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Witness X by SE Moorhead – Blog Tour Book Review 

About the book
Silence of the Lambs meets Blade Runner. A dark and gripping crime novel set in a convincing near future – SE Moorhead is the future of crime writing.’ STEPHEN BAXTER

From one of the most original new voices in fiction comes a startling vision of a world where hero Kyra must fight the past to save our future. A genre-bending thriller for the Netflix generation, for fans of Altered Carbon, Dark and Mindhunter.

She’s the only one who can access the truth…

Fourteen years ago, the police caged a notorious serial killer who abducted and butchered two victims every February. He was safe behind bars. Wasn’t he?

But then another body is discovered, and soon enough, the race is on to catch the real killer. Neuropsychologist Kyra Sullivan fights to use a new technology that accesses the minds of the witnesses, working with the police to uncover the truth. Will Kyra discover the person behind the murders, and if so, at what cost? And how far will she go to ensure justice is served?

About the author

Born in Liverpool, S.E.Moorhead has told stories since childhood and  uses writing as bubblegum for her over-active brain – to keep it out of  trouble. Fascinated by meaning, motivation and mystery, she studied Theology at university.

Over the last twenty five years, apart  from teaching in secondary school, S.E.Moorhead has attained a black  belt in kickboxing, worked as a chaplain, established a Justice and  Peace youth group, and written articles for newspapers and magazines  about her work in education and religion.

She still lives in her beloved hometown with her husband Seán and two sons.

What I Thought 
Crime isn’t my natural genre but I was totally drawn in by the tag line Silence of the Lambs meets Blade Runner. 
Kyra is immediately a loveable heroine who you can see has her heart in the right place. She has developed a mind reading technology that can delve into people’s memories – but it’s not quite ready for public consumption for a number of reasons, and she’s definitely not behind the use of it by force. 
And suddenly the killer is back, along with some horrifying memories she doesn’t need a machine to bring back to life. Kyra has a very personal reason to want them caught, and works with the police to see justice done. 
The writing is great, pacy and thrilling. The characters are intriguing: as well as directly hearing from Kyra we get to delve into the mind of the killer and the victim they are on the clock to save. 
Relationships are a vital plot point and there are a whole host of complex ones explored. 
The book is set in 2035 so it still has relevant references as well as new technology to make it both present and futuristic. And I always enjoy when the ethics of technology is explored well, which it is here.
I found it interesting that the memory device didn’t really come into real play until half way through so we got some “old fashioned” detective work thrown in the mix too. 
With some clever misdirection and just enough of the reader being steps ahead of Kyra this was an on the edge of your seat thriller that I would highly recommend. 
This was published on the 6th February so it’s out now. If crime, psychological thriller, and/or sci-fi are your bag you won’t want to miss this. 
Thank you to @TrapezeBooks  for the gifted copy for the purposes of an honest review. @semoorhead 

The Hidden Bones by Nicola Ford – Book Review

Recently I hosted a guest post from author Nicola Ford about the archeological inspiration for her debut novel “Digging Up Bone, Digging Up Secrets. I’ve now finished the book and you can read my review below.

Synopsis

Following the recent death of her husband, Clare Hills is listless and unsure of her place in the world. When her former university friend Dr David Barbrook asks her to help him sift through the effects of deceased archaeologist Gerald Hart, she sees this as a useful distraction from her grief. During her search, Clare stumbles across the unpublished journals detailing Gerald’s most glittering dig. Hidden from view for decades and supposedly destroyed in an arson attack, she cannot believe her luck. Finding the Hungerbourne Barrows archive is every archaeologist’s dream. Determined to document Gerald’s career-defining find for the public, Clare and David delve into his meticulously kept records of the excavation.

But the dream suddenly becomes a nightmare as the pair unearth a disturbing discovery, putting them at the centre of a murder inquiry and in the path of a dangerous killer determined to bury the truth for ever.

Author

Nicola Ford is the pen-name for archeologist Dr Nick Snashall, National Trust Archaeologist for the Stonehenge and Avebury World Heritage Site. You may have seen her on TV on Countryfile or Britain’s Secret Treasures.

Through her day-job and now her writing, she’s spent more time than most people thinking about the dead.

Website: nicolaford.com

Twitter: @nic_ford

What I Thought

For some reason crime books are one of the genres I am drawn to the least which is odd because I usually really enjoy them when I get stuck in and have watched no end of crime shows on TV in the past. This book was no different and it definitely hit the ‘need to find out who done it’ spot.

Although reminiscent of Bones this book deals with archeology rather than forensic anthropology in order to solve crimes although the osteo-archaeologist/ bone expert that appears is delightfully American. The police do take a bit of a back seat in this story because of how and where it begins, but I wonder if they might become more involved in future sequels.

This is a very British book, and it was refreshing to read about places I have heard of and even visited. There is a very country rural feel to the story with the English village busybodies out to help or hinder the investigation.

Like “Robert Galbraith’s” Cormoron Strike series and Bones the human interaction between the investigative team is as interesting as the case to be solved. There’s also some dramatic tension as Clare gets closer to solving the case. The killer is still out there and determined to keep their identity hidden.

I’d definitely recommend this to fans of the genre and odd bods who don’t always read it like me. I’m looking forward to reading more books in the series and getting to better know Clare, David, Jo and the gang on future cases.

I received an advanced review copy for the publisher for the purposes of taking part in the blog tour and for an honest review.

Character Interviews – Hobson & Choi series by Nick Bryan

Welcome to my stop on the Hobson & Choi series blog tour during which, series author, Nick Bryan kindly asks his characters from the series a few extra questions. But before we get onto that – here’s more about the books.

