Tag: psychological thriller

Sunday Summary – 21st November 2021

Good evening and welcome to my Sunday Summary update this week! As always, I hope you’ve had a good week? I’ve had a great one! Not only have I been off work and spending time with family, but I’ve also been doing a job I’ve been dreading in the garden – cutting down my second hedge to a reasonable height. I thought taking the first one down a couple of weeks ago was bad, but this second one was a whole different ballpark. But, never mind; it has gone now, which I’m a bit relieved about!

Aside from the mundane jobs around the house, and the significantly more exciting spending time with family, I have shared a couple of blog posts with you. My first post of the week was a Top Ten Tuesday post. This week’s subject was Top Ten Books to Read If You Like ‘X’; I chose fantasy as my subject. As I’ve read a lot of the genre I felt it was the most comfortable topic I could talk about. Not only that, but as there are a lot of fantasy books out there, I hope that featuring my favourites helps you find your next one!

On Friday I took part in a blog tour for The Warden by Jon Richter. This is a psychological thriller novel that I agreed to review as part of the tour. If you haven’t checked out my review you can find a handy link here – no spoilers in saying that I enjoyed the book! It is an interesting take on the pandemic and a potential future concept involving technology, and what could happen if we became highly dependent on it and it goes wrong. It was fantastic and I hope you can take a look at the book for yourself!

 

Books Read

As of the beginning of this week I had 25% of The Warden left to read before I could put my thoughts together for my review on Friday. I blitzed through this last hour’s worth of reading after publishing my Sunday Summary post last week. I don’t know how I can do that when I don’t plan to do it, but when I do plan to do it (as I did the week prior) I fail miserably. Never mind – it meant that I have plenty of time to get my thoughts together and draft my review.

I have since gone back to reading Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson. I put this on hold briefly in order to do my reading for the recent blog tours I’ve taken part in (Million Eyes II and The Warden). It only equates to having read 5% of the book this week, but it’s progress. It works out at just over 50 pages, in case you’re interested. 5% doesn’t sound like much; 50 pages sounds better!

I’ve also started listening to a new audiobook this week. Whilst I was knitting the other evening I decided to start listening to Traitor’s Blade by Sebastien de Castell. I’m currently on chapter 2 and the introduction has been great. There is plenty of action to keep me interested but also enough history to get an idea of who our main characters are and their role in society as a whole. I can’t wait to keep listening to this and find out more! All in all, a fabulous start.

 

Books Discovered

No new additions again this week. You might find this report a little bit boring, but I personally am very happy about it. It means I can *pretend* my habit is in control.

 

Coming Up…

I’m all done for blog tours for now. I haven’t signed up to very many of them this year, and while I’ve enjoyed taking part in them, I’m also looking forward to being able to post in my own time.

I’ve been having a think about what I want to share with you and the plan is to share a discussion post with you early next week. The topic I have in mind is to talk about how I juggle writing content for my blog, as well as reading and also all the other bits I like to do. For anyone who doesn’t blog, it may give insight as to how much time it takes. And, for anyone who does, I may be able to offer some time management techniques that you may take away and try to implement yourself!

Later in the week I will be back with my regular Friday feature posts. This week I will be sharing a First Lines Friday post. I really enjoy sharing these and giving myself the opportunity to share a variety of books here on my blog. And for this week’s post I’m going to keep it open (as I set myself a challenge last time I shared this post). I hope you can join me and that you like the sound of the book I ultimately feature.

Then, last but not least, I’ll be back the same time next week with another Sunday Summary update for you.

In the meantime, I hope you have enjoyed today’s post. Have you read any of the books I’m reading? Do any of them appeal to you? Let me know in the comments!

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Blog Tour Review: The Warden – Jon Richter

Hello everyone and welcome to today’s blog tour review of The Warden by Jon Richter, organised by Blackthorn Book Tours. This is the second blog tour post I’ve shared with Blackthorn, and it also happens to be the same author that I’m featuring today!

When I received the invite to read and review The Warden as part of this tour, it was a no-brainer decision! I really enjoyed reading Auxiliary: London 2039, also by Jon Richter, and I loved the sound of The Warden. Whilst it has similar themes to Auxiliary (on the technological side anyway), it’s a completely different narrative and character set. So, I don’t think you don’t have to have read any books by him previously to give this one a go based on my experience.

There are a few topics in the book that some readers may not be comfortable with reading. These are listed below so you can decide whether you’re interested in the book and also on here in my thoughts. I really hope that they don’t put you off however, because it is a fantastic book. I’m not one to shy away and I’m glad that the case, because this book was a pleasure to read!

 

The Warden – Jon Richter

Genre: Psychological Thriller

Print length: 312

Suitable for young adults? This is an adult book but suitable for mature teenagers 16-18

Trigger warnings: Covid references; homicide with some graphic violence; references to medical experimentation on humans; swearing; brief animal cruelty (goldfish left to die); references to suicide and mental illness

Amazon Rating: 4.5 stars

Purchase link: http://mybook.to/theWardenJonRichter

 

Goodreads – The Warden

The year is 2024, and the residents of the Tower, a virus-proof apartment building, live in a state of permanent lockdown. The building is controlled by a state-of-the-art AI named James, who keeps the residents safe but incarcerated. Behind bricked-up front doors, their every need is serviced; they are pampered but remain prisoners.

This suits Eugene just fine. Ravaged by the traumas of his past, the agoraphobic ex-detective has no intention of ever setting foot outside again. But when he finds the Tower’s building manager brutally murdered, his investigator’s instincts won’t allow him to ignore the vicious crime.

