Wendy Cartmell

Author of the Sgt Major Crane crime thrillers

If you want to read a psychological thriller, the best thing to do is read one written by someone with experience of the field. A psychotherapist in another life, Alison’s detailed knowledge of her subject shines through and makes her stories comes alive. The Enemy at the Window is no exception.
Daniel is living the dream with a devoted wife, perfect job and adorable toddler. Until, out of the blue, his wife accuses him of having an affair and stabs him in a frenzied attack with a kitchen knife. As his wife is sectioned in a psychiatric ward, Daniel returns home from intensive care to find his precious world is inexorably falling apart.
This intriguing situation is the springboard for one of the author’s best books. By turn thrilling, heart wrenching, amusing and shocking, this is a roller coaster ride of a book and deserves to be a best seller! Trust me, you won’t want to put this down!

Rebus meets Reacher in Sgt Major Crane!
Box Set 2: Cordon of Lies, Regenerate and Hijack books 4, 5 and 6 in the bestselling Sgt Major Crane crime thriller series…
Have you met Crane?
He’s the man his superiors wished was somewhere else. Anywhere other than under their command. A maverick determined to go wherever the evidence takes him, irrespective of orders. But his high clean up rate has come at an emotional price. A dedicated soldier and detective, Crane can’t walk away. There’s always one more case that needs him. One more victim to save…
Buy the box set and continue the series you can’t put down!

If you haven’t read any Crane books, then you can grab Box Set 1 from Amazon as well!

Steps to Heaven, 40 Days 40 Nights and Honour Bound, the first three books in the bestselling Sgt Major Crane crime thriller series.
Click the covers to be taken to your local Amazon page.


Eeeny meeny, miney, moe. Who lives, who dies only I know. When the body of a doctor is discovered brutally murdered in local woodland, Detective Kim Stone is shocked to discover the victim is Gordon Cordell – a man linked to a previous case she worked on involving the death of a young school girl. Gordon has a chequered past, but who would want him dead?

I am a big fan of Angela Marsons and this book does not disappoint. The team, without Dawson who died in the previous book, are facing two cases this time and Ms Marsons does a great job with both plot strings. Running throughout the book is how each team member deals with the death of Dawson, or rather doesn’t deal with it. It’s fascinating to see how the characters change over the course of the book and then how Kim Stone’s character is explained at the end of the book.

Another tour de force that, as usual, I finished too quickly!

Fatal Promise is available from Amazon.

Connie and Ness met in the park while their children played. As they talked, they realised they were neighbours. Perhaps it was only natural that they and their families would become entirely inseparable.

But when Ness’s marriage ends in a bitter divorce, she is suddenly at Connie’s house all the time. Connie doesn’t have a moment to herself, no time alone with her husband, not a second to chat to her kids. It’s all too much. Something has to give.

My goodness what a novel! I can’t praise this enough. It is utterly absorbing, a real page turner. I had to keep reading, just one more chapter! When Connie wakes up in a psychiatric hospital and doesn’t remember a thing, her therapist has to gradually help unravel the truth. At times shocking, amusing and emotional it is a real character driven study of family, relationships and mental illness, with each chapter teasing out a little more of the story. At times not an easy read but one I just had to complete. When finished it stayed in my memory for a long time. For me, there is no better compliment than that.

Too Close is available from Amazon.

One sunny August afternoon, the residents of Cedar Close throw their annual summer barbecue. Children play in the cherry-tree lined street, tables are laden with food, and the wine is flowing. For Laurie Mills, it’s her first time meeting the neighbours. And it’s the first time she discovers her husband Robert is having an affair.

Cedar Close has always been a nice place to live – a quiet suburban street where everyone looks out for one another and bad things don’t happen. Until late one evening, when Robert Mills is found dead in his bedroom.

An interesting book, with a good plot and great characterisation. The interesting premise in this book is the fact that the police don’t agree on who the suspect is. One detective thinks the obvious suspect committed the murder and is keen to close the case and add it to the list of solved cases. However, the other, Dan Riley, is of a completely different opinion. Is he able to prove that Laurie Mills didn’t kill her husband? Read it and find out!

The Couple on Cedar Close is available from Amazon.

When two eighteen-year-old girls go missing on their gap year in Thailand, their families are thrust into the international spotlight: desperate, bereft and frantic with worry.

Journalist Kate Waters always does everything she can to be first to the story, first with the exclusive, first to discover the truth – and this time is no exception. But she can’t help but think of her own son, who she hasn’t seen in two years, since he left home to go travelling. This time it’s personal.

