Blind Luck by Dave Stanton #BlogTour #Review #BlindLuck #DanReno @Bloodhoundbook @DanRenoNovels

It is my absolute pleasure to welcome you all to my stop on the Blog Tour for Blind Luck by Dave Stanton. I would like to thank Sarah Hardy for inviting me onto the tour and to Dave and Bloodhound Books for providing me with an advance copy of the book for review. So, without further ado, let’s check this bad boy out!!!!

📚BookieWookie Review📚

Well, here we are, with the welcome return of Dan Reno, Bounty Hunter, P.I and all round tough guy! Blind Luck is the second book in the Dan Reno series and follows on shortly after the events of the first book. If you haven’t read the first in the series (Stateline) then, fear not, this one can easily be read as a standalone.

The story begins with Reno’s bank account starting to run dry and in desperate need of replenishment. As luck would have it, he is asked to help find Jimmy Homestead, a recent lottery winner to the tune of $43 million. Knowledge of this big win soon brings a number of undesirable folks to the surface, the majority of which are all members of Jimmy’s family, and Reno soon finds himself as a reluctant participant in the race for the prize.

Full of action from the get go, Blind Luck didn’t hang about in lining up all the main players as we toured some of the less salubrious haunts of the region. There are a number of great characters in this book, mainly of the lowlife variety, that all have their own interesting story lines as they search for the elusive Jimmy Homestead, and you start to wonder whether it really was all that lucky for him to win the lottery in the first place.

After the frenetic start to the story, things do pause for breath a little in the middle, before ramping up again for what is an action packed finale. Throughout reading this book, I couldn’t get it out of my head that this would make a fantastic movie. If somebody like Guy Ritchie were to get their hands on this then I’m sure they’d do a great job with the mix of action, thriller and caper that is so prevalent within the book.

I’ll not give anything away on the finale itself, other than the fact that it should carry a health warning for those in on the hunt for Jimmy Homestead and that it also sets Reno up nicely for book #3 in the series.

Blind Luck was a highly enjoyable read that backed up my enjoyment of the first book, and I’m really looking forward to seeing what lies in store for Reno in book 3!!

📚The Blurb📚

Jimmy Homestead’s glory days as a high school stud are a distant memory. His adulthood hads amounted to temporary jobs, petty crime and discount whiskey. But when he wins $43 million on the  lottery all that changes.

With money, everything is great for Jimmy, until people from his past start coming out of the woodwork seeking payback over transgressions Jimmy thought were long forgotten.

Caught in the middle are private detective Dan Reno and his friend Cody Gibbons – two men just trying to make a living.

Reno, fighting to save his home from foreclosure, thinks that’s his biggest problem. But his priorities change when Gibbons and Jimmy are kidnapped by a gang of cartel thugs. In a fight to save his friend’s life, Reno is drawn into a case that will result bodies scattered all over northern Nevada.

But Can Reno save his friend?

📚Author Bio📚

Born in Detroit, Michigan, in 1960, Dave Stanton moved to Northern California in 1961. He attended San Jose State University and received a BA in journalism in 1983. Over the years, he worked as a bartender, newspaper advertising salesman, furniture mover, debt collector, and technology salesman. He has two children, Austin and Haley, and lives with his wife, Heidi, in San Jose, California.

Stanton is the author of six novels, all featuring private investigator Dan Reno and his ex-cop buddy, Cody Gibbons.


Twitter: @DanRenoNovels


Girl On Fire by Tony Parsons #Review #MaxWolfe #GirlOnFire @TonyParsonsUK

Well…..what a rollercoaster of emotions that just put me through. High on thrills, action and, at times, heartbreaking, Girl On Fire is a story that left a real impression on me.

This was the first full length novel by Tony Parsons that I have read, although I had been introduced to Max Wolfe in the Short Story ‘Tell Him He’s Dead’, and I’ve been left wondering how the hell I hadn’t read any of his previous works before now. A highly topical tale, filled with so much relevance of issues we face in the world today, Parsons has a flair for the dramatic while keeping the story grounded and respectful to the communities involved.