What Eugene finds beyond the comfort of his apartment’s walls will turn his sheltered existence upside down. To unravel the Tower’s mysteries, he must confront James… and James takes his role as the Warden very, very seriously.

 

Praise for The Warden

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ I wasn’t sure I wanted to read a book set during a pandemic – but I’m so glad I did. One of my top reads of 2021 – it grabbed me from the start and didn’t let go till the fantastic ending. Part psychological thriller, part horror story, part crime novel – and there’s even a touch of romance – all brought together by superb writing. Amazon review

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Wow, I loved this book! Set in the year 2024, with flashbacks to 2020, it shows an alternative reality to the Covid situation we’re currently living through. The virus has become even more virulent, and people are shut inside their homes, terrified to go out. Amazon review

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Massive 5 stars. Jon Richter is an author I admire – I loved his Rabbit Hole, and it was my number one book for 2020. This one is definitely in the running for being number one in 2021! It is set in Covid times, with some remarkably likeable characters who prove to be anything but… Amazon Review

My Thoughts…

I love the spin of the world and our current circumstances featured in the novel. We are all too familiar with the pandemic at this point. A number of us have had to make changes in our lives and embrace new technologies to help us through it. In this futuristic novel, Covid has advanced even further than our current circumstances. It is highly contagious and to prevent spread, people are sealing themselves inside their homes. The residents of The Tower are fortunate in that they are looked after by James, a highly intelligent AI system that delivers their daily needs, provides all the entertainment they can want and more besides. What could go wrong?

Well, there’s a question…

The thing that makes this narrative so chilling is that it has a stark resemblance to our recent circumstances. The fact that this could be our lives in the not too distant future is scary and all-too-real. We don’t need to imagine what it is like to have to isolate or stay at home. We’ve done that; The only difference is that events in the book a far more extreme than we have had to experience (thankfully!)

If you like science-fiction then this book has aspects for you as well! Alongside the current narrative in 2024, there are flashbacks to the creation of the AI, James, stemming from the beginning of the pandemic. I liked these snippets from the past as they build on the current storyline, but also they have interesting aspects in terms of The creation of the technology and how it has evolved in the few years between timelines. As someone who has read a lot more in the way of science fiction of late, this appeals to me as well.

I love books that combine different genres, and The Warden certainly does that! I enjoyed how the psychological thriller and science-fiction elements came together. They are both well-loved genres on my reading list and to find a book that melded the two together almost seamlessly was perfect. There is a good balance of both to appeal to readers of each genre; but, if like me you enjoyed both then you should love this book as much as I did!

The Warden was everything I hoped it would be. The writing style is effortless to read and the story flows nicely. Changing between the two timelines was clear and effortless to read. I also enjoyed how different chapters were written from the perspective of different characters. It adds a new dimension to any narrative and it’s one of my favourite elements of books of this kind. Each narrative voice is distinct and even if each chapter weren’t clearly labelled with whose perspective it was from, you could easily tell from the style.

All in all, The Warden was a really enjoyable read. With short chapters and a page count of just over 300 pages, it’s a novel that is great for a wide audience… especially those who enjoy their novels on the darker side…

About Jon Richter

Jon Richter writes genre-hopping dark fiction, including his three gripping crime thrillers, Deadly Burial, Never Rest and Rabbit Hole, his cyberpunk noir thriller Auxiliary: London 2039 and his new techno-thriller The Warden, as well as two collections of short horror fiction.

 Jon lives in London and is a self-confessed nerd who loves books, films and video games – basically any way to tell a great story!  He writes whenever he can, and hopes to bring you many more sinister tales in the future.  He also co-hosts the Dark Natter podcast, a fortnightly dissection of the world’s greatest works of dark fiction, available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcast fix.

If you want to chat to him about any of this, you can find him on Twitter @RichterWrites or Instagram @jonrichterwrites.  His website haunts the internet at www.jon-richter.com, and you can find his books available on Amazon here: https://amzn.to/2OXXRVP.

 

Sunday Summary – 14th November 2021

Good evening and welcome to this week’s Sunday Summary update! As always, I hope you’ve had a good week whatever you have been doing?

As for what I’ve been doing, I shared a blog tour review of Million Eyes II: The Unraveller on Wednesday this week. Having taken part in the blog tour for the first book of the series back in January 2020, I was keen to get involved and share my thoughts on this second instalment. If you haven’t yet read my review, you can find a link above. That post also links to my review of the first book of the series, so if you want to catch up from the beginning that’s the place to go. In fact, I’ll pop a handy link to that here as well.

On Friday I shared a Shelf Control post. It’s a regular series here at Reviewsfeed that gives me the opportunity to review the books on my to be read list, whittle out anything I no longer want to read and feature those that I do! This week I featured a book that’s been on my list for a few years. My sister reminded me after I shared this post, she managed to get a copy of it as part of an O2 deal. She had asked if she could read it before she handed it to me, and I never saw it. She had a laugh with me about it after my post went live, and confided that she didn’t finish it herself. However, when she comes to visit at Christmas I’ll get my hands on it!

 

Books Read

 

In last week’s Sunday Summary update I had 15% of Million Eyes II: The Unraveller left to read. I was right on those stats even though I couldn’t cross check against my Kindle. That worked out to be about an hour‘s worth of reading time, however, my plan to read it on Sunday night didn’t work out. I ended up knitting instead…

However, I did go on to read this on Monday evening and at the same time I started my blog post draft while my thoughts were fresh. The ending was very good; it ended up being quite a complex narrative with so many interlinking parts, however it was executed very well. It was a pleasure to read and I’m glad I took part in the blog tour for it!

