to survive in a world of cheap package holidays. Alex is a film maker who grew up in the Bay and is commissioned to make a ‘fly on the wall’ style documentary about the town. She is not keen to revisit the place she grew up in and knows that something bad happened to her, yet she has no memory of the events. When a young girl goes missing the lives of the villagers start to unravel as secrets start to emerge.
I really enjoyed this novel. Final Cut is an interesting premise starting with the idea that everyone nowadays is a filmmaker, as people in the village are being encouraged to film themselves and then upload it to a website. It was not what I would call fast paced, it is very character led and there is a lot of conversation, but that for me was what made it interesting. It felt a very compelling read with a sense of menace running through.
The writing is excellent and conjours up some vivid pictures of a quaint but run down seaside town. The book follows a ‘now and then’ storyline as we find out what happened to Alex after she left the town, and also the village as it is now. I found both plots to be interesting which is often not the case in dual narratives where I often find myself skipping through one storyline fast to get back to the more interesting one. The story itself is good although it did go a little flat in the middle, but I suspect that was mainly because I was so keen to find out what was going on that I got a bit frustrated with no one talking. I like the unreliable narrator as a hook, and you can’t get much more unreliable than someone who has little memory of her past.
Overall I very much enjoyed Final Cut. To find out what others on the tour thought of it visit the other stops on the blog tour.