Parsons writing style has such a flow to it that I found myself absolutely racing through this book from start to finish. The opening chapter was such a ‘wow’ moment that I was captivated within the first 5 minutes of reading and just couldn’t put the damn thing down!! The characters within the book pulled no punches as Wolfe found himself immersed in an investigation that would have him looking over his shoulder at those within the force as well as the various groups involved with the terror plot and its aftermath. There are some softer, often heartbreaking, moments in this book that added so much depth to the character of Max Wolfe that you just can’t help yourself pulling for him. I honestly feel that in Wolfe, Parsons has created one of the finest protagonists in modern crime fiction and I am now itching to get back and read the previous Wolfe novels.

For me, this was a phenomenal read that I will happily shout about from the rooftops for the foreseeable future. Seriously folks, if you’ve not had the pleasure of a Max Wolfe story before, then what the hell are you waiting for……get on it!!!!

Brilliant stuff!!

Many thanks to Katie Ashworth at Penguin Random House (Century) for providing an advance copy for review.

📚The Blurb📚

When terrorists use a drone to bring down a plane on one of London’s busiest shopping centres, it ignites a chain of events that will draw in the innocent and the guilty alike.

DC Max Wolfe of West End Central finds himself caught in the crossfire between a tech-savvy terrorist cell and a revenge-seeking, Bible-quoting murderer called Bad Moses.

And when Max’s ex-wife suddenly reappears to reclaim custody of his beloved daughter Scout, he finds himself fighting the greatest battle of all …

📚Author Bio📚

TONY PARSONS left school at sixteen and his first job in journalism was at the New Musical Express. His first journalism after leaving the NME was when he was embedded with the Vice Squad at 27 Savile Row, West End Central. The roots of the DC Max Wolfe series started here.

Since then he has become an award-winning journalist and bestselling novelist whose books have been translated into more than forty languages. The Murder Bag, the first novel in the DC Max Wolfe series, went to number one on first publication in the UK. All of the DC Max Wolfe novels have been Sunday Times top five bestsellers.

Tony lives in London with his wife, his daughter and their dog, Stan.


End Game by Matt Johnson #BlogTour #Review #RobertFinlay #EndGame @OrendaBooks @Matt_Johnson_UK @annecater

It is my absolute pleasure to welcome you all to my stop on the Blog Tour for End Game by Matt Johnson. I would like to thank Anne Cater for inviting me onto the tour and to Matt and Orenda Books for providing me with an advance copy of the book for review. So, without further ado, let’s check this bad boy out!!!!

📚BookieWookie Review📚

End Game is the final instalment of the Robert Finlay trilogy of books and is an action packed box of goodies from start to finish. Having not read the first two books in the trilogy, I was playing a bit of catch up in getting to know all the characters from the previous books. Johnson does a marvellous job of packaging up all these back stories for the first time reader, so much so that this could easily be read as a standalone. That said, such was the high quality of the story, I found myself wishing I had read the previous two books, simply because I now know I’ve missed out (Doh!!).

End Game just oozes with authenticity from start to finish, drawing on Johnson’s own experience of being in both the armed forces and police service. There were many times throughout my reading of this book that I genuinely felt that I was learning little facts about the various services and even found myself searching Wiki for details on certain events that Johnson made reference to. Reading through the reference to the Andersonstown executions I was straight on to Google to see if that actually happened (Surely not, I said to myself). It was such an eye opener to me to find that it all actually happened and really drove home the horrific events around the troubles in Northern Ireland, and really helped support some of the thoughts and feelings of the characters in this book.

I’ve read a couple of books recently that had a number of ex forces personnel joining the police, and it’s something that I’ve really enjoyed reading about as I’ve always had a bit of a fascination with the SAS and how these individuals assimilate back into ‘normal’ life. It certainly can’t be easy and I guess joining the police and armed response sections must seem like the next logical step.

Coupled with the police element of the book is the involvement of the UK Secret Service. This really upped the ante as far as the story is concerned, as it brought aspects such as wire tapping, secret documents, undercover agents and even ‘black bagging’ into the mix. The secret service just seems like such a powerful machine and our main protagonists were really up against it as they tried to figure out exactly who could be trusted and who was a threat to life itself.