 The Girl Who Tweeted Wolf

The Girl Who Tweeted Wolf (Hobson & Choi #1)

“If we get 400 followers, John Hobson will solve that nasty wolf-murder case for free! Fight the thing himself if he has to! #HobsonVsWolf!”

Angelina Choi was only trying to drum up some Twitter followers and make a good impression on her first day interning at John Hobson’s one-man detective agency.

But the campaign went viral and now they have a murder to solve, no money coming in, and an unwilling Hobson faced with battling some enormous beast.

With both follower and body counts rising, can they crack the case without offending everyone or being eaten by a huge dog?

The Girl Who Tweeted Wolf is the first case starring Hobson & Choi, a bickering, mismatched detective duo for 21st century London. This book collects the debut storyline of the hit darkly comic crime web serial, extensively rewritten and improved for this definitive edition.

Goodreads  Amazon

 Rush Jobs

Rush Jobs (Hobson & Choi #2)

“Sometimes #crime feels like the Matrix. Or the #patriarchy or #porn. It’s everywhere, even in people you trusted, and there’s so MUCH of it.”

Angelina Choi returns for her second and final week of work experience at John Hobson’s detective agency, ready for anything after their first successful murder solve.

After all that online buzz, they’re in phenomenal demand. Can Hobson & Choi solve a kidnapping, play chicken with corporate crime, beat back gentrification, save a dog from drug dealers and head off violent backlash from their last case?

Or will grim revelations about Hobson’s past leave them floundering in the chaos?

Rush Jobs collects the second major storyline in the Hobson & Choi saga, #1 on Jukepop Serials and #2 in Dark Comedy on Amazon, adding brand new chapters and scenes to the case.

Goodreads Amazon

I really enjoyed the first two books in the series and part of what created that enjoyment was the characters, who I feel we are only just getting to know. With that in mind here’s some further insight from Hobson, Choi, and Hobson’s ex-wife Ellie. I’ll definitely be continuing to follow this series and thank Faye Rogers for introducing me to it.

Hobson

How did you get into private investigating?

Have you seen the job market? It’s like begging for scraps outside a cheese shop while suffering a severe lactose intolerance. I don’t know if you’ve gotta love what you do, but I’m pretty sure I’d like to not hate it. All of which is a nice way of saying: I had contacts and some muscle, it was either this or join the cops. And between the awkward Christmas parties with my ex-wife and the likelihood of being stabbed for no reason, this seemed preferable.

How did you get persuaded to take on a 16 yr old girl as a intern for two weeks? Not your typical work experience placement.

Honestly, she was the first one who asked. And more to the point, even though I like ignoring the outside world and getting on with it, I’ve watched enough TV to notice that I probably need more internet than just having an email account. Once she’s finished with the Twitter account, I’m going to get Choi to hack into the MI5 mainframe so I never need to leave the office for work again.

And now you’ve had Choi with you a week, how do you feel about working alone again?

Well, I’ve seen enough movies to realise that when your seemingly mismatched partner leaves, you’ll most likely go nuts having fun for the first few days, eat crisps over your keyboards and install a table football game, get drunk and chuck up over her old chair, then things will go quiet and you’ll realise you secretly miss them. So yeah, it’ll probably be something like that.

What’s the story with you and Ellie then? 

Ever seen that George Clooney movie Intolerable Cruelty? Go watch the whole thing while I leg it.

Choi

Why intern with a PI and not the police?

Well, I was interested in mysteries and the real nitty-gritty and not so much in actual law enforcement. I figured that if I applied to the police, I’d be mostly doing admin and if I was lucky, I might get to ride along in one of their cars and watch them arrest a drunk. Whereas a one-man detective agency, you might actually see a mystery being solved. Like, a personal mystery about someone’s real background, say.

And the fascination with psychology?

If you’d seen my school’s list of available A Level subjects, you’d understand.

Can you tell me a little more about your relationship with your parents, you seem quite independently spirited?

My parents just want a quiet life. I can’t entirely blame them – my Mum especially, I can kinda appreciate that she wants the best for me. Even if she doesn’t seem able to accept when she’s lost. But they had to accept I’d get unsettled eventually, what with the circumstances I came to them in.

Hobson wasn’t what you were expecting, but how do you feel about him now?

It honestly seems to vary from day to day. Which isn’t boring, at least.

Ellie

You are a Detective Sergeant –  how important is your career, or is policing about something else to you?

It used to be about some higher cause. At some point, it just became about getting through the day. Then I divorced my husband and things improved again.

Hobson is your ex and often seems to be straddling that thin blue line, what’s the story between you two? 

I try to support him in his endeavours to improve his life – probably out of guilt, to be honest. I’ll be very clear about one thing, though: there will be no straddling of any kind.

If you’ve enjoyed this – and I’m sure you have – do check out the other stops on the tour – you can find the links here.

There is also a tour-wide giveaway (click on link).

 Prizes

1 Signed paperback set of the Hobson & Choi series (The Girl who Tweeted Wolf & Rush Jobs)

3 e-book sets of the Hobson & Choi series

Author Information

 me-squared

Nick Bryan is a London-based writer of genre fiction, usually with some blackly

comic twist. As well as the detective saga Hobson & Choi, he is also working on a

novel about the real implications of deals with the devil and has stories in several

anthologies.

More details on his other work and news on future Hobson & Choi releases can be

found on his blog at NickBryan.com or on Twitter as @NickMB. Both are updated

with perfect and reasonable regularity.

Subscribe to his mailing list using the form in the sidebar of NickBryan.com to get

news first and an all-new free Hobson & Choi short story immediately!

When not reading or writing books, Nick Bryan enjoys racquet sports, comics and

a nice white beer.

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