No One Can Hear You – Nikki Crutchley

He said that they’d let me go on purpose. That they could easily find me if they wanted to. He said that they didn’t want me. That I was too much trouble. He said if I went to the cops, he’d know. If I told Sonya, he’d know. If I talked to friends or teachers, he’d know. He told me to pretend it didn’t happen. He told me to consider it a compliment, that I was too strong. His last words to me were, ‘Just forget’.

Troubled teen Faith Marsden was one of several girls abducted from Crawton, a country town known for its picturesque lake and fertile farmland. Unlike the others, she escaped, though sixteen years on she still bears the emotional and physical scars.

Zoe Haywood returns to Crawton to bury her estranged mother Lillian, who has taken her own life. As she and Faith rekindle their high-school friendship, they discover notes left by Lillian that point to two more young women who recently disappeared from Crawton. But Lillian’s confused ramblings leave them with more questions than answers.

As Faith and Zoe delve deeper into the mystery, they become intent on saving the missing women, but in doing so are drawn into Auckland’s hidden world of drugs, abduction and murder. And then Faith decides to confront the mastermind – on her own.



My review

This book certainly starts with a very alluring prologue that has got you hooked immediatly. Suddenly it takes a turn and we are following Zoe in a totally different storyline Llittle by little the two come together, the details are being unravelled until the book comes to its boiling point and it’s like an erupting volcano.

What seemed like an isolated event many years ago, appeared now to have been something completely different …

Although I had a feeling about someone being involved, my mouth still fell open when everything was uncovered.

This story is not only about drugs, abduction and murder but also about friends, family and regrets.

I liked the book and was pleasantly surprised by the outcome. 4 stars.

Thank you, Nikki Crutchley and RachelsRandomResources.


About the author

Nikki Crutchley lives in Cambridge, New Zealand with her husband and two daughters. No One Can Hear You is Nikki’s second crime novel, set in the small Waikato town of Crawton. Her first book, Nothing Bad Happens Here, a crime/thriller set on the Coromandel Coast of New Zealand was a finalist in the 2018 Ngaio Marsh Award for best first novel. Nikki has worked in libraries in New Zealand and the UK and now works as a freelance proofreader. Nikki’s flash fiction has been published online and in the Fresh Ink anthology and the upcoming Bonsai anthology.

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Christmas at the Little Cottage on the Hill – Emma Davies

One twinkling winter’s night, Ruby wakes her sleeping children and escapes for a new life in the countryside. It’s a choice that will change her life beyond all recognition…

Arriving at the cosy little rental cottage as the first snow begins to fall, Ruby doesn’t regret leaving her bully of a husband for a moment, but she does feel guilty about uprooting her kids so close to Christmas. She can only wish that one day soon her son Jem will forgive her.

It’s not long before the family are settled in and drinking hot chocolate by the fire, the flames kept roaring by a neighbouring woodsman called Angus. As big as a tree, but as gentle as a dormouse, all Ruby’s instincts tell her to be wary of letting this gorgeous stranger get too close. Is that the first tingle of festive magic Ruby can feel? Or might it even be hope?

As Christmas day approaches and a blizzard sparks a power cut across the entire village, Ruby must force herself to believe in Christmas miracles again. Was she right to put her trust in Angus? With only flickering candles to guide her through the darkness, will she ever find her way back to the light? 



My review

Already the 4th part in this fabulous series and when you thought, after reading the previous one, that it would be very hard to top it, the author showed it was a piece of cake for her. This series is a masterpiece in its genre.

The background is Chrismas and this is synonym for love and romance and I can give you this : there is a lot of it in this story. But the festive season is not only about happy times. Sometimes it takes you back to the past en reminds you how it can bring sad and painful memories as well, but when you are surrounded by people who support and love you, you can shake them off and a bright future might pop up and gift you something to look forward to.

A truely fluently written book where it freezes outside, but where loving feelings provide the necessary warmth to melt your heart.

I can’t wait to see how the lives of the people at Joy’s Acre and the village around it are going to develop. 5 big fat stars.

Thank you, Emma Davies, Bookouture and Netgalley.


