Blog Tours

#Blogtour – Flowers For The Dead – Barbara Copperthwaite

He sees her. The one. The sunglasses don’t fool anyone, she is clearly upset, her nose and lips swollen from crying. They are two lost souls and he knows his love can help her. After all, she is not the first girl he has followed home…

Adam is the perfect boyfriend. He pays attention, he buys flowers. He knows everything about Laura and looks after her every need. He cooks, he cleans – he even does the dishes without being asked.

But Laura has never met Adam. Still grieving after a devastating car crash that killed her family, she’s forgetful and struggling to pull her life together. She’d be horrified to know the depth of this unsettling fantasy in which she is the star. But there’s no denying the chill she feels every time she finds another elaborate bouquet on her doorstep, or wakes in the night sensing she is not alone.

Adam has been watching her every move, and now it’s time to act. Except, there’s one little detail he’s missed: Laura has been watching him too.

After everything she’s been through, Laura’s ready to fight back and stop being the victim in her own life story. But in Adam’s world, there are no happy endings…

Barbara is the Amazon and USA Today bestselling author of psychological thrillers INVISIBLE, FLOWERS FOR THE DEAD, THE DARKEST LIES, and HER LAST SECRET. Her latest book is THE PERFECT FRIEND.

More importantly, she loves cakes, wildlife photography and, last but definitely not least, her two dogs, Scamp and Buddy (who force her to throw tennis balls for them for hours).
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Having spent over twenty years as a national newspaper and magazine journalist, Barbara has interviewed the real victims of crime – and also those who have carried those crimes out. She is fascinated by creating realistic, complex characters, and taking them apart before the readers’ eyes in order to discover just how much it takes to push a person over a line.

When not writing feverishly, she is often found hiding behind a camera, taking wildlife photographs.

My Review:

When I heard that Flowers for the Dead is been republished by Bookouture and they were organising a blogtour, I begged and pleaded the lovely team for a slot on the tour and even re-read the book because I loved the book so much when I read it in 2016, however back then my reviews were “in my opinion” crap.

So, here is my 2020 review for Flowers for the Dead:

Adam Bourne is our narrator, he is also a serial killer which gives the reader an uncomfortable view in the mind of this damaged young man. All he wants is to be loved and love someone back. He grew up believing in fairy tales and that gentlemen should also look after their ladies and it’s these beliefs that escalate Adam from a peeping tom into a full blown stalker/serial killer.

When I read this book back in 2016 it was the first time I had read a story told from the perspective of a serial killer and I actually felt sorry for him and also hoped he would find love and acceptance, however now I’m that much older and wiser – I can safely say Adam Bourne is a sicko – a twisted, depraved, disturbing and very dangerous man whose mental health and troubled upbringing have contributed into creating this monster.

Adam’s latest love interest is Laura Weir, a young women who is still grieving for the loss of her entire family killed in a car crash 4 years previously. Living alone and working in a dead-end job, she is going through the motions of life without actually living it. Adam decides he will save her and sets about to become her ideal boyfriend, sending her flowers, cooking and cleaning her flat, buying her presents and watching over her whilst she sleeps… EXCEPT Laura doesn’t know Adam at all – she has no idea he is stalking her and is beginning to freak out about these strange occurrences which are leaving her more confused and vulnerable. Even the police won’t listen to her so she decides to take matters into her own hands.

If you love sick, twisted serial killer thrillers then you will love Flowers For The Dead. This story does include some very uncomfortable subject matters which may upset readers including child abuse, sexual child abuse and stalking which are integral to the story line, but are very upsetting to read.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Reviews

Truth Be Told – Kia Abdullah

ARE YOU READY TO START THIS CONVERSATION?

Kamran Hadid feels invincible. He attends Hampton school, an elite all-boys boarding school in London, he comes from a wealthy family, and he has a place at Oxford next year. The world is at his feet. And then a night of revelry leads to a drunken encounter and he must ask himself a horrific question.

With the help of assault counsellor, Zara Kaleel, Kamran reports the incident in the hopes that will be the end of it. But it’s only the beginning…

Powerful, explosive and important, Truth Be Told is a contemporary courtroom drama that vividly captures today’s society. You will not stop thinking about it for a long time to come.

Kia Abdullah is an author and travel writer from London. Her novel Take It Back was named one of the best thrillers of the year by The Guardian and Telegraph and was selected for an industry-first audio serialisation by HarperCollins and The Pigeonhole.

Kia has written for The New York Times, The Guardian, The Times and The Telegraph, and is the founder of Asian Booklist, a non-profit organisation that advocates for diversity in publishing.

My Review:

I absolutely adored Kia Abdullah’s debut book Take It Back and was so excited to see she has a new book featuring Zara Kaleel, a rape counsellor with a background in law.

Still reeling from the fallout from her previous case Zara is struggling emotionally and mentally when a young Asian boy turns up at her office seeking help and support and claiming to have been raped by another male student at an exclusive boarding school in London.

Despite her office being a refuge and support for women only, there is something about young Kamran Hadid that Zara is drawn to and decides to take on his case.

Kamran is an intelligent, well-educated young man, brought up in a prestigious area of North London with a younger brother and affluent, well respected parents. Destined for Oxford his life has been carefully mapped out by his Muslim parents and he is on the path to greatness when the unthinkable happens.

Waking up after a drink fuelled party at school, Kamran’s life has been turned upside down when he finds himself the victim of a sexual violation. Confused, angry and ashamed he seeks Zara’s help having seen her defend another young rape victim and identifying with her because she is also Muslim.

