Category Archives: Headline
Gone Without A Trace by Mary Torjussen
In early February I was very fortunate to have been invited to Headline’s Blogger Night to meet a number of the publisher’s authors for 2017. I can honestly say it was a great night and a privilege to have been invited. Little did I realise that I was going to meet a writer who lives on the Wirral and just a short walk from the very road I was born. That writer is Mary Torjussen and her debut psychological thriller Gone With A Trace which has just been released through Headline.
I was given a heads up about the story-line by Mary when I met her and the thought of a novel based in and around my home really had me excited. Well when I started reading I did wonder about where this story was going to take me. I need not have worried because Mary Torjussen has written a debut thriller that will have you wondering from one page to another.
The story starts as Hannah is returning to her Wirral home and is very excited with the news she has for Matt her boyfriend. Hannah has just been appointed a director for the company she works for, she even stops off to buy a bottle of champagne to celebrate. Then as she opens the door to her home it is in complete darkness and the silence is deafening and a sense of foreboding comes over Hannah, something is not right. She is right. Something is very wrong. Matt is not there to greet her and in fact it is as if Matt has never existed at all, any trace of him living there has been removed. His clothes have gone, he has even turned the house back to as it was before he moved in and set up home with Hannah. The clock has really been turned back for Hannah, Matt has just vanished into thin air. All trace of their relationship has been removed. But where is Matt? More importantly why has he just gone without a trace. Even his telephone number has been removed and is no longer working all the text messages have gone. Something is very wrong. There is a real chilling feel to this part of the story and Torjussen has played a real blinder here with her leading characters. It raises the hair on the back of your neck.
As the reader is taken along with Hannah as she tries in vain to try and find out where Matt is and why he has just vanished. There is no real sense as to what has just happened and there were no signs of any impending break up of their relationship. This is an addictive storyline and you are trying to second guess what is coming next. There are doubts about Hannah and her friends that will appear to you as this story really gets going not to mention the tension that is palpable. This is a truly gripping debut novel that has a leading neurotic character that you just are not too sure about. It felt like a real crime thriller with so many suspects coming into view. Then the ending just left me open mouthed. Many thrillers will keep you guessing but in Mary Torjussen’s debut she has you on the edge of your seat hanging on for dear life. Just think about that the next time you arrive home from work as you put the key into the lock and open the door.
Gone Without A Trace by Mary Torjussen is published by Headline and is available through Waterstones, Amazon and all good bookshops.
Tenacity by J.S. Law
The Last Word Review
Over many years I have read countless crime books, now comes along one debut crime novel set 200 metres beneath the surface on board a Royal Navy Submarine. This is a first for me and Tenacity by JS Law delivers on all fronts and impressive debut that is totally addictive and authentic down to the last detail from a man who actually served in the Royal Navy and ended his career serving on submarines.
A sailor has been found hanged in the engine room on-board HMS Tenacity did Stewart ‘Whisky’ Walker take his own life just a few days after his wife was found brutally murdered or is there another story?
We are now introduced to Dan (Lieutenant Danielle Lewis) from the Royal Navy’s investigation team which has the title of ‘Crimes Involving Loss of Life Division.’ Dan is tasked with the job of confirming that it was suicide. The last thing a crew of a nuclear sub needs is a killer on the loose. As the tag line of the book says 200 metres beneath the surface there is nowhere to run.
Many questions face Dan as she goes about trying to understand why Stewart would take his life on-board Tenacity. The more she sees the more she believes there is something more sinister going on. This is a fast paced thriller that actually makes you feel rather Claustrophobic. No-one likes to be investigated but Dan has no choice but to look to the crew and she feels hostility growing and she is right eyed with nothing but suspicion even the Captain does not like her presence aboard Tenacity. Dan has a job to do and she will not be deterred by anyone and justice must be seen to be done and when Tenacity is given orders to set sail Dan decides she will continue with her investigations.
Tenacity is a stunning and exceptional debut crime novel that takes the reader to a place were no previous crime novel that I know of has been before down to deep dark depths below the surface. It is chilling and highly detailed with many twist and turns that will keep the reader guessing from one page to the next. I dare you to put this one down.
Dan is an extremely interesting character, and credit to the author for adding some mystery to the leading figure in the story, she faces not just sexism in her role but also real danger while aboard Tenacity and she arrived with a lot of personal baggage and these come back to her as she investigates the death of the sailor.
Now imagine being aboard the cramped confines of a nuclear submarine you are a stranger among a ‘tight’ crew the eyes of the crew on firmly fixed on you now try and investigate a crime, many of us would not last five minutes on a submarine a long way from home never knowing where you are at any-one time. There really is nowhere to hide let alone run.
The more you read the more you get to like Dan as she goes about her role and you want her to be successful and that is why you will struggle to leave this book alone.
As you go deeper into Tenacity the tension is palpable as we head towards a gripping ending. In Lieutenant Danielle Lewis we have a new heroine and I can only just hope this is the start of a series of novels featuring Dan. A full five star crime thriller that many will enjoy reading.
Thank you to Ella Bowman for a review copy of Tenacity.
Tenacity by J.S. Law is published by Headline and is now available in paperback through Waterstones and all good bookshops.