Kitty Hawk and the Hunt for Hemingway’s Ghost by Iain Reading

Kitty Hawk and the Hunt for Hemingway’s Ghost by Iain Reading

Kitty Hawk and the Hunt for Hemingway’s Ghost is the exciting second installment in a new series of adventure mystery stories that are one part travel, one part history and five parts adventure. This second book in the series continues the adventures of Kitty Hawk, an intrepid teenage pilot who has decided to follow in the footsteps of her hero Amelia Earhart and make an epic flight around the entire world. After flying across North America Kitty’s journey takes her down south to Florida where she plans to get a bit of rest and relaxation before continuing on with the rest of her long and grueling flight. As Kitty explores the strange and magical water world of the Florida Keys her knack for getting herself into precarious situations sweeps her headlong into the adventure of a lifetime involving mysterious lights, ancient shipwrecks, razor-toothed barracudas and even a sighting of the great Ernest Hemingway himself. This exhilarating story will have armchair explorers and amateur detectives alike anxiously following every twist and turn as they are swept across the landscape and history of the Florida Keys all the way from Key West to the strange and remarkable world of Fort Jefferson and the Dry Tortugas.

I received a free copy of this book courtesy of the publisher.

Kitty Hawk returns in another globetrotting adventure in her trusty de Haviland Beaver seaplane. Ahead of an attempt to emulate her hero Amelia Earhart in trekking solo around the world. Following a series of upgrades to her seaplane and a shakedown flight across Canada and the Northern United States, Kitty heads down to the Florida Keys for a relaxing break before the longer flights yet to come. Rest and relaxation are the order of the day in Key West – lazy days by the pool, pampering treatments in the hotel spa and a tour of the past residence of legendary author Ernest Hemingway.18516023A short hop from Key West down to the furthest tip of the Florida Keys lies the Dry Tortugas National Park, home of the ruins of Fort Jefferson. The chance to camp out and study the history of the facility was enticing to Kitty, making the most of her break. But wherever Kitty seems to go, adventure and conspiracy are never far behind. Mysterious lights out in the water catch the young adventurer’s eye leading to a discovery of centuries lost sunken treasures and illegal attempts to recover it.

After reigning in her overactive imagination, Kitty, with a little help from some new friends, begins to dig in to the mystery and uncover the unusual goings on. The history of the area is played out before her as she learns of the Spanish occupation of the New World and the trade in valuable metals and jewels, and the perilous seas in the area. Putting herself into some questionable situations Kitty manages to uncover a far less supernatural truth than that which she first suspected, nonetheless bringing the case to a conclusion.

Once again author Iain Reading has crafted a fun, informative and exciting read. The bubbly and adventurous Kitty Hawk makes for a wonderful heroine filled with energy, passion and a curiosity that is never stunted even when faced with adversity. The second book in this series picks up right where the first left off and doesn’t disappoint. The history sprinkled liberally throughout makes for interesting reading, while the story itself is captivating. Once again, Reading has created a book enjoyable for young and old to read.

My rating:
goodread

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The Killer in Me by Olivia Kiernan

The Killer in Me by Olivia Kiernan

Detective Chief Superintendent Frankie Sheehan does not wish to linger on the grisly scene before her eyes. Two mutilated corpses. In a church. In Clontarf. Her profiling background screams one fact: this is just the beginning of a sickening message.

Meanwhile, a 17-year-old case is playing out on a TV documentary, the convicted professing his innocence and historical police errors being exposed daily in the media. Frankie’s superior, commissioner Donna Hegarty, makes no bones about who she expects to clean things up – both in terms of past mishandlings and the present murders.

But not everyone working the cases wants the truth to come out. And the corridors of power have their own vested interest. Soon Frankie pinpoints just what is making her so nervous: the fact that anyone could be the next victim when justice is the killer.

The Killer In Me is a fast-paced thriller in which lies are safer than the truth, the past is never far from the present, and the ability to kill could well, it seems, live in everyone.

I received a free copy of this book courtesy of the publisher.

