Book Review: A Kiss Before Killing by Keith McCarthy (@keithpmccarthy) #rbrt #crime thriller

Standard

A Kiss Before Killing is the latest in a long line of crime thrillers involving forensics and pathology by author Keith McCarthy, who is himself a practicing pathologist.

The story: Edward Marsham is admitted to the Royal Infirmary, having hung himself in his prison cell. There he dies. It had been predicted, but to Dr. Claire Woodforde, it is the latest in several unexpected deaths at the hospital, all on one ward, and she suspects there is a killer on the staff.

Detective Chief Inspector Beverley Wharton and her new sergeant Tom Bayes, are assigned to investigate Marsham’s death, and soon they begin to wonder if Marsham’s death was natural or whether someone helped him along. They are being driven by Wharton’s superior and seem to be making progress when a body without limbs or a head is found in an empty house.

The eminent pathologist Dr. John Eisenmenger, now retired, is asked to examine the torso in the hopes of establishing its identity and cause of death. He is soon tasked with more autopsies, as more torsos are discovered. Wharton and Bayes have a growing suspicion that there is a link between these and Marsham’s case.
***
As written in the book description: This is not for the faint-hearted reader of crime thrillers — it shines a light into the darkest recesses of the human soul.

I will state at the outset there are parts of this mystery which are grisly. The author is a physician/pathologist and clearly knows about dissection and forensics, which lends great reality to his story. I am a trained anatomist and have done many cadaver dissections, so I could deal with the descriptions, but there may be some potential readers who couldn’t. Fair warning.

As for the story itself, it is multi-layered and the reader needs to pay close attention to detail. The main characters – Beverly Wharton, John Eisenmenger (with whom she had had a relationship), and Tom Bayes, the rookie, are well-drawn and compelling. Wharton’s relationship with Eisenmenger is interesting and nuanced and I enjoyed watching the gradual maturation of Bayes as Wharton’s partner. Superintendent Lambert was clearly intended to be an irritant as he oversees Wharton’s work, and he certainly is, but I found his interactions with somewhat over the top and not particularly professional.

Dr. Claire Woodforde, by contrast, was pale and indeterminate. I never really got a feeling for her as a person, and the part of the mystery concerning the unexpected deaths in the hospital proceeded at a lethargic pace. The portrayal of the hospital administration was all too real, but even though this aspect of the book ultimately tied into the search for the murderer of the owners of the headless and limbless bodies, it never really captured my interest.

While there is great tension towards the last third of the book, there was an overall lack of emotion on the part of the characters with regard to the deaths. The dialogue was realistic and the author did a good job carrying the story forward, although at drastically different paces.

Overall, this book was a competent and occasionally compelling read, with enough twists and turns to hold your interest.

About the author

Keith McCarthy is a practicing pathologist for over thirty years, now working part-time. He enjoys writing novels in the crime thriller genre and is well known for his Eisenmenger-Flemming Forensic Mysteries. He also writes under the name Lance Elliot. He is currently learning the art of writing screenplays for film and TV. The golf course occasionally beckons him away from his writing.

You can find him

On Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/865816.Keith_McCarthy

On twitter @keithpmccarthy

On his home page   http://keithmccarthy.co.uk/

And on Wikipedia! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keith_McCarthy

You can find his books on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Keith-McCarthy/e/B001JS0NZO

 

Advertisements

How It Goes

Standard

I don’t usually post about the little day to day things, but I wanted to let you know that I am coming to grips, albeit very slowly, with losing Elijah Moon. He was the last of our pets, a total character, and our house seems very empty now without him. It still hurts my heart to see the couch where he slept every morning, and I had to put his beds away because seeing them also hurt. So there are times of tears. He lived large everywhere, so it’s hard not to see him slipping around a corner, just out of sight.

Hubs has promised me we will adopt another cat, as soon as we have recovered from Elijah’s loss. I can’t imagine life without a cat to love.

Elijah will always be here, with me, in my memory and heart. To all of you out there who have lost beloved pets this year, my sympathy and prayers are going out to you.

And thank you to everyone who sent me messages of support. They really helped.

Some New Followers – just love them!

Standard

Next post up is our trip to wine country in Burgundy, France….

