My Book Reviews for October 2021

My Book Reviews for October 2021

Here are My Book Reviews for October 2021, comprising a gritty police procedural, a ghostly serial killer mystery and a crime short. Also exciting news about the forthcoming Everyday Kindness Anthology.

Survivor’s Guilt by Michael Wood

Fans of this gritty, Sheffield-based police procedural series will not be disappointed. Set 9 months after the shocking events of the previous book, this story follows the remaining members of the murder investigation squad as they try to rebuild their working and private lives. It’s not much of a spoiler to say: if you think things couldn’t get worse for the team, think again…

The plot returns to two storylines that have been simmering for the last few books and brings them to a gobsmacking conclusion. (The stories concern the sighting in Sweden of a child who was kidnapped in Sheffield years earlier and the unexplained disappearances of several sex workers from Sheffield city centre.)

Although the book can be read as a standalone, why not start at Book 1 and immerse yourself in this unflinching, straight-talking police series. Survivor’s Guilt is published on 28 October.

With thanks to the author, publisher and NetGalley for the opportunity to read an early copy in exchange for an independent review.

The Sun Down Motel by Simone St James

A serial killer, a missing girl and an unquiet ghost. Set across two timelines, this is a good mystery with a supernatural edge.

Cally did not meet her aunt Viv because Viv disappeared in 1982. Consumed by grief, Cally’s mother never mentioned her missing sister, and Cally knew not to ask. But now that Cally’s mother has died, Cally decides the time is right to get answers. She goes to the Sun Down Motel, a rundown establishment on the edge of a town in the middle of nowhere and the last place Viv was seen. The twenty-year-old vanished after working a night shift on reception, leaving behind her cash, keys and car.

Cally also takes a job on the nightshift and discovers that even though few living guests check in, the dead are permanent and unsettled residents. The second timeline takes us back to Viv’s point of view. The spirits are just as restless and terrifying during Viv’s shifts at Sun Down and she has a sickening feeling she knows why. Despite putting herself in danger, she tracks one of the living motel guests, convinced he’s a serial killer.

I read the pages quickly to find out what happened to Viv and whether the same fate would befall her niece Cally 35 years later. Terrific stuff.

Shoplift by Claire Sheehy

A police officer on a stakeout gets stuck in a lift in a shopping centre with four very shifty people. This is a fun crime short story (and currently free to download in Kindle!). Well-written and worth reading to find out why the title is so perfect.

And Claire Sheehy has donated another of her super short stories to the very special Everyday Kindness anthology:

Everyday Kindness: A collection of uplifting tales to brighten your day

Next month marks the publication of a delightful new short story collection. The brainchild of bestselling crime novelist LJ Ross, the anthology features shorts donated by 55 authors (including me). Although some are well-known thriller writers, the collection couldn’t be further from their usual dark and twisted fare as these stories are all about kindness. These uplifting tales of hope are intended to support wider, positive mental health goals and foster wellbeing through the act of reading tales of goodwill inspired by others.

All proceeds from the book will go to Shelter, the charity that provides advice and support on housing issues and homelessness, and campaigns for housing justice.

I have already ordered a copy that will land in my Kindle on 13 November, but I intend to buy hardcopies too as they will make great Christmas presents for family and friends.

Authors featured are: Authors include: LJ Ross, Adam Hamdy, Alex Smith, Alexander Gordon Smith, Alison Stockham, Anne O’Leary, Barbara Copperthwaite, JD Kirk, CL Taylor, Caroline Mitchell, Chris McDonald, CK McDonnell, Claire Sheehy, Clare Flynn, Darren O’Sullivan, David Leadbeater, Debbie Young, Deborah Carr, Emma Robinson, Graham Brack, Hannah Lynn, Heather Martin, Holly Martin, Ian Sainsbury, Imogen Clark, James Gilbert, Jane Corry, Jean Gill, JJ Marsh, Judith O’Reilly, Kelly Clayton, Kim Nash, Leah Mercer, Liz Fenwick, Louise Beech, Louise Jensen, Louise Mumford, Malcolm Hollingdrake, Marcia Woolf, Mark Stay, Marcie Steele, Natasha Bache, Nick Jackson, Nick Quantrill, Nicky Black, Patricia Gibney, Rachel Sargeant, Rob Parker, Rob Scragg, SE Lynes, Shelley Day, Casey Kelleher, Sophie Hannah, Victoria Connelly, Victoria Cooke, Will Dean.

By Rachel Sargeant

Rachel Sargeant is a British author. Her latest thriller, The Roommates, is a Closer Magazine "Must Read". Her other titles are The Good Teacher, The Perfect Neighbours and Gallipoli: Year of Love and Duty. Rachel won Writing Magazine’s Crime Short Story competition and has been shortlisted in various competitions including the Bristol Short Story Prize. She was born in Lincolnshire and is a graduate of Aberystwyth University. She now lives in Gloucestershire with her husband and children.

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