After this, I started to read The Warden by Jon Richter. I have a read and reviewed a book by Jon Richter previously, Auxiliary: London 2039. I enjoyed this book immensely and I signed up for the blog tour of The Warden ages ago. Well, the time has finally come for me to read this book as my blog tour post for this book is due to go live next Friday.

I have to say, the book is every bit as good as I expected. It’s an action-packed psychological thriller. The majority of the narrative takes place in 2024, with flashbacks to beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. The virus in this fictional narrative has mutated exceptionally and humans have to take more and more drastic action in order to avoid contamination. Like sealing themselves into buildings supported predominantly by an AI. But what if something goes wrong? Without going into any detail that’s the crux of the narrative and I’m really enjoying it. Naturally, anyone uncomfortable with the theme of the pandemic being the linchpin of the narrative might not choose to read this one. However, I very rarely shy away from a topic and I think it works really well!

As of this Sunday Summary update post, I am 3/4 of the way through the book. The remaining time left to read is about an hour and so I have plenty of time to get this finished before my blog tour post on Friday. I hope you like the sound of the book based on little snippets I told you and that you can check it out in full on Friday.

 

Books Discovered

Once again, I’m pleased to confirm that my TBR has not gotten any longer. Thankfully!

 

Coming Up…

I’ve decided to take part in this week’s Top Ten Tuesday post. The topic of the post is “Books to Read If You Love ‘X’”. For this topic, I’ve decided to stick with the genre I have read most extensively, which is fantasy. If you love fantasy books as much as me then take the time to check out my list on Tuesday. In that post I will be featuring my favourite books of the genre and why I love them!

As I mentioned above, I will be sharing my thoughts in a blog tour review for The Warden by Jon Richter on Friday. That means my usual Friday feature will be taking a very short break just for this week. I can already tell that this post is going to be a good one. If you like the sound of the book based on my description above I really hope you can check out my full thoughts on Friday. I don’t think you’ll regret it.

As always, I will be rounding off the week with my next Sunday Summary update this time next week.

I hope you have enjoyed today’s post and until next time, happy reading!

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Sunday Summary – 18th July 2021

Good evening everyone – you know what time it is! I’m back with another Sunday Summary update post and I can’t wait to share everything I’ve been up to this week! It’s been a really good one for me. You’ll know that I’ve been taking a significantly slower pace this year, however this week I have felt more like my old self.

As I was taking part in a blog tour later this week, I decided to opt for a three-post schedule and shared my first post around midweek. That was a discussion post in which I shared my opinion on blog stats… and whether they really matter. If you haven’t checked out that post I’ll be really interested to hear your thoughts!

Then, it was the time of my blog tour post on Saturday. I haven’t generally been taking part in reviews for blog tours this year, however, I have enjoyed Karl Drinkwater’s Lost Tales of Solace series to date. I had an invite for this particular book, Clarissa, a little while ago and I signed up immediately! If you’re a fan of sci-fi, or even if you would like to give the genre a try, these books are a great way to give it a go as they are approachable to everyone.

 

Books Read

I’ve made quite a lot of reading progress this week; in this respect I feel a lot more like my old self as well.

As of last week’s Sunday Summary update I have just finished reading Ruabon by Karl Drinkwater. From there I went on to pick it up yet another short story. This one was completely different to the usual type of stuff I read. It was recommended to me by the CEO of my company, who is also an avid reader. The Cockroach by Ian McEwan is a political satire regarding the subject of Brexit. It’s something we all have an opinion on and I really enjoyed reading this author’s witty take on the matter.

I’ve picked it up a couple of times casually earlier in the year, however as I hadn’t deliberately set aside the time to read it I found I just wasn’t finishing it or picking it up for a while afterwards; consequently I was having to restart. I’m glad I set aside the time this week to get through it because it was an entertaining read and it was good to get out of my comfort zone!

Next, I decided to pick up something a little bit longer. I’ve read a few short stories in quick succession and so whilst I had the reading bug, I wanted to take a step up. I scanned my bookshelves and settled on The Taking of Annie Thorne by C. J. Tudor. I previously read and loved her first book, The Chalk Man, and so I felt picking up her second novel was a safe bet to keep the momentum going.

And I was right. I managed to finish this particular book as well! It’s not the longest, at around 350 odd pages, but it’s the quickest I’ve read a book of that length for quite some time. I loved the premise and the execution of drawing out the narrative. The characters are also fantastic – honestly, this is a serious recommendation!

I’ve done reasonably well with audiobooks this week too. I had only a few hours of A Clash of Kings by George R. R. Martin left to listen to and I got through those quite early on this week. I love the book, but I’m glad to finally got to the end so I can listen to something different for a change. The audiobooks are around 30 odd hours each. I’m sure you can understand why I’m looking forward to a change!

Speaking of which, I’ve actually picked of started listening to my next audiobook as well. I’m now listening to A Suitable Lie by Michael J. Malone. I can’t remember off the top of my head how I discovered this particular book, but it’s a psychological thriller. From what I have listened to so far, it seems to revolve around the subject of domestic abuse. Some people may not like that, however I’m reasonably pragmatic about it. Whilst unpleasant, these things do happen and I’m not averse to reading (or hearing) about it.

 

Books Discovered

Again, I have absolutely no updates for you here. This week my TBR went down one rather than up, so it’s going in the right direction for a change!

 

Coming Up…

I’m planning on beginning the week with a Top Ten Tuesday post. This week’s theme is Books I Have Read in One Sitting (Or Would if I Had the Time). I can’t say there are many books I have read in one sitting, but there are a few – and there are plenty more that I would have done given the opportunity.