About the author

After a varied career, Emma Davies once worked for a design studio where she was asked to provide a fun and humorous (and not necessarily true) anecdote for their website. She wrote the following: ‘I am a bestselling novelist currently masquerading as a thirty something mother of three.’ Well the job in the design studio didn’t work out but she’s now a forty something mother of three and is happy to report the rest of her dream came true.

After many years as a finance manager she now writes full time, and is far happier playing with words than numbers. She lives with her husband, three children, and two guinea pigs in rural Shropshire where she writes in all the gaps in between real life. It’s a county she adores, her love of its beautiful people and landscapes providing endless inspiration for her books, and in fact the only thing that would make Shropshire more idyllic is if it were by the sea.

Pop over to her website where, amongst other things, you can read about her passion for Pringles and singing loudly in the car. You can also wave to her on twitter @EmDaviesAuthor or find her on Facebook (a little too often than is good for her)

Tell Me No Lies – Alex Sinclair

How well do you really know your husband?
Grace Dalton is trying to put her life back together after her husband John died suddenly in a hit and run. Her perfect world is collapsing around her, the home she hoped to fill with children is huge and empty, and she’s paralysed with grief.

But as Grace sorts through her husband’s belongings, she realises the man she loved was lying to her. There’s a mysterious list of names hidden among his things, a secret bank account, and a shocking revelation about his family that he kept from her since the day they met.

Who was John Dalton?

As Grace tries to identify the names on the list she realises something is wrong. She’s imagining things: seeing John in the faces of strangers and finding things in an entirely different place to where she’d swear she left them.

Is Grace losing her grasp on reality, or is someone trying to stop her finding out the truth about her husband?



My review

They always say to not judge a book by its cover, but I can’t help myself. If the cover does not appeal, I just don’t read the book. It’s as simple as that. This was caught my eye straight away. I don’t read blurbs any more, because I want to start a new story with an open mind, a blank canvas where the author can paint his work on.

I have to say that it helps me reviewing and looking at books from a different angle. It’s what I make of it without me being influenced by anything.

Ok, how did I feel? Well, very good, actually. The author opened with a bang and I was captivated. I do admit that some parts were repeated often, but in my opinion the author did it on purpose in order to show the reader how Grace felt.

I had a feeling about how some things were going to turn out, but it did not disturb me. It made me happy to finaly being able to unravel a secret by myself. There were enough details left for me to discover at the end.

I liked the way Grace changed during the story and I certainly enjoyed the twists.

It’s my second book by this author and I will be on the lookout for the next one. 5 stars.

Thank you, Alex Sinclair, Bookouture and Netgalley.


About the author

Alex Sinclair is a thirty-two-year-old psychological thriller author from a quiet country town outside of Melbourne, Australia. He currently works full-time for a small business and writes in the early hours of the morning before his daughter and wife wake up for the day.

Alex has a background in IT, bookkeeping, and 3D animation. He loves all things creative but especially loves writing. He is an avid reader of all genres, but loves psychological thrillers more than anything else. He also has a passion for good storytelling in all forms of media such as addictive TV shows and movies.

Isolation Junction – Jennifer Gilmour

Rose is the mother of two young children, and finds herself living a robotic life with an abusive and controlling husband. While she struggles to maintain a calm front for the sake of her children, inside Rose is dying and trapped in ‘Isolation Junction’.

She runs an online business from home, because Darren won’t let her work outside the house. But through this, she meets other mums and finds courage to attend networking events, while Darren is at work, to promote her business.

It’s at one of these events that Rose meets Tim, a sympathetic, dark-haired stranger who unwittingly becomes an important part of her survival.

After years of emotional abuse, of doubting her future and losing all self-confidence, Rose takes a stand. Finding herself distraught, alone and helpless, Rose wonders how she’ll ever escape with her sanity and her children. With 100 reasons to leave and 1,000 reasons she can’t will she be able to do it? Will Tim help her? And will Rose find peace and the happiness she deserves? Can Rose break free from this spiralling life she so desperately wants to change?

Based on true events.



My review

I do not normally read books based on true stories, but I wanted to take this one on when I saw the blurb. I also thought that by reading and reviewing it, it would bring the subject under the attention of more people and maybe it would lead to less victims. I cannot do a lot about it, but even if it only helps one person, I would be very happy.

