Book reviews, Thriller

Fire And Vengeance by Robert McCaw – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

 

The story in Fire and Vengeance is propelled by the unthinkable—an elementary school, knowingly built atop a volcanic vent, has now exploded. The subsequent murders of the school’s contractor and architect only add urgency to Koa’s search for the truth. Was it an act of terrorism? Or a result of greed, power, and a forty-year-old conspiracy?

 

As Koa’s investigation heats up, his brother collapses in jail from a previously undiagnosed brain tumor. Using his connections, Koa devises a risky plan to win his brother’s freedom. As Koa gradually unravels the obscure connections between multiple suspects, his investigation suddenly becomes entwined with his brother’s future, forcing Koa to choose between justice for the victims and his brother’s freedom.

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MY REVIEW 

Fire And Vengeance is a story of greed and corruption. Set in Hawaii, Chief Detective Koa Kane is investigating a property developer who built a school over a volcanic vent……when this exploded it resulted in the death of 14 children.

Who knew of the dangers? How far will they go to keep their secret?

This is a thriller full of tension and drama, it’s a slow burn which builds to make a thoroughly engrossing, edge of your seat read. 

Thank you to Michelle at FSB Associates for an eARC of the book. This is my honest and unbiased review.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

 

Robert McCaw is the author of Fire and Vengeance, Off the Grid, and Death of a Messenger. McCaw grew up in a military family, traveling the world. He is a graduate of Georgetown University, served as a U.S. Army lieutenant, and earned a law degree from the University of Virginia. He was a partner in a major international law firm in Washington, D.C. and New York City, representing major Wall Street clients in complex civil and criminal cases. Having lived on the Big Island of Hawaii, McCaw imbues his writing of the Islands with his more than 2-year love affair with this Pacific paradise. He now ives in New York City with his wife, Calli. 

Book reviews, Domestic noir, Thriller

Ash Mountain by Helen Fitzgerald – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Fran hates her hometown, and she thought she’d escaped. But her father is ill, and needs care. Her relationship is over, and she hates her dead-end job in the city, anyway.

She returns home to nurse her dying father, her distant teenage daughter in tow for the weekends. There, in the sleepy town of Ash Mountain, childhood memories prick at her fragile self-esteem, she falls in love for the first time, and her demanding dad tests her patience, all in the unbearable heat of an Australian summer.

As past friendships and rivalries are renewed, and new ones forged, Fran’s tumultuous home life is the least of her worries, when old crimes rear their heads and a devastating bushfire ravages the town and all of its inhabitants…

Simultaneously a warm, darkly funny portrait of small-town life – and a woman and a land in crisis – and a shocking and truly distressing account of a catastrophic event that changes things forever, Ash Mountain is a heart-breaking slice of domestic noir, and a disturbing disaster thriller that you will never forget…
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MY REVIEW 

Fran has returned home to Ash Mountain, a small town in Australia. She’s caring for her dad, who has had a stroke and needs constant care. She has a teenage daughter, Vonny and an older son, Dante.

Vonny is a typical teen, a bit moody and glued to her phone. Dante however, is happiness personified, cool and satisfied with his life.

The story revolves around a bushfire that heading for the town.

Told in two timelines, 30 years before and the few days leading up to the day of the fire. Mainly from Fran’s perspective but also some chapters from a few of the other characters, such as Rosie and Maz.

This is so full of humour, the everyday humour between friends and family that’s sharp, dark and honest. It also deals with the more serious subjects of abuse, racial and sexual, sexuality and death. Ash Mountain is domestic noir, but also a disaster thriller that literally takes your breath away…..

I love Fran, with her bonker’s humour, irreverent and hilarious and her commitment to her family is unquestionable. Ash Mountain is laugh out loud funny, (Gramps on a Stick!)….dark and tragic too. Full of emotional moments and I loved every fraught minute.  I’ll forever mourn poor Ronnie Corbett. Sheer genius and just  brilliant.

Thank you to Anne Cater and Random Things Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour,  for the promotional materials and an eARC of the book. This is my honest, unbiased review.

 

PURCHASE LINKS

 

https://amzn.to/3d0sUui

 

https://www.hive.co.uk/Product/Helen-FitzGerald/Ash-Mountain/24853306

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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Helen FitzGerald is the bestselling author of ten adult and young adult thrillers, including The Donor (2011) and The Cry (2013), which was longlisted for the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year, and is now a major drama for BBC1. Her 2019 dark comedy thriller Worst Case Scenario was a Book of the Year in both The Guardian and Daily Telegraph. Helen worked as a criminal justice social worker for over fifteen years. She grew up in Victoria, Australia, and now lives in Glasgow with her husband. 

Book reviews

UNLEASHED – THE GAME CHANGERS – VIDEO AND AUDIO PODCAST BY PAOLA DIANA – *PROMO*

Here’s the blurb about an excellent video and audio podcast by Paola Diana. The episode available today has Trisha Goddard, so will be an interesting watch/listen. 

 

Best-selling Author, Women’s Rights Activist, Entrepreneur, Speaker & TV Host Paola Diana’s inspiring and empowering new Podcast and YouTube Talk Show Unleashed: The Game Changers introduces 20 inspirational champions of change – successful women and men who have faced huge personal and professional challenges and who have all dramatically changed their lives for the better. The series shows that we should not be blinded by fear, instead we should embrace new challenges and be brave enough to change our lives – perfect inspirational listening for the difficult times we’re living in now. Talking love lives, careers, family and dreams, Paola’s candid and honest interview style feels just like a conversation with your closest friends.

