Book Review: Whispers In The Dark @cmacwritescrime @RedDogTweets #ErikaPiper #Book2



Who will heed the call when Death comes whispering?

Small time drug dealer, Marcus Stone and DCI Clive Burston had never met until one night in August. By the end of that night, both had been shot dead in a small bedroom in the heart of gang territory.

DI Erika Piper is called to the scene but is at a loss to explain what’s happened. How did these two even meet, let alone end up dead in what appears to be a strange murder-suicide?

As Erika leads the investigation, another two bodies are found, killed in a similar fashion. One murder, one suicide. But who is controlling this macarbre puppet show?

As Erika delves deeper into the lives of the dead, the pieces begin to fit together and a number of nefarious characters crawl out of the woodwork – one of whom is almost certainly pulling the strings.

A catastrophic event and a personal miracle threaten to derail the investigation. Erika must find the strength to continue, before the whispers catch up with her too…

My Thoughts:

Chris McDonald’s second book reads like his fifth!

All the main characters are back including Erica, Lewis and DCI Bob.

I wasn’t sure how I was going to find this book when I learned it was about such a powerful  subject of depression and suicide in all honesty I felt sick with nerves and almost gave up before I even started! But I’m glad I didn’t as the subject and it’s suffers are handled very well and with the utmost care and respect.

Not wanting to spoil it for anyone but I’m not sure i agree with some of the things that happened to our main characters but I am sure Chris has it all planned out…

To me this book didn’t feel like a second, Chris has come along way since a wash of black that sometimes takes authors years to achieve not their second book out!

Really hope there is more to come from Erica sooner rather than later!

Grab your copy here,




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Paper and Hard backs can also be brought directly from the publisher.

Dr Alex Ripley – M Sean Coleman

Better late than never, this month I am going to look back over a series by M Sean Coleman staring Dr Alex RIPLEY.

M Sean Coleman recently published the last in the series and the last book is just as good as the first.

The Cuckoo Wood


Samantha Jaynes took her life in the cold lake. Now Rosie Trimble has done the same. Both claimed they had seen an angel. And they’re not the only ones.

A spate of teenage suicides rattles the rural community of Kirkdale, in England’s Lake District. Before they died, each of the girls talked about seeing an angel. Is this collective hallucination, or is something more sinister leading these young girls to their deaths?

That’s a question for Dr Alex Ripley, the so-called Miracle Detective. Brought in to help the police, she finds a community rooted in fear and suspicion, bound by their strange faith, unwilling to help, unable to forgive.

Because the people of Kirkdale have buried their dark past once, and they’re not about to let Ripley dig it up again.

My Thoughts

The Cuckoo Wood is the first book in the Alex Ripley series and I can’t wait to read more!

The story starts on Midsummer’s eve when Samantha Jaynes lays dying in a cold and dark lake, until the Kirkdale Angel comes to her rescue but it’s to late. In the next chapter Rosie is drawn to the same lake with a group of her friends and is seemingly drawn into the lake where she later drowns, there are people are out looking for Rosie but they are late. We are then introduced to Dr Alex Ripley “The Miracle Detective” as she prepares to take part in a television show to promote her new book “A Leap of Faith.”

A Friend on the police force asked Dr Ripley to investigate the apparent suicides of both Samantha and Rosie, as she believes that something else is afoot. But the town is try desperately to hide something that happened at that same lake many years previously ao it won’t be easy.

This book beautiful Atmospheric will have you feeling like you are right there in the story. As Dr Ripley searches for the answers to what is really going on in this deeply religious town.

The description in this book is so intense, I really believed in what Dr Ripley experienced when she was “tripping” and her husband was actually there with her.

I felt drawn to Dr Ripley and hoped she would end up a relationship with the towns PC Daniel Cotter. Though Dr Ripley has her doubts there are parts of this story which she can’t explain and we are left wondering if she saw a ghosts.

Having received a copy of the Author’s next book “A Hollow Sky.” I am really looking forward to learning more about Dr Ripley and who knows maybe PC Cotter will return.