Olivia Kiernan returns with another dark rollercoaster ride through the Irish criminal world. DCS Frankie Sheehan back on duty after the traumatic events in Too Close to Breath. For her second outing, Sheehan finds herself thrown head first into a grisly case far too close to home her liking, echoes of the past reverberating through to the present. Kiernan kicks of this dark novel with a double murder in a parish church close to Frankie Sheehan’s childhood home, while her sister-in-law asks her to help prove a man innocent who was convicted of the murder of his parents and attempted murder of his sister back when he was a teenager.
The Killer in MeI was so happy to have the chance to read the follow up to one of the best books I had the pleasure of reading last year. And as a debut book it was unbelievable just how good it was, so much so it ended 2018 as one of my top books. Then came the difficult second book. The Killer in Me easily lives up to last year’s debut and possibly eclipses it.

The murders as they continue are dark, the mystery ever deepening and the cast of suspects wide ranging and seemingly lacking any real connection. Kiernan has crafted a fantastic, tense and enjoyable read. I was hooked from the very first page and found myself often thinking “just one more chapter!”. It was a quick read, the desire to uncover the secrets intertwined in this case driving my desire to keep reading headlong towards the final conclusion.

The Killer in Me is the perfect second book to rejoin Frankie Sheehan in her journey into the murky Irish underworld. I thoroughly enjoyed this wonderfully written police procedural. At no time did it ever feel bogged down in detail in an attempt to add false credibility to the facts of the criminal justice system. The sense of frustration felt by the officers as the case stalls is palpable and the frenetic energy as the case draws close to an end, the killer close to being unmasked is unmistakable. If I enjoyed Too Close to Breath, The Killer in Me was the perfect way to sate my thirst for more and has only stoked my desire to read more from Kiernan and see what comes next for Frankie and the team.


My rating:

goodread

Area 62 by Michael R. Martin

Area 62 by Michael R. Martin

When Colin Thurcroft decided to expand his hiking gear business with a retail outlet, the derelict shop close to the centre of his home town seemed ideal. But something truly bizarre happened there nearly forty years ago, and it has left behind some tantalizing clues. As Colin digs deeper, he comes face to face with an international conspiracy beyond his wildest imaginings and the darkest of government secrets.

Brought to the very edge of reason, he must challenge his understanding of reality and accept a future within which the human race has little influence.

I received a free copy of this book courtesy of the author.

Area 62 is the second book I’ve had the pleasure of reading from Michael R. Martin. With the first book, Screams in the Woods I was treated to a horror mystery which I thoroughly enjoyed. Area 62, as the name suggests, is a fantastically-well written sci-fi.Area62_KDP_Front_CoverColin Thurcroft’s quest for answers as the the strange goings on in his new retail outlet over the last four decades take him on a journey that tests his concept of reality along with his marriage. The things he sees, experiences and learns along the way would be difficult for many to process, but they only strengthen his resolve to dig deeper.

Chance encounters with shady government organisations, the daughter of a whistleblower, a retired Ibiza DJ living on a distant Scottish island and beings from another world take Colin deeper down the rabbit hole. Just as you think things could not possibly get any stranger than they already are, a new revelation adds to the mind-bending situation. As things come to their conclusion the author leaves us hanging on to the seed of events that will change the course of humankind forever.

This was the ideal book for me at the moment. Something that falls into the bracket of easy reading, a sci-fi novel with a slight feel of the classics without being cheesy or overboard. I found it an entertaining, fun read that did not disappoint.

My rating:
goodread

Saint Death by Marcus Sedgwick

Saint Death by Marcus Sedgwick

A potent, powerful and timely thriller about migrants, drug lords and gang warfare set on the US/Mexican border by prize-winning novelist, Marcus Sedgwick.

Anapra is one of the poorest neighbourhoods in the Mexican city of Juarez – twenty metres outside town lies a fence – and beyond it – America – the dangerous goal of many a migrant. Faustino is one such trying to escape from the gang he’s been working for. He’s dipped into a pile of dollars he was supposed to be hiding and now he’s on the run. He and his friend, Arturo, have only 36 hours to replace the missing money, or they’re as good as dead. Watching over them is Saint Death. Saint Death (or Santissima Muerte) – she of pure bone and charcoal-black eye, she of absolute loyalty and neutral morality, holy patron to rich and poor, to prostitute and narco-lord, criminal and police-chief. A folk saint, a rebel angel, a sinister guardian.