 

Trisha Goddard, the pioneering TV presenter and the first black woman to front a British chat show, opens up about everything from dating younger men, feeling 17 at 63, and sex in your 60s to controlling men, what it’s like to be the breadwinner in a marriage, and boyfriends who need mothering, as well as how she finally found the one, in a candid chat with Paola Diana on Unleashed: The Game Changers.

 

The Trisha Godard episode is available from Friday 22nd May with a new episode available each week. Previous interviews have included:

 

Celebrity chef & cookery author Ching He Huang, about how financial setbacks paved the way to her success.

 

Award winning film makers and pioneering LGBTQ couple  Shamim Sarif and Hanan Kattan who talk about diversity,  prejudice and religion.

 

Tessy Antony de Nassau, formerly Princess Tessy of Luxembourg, is a former member of the grand ducal family of Luxembourg as the ex-wife of Prince Louis of Luxembourg.

 

Sarah Ho, award winning jewellery designer and granddaughter of the legendary tycoon Stanley Ho.

 

This is the actual blurb about the show itself.
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UNLEASHED

THE GAME CHANGERS

 

A VIDEO AND AUDIO PODCAST BY

PAOLA DIANA

 

YOU TUBE TALK SHOW |APPLE PODCAST | PAOLADIANA.COM

 

UNLEASHED: THE GAME CHANGERS is an inspiring and empowering YouTube Talk Show and Podcast hosted by Women’s Rights Activist, Author, Entrepreneur, Speaker & Host Paola Diana.

 

Unleashed: The Game Changers introduces 20 inspirational champions of change, successful women and men who have faced huge personal and professional challenges and who have all dramatically changed their lives for the better.

 

The first series of Unleased: The Game Changes includes conversations with Claudia Doval the Jiu jitsu black belt World Champion speaks openly for the first time about her fight with Bulimia and her experiences of sexual abuse, with female airline pilot Captain Brenda Riepsaame Wassink  whose extraordinary sideways emergency landing saved the lives  of her passengers,  with award winning film makers and pioneering LGBTQ couple  Shamim Sarif and Hanan Kattan about diversity,  prejudice and religion, with  Melanie Seymour Global Head of Black Rock and  Vice President  of the  Advisory Board of Women in Banking and Finance about glass ceilings and equality in the work place, with TV chef & cookery author Ching He Huang, about how financial setbacks paved the way to her success and with Neuroscientist  Sarah J. Caddick, about human behaviour and the behaviour  of change and challenge.  

 

In her signature no filter, no hypocrisy style, Paola Diana speaks to leading scientists, entrepreneurs, doctors, authors, activists, athletes, philanthropists  about game changing career moves and personal changes that have transformed their own  lives and  the lives  of others.  Subjects discussed range  from  mental health, relationships, discrimination, gender equality, and self-defence to business, sport, religion, neuroscience, and fake news.

 

Unleashed: The Game Changers explores the lives of inspirational people who have been brave enough to change their lives more than once. The first season includes 20 episodes which feature interviews with inspirational people and leaders from the fields of Business, Sport, Science,  Politics, Law, Film, and the Arts.  Unleashed: The Game Changers shows that we should not be blinded by fear, instead  we should embrace change and be brave enough to change  our lives. Episodes  of Unleashed: The Game Changers have been  watched 200,000 times

 

Paola Diana: Game Changer

 

“I left in awe of her willingness to say the unsayable,

no matter what trouble it will cause”

Helen Rumbelow, The Times

 

Paola Diana’s own life story is one of inspirational change and challenge. As a child and a teenager, she suffered physical and psychological abuse at the hands of her father, which lead to bulimia and depression. Escaping at 19 to attend university, she never returned to her family. Instead she carved a path for herself. Despite facing sexual discrimination, she forged a career as one of the only females  in Italy working in politics.

 

She ran a Think Tank in support of the former Prime Minister of Italy and President of the European Commission, Romano Prodi’s political campaign. And then went on to found her own  Think Tank  PariMerito (Equal Merit), which she used to lobby the Italian Government to pass new equality laws in the workplace, including a new bill requiring every company board to have minimum 30% female representation.

 

In her  personal life she has moved to completely new cities where she knew no one three times  in her life, Bologna, Rome and London. Each time relishing the challenge of building up a new life for herself from scratch. A commentator and critic of sexual equality, domestic abuse, and violence against women, she is incredibly outspoken, honest and brave in tackling taboo subjects around women.

 

About Paola Diana

A bestselling author and political activist, Paola Diana is a mouthpiece for female equality, having experienced both domestic abuse and sex discrimination throughout her life. Now a London based entrepreneur and campaigner for equal rights Paola has dedicated her life to championing sexual equality in business and politics.

 

In her home country of Italy, Paola is the founder of the organisation PariMerito (Equal Merit), which she used to lobby the Italian Government to pass new equality laws in the work place, including a new bill requiring every company board to have minimum 30% female representation. Prior to starting PariMerito Paola ran a Think Tank in support of the former Prime Minister and President of the European Commission, Romano Prodi’s political campaign, which had a focus on issues including welfare, female employment and structural policies in favour of the family and equal opportunities.