All those aspects mentioned above were superbly brought together to make a relentless, taut thriller that had me on the edge of my seat from start to finish!

If you’re a fan of high octane thrillers with a strong element of espionage then this is definitely a book I would highly recommend.

Great stuff!!

📚The Blurb📚

Robert Finlay seems to have finally left his SAS past behind him and is settle into his new career as a detective. But when the girlfriend of his former SAS colleague and close friend Kevin Jones is murdered, it’s clear that Finlay’s troubles are far from over. Jones is arrested for the killing, but soon escapes from jail, and Finlay is held responsible for the breakout. Suspended from duty and sure he’s being framed too, our hero teams up with MI5 agent Ton Fellowes to find out who’s behind the conspiracy. Their quest soon reveals plot that goes to the very heart of the UK’s security services. End Game, the final part in the critically acclaimed Robert Finlay trilogy, sees our hero in an intricately plotted and terrifyingly fast-paced race to uncover the truth and escape those who’d sooner have him dead than be exposed.

📚Author Bio📚

Matt Johnson served as a soldier and Metropolitan Police officer for twenty- five years. Blown off his feet at the London Baltic Exchange bombing in 1993, and one of the first police officers on the scene of the 1982 Regent’s Park bombing, Matt was also at the Libyan People’s Bureau shooting in 1984 where he escorted his mortally wounded friend and colleague, Yvonne Fletcher, to hospital. Hidden wounds took their toll. In 1999, Matt was discharged from the police with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

While undergoing treatment, he was encouraged by his counsellor to write about his career and his experience of murders, shootings and terrorism. One evening, Matt sat at his computer and started to weave these notes into a work of fiction that he described as having a tremendously cathartic effect on his own condition. His bestselling thriller, Wicked Game, which was shortlisted for the CWA John Creasey Dagger, was the result. Deadly Game and now End Game, the final book in the Robert Finaly series, once again draws on Matt’s experiences and drips with the same raw authenticity of its predecessor.

The Hunt For The Dingo by P.J. Nash #BogTour #Review @bloodhoundbook @PJNash2

It is my absolute pleasure to welcome you all to my stop on the Blog Tour for The Hunt For The Dingo by P.J. Nash. I would like to thank Sarah Hardy for inviting me onto the tour and to P.J. Nash and Bloodhound Books for providing me with an advance copy of the book for review. So, without further ado, let’s check this bad boy out!!!!

📚BookieWookie Review📚

First up, let’s talk about that awesome cover and how it just screams Australia to me!! This is only the 2nd Australian based book I have read, and I think I’m falling a little bit head over heels for the country as a setting for a book. Vast countryside, oppressive heat, great characters and a phenomenal language, full of some stonking colloquialisms to back it all up.

THFTD is a slightly odd book to try and pigeon hole. Yes, there’s a serial killer element, but there is also a criminal underworld element to get your head around, not to mention the journalistic and behavioural science aspects to boot. So, to me, this was a bit of a melting pot of serial killa thrilla’, investigative journalism and police procedural all mixed nicely together to form one hell of a ride for the reader.

Short, snappy chapters meant that I raced through this book in less than a day, taking myself slightly by surprise by just how quick and easy it was to read. There’s something about those short chapters that just keeps the pages turning, reminding me of my love for early James Patterson books such as Along Came A Spider and Kiss The Girls.

There are some great characters in this book, good guys and bad guys, none more so that Lawrence James, Melbourne’s finest ‘ex’ British cop. James finds himself fighting a battle on two fronts as he is tasked with finding the ‘Dingo’ but also has to battle with the criminal underworld, who have put a price on his head to avoid him giving evidence against Cyrus Bain (great name!) – the criminal underworld boss.

This book has a bit of everything from, abductions, assassination attempts and even a bit of romance between the main players, making this an absolutely fantastic read. Given this is the first book in a planned series, I feel we really just scratched the surface of the characters of James and criminal psychologist Jesse Sanderson, and I’m absolutely champing at the bit to find out what lies in store for them in future books.

