Review: Her Final Hour by Carla Kovach (Detective Gina Harte #2) @bookouture

Her Final HourMelissa Sanderson is the perfect wife and mother. She dotes on her daughter, and lives in her dream home in a quiet cul-de-sac in the suburbs.

But looks can be deceiving.

Something is amiss in that house – all the neighbours think so. Some say Melissa is having an affair. Others say she’s been drinking too much.

Then one night, sirens wake up the whole neighbourhood.

Melissa Sanderson is dead.



I can now confidently say that I have added a new author and series to my list of favorites. In April, I read the first book in the Detective Gina Harte series, The Next Girl. I have since been stalking Bookouture’s social media pages, waiting for news about the series. Having loved the first book so much, I had high expectations for this one and I am pleased to say that this ended up being an even better read.

I really like Detective Gina Harte. From the first book, I thought her back story was unique and it got me drawn to her. I liked reconnecting with her in this book. Once again, she is likeable and easy to root for. Gina took more than a central role in this investigation. I can’t say much about this but let me just say that her role made this story even more addictive. I love getting to the end of thrillers and seeing the mystery getting solved but I didn’t want this book to end.

This case is tougher, darker, unique, twisted and the villain(s) are even more complex. The story is narrated in such a way that readers are in the know. There are multiple narrators and so we get to be ahead of the detectives. However, I couldn’t wait to see  Gina and her team connect all the dots. It was simply a brilliant case and investigation.

Her Final Hour is addictive, fast-paced and quite well-written. This is a series that I recommend to all fans of crime thrillers. Although this book can be read as a standalone, it is best enjoyed if read in order. You really need to get to know Gina and the other characters.

What a brilliant series!


Review: White is the Coldest Colour by John Nicholl

White is the Coldest Colour

Be careful who you trust…

The Mailer family are oblivious to the terrible danger that enters their lives when seven-year-old Anthony is referred to the child guidance service by the family GP following the breakdown of his parents’ marriage.

Fifty-eight year old Dr David Galbraith, a sadistic predatory paedophile employed as a consultant child psychiatrist, has already murdered one child in the soundproofed cellar below the South Wales Georgian town-house he shares with his wife and two young daughters. Anthony becomes Galbraith’s latest obsession, and he will stop at nothing to make his grotesque fantasies reality.



I remember seeing this title a while back. The book had created quite a buzz around blogosphere. I knew I had to read it as soon as the opportunity arose.

One thing that you need to know is that this book has one of the most depraved villains. Dr. Galbraith is a twisted character with no redeeming qualities. The author gives readers a glimpse into his dark, twisted mind and his thoughts were quite scary. I found myself keenly waiting for him to meet his end or get arrested, whichever came first. At some point, I got impatient with the cops because I really wanted the case to be solved fast!

This book deals with sensitive themes of child abuse. It is not graphic but the abuse is evident so readers get to know what is going on. The story line doesn’t focus on the abuse as much as the characters and the ongoing investigation. Nevertheless, the book does start with a trigger warning. I appreciate the fact that the author decided to do this because this is definitely not going to be a book for everyone.

I thought the portrayal of the investigation was quite detailed and realistic. John Nicholls has experience working as police officer and child protection social worker and this was evident in his storytelling. The author also did a great job with the portrayal of the time period in which the story was set, 1992. One of the things that took a while to get used to was the fact that cell phones were not so common. I kept forgetting that the story is set in the early 90s and found myself getting frustrated by the characters for not using their phones and then it would hit me that most people only had landlines and phone booths back then.

Although the subject matter is quite heavy, I really liked John’s writing and how sensitive he was in portraying the theme. I also love how he created the complex, well-developed characters. The description of the time period and the setting were also well done. White is the Coldest Colour by John Nicholl is a compelling read.

Review: The Lying Kind (Detective Rachel Prince #1) by Alison James

The Lying KindSix-year-old Lola Jade Harper is taken from her bedroom. Her mother is distraught. She is convinced her estranged husband, Gavin Harper, has abducted their daughter. Detective Rachel Prince is leading the investigation but is soon out of her depth as she searches for the most high-profile missing child in the country. To uncover the truth about Lola’s disappearance, Rachel must untangle the Harper family’s complicated web of secrets and lies.

As the case progresses, the body of a local woman is found. The death at first seems unrelated, until a trail of social media posts lead Rachel to a chilling discovery.

And then another little girl is taken…

With growing pressure from the public and the appearance of someone from her past she’d rather forget, will Rachel be able to solve the connection between the two missing children and the murder – before it’s too late?


The Lying Kind is the first book in the Detective Rachel Prince series by Alison James. In this story, Rachel is investigating a missing child case. Lola Jade Harper has been missing for six months. Rachel and her partner need to find the little girl despite the fact that a lot of time has already elapsed and most people assume that the child is forever gone.

This wasn’t the usual police procedural with a lot of drama/action and a fast moving pace. The author took time to portray the day to day events during the investigation. This included days when no new information or clues came up in the case. There were paperwork days and other days where the investigators chased false leads. Even stakeouts made it into the narrative. This portrayal was quite different from the usual cop thrillers though it did seem more realistic. I imagine that is the way most investigations in the real world take place.

