Audiobook, Book reviews

The Confession by Jessie Burton – Audiobook Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

One winter’s afternoon on Hampstead Heath in 1980, Elise Morceau meets Constance Holden and quickly falls under her spell. Connie is bold and alluring, a successful writer whose novel is being turned into a major Hollywood film. Elise follows Connie to LA, a city of strange dreams and swimming pools and late-night gatherings of glamorous people. But whilst Connie thrives on the heat and electricity of this new world where everyone is reaching for the stars and no one is telling the truth, Elise finds herself floundering. When she overhears a conversation at a party that turns everything on its head, Elise makes an impulsive decision that will change her life forever.

Three decades later, Rose Simmons is seeking answers about her mother, who disappeared when she was a baby. Having learned that the last person to see her was Constance Holden, a reclusive novelist who withdrew from public life at the peak of her fame, Rose is drawn to the door of Connie’s imposing house in search of a confession…. 

From the million-copy bestselling author of The Miniaturist and The Muse, this is a luminous, powerful and deeply moving novel about secrets and storytelling, motherhood and friendship, and how we lose and find ourselves.

MY REVIEW 

In 1980, Elise meets Connie, a successful author, on Hampstead Heath. They become a couple. Connie’s novel is being turned into a movie, so they travel to LA, a world of glamour and constant socialising. But, Elise feels alone and abandoned and makes a decision that leads to her disappearance.

Now, 30 years later, Rose is searching for her mother who disappeared when she was very young, she’s never known her mother and feels something is missing in her life. She sees a job advert, Connie is looking for an assistant, so she changes her name and goes to work for Connie. Will she find the answers she’s looking for? Why did her mother leave? What happened to her?

I loved listening to this emotional tale, it’s beautifully narrated by Hayley Atwell. It captures the atmosphere of the 80’s and the present day perfectly.

It’s a story of love, relationships and loss. I was totally engrossed in the lives of these wonderful characters to the extent I didn’t want it to end. Perfect escapism and I loved every minute.

Thank you to the publishers and NetGalley for a copy of the audiobook. This is my honest and unbiased review.

Available from Audible.co.uk

blog tour, Book reviews, Crime thriller

Thursday Night Widows by Claudia Piñeiro – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

“An agile novel written in a language perfectly pitched for the subject matter, a ruthless dissection of a fast decaying society”—José Saramago

Three bodies lie at the bottom of a swimming pool in a gated country estate near Buenos Aires. It’s Thursday night at the magnificent Scaglia house. Behind the locked gates, shielded from the crime, poverty and filth of the people on the streets, the Scaglias and their friends hide lives of infidelity, alcoholism, and abusive marriage. Claudia Piñeiro’s novel eerily foreshadowed a criminal case that generated a scandal in the Argentine media. But this is more than a story about crime. The suspense is a by-product of Piñeiro’s hand at crafting a psychological portrait of a professional class that lives beyond its means and leads secret lives of deadly stress and despair. It takes place during the post 9/11 economic melt-down in Argentina but it’s a universal story that will resonate among credit-crunched readers of today.

Production is expected in 2009 of the film of Thursday Night Widows, by Argentine new wave and award winning director Marcelo Piñeyro.

“A razor-sharp psychological and social portrait not only of Argentina, but of the affluent Western world as a whole.”—Rosa Montero

MY REVIEW 

Set in Argentina amongst the wealthy inhabitants of an exclusive gated community.

The Thursday Night Widows are the wives of a group of friends who meet on a Thursday for poker night.

It starts with the discovery of three of the men’s bodies in a swimming pool. The story then really begins by jumping to the pasts of each family, building the characters and their lives to an ending with a few surprises. Not really a thriller, but a social commentary on wealth and the loss of it. An intriguing read.

Thank you to Random Things Tours for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour, for the promotional material and an eARC of Thursday Night Widows. This is my honest and unbiased review.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

Claudia Piñeiro was a journalist, playwright and television scriptwriter and in 1992 won the prestigious Pléyade journalism award. She has more recently turned to fiction and is the author of literary crime novels that are all bestsellers in Latin America and have been translated into four languages. This novel won the Clarin Prize for fiction and is her first title to be available in English.

The Translator

Miranda France wrote Bad Times in Buenos Aires which in essay form won the Shiva Naipaul Memorial Prize in The Spectator magazine. A book by the same title was published in 1998 and met with great critical acclaim. The New York Times described it as ‘a remarkable achievement’ and the Sunday Times as ‘an outstanding book’.

blog tour, Book reviews, Fantasy

Orfeia by Joanne M. Harris – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

When you can find me an acre of land, Every sage grows merry in time, Between the ocean and the sand

Then will you be united again.

So begins a beautiful and tragic quest as a heartbroken mother sets out to save her lost daughter, through the realms of the real, of dream, and even into the underworld itself.