The book was sometimes a bit chaotic and in this case I think it fitted the purpose well. It did not really feel like a book, but more like the main character Rose told the story and her life was not quite a bed of roses. She was all over the place and the author reflected this well.

I know it’s almost unbelievable that people stay in a situation like this, but on the other hand, I understand it as well. They were manipulated in such way that they did not see it coming and are so deep in it that they don’t even seem to realize it.  The abuser is often very sly and knows that, when children are involved, the mums will always capitulate.

But will there be a light at the end of the tunnel for Rose and her children and will they be on the road to a happy ever after?

I would have loved to have a little epilogue to put my mind at rest.

It was an interesting read that pulled my heartstrings. 4 stars.

Thank you, Jennifer Gilmour and RachelsRandomResources.


About the author

Born in the North East, Jennifer is a young, married mum with three children. In addition to being an author, she is an entrepreneur, running a family business from her home-base. Her blog posts have a large readership of other young mums in business.

From an early age, Jennifer has had a passion for writing and started gathering ideas and plot lines from her teenage years. A passionate advocate for women in abusive relationships, she has drawn on her personal experiences to write this first novel. It details the journey of a young woman from the despair of an emotionally abusive and unhappy marriage to develop the confidence to challenge and change her life and to love again.






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Closer – K.L. Slater

I know my daughter better than I know myself and if there’s one thing I know for sure at this moment: it’s that Maisie is not ok.

My ex-husband Shaun and I are still friends.
We would do anything for our beautiful little girl, Maisie.
But now Shaun has moved in with Joanne and suddenly, Maisie has a brand new family.
And there’s something not quite right about it…I know Joanne isn’t everything she says she is. Yet no-one will listen.
I need to discover what she’s hiding.
Because if I don’t, my daughter will be in terrible danger.



My review

Only my second book by this author and yes, I know shame on me! But from now on, I won’t let any of her stories slip through my fingers again.

Did I like the book? No. Did I love the book? No. Did I adore the book? YESSSSS!

It was one of those books that had that hand coming out of it on the first page to drag you in and not ready to release you until the last full stop. Who needs food or sleep when immersed in this kind of reading material?

This time I was sure I had figured out who was to blame. Yeah, right (insert sarcasm).

The author has a writing style I really like and she knows how to make you believe you know it all when in fact you know nothing. I loved it!! 5 stars don’t seem to be enough.

Thank you, K.L. Slater, Bookouture and Netgalley.


About the author

For many years, Kim sent her work out to literary agents but never made it off the slush pile. At the age of 40 she went back to Nottingham Trent University and now has an MA in Creative Writing.

Before graduating, she received five offers of representation from London literary agents which was, as Kim says, ‘a fairytale … at the end of a very long road!’

Kim is a full-time writer and lives in Nottingham with her husband, Mac.


One Dark Night – Tom Bale

He sees his wife’s eyes watching him in the rear-view mirror, the kids up on their knees to get a better look. That’s when he hears the scream…

You’re driving home from a family outing one afternoon, when a speeding car cuts you up, nearly causing you to crash. Like anyone would, you pull over to confront the driver.

But a glance into the backseat of the speeding car reveals a woman fighting to escape. She is terrified and she’s screaming for your help: these men have murdered her husband…

What would you do?



My review

My first book by this author and I have to say it was an interesting read.

I was immediately sucked into the story and when you thought what you were to expect, you were taking in a completely different direction. Once you caught up with that, the author forced your brain to adept once again.

The author takes you on a journey where he makes you realize what your actions can lead you and your family into. A clear case of action – reaction but in a very bad way and better think before you act.

This book is a clear example of expection the unexpected and for the fans of stories that are (a bit) over the top.

It’s certainly my cup of tea, so I had a good time reading it. 4 stars.

Thank you, Tom Bale, Bookouture and Netgalley.


About the author

Tom Bale decided that he wanted to be an author from the age of seven but, after another career got in the way, it wasn’t until much later that his dream was fulfilled.  After several books with Random House, Bookouture published two stunning ‘everyman’ thrillers by Tom See How They Run and All Fall Down.

