Hide and Seek by Richard Parker @Bookwalter @Bookouture

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Length:  324 pages

Please note that the cover image leads to a universal Amazon buy link for the book

What they say:The sun is out. Your little boy is smiling. The next time you look… he’s gone.

Lana Cross would do anything to protect her perfect family but on a trip to an adventure park, they slip out of her sight. When she finds her husband, he’s out cold on the forest floor. Then the truth sinks in: Cooper, her four-year-old son, is missing.

No one stopped the man carrying the sleeping boy. The park cameras don’t show where he went. Then Lana receives an anonymous message, telling her to visit a local school with a horrifying history…

This is no random attack. Whoever took Cooper is playing a twisted game, and if Lana wants to find him, she must participate.

How could there be a link between the school and her missing son? And can Lana find her little boy before it’s too late?

The Review: First off I have to tell you that due to some issues with my Kindle I have no notes for this book and so this will not be the Pulitzer winning blog post I had hoped for, in fact, it may not even come close (I know, what?!) but, yes, you can already guess from the glib way I’m speaking that this will be another rave review that I’m quite hyper and excited about, and that if oyu don’t want this type of review you may need to just shut your eyes tight and avoid. (If not let’s go!)

So, at this stage you’re thinking ‘yeah, yeah’ another excellent book from Bookouture, right?’ YES! And wow, what a book! From the start this book was different in that it had a kick ass mother who SAVED her child from being abducted. They never do that in books, do they? The first few pages are that the mother looks out to the eerie sight of a swing moving in the wind, or a toy left on it’s own in the garden. Not here! Here, Lana (who I loved the whole way through-yay!) runs out when she sees a man land over her garden fence.  Lana does her epic ass kicking stuff, but in a way you yourself could, making your heart pound as you egg her on, and rescues her son. But the kidnapper leaves her with a message that he will be back. Yeeks!

Of course Lana and her husband are not going to let their little boy get taken and so they both try to keep him safe. Lana decides the best way is to find the kidnapper and this leads her into a dark and twisted online world where she doesn’t know who to trust, and also to various crime scenes, as she retraces and revisits old crimes, some in quite vivid, gory detail (I found it to be, anyhoo, people who like their tougher crimes probably wouldn’t flinch!) I thought it was excellent the way this was done, what better way to get characters into morbid, dark settings, than to have them want to venture there of their own free will? This added to your slowly bubbling sense of nervousness, you never knew if someone was waiting for Lana.

The suspense, the settings, both dark and light, were excellent, the characterisation perfection. In particular I adored her little man, Cooper, and her husband (whose name escapes me which is driving me nuts and apologies on this one, his story is as good as Lana’s) and a special mention has to go to a taxi driver who we meet later in the book (I won’t attempt to name him, as I don’t  don’t want to spell his name wrong, he deserves more than that!) I loved, as I always do, that actually, when it came down to it, Lana was rarely alone, she generally had a helping hand of some sort, which was excellent, as I’ve said before I don’t think a lead needs to be isolated to keep us worrying. The pacing was amazing, the settings so vividly drawn for us and so full of character that I was right there every step of the way, up until the outstanding climax that had every synapse firing. I adored this book so much and will be recommending it to anyone I know that even remotely likes thrillers. I’d love to say it should be made into a film but I don’t know that my nerves would take it. Excellent stuff and so, so, so (so!) recommended (go get!) Thanks so much to Bookouture and Netgalley for this book in return for an honest review.

Rating: 5/5 (and very likely my thriller of the year!)

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The Girl In The Ice by Robert Bryndza

the girl int he ice

What they say: Her eyes are wide open. Her lips parted as if to speak. Her dead body frozen in the ice…She is not the only one.

When a young boy discovers the body of a woman beneath a thick sheet of ice in a South London park, Detective Erika Foster is called in to lead the murder investigation.

The victim, a beautiful young socialite, appeared to have the perfect life. Yet when Erika begins to dig deeper, she starts to connect the dots between the murder and the killings of three prostitutes, all found strangled, hands bound and dumped in water around London.

What dark secrets is the girl in the ice hiding?

As Erika inches closer to uncovering the truth, the killer is closing in on Erika.

The last investigation Erika led went badly wrong… resulting in the death of her husband. With her career hanging by a thread, Erika must now battle her own personal demons as well as a killer more deadly than any she’s faced before. But will she get to him before he strikes again?

A page-turning thriller packed with suspense. If you like Angela Marsons, Rachel Abbott and Karin Slaughter, discover Rob Bryndza’s new series today – at a special launch price.

Watch out for more from DCI Erika Foster

She’s fearless. Respected. Unstoppable. Detective Erika Foster will catch a killer, whatever it takes.

The Review: You know the phrase ‘you had me at “hello”?’ Well this book most certainly did:

“The pavement glittered in the moonlight as Andrea Douglas-Brown hurried up the deserted high street.”

(Note: I’m afraid to quote more as it could be labelled a spoiler, though to be honest if I could I’d actually quote the whole prologue, so maybe you’re lucky!)

So you’ve guessed it, this is going to be one of those gushy reviews where I’m going to be a bit all over the place because I just want to FORCE you to read this book! It’s apity because it’s a book I’d love to do justice to, but, well, I’ll try my best.

As Andrea moves along we are given hints of how affluent Andrea was as she struggles to decide on whether she should call her father’s driver and then we are hit with some action that made me want to lock the door and suck in the whole book there and then.

Actually our introduction to the characters were extremely well done, brought about purely through events they were involved in, and I was nervy fairly on in the book and soon quite nervous. Detective Erica Foster was a very strong character, albeit one with her own issues and I took to her straight away, her ‘nothing to lose and so willing to lose everything’ demeanor that was essential in order to solve the cases that came before her were really well done, as were the scrapes she got into and I was reminded of why Robert Bryndza’s books are so popular and why he has made the move from chick lit to thriller so flawlessly.

There were multiple points of view in this book, however most of the job of telling us what happened descended on Erica, although it was told in third person which I have to admit, I generally enjoy more. The characters were so alive from the very first words and the descriptions of the locations, some so decadent, others dank and filthy, were amazing. The book was gripping from start to finish, with a humdinger of an ending, although I have to admit I found myself to be slightly disappointed with the identity of the killer, I could missed something but I’m not sure I could have guessed it was them, which I think is always half of the fun of thrillers.

A great great book, and one that readers of most contemporary genres will fly through, very satisfied, as I was, after they reach the end (where they are greeted by a brilliant letter from the author himself.) After this book I have to admit, I dove straight in and signed up for his newsletter (something I don’t do a lot), and went to check out his back catalogue of books (which seem to be right up my street, by the by so yay!) and his new one ‘The Night Stalker,’ the second book of this series, which I will without doubt be reading soon. As for ‘The Girl In The Ice?’ Most definitely one to read asap.  Thanks to Netgalley for the book in exchange for an honest review and as always the image links to a universal buy link for the book. Go get.

Rating: 4.5/5