But determination alone is not enough. For to save something precious, she must give up something precious, be it a song, a memory, or her freedom itself . . .

MY REVIEW 

Fay is a widow, she is also grieving the death of her daughter, Daisy. Not a minute goes by that Daisy is not on her mind. So, she runs the streets of London at night, until she is exhausted.

One night all the lights go out, she can see the stars and in a bright crack in the pavement she thinks she sees her daughter, sleeping. The magic begins.

Orfeia is so beautifully written, you get lost in this alternate world with Fay, it’s so full of emotion and magic it’s almost dreamlike. The wonderfully illustrations add to that ethereal and otherworldly feel. 

It is incredibly moving in its portrait of grief, that it’s all encompassing to the point life becomes existing rather than living, but it’s also full of love, memories and beauty. A modern day fairytale that is stunning, beautiful and unique. This book just reinforces why I read, it’s perfect and pure escapism. One to treasure.

Thank you to Random Things Tours for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour, for the promotional material and an eARC of Orfeia. This is my honest and unbiased review.

Purchase link: https://amzn.to/3iJfyp2

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

Joanne Harris is an Anglo-French writer, whose books include fourteen novels, two cookbooks and many short stories. Her work is extremely diverse, covering aspects of magic realism, suspense, historical fiction,mythology and fantasy. In 2000, her 1999 novel CHOCOLAT was adapted for the screen, starring Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp. CHOCOLAT hassold over a million copies in the UK alone and was a global bestseller. She is an Honorary Fellow of St Catherine’s College, Cambridge, and in 2013 was awarded an MBE by the Queen. Her hobbies are listed in Who’s Who as’mooching, lounging, strutting, strumming, priest-baiting and quiet subversion’. She plays bass guitar in a band first formed when she was 16 and runs the musical storytelling show Storytime. Joanne lives with her husband in Yorkshire, about 15 miles from the place she was born. Find out more at http://www.joanne-harris.co.uk or follow her on Twitter @Joannechocolat

Book reviews, Short story

Lost Girls by Ellen Birkett Morris – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Lost Girls explores the experiences of women and girls as they grieve, find love, face uncertainty, take a stand, find their future, and say goodbye to the past. A young woman creates a ritual to celebrate the life of a kidnapped girl, an unmarried woman wanders into a breast feeder’s support group and stays, a grieving mother finds solace in an unlikely place, a young girl discovers more than she bargained for when she spies on her neighbors. Though they may seem lost, each finds their center as they confront the challenges and expectations of womanhood.

MY REVIEW 

Lost Girls is a collection of short stories, each one about a different woman in various stages of life and situations.

It tells of grief, family, love and lust, of aging and poverty.

But at its heart it’s about what it’s like being a woman in a masculine world,

It’s full of emotion and sensitivity, it feels so real and relatable.

Beautifully written, almost poetic at times and really is a quite captivating read.

Thank you to Ellen Birkett Morris for a copy of Lost Girls. This is my honest and unbiased review.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

ELLEN BIRKETT MORRIS is an award- winning writer, teacher and editor based in Louisville, Kentucky. Morris is the author of SURRENDER (Finishing Line Press). Her fiction has appeared in Shenandoah, Antioch Review, Notre Dame Review, and South Carolina Review, among other journals. Her commentaries have been heard on public radio stations across the United States.

blog tour, Book reviews, Dystopian fiction

The Trials Of Koli by M. R. Carey – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Koli is looking for lost London. In a world where a journey of two miles is an odyssey, he’s going to walk two hundred.

Spinner just wants peace and safety, but when her village of Mythen Rood is shaken by plague and violence she chooses a different path.

Ursala from Elsewhere needs to repair her medical kit, which means following the ancient signal to something called the ‘Sword of Albion’.

The Peacemaker believes that all tech is his by right – including Koli’s, Ursala’s and Mythen Rood’s precious, dwindling store. Now he’s reaching out to claim his property, and Ingland is facing something it hasn’t seen in three centuries. War.

MY REVIEW 

#2 in the Rampart Trilogy, and I really do think you need to read book 1 first.

Koli is back, telling the story of this dystopian world in his own unique way. It’s not the fastest paced read, but it has a rhythm of its own, it’s full of clever details and fantastic, well developed characters. 

It’s really building the background of this world with a bit more detail than Book 1, more about The Ramparts, Spinner and this world they live in. 

Can Koli keep his charming innocence?……roll on Book 3.

Thank you to Compulsive Readers for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour, for the promotional material and an eARC of The Trials Of Koli. This is my honest and unbiased review.

blog tour, Book reviews, War fiction

Squadron Airborne by Elleston Trevor – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

In the summer of 1940, the Battle of Britain rages in the skies over southern England. Nineteen-year-old Pilot Officer Peter Stuyckes arrives at RAF Westhill and is immediately put to the test. Based on the author’s own service as an RAF Flight Engineer,Squadron Airborne takes place over one unforgettable week that summer, depicting with intensity and brilliance the work of the many ground-crew and other staff as they support the Few in their fight against the Luftwaffe. The novel is published to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Britain in September 2020.