On Friday I’m taking part in another blog tour and providing another review for Karl Drinkwater. In yesterday‘s post I reviewed the third book of the series, Clarissa, and I’m continuing next week with a review of the fourth book, Ruabon. This particular book lived up to my expectations and so you can expect a glowing review! I hope you can check that post out!

Then, as always, I’ll round off the week with another Sunday Summary update!

In the meantime, however, that is all from me in today’s Sunday Summary. I hope you have a fabulous week wherever you are and I will catch you in the next one!

 

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Blog Tour Extract: Glasshouse – Morwenna Blackwood

Hello everyone and welcome to today’s blog tour post for Glasshouse by Morwenna Blackwood. I’m excited to be taking part in today’s tour and I have an extract to share with you from the book. As always, a huge thank you to Morwenna and Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for organising the tour and inviting me to take part.

Having read the extract below I’m really intrigued by the novel and I hope it piques your interest too! If you do enjoy today’s extract I’ll provide details of the book below so you can find out more about it and how you can get a copy! But for now, onto the extract.

 

Extract

(In this extract, Lizzie is in psychiatric hospital, and has a conversation that will change the lives of everyone in the novel…)

I am mute until this girl called Kayleigh arrives. She’s really nice – she’s kind and friendly, and always gets me a cup of tea if she goes to get one for herself. She even picks the snails up when they come onto the path and puts them back in the garden so they won’t get eaten or stepped on. After few days of smiling at each other when we pass in the corridors or in the garden, she comes and sits next to me on the sunny bit of a bench one day, and offers me a cigarette.

On reflex, I start to say, “Thanks, but I can’t – I’m pregnant,” but stop myself after “Thanks”, and take the rollie she’s made for me. And then I can no longer pretend to myself that I have forgotten. I take a long drag on the rollie, and bite my lip to get control of myself. But Kayleigh starts crying before I do, telling me that they’re going to take her little boy away, when she hasn’t done anything wrong. I don’t know what to do, so I just touch her shoulder, and listen. She says that she’s bipolar, that someone set her up, and that the psychiatrist she’d been seeing for years suddenly went away, and some ‘posh new boy in a waistcoat’ gave the final order for her to be sectioned. Something clicks, and I ask her the name of her old psychiatrist. And then I really start listening to what she’s saying.

When she finishes her horror story, she asks me how I ended up here. I think about all the ways I could reply, but stammer out, “I ODd. Again.” I don’t need to say any more, and Kayleigh just smiles in sympathy. And then I go and get us some tea, and we have another rollie each, and just sit there until the sun goes down, sometimes chatting, sometimes silent.

The days pass. I eat my dinner like a good girl; watch some telly, like a good girl; have a little joke with the nurses when I’m taking my meds, like a good girl; and then I go to bed, like a good girl. One of the nurses calls after me, “Goodnight, Lizzie. Sleep well. And don’t worry, love, I’m sure you won’t be here long.”

She’s right – I won’t.

 

Now I don’t know about you, but I am intrigued to find out more about this book. The ending of the extract implies that our main character has a little secret something up her sleeve and I just want to know what is going on! If you do as well here are the details of the book and where you can get yourself a copy: –

 

Glasshouse – Morwenna Blackwood

Goodreads – Glasshouse

‘Now if I carry out this oath, and break it not, may I gain for ever reputation among all men for my life and for my art; but if I break it and forswear myself, may the opposite befall me.’

~ from the Hippocratic Oath (translated by WHS Jones)

Psychiatrists, Drs Whittle and Grosvenor, have dedicated their lives to helping their patients, but their approach, and the complications it reveals, lead them into relationships that harm not only themselves.

As their lives entangle, both men find that doing no harm is not as cut-and-dried as they perceived.

Can the patients in their care really trust them? Or are more sinister motives at work?

Delve into the dark world of psychiatric institutions where doctors and residents play a dangerous  game where no one is infallible!

Purchase Link – http://mybook.to/glasshousenovel

 

Author Bio

When Morwenna Blackwood was six years old, she got told off for filling a school exercise book with an endless story when she should have been listening to the teacher/eating her tea/colouring with her friends. The story was about a frog. It never did end; and Morwenna never looked back.

Born and raised in Devon, Morwenna suffered from severe OCD and depression, and spent her childhood and teens in libraries. She travelled about for a decade before returning to Devon. She now has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Exeter, and lives with her husband, son and three cats in a cottage that Bilbo Baggins would be proud of. Her debut psychological thriller, The (D)Evolution of Us, is published by #darkstroke, and has become an Amazon best-seller. When she is not writing, Morwenna works for an animal rescue charity, or can be found down by the sea.

She often thinks about that frog.

Social Media Links

Twitter – @MorwennaBlackw1

Instagram – morwennablackwood_

Facebook – Morwenna Blackwood page

Website – www.morwennablackwoodauthor.com

Blog Tour Review: The Dark Chorus – Ashley Meggitt

Hello guys and welcome to yet another blog tour post… the second in as many days! Today’s post is all about The Dark Chorus by Ashley Meggitt. As a huge psychological thriller fan, I was really looking forward to reading this last month. The book didn’t disappoint either –in fact, it’s pretty high up there on my best reads of the year!

As always, I take the opportunity here to say a huge thank you to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources and the author for organising the tour. It’s a pleasure to be concluding the tour on my blog today.

Would you like to find out more about The Dark Chorus? The details are below: –

 

The Dark Chorus – Ashley Meggitt

The Dark Chorus by Ashley Meggitt | Goodreads

Oblivio salvationem Angelis opperitur

Oblivion awaits the Angel’s salvation

The Boy can see lost souls.