I received a free copy of this book courtesy of the publisher.

Timely though this may be, especially given the current situation in Mexico and the US and the border regions, I have to say I would be hard pressed to call Saint Death a thriller. The concept was fascinating – the down and dirty of life with narcos, gangs, corrupt police and a desperation to do anything to cross the border in search of a new life. Unfortunately, I felt it just didn’t live up to what it could have been.
30177266Saint Death certainly portrayed the stark, dangerous life of the most desperate people trying to scrape a living on the fringes of society in the border towns of Mexico. There is a constant feeling of threat and poverty, of desperation and a willingness to do whatever they have to to reach America. The atmosphere in the book is heavy and the mood throughout is heavy.

Unfortunately, I just felt this heaviness bogged the story down. It was slow moving, and for a book described as something of a thriller it was most definitely hard going. It most definitely offered promise but just didn’t deliver for me – what could have been gritty and breathless ended up being sluggish and predictable.

My rating:
notforme

The Blood Moon of Doom by Paul Mathews

The Blood Moon of Doom by Paul Mathews

When celebrity astronomer Edwin Bubble is found battered to death by his own telescope, the morning after a ‘Blood Moon’ lunar eclipse, Detective Inspector Clinton Trump crashes onto the scene like a megaton meteorite who’s late for a date with a small, blue-green planet at the edge of a spiral arm of the Milky Way galaxy.

With Edwin tipped to win a trip to space in the ‘Celebrity Come Mooning’ reality TV series – and a return trip, budget permitting – South East England’s greatest detective makes it his mission to figure out which lunatic launched Edwin Bubble to the heavens a little earlier than anticipated.

Could the murderer be Edwin’s estranged son, Tycho? Is the killer a fellow celeb who wants Edwin out of the way? Or are they a schoolmate still seething over schoolboy pranks in the days before travelling to Mars was a cool idea?

I received a free copy of this book courtesy of the author.

Paul Mathews returns with the second instalment in the Detective Clinton Trump series, The Blood Moon of Doom. Hot on the heels of having solved the murder of a butler, drowned in his homemade mango chutney, genius Detective Inspector Trump has another mysterious death on his hands. Upper Goosing, European Murder Destination of the Year 2015, has seen its fair share of suspicious and untimely deaths, so the discovery of celebrity astronomer Edwin Bubble dead in his garden is no surprise to residents. Neither is it a great shock to discover he has been smashed about the head with his own telescope.43303288

Once again Mathews brings comedy in bucket loads as DI Clinton Trump bungles his way around the investigation following gut instincts and jumping from one implausible suspect to the next with little to no evidence. A supporting cast of characters met in the previous book help ratchet up the hilarity and absurdness as does a cohort of over-inflated celebrity egos bolstering the cast.

The Blood Moon of Doom makes for a quick read. The hilarity and absurdity of a case led by Clinton Trump kept me wanting to know what ridiculous assumptions he would leap to next. The exasperation of his colleagues and his often incorrectly detected suspects add to the mirth Mathews’ books deliver in spades.

In the Clinton Trump series, Paul Mathews has created something reminiscent of Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot mysteries. The way the book follows the investigation from clue to clue, the ever growing list of possible suspects all of whom are plausible depending on whose viewpoint you look at things from has a striking resemblance to a classic Poirot investigation. The healthy dose of comedy sprinkled liberally from the first to the last page make this book, and moreover the series to date, a fresh and funny journey that while being a subtle nod to the Poirot stories, are something new and fantastic fun to sit and read.

My rating:
goodread

Andorra Pett on Mars by Richard Dee

Andorra Pett on Mars by Richard Dee

Andorra Pett has left the Oort Cloud Café; she’s back on Mars, a place she vowed she’d never visit again.

She’s gone back for her friend Maisie’s funeral. Everyone thinks it was suicide but the more she learns, the less sure she is. Things don’t add up and she realises that the whole story doesn’t make sense. Something else is going on and the questions soon multiply.

Why would Maisie kill herself if she’d just had good news? Why is Andi being followed? What was the mystery bequest? When she begins to find the clues that Maisie has left for her, it becomes a race against time. Andi must work out what’s going on and hope that she can get out alive.