In the meantime, have fun perusing these blogs. There are some great ones in here! And many thanks to all of these new followers.

https://stellaranimals.wordpress.com  A fun blog with dog and cat pictures and videos that will brighten your day!

Holly B at https://dressedtoread.com She is a book reviewer who spends hours reading novels and finding new books that intrigue her! Her favorite genre is mystery/thriller/psychological thrillers.

https://tripambitions.wordpress.com The author’s aim is to gain knowledge around the World and spread it, so there are travel, entertainment, sports and world heritage posts. Great photos. The latest post is one on the top places to travel in 2017.

Matthew Seufer at https://windowsfromheaven.org  He posts on the Bible, breaking news, God, fine art, miracles, nature, peace etc.

Gary Thaxton at https://garythaxton-visualartist.com His photographs are stunning. Check out his blog.

https://chineseforbeginnersblog.wordpress.com This blog even gives links to other blogs and sites to help people who are just starting to learn Chinese!

https://thrillersuspensefestival.com The author of this blog encourages writers to submit their work for FULL FEEDBACK, plus get it performed/showcased at the monthly festival – films, screen-lays and short stories.

Aparna at https://happilymuffined.wordpress.com  who hails from Madras, India, but who now lives in Manhatten. She writes about travel adventures, recipes and memories.

Zeynepsi at https://zeynepsi.wordpress.com – a new blog, just started. I need a translation!

Angelic Realm at https://nicolaangelic.wordpress.com This is a blog filled with positive, uplifting messages.

https://shortstory4all.wordpress.com/ by Mohammed Jamsheed / Pushpendra Gupta, who are currently working as Software Professionals in a reputed IT firm. They blog tech new, real life stories, and fiction. Stuff that millennials will dig.

Taifur Rahman Fuad (sorry, have no online address)

Cathy Lynn Brooks at https://cathylynnbrooks.com/ Cathy daughter was diagnosed with bipolar disease, then died in a car accident at age 29. Cathy writes her story but also inspirational and motivational pieces.

https://globalcompliancepaneltraining.wordpress.com  GlobalCompliancePanel is an online training gateway delivering high quality regulatory & compliance trainings in a simple, cost effective and in a user friendly format.

Sevan Malikyan at https://paintersjournal.wordpress.com https://paintersjournal.wordpress.comhttps://paintersjournal.wordpress.com Sevan Malikyan is a British expressive painter of Armenian Ancestry. He paints paints ‘ intense personal images figurative in style which draw on his personal and family history . His sketches and paintings are colorful and evocative.

Rough Bandit at https://funpunblog.wordpress.com  This blog makes me laugh. I love a blogger who isn’t serious!

Sumand Das Freelancer at https://sumandasfreelancer.wordpress.com/ Suman is a professional freelancer in Upwork, the technique to boost your website traffic, and ranking in the Search Engine. He  can work both locally and world-wide.

Mohammed Jamsheed and Pushpendra Gupta at https://shortstory4all.wordpress.com They work as as Software Professionals in a reputed IT firm. Apart from managing this site, they like to hang out with friends, Sports activities and participating in marathons. They post about business and inventions along with stories, all sorts!

And last but not least https://funnybone2017.wordpress.com/ A blog written by someone with a funny creative mindset, posting funny comedians and funny videos!

Introducing…Georgia Rose and Her Latest Book Parallel Lies #romantic #crime #thriller

Standard

Georgia Rose is one of my favorite writers and bloggers, and she has a new book coming out, called Parallel Lies, on September 12th.I thought it might be nice to give all y’all (that’s plural of y’all) a preview so I asked her to visit me today.

Her gift to my followers is her favorite scene in Parallel Lies. When I asked her to pick, here is what she said:

                                                                   *****

Oooh! Decisions, decisions. How on earth do you pick a favourite? Many in Parallel Lies had their moments, while some I would not want to repeat. It came down to something involving one of my favourite characters, Diane, who has already been described in a review as ‘a wonderfully free spirited woman in her 60s’.

My protagonist, Madeleine, Maddy to her friends, and Diane are very close and some of the best conversations happen between them. I loved writing these! I could easily imagine myself sitting and typing the scenes, while in that kitchen perched on a stool at the end of the pine table as I earwigged on the two of them. I’ve chosen a short taster in an attempt to whet your appetite for more, oh, and you also get to meet Cat…

From Parallel Lies:

‘…I push the door wider and enter a place that resembles The Burrow, home of the Weasleys. Admittedly there’s no actual, obvious, magic going on but that doesn’t matter, it’s the atmosphere, the ambience. There’s a large range with pots and pans piled up all over it and a huge black kettle coming to a boil. Bunches of plants hang drying from the ceiling and Diane is standing at the worn and well-scrubbed pine table using a pestle to mash stuff together in a huge grey stone mortar. The smell is divine. Woody, spicy scents mingle with citrus and flowers, all natural and raw, every element, fresh and dried, combining in a heady mix, and I take a deep breath as I put the cakes I bought onto the table.

“Can I do anything to help?” I ask, knowing what the answer is likely to be.

“No, no, no, just take a seat.” And the minute I do Cat leaps onto my lap and I push him off. It is common belief that he is Diane’s familiar, and I’m not a fan. He is stereotypically black and Diane is adamant that he is not hers hence the fact that he doesn’t have a name, other than Cat. He simply arrived one day, she once told me, and as far as Diane is concerned he is a free spirit, able to come and go as he wishes. He disappears for long periods of time which doesn’t worry Diane a jot as she believes that he is off helping people who need him.

I’m not convinced and think he is merely tomcatting around but not wishing to ruin Diane’s vision of him as a cat in shining armour I keep quiet on the subject.

Diane finishes mashing whatever it is she’s working on and turns her attention to a vat of simmering liquid on the range. I peer into the mortar to see an uninspiring brown sludge at the base and briefly wonder what it might be used for.

My thoughts are interrupted by a bowl of golden broth being placed in front of me, a hunk of homemade bread at its side. There is no ceremony here, no side plates needed and I break off a piece of the bread and dunk it into the soup. It is flavoursome, and hearty and I make soft noises of appreciation.’

 

 

                       My name is Madeleine, Madeleine Ross. It is a name chosen with thought and
                                         because it is classy, and that is what is needed here…

                                        Madeleine Ross has life exactly as she planned it.

                                           Cosy cottage, friendly village, satisfying job.

                                                    Company… when she wants it.

 

Blurb for Parallel Lies:

It’s an enviable existence for an independent young woman, and one she’s keen to protect.

Enter Daniel – strong, dependable and a danger to everything she’s built. He’s not something she was looking for, but hearts can’t be controlled and maybe, just maybe he might be worth letting into hers.

But, all is not what it seems. Because Madeleine is hiding a lifetime of secrets. Deep secrets. And they never stay buried for ever.

Her darkest secret returns, like the proverbial bad penny. He is her first love, shadowy, dangerous, the baddest of bad boys. No matter how far she runs, or how well she hides, she can never escape him.

Or her past.

Here he is, on her doorstep, with a proposition she is powerless to resist but which could devastate the future she hoped to have.

Can Madeleine satisfy the old love while keeping the new?

You can’t always get what you want but, desperate to preserve the life she has worked so hard for, Madeleine is willing to risk everything to prove that she can.

                                                                *****

You can pre-order Parallel Lies by clicking here: getbook.at/ParallelLies

But wait! There’s also a Giveaway for you to enter, should you wish!

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/adc035ab1/

 

About the Author (lots of good information!)

Georgia Rose is a writer and the author of the romantic and suspenseful Grayson Trilogy books: A Single Step, Before the Dawn and Thicker than Water. A short story, The Joker, based on a favorite character from the series followed and is free to download from Amazon.

Her fourth novel, Parallel Lies, a standalone to be released on 12 September 2017, encompasses crime along with Georgia’s usual blending of genre. Georgia’s background in countryside living, riding, instructing and working with horses has provided the knowledge needed for some of her storylines; the others are a product of her overactive imagination!

Georgia prefers silence to noise, and, being socially inept likes to stay in rather than go out. She is thankful she grew up in an age before online dating apps and when everyone carried a camera, as at least all the horrifyingly embarrassing moments of her life can only replay in the confines of her own head.

Her busy life is set in a tranquil part of rural Cambridgeshire in the UK where she lives with her much neglected husband and dog. Their son, currently at university, comes and goes and their daughter, having delighted them all for long enough, has eventually moved out, got married, and is discovering the joys of being all grown up and having a mortgage!

You can find her:

www.georgiarosebooks.com

On Twitter: @GeorgiaRoseBook

On Facebook: Facebook

And there is a Grayson Trilogy page on Facebook: The Grayson Trilogy FB Page

Addendum

I reviewed Thicker Than Water from Georgia’s Grayson Trilogy for Rosie’s Book Review Team (https://saylingaway.wordpress.com/2015/11/26/book-review-thicker-than-water/)

 and I wrote “Georgia Rose is quickly becoming the queen of romantic adventure..”

Get on Kindle and order Georgia Rose’s latest: PARALLEL LIES

Thanks for doing a guest post for me, Georgia. It was lovely to have you!

 

This and That

Standard

This is the catchall title I use in emails to my friends when nothing much is happening, but I’m overwhelmed with work. What I am up to:

Trying to read at least half of the wonderful posts I get each day from fellow bloggers (I get well over 200 a day – I know, I can’t help myself) and send a reply.

Doing the editing of my fourth book for my beta readers, trying but failing to keeping my nose to the grindstone.

Posting at least once a week about a stop in our vacation all over Europe. Two to go…

Reading books for Rosie Amber and posting my reviews

Beta reading a book for a friend

Doing some work on an online anatomy program (mine, actually) for Elsevier. The program won first place for a digital teaching program from the British Medical Society last year, so I am invested.

Critiquing contributions from members of the two groups to which I belong.

 Lastly, working hard not to go nuts!

https://i2.wp.com/www.clipartbest.com/cliparts/dc7/oyb/dc7oybkRi.jpeg

PS

For all the Blogger’s Bash attendees, my short story Connection was accepted by the Bella Online Literary Review!

 

 

TEXAS

Standard

https://i2.wp.com/darkroom-cdn.s3.amazonaws.com/2017/08/AFP-Getty_TOPSHOT-US-WEATHER-STORM-HARVEY3.jpg

Hey, everyone, just a reminder that those folks in Texas really, really need our help. The outpouring of local help in terms of people with boats and food carts has been heart-warming, but I felt rather hopeless to do anything from where I am. There are thousands of people who have lost their homes, and who will need assistance in every way.

For now, food, water and shelter are needed. Even the shelters are starting to flood in some areas. We can’t expect the government to do everything, and  the government has a poor record of being ready for a disaster of this magnitude (although it seems it’s a lot better this time around). We need to pick up the slack through the private organizations to help fill in the gaps.

So how can we help? Donate whatever you can afford. The places I would recommend are

The American Red Cross;  http://www.redcross.org/

Samaritan’s Purse:  https://www.samaritanspurse.org/our-ministry/donate-online/

Mercury One: https://www.mercuryone.org/hurricane-harvey

Samaritan’ Purse is run by the Reverend Franklin Graham, while Mercy One is a Glenn Beck organization. Both of these use all of your donation without taking overhead and do not proselytize. I don’t care about religions or political affiliation – only that my money goes in its entirety to what I designate.

I hope you can help!

Your blogger friend, Noelle

A Stop in Dijon

Standard

On our way back to Amsterdam and the plane home, we visited two cities in France: Dijon and Reims. Dijon was a convenient stop along the way and a very historical city. It also has great mustard!

After driving around and finding the tiny entrance to our hotel’s underground parking garage and circling down three levels, we were convinced we were descending to hell – but we found a spot and a lift to take us up to the street. The hotel was a block down the street and blessedly air-conditioned.

Dijon has an old city center, which we decided to explore early the next morning before it got hot. There are no cars there, just pedestrian ways, and it has a grand entrance!

The houses are amazing and well-preserved, some with spectacular architecture.

We stopped on one of the several stores we saw on our wanderings to buy mustard! Dijon mustard is one of the world’s best condiments as far as I’m concerned and we bought one large jar for ourselves. We later learned that Dijon mustard is not made with seeds from Dijon but from Canada!

The best part of our morning walk was the visit to Dijon’s Notre Dame. Considered a masterpiece of 13th-century Gothic Architecture, it is situated at the heart of the old city.  There are 51 gargoyles on the western façade – I read that these are dummies — decorative rather than drain spouts. There are functional gargoyles on the lateral walls of the church and the walls of the apse.

