Friday, 10 November 2017

The Haunting of Highdown Hall (Psychic Surveys #1) by Shani Struthers

Synopsis:

"Good morning, Psychic Surveys. How can I help?"

The latest in a long line of psychically-gifted females, Ruby Davis can see through the veil that separates this world and the next, helping grounded souls to move towards the light - or 'home' as Ruby calls it. Not just a job for Ruby, it's a crusade and one she wants to bring to the High Street. Psychic Surveys is born. 

Based in Lewes, East Sussex, Ruby and her team of freelance psychics have been kept busy of late. Specialising in domestic cases, their solid reputation is spreading - it's not just the dead that can rest in peace but the living too. All is threatened when Ruby receives a call from the irate new owner of Highdown Hall. Film star Cynthia Hart is still in residence, despite having died in 1958. 

Winter deepens and so does the mystery surrounding Cynthia. She insists the devil is blocking her path to the light long after Psychic Surveys have 'disproved' it. Investigating her apparently unblemished background, Ruby is pulled further and further into Cynthia's world and the darkness that now inhabits it. 

For the first time in her career, Ruby's deepest beliefs are challenged. Does evil truly exist? And if so, is it the most relentless force of all?

My review:

I have already read the newest novel featuring Psychic Surveys with Ruby Davies, Theo, Ness and Corinna. However this is the first book in the series and it introduces the team to the readers. Psychic Surveys is a small business created with customers and spirits in mind. Ruby and her team of psychics work hard to help spirits find their way to the light and cross over to the other side.

As business is picking up and Ruby meets the web designer Cash (who sounds rather dashing), the company receives a call from Highdown Hall. An angry spirit of a high profile 1950s actress Cynthia Hart still resides in the mansion, taking over the first floor rooms and not letting anyone anywhere close, which unsurprisingly doesn’t go down well with the new owner.

The team get tangled up in Cynthia’s very secretive personal live and realise very early on that to help her move on, they will first need to uncover the exact events that eventually led to her untimely death. She is angry and hurt, but above all she seems to be petrified.

I love Ruby and her team and Cash seems to just slot in perfectly too. Ruby has such a beautiful, forgiving outlook on life and all people living and dead. She definitely meets her match at Highdown Hall, but she never leaves an unhappy spirit behind and works hard to help everyone to get where they need to get to.

My rating: 5/5

Available to purchase from:

Friday, 3 November 2017

The Ice Twins by S.K. Tremayne

Synopsis:

A year after one of their identical twin daughters, Lydia, dies in an accident, Angus and Sarah Moorcroft move to the tiny Scottish island Angus inherited from his grandmother, hoping to put together the pieces of their shattered lives.
But when their surviving daughter, Kirstie, claims they have mistaken her identity – that she, in fact, is Lydia – their world comes crashing down once again.
As winter encroaches, Angus is forced to travel away from the island for work, Sarah is feeling isolated, and Kirstie (or is it Lydia?) is growing more disturbed. When a violent storm leaves Sarah and her daughter stranded, Sarah finds herself tortured by the past – what really happened on that fateful day one of her daughters died?

My review:

The Ice Twins was my introduction into the world of author S.K. Tremayne. And what an experience this was. I don’t think my breathing has slowed down yet and I feel like I need to be looking over my shoulder. I might even start hating the dark again.

The novel starts innocently enough with the bereaved Moorcroft family of mum Sarah, dad Angus and their surviving twin Kirstie, preparing to move from London to an isolated little island in the Hebrides. It looks beautiful, will solve their financial trouble and just maybe it will give them the fresh start they all need. They have lost nearly everything since the death of Kirstie’s identical twin sister Lydia, but this move could bring them closer and forget about the past as much as they could.

But past doesn’t stay in one place. You carry it on your shoulder and it jumps out of the shadows when you least expecting it. Both Sarah and Angus are grieving. They are also full of distrust and anger towards each other and the one person suffering the most is Kirstie, which becomes obvious when she tells her mum that she is not Kirstie, she is Lydia and that Kirstie is dead. This sparks a massive snowball effect of bad decisions, more secrets and events that this little family just cannot survive.

I was on the edge of my seat. I had half of the book still to read last night but I had to finish it there and then. I couldn’t go another day without knowing how this would end and what really did happen.

Fabulous book and I am most definitely looking forward to reading more by this author. If you are looking for a psychological thriller that will keep you up at night and that gives nothing away until the last few pages, then this is for you.

My rating: 5/5

Available to purchase from:

Friday, 27 October 2017

Cold Christmas (DCI Antonia Hawkins #4) by Alastair Gunn

Synopsis:

In the small village of Cold Christmas there's a church that faces the wrong way . . . What has it to do with the three dead men found in a London flat? DCI Antonia Hawkins has a killer to catch. Only she can't predict what is waiting for her at the end of the chase.

Nobody remembers the young men entering the abandoned London flat a few weeks ago. Nobody cares if they left. Until the unbearable smell of decay.

DCI Antonia Hawkins is called in to view the dead men; three, lying neat in a row. There's no damage to the bodies, no obvious cause of death. Is this a suicide pact? Or is that just how it's meant to look?

If there is a link between the three very different men then Hawkins needs to find it, and fast. Because unless she does, more are going to die. And they might not all be strangers.

My review:

When I got this book I haven’t realised that it’s part of a series. This is the forth book in Detective Inspector Antonia Hawkins series and although it did read fine as a standalone book I would have preferred to read them in order as there were hints throughout the book at previous cases and her personal life, which has now put me off reading the previous book – I feel I already know too much.

Three decaying bodies with no obvious signs of how they died left arranged on the floor of an abandoned flat. DCI Hawkins and her team are stuck on finding a motive, let alone the killer. But as they start to dig deeper into the victims’ history and as they retrace their footsteps, the team uncover a much deeper meaning to the deaths of the young men.

This is a great, fast paced crime novel. I really enjoyed learning about Toni’s live as well as the work she does and how the whole team work together. Her personal life with fiancĂ© Mike seems to be woven well into the story and keeps the novel on a more human, believable level.

Thank you to the author and NetGalley for access to this book in return for this honest review.

My rating: 4/5


Available to purchase from:
Amazon UK (published 16 November 2017)
Amazon US (published 01 February 2018)