This book is now THE BOOK I am recommending to all my friends!


Jane Hewitt had been miraculously healed—cured of a terminal cancer that had been eating away at her body for months. After one meeting with an incredible young woman, Jane rose from her wheelchair and walked out, believing that her lifetime of devoted faith had been rewarded.

The next day, Jane died in her husband’s arms, devastated that her God had deserted her. Her husband, Ian, blames her hastened death on the faith healer she visited. But that faith healer is a teenage girl called Megan, who has been in a coma for five years, and has no say over how her gift is used.

When Ian is arrested after being accused of breaking in to Megan’s house and trying to tamper with her life support, he turns to the only person he knows can help clear his name, and stop this family deceiving any other victims—Dr Alex Ripley, the so called Miracle Detective.

Fascinated by Megan’s case, and needing a distraction, Ripley finds herself on Holy Island, off the coast of North Wales, caught up in an investigation that will prove more sinister and dangerous than she could have imagined. Ian is not the first person to complain about Megan and her supporters, but he seems to be the only one left alive. For now.

My Thoughts

M Sean Coleman is one of my new favourite authors, hot off the release of The Cuckoo Tree comes The Hollow Sky. Another thrilling ride with Dr Alex Ripley investigating a young girl who is in a coma but she is said to possess the power of heeling sick people.

Dr Ripley is contacted by someone she recently met filming a television interview to promote her new book “Leap of Faith.” Ian’s wife Jane visited Megan and got up from her wheel chair and walked away from the house cued only to die days later in Ian’s arms, understandably Ian wants answers and is later arrested for tampering with Megan’s life support machines.

There is so much more to this story, As part of this same blog tour I read something by the author in regards to the small town mentality and this novel is no different as the town comes together to protect Megan and her gift. Though the deeper Alex looks into it the more she finds out that everything is all but what it seems with Megan and the people who are really behind what is going on.

I am loving how the author manages to get all the characters from a small town exactly right, the local police officer/s, The pub landlord, the town busy body, the church community and the town’s leaders. All these personalities make for exciting character’s going forward.

Though Alex is going from almost one case to another, I am glad to see we are slowly learning about Alex’s past and her missing husband who may have phoned her and appeared in a hallucination.

This book is beautifully written and I can’t understand why the author hasn’t been picked up by one of the big publishers or agents.

Both of these books were in my top ten book of 2018


A spate of brutal killings in the Lake District town of Penrith sees Dr Alex Ripley – the Miracle Detective – reunited with friend and Forensic Investigator Emma Drysdale to face a killer with a very sinister message.

Once again, Ripley is called in to help the police when they discover that all of the victims all have some kind of religious connection. What Ripley discovers is that the killer’s message is far more personal than any of them thought.

But what do these lost gospels, doom paintings, gods and demons have to do with the murders of three innocent people? And why is Ripley so important to the killer?

My Thoughts

I was excited to read the new Ripley book! After consuming the first two quickly to be left waiting for the next to arrive for two!? years and it did not disappoint.

This book seems to have taken Ripley full circle and at points I was left wondering why this book didn’t come after Cuckoo Wood as many of the characters and the things that had happened in Cuckoo Wood were referred to a lot in “On Stoney Ground” whereas not much was said about the happenings in A Hollow Sky.

This book seems to have ended almost where Cuckoo Wood had started back all those years ago, but saying that I loved to see Dan Cotler back in the mix and now a detective whose knowledge and experience of small town mentality really give something extra to the story and progression of the investigation.

I think I would have liked things to have ended differently with some of the other character’s in the book but would this have been different with the author had been planning to continue the series?

One extra gold star does go to the author for his handling of a subject of religion that has been argued so much about over the years, he has handled the subject sensitivity but still managing to and his own twist in the stories he has told over the series.

Overall I loved this book just as much as the first two and I am pretty guttered to see the end of a series I have enjoyed so much.

I guess I’m off to cry into my cuppa tea….



