crime · Detective · mystery · suspense · thriller

*BLOG TOUR* The Child Before – Michael Scanlon ★★★★

Blurb; She began to sing, the girl. Her voice was soft, so soft it was almost of the wind. It was a lullaby. She cradled her arms, rocking them gently back and forth. As if she was holding a baby. But she was not. Her arms were empty.

On a cold morning a cyclist finds the brutally-slaughtered body of a woman in her car, on a remote lane leading to the long-abandoned Irish village of Kelly’s Forge.

But when Detective Finnegan Beck arrives from the nearby town of Cross Beg to investigate he notices there’s a baby’s seat in the back of the car. A bottle of baby’s milk lying in the footwell. And no child.

Little Róisín isn’t the first child to go missing from that same remote location though. There was another baby girl, taken more than fifty years before, who was never found. Has too much time passed for there to be a connection, or does something – or someone – link these two crimes?

Beck claims he does not want to stay in Cross Beg. His heart is back in Dublin, with the woman he loves. But, knowing that a child’s life depends on him changes things. He knows he has to find the missing baby girl. Because if he doesn’t, he fears there’s a chance everyone will give up the baby for dead, just like they did before…

My Review; Happy Publication Day. The Child Before is book two in the Detective Finnegan Beck series. It reads perfectly fine as a standalone as I haven’t read book one, but I will be going back to it after reading this one.

The story is fast paced, dark, thrilling and gripping. Had me well and truelly hooked as they say. A real page turner that I devoured. The story is told through short chapters too which I prefer. I loved the work relationship between Claire and Beck, they make a great team. But does this current case relate to something from the past? Something unfinished? You’ll have to read it to find it. Brilliant. I really enjoyed it. A well deserved four stars from me. Highly recommend.

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suspense · thriller

*BLOG TOUR* The Refuge – Jo Fenton ★★★★

Blurb; Following the death of The Brotherhood’s charismatic but sinister leader, Dominic, Melissa and her husband Mark resolve to turn the Abbey into a refuge for victims of domestic abuse. But when Melissa’s long-lost sister, Jess, turns up at the Abbey, new complications arise.

The Abbey residents welcome the new arrival but find it hard to cope with the after-effects of her past. As Jess struggles to come to terms with what she’s been through, her sudden freedom brings unforeseen difficulties. The appearance of a stalker – who bears a striking resemblance to the man who kept her prisoner for nine years – leads to serious problems for Jess.

Meanwhile, Mark also finds that his past is coming back to haunt him. When a mother and daughter venture from the Abbey into the local town for a shopping trip, there are dreadful consequences.

A build-up of tension, a poorly baby and a well-planned trap lead Mel, Jess and their family into a terrifying situation.

Can Jess overcome the traumas of her past to rescue her sister?

My review; This book follows on from the ending of the Brotherhood, so I would recommend reading The Brotherhood first as there will be a lot of spoilers in The Refuge.

After finishing The Brotherhood I didn’t think things could get much worse… Boy was I wrong. In this story we see the return of Mels sister Jess. But that seems to come at a price. Is anyone safe? The Refuge and the people inside become trapped to the outside world… It’s not as dark as The Brotherhood but still shocking, thrilling, jaw dropping and a real pager turn which I devoured in two days.

Towards the end everything starts to link together and unravel. I promise you it will shock you, have your heart pounding and on the edge on your seat. I kept holding my breathe. But yet again it finishes with a positive ending which FYI I do not trust… A well deserved four stars from me and highly recommend.

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suspense · thriller

*BLOG TOUR* The Brotherhood – Jo Fenton ★★★★

Blurb; The Brotherhood – safe haven or prison?

After her parents’ sudden death, a grieving Melissa falls back on her faith and into the welcoming arms of a religious sect. Captivated by their leader, Dominic, she leaves her old life behind and moves to the countryside to join them.

But life in The Brotherhood is not as safe as it first appeared. When engineer Mark joins The Brotherhood, Melissa finds herself conflicted between her growing feelings for him and her crush on Dominic. With their leader’s initial encouragement, Melissa and Mark grow close.

But as her haven becomes a prison, Melissa’s newfound happiness is destroyed by Dominic’s jealousy. How can she escape and save the ones she loves?

My Review; Ooh this was a good read! Dark, unexpected and twisted. I really enjoyed reading this one. This is book one and book two is The Refuge. I cannot explain how awful it must have been at times to be Mel and Mark. Breaks my heart. Turns my stomach to go through what they have. However, there is a good ending which I kind of don’t believe as I need to see what happens in book two now…

Dominic is one dark, twisted and sick character. Never hated a character so much in my life. Horrible man. This really was a page turner of a read that will stick in your head. Brilliantly written. Highly recommend. A well deserved four stars from me.

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