Once inside, I was fascinated with the ceiling with its Gothic arches, the spectacular rose window, and some of the statuary.

One of the other churches in Dijon is the Dijon Cathedral, which showed something typical for Dijon – the colored tile roofs.

Dijon has a large immigrant population, and the only time we felt unsafe during our entire trip was our first evening there. We came down to go out to dinner and the hotel lobby was swarming with gendarmes — there had been a large demonstration somewhere nearby, and they were just checking out various places in proximity. With the language barrier, we didn’t learn anything more.

The other adventure we had in Dijon was a burgundy wine tour, which I’ll tell you about next!

 

Book Review: Speed Bump Himalayas by Mark Giblin @mark_mgiblin #RBRT #travel #adventure

Standard

The reader knows there will be some fun in this book from the introduction by Sean Lock, a well-known British comedian who just happened to share a part of this travel adventure with the author. However, this is definitely not your average travelogue: it is gritty and horrifying for much of the time.

I will admit I was not entertained – except by the humor – for the first third or so of the book, which was basically the wanderings of a 20- something young man and his friends on a drug-infused trip through India and Nepal in the late 1980s. However, I was drawn in to Giblin’s gruesome story of survival, trekking out of the Himalayas, and his equally disturbing and unpredicted recovery from the undiagnosed illness that drove him home. Quite a contrast. The dry jocularity made it all palatable and ultimately, a page-turner.

Mark’s adventure begins at a time when young Englishmen were drawn to India and Nepal with the promise of cheap drugs, free love and high adventure. He is traveling solo in Nepal and in a dumb and dumber move, decides to cross a glacier with only his slick-soled shoes and no other equipment. He nearly loses his life escaping the glacier, but his adventures in India and Nepal send him home to earn enough money to return. He talks his friend Sean Lock into accompanying him, but they choose the wrong time of year for their trip. Sean becomes nearly unhinged when they arrive in a steamy, humid, pre-monsoon Dehli. When the two go looking for fellow travelers, liquor and drugs, all they find is boredom, mosquitoes, and snakes with nothing but humor, getting high and/or drunk and the occasional book to keep them occupied. Until they reach Katmandu…

Once there, with Sean healed from bout with what is nicely described as arse-boils, they decide to try a four week trek into the mountains, even though Mark is not feeling quite right. By the time they are halfway to their destination, Mark is feeling bad enough to send Sean continue on his own. What began as ‘not feeling right’ turns into monumental pain and frightening, continuous loss of all sorts of bodily fluids. At this point, it became a book not to be put down, even though you know the author survives.

I had my suspicions about what he suffered from, but that’s because of my medical background. Turns out I was close, but not quite on spot.

I was awed by Mark’s bravery, humor and determination to survive despite the increasing odds that he wouldn’t. The story of how he managed to get back to England in incredible pain, with no sleep, no food and little water, and most especially without any treatment (there were no MDs qualified to treat him) is unbelievable. His ability to make interesting observations, find kindness in strangers and even make fun of his situation may have helped him survive and definitely helps the reader! Even after getting to a hospital at home did not guarantee his survival, as his treatment threatens to kill him.

This book begins as a series of travel misadventures, but quickly morphs into a remarkable journey, seasoned with dry humor, and a testament to the human spirit, which runs strong and true in the author.

PS You have to get to the very end to discover what ailed Mark.

About the author 

Mark Giblin is a cartoon making, song writing, guitar playing, banjo twanging English man. He also makes classic motorbike and car art for his company Revs And Threads.

Sean Lock is successful British comedian and TV personality. His TV appearances include QI, 8 Out of 10 Cats, TV Heaven, Telly Hell, Live at the Apollo, 15 Stories High. He also won the Perrier Comedy Award.

Speed Bump Himalayas has a forward by the English comedian Sean Lock. I had to check him out on You Tube, and he IS hilarious. It seems he shared this adventure with the author Mark Giblin, and I am glad he survived to write about it!

You can find Mark Giblin on Twitter: @mark_mgiblin

Speed Bump Himalayas can be found on Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/Speed-Bump-Himalayas-Mark-Giblin/dp/0995421307/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1503069724&sr=1-1&keywords=Speed+Bump+Himalayas