He has never questioned the fact that he can see them. He thinks of them as the Dark Chorus. When he sets out to restore the soul of his dead mother it becomes clear that his ability comes from within him. It is a force that he cannot ignore – the last shard of the shattered soul of an angel.

To be restored to the kingdom of light, the shard must be cleansed of the evil that infects it – but this requires the corrupt souls of the living!

With the help from Makka, a psychotically violent young man full of hate, and Vee, an abused young woman full of pain, the Boy begins to kill.

Psychiatrist Dr Eve Rhodes is seconded to assist the police investigation into the Boy’s apparently random ritualistic killings. As the investigation gathers pace, a pattern emerges. When Eve pulls at the thread from an article in an old psychology journal, what might otherwise have seemed to her a terrible psychotic delusion now feels all too real…

Will the Boy succeed in restoring the angel’s soul to the light? Can Eve stop him, or will she be lost to realm of the Dark Chorus?

 

Purchase Link – http://mybook.to/thedarkchorus

 

My Thoughts…

Firstly, I can’t believe that The Dark Chorus is a debut novel. The story, narrative style and character development in The Dark Chorus are absolutely fantastic. I was under the impression from the book that the author was an experienced writer – the book is that well written!

I enjoyed the story being told from the perspective of a teenage boy. That might sound strange, but it was a refreshing change to have a main character with a bit of youth and naivety. The vast majority of books I read are written about and told from the perspective of adults. That’s perfectly okay, but I enjoyed seeing the Boy’s world from a younger perspective. There are only a couple of books now that I have read from juvenile main characters, and I have loved those too.

The Boy’s background is unique, and as a result of that and his abilities, he is perceived as being mentally ill. He can see and interact with The Dark Chorus, the souls of those that have been unable to pass on into the afterlife. After rescuing his mother’s soul from the cacophony of the asylum, he discovers his calling and sets out to fulfil his duty – to cleanse the soul of the angel inside of him.

The Dark Chorus lives up to its name. As the synopsis indicates, death and violence are significant in the narrative. There is also a particular scene that’s a near miss on sexual abuse, so that’s a word of warning to anyone in case you’re not comfortable with reading it. The main characters of the book, the Boy, Makka and Vee are all troubled individuals. They have each gone through their own trials before meeting, and together, the three of them are formidable. As a former psychology student, I enjoyed the back story of each character and how it shaped the characters we see in the narrative today.

Regardless of the dark subject matter and theme, The Dark Chorus was really easy to pick up and enjoy. If like me, you are a huge fan of psychological fiction then I strongly recommend you give this book a try. You won’t regret it!

 

 Author Bio

Ashley Meggitt lives near Cambridge, UK, with his wife Jane. He left school to join a psychedelic rock band when he realised that sex, drugs, and rock and roll was a thing. Subsequently he went back to education and became head of IT for a Cambridge University College. In recent years Ashley has retrained in psychology and is now an associate lecturer in sports psychology. He is studying for his PhD. He also holds an MA in Creative Writing. The Dark Chorus is his debut novel.

Social Media Links –

www.ashleymeggitt.com

www.facebook.com/ashleymeggittbooks

twitter.com/CallMeReg

www.instagram.com/ashleymeggitt39/

First Lines Friday – 21/08/2020

Happy Friday everyone! It’s the end of the working week again and so it’s time for another First Lines Friday post! I hope you have all had a good one and are looking forward to the weekend?

In last week’s Sunday Summary post I committed to another theme for today’s book selection. This week’s choice is a little easier as the genre I picked (crime) is one I read a reasonable amount of. Today’s featured book is one I read and was blown away by recently. Can you pick up on the hint in the intro as to which book it is?

 

Greg Adams stared at the crime scene photos of the four dead girls. He recalled the words of his mentor during his first criminology one-on-one.

‘The dead don’t lie.’

‘The trouble is, they don’t speak either,’ Greg had replied.

Now, fifteen years later, the taut faces of four teenage girls, eyes wide with shock, stared back at him. If they could speak, he knew exactly what they would say.

Find him.

Soon there would be another photo on the wall of New Scotland Yard’s Evidence Room 3A. Officers of all ranks were out searching for the next victim but, like Greg, they had no idea where the next kill would happen. For the hundredth time scanned the photos, the map of London and it’s outer suburbs stabbed with four red-topped pins, the scrawled ideas in his notepad, the fragmentary remarks on his laptop, the cryptic clues left after each killing.

He had nothing.

Neither did the dozen others working the case. But unless he came up with something in the next hour, another girl would die.

 

 

Which book am I featuring today?

 

The Dead Tell Lies – J. F. Kirwan

Goodreads – The Dead Tell Lies

Greg Adams, a criminal psychologist at Scotland Yard, specialises in bringing serial killers to justice. He tracks down a spree serial killer nicknamed the Divine, who has already killed six teenage girls and is about to kill a seventh. Greg works out the location where he is hiding and joins a raid. The police capture the Divine and save the girl, but on the very same night, Greg’s wife is brutally murdered by another serial killer, known as the Dreamer.

A year later, unable to bring the killer to justice, Greg has quit his job and is ready to end it all, when he receives a phone call from a man who tells him the Dreamer is dead, and that he didn’t kill Greg’s wife, Kate.

Greg returns to Scotland Yard to work for Superintendent Chief Detective Donaldson in the hope he can re-examine the case with the help of two new detectives, Finch and Matthews.

As Greg delves into the case further, he becomes more convinced that the Dreamer wasn’t the man responsible for his wife’s murder.

But if it wasn’t the Dreamer, who was it?