There are so many deep aspects to this powerful story and once again Kia Abdullah has delivered an incredible thought-provoking and topical story. The dynamics between the Hadid family, the power struggles, the unreasonable and high expectations from Mack, the father for his sons, the internal struggle from Sophia, the mother to provide support and love was heartbreaking to witness. This family’s emotions and feelings were so real it was easy to forget they were a work of fiction because I was so invested in them.

This is so much more than an “He Said/He Said” story. It’s a story of family, faith, society and cultures. Fascinating, thought-provoking, moving, powerful and another 5 star book.

Rating: 5 out of 5.
Reviews

The Thursday Murder Club – Richard Osman

THE FIRST BOOK IN THE GRIPPING THURSDAY MURDER CLUB SERIES BY TV PRESENTER RICHARD OSMAN

In a peaceful retirement village, four unlikely friends meet up once a week to investigate unsolved murders.

But when a brutal killing takes place on their very doorstep, the Thursday Murder Club find themselves in the middle of their first live case.

Elizabeth, Joyce, Ibrahim and Ron might be pushing eighty but they still have a few tricks up their sleeves.

Can our unorthodox but brilliant gang catch the killer before it’s too late?

Richard Osman is an author, producer and television presenter. The Thursday Murder Club is his first novel. He is well known for TV shows including Pointless and Richard Osman’s House of Games. As the creative director of Endemol UK, Richard has worked as an executive producer on numerous shows including Deal Or No Deal and 8 Out of 10 Cats. He is also a regular on panel and game shows such as Have I Got News For You, Would I Lie To You and Taskmaster.

My Review:

I am not a fan of “celebrity” books, in fact I would even go as far as to say I actively avoid books written by celebrities… however there is something about Richard Osman. Maybe it’s because he always seems so nice and down-to-earth on TV and having begged him for a quick selfie at Harrogate in 2018 I can confirm that he is as nice and down-to-earth in real life and he is also very, very funny having watched him take part in the Two Crime Writers panel event.

So when I heard he had written a book I was eager to get my hands on a copy and see what all the fuss was about.

Set in a luxury retirement village called Coopers Chase, the 300 residents aren’t interested in spending their twilight years watching TV and staring out a window, instead they enjoy a busy itinerary from Conversational French to Cryptic Crossword, eating in a fine upscale restaurant, using the swimming pool, jacuzzi and sauna, taking a Zumba class or using the gym. Surrounded by twelve acres of woodland and beautiful open hillside, plus a herd of llamas.

Every Thursday a select group of octogenarian’s meet in the Jigsaw Room to try and solve old cases and call themselves The Thursday Murder Club. Initially run by Penny, an ex-police officer, the group have access to old police files and use their combined skills and expertise to crack cold cases. Now run by Elizabeth, when a murder occurs with links to Coopers Chase the group eagerly jump at the chance to get involved and try to catch the killer before the police.

This book has so many wonderful characters, from our “diariest” Joyce, an ex-nurse and widow to Elizabeth, the no-nonsense leader of the group with a very secretive past and connections in all the high places, Donna the new police officer who has moved to the area to escape her past. It was difficult to find a favourite because each and every character brought some humour and depth to the story.

The Thursday Murder Club would be classed as a “cosy murder mystery” – but it is so much more. It’s fun, it’s quirky, it’s enjoyable, it’s clever, it’s amusing and above all it’s a delightful escape from reality and I can’t wait for book 2.

Rating: 5 out of 5.
Reviews

The Other Girl – C D Major

They thought she was insane. But what if she was telling the truth?

1942, New Zealand. Edith’s been locked away for a long time. She was just five years old when she was sent to Seacliff Lunatic Asylum. Fifteen years later, she has few memories of her life before the asylum, but longs for one beyond it.

When she survives a devastating fire that destroys her ward, Edith is questioned by the police and a young doctor, Declan Harris. Intrigued by his beautiful patient, Declan begins to doubt the official reasons for her incarceration. Is she truly mad—or could the impossible stories she told as a child actually be true?

Time is running out. With Edie awaiting a new and permanent treatment, soon there will be little of her left to save. Meanwhile intrigue has tipped into obsession—Declan needs to uncover the truth, but in doing so he will risk losing everything. As he sets out to save her mind, will he lose his own?

C. D. Major writes suspenseful books inspired by events in the recent past. Cesca worked in television and teaching before writing full time. Alongside her thrillers she writes feel-good reads under the pseudonym Rosie Blake. She teaches creative writing and vlogs writing tips over on her website www.cdmajor.com. Cesca lives in Berkshire with her husband, son and twin daughters. She can be found on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and enjoys connecting with readers.

My Review:

I chose The Other Girl as part of Amazon’s First Reads a few months ago as the blurb appealed to me and I do like a book containing a Lunatic Asylum!

Set in the early 40’s in New Zealand, Edith (Edie) is a young woman who has spent her entire childhood and adult life locked up in an asylum and abandoned by her parents. The story begins after a fire has destroyed a large wing of the hospital killing 37 female patients and leaving only Edie and 1 other patient alive.

Young Doctor Declan Harris, newly appointed to the asylum spots Edith, feeling an instant connection he becomes determined to find out why she is in the hospital.

There is an element of the supernatural and the story is a slow burner, however this is an atmospheric and spooky tale with an element of historical fiction looking at how patients were treated in the early 20th century. The Other Girl is an interesting read full of fascinating characters.

Rating: 4 out of 5.