What could possibly go wrong?

I purchased a copy of this book for my personal reading.

Andorra Pett returns for more hijinx bringing her brand of drama and action down from the space station orbiting Saturn to the red dusty plains of Mars. Leaving her cafe, her life with new-squeeze Derek for the funeral of a best friend from years gone by. But nothing, as usual for Andi, is as it seems. A suicide that seems suspicious, hidden ill-gotten gains in the canyons of Mars, her ex Trevor up to no good and two different groups of mobsters on her tail, this would not turn out to be a quiet visit for Andorra and her best friend Cy.
39892131Unsurprisingly Andi and Cy find themselves limping from one dramatic situation to another from the moment Trevor shows up on the station to seek her help down on the red planet. From the very start trouble follows her in the form of personal shadows from two mob gangs and the police and the constant suspicion that Maisie didn’t take her own life and that nothing Trevor says seems to be entirely truthful.

Once again Richard Dee has crafted an entertaining, light-hearted story that brings twists and turns throughout. It was a wonderfully warm and cozy feeling returning to a cast of familiar characters in Andi and Cy, getting to properly see Trevor who was only really referenced in the first Andorra Pett book, alongside cameos from Maz and Derek. A new supporting cast also bring something fresh to Andorra Pett on Mars, while the book retains its style that firmly ties in to the first book.

In need of a book I could pick up and find myself instantly enthralled with, I turned to this and it very much lived up to my expectations. The story moved quickly yet never once did it feel rushed. The menace was always there but did nothing to overpower the lightness that now feels like the style of Dee and his Andorra Pett books. Considering I work full time I ploughed through this book in a matter of four days from start to finish and immediately wanted more. Luckily I will only have to wait until later this year for the third book in this fantastic and fun series of books.

My rating:
goodread

Mummy’s Favourite by Sarah Flint

Mummy’s Favourite by Sarah Flint

He’s watching… He’s waiting… Who’s next?

Buried in a woodland grave are a mother and her child. One is alive. One is dead.

DC ‘Charlie’ Stafford is assigned by her boss, DI Geoffrey Hunter to assist with the missing persons investigation.

As more pairs go missing, the pressure mounts. Leads are going cold. Suspects are identified but have they got the right person?

Can Charlie stop the sadistic killer whose only wish is to punish those he deems to have committed a wrong. Or will she herself unwittingly become a victim.A gripping, heart-stopping crime thriller, introducing new series character DC Charlotte ‘Charlie’ Stafford of London Metropolitan Police.

I received a free copy of this book courtesy of the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

The opportunity to join the blog tour for a crime thriller was one I wasn’t going to pass up. The concept intrigued me. Clearly DC Stafford has a twisted killer on her hands, abducting mothers with the child perceived to be the favourite. The police face a race against time as more and more pairs are snatched without a trace. Suspects start to mount and the team at the Metropolitan Police have their work cut out for them to find the culprit before time runs out for their victims.
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Mummy’s Favourite is a high-speed run filled with twists and turns from start to finish. Sarah Flint does a fantastic job of portraying her lead characters, and even the supporting cast have personalities that shine through. The sense of urgency and drive to crack the case runs through every single decision that she makes.

Alongside an ever growing roster of victims, DC Stafford and her team have an increasing list of suspects. From abusive husbands, to spurned lovers, to obsessive ex-clients, all fit the bill as a potential for the crime, but without the final piece of evidence the police struggle to put the culprit behind bars. A stroke of luck offers a lead at the most timely moment as a fellow officer and her son go missing. With the case drawing to a close, the identity of the offender rocks the team to its core, but explains how this vicious killer has managed to keep a step ahead of the police at all times.

The book moves along at a frenetic pace and had me wanting to read just one more chapter. The drive to capture the assailant infused an urgency and energy throughout the book, driving it forward to the explosive conclusion. The only element that was a touch cliche for my liking was a side crime that Charlie Stafford finds herself working on. At the conclusion of the central proceedings, she conveniently manages to wrap up this other crime through what appeared to be dumb luck. Thankfully however, it did not detract from what is a fantastic read.

My rating:
goodread