In order to solve the mystery around his wife’s murder, Greg is going to have to delve even deeper into the mind of a terrifying psychopath. And this time he might not make it back in one piece…

 

I read The Dead Tell Lies to take part in last month’s blog tour for the book. If you haven’t already read my review, please go and take a look at that! As you can tell from that, I loved the book. The storyline was twisty and the narrative cleverly written. At times you don’t even know whether to trust Greg or his actions.

If you enjoy edge-of-your-seat whodunits, I think you’ll love The Dead Tell Lies. As a former psychology student, I really enjoyed the criminology aspect and Greg’s approach of trying to get into the killer’s head to understand his motives.

 

What did you think of today’s First Lines Friday post? As always, I would love to hear from you!

 

 

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Reading List – August 2020

I can’t believe another month has flown by and I’m sharing August’s reading list with you already! It only feels like five minutes since I published the last one.

My reading has been a little on the reserved side for the last few months. Given everything else I’ve had going on I think it’s completely understandable why. I’m still keeping busy with the house and work and all, but this month I want to make a push to clawing back towards this year’s reading goal if I can. As of writing this post I am 10 books behind schedule. Even if I can’t get back on target, I’d like to say I made an effort!

With that in mind, I’m going to try and read a few more, slightly shorter books than my usual this month. Two books are for upcoming blog tours and four more are on the list for my Beat the Backlist challenge. I wouldn’t say deliberately choosing something slightly lighter is cheating. If I dedicated a month to reading short stories out of nowhere, that would be a fair call. We’re still talking books that are mostly three-hundred-and-something pages at least, so they aren’t short to say the least. I just don’t fancy getting bogged down in five hundred page epics this month.

So, would you like to see what’s on August’s reading list?

 

This is Going to Hurt – Adam Kay

Goodreads – This is Going to Hurt

Welcome to the life of a junior doctor: 97-hour weeks, life and death decisions, a constant tsunami of bodily fluids, and the hospital parking meter earns more than you.

Scribbled in secret after endless days, sleepless nights and missed weekends, Adam Kay’s This is Going to Hurt provides a no-holds-barred account of his time on the NHS front line. Hilarious, horrifying and heartbreaking, this diary is everything you wanted to know – and more than a few things you didn’t – about life on and off the hospital ward.

 

This is actually a carryover from July, although it was a book I picked up pretty spontaneously. Long story short, I’ve just gone back to work and one of my colleagues read the book during lockdown. He says himself that he isn’t that much of a reader but he couldn’t put this one down… and I can see why! It’s brilliant! I read around 40% last month and have been reading more since the beginning of August. Realistically I am going to finish this very, very soon, but since I’ll have read most of it in August and I need to document it somewhere, it’s on this month’s reading list.

 

Grubane – Karl Drinkwater

Goodreads – Grubane

Major Grubane is commander of the Aurikaa, the most feared cruiser in the UFS arsenal.

His crew is handpicked and fiercely loyal. Together, they have never failed a mission, and their reputation precedes them.

But this time he’s been sent to a key planet that is caught up in political tensions at the centre of the freedom debate. What he thought was a simple diplomatic mission turns out to be the hardest choice of his career. His orders: eliminate one million inhabitants of the planet, and ensure their compliance.

Grubane has also rediscovered an ancient game called chess, and plays it against the ship AI as a form of mental training. But maybe it could be more than that as he finds himself asking questions. Can orders be reinterpreted? How many moves ahead is it possible for one man to plan? And how many players are involved in this game?

Lost Tales of Solace are short side-stories set in the Lost Solace universe.

 

I discovered this author when I read another short story, Helene, for a blog tour back in March this year. Since reviewing that book I have also received copies of the main Lost Solace series from the author to read in exchange for review. I haven’t gotten round to them yet, but I knew when I saw this second upcoming blog tour I wanted to read more based around the universe before I dive into the main series!

I’ll be sharing my thoughts on this at the end of the month, so I have plenty of time to read Grubane.

 

Mindworm – David Pollard

The placid life of a college librarian is plunged into a desperate fight for survival when he witnesses the death of his only friend. Suddenly he is forced to confront disturbing changes in his nature and appetites and their consequences.Suspected of murder and pursued by an implacable police detective he runs – but is he running from the law or from himself?

 

Mindworm is my second blog tour read; although my post isn’t due to be published until the beginning of next month. I wanted to read it in plenty of time before my post is due to go live! Mindworm is a psychological thriller novel and having read some great ones lately, I’m really in the mood for another good read from this genre!

 

Sleeping Giants – Sylvain Neuvel

Goodreads – Sleeping Giants

A girl named Rose is riding her new bike near home in Deadwood, South Dakota, when she falls through the earth. She wakes up at the bottom of a square-shaped hole, its walls glowing with intricate carvings. But the firemen who come to save her peer down upon something even stranger: a little girl in the palm of a giant metal hand.

Seventeen years later, the mystery of the bizarre artifact remains unsolved – the object’s origins, architects, and purpose unknown.

But some can never stop searching for answers.

Rose Franklin is now a highly trained physicist leading a top-secret team to crack the hand’s code. And along with her colleagues, she is being interviewed by a nameless interrogator whose power and purview are as enigmatic as the relic they seek. What’s clear is that Rose and her compatriots are on the edge of unravelling history’s most perplexing discovery-and finally figuring out what it portends for humanity. But once the pieces of the puzzle are in place, will the result be an instrument of lasting peace or a weapon of mass destruction?

 

Sleeping Giants was on last month’s TBR, but since I didn’t want to hang onto This is Going to Hurt too long on account of it being a loan, I chose to delay reading this until this month. It’s also the first read of the month that will go towards my completion of the Beat the Backlist challenge. Sleeping Giants has been on my TBR since April 2016… so it’s definitely overdue reading!