A highly entertaining read that will have you turning the pages in blurred frenzy as you race through to the conclusion.

Great stuff, highly recommended!!

📚The Blurb📚

In the arid expanses of Australia’s red deserts, a killer is preying on British female backpackers. Dubbed ‘The Dingo’ by the media, he stalks his prey then disappears without a trace.

In a bid to catch the man responsible, the local police call on the talents of Melbourne’s finest, ex British cop, Lawrence James and leading criminal psychologist Jesse Sandersen.

Meanwhile, James has unfinished business with Melbourne crime kingpin, Cyrus Bain, a gangster who will do whatever it takes to stay out of jail.

When another young girl disappears, it is a race against time to catch the killer.

Can James bring The Dingo to justice?

Will he escape with his life intact?

In their hunt for the murderer, James and Sandersen unearth some disturbing secrets that many would rather remain buried.

📚Author Bio📚

P.J Nash was born in Nuneaton, Warwickshire, the birthplace of George Eliot and Shakespeare, respectively. Not surprisingly he decided he’d like to be a writer too.

After studying history and working in PR for a few years, he was running a second hand bookshop, when wanderlust and destiny in the form of his future wife took him to Prague.

During his time behind the counter in the shop and travelling on trams between English lessons he wrote his first crime novel, The Hunt for the Dingo featuring maverick British expat cop , Lawrence James and and his hunt for a serial killer in Australia. On his return to the UK, he drew on his Bohemian adventures to write his second crime novel featuring Lawrence James and his co-investigator, Dr Jessie Sandersen. He currently lives on a narrowboat with his wife Clare and grumpy cat, Lulu.

In his past life P.J. Nash was a Special Constable for the Warkwickshire police.

Nash is also a member of the CWA and International Thriller Writers.


Twitter: @PJNash2

White Is The Coldest Colour by John Nicholl #BlogTour #Review @bloodhoundbook @nicholl06

It is my absolute pleasure to welcome you all to my stop on the Blog Tour for White Is The Coldest Colour by John Nicholl. I would like to thank Sarah Hardy for inviting me onto the tour and to John Nicholl and Bloodhound Books for providing me with an advance copy of the book for review. So, without further ado, let’s check this bad boy out!!!!

📚BookieWookie Review📚

White Is The Coldest Colour is not a book that I had come across before with its previous release. However, when Sarah at Bloodhound Books contacted me to ask if I’d be interested in reading this re-release of the book, I absolutely jumped at the chance. This invitation, and the book itself, came with a reader warning regarding the sensitive subject matter of child abuse and, while nobody should enjoy reading about such matters, I did feel that this was a story that needed to be told.

Throughout the book, Nicholl’s knowledge of the workings of the child support network was much in evidence, and it was a real eye opener for me to see how the interdepartmental teams work so closely together. The horrific nature of the crimes had me on the edge of my seat with the joint teams need to keep all investigations completely confidential, for fear that the paedophile ring may get wind and cover things up before arrests could be made. I also found it really interesting that so much time can pass before the authorities are ready to make arrests, due to the need for having water tight cases. It is truly sickening that such monsters walk the streets around us in society today, and Nicholl did a fantastic job of detailing the work that goes into bringing these monsters to task.

The main antagonist, Dr David Galbraith, is possibly the most evil character I have ever come across in fiction. The power that he held over children and others in his life gave him a real sense of invincibility, as he steamrolled his way towards his end goal. The description of the grooming process and how he uses the child’s insecurities to get what he wants was so horrific, in the sense that you could really start to see how these people get away with it in the real world.

I don’t want to paint too bleak a picture here, as there are also a hell of a lot of good characters in this book, and you can’t help but find yourself pulling for them as the book progresses. It was great to see Grav again, who I have only come across in Nicholl’s latest book, and I definitely took to him a lot better this time around, so much so that I’m really looking forward to the follow up to this one.

Overall, this was a fascinating, wonderfully creepy read that provided me with some great detail around the issue of child protection and the tireless work that these individuals put in to bring these monsters to task. As I said at the start of my review, I feel really strongly that this is a story that had to be told and is definitely a book that I’d highly recommend.

