Tag: crime

Blog Tour: Apartment 6 By Stuart James

Today I am sharing my review as a part of the blog tour for Apartment 6 by Stuart James.

Book Description:

Be careful what you wish for…

When Meagan was five years old her mother was viciously attacked and murdered.

Now an adult, she herself is the victim of an abusive relationship. Meagan is desperate to escape but doesn’t have the courage to leave.

So, when Meagan meets Oliver, a decent guy who is on the rebound after a failed relationship, the two strike up a connection. But when Meagan confesses that her husband is abusive, it leads Oliver down a dark and dangerous path.

Just how far would you go to protect someone?

Oliver is about to find out and be pushed to his very limits…

Apartment 6
Author: Stuart James
Published: January 29, 2020
288 Pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: January 20-27, 2020
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars

Jessica’s Review:

This is my first book from James and it will not be my last! He shows us the pure terror that is physical and verbal domestic abuse. What makes it worse is that the abuse occurs over two generations.  Apartment 6 was at times difficult to read, and if you have experienced domestic abuse of any sort, this novel may be a trigger for you.

From the first line, I was drawn into Apartment 6 and that first chapter is incredible. The chapters alternate between twenty years ago and present day and the past definitely affects the present.  Megan is the focus of our novel and in present day she meets Oliver and then together they go down a path that many may not expect.  Apartment 6 really does show the dark side of human nature, in both expected and unexpected ways.  Nearly all the characters are unlikeable in some way, but this adds to the story, and does not take away.

The less you know about Apartment 6 the better.  I did figure out all but one twist, which was about ¾ into the novel, and that twist I never even saw coming. It was a complete shocker to me!  If I had not figured out the other twists I can imagine that I would have been completely blown away.

If you enjoy thrillers, do give Apartment 6 a try, it is currently just .99 on kindle!

**Many thanks to Book on the Bright Side and the publisher Bloodhound Books for granting me an arc copy as a part of the blog tour.**

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

About the Author:

I have always loved scary stories, especially ones that shocked me, left me terrified, looking under my bed or in the wardrobe before going to sleep.

There was just a fantastic buzz whenever I watched or read something that took my breathe away.

I remember going to my nan’s house in Ireland as a youngster with my mother and sister, on the West Coast, staying in a cottage, surrounded by miles of fields and my family sitting around the table in the kitchen at night telling ghost stories. Going out and exploring derelict farmhouses in the middle of nowhere. I remember clearly the field at the end of the road was supposed to be haunted by headless nuns.

My cousins often remind me of the great times we had, frightening each other and running for our lives whenever we’d see something that didn’t look right.

This is why I love nothing more than to tell a story.

I started writing two years ago, penning The House On Rectory Lane.

I got the idea from something that has often seemed scary to me. I know that a terrifying story has to be something that you’re frightened of doing, something that makes the hairs stand on the back of your neck, something that fills you with dread, yet also with excitement.

To me, the thought of going to a house in the middle of nowhere, upping and leaving a busy town and moving to the country is something that scares lots of people and me: the seclusion, the quiet, the darkness. That’s what inspired me to write my first novel.

My second thriller is called Turn The Other Way.

I have multiple stories running, past and present:
A family who want answers from the surgeon responsible for their daughter’s death.
A young woman looking for her parents after they go missing from a party.
A couple driving home and hearing screams for help from the back of the van in front of them.
A serial killer on the loose in North London, dragging victims off the street.

I’m so grateful when people not only read my thrillers but also take the time to get in touch and leave a review. To me, that is the greatest feeling, hearing from people that have enjoyed my work. I know then that I’m doing something right.

I’m currently working on my new thriller, Apartment Six, which will be released 29th of January.

I’m 45, married and have two beautiful children. Currently, I’m a full-time plumber but would love nothing more than to make a living from my writing.

I hope I write stories and people continue to enjoy them for years to come. That would be completely amazing and a dream come true.

Contact Stuart:
Twitter: @StuartJames73

Short Story Sunday: A Christmas Crime by Tara Lyons 

A Christmas Crime 
Author: Tara Lyons
Published: December 9, 2019

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: December 12-13, 2019
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

With snow falling in a quaint Surrey Village, it’s the perfect setting for Holly and Christopher’s dream Christmas wedding. But instead of enjoying mince pies and mistletoe, their happiness is threatened by old secrets and someone harbouring a grudge. When the truth is finally revealed, can the couple enjoy the festivities with their family, or is their marriage doomed from the start?

Jessica’s Review:

This short story starts with quite the first line:

The blood splatter on the altar wasn’t the only sign that everything wasn’t right.

This is the first I have read by Tara Lyons and this short story gives us a taste of what she can write.  I hope to read some of her full-length novels sometime!

The only negative for me was that I wanted to get to the ‘meat’ of the story, which did not happen until the wedding day.  Despite being a short story, it did drag a little for me.  I think I wanted to know what the crime was.  And I did not see that ending coming, it was quite unexpected!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK


The Whisper Man

Author: Alex North
Published: August 20, 2019
368 Pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: August 5-14, 2019
Jessica’s Rating: 2 stars

Book Description:

In this dark, suspenseful thriller, Alex North weaves a multi-generational tale of a father and son caught in the crosshairs of an investigation to catch a serial killer preying on a small town.

After the sudden death of his wife, Tom Kennedy believes a fresh start will help him and his young son Jake heal. A new beginning, a new house, a new town. Featherbank.

But the town has a dark past. Twenty years ago, a serial killer abducted and murdered five residents. Until Frank Carter was finally caught, he was nicknamed “The Whisper Man,” for he would lure his victims out by whispering at their windows at night.

Just as Tom and Jake settle into their new home, a young boy vanishes. His disappearance bears an unnerving resemblance to Frank Carter’s crimes, reigniting old rumors that he preyed with an accomplice. Now, detectives Amanda Beck and Pete Willis must find the boy before it is too late, even if that means Pete has to revisit his great foe in prison: The Whisper Man.

And then Jake begins acting strangely. He hears a whispering at his window…

Jessica’s Review:

Did I just read the same book as all the others who have reviewed this one so far?  The Whisper Man has been listed as “The Most Anticipated Read of Fall 2019”.  Well, not so much for me as I am in the minority in my opinion of this novel. 

I was expecting something along the lines of the movie The Mothman Prophecies.  We have so many ideas of the boogey man (IE Slender Man) and then you add a serial killer of children who may or may not be ‘back’ 20 years later it sounds like a book that I would not want to put down, yet it was the total opposite. I was not attached to the characters and honestly did not really care what happened.  I kept hoping there was going to be something that would click and pull me in.  There were a couple of instances where that almost happened but the book just did not work for me.  The only time where I was a little ‘freaked out’ was when the whisper man jingle was said and I heard it in the voice of the card that came along with my arc copy of the book.

The idea of this serial killer is frightening: a killer whispering in kids windows.  The boogey man really does exist! It was just predictable as you knew what was going to happen with the main character.  There is also a twist involving one of the police detectives and his past that was so extreme that it did not work for me. And if this had been ‘real life’ he would have had to recuse himself from the case. But did he???? No, and look at what happened.

Though The Whisper Man was not for me, if you like serial killer novels and/ or thrillers it may be for you as most reviews are glowing.

 Many thanks to the publisher Celadon Press for sending me an arc copy to review. I wish my review had been a positive one.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK