Cover Reveal: The Final Trail by A. A. Abbott

Today I am proud to bring you a cover reveal for A. A. Abbott’s The Final Trail. I’d also like to say Happy Book Birthday to this book because it was released today! Now for the cover:

Family feuds just got bloodier… A gripping thriller, and a great story of death, revenge and vodka.


To save glamorous Kat White’s life, Ben Halloran killed his gangster father. Now his brother wants to even the score.

The gripping Trail series of British crime thrillers reaches its dramatic conclusion in this compelling page turner.  

Amazon Purchase Link: https://amzn.to/2BJmoHg

THE LAST EDITION OF TENSE CRIME THRILLER

SERIES SET IN BIRMINGHAM

RECEIVES CITY CENTRE LAUNCH

Birmingham has well and truly been put on the crime thriller map with the success of the TV series Peaky Blinders but for bookworms amongst us the popular Trail Series has long brought readers into the modern day 21st century with its tense storylines, murder and intrigue set in and around the city.

The Trail series features a vodka business, a cancer cure and obsessive killers. Every book is a good read in its own right – each is a great crime story with terrific twists to keep the tension mounting – but together, they follow the same characters over several years.

The Trail series author AA Abbott also known as Helen Blenkinsop, has been compared with the likes of Ruth Rendell, John Grisham and Jeffrey Archer.  She lived and studied in Birmingham for nearly 20 years and her passion and love for the city became the inspiration for the Trail series.

Now, after four successful editions the last storyline will be revealed in the publication of THE FINAL TRAIL which will be launched in Birmingham on 28th October.

In the last book …”Glamorous Kat White has built a successful craft vodka brand in Birmingham, but she has an uneasy relationship with her business partner, Marty Bridges. Her mother had previously supplied with poisonous vodka. Marty doesn’t trust Kat, resents having to depend on her for commercial success, and isn’t thrilled that his eldest son wants to marry her. That’s not his biggest problem, though. He’s trying to develop a cancer drug with Kat’s brother, Erik, and it’s draining money he doesn’t have. Just as he finds an investor with pockets deep enough to fund their research, Erik is lured to the former Soviet Union and thrown into jail. Meanwhile, Ben Halloran, who killed his father to save Kat’s life, is faced with the twin risks of a murder charge and his brother’s deep-seated desire for revenge. Can Ben escape with his life and liberty? And can Marty save both Erik and his business – and learn to trust Kat?”

Helen said “I’ve been writing about these amazing characters for over 5 years, so you can imagine, they have become a part of my life. It’s been a great journey and they have come through so many storylines that it feels right for them to achieve their dreams at last.”

Most of the action in THE FINAL TRAIL takes place across the city and features the famous Rose Villa Tavern and 1,000 Trades in the Jewellery Quarter; The Mailbox, home to the BBC in Birmingham, Holloway Head by the famous Pagoda Island and locations in Harborne and Edgbaston.

Helen added “It’s going to be very sad to launch the last book as the stories and characters have built up such a following but it will give me the opportunity to weave new and exciting tales – I have so many ideas buzzing in my head.”

THE FINAL TRAIL is a perfect read for those who like a fast-paced crime thriller combined with suspense, humour and plot twists.  It’s ideal to take away on holiday and provides a great read during the autumn/winter nights. 

THE FINALTRAIL will be available to order from Amazon in e-book, paperback and  dyslexia-friendly format from Monday 28th October 2019.

Website:  https://aaabbott.co.uk/    Twitter:  @AAAbbottstories

Book Review: The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through my links, I will receive a small commission from the sale.

Title: The Silent Patient
Author: Alex Michaelides
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Publisher: Celadon Books
Release Date: February 5, 2019
Format: eBook
Pages: 304
Source: Personal Collection
Rating: ★★★★☆
Amazon / Book Depository

“That rarest of beasts: the perfect thriller. This extraordinary novel set my blood fizzing—I quite literally couldn’t put it down. I told myself I’d just dip in; eleven hours later—it’s now 5:47 a.m.—I’ve finished it, absolutely dazzled.”
—A. J. Finn, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Woman in the Window

Promising to be the debut novel of the season The Silent Patient is a shocking psychological thriller of a woman’s act of violence against her husband—and of the therapist obsessed with uncovering her motive…

Alicia Berenson’s life is seemingly perfect. A famous painter married to an in-demand fashion photographer, she lives in a grand house with big windows overlooking a park in one of London’s most desirable areas. One evening her husband Gabriel returns home late from a fashion shoot, and Alicia shoots him five times in the face, and then never speaks another word.

Alicia’s refusal to talk, or give any kind of explanation, turns a domestic tragedy into something far grander, a mystery that captures the public imagination and casts Alicia into notoriety. The price of her art skyrockets, and she, the silent patient, is hidden away from the tabloids and spotlight at the Grove, a secure forensic unit in North London.

Theo Faber is a criminal psychotherapist who has waited a long time for the opportunity to work with Alicia. His determination to get her to talk and unravel the mystery of why she shot her husband takes him down a twisting path into his own motivations—a search for the truth that threatens to consume him….


Holy Fricking Crap. That’s me putting this nicely. Why did I wait so long to read this book? Why did I not read it back when it first came out? Because seriously, I shouldn’t have. I really shouldn’t have. I’m going to start with a character assessment.

Theo Faber: I truly liked him. He’s one of those characters that you can’t help but like. He’s helpful, concerned, he loves his wife. He’s like the perfect guy. And he genuinely wants to help Alicia, doesn’t he?

Alicia Berenson: I didn’t really like her. Not because I thought she was guilty of murdering her husband, but because she just struck me as a little witch who just wanted her own way and had to get it. She didn’t care who she stomped on to get it. Just look at her relationship with Jean-Felix.

Jean-Felix Martin: I couldn’t really figure him out. Did he love Alicia? Did he just use her for her art? What’s the deal with this dude?

Max Berenson: Another character who just threw me for a loop. I’d never have guessed between Alicia’s diary and his attitude what would be revealed for certain toward the end.

Alex Michaelides has a writing style that is very easy to read. It only took me a couple of days to read The Silent Patient and honestly, if I’d had the time to just sit down and read, I could have probably read it in one day. It sucks you in and you just have to keep reading. You have to know if Theo will get Alicia to speak. You have to know if Theo will uncover what really happened the night Alicia’s husband Gabriel was murdered. And you’ll never, ever guess the ending.

The only true issues I had with this book have nothing to do with the story or writing style. It has to do with the sloppy editing job that was done. I found several spots where words were missing. Which tells me that the editors weren’t paying attention because it made it to print that way. I realize this means the author missed putting those words in, but that’s why they have editors. To catch errors like that.

Because of the editing errors I gave the book four stars, which is a shame because this should be a five star read.

Book Review: Donn’s Hill by Caryn Larrinaga

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through my links, I will receive a small commission from the sale.

Title: Donn’s Hill
Series: The Soul Searchers Mysteries
Author: Caryn Larrinaga
Genre: Horror, Mystery, Thriller
Release Date: April 5, 2019
Format: Kindle
Source: BookSprout
Rating: ★★★★☆
Amazon / Book Depository

Mackenzie Clair needs a fresh start. The death of her father and a broken relationship rendered her old life unlivable. What better place to build a new one than Donn’s Hill, the most haunted town in America and her favorite childhood vacation spot?

But returning to Donn’s Hill awakens more than nostalgia. As memories resurface, so does a lost psychic ability to talk to the dead… a power the poltergeist haunting Mac’s apartment is eager to use.

Aided by her new roommate—a spirited Tortoiseshell cat named Striker—and the ghost-hunting crew of the Soul Searchers, Mac struggles to control her newfound talents. She’d better get a handle on them fast, because someone in town is hiding a deadly secret. If Mac can’t divine the truth, Donn’s Hill will never be the same.


Donn’s Hill is a horror/mystery/thriller that involves the paranormal. As such, I knew I had to give it a shot. I wasn’t disappointed.

Donn’s Hill is Caryn Larrinaga’s debut novel. As such, it does suffer a bit from “first book syndrome” but in all honesty, it doesn’t really detract from the story. This one needs the long set-up to make it as impactful as it is. Not to mention this is the first book in a series, which makes it even more forgivable that the set-up takes as long as it does.

I really like Mac. She’s funny, she’s not overly happy with her gift at first, and honestly, she’s just an all-around likable character. I also like Graham and Kit a lot. I’m on the fence about Penelope – I hated her at first, but things settled down and I don’t quite hate her anymore. Of course, as a cat lover, I definitely love Striker.