📚The Blurb📚

Be careful who you trust…

The Mailer family is oblivious to the terrible danger that enters their lives when seven-year-old Anthony is referred to the child guidance service by the family GP, following the breakdown of his parents’ marriage.

Fifty-eight-year-old Dr David Galbraith, a sadistic, predatory paedophile, employed as a consultant child psychiatrist, has already murdered one child in the soundproofed cellar below the South Wales Georgian town-house he shares with his wife and two young daughters.

When Anthony becomes Galbraith’s latest obsession he will stop at nothing to make his grotesque fantasies reality.

But can Anthony be saved before it’s too late?

The book includes content that some readers may find disturbing from the start.

It is dedicated to survivors everywhere.

Brilliantly gripping, White is the Coldest Colour will have you hooked from the very first page and holding your breath to the heart-pounding and shocking conclusion.

Buy It Here

📚Author Bio📚

John Nicholl, an ex-police officer, child protection social worker and lecturer, writes popular dark psychological suspense thrillers, each of which has been an Amazon international bestseller, reaching # 1 in multiple categories in the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Australia, Canada and the USA. John is happily married, lives in rural west Wales, and has three adult children and one grandchild. He began writing after leaving his job heading up child protection services for Carmarthenshire. A Cold Cold Heart, John’s sixth book, is published by Bloodhound Books in January 2018. John is represented by Toby Mundy – Literary agent at TMA.


Author website





I Know Where You Live by Pat Young #BlogTour #GuestPost @bloodhoundbook @py321_young

It is my absolute pleasure to welcome you to my stop in the Blog Tour for I Know Where You Live by Pat Young. Many thanks, as always, to Sarah Hardy at Bloodhound Books for inviting me onto the tour.

For my part on the Tour I have the great honour of welcoming Pat onto my blog, with a guest post about the books and the mouth watering references food makes in her writing. I found this really fascinating, as it transported me back to my own childhood and grabbing a stalk of rhubarb and a bowl of sugar while taking a rest from hours of play in the garden with my brother and sister. Thanks so much to Pat for providing this guest post and I hope you all enjoy it as much as I did.

📚Guest Post📚


Not everyone’s favourite.

And yet, in my debut novel, Till the Dust Settles, the reference to rhubarb has caught the attention of so many readers. Some even got in touch to tell me how much they loved it.

Till the Dust Settles is set in New York, in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, so you’re probably not getting a connection with rhubarb.

Lucie Jardine, the main character, is Scottish but has lived in the States since she went there on a sports scholarship and fell in love with her coach. That did not end well. Lucie finds herself trapped with an abusive husband and estranged from her family. At some of her toughest times, Lucie recalls her feisty Scottish granny and takes comfort and encouragement from her couthy sayings. She also remembers, with fondness, a food from her childhood.

Yesterday I heard a radio feature about grandparents spoiling children by giving them too many treats. Lucie’s Scottish granny spoiled her when she was wee, but not with donuts, pizzas or sweeties. The treat at Granny’s house was a stick of rhubarb and a ‘poke’ of sugar.

My own grandmother would comfort me if I was hurt or unhappy, then take her sharp knife (the gully) to the rhubarb patch at the bottom of the garden and cut one fine, rosy stalk. She’d wash and dry it, and her hands, with care, while I stood and waited, impatiently watching the ritual. She’d select a paper bag from another drawer. Long before re-cycling had been conceived, grocery bags were made of paper and folk folded them up and kept them for re-use. (Occasionally, for my amusement, my grandfather would blow one up, like a balloon, then burst it with an almighty bang. I confess to blowing up and bursting every decent paper bag I’ve laid my hands on since! Not eco-friendly, perhaps, but it still makes me laugh!).

Granny would unfold the bag and smooth it out flat on the kitchen table. Then she’d carefully tear off one corner and open out with her fingers, to make a cornet. From the big jar on the shelf she’d pour white granulated sugar into the ‘poke’ and hand it to me, with the rhubarb stick. ‘Right, on ye go,’ she’d say, shoving me towards the back door and outside, so I wouldn’t make a mess.