MY REVIEW 

Squadron Airborne is the story of the Battle Of Britain in 1940 and the people that took part in the air and on the ground.

Written shortly after the war, it uses the language of the time which gives this book its immense sense of realism, atmosphere and time and place.

There are also the precise details of the air battles, the planes and the time spent on the ground, it’s here the ground crew, responsible for keeping these planes flying, get the recognition they deserve.

There are some poignant moments and some humour too. A must read for anyone who enjoys reading of the history of WWII. 

Thank you to Random Things Tours for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour, for the promotional material and an ARC of Squadron Airborne.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

Elleston Trevor (Trevor Dudley-Smith) was a prolific author who wrote under several pseudonyms, publishing over 100 books in his lifetime. He is perhaps best known for his Quiller series of spy novels and his 1964 novel The Flight of the Phoenix, which has been adapted into two Hollywood films.

blog tour, Book reviews, Non fiction

In Sat Nav We Trust by Jack Barrow – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

The book takes the form of a journey through one English county a day. Rather than having a plan, other than a rough anticlockwise direction of travel, the trip was largely spontaneous. This unplanned nature is what drives the narrative, similar to the way a MacGuffin drives a story, and opens the possibility of stumbling across unintended experiences.

The journey is taken in a fifteen-year-old 4×4 referred to throughout as The Truck, along with a sat nav referred to as Kathy (actually the voice of Kathy Clugston from Radio 4). Rather than paying for hotels this was a camping trip to keep the costs down. The logistics of finding somewhere to camp each night provided further challenges. All of these inconveniences, and the unexpected solutions that followed, provided useful metaphors for concepts that arose in the philosophical exploration.

The result of this unplanned approach is that the story only covers the areas of the counties passed through. There are no descriptions of the obvious locations in each county because the journey simply didn’t pass that way. However, this means that there were unplanned encounters with places such as a village falling into the sea, the wonderfully mad Tees Transporter Bridge, or accidentally driving a speedboat with two drunk blokes without any consideration about how to get ashore.

MY REVIEW 

In Sat Nat We Trust Is the story of one man’s journey around the historic counties of the UK. He has the truck, his tent and his thoughts. 

On the Journey there are many stories, anecdotes and random facts, with a few rants too. This is a little philosophical, about the differences in need and want, the rational and irrational, but really is just shows there are adventures to be had right on your doorstep,

A fun, interesting and thought provoking read.

Thank you to Random Things Tours for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour, for the promotional material and an eARC of In Sat Nav We Trust. This is my honest and unbiased review.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

Jack Barrow is a writer of books and blogs about ideas based on popular philosophy in modern life. He is a critical thinker but not a pedant. He has an interest in spiritual perspectives having been brought up as both a Mormon and a Jehovah’s Witness. He’s not sure, but he believes this particular  ecclesifringical upbringing makes him a member of a pretty exclusive club. He is also fascinated by science. At the same age as his parents were taking him to church services, he was also watching Horizon documentaries and Tomorrow’s World, becoming fascinated about science and technology. Perhaps around the time of the moon landings, when he was six or seven, he came to the conclusion that, sooner or later, people would realise that the sky was full of planets and stars, science explained the universe, and that there was no God looking down. He really thought that religion’s days were numbered. Declining congregations seemed to back that up, but since then there has been a growth in grass roots movements that seem to indicate people are looking for something to fill the void left by organised religion. He now has a particular interest in the way people are creating their own spiritual perspectives (whatever spiritual means) from the bottom up using ideas sourced from history, folkloric sources and imagination. Rather ironically it was members of the Jehovah’s Witnesses who first introduced him to the landscape of Wiltshire, with its stone circles and ancient monuments, which later kindled his interest in spiritual beliefs taken from more ancient perspectives.

He has also written a novel; The Hidden Masters and the Unspeakable Evil is a story of a group of magicians who discover a plot to build casinos in Blackpool and so turn the resort into a seedy, tacky, and depraved town. During this hard-drinking occult adventure, with gambling and frivolous trousers, Nigel, Wayne and Clint travel north on Friday night but they need to save the world by Sunday evening because they have to be back at work on Monday morning.

Jack lives in Hertfordshire, England, where he earns a living writing about things in engineering; this usually means photocopiers and bits of aeroplanes. He shares his home with R2D2 and C3PO, occasionally mentioned in his blog posts. People used to say he should get out more. At the time of writing he is currently shielding from the apocalypse, having been of a sickly disposition as a child, and wondering if he will be able to go to a live music pub ever again.

blog tour, Book reviews, humour, Mental Health, Mystery

Don’t Worry, Everything Is Going To Be Amazing by Billy Moran – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Chris Pringle: simpleton, casualty or local hero?

Propped up by friends, benefits and a baffling faith in his plan, he lives in 

a world where every day is obsessively the same: wedged in his recliner, 

watching murder mysteries, taking notes. Until the day a serious and peculiar 

crime stumps the local police – and Chris announces he can solve it.

Accompanied by a loyal crew of chancers, committed to making 

amends, and pursued by a depressed Detective Inspector, trying to join the dots, Chris heads back to the raves of his past, where a heartbreaking personal tragedy lies abandoned.

But what exactly is Chris Pringle looking for? 

Has he really worked out the way to find it? 

And what will happen if he does?

MY REVIEW 

Don’t Worry is a mystery story with a difference. Told in two timelines, the 90’s, a time of raves, drugs and mayhem, and the present day.

Now, Chris Pringle is a unique character, who everyone thinks is a bit of an idiot, but he manages to solve the whodunnit, somehow! This is a tale of friendship, mental health and lots of chaos and laughter.

It has fantastic and likeable characters and a wild, chaotic plot that will have you laughing out loud, as the mystery draws you in. A marvellously bizarre and totally gripping read.

Thank you to Howard at Sauce Materials Books for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour, for the promotional material and an eARC of Don’t Worry, Everything Is Going To Be Amazing. This is my honest and unbiased review.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

Billy Moran is an award-winning television writer for shows including Horrible Histories.

Billy grew up in the West Country, where his teenage years were rudely interrupted

by the Second Summer of Love. Since then he has been embracing chaos, craving order, and watching whodunnits to find out who’s responsible. 

Billy lives in London and has two children, two cats, one football team and several favourite detectives. Don’t Worry, Everything Is Going To Be Amazing is Billy’s debut novel, and the first in a series of FRIENDS ON BENEFITS MYSTERIES.

blog tour, Book reviews

A Song Of Isolation by Michael J. Malone – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Film star Amelie Hart is the darling of the silver screen, appearing on the front pages of every newspaper. But at the peak of her fame she throws it all away for a regular guy with an ordinary job. The gossip columns are aghast: what happened to the woman who turned heads wherever she went?

Any hope the furore will die down are crushed when Amelie’s boyfriend Dave is arrested on charges of child sexual abuse. Dave strongly asserts his innocence, and when Amelie refuses to denounce him, the press furore quickly turns into physical violence, and she has to flee the country.

While Dave is locked up with the most depraved men in the country and Amelie is hiding on the continent, Damaris, the victim at the centre of the story, is also isolated – a child trying to make sense of an adult world…

Breathtakingly brutal, dark and immensely moving, A Song of Isolation looks beneath the magpie glimmer of celebrity to uncover a sinister world dominated by greed and lies, and the unfathomable destruction of innocent lives… in an instant.

MY REVIEW 

A Song Of Isolation is an emotion packed psychological thriller which deals with the subject of child abuse. It’s in no way gratuitous or sensationalist, but written with sympathy and sensitivity.

Amelia had been a successful actress, she gave it all up for an ordinary man, with an ordinary life, Dave.

One day the police arrive at their door, a neighbour has made a complaint to them, accusing Dave of touching their young daughter inappropriately. He’s arrested and charged with child sexual abuse.

Dave insists he’s innocent, Amelia believes him, but due to the media hounding her to the extent of violence, she leaves the country to escape. Meanwhile Dave is in prison, with some really reprehensible people….and the young girl at the centre of it all, Damaris, is alone, isolated and wondering what on earth is going on.

This is a tale of lost innocence, of ruined lives and the effect an allegation of child abuse has on everybody involved, especially the victim and the accused. It’s a dark, compelling and emotional psychological drama, the exceptional writing by Michael J Malone ensures that it really will get under your skin. Just brilliant.

Thank you to Random Things Tours for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour, for the promotional material and an eARC of A Song Of Isolation. . This is my honest and unbiased review.

Purchase link….https://amzn.to/33lO5TZ

ABOUT MICHAEL J. MALONE

Michael Malone is a prize-winning poet and author who was born and brought up in the heart of Burns’ country. He has published over 200 poems in literary magazines throughout the UK, including New Writing Scotland, Poetry Scotland and Markings. Blood Tears, his bestselling debut novel won the Pitlochry Prize from the Scottish Association of Writers. His psychological thriller, A Suitable Lie, was a number-one bestseller, and the critically acclaimed House of Spines, After He Died and In the Absence of Miracles soon followed suit. A former Regional Sales Manager (Faber & Faber) he has also worked as an IFA and a bookseller. Michael lives in Ayr.

blog tour, Book reviews, Family drama

The Interpreter From Java by Alfred Birney – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Arto Nolan is the father’s name; his son Alan strives to overcome his loathing and comprehend the man who abused him and beat his mother.

