#BlogTour #Review ~ In the Silence by M R MacKenzie @landofwhimsy @BloodhoundBook

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for In the Silence by M R MacKenzie.

In the Silence was released on 10th September 2018 by Bloodhound Books.


Anna hasn’t set foot in Glasgow for ten years. And for very good reasons…

Anna, a criminology lecturer, returns to Glasgow from Rome during the coldest winter in memory. While out with her best friend from school, Anna has a chance encounter with a former flame, Andrew. Tragedy strikes later that night when Anna discovers Andrew stabbed and dying on a blanket of snow.

Soon Anna finds herself at the centre of the investigation as the star witness for the police, and embarks on investigating the case herself. But Anna doesn’t realise the danger she is in and soon finds herself in trouble.

When another body shows up, who has links to the first victim, it appears that the motive may lie buried in the past.

As Anna gets closer to the truth, the killer starts closing in.

But can she solve the gruesome mystery before the killer strikes again?

* * * * * * * *

A big thank you to Sarah Hardy and the publishers for issuing me with my review of the book and for inviting me to participate on the blog tour.

This is one of those books that really gets under your skin. I hadn’t read anything previously by this author but I will definitely be looking out for anything in the future as I really enjoyed this particular story.

Set in Glasgow we meet Anna who although was born here, left at the age of 18 and hasn’t been back since. On a night out with her childhood friend Zoe, she bumps into another school friend, Andrew and when later on in the evening she stumbles across him horribly injured, things take a horrible change for the worse.

The author has done a brilliant job with the storyline and keeps you hooked with just enough information to keep you guessing. Although we are led to believe it is a random killing, we soon begin to think something else is afoot when another body is discovered with links to Andrew AND Anna. Whilst this is going on Glasgow is experiencing horrible storm like weather which is perfect for the setting of the plot.

We begin to learn about Anna and also Andrew’s background which slowly explains what is happening whilst the subject is handled well and with sensitivity. I thought I had it figured out at some point but such was the author’s brilliant way of adding in some red herrings and plot twists, that I had got it completely wrong!

A really enjoyable thriller that I managed to read in record time!

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B L O G B L I T Z (1)

About the Author


M.R. Mackenzie was born and lives in Glasgow, Scotland. He studied at Glasgow University and has a PhD in Film Studies. In 2016, he contributed a chapter on the Italian giallofilm to Cult Cinema: An Arrow Video Companion.

In addition to writing, he works as an independent Blu-ray/DVD producer and has overseen releases of films by a number of acclaimed directors, among them Dario Argento, Joe Dante and Seijun Suzuki.

When he’s not doing any of the above, he works in a library, which tests his sanity and keeps him in touch with the great unwashed.

In The Silence is his first novel.


#BlogTour #Extract ~ The Stranger Upstairs by Melanie Raabe

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for The Stranger Upstairs by Melanie Raabe.

This is published on 6th September 2018 in paperback by Pan Macmillan.

The Stranger Upstairs by [Raabe, Melanie]

Several years ago, your husband, and the father of your young son, disappeared. Since then, you’ve dreamed of his return; railed against him for leaving you alone; grieved for your marriage; and, finally, vowed to move on.

One morning, the phone rings. When you answer, a voice at the other end tells you your husband’s on a plane bound for home, and that you’ll see him tomorrow.

You’ve imagined this reunion countless times. Of course you have. But nothing has prepared you for the reality. For you realize you don’t know this man.

Because he isn’t your husband, he’s a complete stranger – and he’s coming home with you.

Even worse, he seems to know about something very bad you once did, something no one else could possibly know about . . . Could they….?

* * * * * * * *

Thank you so much to Ellis Keane and the publisher for sending me an extract of the book for you all to enjoy…

“The hairdresser has a beautiful face with prominent cheekbones. His hands are slim and feminine. I was hesitant to enter the salon and deliberately walked past a few times before pushing open the door. Now I am sitting here in a swivel chair, at the mercy of this man.

Fingers spread, he runs his pianist’s hands through my hair, which is so long now I can almost sit on it. He does it once, twice, three times, all the way from the roots to the tips, making admiring noises, and a colleague who introduces herself as Katja comes over and does it too. The physical contact embarrasses me—it is far too intimate. For so many years there was only one person allowed to touch my hair, and that person loved it. He rested his head on it, dried his tears with it. But I let the two of them have their fun and pretend to be pleased at their compliments. Eventually they stop oohing and aahing and Katja goes back to dealing with her customer’s extensions.

‘So,’ says the hairdresser, his fingers already twining through my hair again. ‘You want the ends trimmed?’

I swallow drily.

‘I want the whole lot off.’

The hairdresser—his pretentious name has slipped my  mind —gives a brief giggle, but falls silent when he realises that I’m not laughing with him, that this isn’t a joke. He looks at me. I am prepared. I rifle through my handbag, produce a page torn out of a fashion magazine, hold it up and point.

‘Like that,’ I say. And then, as if to reassure myself, I say it again: ‘Like that. That’s what I want.’

The hairdresser takes the glossy page from my hand and studies it. At fi he frowns, then the steep line bisecting his forehead vanishes. He looks at me, looks at the magazine again, and eventually nods.


I breathe a sigh of relief, glad not to have to argue with him. I’m a grown woman, and I hate it when other people think they know what’s good for me. Patrice—the hairdresser’s name has suddenly come back to me—is enough of a pro not to challenge me. He sets out his equipment on the little table in front of the mirror: scissors and combs, brushes, liquids and sprays, and a hair dryer with an assortment of nozzles. A hand mirror, which he will presumably use later to show me what my hair looks like at the back, is lying on a stack of magazines. But it slides off the slippery surface of the tower and falls to the ground. Patrice curses and bends down to pick it up. The glass is lying in smithereens on the floor.

