Judith D Collins
Love You to Death
Detective Ruby Preston Crime Thriller Series #1
Publication Date: 11/11/2016
My Rating: 5 stars ++ Top Books of 2016 ‘I’m not your mother. You’re a monster. I don’t want you’ Women who gave a child up for adoption are being killed. A knock at their front door begins a nightmare from which they will never wake up. For Detective Ruby Preston and her team, it is a race against time to connect the dots before the killer can strike again. But when Ruby receives a sinister email, the case takes a terrifying personal twist.
Could the clues to the identity of the killer lie in Ruby’s own past?
Who can she trust with her secrets?
And could Ruby be next?
Love You to Death is a serial killer thriller packed with twists.
A special thank you to Bookouture and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Master crime thriller author, Caroline Mitchell “ups the ante” with her edgy and gritty new series: LOVE YOU TO DEATH, the first jaw-dropper Detective Ruby Preston debut, which will blow you away. OMG! A thriller like no other, ever. Mitchell’s best yet! Movie Worthy (all the ingredients) for a blockbuster bestseller. Merry Christmas Mummy. What if Santa doesn’t bring me what I want, Mummy? Now let me kill you for leaving me How far will a person go for love? Set in London, this is a series you will be dying to read. I started at 2am and planned on reading for an hour or so. Trust me, there is NO way you can sleep once you start. Did not stop until I finished the last satisfying page. Non-stop action. Dark, gripping, heart-pounding. It was worth an entire sleepless night. Cannot wait to tell everyone about this book. Words cannot adequately describe the intensity. My heart is still not back to normal. . Caroline Mitchell shines. Brilliantly plotted, the antagonist Lucy is beyond evil, MENTAL, deranged, with demons unleashed in ways you cannot imagine. The author gives an award- winning performance. Each character is sculpted with the finest of instruments. And this is not even the best part! Detective Ruby Preston is spectacular! Gritty, edgy, kick-ass, tough – absolutely love her! She is not beyond going around the law when needed, plus she has many flaws, a secret past, and a great heart. To further enhance your reading enjoyment, yes . . . there is plenty more. The author adds a bad boy, Nathan Crosby (rich-gangster) on the wrong side of the law from a crime (abusive) family (even though he is the best of the bunch and a great heart-loved him) – on and off again boyfriend with a lots of history; a horrible mom, dad, and evil crime lord brother, Lenny. To add more spice, there is another DI, romantic interest "sleeping with (off and on)." And let’s not forget Ruby’s mom, Joy which has dementia in a care facility, Oakwood; which also adds some flair for the dramatic and humor. Ruby's past is about to catch up with her, which may destroy her career, her life, and anyone who gets in the way. Complicated. Hang on for the ride of your life. Buckle up, it is a rip-roaring roller coaster ride that never loses speed until the explosive conclusion. A few tidbits. OK, "few" is not in my vocabulary. However, promise not to give away any spoilers, but man, there are some shockers, twists, and many surprises. Nothing about this novel is predictable. Had me, guessing to the very end. Meet Lucy. Bad girl. Emily was not her mother. She was just like all the others. Nothing but a huge disappointment. She had another Mummy with a different surname, and soon she would be knocking on her door. Tomorrow she would begin again. And again. And again. She would do what it took to find her mother. Somebody worthy of her love. Was she cursed? She does not want distractions of other family members. She enjoyed the hunt. It gave her a special kind of joy. But there was no time to waste, and tomorrow, she would get back to the serious task of finding her mother. She will eliminate anyone who gets in the way. Husbands and other family members, included. She scratches off the names. Emily, Monica, Anita . . She knew she had been born to a strong, loving independent woman. Someone who would take her in and love her forever. They would go on shopping trips together, and when Christmas came, it would be the best day of all. She works her way down the list. Time was running out. Only a few months to Christmas and Lucy would not spend it alone! Soon Lucy would have her fairy-tale ending. Christmas Day! Women who gave up their babies for adoption are being targeted. A serial killer. The door-knocker. Desperate letters to a mother. A death notification. A black-edged card. Dearest Mother, “Yes, you read right. I’m your daughter. I’ve come to find you. I know that this will come as a shock to you, or perhaps you’ve always known that this day would come. That the daughter you gave away would come looking for answers. But there’s no need to worry. I don’t care about the past. I just want us to be a family. Writing this letter has not been easy, but I want us to be together. I hope this advance warning