And as the case of the missing girls unfolds, they will all find that even this far away, danger can lie closer to home than you might think . . .

This was a cleverly constructed, utterly absorbing mystery thriller. Kate is a strong character, who won’t take no for an answer, and pursues those answers even when things get very close to home indeed. Every mother’s nightmare is a lost child, of whatever age, and Ms Barton shows us the emotional cost on all the family members, not just the mother. It was a totally absorbing read, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

The Suspect is available from Amazon.

Perfect Bones (Samantha Willerby Mystery #3)Perfect Bones by A.J. Waines
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When art student, Aiden Blake, witnesses a gruesome attack on a London towpath, the police need him to identify the assailant without delay. But there’s a problem: refusing to leave his canal boat and traumatised by the shock, Aiden is rendered mute by the horror of the event and can’t speak to anyone.

In a desperate bid to gain vital information before Aiden’s memories fade, The Met call in Clinical Psychologist and trauma expert, Dr Samantha Willerby, giving her only seven days to get a result. When Aiden finally starts to communicate through his art, however, the images he produces are not what anyone expects and before Sam can make sense of them, another murder takes place.

Long being a fan of AJ Waines’ writing, I was really looking forward to reading Perfect Bones, and it didn’t disappoint. The psychologist Sam is a great central character, and that’s because of her flaws. She isn’t some behaviourist, who takes one look at the evidence and reels off the characterises of the killer. She focuses on the witness, Aiden, who himself is a victim. I have to agree that there were lots of psychological references, something that has put some people off the book. However, I loved these vignettes, which gave the reader added insights into Sam’s reasoning and thinking behind her actions. It showed Ms Waines’ knowledge of her subject and for me added an extra element of realism to the book.

The plot was tight and well planned. At times it reminded me of an Agatha Christie type murder mystery. I shouted, ’No don’t do that!’ in places, as Sam went that one step further to trying to find the killer.

So if you enjoy crime fiction, Perfect Bones would be a perfect addition to your reading list.

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Gone MissingGone Missing by T.J. Brearton

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Katie Calumet is on an early-morning run when she hears a baby crying. The park is deserted, and there’s no one in the street. She follows the cries, but then everything goes black. When Katie wakes up, she’s blindfolded and her hands and feet are bound. Detective Justin Cross takes on the case, but with the trail leading into endless dense forest, and a failing marriage weighing on his mind, finding Katie is his most challenging case yet – not least because the Calumet family are keeping secrets of their own. Justin and Katie face a race against time that will push them both to their very limits. As Justin works day and night to discover who took her and why, Katie fights desperately to escape from her kidnappers and the forest that surrounds her…
I found this book captivating and couldn’t stop reading it. The forest and Katie’s struggles were so real I was out there with her. The author managed to capture the rawness of the forest, the trials of those trying to find her, and, of course, the grit and determination of Katie herself. This book could easily have become cliched and the author didn’t once fall into that trap. Powerful stuff!

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Her Best FriendHer Best Friend by Sarah Wray

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Overwhelmed by grief after losing her mother, Sylvie Armstrong tries to block out the memories in her childhood home – but then someone leaves a gift on her doorstep: a gold necklace with a heart-shaped locket. The locket belonged to Sylvie’s best friend, Victoria Preston – and she was wearing it the night she died. Now it’s back in Sylvie’s life… and it soon becomes clear that somebody knows what really happened to Victoria. Sylvie has to know the truth. But is she in terrible danger?
The best thing about this book is the twist at the end. At the final reveal I was still in two minds over what might have happened. There are quite a few characters in this book, some work well, some not so much, but all provide subtle clues about the truth. The only one I failed to connect with was the film maker, Sam. His role was to attempt to find the truth, but I found him a bit lacking in empathy somehow. This was a great psychological read and kept me guessing until the end.

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Let the Dead Speak (Maeve Kerrigan, #7)Let the Dead Speak by Jane Casey

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Eighteen-year-old Chloe Emery returns to her West London home one day to find the house covered in blood and Kate, her mother, gone. All the signs point to murder. Maeve Kerrigan is determined to prove she’s up to her new role as detective sergeant. She suspects Chloe is hiding something, but getting her to open up is impossible. No one on the street is above suspicion. All Maeve needs is one person to talk, but that’s not going to happen. Because even in a case of murder, some secrets are too terrible to share…
A complex plot with many twists and turns, reveals and conceals in abundance, complimented by believable characters, makes for a great police procedural. What’s not to like? It does exactly as it says on the tin.

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