 

Steelheart – Brandon Sanderson

Goodreads – Steelheart

Ten years ago, Calamity came. It was a burst in the sky that gave ordinary men and women extraordinary powers. The awed public started calling them Epics. But Epics are no friend of man. With incredible gifts came the desire to rule. And to rule man you must crush his will.

Nobody fights the Epics…nobody but the Reckoners. A shadowy group of ordinary humans, they spend their lives studying Epics, finding their weaknesses, and then assassinating them.

And David wants in. He wants Steelheart — the Epic who is said to be invincible. The Epic who killed David’s father. For years, like the Reckoners, David’s been studying, and planning — and he has something they need. Not an object, but an experience.

He’s seen Steelheart bleed. And he wants revenge.

 

At 386 pages, Steelheart is the longest book on this month’s TBR. It’s quite common for me to pick up books that are around or even well over 500 pages, so it’s short(ish) by my standards. I am a huge fan of Brandon Sanderson, as you may have guessed by the number of books of his I’ve read in the last year! Steelheart has been on my TBR for a long time as well – since January 2016! My Beat the Backlist challenge is the one I am most behind in and the TBR is growing slightly faster than it’s shrinking… I want to work on that and so a focus on some of the older books on my TBR kills two birds with one stone. Plus, if they’re that old I really do need to pull my finger out!

 

Lord of the Flies – William Golding

Goodreads – Lord of the Flies

At the dawn of the next world war, a plane crashes on an uncharted island, stranding a group of schoolboys. At first, with no adult supervision, their freedom is something to celebrate; this far from civilization the boys can do anything they want. Anything. They attempt to forge their own society, failing, however, in the face of terror, sin and evil. And as order collapses, as strange howls echo in the night, as terror begins its reign, the hope of adventure seems as far from reality as the hope of being rescued. Labeled a parable, an allegory, a myth, a morality tale, a parody, a political treatise, even a vision of the apocalypse, Lord of the Flies is perhaps our most memorable novel about “the end of innocence, the darkness of man’s heart.”

 

My recent Shelf Control posts have made me very aware that I have a cluster of classics that I need to read as part of my Beat the Backlist challenge. I don’t want to find myself trying to read them all one after another. With that in mind, I decided to include one in August’s reading list. Lord of the Flies is probably one of the ones I am looking forward to reading the most – I can’t wait to let you know what I think of it.

 

The Feedback Loop – Harmon Cooper

Goodreads – The Feedback Loop

Stuck in a virtual dreamworld called The Loop, a man named Quantum Hughes struggles to free himself from a glitch that forces him to live the same day on repeat. His life changes when a mysterious letter arrives one morning from a woman named Frances Euphoria, the first human player he has made contact with in a very long time. Once Frances appears, members of a murder guild known as the Reapers begin surfacing in The Loop, hoping to capture Quantum or worse — kill him. To further complicate matters, The Loop itself is doing everything it can to stop Quantum from finding the hidden logout point by turning everything in the virtual dreamworld against him.

With time running out, will Quantum break free from his digital coma before he’s captured or killed by the Reapers? Who is Frances Euphoria, and what does she actually know about how long Quantum has been trapped?

The Feedback Loop Series takes place thirty years before the Life is a Beautiful Thing Series. It shares the same world, but is a standalone series that focus on dream-based virtual reality worlds and the people who are trapped in them. The next book in the series will be called Steampunk is Dead, and will be released in the fall.

 

Last but certainly not least, I thought I could try and squeeze one more book onto the list to round off the month. I hadn’t actually realised that The Feedback Loop was that short! I didn’t expect it to weigh in just under 200 pages, but there we go! I’ve liked the sound of this sci-fi novel even though I haven’t read any of the books it relates to. I think it’s the perfect opportunity to give it a go and then if I enjoy it, I can consider the rest of them!

So, guys, that’s my reading list for August! It looks long compared to my previous lists, but in terms of page count I don’t think it is any longer than my previous ones.

What are you reading?

 

 

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Sunday Summary – 19th July 2020

Hi guys and welcome back to another weekly update from me! Today’s Sunday Summary post is coming to you on schedule this week. I hope you have all had a good one? After a busy week around the house last week, I’ve enjoyed a bit of a breather and had a good day today spending the day with my parents. I do this every Sunday anyway, but this one was special as it’s my mum’s birthday! We had a good one and she was spoiled!

Over this week I published two posts to keep you entertained. The first of those was a look at the resolutions I set back in January and a mid-year review of my progress towards them. Whilst I am a little behind, I’m still happy and I think with a bit of effort I could claw it back. The second post was a review of The Dead Tell Lies by J. F. Kirwan for the ongoing blog tour. It’s a glowing review as this is one of the best books I have read this year; if you haven’t had a chance to read it yet, please check it out!

 

Books Read

I reported a lot of reading progress in last week’s Sunday Summary post thanks to the number of audiobooks I listened to. This weeks progress is more conservative, but I’m still happy with how I’ve done! My focus for the week has been reading The Dead Tell Lies for yesterday’s scheduled review. I really enjoyed this book, which I read towards the end of the week. Honestly, it was fantastic!

I’ve given the audiobooks a rest this week since I listened to so many the week before. Instead, I’ve taken to listening to history programs in the week and carrying on crocheting a blanket I am making for my lounge. It’s made a refreshing change as I haven’t done anything like that for a long time. Y TV rarely goes on!