‘A broken mirror brings seven years’ bad luck,’ I say.

The hairdresser looks at me, startled, his brown eyes wide, and gives a nervous laugh. How wonderful to be afraid of bad luck— it means, after all, that it hasn’t yet found you. I could smash up an entire hall of mirrors and it wouldn’t make the slightest bit of difference to me.

Seven years ago my husband disappeared without trace on a business trip to South America. I’ve been waiting for him ever since, my life on hold—seven years of hopes and fears and a lost feeling so intense that sometimes all I wanted was to wipe every last memory of Philip from my mind.

I’ve already put seven years’ bad luck behind me.

Patrice fetches another mirror without a word. Then he carefully gathers the biggest pieces and sweeps up the rest. I keep quiet and let him get on with it. I close my eyes and run my hands through my hair, very tenderly, as if I were fingering precious lace. Like my mother, many years ago. Like Philip, once upon a time—and no one since. Philip, playing with my hair.

I think of our fi night together, water all around us and stars overhead, my wet hair draped over my naked shoulders like a cloak, drops of water glistening on Philip’s skin. No sound, apart from our breathing. Darkness. The world suddenly tiny, shrunk so small that there’s no room for anyone but us. A cocoon of silence and stars. And Philip’s hand in my hair.

‘Okay,’ the hairdresser says. ‘Ready?’

He has cleared away the broken glass and is standing behind me, a pair of scissors in his hand.

I nod.

With his other hand he grasps a hank of my hair and lifts it, then he catches my eye in the mirror.

‘Sure?’ he asks. I swallow. ‘Sure,’ I say.

He puts the scissors to my head and starts snipping.

I can hear my hair screaming. It is a frail, silvery sound, like a whimpering child, like a whisper. I close my eyes.

The hairdresser works in silence, swift and effi  Soon there is nothing left—nothing to run your fingers through dreamily. I mourn my hair with three big, silent tears that fall to the ground as softly as the first snow of winter. Then I dry my eyes, get up, pay and leave the salon.

Life goes on—at last”

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The Stranger Upstairs tour cardv2new

About the Author

Image result for melane raabe

Melanie Raabe grew up in Thuringia, Germany. After graduating from university, she moved to Cologne where she worked as a journalist by day while secretly writing books at night.

The Trap, her debut novel, was a bestseller in Germany and sold all around the world. The Stranger Upstairs was also a bestseller in Germany, where it was published as The Truth.

#BlogTour ~ The Angel’s Mark by S W Perry @swperry_history @CorvusBooks @annecater

Welcome to my turn on the blog tour for The Angel’s Mark by S W Perry.

The Angel’s Mark is published on 6th September 2018 by Corvus.

The Angel's Mark: A gripping tale of espionage and murder in Elizabethan London

LONDON, 1590. Queen Elizabeth I’s control over her kingdom is wavering. Amidst a tumultuous backdrop of Spanish plotters, Catholic heretics and foreign wars threatening the country’s fragile stability, the body of a small boy is found in the City of London, with strange marks that no one can explain.

When idealistic physician Nicholas Shelby finds another body displaying the same marks only days later, he becomes convinced that a killer is at work, preying on the weak and destitute of London.

Determined to find out who is behind these terrible murders, Nicholas is joined in his investigations by Bianca, a mysterious tavern keeper. As more bodies are discovered, the pair find themselves caught in the middle of a sinister plot. With the killer still at large, and Bianca in terrible danger, Nicholas’s choice seems impossible – to save Bianca, or save himself…

 * * * * * * * *

A big thank you to Anne Cater and the publisher for issuing me with my review copy of the book and for inviting me to participate on the blog tour.

I have read a few historical fiction books recently and I have to say I have really enjoyed delving back into a completely different era and learning about how the medical profession has progressed. Thank goodness it has too as I’m not sure if I would want any of the doctors in this book looking after me!

Whilst attending a lecture featuring a post mortem of a small boy washed up on the shores, Dr Nicholas Shelby notices some strange markings that suggest his death wasn’t entirely accidental and tries to go about getting some further information. As is with books set during this time, as the victim was from a less than opulent background, nobody is particularly inclined to investigate further and Dr Shelby reaches a seemingly brick wall of silence. During this time and despite him being a doctor he is unable to stop the death of someone close to him and has a complete breakdown where he gives up on his medical career and his life.

Saved by an Italian tavern owner, Bianca Merton, he is horrified to stumble upon another body and is determined to try and redeem himself by getting to the bottom of what is happening and why….

Although this was a slow starter for me, I found that once the storyline speeded up, I was enjoying it more and more. Nicholas and Bianca are great characters to read about, Bianca herself is an apothecary and has to cope with rumours that she is a witch as during this time women were not allowed to have a profession. Especially one that is deemed to be a men only profession.

I really enjoyed this and found the ending to be brilliant and absolutely perfect. The author has captured Elizabethan London perfectly from it’s grim outlook of people just struggling to survive the day along with the social aspect that poorer people faced. If you were poor, you unfortunately stayed poor. People didn’t really care about you so it was heartwarming to follow a story where someone actually did.

Hopefully more to come from Nicholas Shelby and Bianca Merton.

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About the Author

S. W. Perry

SW Perry is a former journalist and broadcaster who retrained to become an airline pilot. He lives in Worcestershire with his wife Jane and Raffles the cocker spaniel.

The Angel’s Mark is his first novel, published in the UK by Corvus Books. A sequel is due in 2019.