His father spent his evenings typing on his Remington. Later, Alan discovers his father had been working on his memoirs. He reads about Arto’s ruthless work as an interpreter who not only translated but also led interrogations, tortured prisoners, and did not hesitate to murder.

Arto’s passages are chilling in their detachment. He first describes how he was abused as a child by his own father. He later became an assassin. At first his targets were Japanese; after the occupation ended, he murdered Indonesians in the service of the Dutch, without question. The source of his loyalty to his overlords, from a country he had never seen, remains a mystery.

In this unsparing family history, Birney exposes a crucial chapter in Dutch and European history that was deliberately concealed behind the ideological facade of postwar optimism. Readers of this superb novel will find that it reverberates long afterwards in their memory. 

MY REVIEW 

The Interpreter From Java is the tale mainly of the relationship between a father and son. It was a difficult relationship as the father terrorised the whole family.

From a childhood in the Netherlands, his father’s memories of fighting in the war and the horrors and atrocities that were committed against the Japanese and Indonesian people. It’s not an easy read as it is quite graphic at times but it tells the Dutch Colonial past and the effects of war on a family. 

Thank you to Amber at Midas PR for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour, for the promotional material and an ARC of The a interpreter From Java. This is my honest and unbiased review.

blog tour, Book reviews, Science fiction

Fearless by Allen Stroud – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

AD 2118. Humanity has colonised the Moon, Mars, Ceres and Europa. Captain Ellisa Shann commands Khidr, a search and rescue ship with a crew of twenty-five, tasked to assist the vast commercial freighters that supply the different solar system colonies.

Shann has no legs and has taken to life in zero-g partly as a result. She is a talented tactician who has a tendency to take too much on her own shoulders. Now, while on a regular six-month patrol through the solar system, Khidr picks up a distress call from the freighter Hercules…

MY REVIEW 

Captain Shann and her crew help protect space vehicles, an interstellar RAC! When they receive a distress signal off they go. But a crew member dies…..was this an accident or murder? And so this marvellous space opera becomes a murder mystery.

With a large cast of characters, lots of suspects, space battles and plenty of action to keep even the most ardent fans of sci-fi thoroughly entertained. Brilliant.

Thank you to Random Things Tours for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour, for the promotional material and an eARC of Fearless. This is my honest and unbiased review.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

Chair of the British Science Fiction Association, Editor of the British Fantasy Society Journal Allen Stroud was Chair of Fantasycon 2017 and 2018. He has a PhD and a Masters in Science Fiction and Fantasy world-building. Stroud has written video game novelisations such as Elite: Dangerous and Phoenix Point) and his short stories have appeared in 2001: An Odyssey in Words and 2017 Year’s Best Military & Adventure SF.

FLAME TREE PRESS is the new fiction imprint of Flame Tree Publishing. Launched in 2018 the list brings together brilliant new authors and the more established; the award winners, and exciting, original voices.

blog tour, Book reviews, Psychlogical thriller

The Watcher by Kate Medina – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

If you see him it’s already too late…

‘A brilliant and believable female lead’ Good Housekeeping

Some secrets can’t be hidden.

The Fullers are the picture-perfect family, a wealthy couple with a grand home in the middle of remote woodland. But even they have something to hide – and it will prove fatal.

Some crimes can’t be forgotten.

Psychologist Dr Jessie Flynn and DI Marilyn Simmons arrive at the Fuller’s home to find a suburban nightmare. A crime scene more disturbing than anything they have ever encountered.

Some killers can’t be stopped.

Jessie knows that this is no random act of violence. And if she can’t unlock the motivation behind the crime and shine a light into this killer’s mind, the Fullers won’t be the only family to die…

Praise for Kate Medina:

‘A tense and pacy thriller’ Sun

‘If psychological thrillers are your bag, then look no further Closer ‘A haunting thriller’ Grazia

‘Medina demonstrates that she’s a considerable find’ Independent.

MY REVIEW 

Jessie Flynn is a psychologist working with a major crimes team and DI Simmons.

One night they are called to a horrific crime scene where a wealthy couple have been murdered. The beaten, mutilated bodies and the violence perpetrated on them seems to show this may have been personal.

And so the investigation begins.

This is a dark, psychological with a really creepy atmosphere which adds to the tension. If you like your thrillers on the darker side, you’ll love The Watcher.

Thank you to Random Things Tours for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour, for the promotional material and an eARC of The Watcher. This is my honest and unbiased review.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

 Kate Medina has always been fascinated by the ‘whys’ of human behaviour, an interest that drove her to study Psychology at university and later to start a crime series featuring clinical psychologist Dr Jessie Flynn. She has an MA in Creative Writing from Bath Spa University and her debut novel White Crocodile received widespread critical acclaim, as did Fire Damage, Scared to Death AND Two Little Girls, the first three books in the Jessie Flynn series.