 

In  the UK Paola is also an entrepreneur starting her first business as a single mother of two, she now runs three separate businesses and has established herself as a market leader in recruitment and lifestyle services, recognised as one of London’s most influential service providers for high net worth individuals, families and corporations around the world.  

 

Saving the World by Paola Diana

Part manifesto for change part historical and sociological essay, Saving the World charts women’s condition through the centuries, analysing their treatment within political, religious, economic and societal contexts to form a bigger picture of their place in the world; because to understand the present, and make a meaningful difference, we must get to grips with the past. This is a journey that concludes with a clear vision for a better society in which all women are set free from fear, violence and oppression. Paola Diana impresses on us that this world we inhabit, dominated by men and often seemingly immutable, is far from the only one possible.

 

Thank you to Bei at Midas PR for the promotional material. 

Book reviews, Classic style whodunnit

The MX Book Of New Sherlock Holmes Stories. Part XLX: 2020 Annual. 1882-1890 – Edited by David Marcum – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB
 

64 new, traditional Sherlock Holmes Stories making up the latest three volumes in the world’s largest collection of Sherlock Holmes Stories – XIX, XX and XXI.

In 2015, the first three volumes of The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories arrived, containing over 60 stories in the true traditional Canonical manner, revisiting Holmes and Watson in those days where it is “always 1895” . . . or a few decades on either side of that. That was the largest collection of new Holmes stories ever assembled, and originally planned to be a one-time event. But readers wanted more, and the contributors had more stories from Watson’s Tin Dispatch Box, so the fun continued.

Now, with the release of Parts XIX, XX, and XXI, the series has grown to over 450 new Holmes adventures by nearly 200 contributors from around the world. Since the beginning, all contributor royalties go to the Stepping Stones School for special needs children at Undershaw, one of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s former homes, and to date the project has raised nearly $60,000 for the school.

As has become the tradition, this new collection of 64 adventures features Holmes and Watson carrying out their masterful investigations from the early days of their friendship in Baker Street to the post-War years during Holmes’s retirement. Along the way they are involved in some fascinating mysteries – some relating Untold Cases, others sequels to Canonical adventures, and a number progressing along completely unexpected lines.

Join us as we return to Baker Street and discover more authentic adventures of Sherlock Holmes, described by the estimable Dr. Watson as “the best and wisest . . . whom I have ever known.”

Featuring – Roger Riccard, Matthew White, Kevin P. Thornton, Chris Chan, Nick Cardillo, MJH Simmonds, Craig Stephen Copland, Will Murray, Ian Ableson, Thomas A. Turley, David Marcum, Dick Gillman, David Friend, Arthur Hall, Brenda Seabrooke, James Moffett, Robert Stapleton, Andrew Bryant, Will Murray, Andrew Bryant, Peter Coe Verbica, Sean M. Wright, and Tim Gambrell, with a poem by Christopher James, and forewords by John Lescroart, Roger Johnson, Lizzy Butler, Steve Emecz, and David Marcum
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MY REVIEW 

I’ve been a fan of Conan-Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories for many years and it’s so exciting to have a collection of new tales.

The MX Book of New Sherlock tales is just fantastic. It’s a collection of 64 new tales featuring Sherlock Holmes and each has the same atmosphere as the originals. 

With titles such as The Impaled Man and The Case Of The Short-Sighted Clown there is plenty to keep the legend of Sherlock alive.

Written by a variety of authors that capture the soul of Sherlock, Watson and, obviously, Baker Street. A treasure trove of tales..

Thank you to Caroline of CazVin Books for the opportunity to take part in this blog tour, for the promotional material and so many wonderful books. This is my honest and unbiased review.

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Buying links:

Amazon UK:

The MX Book for New Sherlock Holmes Stories XIX The MX Book for New Sherlock Holmes Stories XX The MX Book for New Sherlock Holmes Stories XXI

MX Publishing – website: http://www.mxpublishing.com

MX Publishing – twitter: https://twitter.com/mxpublishing 

Book reviews, Icelandic noir, Police procedural, Thriller

The Creak On The Stairs by Eva Björg Ægisdóttir – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

The first in the electrifying new Forbidden Iceland series, The Creak on the Stairs is an exquisitely written, claustrophobic and chillingly atmospheric debut thriller by one of Iceland’s most exciting new talents

When the body of a woman is discovered at a lighthouse in the Icelandic town of Akranes, it soon becomes clear that she’s no stranger to the area.

Chief Investigating Officer Elma, who has returned to Akranes following a failed relationship, and her colleagues Sævar and Hörður, commence an uneasy investigation, which uncovers a shocking secret in the dead woman’s past that continues to reverberate in the present day…

But as Elma and her team make a series of discoveries, they bring to light a host of long-hidden crimes that shake the entire community. Sifting through the rubble of the townspeople’s shattered memories, they have to dodge increasingly serious threats, and find justice … before it’s too late.
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MY REVIEW 

Set in Iceland, Elma has returned to her hometown of Akranes, after her relationship has broken down. She has joined the local police in CID.

When the body of a woman is found near a lighthouse the investigation begins. Was this an accidental death or murder?

I found The Creak On The Stairs had a creeping tension and an almost claustrophobic atmosphere. The chapters from young Elisabet’s perspective are particularly harrowing.

Elma is a likeable character and I enjoyed her close relationship with her mother and their humour brought some lighter moments to this dark tale. I do hope this is the beginning of a series as I’d love to read more….I loved the useful guide to Icelandic pronunciation too.

