Cover Reveal for Lost In The Lake by AJ Waines

I’m very honoured to be part of the team for the cover reveal for AJ Waines’ latest book, Lost In The Lake. Before I let you see it, here’s a little bit about it.


The blurb

She came at first for answers…now she’s back for you

Amateur viola player Rosie Chandler is the sole survivor of a crash which sends members of a string quartet plunging into a lake. Convinced the ‘accident’ was deliberate, but unable to recall what happened, she is determined to recover her lost memories and seeks out clinical psychologist, Dr Samantha Willerby.

Sam is immediately drawn to the tragic Rosie and as she helps her piece the fragments together, the police find disturbing new evidence which raises further questions. Why is Rosie so desperate to recover her worthless viola? And what happened to the violin lost in the crash, worth over £2m?

When Rosie insists they return to the lake to relive the fatal incident, the truth about Rosie finally creeps up on Sam – but by now, she’s seriously out of her depth…

The second book in the Dr Samantha Willerby series, Lost in the Lake is a nail-biting, edge-of-your-seat Psychological Thriller that will leave you glancing over your shoulder.

Pre-Order on Amazon from 13 July 2017

Release date: 7 Sept 2017


So, are you ready? I think this is a gorgeous cover!



About the author


AJ Waines has sold over 400,000 books worldwide and topped the UK and Australian Kindle Charts in 2015 & 2016 with her number one bestseller, Girl on a Train. Following fifteen years as a psychotherapist, she is now a full-time novelist with publishing deals in France, Germany, Norway, Hungary and USA (audiobooks).

Her fourth psychological thriller, No Longer Safe, sold over 30,000 copies in the first month, in thirteen countries. AJ Waines has been featured in The Wall Street Journal and The Times and was ranked a Top 10 UK author on Amazon KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) in 2016. She lives in Hampshire, UK, with her husband. Visit her website and blog, or join her on Twitter, Facebook or on her Newsletter.


So, when can I pre-order the e-book, I hear you cry? From today!

Click here for the UK – 99p!

Click here for the US – $1.28!


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Blog Tour for The Green Bicycle Mystery by Antony M. Brown

GBM Blog Tour Poster

When I was asked to be a part of this blog tour, I was very intrigued by the book – the curious death of Bella Wright, a cold case from 1919. We’re so used to forensics being used today that we forget these skills and techniques were in their infancy at the beginning of the last century. So to whet your appetite a little more, I have an extract from The Green Bicycle Mystery for you, plus my own verdict.

The extract


Cold Case Jury Collection

by Antony M Brown, published by Mirror Books

In the first of a new collection of intriguing historic murders, Cold Case Jury presents The Green Bicycle Mystery. Don’t just read about a murder… solve it!

Constable Alfred Hall, was puzzled by the doctor’s conclusion that Bella Wright had died accidentally. He spent all day looking for clues at the scene of the tragedy. In the evening, he found a bullet squashed in the road. He summoned the doctor again. This extract picks up the story.

EXTRACT from mid-way through CHAPTER 3: COLD LIGHT OF DAY.

8:40pm. Dr Williams stood next to PC Hall beside the makeshift mortuary table. “At least we have some daylight,” he said. “It was such poor light last night, wasn’t it?” To Hall, it sounded as if the doctor was already making excuses for his superficial examination the night before. It was regrettable that a Licentiate of the Royal College of Physicians had ignored the circumstantial evidence that pointed away from a brain haemorrhage: the lack of blood on the victim’s clothing and bicycle. Hall resisted the urge to mimic Sherlock Holmes in The Adventure of Silver Blaze by asking rhetorically: “What about the curious blood splatter on the raincoat?” To which the doctor would have denied there was any, setting up the wonderful retort: “Indeed, that is the curious thing.” Instead, Hall pointed deferentially to the puncture wound on the left cheek. “What do you think?”

“Oh, yes,” replied the doctor in surprise, as if it had been the first time he had seen the body. “That looks like a gunshot wound, Constable.” He bent over to examine Bella’s face more closely. “Do we know who the poor thing is?”

“We have a name,” Hall replied cautiously, “but it’s not been confirmed.”

“Ah, I see,” the doctor said. “Is she local?”

“I cannot say any more, I’m afraid.”

“Quite so.”