Before turning to writing full time, Kate spent five years in the Territorial Army and has lectured at the London Business School and the London School of Economics. She lives in London with her husband and three children.

blog tour, Book reviews, Psychlogical thriller

You Can Trust Me by Emma Rowley – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

If you like Clare Mackintosh, Fiona Barton,  Rachel Abbott or Lisa Jewell then you will be utterly gripped by this psychological thriller with a massive twist you won’t see coming.

You can trust me.

But can I trust you?

Olivia is the domestic goddess who has won millions of followers by sharing her picture-perfect life online. And now she’s releasing her tell-all autobiography.

For professional ghostwriter Nicky it’s the biggest job of her career. But as she delves deeper into Olivia’s life, cracks begin to appear in the glamorous façade. From the strained relationship with her handsome husband, to murky details of a tragic family death in her childhood, the truth belies Olivia’s perfect public image.

But why is Olivia so desperate to leave an old tragedy well alone? And how far will she go to keep Nicky from the truth?

‘Genuinely compelling thriller, a rollercoaster of twists and intrigue’ 5* reader review

‘Great characters and brilliant suspense – Cleverly plotted, fantastically written and fast-paced’ 5* reader review

‘A brilliant suspenseful mystery that I just did not want to put down!! I loved it – Simply amazing’ 5* reader review.

MY REVIEW 

You Can Trust Me is a book that just flows, it’s an easy read due to the authors very clever writing…….but don’t be fooled into thinking this is a light read, it’s a clever, dark and twisty thriller.

Nicky is a ghostwriter, she has been invited into Olivia’s home to write her autobiography. Olivia is a social media darling, an influencer and style guru. But is her life really as perfect as she portrays? What secret is she hiding? 

Then Nicky goes missing and Olivia tries to find out more about the woman she trusted enough to stay in her home.   Well, not everything is as it seems.

This is an utterly compelling story which keeps you on your toes, it’s so well plotted and makes for a thoroughly engrossing read.

Thank you to Alex at Orion Books for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour and for an ARC of You Can Trust Me. This is my honest and unbiased review.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Emma Rowley is a writer, ghostwriter and editor with a background in journalism. She is currently a Contributing Editor at Grazia and formerly of the Daily Mail and Daily Telegraph. A graduate in Classics and English at Oxford University, she trained as a journalist on the prestigious City University course. Emma has spent considerable time in the courts and covering major crime stories. She lives in London.

blog tour, Book reviews, Family drama, Psychlogical thriller

The Heatwave by Kate Riordan – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Under the scorching French sun, a tense homecoming unearths a long-buried family secret in this deliciously propulsive beach read of a mother’s greatest fear brought to life.

Elodie was beautiful. Elodie was smart. Elodie was manipulative. Elodie is dead.

When Sylvie Durand receives a letter calling her back to her crumbling family home in the South of France, she knows she has to go. In the middle of a sweltering 1990’s summer marked by unusual fires across the countryside, she returns to La Reverie with her youngest daughter Emma in tow, ignoring the deep sense of dread she feels for this place she’s long tried to forget.

As memories of the events that shattered their family a decade earlier threaten to come to the surface, Sylvie struggles to shield Emma from the truth of what really happened all those years ago. In every corner of the house, Sylvie can’t escape the specter of Elodie, her first child. Elodie, born amid the ’68 Paris riots with one blue eye and one brown, and mysteriously dead by fourteen. Elodie, who reminded the small village of one those Manson girls. Elodie who knew exactly how to get what she wanted. As the fires creep towards the villa, it’s clear to Sylvie that something isn’t quite right at La Reverie . . . And there is a much greater threat closer to home.

MY REVIEW 

The Heatwave is a family drama set in the South Of France.

Sylvie has returned to La Reverie with her daughter, Emma. Being back here brings back all the memories of her first daughter, Elodie. 

Elodie had not been an easy child to day the least and there is an ambiguity to how she died. Sylvie is still haunted by events of that time.

This is a story of grief and guilt, with a sultry, claustrophobic feel that really adds to the tension. A thoroughly engrossing read.

Thank you to Ella at Penguin Random House for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour, for the promotional material and an ARC of The Heatwave. This is my honest and unbiased review.

blog tour, Book reviews, Science fiction

The Sentient by Nadia Afifi – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Amira Valdez is a brilliant neuroscientist trying to put her past on a religious compound behind her. But when she’s assigned to a controversial cloning project, her dreams of working in space are placed in jeopardy. Using her talents as a reader of memories, Amira uncovers a conspiracy to stop the creation of the first human clone – at all costs. As she unravels the mystery, Amira navigates a dangerous world populated by anti-cloning militants, scientists with hidden agendas, and a mysterious New Age movement. In the process, Amira uncovers an even darker secret, one that forces her to confront her own past.