Rachel is an interesting MC. I can’t say that I really liked her personality but I did admire her work ethic and determination to solve the case. I also liked her loyalty to her partner.  As I have mentioned, this wasn’t a fast-paced, action packed cop thriller, however it was still a good read. If you enjoy classic cop procedural then this series is definitely for you.

The Perfect Victim by Corrie Jackson

perfect victimHusband, friend, colleague . . . killer?

Charlie and Emily Swift are the Instagram-perfect couple: gorgeous, successful and in love. But then Charlie is named as the prime suspect in a gruesome murder and Emily’s world falls apart.

Desperate for answers, she turns to Charlie’s troubled best friend, London Herald journalist, Sophie Kent. Sophie knows police have the wrong man – she trusts Charlie with her life.

Then Charlie flees.

Sophie puts her reputation on the line to clear his name. But as she’s drawn deeper into Charlie and Emily’s unravelling marriage, she realizes that there is nothing perfect about the Swifts.

As she begins to question Charlie’s innocence, something happens that blows the investigation – and their friendship – apart.

Now Sophie isn’t just fighting for justice, she’s fighting for her life.

The Perfect Victim by Corrie Jackson is the second book in the Sophie Kent series. I didn’t know that it was part of a series until after I read the book. I did enjoy it though so I guess starting with book two wasn’t an issue for me.

The book begins on a fast pace with the discovery of a body. Sophie Kent, a journalist, is at the scene trying to get the story. However, what first seems like a random crime gets more complicated when Sophie’s friend, a fellow journalist, is implicated in the murder. Things get more tangled when Sophie finds herself fighting to stay alive as she also tried to figure out what was happening.

I have always been interested in investigative journalism though I haven’t read a lot of books that have journalists as the main characters. This is one of the first things that I liked about the book. Interestingly, it is also the one thing that niggled at my mind a bit as I read this book. Of course, journalistic investigations are different from regular cop procedural. They do take some getting used to though.

The book is filled with twists. The murder case attracted a lot of media attention so there was a press circus going on. In the midst of the circus, there is Sophie trying to solve the mystery and also Charlie’s wife who is trying to clear his name. There were some sections of the book that were pretty unexpected. They were uncomfortable for me to read and just a bit weird to make sense of but this is totally a personal issue. I also like the fact that the book had a cultic angle to it.

The final twist and ending was unpredictable. I thought the plot-line was obvious. I knew the identity of the villain and the motives, or so I thought. However, I couldn’t have been more wrong. The reveal was shocking. I mean, it just never crossed my mind. I definitely think that it was perfect for this book.

I recommend The Perfect Victim by Corrie Jackson for anyone looking for a different kind of crime thriller with journalists taking the lead and working with investigators to get the story and as the cops catch the killer.

Review: Unsub by Meg Gardiner

uNSUB PLUS COFFEECaitlin Hendrix has been a Narcotics detective for six months when the killer at the heart of all her childhood nightmares reemerges: the Prophet. An UNSUB—what the FBI calls an unknown subject—the Prophet terrorized the Bay Area in the 1990s and nearly destroyed her father, the lead investigator on the case.

Twenty years later, two bodies are found bearing the haunting signature of the Prophet. Caitlin Hendrix has never escaped the shadow of her father’s failure to protect their city. But now the ruthless madman is killing again and has set his sights on her, threatening to undermine the fragile barrier she rigidly maintains for her own protection, between relentless pursuit and dangerous obsession.

Determined to decipher his twisted messages and stop the carnage, Caitlin ignores her father’s warnings as she draws closer to the killer with each new gruesome murder. Is it a copycat, or can this really be the same Prophet who haunted her childhood? Will Caitlin avoid repeating her father’s mistakes and redeem her family name, or will chasing the Prophet drag her and everyone she loves into the depths of the abyss?


I first heard the word Unsub on Criminal Minds which is one of my favorite TV Shows. This book definitely reminded me of CM. The Unsub in this book was a serial killer known as the prophet.

Caitlin Hendrix is working the case and racing against clock to catch the killer. Interestingly, twenty years ago, her father Mack Hendrix was trying to catch the same killer and it nearly destroyed him. Throughout the story, we see Caitlin trying to solve the case and at the same time, ensure that the it doesn’t consume her. We also get to learn more about Mack and how the case affected him.

The tension in this book was maintained from the first page to the last. The body count kept going up and the detectives, for the most part seemed clueless. The Prophet was calculating, methodical and left no evidence behind. The murders were all twisted. The Unsub didn’t just kill but also left messages behind from graffiti, videos to symbols on the bodies. It seemed like there was a plan and but only one twisted mind knew exactly what it was.

The book had many scenes that stood out for me. There were moments when the killer made calls to the media and practically held the whole town captive. The author described these scenes so vividly that I can still see the terrified characters listening to the frightening voice of the killer. The tension was so high that I got caught up with the madness in the town. Like the characters, I was completely captivated(terrified too) by the Unsub.

As you can probably tell already, I liked this book.  Everything worked out really well from the detectives working the case to the setting which was a town terrorized by a deranged serial killer. The book had memorable characters such that I became invested in them. Needless to say, my heart broke when The Prophet took some of them. The author made it easy to get attached to these people hence making this an emotional yet very disturbing read. If you enjoy Crime thrillers then you should definitely get this book.