Williams noted that the left cheek had been scratched and the left eyelid and eyeball were also injured, probably as a result of the fall to the ground. He then focused his attention on the obvious wound. “There is a puncture wound about one inch beyond the lateral canthus and about half an inch below.” For Hall’s benefit, he traced the two dimensions with his index finger from the corner of the eye. “You see, the puncture is surrounded by a collar of chafed skin, classic signs of a gunshot wound.”

From his jacket pocket he removed a leaded pencil which he inserted into the aperture. The pencil went upwards and backwards into the brain. “A projectile has clearly penetrated the zygomatic bone. This appears to be the entrance wound. We will know by tracing its trajectory through the body.” He unpinned Bella’s blood-stained straw hat and passed it to Hall.

“It looks like it has gone through the hat too,” the constable observed. The doctor looked up and saw that Hall had pushed his index finger through a small hole on the top right of the crown of the hat. Williams parted her hair, which was thickly matted with congealed blood. At the back of her head, about three inches above the right ear, was an oval wound approximately one-and-a-half inches long and half-an-inch wide.

“That looks like an exit wound,” Hall remarked.

“Indeed it does, Constable. This young woman has been shot, for sure. There needs to be an autopsy.”


My verdict

As I wrote earlier, I was intrigued by this book. I normally only read crime fiction. This true crime novel is set out more as a barrister talking to a jury, laying out the evidence from both sides and then inviting you, the reader and member of the jury, to make your choice.

I have to be careful in how much I tell you as I don’t want to be accused of leading the jury in a particular direction. However, I don’t think I’m giving away much by telling you a little bit about the case.

Bella Wright was discovered in a country lane, next to her bicycle, in the late evening on Saturday 5th July 1919. She’d last been seen with a man on a green bicycle. As you can tell from the above extract, it wasn’t until the next day that the Doctor and police discovered that she had been shot. As well as presenting the evidence from the case, Brown also considers other theories for Bella’s death, given over the years.

The two times that I’ve been called for jury service, I’ve not been able to attend for good reasons – sitting my A-Levels and several years later, being very pregnant. So I didn’t have the benefit of experience when reading. This doesn’t matter though as Brown expertly lays out all the evidence in story form as well as original documents. So there is plenty for the reader to consider. And at the end of the book, you decide what you think happened to Bella Wright.

I’m tempted to tell you what I thought but I won’t. There’s an online forum that will allow you to do that. I really enjoyed the experience and found that I had to concentrate hard to make sure I noted all the evidence. I’m glad to hear that Antony M. Brown is writing about more cold cases. I’m sure he has plenty to choose from!


About the author



Antony M. Brown is an award-winning essayist, former magazine editor-in-chief and member of the Crime Writers’ Association. He published several Cold Case Jury e-books – true crime mysteries in which the reader is invited to deliver the verdict on what they believe might have happened – before signing a four book deal with Mirror Books in January 2017.





If you want to find out more about Antony M. Brown and buy the book then please click here.

I’d like to thank Antony M. Brown and Mirror Books for my copy of the book. Also thanks to Nicola Slavin for organising the blog tour.




Blog tour – An Act Of Silence by Colette McBeth

An Act of Silence Blog Tour banner

I’m honoured to be taking part in this blog tour. I read An Act Of Silence a little earlier this year and was blown away by it.

An Act of Silence


The blurb

These are the facts I collect.

My son Gabriel met a woman called Mariela in a bar. She went home with him where they had sex. The next morning she was found in an allotment.

Mariela is dead.

Gabriel has been asked to report to Camden Police station in six hours for questioning.

Linda Moscow: loving mother to Gabriel. Linda promised herself years ago that she would never let her son down again. Even if it means going against everything she believes in – she will do anything to protect him. She owes him that much.

Gabriel Miller: the prodigal son. He only ever wanted his mother’s love, but growing up he always seemed to do the wrong thing. If his mother could only see the bad in him – how could he possibly be good?

How far will a mother go to save her son? Linda’s decision might save Gabriel, but it will have a catastrophic impact on the lives of others. What would you do if faced with the same impossible choice?


My review

Sometimes, there are books that you read that just make you stop in your tracks. The reality of the book becomes your reality, the fear, your fear and the horror, your horror. I wrote a few words down as I was reading An Act Of Silence – harrowing, disturbing, intense and heart-wrenching.

The last book that made me feel like this was Epiphany Jones by Michael Grothaus (it was my top read of 2016) and I don’t think that’s coincidental. There are similar themes between the two books, albeit McBeth’s has a distinctly British flavour to it.