MY REVIEW 

Amira is a neuroscientist, she is investigating the deaths of two human cloning test subjects and a third needs her protection…..but from what or who?

This is a fast paced sci-fi thriller with a complex and clever plot. The world building is quite astounding. There is plenty of action and thought provoking moments regarding the ethics of human cloning, there’s religious cults and their power over people too. A totally gripping and original read.

Thank you to Random Things Tours for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour, for the promotional material and an eARC of The Sentient. This is my honest and unbiased review.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

Nadia Afifi is a science fiction author who lives in Denver, Colorado. Although born in the United States, she grew up in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain before studying journalism and business in college. When she isn’t writing, she loves to hike, run and plan her next overseas trip.


FLAME TREE PRESS is the new fiction imprint of Flame Tree Publishing. Launched in 2018 the list brings together brilliant new authors and the more established; the award winners, and exciting, original voices.
Nadia Afifi is a science fiction author who lives in Denver, Colorado. Although born in the United States, she grew up in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain before studying journalism and business in college. When she isn’t writing, she loves to hike, run and plan her next overseas trip.

blog tour, Book reviews, Crime thriller

The Heights by Parker Bilal – Book Review




PUBLISHERS BLURB 

What starts with the gruesome discovery of a severed head on the Tube soon becomes personal for former DI Cal Drake. After one betrayal too many, Drake has abandoned the police force to become a private detective. He’s teamed up with enigmatic forensic pathologist Dr Rayhana Crane and it’s not long before the case leads them to the darkest corners of the nation’s capital and in dangerously close contact with an international crime circuit, a brutal local rivalry and a very personal quest for retribution. With the murder victim tied to Drake’s past, his new future is about to come under threat.

MY REVIEW 

The Heights is #2 in the Drake and Crane series, but can also be read as a stand-alone.

Set in London, ex-DI Cal Drake and forensic psychologist, Rayhana ‘Ray’ Crane are now private investigators.

When a severed head is found on a tube train their investigation begins.

The victim may be Zelda, an informant of Drakes from when he was still a DI. But why wait until now to leave her head to be found?

Drake and Crane are also tasked with finding the missing girlfriend of a client. But how are these cases linked?

This is a dark and gritty thriller that shows the dark and sometimes seedy side of multicultural London. It has complex characters with all their faults and an utterly gripping plot. I can thoroughly recommend it. 

Thank you to Random Things Tours for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour, for the promotional material and an eARC of The Heights. This is my honest and unbiased review.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

Parker Bilal is the pseudonym of Jamal Mahjoub, the critically acclaimed literary novelist. He is the author of the Makana Investigations series, the third of which, The Ghost Runner, was longlisted for the Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award. The Divinities, the first in his Crane and Drake London crime series, was published in 2019. Born in London, he has lived in a number of places, including the UK, Denmark, Spain and, currently, the Netherlands.

@Parker_Bilal | jamalmahjoub.com

blog tour, Book reviews, Court room drama

Truth Be Told by Kia Abdullah – Book Review


PUBLISHERS BLURB 

ARE YOU READY TO START THIS CONVERSATION?

Kamran Hadid feels invincible. He attends Hampton school, an elite all-boys boarding school in London, he comes from a wealthy family, and he has a place at Oxford next year. The world is at his feet. And then a night of revelry leads to a drunken encounter and he must ask himself a horrific question.

With the help of assault counsellor, Zara Kaleel, Kamran reports the incident in the hopes that will be the end of it. But it’s only the beginning…

Powerful, explosive and important, Truth Be Told is a contemporary courtroom drama that vividly captures today’s society. You will not stop thinking about it for a long time to come

MY REVIEW 

Truth Be Told is a courtroom drama, it’s also much, much more.

It tells the tale of Kamran, a victim of male rape.

Kamran was an outstanding student in an exclusive boarding school, but after the assault his life begins to change drastically. He goes for specialist counselling with Zara and soon the court case begins.

I found this to be incredibly moving, it deals with the issues of faith, of consent, male rape and mental health, all in a compassionate and realistic way. An outstanding read.

Thank you to Sian at HQ Stories for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour, for the promotional material and an eARC of Truth Be Told. This is my honest and unbiased review.

blog tour, Book reviews, Police procedural

In Cold Blood by Jane Bettany – Book Review


PUBLISHERS BLURB 

No secret can stay buried forever…

As the Whitworth family begin renovations on their new home, their plans are brought to an abrupt end when they discover a body buried in the back garden.

DI Isabel Blood and her team are called to investigate, but as she approaches Ecclesdale Drive, a feeling of unease settles in her gut.

