Blog Tour Review: The Girl on the Bus by N.M. Brown (@normthewriter. @Bloodhoundbook)

Today it’s my pleasure to be taking part in the blog tour for The Girl on the Bus by N.M. Brown. I’ll have a review to share with you, but first, here is what the book is about.

Girl on the bus 1.0The Official Book Blurb

A retired detective and a young woman are about to face their worst fears. 

Vicki Reiner is emotionally isolated and craves the fleeting happiness she experienced in the years prior to her college graduation. In an attempt to recapture this, she invites her former friend and room-mate, Laurie,  for a break at her deserted beachside home. However, despite booking an online bus ticket, her friend never shows up and seems to have vanished. 

Unable to accept the bizarre circumstances of the disappearance, Vicki approaches the police who dismiss her concerns before enlisting the reluctant help of Leighton Jones – a newly retired detective who is haunted by the death of his teenage daughter. Despite trying to remain detached from the case, Leighton is drawn to Vicki and her search for justice. 

The unlikely pair face numerous obstacles but using a combination of methods he and Vicki track the killers who are working across the dusty freeways of North America. 

Soon Vicki and Leighton find themselves nervously waiting at a remote bus stop expecting the arrival of the bus. 

Will they ever discover what happened to Laurie? 

And can they both escape with their lives? 

When I first saw the blurb for this book I’ll admit to being intrigued. I’m always up for reading a good crime novel and one with extra added mystery is always right up my street.  And this book promised a lot. So, question is, did it deliver?

By and large yes it did. The Girl On The Bus really is an interesting premise. A young girl travelling alone disappears on route to visiting another friend across country. This kind of mystery always has a wealth of possibilities attached to it and I have to be honest, the way in which the author chose to take this mystery is definitely unique. I won’t go into too much detail as to why as that would spoil the surprise.

The basic premise of the tale may not be new, and the techniques used by the killer not entirely unexpected. Even with a limited technological or criminal understanding it is not hard to work out what they were doing. And to be fair, the book doesn’t attempt to bog you down in too much technical detail as that would slow the action down considerably, but it certainly helps that Vicki has a wealth of knowledge of computers and is able to uncover a lot of information which would otherwise have not been available to the retired Detective.

I kind of grew to like former Detective Leighton Jones. He seemed a straight kind of guy, pushed out of his role by a new Chief who seemed to have an axe to grind. He is haunted by the past, not unusual, but he does have a good head on his shoulders and a conscience which won’t let him leave Vicki on her own. I don’t know why he appealed to ,e, he just did. There was something there that just worked. Vicki… Well my feelings on her were split. On one hand she appeared to be a snivelling wreck over her parents relationship and then on the other she was strong and assertive and as brave (and foolhardy) as any heroine would be expected to be. Together there was strange chemistry between the Leighton and Vicki which made the story engaging and drew me in as a reader.

For me I didn’t really feel I had time to get to know the killer’s victims, making it hard to feel anything much more than surprise over their deaths. There was a sense of tension as you knew the victims were drawing closer to an inevitable fate, but it didn’t quite shock me as much as it perhaps could have. Maybe it’s because the deaths weren’t particularly gory, the level of violence not very graphic. And I know that sounds terrible to say but had there been a little more, I don’t know, oomph maybe, it would have escalated this story to a whole other level. Don’t get me wrong. There were still moments which took me by surprise but I think this could definitely have turned up the fear factor a couple of notches, keeping me on the edge of my seat a little more, and still have been very accessible. Of course that’s just my opinion and I know that many people will probably like it exactly because it isn’t gratuitous or overly violent in any way.

In terms of surprises though, got to be honest I wasn’t quite expecting that ending. Yes the tension did pick up here, the thrill of the chase as Leighton closes in on the killers in a bid to save Vicki, but what transpires in the end… well that’s one way to close a case for sure. And the very final chapter? Well it kind of put me in mind of the film Identity. If you read it, I think you’ll understand why.

Only because I think this could have stood for a little more gore or shock factor, I’m awarding it 4 stars.

4-star

My thanks to publishers Bloodhound Books for inviting me to take part in the tour and for providing the copy of  The Girl On The Bus for review. It is available to purchase now from the following retailers:

Amazon UK | Amazon.com

About the Author

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Norman M. Brown is an author living and working in Scotland. He attended secondary school in Stirling where he spent more time in the library or in the nearby park with a paperback, than he did in classes… Ironically, having graduated from Stirling University with a degree in English, he soon ended up back on the classroom again – where he has shared his love of fiction for two decades. 

Having experimented with poetry, scripts and short stories over the years, he finally decided to write sit down and write the type of fiction he would like to read. The result was his crime thriller -The Girl on the Bus. As result, Norman was delighted to be signed to Bloodhound Books at the start of this year. The Girl in the Bus, is his first published novel. He is currently writing a second novel based on its protagonist – detective Leighton Jones.    

You can follow the author at the following links:

Website | Amazon | Twitter

Make sure to take in the other brilliant blogs taking part in the tour.