Reprobation – Catherine Fearns

Are you one of the elect?

Dr. Helen Hope is a lecturer in eschatology – the study of death, judgement, and the destiny of humankind. She is also a Calvinist nun, her life devoted to atoning for a secret crime. When a body is found crucified on a Liverpool beach, she forms an unlikely alliance with suspect Mikko Kristensen, lead guitarist in death metal band Total Depravity. Together, they go on the trail of a rogue geneticist who they believe holds the key – not just to the murder, but to something much darker. Also on the trail is cynical Scouse detective Darren Swift. In his first murder case, he must confront his own lack of faith as a series of horrific crimes drag the city of two cathedrals to the gates of hell. Science meets religious belief in this gripping murder mystery.



Guest post

I am happy to share this guest post about ‘What a writer should and shouldn’t do when writing crime novels’. Enjoy!


This post has been written exclusively for B For Bookreview. Thank you very much for the opportunity!

I have been asked to write a post about ‘What a writer should and shouldn’t do when writing crime novels’. And I must admit I feel a bit of a fraud, since Reprobation is my first crime novel. But hopefully it will be the first of many, and perhaps I still have something to offer from a newcomer’s perspective. So here is what I have learnt so far!

1. Do write the book you want to write

Genre is important; for readers so they know what to expect, and for publishers so they can market your book to a target. But I strongly believe it is important for a writer not to feel too constrained by genre, and I was very lucky to find an independent publisher with the vision to see beyond the fact that my book is not a straight police procedural, or cosy crime, or domestic noir, or psychological thriller. There’s no law that says your book has to fit into any particular category; Reprobation is a ‘supernatural crime thriller with hints of romance and horror’, which is not really a thing. Much more important than genre is the quality of writing and storytelling, and if you write to fit a category that isn’t fully you, the lack of passion will show. If you write to fit in with a trend, you can bet that trend will be over by the time your book is published. I didn’t initially set out to write a crime novel; I wanted to write a story about the religious doctrine of predestination, and a detective thriller turned out to be the most effective medium for doing this. It’s the book I wanted to write, and the book I would want to read.

2. Do your research

Crime fiction, above all other literary genres (apart from perhaps historical fiction), depends on good research. The police procedural details simply must be believable. When I was younger I wanted to be a forensic scientist, and I have always devoured crime fiction of all types. I’ve watched countless detective movies and television series – but so has everybody else, and that is not enough to qualify anyone to write a crime novel. I read a few books of ‘advice for crime writers’, but then decided to go straight to primary sources and pored through several UK police and detective manuals. I studied a couple of police discussion forums as well when I was trying to write believable dialogue for the incident room. I also benefitted greatly from having my manuscript assessed in its early stages by a police

consultant, Rebecca Bradley. Her comments and advice really tightened up the believability of the police procedures.

Of course, crime fiction isn’t just about police, and in my book the detectives take a back seat to the other characters. Reprobation is about Calvinism, genetics, heavy metal and Liverpool. My knowledge of the latter two of these was already pretty solid, but I had to do a lot of research on the first two, and I absolutely loved the process.

3. But don’t do too much research.

Some of the most disappointing novels I have read, including a few by famous, award-winning writers, are those where the author has a desperate need to show how much research he or she has done. Too much technical detail on the page distracts from the story and loses the reader. It’s also not necessary; your reader has already agreed to suspend disbelief by choosing a work of fiction, so allow them to stay in their world of make-believe – don’t remind them that you’re behind it and you spent ages in libraries and interviewing experts. It’s not reality, it’s your story, and since the real world is full of crazy, unprecedented happenings, why shouldn’t some of them happen in your book? Reprobation is about Calvinist nuns, who are almost (but not completely) unheard of in the real world. Use your research to enhance the story, not overtake it. A real murder investigation would have so many staff members and administrative minutiae that it would be boring to read; you need to distil the important aspects for the reader.

Furthermore, from a writer’s perspective, research is hugely time-consuming and never-ending. There will always be another book or academic paper to read. For a while I got bogged down in the genetics aspect of Reprobation, and I had to cut down some of my scientific explanations because they were, frankly, a bit tedious and had a ‘cut and paste’ feel. It’s very easy to disappear down a research wormhole for months, and it’s also very easy to use research as an excuse not to get some story down on the page. It’s a great tool for procrastination!

4. Do have a sense of place.

Lots of characters pass through the book; some fall by the wayside or die; lots of detectives are brooding and mysterious, hard to picture. So the reader needs to be grounded in place to give them something concrete to cling to. My favourite books are the ones where

the setting comes through so vividly as to be almost a character in itself. These are the books I remember, because I have such a clear vision of them in my mind. Within crime fiction I would cite Dennis Lehane, Val McDermid and Ian Rankin as masters of place. I grew up in Liverpool; it’s a city I love, it’s the city where I came up with the book’s concept, and it’s a city that’s perfect for crime fiction. In fact there are already some great Liverpudlian crime writers such as David Jackson and Luca Veste. My detective series will add a supernatural twist to this subgenre. I hope that Liverpudlian readers will recognise their culture and surroundings in the book, and I hope that readers who don’t know the city will get a good sense of it.

5. Don’t give up.

I was very lucky; I chose the right publisher at the right time, and my manuscript was picked up quickly. However, at the same time as I submitted to Crooked Cat (my eventual publisher), I also submitted my book to one of those manuscript assessment agencies, for a considerable fee. I received the assessment only a few days after my acceptance from Crooked Cat, and thank goodness, because if it had arrived before I probably would have thrown the whole thing in the bin and given up. There were some useful suggestions, but the general tone of the assessment was patronising and sometimes rude; the basic assumption being that I was not a serious writer and would have to go back to square one. I felt utterly despondent, and my publisher had to convince me that my book was good. Now of course, I need to have a thicker skin than this, and I shouldn’t have taken it personally. It’s essential for a writer to accept criticism. But believe in yourself and your book; not everyone will love it, some people will hate it, and some people won’t care. But you never know when that lucky break will come.

Thank you, Catherine Fearns and RachelsRandomResources.


About the author

Catherine Fearns is a writer from Liverpool, UK. Her first novel, a crime thriller called ‘Reprobation’, will be published by Crooked Cat Books in October 2018. As a music journalist Catherine is a regular contributor to Pure Grain Audio, and she has also published numerous pieces of short fiction and non-fiction.Catherine has a degree from Oxford University and a Masters from the London School of Economics. She began her career as a financial analyst, but after having four children she retrained as a breastfeeding counsellor. Having lived in several countries, she recently moved to Switzerland, where she discovered her love of writing and is a member of the Geneva Writers’ Group. She plays the piano very well but prefers to play the guitar very badly. Oh, and she likes metal music. A lot.

Social Media Links – Twitter: @metalmamawrites Facebook: Catherine Fearns


Watch for Me at Christmas – Kirsty Ferry

When midwinter magic brings you home for Christmas … 

When Emmy Berry arrives at Hartsford Hall to work at the Frost Fayre she immediately feels at home. Which is odd because she’s never set foot in the place in her life.
Then a freak blizzard leaves her stranded and things get even weirder when she bumps into Tom Howard. Tom and Emmy have never met before but neither can ignore the sense that they know each other.
With Christmas fast approaching and the weather showing no sign of improving it soon becomes apparent that Hartsford Hall has a little bit of midwinter magic in store for them both …



My review

The author takes us back to Hartsford Hall and I am happy to be reunited with some familiar faces. As usual, there are some new kids on the block whose past and present mix well in this wonderful series.

Add a Christmassy background to this tale and you feel the emotions even more. Of course you can wait two months before you read the book, but why should you? It’s so wonderful and well written that, as you can see, I could not resist it’s call any longer.

If I have to compare the books, I can honestly say that is one pulled my heartstrings the most.

I did never really like time travel, but Kirsty Ferry changed my mind and made me fully appreciate the genre. For this I am very grateful, because I would not have wanted to miss out on these books. If I could give 6 stars, I would.

Thank you, Kirsty Ferry and Choc Lit.


About the author

Kirsty Ferry is from the North East of England and lives there with her husband and son. She won the English Heritage/Belsay Hall National Creative Writing competition and has had articles and short stories published in various magazines. Her work also appears in several anthologies, incorporating such diverse themes as vampires, crime, angels and more.

Kirsty loves writing ghostly mysteries and interweaving fact and fiction. The research is almost as much fun as writing the book itself, and if she can add a wonderful setting and a dollop of history, that’s even better.

Her day job involves sharing a building with an eclectic collection of ghosts, which can often prove rather interesting.

The Christmas Wish – Tilly Tennant

Christmas is coming but it doesn’t feel that way for Esme Greenwood. Recently jilted by her cheating fiancee Warren,she’s had enough of London life and escapes to Thimble Cottage in the Peak District, home of her beloved grandmother Matilda.

While Esme mourns for the wedding she’ll never have, Matilda puts her granddaughter back together again with comforting words and generous helpings of fruitcake and together, they plan the trip of a lifetime, to Lapland to see the northern lights, somewhere Matilda has always dreamt of going.

But tragedy strikes and when Matilda dies, Esme screws up the courage to go on the trip on her own to honour her beloved grandmother’s wishes. At the airport she meets a motley crew of characters including Zach, a handsome, brooding, out-of- work actor and together they set off for an adventure.

Beneath the indigo skies of Lapland, Esme and Zach grow closer. But when Esme is bombarded by messages from Warren promising he’s changed and she discovers that Zach is hiding something very significant – will her head be turned? And when a trip to the northern lights reveals the full extent of Zach’s own secret past, is there any hope that Esme will get the happy ending that her grandmother wished for her?



My review

Slowly that time of the year is arriving and books about Christmas are popping up. This story certainly looked at the festive season from a different angle and it was refreshing.

Take one cheating, dominating boyfriend, a lovely but naive girlfriend and you already know that trouble is on its way when the little mouse, little by little, seems to turn into a lioness.

The author takes us from the England on a magical trip to Lapland and after reading the book, you start to believe that Santa does exist after all.

A fluently written book about dealing with grieve and second chances.

I hope we are in for a sequel, because I had the impression the story has only just started. 4 stars

Thank you Tilly Tennant, Bookouture and Netgalley.


About the author

From a young age, Tilly Tennant was convinced that she was destined for the stage.  Once she realised she wasn’t actually very good at anything that would put her on the stage, she started to write stories instead. There were lots of terrible ones, like The Pet Rescue Gang (aged eight), which definitely should not see the light of day ever again. Thankfully, her debut novel, Hopelessly Devoted to Holden Finn was not one of those, and since it hit the Amazon best seller lists she hasn’t looked back. Born in Dorset, she currently lives in Staffordshire with her husband, two daughters, three guitars, four ukuleles, two violins and a kazoo.

Finding Rose – Julie Ryan

When three sisters, Ginny, Sally and Molly are brought together at their father’s hospital bed, they are forced to confront not only the prospect of a future without him but also the secrets of the past that have kept them apart.

Their father, Eddie Matthews, drugged up on morphine, seems to be rambling but could he in fact be reliving previous lives as a Tudor monk and as a soldier on the Front in WW1. Struggling to speak he reveals that he has a secret and urges his daughters to ‘Find Rose’. Can the sisters put aside their differences to fulfil his last wish?

Promo post

I really hope you love the sound of this and are tempted to want to read the book.

Thank you, Julie Ryan and RachelsRandomResources.


About the author

Julie was born and brought up in a mining village near Barnsley in South Yorkshire. She graduated with a BA (hons) in French Language and Literature from Hull University. Since then she has lived and worked as a Teacher of English as a Foreign Language in France, Greece, Poland and Thailand. She now lives in rural Gloucestershire with her husband, son and a rescue cat. She is so passionate about books that her collection is now threatening to outgrow her house, much to her husband’s annoyance, as she can’t bear to get rid of any! They have been attempting to renovate their home for the last ten years.

She is the author of the Greek Island Mystery series, Jenna’s Journey, Sophia’s Secret and Pandora’s Prophecy, each of which can be read as a standalone. Her latest book, Finding Rose, is a new departure for her as it is set against the backdrop of WW1 and has a strong link to the Tudor Court.

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