The property cordoned off is number 23. The house she used to live in as a child…

The forensic team estimate that the body has been in the ground for up to forty years – coinciding with the time Isabel’s family lived in the house.

Isabel’s father vanished without a trace when she was fourteen years old. And with her mother remaining tight-lipped about her father’s disappearance, Isabel can’t escape the unnerving sense of dread that it’s his body, buried in the garden.

MY REVIEW 

In Cold Blood is a police procedural with a family drama element.

DI Isabel Blood is married, has a teenage daughter who is being a teenager!

Isabel gets a call, a body has been found buried in a garden, when new owners are digging, Isabel knows the house well as it was her childhood home. She finds the remains had been there many years…..she has a horrible sense of dread, as her father had disappeared when she was young and living in that house. Is it his body?

Well, this is a solid police procedural with great, likeable characters, (a proper grown up main character in Isabel )and a family drama at its heart. So much happening in the story to keep you engrossed from start to finish. 

Thank you to Sian at HQ Stories for the opportunity to take part in this blog tour, for the promotional material and an eARC of In Cold Blood. This is my honest and unbiased review.

blog tour, Book reviews, Crime thriller, Psychlogical thriller

Ritual Demise by Sally Rigby – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Someone is watching…. No one is safe

The once tranquil woods in a picturesque part of Lenchester have become the bloody stage to a series of ritualistic murders. With no suspects, Detective Chief Inspector Whitney Walker is once again forced to call on the services of forensic psychologist Dr Georgina Cavendish.

But this murderer isn’t like any they’ve faced before. The murders are highly elaborate, but different in their own way, and with the clock ticking, they need to get inside the killer’s head before it’s too late.

For fans of Rachel Abbott, Angela Marsons and L J Ross, Ritual Demise is the seventh book in the Cavendish & Walker crime fiction series.

MY REVIEW 

Ritual Demise is #7 in the series featuring Cavendish and Walker. It can also be read as a stand-alone.

There have been some gruesome murders in Lenchester, there seems to be a ritualistic element to these crimes. Is there a serial killer at work? What links the victims and who will be next?

DCI Walker and forensic psychologist, Georgina Cavendish are working together again to find the killer before anyone else dies.

I won’t say much more about the plot for fear of spoilers, but I can say that with an incredible plot and great characters, this dark and twisty thriller is so utterly compelling from start to finish. 

Thank you to Damppebbles Blog Tours for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour, for the promotional material and an eARC of Ritual Demise. This is my honest and unbiased review.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

????????????????????????????????????

Sally Rigby was born in Northampton, in the UK. She has always had the travel bug, and after living in both Manchester and London, eventually moved overseas. From 2001 she has lived with her family in New Zealand (apart from five years in Australia), which she considers to be the most beautiful place in the world. After writing young adult fiction for many years, under a pen name, Sally decided to move into crime fiction. Her Cavendish & Walker series brings together two headstrong, and very different, women – DCI Whitney Walker, and forensic psychologist Dr Georgina Cavendish. Sally has a background in education, and has always loved crime fiction books, films and TV programmes. She has a particular fascination with the psychology of serial killers.

Check out her website for a FREE prequel story….. http://www.sallyrigby.com  

Social Media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SallyRigby4

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pg/Sally-Rigby-131414630527848/posts/?ref=page_internal

Website: https://sallyrigby.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sally.rigby.author/

Purchase Links:

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/3awggm5

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2E3Pa9Y

blog tour, Book reviews, Psychlogical thriller

A Ruined Girl by Kate Simants – Book Review


PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Two boys loved her. But which one killed her?

Two years ago, teenagers Rob and Paige broke into the house of Paige’s school counsellor and stole only a necklace, but traumatised their victims in the process. No one knows why. And Paige hasn’t been seen since that night. Having spent her life in children’s homes and the foster system, no one cared enough to look for her.

Now Rob is out of prison, and probation officer Wren Reynolds has been tasked with his rehabilitation. But Wren has her own reasons for taking on Rob as a client. Convinced that Rob knows what happened to Paige, and hiding a lifetime of secrets from her heavily pregnant wife, Wren’s obsession with finding a missing girl may tear her family apart..

MY REVIEW 

Set over two timelines, the past and the present. Here in the present, Wren is a probation officer working on a rehab program for newly released offenders. She’s helping Rob, who had committed a robbery with Paige. Rob was caught and convicted and Paige disappeared. 

As the story jumps to the past, you learn more about Rob, Paige and Rob’s brother, Luke. It deals with some dark moments as you hear of their backgrounds.

Wren begins to look into Paige’s disappearance…

This is a compelling psychological thriller with family drama at its heart. It’s dark, twisty and a thoroughly engrossing read.

Thank you to Rachel at Viper Books for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour, for the promotional material and an eARC of A Ruined Girl. This is my honest and unbiased review.