BTP

#BlogTour: Dead Souls by Angela Marsons (@WriteAngie; @Bookouture)

O. M. G. The day has finally arrived. Today is the day that Dead Souls, the sixth Kim Stone novel masterpiece is set free and I GET TO BE ONE OF THE TWO BLOGGERS TO OPEN THE BLOG TOUR!!! Whoop whoop.

You’d be forgiven for thinking I might be a bit happy about that. But you’d be totally wrong. I’m actually a lot happy. A massive Happy Publication day to Angie and Bookouture. I’m pretty certain you’ll be having a blast and you truly deserve every bit of happiness today. Because this book, ladies and gents, is epic!!!

I’ll share my review with you in a moment, but first up here are those all important bookie bits. Continue reading “#BlogTour: Dead Souls by Angela Marsons (@WriteAngie; @Bookouture)”

#BlogTour – Review: Sleep Tight by Caroline Mitchell (@Caroline_writes; @Bookouture)

It gives me absolute pleasure to be taking part in the blog tour for Sleep Tight, the brand spanking new DS Ruby Preston novel from Caroline Mitchell.

CoverThe Official Book Blurb

Close your eyes … Just pray you don’t wake up. 

A killer stalks the streets of East London. All over the area, murdered young women are discovered, their bodies posed into a sickening recreation of fairytale princesses.

Detective Ruby Preston is determined to hunt down a disturbed individual who is using the women to realise their twisted fantasies. But when body parts are found at the home of her lover, Nathan Crosby, Ruby is torn between her job and her heart.

Convinced that he is being framed, Ruby must catch the killer before Nathan becomes the number one suspect. But as more victims are found, it becomes harder to prove his innocence.

Ruby is in too deep, knowing that the cruel individual is getting ever closer, looking for his next beautiful victim. But can she stop a killer hell-bent on fulfilling their horrific desires – before it’s too late? And how well does she really know the man she loves?

A terrifying, addictive serial killer thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat, for readers of Angela Marsons, Peter James and Rachel Abbott.

Continue reading “#BlogTour – Review: Sleep Tight by Caroline Mitchell (@Caroline_writes; @Bookouture)”

#BlogTour Review: Lie To Me by Jess Ryder (@jessryderauthor; @Bookouture)

It is my great pleasure to be one of today’s stops on the blog tour for Lie to Me, the new thriller from Jess Ryder and Bookouture. I’ll be sharing my review with you in a moment, but for now, here is what the book is all about.

LTMThe Official Book Blurb

How can you tell the truth… if all you’ve ever known is a lie?

Three minutes. That’s all it takes for Meredith’s entire world to fall apart when she watches the videotape of her four-year-old self with Becca, the mother who abandoned her.

Meredith can’t believe what her eyes have seen. Yet what if her memory has locked away the painful reality of her childhood? Can there be any truth in the strange and dangerous story her mother forced her to tell on camera?

The search for answers leads Meredith to Darkwater Pool, the scene of the murder of a young woman, Cara, over 30 years ago. What could possibly be the link between her mother and the victim?

To find the truth Meredith must search through a past that is not her own. The problem is, she’s not the only one looking…

Continue reading “#BlogTour Review: Lie To Me by Jess Ryder (@jessryderauthor; @Bookouture)”

#BlogTour: Ice Cold Alice by C.P.Wilson (@bellshillwilson; @Bloodhoundbook)

It’s my pleasure to be one of today’s stops on the blog tour for the new thriller, Ice Cold Alice by C.P. Wilson. I have a guest post from the author to share in a moment, plus a short review of the (fabulous) book, but first of all here is what the book is about.

Alice final .jpgThe Official Book Blurb

They thought that they had all the power, until she took it from them.

A killer hunts abusive spouses, blogging about their sins post-kill. Soon the murders and the brazen journaling draws the attention of Police Scotland’s CID.

This killer works with surgical preparation, precision and skill, using a unique weapon of her own and never leaves a trace of evidence behind.

Edinburgh’s DI Kathy McGuire, nearing the end of her career, begins the hunt for the murderer as a media frenzy erupts. But McGuire might have met her match…

What has led this killer to take the law into her own hands?

Is the woman accountable really a cold-hearted killer or a desperate vigilante?

Early reactions to Ice Cold Alice

“Absolutely brilliant book! Read from cover to cover at record speed. I can’t wait for more from Tequila! #PressIn.” Maxine, Booklover Catlady

“This is a great read by Wilson! My only flaw with this story is that there isn’t more!” –  Sooz, P. Turners Book Blog

“Despite not being my typical fare, this is one of the most viscerally satisfying books I have read in years. From the horrifying beginning to the enticing end, I was hooked all the way through. #PressIn” Michelle Ruedin, Goodreads reviewer.

“Alice is truly a unique killer. I was cheering her on, and then I felt guilty for doing that. Emotions were all over the place.  There are surprises here and there and twists that you never see coming.” Linda Strong, Top 200 Goodreads reviewer. 

Continue reading “#BlogTour: Ice Cold Alice by C.P.Wilson (@bellshillwilson; @Bloodhoundbook)”