will make things easier when we meet. I’m so looking forward to being a part of your family again.” Lots of love, Lucy x The door-knocker killer. She knocks on doors with the news she is the daughter they gave away and is invited in. The woman on the other side is now a victim, at the hands of a monster. Would she ever really have a happy ever after? Was trying to recreate a happy ending a façade. It all revolved around a set up based on a movie, Lucy’s First Christmas. A twisted desperation to recreate an idyllic family scene. An old-fashioned heart-warming fairy tale, gone bad. She was playing it out. Lucy is totally unpredictable and would react without warning. Will her victims give the right answers to her stupid game? If not. Watch out, you will be eliminated. Wait, if you do have the right answer, she still wants the joy of killing you. Detective Ruby Preston is on the case. Now she is receiving letters RIP. No one knows her middle name which starts with an I, but only a select few in her past. Could it be her worst nightmare? Now she finds, herself risking her career for something in her past which has risen to the surface. Plus, who can she trust at work? Ruby now has more problems and it is getting personal in more ways than one. A journalist has received a letter which could end her career. Dear Helen: "Detective Ruby Preston (RIP) is sleeping with gangster Nathan Crosby and DI Jack Downers. Disgusting behavior from a MET police officer. The public needs to know." Lucy Who in the heck is this gal Lucy? How does she know about her past and present? Mix in Nathan (Ruby/ Nathan), Joy-Ruby’s mom with dementia, Goldie- a hooker prostitute, Cathy-a homeless girl, Lenny a crime lord (Nathan’s brother), The Crosbys (rich, powerful, corrupt family), women being held captive and murdered, a DI Downes-a love interest, and an entire team on the hunt for the killer, plus more twists and turns and shockers than you can count! Plus with all Ruby’s flaws, she is struggling with her on and off relationship with Nathan. They are on both sides of the law which propose ongoing problems, but they can’t quite part ways. He has bought her a new flat, in a safe neighborhood (which she needs desperately on her salary), but she is afraid it comes with strings. She is unsure about her new relationship with DI Downes since they work together, which can get complicated. Plus she does like her booze. A gripping psychological crime cop suspense thriller on steroids! My Top Thriller List for 2016.
Hard to describe without giving away clues; however, if you think a mix of: Karin Slaughter/Lisa Gardner (crime-cop-female protagonist-gritty, edgy), Mark Edwards/Jennifer Hillier (sinister, horror, evil, suspense), Harlan Coben (non-stop action, twists) and Paul Cleave/Michael Robotham/Lindsay Barclay (crime, psychological suspense, humor) + Caroline’s own personal cop/crime expertise + writing talent = LOVE YOU TO DEATH. Plot and character driven -coming from all sides. Everything you could possibly want from a crime thriller is here. Buy this book and move to the top of your reading list. Comes out today!! I am so thrilled about the Ruby Preston series, and cannot wait for the next installment to see what comes next. I am enjoying how many of the authors today are taking their female leads (series) and kicking it up a notch (like Marcia Clark and Mitchell, among others), with more ballsy protagonists than their previous series, with secret pasts and often color outside the lines, with moral gray areas. What amazes me is how the Mitchell can crank out so many books. Like LOVE YOU TO DEATH, and currently reading WITNESS, coming Dec 20, 2016 (loving it-Featured Weekend Read), and The Silent Twin (April 2016) – all in one year. Impressive! My third in a row with the awesome publisher, Bookouture (great covers). The UK gals can sure write psychological crime thrillers, like no other!
About the Author
Originally from Ireland, Caroline lives in a pretty village on the coast of Essex with her family. A former police detective, she has worked in CID and specialised in roles dealing with vulnerable victims, high risk victims of domestic abuse, and serious sexual offences.
In 2010, Caroline and her family found themselves victims of unexplained paranormal occurrences in their home. Compelled to write of her true experiences, her first book, Paranormal Intruder was released, and became an Amazon best seller in the supernatural category.
Using her personal experiences in both the police and the paranormal, she went on to write the DC Jennifer Knight supernatural crime series, which was signed by publishers Bookouture. All three books became Amazon best sellers in their categories and have sold over a hundred thousand copies in the first year of release.
Caroline signed a further three book deal with Bookouture in 2016. The first in her new crime thriller series featuring DS Ruby Preston is due for publication this Autumn.
Her new psychological thriller, signed by Thomas & Mercer is due for publication late 2016. Read More