Although I haven’t technically picked it up yet, I will be reading some of The Burning Land by Bernard Cornwell before going to bed tonight. It has been a few weeks since I started this, but these books are really easy to pick up. I remember what has happened so far, so I won’t have to start it again at least!

 

Books Discovered

Since I loved The Dead Tell Lies so much, I have actually added the first book of another series of his to my TBR this week. 66 Metres is a spy thriller, so slightly different to the psychological thriller I have just read. It still sounds really good though!

 

Coming Up…

Next week I want to share my thoughts on an audiobook I listened to at the end of last year. I have a little bit of a backlog on the audiobook reviews now, so I’ll be taking the time to review the oldest on the list, Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman.

On Friday I’m bringing back my regular feature post. This week it’s the turn of a First Lines Friday post. The last time I did one of these I set myself a theme to work with and I enjoyed the challenge. I’m going to do the same this time; next week’s feature is going to be a physical book I own.

Last, but not least, I’ll be filling you in with another Sunday Summary same time next week!

 

 

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Blog Tour Review: The Dead Tell Lies – J F Kirwan

Good morning everyone and welcome to today’s blog tour post for The Dead Tell Lies by J. F. Kirwan. It is books like this that make me very happy to be a book blogger and to have a place to tell people that they really must, absolutely and unequivocally read a certain book. I finished The Dead Tell Lies less than half an hour before writing this post and I can hand on heart say that this is one of the best psychological thrillers I have ever read!

Before I get stuck in with rambling about just how great it is, I want to say a massive thank you to the author and to Rachel @ Rachel’s Random Resources for the chance to read this book and take part in the blog tour. If you haven’t been following it or want to check out more details/opinions of the book, you can check out the other participants of the tour at the end of the post. Please go and check out their posts as well! There are also more posts coming up in the next few days, so don’t forget to keep an eye out for those too!

 

The Dead Tell Lies – J. F. Kirwan

Goodreads – The Dead Tell Lies

Greg Adams, a criminal psychologist at Scotland Yard, specialises in bringing serial killers to justice. He tracks down a spree serial killer nicknamed the Divine, who has already killed six teenage girls and is about to kill a seventh. Greg works out the location where he is hiding and joins a raid. The police capture the Divine and save the girl, but on the very same night, Greg’s wife is brutally murdered by another serial killer, known as the Dreamer.

A year later, unable to bring the killer to justice, Greg has quit his job and is ready to end it all, when he receives a phone call from a man who tells him the Dreamer is dead, and that he didn’t kill Greg’s wife, Kate.

Greg returns to Scotland Yard to work for Superintendent Chief Detective Donaldson in the hope he can re-examine the case with the help of two new detectives, Finch and Matthews.

As Greg delves into the case further, he becomes more convinced that the Dreamer wasn’t the man responsible for his wife’s murder.

But if it wasn’t the Dreamer, who was it?

In order to solve the mystery around his wife’s murder, Greg is going to have to delve even deeper into the mind of a terrifying psychopath. And this time he might not make it back in one piece…

 

Purchase Links –   Amazon UK     Amazon US

 

My Thoughts…

For me, the best indicator of a good psychological thriller is how obsessed you become about trying to work everything out. If it occupies your mind even when you have to put down the book to do the mundane things, you’re on to a good start. Find one that keeps you on the edge of your seat and guessing until all is revealed, and you are onto a winner! The Dead Tell Lies is both of these things. I have been thinking about it almost constantly for the past two days, the timeframe over which I have read the majority of the book.

The Dead Tell Lies is a psychological thriller in the literal sense; our main character Greg is a criminal psychologist, renowned for putting away six serial killers throughout his career. He has the scary ability to get into the mind of a serial killer to unravel their motives and use it to get them off the streets for good. When his wife turns up dead with the classic signature of The Dreamer’s killings, it seems that things have gotten personal.

Greg is a really likeable character. He’s wickedly smart but just as human and vulnerable as the rest of us. I think that is the part that appealed to me as a reader. He is the personality we get behind emotionally. When he summons his ‘cold fire’, his semi-detached emotional drive, to get under a serial killer’s skin and crack the case, he’s a completely different man. We stand firmly behind him as his motives are to save lives by catching the killer, but his demeanour and mental state when he is “in the zone” is unnerving!

The Dead Tell Lies is packed full of action and there is never a dull moment. It’s easy to pick up but impossible to put down once you are in the thick of the narrative and dying to know what happens next. The book is also very cleverly written. I found myself trying to find hidden clues and working out the subtext constantly, but alas, authors only leave behind clues for the things they want you as a reader to know! It makes it all the more exciting when it’s time for the big reveal.

With the way this book ended, it could equally remain a standalone or become part of a series. I seriously hope for the latter because I would love to don Greg’s shoes again and delve into another captivating thriller. I have already added another series written by this author to my TBR having loved this so much! I’ll just have to pick that up and cross my fingers in the meantime…

 

Author Bio

J. F. Kirwan is an insomniac who writes thrillers in the dead of night. He is also a psychologist, and has drawn upon this expertise, including being taught by a professor who examined serial killers for Scotland Yard, to pen the crime/mystery/thriller The Dead Tell Lies for Bloodhound Books. He wanted to shed light not only on the darkness of serial killers, but of those who track them down, who must inevitably step inside the serial killer’s worldview, and may not come out clean afterwards. He is also the author of the Nadia Laksheva thriller series for HarperCollins (66 Metres, 37 Hours and 88 North). His favourite authors include Lee Child, David Baldacci and Jo Nesbo. He is married, and has a daughter and a new grandson, and lives between Paris and London.

Social Media Links –

www.jfkirwan.com

@kirwanjf

https://www.facebook.com/kirwanjf/