I have a copy of Donn’s Shadow, the second book in the series and I can’t wait to get started on it because I’m sure it’s going to be just as amazing as the first book. After all, there’s still a ghost that might be harming people to get rid of.

I received a copy of this book free from BookSprout in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.

Book Review: Slasher Girls & Monster Boys by Various Authors

Title: Slasher Girls & Monster Boys
Authors: Stefan Bachmann, Kendare Blake, Jay Kristoff, Jonathon Maberry, Carrie Ryan, Nova Ren Suma, April Genevieve Tucholke, Leigh Bardugo, A. G. Howard, Marie Lu, Danielle Paige, Megan Shepherd, McCormick Templeman, Cat Winters
Genre: Young Adult, Horror, Thriller
Publisher: Dial Books
Release Date: August 18, 2015
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 389
Source: Library
Rating: ★★★★☆

A host of the sharpest young adult authors come together in this collection of terrifying tales and psychological thrillers. Each story draws from a mix of literature, film, television, or even music to offer something new and fresh and unsettling. Even better? After you’ve teased out each tale’s references, satisfy your curiosity at the end, where the inspiration is revealed. There are no superficial scares here. These are stories that will make you think even as they keep you on the edge of your seat. From bloody horror, to the supernatural, to unnerving, all-too-possible realism, this collection has something for anyone looking for an absolute thrill.


I have to say, I’m not a big fan of anthologies for some reason. Maybe it’s the fact that a lot of anthologies I see are collections of stories that are in genres I’m not the biggest fan of – romance being a huge one, especially at Christmas time. So when I originally purchased Slasher Girls & Monster Boys, I didn’t think I’d particularly like it. And to be fair, I think I read two stories, put it down, and never picked it up again. In fact, my copy is in the garage, in a box.

But then I decided to do the All Hallows’ Read Challenge and I had to read an anthology and read a book that has been on my TBR for a while. So I picked this one. I didn’t have the get-up-and-go to try and find my copy, so I checked it out of the library. I’m glad I picked it. I really am.

I’d never noticed before that each story is inspired by books and movies. There are stories inspired by Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Stephen King’s Carrie, and movies like I Know What You Did Last Summer, The Birds, and more.

While I enjoyed all of the stories, I think my favorite was In the Forest Dark and Deep by Carrie Ryan. This one was inspired by the 1951 Disney animated film Alice in Wonderland and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. I also quite enjoyed the rest of the stories, but for some reason this one sticks out. Perhaps because I love Alice in Wonderland – to the point I own both the animated film and both Tim Burton adaptations, plus I have a digital copy of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland because I lost my physical one and haven’t replaced it yet.

All of these writers have an easy-to-read writing style… or perhaps I’ve read far too many Clive Barker, Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Anne Rice, and other horror novelists so I don’t find it hard to read their writing style for horror. I will say that Jay Kristoff really likes that whole e-mail/chat style because that’s featured in his story, Sleepless. But otherwise, the writing styles are easy to read.

If you use Bookly PRO I suggest reading this and listening to “Distant Thunders” or if you use Spotify, finding a playlist of thunderstorms. It lends the perfect spooky atmosphere for reading this anthology.

I gave the anthology four stars because I do think that some of the stories started out a bit too slowly and that some of the stories could have been a bit better. But I will say, this book was pretty amazing and I wouldn’t be opposed to a “sequel” anthology from these authors.

Book Review: Stillwell by Michael Phillip Cash

Title: Stillwell
Author: Michael Phillip Cash
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, New Adult Publisher: Red Feather Publishing Release Date: June 21, 2013
Format: Kindle
Pages: 137
Source: NetGalley
Rating: ★★★★☆

Paul Russo’s wife just died. While trying to get his family’s life back in order, Paul is being tormented by a demon who is holding his wife’s spirit hostage on the other side. His fate is intertwined with an old haunted mansion on the north shore of Long Island called Stillwell Manor. Paul must find clues dating back hundreds of years to set his wife’s soul free.


I have to say, I enjoyed this book by Michael Phillip Cash much better than the other one I read. I’m a sucker for a good ghost story, and this one is good.

This ghost story has an interesting twist to it. It isn’t often that you see something like this. Sure, you see happy endings to ghost stories, but this one is just too sweet, especially after the plot twist.

Once again, there wasn’t a lot of character development, but honestly, this book really didn’t need it. It didn’t detract from the story, probably because the paranormal portion was so well thought out and so well written.