The phrase ‘National Treasure’, conjures up a variety of faces – some who are genuinely revered; others who are now infamous. Colette McBeth tells the story of Linda Moscow and her son, Gabriel, through different time periods and multiple viewpoints. Very skilfully, McBeth even shows the same scene but from two different views. This is a book that starts off in one direction – with the murder of a young woman – but leads to something else entirely. An Act Of Silence has a plot worthy of Line Of Duty (if not better) and would make great TV.

I don’t want to give too much away about the story but there are plenty of twists. This was a book that I read late into the night and snatched times during the day, in between writing and looking after children – in fact the children were left to their own devices and didn’t complain. It’s a book that stays with you, long after you finish it. This isn’t just down to great characters and a twisty plot, but superb writing as well. This was the first book I’ve read by Colette McBeth – it won’t be the last.

To find out more about Colette and buy An Act Of Silence, click here.


About the author



Colette McBeth was a BBC TV News Correspondent for ten years. Her debut novel, PRECIOUS THING, was published in 2013 and THE LIFE I LEFT BEHIND in 2015. She lives in Hove with her husband and three young children. You can find Colette on @colettemcbeth and Facebook/colettemcbethauthor.







First Monday Crime – July

It was a warm evening in Browns and sadly, our last time in the old magistrates court for First Monday. The crime panels will be back in October, over at the original venue of City University in Angel. But we left Browns on a high with Fiona Barton, Susie Steiner, T.A. Cotterell and Valentina Giambanco. Jake Kerridge was asking the questions.

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Firstly, a little something about the books.

Fiona Barton’s second novel is The Child. Kate Walters, the reporter from the first book – The Widow – is back and investigating a new story. The inspiration came from an article that Fiona had seen a long time ago when she was a reporter and it had stayed with her – a mummified baby that had been found wrapped in newspaper and buried.

T.A. Cotterell’s debut novel is What Alice Knew. It’s considered to be Grip Lit or as Joanne Harris described it ‘my old man’s a wrong ‘un’. When Alice discovers that her husband has done something wrong, she has a choice to make.

Valentina Giambanco’s book, Sweet After Death, is the fourth in her Detective Alice Madison series, set in Washington state in the US. Leaving Seattle behind, Alice and her team go to Ludlow (not even a one horse town – maybe just a donkey) to investigate the first ever murder in the small, remote town. Valentina wanted to create a locked room mystery with the wilderness as the walls.

Persons Unknown is the sequel to Susie Steiner’s Missing, Presumed. Manon Bradshaw is back but she’s moved from the MET to Cambridge to join the Cold Case team. But when a murder takes place close to the police station where she works, she can’t help but investigate.

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Jake asked about writing multiple viewpoints or very different viewpoints.

Fiona has several voices in her book. The narrator is written in 1st person with her others in 3rd person.

TA Cotterell changed his narrative voice from the husband to the wife after suggestions from agents. His wife was a little dubious that he could write from a female perspective. She did have to give him some tips on how to apply mascara.

Valentina Giambanco has another strand in her story about a 15 year old boy who has an abusive father. She was inspired by a documentary about a man who decided to violate his parole. He took his whole family and barricaded them in for 15 years.

Susie has other viewpoints as well but Jake asked her if she thought of her novel as a campaigning book – highlighting how young black men are dealt with by the police. As well as how young black men are treated in the UK, Susie is particularly concerned with how they’re treated in the US.

And what are our authors reading?

Fiona Barton – The Dry by Jane Harper

Susie Steiner – The Fact of a Body by Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich

TA Cotterell – Rock Bottom by Michael Odell

Valentina Giambanco – an Andrea Carter novel but I can’t remember which one she said (sorry, Valentina & Andrea!)


So, as I wrote earlier, First Monday has broken up for the holidays and taking a very well deserved break. I’m sure we’ll hear more in the autumn about the line-up for October.


You can find out more about the authors and buy their books by clicking on the links below:

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Fiona Barton – click here

TA Cotterell – click here

Valentina Giambanco – click here

Susie Steiner – click here






And finally, I just want to pay tribute to the wonderful Helen Cadbury. I’ve only met Helen once and it was at First Monday last year – the first one in fact! I love Helen’s Sean Denton series and I was devastated to hear of her death last week. My thoughts are with her family and friends. It’s lovely to know that her legacy will go on with two more books published later this year – a volume of poetry and the third Sean Denton book.