Deep Down dead



Deep Down Dead

by Steph Broadribb


Lori Anderson is as tough as they come, managing to keep her career as a fearless Florida bounty hunter separate from her role as single mother to nine-year-old Dakota, who suffers from leukaemia. But when the hospital bills start to rack up, she has no choice but to take her daughter along on a job that will make her a fast buck. And that’s when things start to go wrong. The fugitive she’s assigned to haul back to court is none other than JT, Lori’s former mentor – the man who taught her everything she knows … the man who also knows the secrets of her murky past.


Lori Anderson is a bounty hunter and is desperate for work to pay for her sick daughter’s medical bills. When she is offered a job for great money, she has to take it even though it involves bringing in her old mentor, J.T. – a man she has a lot of history with.

J.T. is the ‘outlaw’ that Lori has to bring to justice. He has his reasons for doing what he has done and those reasons become apparent as the story unfolds, and we follow the characters on a chase across America, ending up in a theme park in Florida, where all their lives are in danger and they have to work together to survive.

This is one action-packed thriller with characters that you really want to spend time with. Lori is such an original heroine; female bounty hunter and single mum. She is both feisty and warm, she is a character that you are rooting for from the start.

J.T. is a fabulous character, just the right mix of strong and determined and compassionate and caring. The relationship between himself and Lori hums along.

Steph Broadribb has written a compelling book that is a full-on page turner and unlike some action thrillers, it is not at the expense of character development. You need to make sure that you have plenty of time when you start reading this book because you really won’t want to put it down.

Orenda Books has a real new talent on its hands and I am looking forward to the next in the series.


Many thanks to Karen Sullivan for sending me a copy.



My Top 10 books of 2016

This year has produced some outstanding books and my choices contain some new books, one that isn’t published until next year and one older book that I just adored. It has been hugely difficult to choose just 10 and there are many more that I would rank as must reads.

The first three are my top 3, the rest in no particular order.


1.this must be the place


Top of the pile and totally deserving of it is Maggie O’Farrell’s This Must Be The Place. Exceptional book.

THIS MUST BE THE PLACE crosses time zones and continents to reveal an extraordinary portrait of a marriage.

To read my review click here



A wonderful book with superb writing and such a human story at its heart.

A beautifully paced story that will have you raging and sobbing at the same time.

To read my review click here




Out in January 2017 fabulous debut thriller set in Manchester.

Very occasionally a book comes along that redefines a genre, it’s very possible that this could be one of those books.

To read my review click here


curtain call


I absolutely loved this book and really didn’t want to let it go. Anthony Quinn is incapable of writing a dull sentence.

To read my review click here


the ballroom


This is an elegant, affecting book that has writing that is almost poetic.

To read my review click here


the one in a million boy


Monica Wood has written an extraordinary tale of grief, loss, hope and friendship.It is wonderful and uplifting and every page is a joy to read.

To read my review click here


in her wake#


This is a stunning story of heartbreak, identity, love and loss. It has the perfect title, the perfect cover and is the most beautifully written, breathtakingly powerful book.

To read my review click here




This is not a new book, but an absolutely wonderful one.

The story covers all sorts of emotions; love, guilt, grief, morality, remorse, but  with such a deft hand that although it is heart rending, it is also beautiful and immensely readable.

To read my review click here


martha lost


I absolutely adored this book, its empathy and warmth is evident on each page. it is truly a piece of magical storytelling that should not be missed.

To read my review click here


daisy in chains


No top ten of the year would be complete without Sharon Bolton. The best thriller writer in the country in my opinion.

Sharon Bolton’s forte is to create deeply engaging, if not always likeable, characters and embed them in superb plots that twist and turn effortlessly.

This book is no exception.

To read my review click here


I would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a hopeful New Year.  Many thanks to all for your continued support.  xx











By Renee Knight


Finding a mysterious novel at her bedside plunges documentary filmmaker Catherine Ravenscroft into a living nightmare. Though ostensibly fiction, The Perfect Stranger recreates in vivid, unmistakable detail the terrible day Catherine became hostage to a dark secret, a secret that only one other person knew–and that person is dead.

Now that the past is catching up with her, Catherine’s world is falling apart. Her only hope is to confront what really happened on that awful day even if the shocking truth might destroy her.


When Catherine Ravenscroft begins reading a novel that she finds on her bedside table, she is shocked to find that the book is infact about her and a past secret that she has tried so hard to suppress. She soon discovers who the author is, and the story is told in alternating chapters from the viewpoints of both Catherine and her nemesis. As the author invades Catherine’s life more and more, everything she knows and loves falls apart.

I have had this book on my shelf since it was published in 2015,but only just managed to get round to reading it, and I am sorry that I didn’t get to it sooner. This is a stunning page-turner, a psychological thriller with family at its heart.

The characters, especially Catherine and Stephen, are wonderfully drawn and you find your sympathy veering from one to the other, literally not knowing where it should rightfully be. The supporting characters, Robert; Catherine’s husband and Nicholas; their son are also engaging. But perhaps the characters that we never meet, Nancy; Stephen’s dead wife and Jonathan; their dead son are the ones that hold the story in their hands.

As the book progresses you know that all cannot be as it seems, and I did guess what had happened, but the skillful writing and characterisation means that nothing is taken away from the tension that is being wrought. This is not really a whodunnit or even a whydunnit, it is an exploration of what is left of the people left behind after traumatic, life-changing ordeals.

This book takes on grief and how, if unchecked, can lead to unimaginable bitterness and the ruination of more than one life. It looks at trust and family dynamics and the way we see and treat the ones we love.

For me, often, with psychological thrillers the ending can be a let down, but in this book it is perfect. It is a sad book in many ways, but one that should be read.

Highly recommended.









The Mistletoe Murder and Other Stories



The Mistletoe Murder and Other Stories

P.D. James


Four previously uncollected stories from one of the great mystery writers of our time–swift, cunning murder mysteries (two of which feature the young Adam Dalgliesh) that together, to borrow the author’s own word, add up to a delightful “entertainment.”


The day I heard that P.D. James had died was a tremendously sad day for me. I have long classed her as one of the best authors this country has produced. I enjoyed all her novels but especially the Adam Dalgliesh ones: with Original Sin being one of my all time favourites. So when I found out Faber were publishing four of her short stories for Christmas I was absolutely delighted.

The first story tells of a family Christmas that ends in murder. With few suspects it is a perfect example of a closed room mystery.

The second story tells of a middle-aged man spying on a woman and her lover from his office at work. This is a much darker tale than the other three and leaves you feeling very unsettled.

The final two stories feature the wonderful Adam Dalgiesh, who needs no introduction even as a young sergeant just starting out using his powers of deduction and observation.

These four stories, although short, bring the usual P.D. James atmosphere with them. She says in her introduction  “…setting and characterisations to be established with an economy of words…” and she more than lives up to this.

Each story is a masterpiece, and for crime lovers, a perfect way to spend a cold winter’s evening: this book, a crackling fire and a glass of mulled wine. Enjoy.

Many thanks to Richard Fortey at Faber & Faber for giving me a copy.