In days before the ‘sherbet dib-dab’ kids would sit in the sun dipping rhubarb into sugar and enjoying a sensory explosion. Rhubarb so sharp and acidic it ‘would draw your jaws together’. Sugar so crunchy you could hear it on your teeth. Sweet, syrupy saliva so copious it would spill over and dribble down your chin. And a feeling of being ‘treated’ and cherished. Is there such a thing as ‘emotional nourishment’? That’s how it felt at the time.

I once, as an adult, tried to recreate that taste sensation, and failed. By the time my own children were born, the fun police were on patrol and sweet things were ‘bad’. To quote The Casanovas, ‘How can something so wrong feel so right?’

Nowadays I get my ‘rhubarb rush’ where I can. From yogurt and jam, though they’re hard to find. Anything on a menu that says ‘rhubarb’ gets my order. It’s good, often delicious, but it’s not the same.

That childhood memory of a wee, brown paper poke of sugar and a stalk of rhubarb hasn’t dimmed. For me or for many readers, it seems, since childhood.

There’s another connection to the book, pointed out by my husband. As he says, ‘In Till the Dust Settles, Lucie gets stalked.’

There’s no mention of rhubarb in I know where you live but there are plenty of references to food. The book’s set partly in France so you’d expect food to make an appearance somewhere.

The first mention is candy floss which may well evoke more childhood memories for readers. I remember my grandmother taking me to a fairground (we call it ‘the shows’ in Scotland) when I was quite young. I begged for a candy floss till Nanna gave in and bought me one. I can still smell the hot sweet aroma of heated sugar and can feel the rough edges of the wooden stick as the man handed it to me. It seemed huge and maybe it was for my whole face seemed to disappear into a sticky pink cloud when I tried to take a bite. One bite. That was all I got. In the next second a big boy swooped and grabbed the whole candy floss, leaving me clutching a bare stick. I think I burst into tears but I don’t remember being bought a replacement. I’ve never quite got over that shock of being robbed, as you can tell.

There are mentions in I know where you live of freshly baked croissants, all flaky, golden and buttery. There’s crusty bread, pâté and a glass of chilled rosé enjoyed in the sun. The antagonist, who appreciates life’s finest has some foie gras with the traditional sweet Sauternes to wash it down and recalls eating beignets in the famous Café du Monde in New Orleans, ‘as the icing sugar floated around them like mist’.

There may be no rhubarb in my second novel but, on reflection, I think there’s enough food involved to keep any gourmet happy.

I hope this has whetted your appetite and you can’t wait to get your teeth into I know where you live. Enjoy!

📚The Blurb📚

Penny believes she’s being watched. Yet no one should know where she lives.

Penny seizes the chance of a new life for her family when her husband is offered a job in Europe. At the airport they meet charming Sophie, fluent in French and looking for work as an au pair. Penny, struggling to cope in France, offers Sophie a job and she soon becomes an important part of the family’s life. But Sophie is hiding something.

Then Penny’s toddler son, Ethan, is abducted and an international hunt for the child begins.

The police beg Penny and her husband to take part in a television appeal but the couple refuse. Unknown to the police, Penny and Seth have new identities and are determined to lay low and protect them. But it may be too late for that.

Who has taken Ethan and why?

Are the couple’s true identities linked to the abduction?

And who has been watching them?

To save her son Penny may have to put her own life on the line.

Buy It Here

📚Author Bio📚

Pat Young grew up in the south west of Scotland where she still lives, sometimes. She often goes to the other extreme, the south west of France, in search of sunlight.

Pat never expected to be a writer. Then she found a discarded book with a wad of cash tucked in the flyleaf. ‘What if something awful happened to the person who lost this book?’ she thought, and she was off.

Pat knew nothing of writing, but she knew a thing or two about books, having studied English, French and German at Glasgow University. A passion for languages led to a career she loved and then a successful part-time business that allowed her some free-time, at last.

Pat had plans, none of which included sitting at her desk from daybreak till dusk. But some days she has to. Because there’s a story to be told. And when it’s done, she can go out to play. On zip-wires and abseil ropes, or just the tennis court.