I would love to see more books like this from Michael Phillip Cash. I think ghost stories are where his greatest talent lies.

I received a copy of this book free from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are 100% my own.

Book Review: Witches Protection Program by Michael Phillip Cash

Title: Witches Protection Program Author: Michael Phillip Cash
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Sci Fi, Fantasy Publisher: Create Space
Release Date: May 14, 2015
Format: Kindle
Pages: 239
Source: NetGalley
Rating: ★★★☆☆

Wes Rockville, a disgraced law enforcement agent, is given one last chance to prove himself and save his career when he’s reassigned to a 232 year old secret government organization. The Witches Protection Program.

His first assignment: uncover a billion-dollar Cosmetics company’s diabolical plan of using witchcraft for global domination, while protecting its heiress Morgan Pendragon from her aunt’s evil deeds.

Reluctantly paired with veteran witch protector, Alastair Verne, Wes must learn to believe in both witches and himself.


It took me a long time to even start this book. I think I added it to my NetGalley queue in 2015, but I didn’t start it until the other day. I’m not sure why it took me so long, but it did.

I have to say, Witches Protection Program isn’t a horrible book. It’s cute, it’s kitschy, and it’s a relatively quick read. That being said, it’s also kind of bad.

There isn’t a lot of character development. You don’t really get to know the characters. And you’re supposed to believe that two of the characters fall in love without either of them actually knowing anything other than the other person’s name.

At least the plot twists made up for the lack of character development. There are a couple of pretty good revelations and twists that are pretty satisfying. That being said, I don’t think I’d really recommend this book to anyone unless they just wanted a quick read.

I received a copy of this book free from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are 100% my own.

Book Review: A Grimm Curse by Janna Jennings

Title: A Grimm Curse
Series: Grimm Tales
Author: Janna Jennings
Genre: YA, Mystery, Thriller Publisher: Patchwork Press
Release Date: November 20, 2015 Format: Kindle
Pages: 174
Source: NetGalley
Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Long before Andi discovers Elorium, an orphan girl befriends an enchanted frog while her cursed stepsister plots revenge in a twist that can only transpire in a fairy tale.

This stand-alone prequel to the Grimm Tales follows Cynthia, Andi’s grandmother, who is dragged in to the palace’s circle of glitter and privilege by her stepmother. Lady Wellington’s obsessive quest for a crown for one of her daughters has ensnared Cynthia and her musical talent in her scheme. Cynthia turns the nightmarish concert into a gesture of true friendship in an attempt to reverse the curse of a frog prince.

Attempting to be invisible to her abusive stepfamily while sidestepping the arrogant prince, Cynthia searches for an understanding princess to change Remi back to his rightful form.

Things do not go as planned when Remi disappears, leaving their friendship in his wake. Meanwhile, the single-minded Prince Wilhelm is determined to make Cynthia his bride. With a cursed stepsister threatening to upend Cynthia’s delicately balanced situation, her time in Elorium is drawing to a close as revelations of who she is and the truth about their world comes to light in this reimagined fairy tale.


Ok, I’m all for reimagined fairy tales. After all, just look at the reviews I’ve done for three of the Disney Twisted Tales books. I love a good reimagined fairy tale. Please note I said a good reimagined fairy tale.

A Grimm Curse is not a good reimagined fairy tale. As a prequel, I honestly feel this book raises far more questions than it actually answers. It is all over the place and makes absolutely no sense.

There are elements of Rapunzel, Cinderella, The Frog Prince, and even Jack and the Beanstalk in this book. Just in case you wondered, as a general rule, fairy tales don’t crossover. Yes, I know… they do in Into the Woods and Shrek, among others. And it works in those places. But it didn’t work here.

There was so little of Jack in the Beanstalk it seemed like that addition was pure afterthought – kind of like the author said “Hmm, I should add yet another fairy tale, but which one?? Oh! I know! I’ll stick Jack in the Beanstalk at the end and hope no one notices.” There wasn’t much of Rapunzel either and you have no idea how Cynthia and Rapunzel became friends in the first place, they just were.

The story was just too disjointed and wonky for me to be able to enjoy it. I made it through because it’s a relatively quick read – about 4 and half hours, but honestly, I won’t read it again, nor would I consider reading the previous books in the series.

I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are 100% my own.