A compelling, sometimes emotional, Icelandic Noir Thriller that had me hooked from the first page. Stunning.

Thank you to Anne Cater and Random Things Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour,  for the promotional materials and an eARC of the book. This is my honest, unbiased review.

 

You can buy a copy here: https://www.hive.co.uk/Product/Eva-Bjoerg-AEgisdottir/The-Creak-on-the-Stairs/24712304 or here : https://amzn.to/3e88pff 

https://www.goldsborobooks.com/product/the-creak-on-the-stairs-may-book-of-the-month

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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Born in Akranes in 1988, Eva moved to Trondheim, Norway to study my MSc in Globalisation when she was 25. After moving back home having completed her MSc, she knew it was time to start working on her novel. Eva has wanted to write books since she was 15 years old, having won a short story contest in Iceland.

Eva worked as a stewardess to make ends meet while she wrote her first novel. The book went on to win the Blackbird Award and became an Icelandic bestseller. Eva now lives with her husband and three children in Reykjavík, staying at home with her youngest until she begins Kindergarten. 

Book reviews, Police procedural, Psychlogical thriller

Before I Say I Do by Vicki Bradley – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Winner of the inaugural Write here, Right Now Prize 2018, in partnership with the Bradford Literature Festival, a debut by experienced Met Police detective constable

Her dream wedding is about to become her worst nightmare.

Julia is nervous and it’s not just because she’s about to get married. There’s a lot that her soon- to-be husband, Mark, doesn’t know – and she is determined to keep it that way.

As she walks down the aisle, spotting Mark is his tailored suit, she knows she is taking her first steps to happiness- her past can’t catch her now. He turns to face her…

But it isn’t Mark in the beautiful suit – it’s his best man. Because Mark is missing.

And Julia’s past is closer than she thinks.

Perfect for fans of Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll and Now You See Her by Heidi Perks
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MY REVIEW 

On Julia and Mark’s wedding day, Julia walks down the aisle but Mark has disappeared.

The police are called as Julia is certain this is more than just cold feet. So Detective Alana Loxton begins the investigation. 

It turns out Mark has a lot to hide, but so does Julia. Is his disappearance linked to events in her past?

This is a clever, well plotted and twisty thriller that’s gripping from start to finished. 

Thank you to Anne Cater and Random Things Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour,  for the promotional materials and an eARC of the book. This is my honest, unbiased review.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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Vicki Bradley is a detective constable in the Metropolitan Police Service. She has had a varied career, as a uniformed response driver in Brent and then as a detective Constable in Southwark CID. She has managed High Risk Sex Offenders and worked on the Serious Organised Crime Command. She is currently on a 5-year career creak to focus on her writing. Vicki completed a Creative Writing MA at City University in 2016. Before I Say I Do won the Write Here, Right Now competition, came 3rd in the First Novel Prize and has been shortlisted for the Virago New Crime Writer 2017 and Peters Fraser and Dunlop Prize 2016. She enjoys travelling the world and climbing mountains. Vicki lives in London with her husband. 

Book reviews

PM Press – Submission Call

Wow, Holland House Books have a new imprint called PM Press…….And they are calling for submissions…exciting stuff, so here’s their blurb…..

 

We are a Kindle-First imprint of Holland House Books that specialises in crime, thriller and dystopian fiction. Phaidra Robinson and Mia Skevington set up PM Press in April 2020 in order to pursue their respective loves of true crime and detective fiction. Our background of Literary Fiction at Holland House Books means that we bring an expectation of and experience in producing high quality books to these genres. An inaugural imprint, this is the time for authors to submit their work for the chance to be one of our founding book releases.

 

We are looking for most types of crime and thriller fiction, from the classic English whodunit through to police procedurals, or classic noir through to mind-bending psychological thrillers. Maybe you want to introduce us to a dystopian future. We want well-written, satisfying work – a good twist and convincing characters are the ways to our hearts. It may be cosy and comfortable or dark and disturbing… or something completely different.

 

If you have a completed novel or novella which you believe may fit, then send us:

 

1) The first fifty pages of your work.

2) A synopsis of your work (maximum two pages).

3) A covering letter with a brief overview – we do NOT need you to do a brilliant ‘pitch’ or the kind of blurb which would go on the back of the book. The basic story, main character(s) and the general themes is all we need.

 

These documents should be Word Documents, size 12 in a standard font, with a line spacing of 1.5.

 

Please email us at pmpress@hhousebooks.com and address them to the Editor Phaidra Robinson.

 

PM Press Social Media Links:

Email: pmpress@hhousebooks.com

Website: https://pmpress9.wixsite.com/pmpress

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PMPressHHB 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/pmpresshollandhouse/ 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/PMPress1 

 

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Book reviews, Police procedural, Thriller

In Plain Sight by Marion Todd – Book Review

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I am pleased to be taking part in the blog tour for In Plain Sight and am reposting my review.

 


PUBLISHERS BLURB 

A child’s life is at stake. Which of the residents of St Andrews is hiding something – and why?

When a baby girl is snatched from the crowd of spectators at a fun run, the local police have a major investigation on their hands. DI Clare Mackay and her team are in a race against the clock when they learn that the child has a potentially fatal medical condition. 

As Clare investigates she realises this victim wasn’t selected at random. Someone knows who took the baby girl, and why. But will they reveal their secrets before it’s too late?

The second instalment from an exciting new Scottish detective series. Perfect for fans of Alex Gray, Rachel Amphlett and D. K. Hood.

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MY REVIEW 

#2 in the Detective Clare Mackay series, but can also easily be read as a stand-alone.

A very young child has been abducted while her parents were watching a commotion at a charity fun run.

Detective Clare Mackay was about to take part in the run so was on the scene immediately, but no sign of baby Abi.

When they find out Abi has a heart condition and needs regular medication to keep her alive, this becomes a tense race against time.

Can they find Abi before it’s too late?

This is a clever, well plotted police procedural that’s so much more involved. There’s a missing child, a thorough investigation with plenty of possible suspects, office politics, an overly ambitious senior officer and well developed characters. A truly gripping and thoroughly entertaining read. I’m already looking forward to the next in the series….

Thank you to Tracy at Compulsive Readers for the opportunity to take part in this blog tour. This is my honest and unbiased review.

 

You can preorder a copy here( available from 20 February) : 

https://amzn.to/2GPWsMJ

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

 

Marion grew up in the City of Dundee, now home to the magnificent V&A Museum. Always a keen writer, she has had point-of-view pieces published in the Dundee Courier and short stories in My Weekly magazine. She won first prize in the Family Circle Magazine Short Story for Children Competition in 1987.

More recently, Marion has turned her hand to crime fiction and was one of only six commercial fiction writers selected to pitch to an industry panel at XPONorth in Inverness in 2017. In 2018 Marion was long-listed for the Sunstory Award and the Scottish Arts Council Short Story Award. This year she was short-listed for Dundee Rep’s Stripped programme. She is represented by Northbank Talent Management and her debut novel, See Them Run, will be published as an eBook by Canelo on 31 October 2019.

Before becoming a full-time writer, Marion worked as a lecturer, candle-maker and hotel lounge pianist, a job which provided rich material for her novels. When she isn’t writing, Marion can be found tussling with her jungle-like garden and walking in the beautiful Scotish countryside.

Marion lives in North East Fife overlooking the River Tay and is a sometime babysitter for her daughter’s unruly but lovable dog. (Courtesy of Goodreads)

Book reviews, Memoir

Girl With A Gun by Diana Nammi and Karen Attwood – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Diana Nammi became a fighter with the Peshmerga when she was only seventeen. Originally known as Galavezh, she grew up in the Kurdish region of Iran in the 1960s and 70s. She became involved in politics as a teenager and, like many students, played a part in the Iranian Revolution of 1979. But the new Islamic regime tolerated no opposition, and after Kurdistan was brutally attacked, Galavezh found that she had no choice but to become a soldier in the famed military force.

She spent twelve years on the front line, and helped lead the struggle for women’s rights and equality for the Kurdish people, becoming one of the Iranian regime’s most wanted in the process. As well as being the startling account of Galavezh’s time as a fighter, Girl with a Gun is also a narrative about family and resilience, with a tragic love story at its heart.

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MY REVIEW

Girl With A Gun is the memoir of Diana Nammi, who at 17 was a Peshmerga fighter in the battle against the radical Islamic regime. 

This gives a real insight into her life during this terrible, turbulent time.

It tells of the effects of this conflict on the ordinary person in the Kurdish population and their day to day struggles. 

So well written it’s clear Diana is an incredibly strong and brave woman and this tale is both tragic and heartbreaking at times and also a testament to what can be achieved. Thought provoking to say the least.

Thank you to Anne Cater and Random Things Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour,  for the promotional materials and an eARC of the book. This is my honest, unbiased review.

 

Book reviews, Psychlogical thriller

The Secrets Of Strangers by Charity Norman – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

A compelling and fresh premise leads to a tense, humane, and touching novel’. Claire McGowan.

A regular weekday morning veers drastically off-course for five strangers whose paths cross in a London café – their lives never to be the same again when an apparently crazed gunman holds them hostage.

But there is more to the situation than first meets the eye and as the captives grapple with their own inner demons, the line between right and wrong starts to blur. Will the secrets they keep stop them from escaping with their lives?

Another tense, multi-dimensional drama from the writer of the Richard & Judy bestseller After the Fall.

‘Masterful, heartbreaking and compelling . . . a moving hymn to humanity’

Erin Kinsley, bestselling author of Found

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MY REVIEW 

Neil is a rough sleeper.

Abi is a lawyer.

Mutesi is a nurse for a care home…..

These three people are following their usual morning routines as they pop into the Tuckbox cafe in Balham for the usual breakfasts and coffees.

Robert is the owner and Rosie the waitress.

Just a usual morning until Sam arrives with a shotgun, shoots Robert and holds the others hostage…..terrifying.

As the story unfolds you learn of each of their lives and the secrets they hold.

I found this to be such a compelling read. It’s so well written and really captures your attention from the very start. The fear the hostages experience is palpable and the tension is gripping. But it also tells of compassion and how you never know just what is going on in the lives and the circumstances of those around you. 

A tense, heartbreaking and utterly engrossing thriller from start to finish. Brilliant and I loved every emotion filled minute. 

Thank you to Anne Cater and Random Things Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour,  for the promotional materials and an eARC of the book. This is my honest, unbiased review.

