Blog Tour – June 2021 – The Murderess – Ivan Jenson

“Wife. Mother. Killer?” is the tagline in this thriller by American author, Ivan Jenson. The wife, mother, and possible murderess of the title is Becca, who is happily(ish) married to Jerry, a good provider – if a trifle dull – and mother to two teenage daughters, Tess and Ellie, who appear to spend most of their time watching box sets, snacking, and updating their Instagram feeds, in the hope of becoming Instagram influencers. Without a career, what’s a woman like Becca to do for entertainment, once the housework’s done and the fridge filled with shopping, and she’s been to her daily gym session and her weekly book club meeting, in a pleasant-but-dull city like Grand Rapids? Why, have sex, of course – but not with hubbie, no, because that wouldn’t fulfil her need for thrills and excitement; her urge is to feel desired by any man she runs into between 20 to 80 (and no, I’m not exaggerating!) From the grocery packing boy to a New York lawyer’s son, they’re all easy lays to Becca.

This is all fine and dandy until her media mogul multi-millionaire “sugar grandad,” Pedro, who, at 80, still enjoys recreational drugs, industrial-sized dozes of Viagra, and lots of sex, somehow ends up in the hotel bathroom with his throat slit while Becca’s off on a Special K trip. She awakens to find him dead as a dodo, and, although unable to recall exactly what went down, is pretty much – let’s say 90% – sure that she wasn’t responsible. However, her desire for self preservation kicks in and she high-tails it out of the busy hotel lobby before she can think of the police arriving and locking her up for murder – because she isn’t a murderess. Well, she doesn’t think she is…

While waiting nervously for that probably inevitable chap on the door she desperately hopes won’t come, word comes from sugar grandad Pedro’s New York lawyer that, contrary to Becca’s expectations, sugar grandad has done as he’d said he would – and left her a sizeable (£1 million dollars!!) legacy. Unfortunately, in order to pick up the cheque she has to make her way to New York, where she’s invited to stay at the lawyer’s townhouse, and attend his 60th birthday party that night. She naturally packs her passport, deciding her days of appearing to be a devoted wife and mother are over – the girls are almost out of their teens, and should be thinking of flying the nest anyway. So her plan is to hit the road before she hits 40 with her multi-zeroed cheque, and grow old disgracefully.

To say more would take us into spoiler territory, but you won’t be surprised if I tell you the best laid plans of Becca don’t go as intended, and her planned flight to Rio leaves without her on board…

This entire book is told in Becca’s first person, and although it’s a fun and fast read, some of what she says does tend to err on the side of repetitive. However, the tale does zip along, and is the sort of book I could see entertaining holidaymakers by the pool (assuming anyway gets to holiday by a pool, that is!)

The last thirty pages take a different, faster paced turn as the earlier events reach their climax. Here I found the writing had a greater skill and intensity, and zipped along in a highly satisfying fashion.

Does Becca get her happy ending, after some highly dramatic events? Do husband Jerry and the girls figure in it? To find out, you’ll have to buy The Murderess! It’s a fast read, and shows promise in the writing. The perfect break from some heavier reads, I found – and that is in no way criticism, as we all need a change sometimes.

With thanks to Anne Cater at Random Things Blog Tours for inviting me to participate in this blog tour, and providing me with an eGalley of the book.

BLURB: 30% of murders in the US go unsolved.
Becca Garner hopes her lover’s is one of them.
Because she found him.
He bequeathed her a million dollars.
She’s married.
And so is he.

Blog Tour – June 2021 – Don’t Let Him In – Howard Linskey

Howard Linskey has fast been building up a reputation as a reliable writer ot taut, gripping thrillers, and he certainly hasn’t let us down with his latest. So unputdownable the book may well have been covered in Superglue, it kept me reading late into the night and had my OH complaining about the lamp being on until all hours.

It opens with Rebecca, who’s summoned back from her round-the-world travels with the shocking news that her father is dead. The police seem keen to claim his death was an accident, but, given that he had been reinvestigating a number of his hometown of Eriston, Northumberland’s murders, as well as other deaths the police were quick to write up as accidents or domestics, it wasn’t a huge stretch to suggest that he could have been murdered. His intention, it appeared from what he left behind, was to write a book about the high death toll in the town – and ideally solve the murders.

As editor (and eventually the sole reporter) on the town’s newspaper, which had folded a few years previously, Sean Cole already knew the details of many of the deaths, as he’d obviously reported on them. As Rebecca had followed him in her choice of career, she picks up where she’s left off – but it seems she’s already attracted unwanted attention…

With the help of her first boyfriend, Alan, who’d remained in the town, as well as PC Dominic Green, a policeman who had been frozen out of any chance of career advancement for also insisting that one man was responsible for the town’s inordinately high number of early deaths, Rebecca works her way through all the possible suspects. I was doing exactly the same thing, alighting on as many suspests as I had for “H” in Line Of Duty!

It’s a really atmospheric read – I could picture Eriston, the once prosperous but now failing sea town, perfectly. The creepy lighthouse and sudden sea mists add to this chilling picture – as does the regular interjections by the murderer, and the fact he’s clearly fixated on Rebecca…will she escape his clutches??!

If you’re looking for a gripping, highly readable and just-the-right-side of creepy thriller to enjoy in the sun this summer, you really don’t need to look any further than Don’t Let Him In. It really is thriller perfection!

Not to be missed!

With many thanks from Sriya at Penguin Random House for inviting me to participate in this blog tour!

BLURB: Eriston is a small town.

Where everyone knows your name – and your secrets.

Rebecca hasn’t been back in years, but she grew up in the shadow of a dark local legend: the countless unexplained deaths.

Her father Sean had always warned her of the dangers.

And when Rebecca returns, she discovers that her father wasn’t willing to let the legend lie.

He was on the verge of uncovering the town’s darkest truth.

He thought he was on the trail of a killer.
Sean knew too much.
 Now he’s dead.

Rebecca could accept her father’s death.
Or she could risk her life by carrying on his work . . .