EXCLUSIVE: All three of these books are available from Amazon priced 99p each… Clickty click


NB: There has also been some cover changes in this serise, so my blog post may not match the books as they are known now.


A Hollow Sky MSeanColeman_AuthorPhoto_HiResBorn in the UK and raised in South Africa, M. Sean Coleman developed a love for reading and writing novels in his early teens, thanks to two incredibly passionate English teachers who infected him with their love of words and stories. Over the intervening years, he has written film and television drama, cross-platform series, an interactive children’s storybook and a graphic novel series.

He finally found his niche as a thriller writer when he was asked to write a novel as part of the cross-platform project, Netwars. His first book, The Code, was published six months later, with the sequel, Down Time, hot on its heels. There was no going back.

He is obsessed with crime, mystery and thriller stories, especially those with a fresh or surprising angle. He writes novels from his home in The Cotswolds, where he lives with his husband and their three red dogs.

logo_thumb800 @MSColeman   Facebook-Xperia  M Sean Coleman Author



Tainted Love @TSHunter5 @RedDogTweets #SohoNoir #TaintedLove #LGBTBooks #Q&A

Tainted Love @TSHunter5 @RedDogTweets #SohoNoir #TaintedLove #LGBTBooks #Q&A

Tainted Love



It’s 1985, and Joe Stone is excited to be joining his old school friend, and lifelong crush, Chris, for a long weekend in London’s Soho—home to a vibrant, developing gay scene, and a million miles from the small town Joe and Chris grew up in.

When Chris is found brutally murdered, the police write his death off as another rent boy fallen foul of a bad hook up. But Joe knows his best friend was killed deliberately, and joins forces with former police detective, Russell Dixon—Chris’s flatmate—to find out why.

Spiralling debt, illicit sex, blackmail, spurned lovers and hard-nosed gangsters all play their part, but who among the celebrities, fashionistas, drag queens, ex-lovers and so-called friends is Chris’s killer?

A noirish whodunit set in 1980s London, with all the big hair, electro-pop, shoulder pads, police discrimination and lethal killers that the era had to offer.


Author Q&A

I am really excited about this new series, so I grabbed a quick chat with T S Hunter to find out more about him and his work.

Who were the biggest influences on you growing up that led you to be a writer?

My grandmother was a great reader. When her eyesight failed, she turned to audiobooks and, when her hearing failed, she told me that she hated not being able to escape into her stories anymore. I’m not sure whether that was a direct influence on me being a writer, but it made me a deeply appreciative reader, and I think one often leads to the other.

I always enjoyed writing at school—though I once had an English teacher tell me I’d been too creative for the exam question we’d been set. I guess no one on the Welsh Joint Exam Board was ready for my “Papa didn’t bleed” horror story in response to the “My Family” stimulus.

Still, I always liked making things up, and was often accused of living in a fantasy world, so I guess I was perpetually in training. Not to paint a negative picture of my experience, my mother has always supported and encouraged my creativity, so I guess she was my first and most consistent influence.

What do you want your readers to feel at the end of your books?

With this particular book, I want readers to feel keen to read the next in the series, of course, but I would also like them to feel like they’ve learned a little about what it was like to be gay in the eighties. It’s such a relatively short time ago, and yet there have been so many advances in terms of rights, understanding, freedoms. I want people to understand that for every right and freedom we have today, somebody had to suffer in the past.

But I also want them to feel like they’ve just read a romping good crime story, and that they almost forgot that the majority of the characters were LGBTQ…

Do your characters always do what you tell them?

Well, if they don’t, I’ll kill them! I’m joking. I like a good plotting session, so I spend a fair bit of time making sure that everybody knows what they’re meant to be doing—who the actual killer is, who the red herrings are and when they need to reveal themselves, who’s going to have a bit-part in this book but a bigger one in the next. Usually my characters all do as they’re told, although sometimes they will get there a bit too quickly, or other times just dig their heels in and make life difficult for me.

The biggest problem I have with my characters is when they refuse to speak to me. It’s really annoying, but there are some days when the voices don’t  come. I find that if I go out for a run or a long walk, they make themselves heard at the point where I am furthest away from either a notebook or my computer. Then I have to negotiate with them the whole way home so that they don’t abandon me before I get to write down what they said.

How many drafts do you tend to do of each book?

Quite a few, but most of them are for me. I tend to write very quickly, skimming over bits I’m not sure about yet—especially dialogue and names, and details. I like to get a feel for the book first, because invariably, detail will change. When everything is basically hanging together, I start redrafting until it is the best I can get it in a reasonable time frame. By the time it goes to the editors it’s already probably three or four drafts in, but there is nothing more I can do with it at that stage—it needs fresh eyes.

Once my editor has had a first pass, I sit and read through all of her comments and digest everything. I then sit on it for a few more days, before opening the editor’s notes again and working through the changes.

A good editor—which I certainly have in Eleanor—is invaluable at this stage. They are able to highlight all the crap, everything that either makes no sense, is a bit trite or predictable, or is just completely wrong, and they are able to word their suggestions to make you still feel like you are the brains behind the machine! It’s a real skill. Usually we push through another two drafts together and then it’s ready for proofreading and final tweaks.

What’s next for you?

Well, I have five more books in this series to publish this year, so I will be pretty busy! I do have an idea for another book. A standalone novel that taps on my brain every day, but for now it must wait. The 80s are still calling and the soundtrack is just so good!

What is a dream scenario for you as a writer?

Fame! Fortune! Great sex! Or a handful of nice reviews and enough royalties to cover the cost of a slap up meal. It’s a tough old world, writing and publishing, and finding an audience for your made up world. I still think it’s hard for me to think of myself as a writer, even though that is what I do. It’s such a strange concept, don’t you think? I would love to be a household name, and you did ask for a dream scenario. I would love to make a living from my words. Realistically, I’d settle for making a difference.

What are your hopes and fears for the Soho Noir series?

The biggest hope is that people love the series and follow the characters through all the books, and the biggest fear, of course, is that they don’t. I really wanted to create a series of good crime stories, that all crime lovers want to share, which just happen to be set in a predominantly LGBTQ community, with gay characters in most of the good roles. I would love this series to become part of the discourse on LGBT fiction, and another step in breaking down barriers for gay characters, but I would also love for people to simply recognise it as good crime writing. It may only ever preach to the choir, but I hope some readers surprise themselves by finding the characters as appealing as any straight detective hero—and preferably more so.

Thanks T S Hunter x

Claiming to be only half-Welsh, T.S. Hunter lived in South Wales for much of his latter teens, moving to London as soon as confidence and finances allowed. He never looked back.

He has variously been a teacher, a cocktail waiter, a podium dancer and a removal man, but his passion for writing has been the only constant.

He’s a confident and engaging speaker and guest, who is as passionate about writing and storytelling as he is about promoting mainstream LGBT fiction.

He now lives with his husband in the country, and is active on social media as @TSHunter5.

Buy T S Hunter’s new book below:




To win: a Signed Copy of Tainted Love, a fabulous “Go Away I’m Reading” tote bag, a rainbow button badge, and some chocolate



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More about the Soho Noir Series

The Soho Noir series is set in the decade of big hair, shoulder pads, pastel suits and bright, cheesy pop, in a part of London which, on the surface at least, seemed to accept and adore people from all walks of life—a melting pot of gender, sexuality, colour and race, where celebrities rubbed up against the average Joe in cafes, bars and hair salons on every street.

But the 1980s had a darker underbelly, even in Soho. This was a time when gay rights were hard fought, where the police actively targeted gay men as easy victims for arrest and extortion, the government deliberately restricted gay rights and the tabloids screamed about The Gay Plague—the AIDS epidemic. And yet, gay icons who would go on to endure lasting fame and success were springing up all over the pop and fashion world.

The 1980s forms a strangely fitting, sometimes nostalgic, always entertaining backdrop to this colourful series of cozy crime stories.

Noirish, sexy and delicious.

For information about Red Dog Publishing click on one of the links below.

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