 

You can buy a copy here: https://www.hive.co.uk/Product/Charity-Author-Norman/The-Secrets-of-Strangers/24738264 or here: https://amzn.to/2LLDdpT 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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Charity Norman was born in Uganda and brought up in successive draughty vicarages in Yorkshire and Birmingham. After several years’ travel she became a barrister, specialising in crime and family law. In 2002, realising that her three children had barely met her, she took a break from the law and moved with her family to New Zealand. THE SECRETS OF

STRANGERS is her sixth novel.

Book reviews, Thriller

Slow Down by Lee Matthew Goldberg – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

How far would you go to make your dreams come true? 

For budding writer and filmmaker Noah Spaeth, being a Production Assistant in director Dominick Bambach’s new avant-garde film isn’t enough. Neither is watching Dominick have an affair with the lead actress, the gorgeous but troubled Nevie Wyeth. For Noah’s dream is to get both the film and Nevie in the end, whatever the cost. And this obsession may soon become a reality once Dominick’s spurned wife Isadora reveals her femme fatale nature with a seductive plot to get rid of her husband for good. 

Slow Down, a cross between the noir styling of James M. Cain and the dark satire of Bret Easton Ellis, is a thrilling page-turner that holds a mirror up to a media-saturated society that is constantly searching for the fastest way to get ahead, regardless of consequences.

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MY REVIEW 

Slow Down is the tale of Noah Spaeth, the man who has everything, but wants more. It’s the story of one upmanship and how far Noah and Dominick will go to get what they want.

A fast paced thriller set in the film industry with all its decadence, drugs and greed.  A gripping, disturbing story of excess, betrayal and corruption. Brilliant.

Thank you to Blackthorn Tours for the opportunity to take part in this blog tour, for the promotional material and a free ecopy of the book. This is my honest and unbiased review. 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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Lee Matthew Goldberg is the author of the novels THE DESIRE CARD, THE MENTOR, and SLOW DOWN. He has been published in multiple languages and nominated for the 2018 Prix du Polar. The second book in the Desire Card series, PREY NO MORE, is forthcoming in 2020, along with his first Sci-Fi novel ORANGE CITY. His new endeavor will be as the editor-in-chief and co-founder of Fringe Press and Fringe Digital, dedicated to publishing fiction that’s outside-of-the-box. His pilots and screenplays have been finalists in Script Pipeline, Book Pipeline, Stage 32, We Screenplay, the New York Screenplay, Screencraft, and the Hollywood Screenplay contests. After graduating with an MFA from the New School, his writing has also appeared in the anthology DIRTY BOULEVARD, The Millions, Cagibi, The Montreal Review, The Adirondack Review, The New Plains Review, Underwood Press and others. He is the co-curator of The Guerrilla Lit Reading Series and lives in New York City. Follow him at leematthewgoldberg.com. 

 

Website – Leematthewgoldberg.com

FB – https://www.facebook.com/leemgol

IG – https://www.instagram.com/leematthewgoldberg/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/LeeMatthewG 

 

 

Book reviews, Mystery

The Mystery Of Henri Pick by David Foenkinos – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

The delightful first title in a new collaboration with Channel 4’s Walter Presents: a fast-paced comic mystery enriched by a deep love of books.

In the small town of Crozon in Brittany, a library houses manuscripts that were rejected for publication: the faded dreams of aspiring writers. Visiting while on holiday, young editor Delphine Despero is thrilled to discover a novel so powerful that she feels compelled to bring it back to Paris to publish it.

The book is a sensation, prompting fevered interest in the identity of its author – apparently one Henri Pick, a now-deceased pizza chef from Crozon. Sceptics cry that the whole thing is a hoax: how could this man have written such a masterpiece? An obstinate journalist, Jean-Michel Rouche, heads to Brittany to investigate.

The Mystery of Henri Pick is a fast-paced comic mystery enriched by a deep love of books – and of the authors who write them.

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MY REVIEW 

The Mystery Of Henri Pick is a gentle novel, no violence or fanged, just the mystery of who has written an unpublished literary masterpiece,   ‘The Last Hours of a Love Affair’,  that has been found in a local library.

It exudes a deep love of books and of the process of writing with the emotional toll it takes on authors. It’s also about love, life and finding happiness, all set in a small town in France.

An absolutely charming read with a little twisty mystery too, perfect escapism and a warm hug of a read. 

Thank you to Poppy at Pushkin Press for the opportunity to take part in this blog tour, for the promotional material and an ecopy of the book. This is my honest and unbiased review.

You can buy a copy here: https://amzn.to/2Zhgp9G or https://www.hive.co.uk/Product/David-Foenkinos/The-Mystery-of-Henri-Pick/24707984 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

 

Novelist, screenwriter and musician David Foenkinos was born in 1974. He is the author of fourteen novels that have been translated into forty languages. Several of his works have been adapted for film, including Delicacy (2011). The Mystery of Henri Pick is the first title in a new collaboration with Channel 4’s Walter Presents.

‘It has always been a dream for French writers to be translated into the English language. I am especially happy that The Mystery of Henri Pick has been selected by the ‘Walter Presents’ program because it is as much literary as it is entertaining. I wanted my book to be a playful reflection of the literary world – filled with suspense and false leads. First and foremost – it’s a tribute to books and literature and to the writers that have long been heroes of mine.’ – DAVID FOENKINOS

 

ABOUT WALTER PRESENTS:

Walter Presents is a global streaming service

dedicated to showcasing award-winning

foreign-language drama. First launched in

the UK in 2016 the service is named after its curator, Walter Iuzzolino and is now available in the US, Australia and a number of European countries. You can watch world drama box sets from Walter Presents for free in the UK on all4.com/walterpresents 

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Audiobook, Book reviews, humour

The Game’s Gone by Simon Barnes – Audiobook Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Not since Richard Ford’s classic novel, The Sportswriter, has a novel caught the world of sports journalism so vividly and so well.