Pat writes psychological thrillers. Her debut novel

Till the Dust Settles, has been awarded the Scottish Association of Writers’ Constable Stag trophy. Following publication in July 2017 Pat was delighted to be chosen as an ‘emerging talent’ for Crime in the Spotlight and read fromTill the Dust Settles to an audience at Bloody Scotland – another dream come true.

Published by Bloodhound Books, I Know Where You Live is the much-anticipated sequel to Pat’s gripping and unmissable debut thriller,Till the Dust Settles. It too is a psychological thriller with a skilfully told story that makes for an enjoyable stand alone read. It will hook you from the start.


Twitter – @py321_young

Evidence Of Death by Peter Ritchie #BlogTour #Review @bwpublishing @PeterRi13759572

It is my absolute pleasure to welcome you to my stop on the Blog Tour for Evidence Of Death by Peter Ritchie. I would like to thank Lina Langlee for inviting me onto the tour and to Peter Ritchie and Black & White Publishing for providing me with an advance copy of the book for review. So, without further ado, let’s check this bad boy out!!!!

Ok, full disclosure, I’m an Edinburgh boy born and bred, so it goes without saying that I’m a huge fan of books set in my home town. That said, Evidence Of Death still took me by surprise with just how damn good it was. This is a side of Edinburgh you may not read about all that often or even see on the TV. A dirty, raw, side of Edinburgh where drug dealing, violence and prostitution are just the normal way of life.

Ritchie has done a fantastic job here in utilising his knowledge of the troubles in Northern Ireland and integrating it into the Edinburgh criminal underworld. This knowledge of the criminal gangs from Belfast and Edinburgh really helped me to get my head around life in these gangs, and I found it an absolutely fascinating read. Often violent and backed up with, what I would view as, highly realistic language, I found that I very quickly bought into the storyline and the characters involved.

This is the second book in the series, but it can certainly be read as a standalone, as I had no issues myself from not reading the first book. There are a couple of references and recurring characters, but nothing that would hinder your enjoyment of this book, although I’ll be making a point of buying the first book (Cause Of Death), such was my enjoyment of this one. The main protagonist, Superintendent Grace Macallan, is a fantastic, strong, intelligent lead whom I instantly took to. Supported by a great team and ex colleagues but all the while hindered by those in senior positions, she is completely focused on bringing justice to those in her sights. I particularly liked the relationship she formed with DS Baxter, a battle weary DS from the Leith station. Working the case together seemed to give Baxter a new lease if life, and it was really enjoyable to see that unfold before my eyes.

Bad guy wise, and there are a lot of them in this book, there are none so evil and viscous as ex army loyalist Billy Nelson. I read a lot of crime books and we get a lot of serial killers that, although great characters, you often struggle to place them in the real world. Not so with Billy Nelson, he’s not some twisted serial killer with mummy issues, he’s just one seriously nasty piece of work. That realism let me imagine that there are actually people like him walking the streets, and I’ve no doubt there are, and that’s a scary thought!!

This was a fantastic, gritty novel, touched with realism, that delved deep into the criminal underworld of both Edinburgh and Belfast. A superb plot with a phenomenal cast of characters to back it up, this is a novel that will stay with me for quite some time. An easy contender for one of my books of 2018 that I’ll be shouting about it to anyone that will listen over the coming weeks and months!!

Brilliant, just brilliant!!

The Blurb

Billy Nelson is back home in battle-scarred Belfast. But the Troubles have cut this ex-Army Loyalist hard man deep – and now that his city’s allegiances have shifted, nothing is quite the same.

An outbreak of gang violence forces Billy to move on. This time to Edinburgh, where he muscles in on the capital’s drug trade and the family who run it. As the balance of power tips, underworld rivalries between Edinburgh, Glasgow and Belfast spill out onto the streets.

With a spate of horrific incidents and a trail of victims, the pressure is mounting for Grace Macallan, new superintendent of the Crime & Counter Terrorism Directorate. Troubled by her own demons and with everyone baying for the blood of Billy Nelson and his old paramilitary contacts, can Grace hold her nerve?

Buy It Here