No one would call David Rose – or ‘Rosie’ as he’s known to one and all – a star, but he’s good at his job and proud of his work as a sportswriter for a national newspaper. He’s used to seeing flashier talents come and go – both on the field, and in the competitive world of the press. Football comes first in the way he spends his working life, but he’s happy to pitch in whatever the sport – from Formula 1 to Test cricket in the West Indies, the Olympics to a heavyweight championship bout in Japan.

He’s used to the ups and downs of a journalist’s life and has learned to keep his own head safely down – until an especially venal boss pins his own misdemeanours on the entirely innocent Rose. He’s forced to work closely first with a frustrated poet, then with a moral puritan and then the final horror: a real woman. How will Rosie cope?
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MY REVIEW 

The Game’s Gone is the tale of David ‘Rosie’ Rose and his ups and downs in sports journalism.

I found this to be a thoroughly enjoyable listen even though I’m not a big sports fan, but it really doesn’t matter as it’s not just about the sport, but how Rosie deals with his despicable, backstabbing boss and his ultimate revenge.

It’s full of humour and quite emotional at times, with lots of insight into the cut throat world of sports journalism.

Perfectly narrated by Colin Mace who captures the atmosphere so well. An enjoyable and compelling listen. 

Thank you to Amber at Midas PR for the opportunity to take part in this blog tour, for the promotional material and a copy of the audiobook. This is my honest and unbiased review.

Exclusively available from Audible

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Simon Barnes was the Chief Sports Writer for The Times until 2014, having worked for the paper for 30 years, during which he covered seven Olympic Games and six World Cup finals. He writes about sports and wildlife and is the author of over 20 books, including the best-selling How to be a Bad Birdwatcher; Epic: In Search of the Soul of Sport and Why It Matters; and Rewild Yourself: 23 Spellbinding Ways to Make Nature More Visible.

Simon Barnes commented: “It was only after I had left the asylum that I was truly aware of the madness. So I thought I’d try and write the madness before I forgot it. But I thought I’d better tone it down a bit – to make it believable.”

 

 

The Game’s Gone will be available for 1 credit to Audible members or priced at £19.99 for non-members. It joins a wealth of compelling original fiction on Audible, including Alex Callister’s Winter Dark, Michael Wood’s The Seventh Victim, Ann Morgan’s Crossing Over, K.L. Slater’s The Apartment, and Tom Bale’s The Stone Song. 

Book reviews, Psychlogical thriller

Love Me To Death by Susan Gee – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Something sinister stirs in Stockport…

The police find a young woman’s body in the woods the same week a couple discover a crude, handmade doll in Lyme Park. But are the two findings connected… or a strange coincidence?

In a town full of loners and unhappy families, nothing is as it seems…

All Mr Anderson wants is a family. After his elderly mother died, he was almost unbearably lonely. Now it’s time for him to claim his own.

All Jacob wants is for Maggie to love him back. She only has eyes for the Vincent twins – but maybe he can make her see just how much he cares.

And everyone is a suspect.

A quietly sinister, utterly chilling new thriller from Susan Gee, the author of Kiss Her 

Goodbye. Perfect for fans of You and How to Get Away with Murder.

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MY REVIEW 

Love Me To Death is a story of abuse and loneliness. Two people, one an adult and the other a young teen, both suffered and suffers abuse by a parent or ‘step-parent’. As a result these two damaged people just want a family and someone to love them.

Mr Anderson is making his own family and this is dark and distinctly creepy, when he befriends young Jacob, his neighbour, the tension builds and you wonder about his motives.

This is a slow burn of a tale that really draws you in with its emotion and you have empathy for the characters, even though one is a disturbing serial killer.

A tense, dark, thoughtful and utterly compelling read.

Thank you to Vicky at Head Of Zeus for the opportunity to take part in this blog tour, for the promotional material and an eARC of Love Me To Death. This is my honest and unbiased review.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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Susan Gee is a crime writer from the North West. She was a finalist in the Good 

Housekeeping Novel Competition and The Daily Mail ‘Write a Best Seller’ 

Competition. She has an MA in Creative Writing from Manchester University. Love 

Me to Death is her second novel. Susan lives in Stockport with her husband and two 

children. 

 

Follow Susan:

 

Twitter: @SusanGeeWriter

Instagram: @susangeewriter

Pre-order links:

 

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2TyKpLq

Google Play: https://bit.ly/2Rt0qzE

Kobo: https://bit.ly/2RpZign

 

Follow Aria 

Website: http://www.ariafiction.com

Twitter: @aria_fiction

Facebook: @ariafiction

Instagram: @ariafiction 

Thriller

Black Blood by Jane Eddie – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Danni was a trainee corporate lawyer before she was forced to flee her life in London. Having escaped a controlling and abusive partner, she now finds herself hiding from another predator – her employer.

Post-Brexit, the U.K. oil industry is on its knees and desperate to turn a profit, but at what cost?

Many companies in Aberdeen have already been forced to sell out to the Russians, but when a prominent CEO is found dead, the number of mysterious deaths offshore have escalated and oil platforms are being targeted by terrorists. But who is actually calling the shots? There is more to these attacks than meets the eye…

As Danni draws ever closer to discovering the truth, she becomes embroiled in a web of secrets and deceit where doing the right thing could cost her life.

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MY REVIEW 

Black Blood is set in Aberdeen and the oil industry.

It starts with a bit of insight into the effect the downturn in the oil industry had on the economy of Aberdeen and how the job losses affected the whole community. This really sets the atmosphere of the tale.

A Russian company takes over and the main character, Danni, works for them but soon feels something is not quite right and is deadly for some.

And so the story begins.

This has a tense and twisty plot to keep you hooked from start to finish. Jane Eddie has great, descriptive writing to the extent I feel I could almost find my way around Aberdeen,  and with well developed, likeable characters it all makes for a fast paced, gripping thriller with real atmosphere. Thoroughly entertaining.

Thank you to Anne Cater and Random Things Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour,  for the promotional materials and an eARC of the book. This is my honest, unbiased review.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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I am a 48-year-old Contracts Manager for a Well Abandonment Company working in the oil industry in Aberdeen. I live in a farmhouse in the rural hamlet of Netherley, Aberdeenshire with my long suffering partner, four horses and two working cocker spaniels. When I’ve not got my head stuck in a book, my time is devoted to my horses, one of which I compete at dressage.

During the last downturn in the oil market I became disillusioned with my job and made a conscious decision to do something that made me happy. That turned out to be writing! I think my partner thought I was having a mid-life crisis when I told him I was quitting my job to write a book. I have been an avid reader from a young age and always have a book on the go. My passion is crime and psychological thrillers. I had the idea for this novel floating about in my head for about a year and decided it was time to unleash my secret desire to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) and see if I could turn my notion of a story into reality. The time it took to write and edit my book have been the most enjoyable of my life so far. Unfortunately I have had to return to work to pay the bills but I am working on an idea for Book 2!

 

Twitter @JaneEddie2

 

Paperback: 300 pages

  • Publisher: Book Guild Publishing Ltd (5 Dec. 2019) • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1913208060
  • ISBN-13: 978-1913208066 
Contemporary fiction

One Year Of Ugly by Caroline MacKenzie – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Having escaped crumbling, socialist Venezuela, Yola Palacios and her family are settling into their new under-the-radar life in Trinidad.

But when the formidable* Aunt Celia dies, the Palacios discover that she’s been keeping one hell of a secret. She’s seriously in debt to a local criminal called Ugly, a debt that is now theirs to repay.

He might dress like David Bowie, but Ugly’s business style is pure Pablo Escobar. What he says, the Palacios must do, otherwise: big trouble.

Ugly’s right-hand man Román is tasked with keeping an eye on the family but Yola can barely keep her eyes off him. Forbidden fruit is the original aphrodisiac, and when Yola and Román fall in lust, even bigger trouble is on the horizon…

Told with raw, acid humour, One Year of Ugly is a story of family, first love and finding home. A blisteringly fresh take on the migrant experience, set in a beautiful corner of the Caribbean, and a poignant reminder that no matter what form of ugly crosses your path, there’s always a way to laugh through it.

 

*family bitch

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MY REVIEW 

The Palacios family fled Venezuela to make a new life in Trinidad, but when Aunt Celia dies they find she has amassed a large debt with the criminal underworld, namely Ugly. When Ugly comes calling for repayment the family end up ‘working’ for him to repay this debt.

Yola, who narrates the story, has a razor sharp wit that will have you laughing out loud at the family antics, the dark humour helps deal with the darker moments of life…..

Will the Palacios family manage to free themselves from Ugly?

This is a tale of the harsh realities of being a refugee, of the daily exploitation they suffer, but it’s also a tale of family, love and humour in adversity. It’s all mixed with such great characters to make an amazingly entertaining read.

Thank you to Anne Cater and Random Things Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour,  for the promotional materials and an eARC of the book. This is my honest, unbiased review.

 

You can buy a copy here: https://amzn.to/3bIncf0

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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Caroline Mackenzie is a freelance translator living in Trinidad with her husband and son. A national scholar, she studied in the UK on an Open Scholarship for four years to qualify as a specialist translator before returning to her native Trinidad, where she began writing more extensively. Her short fiction has appeared in literary publications around the world, and in 2017 she was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize. In 2018 she was named the Short Fiction winner of the Small Axe Literary Competition. One Year of Ugly is her first novel, and the TV rights have already been snapped up by Netflix. 

Book reviews

Plan For The Worst by Jodi Taylor – Book Review


PUBLISHERS BLURB 

The eleventh book in the bestselling Chronicles of St Mary’s series. If you love Jasper Fforde, Ben Aaronovitch or Doctor Who, you won’t be able to resist Jodi Taylor.

I would have trusted this man with my life. Until a couple of days ago, anyway.

You know what they say – hope for the best, but plan for the worst.

Max is quite accustomed to everything going wrong. She’s St Mary’s, after all. Disaster is her default state. But with her family reunited and a jump to Bronze Age Crete in the works, life is getting back to normal. Well, normal for St Mary’s.

And then, following one fateful night at the Tower of London, everything Max thought she knew comes crashing down around her.

Too late for plans. The worst has happened. And who can Max trust now?

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MY REVIEW

This is book #11 in the Chronicles of St Mary’s series.

Firstly, I have to say I. Like a kid at Christmas when a new Jodi Taylor book is published and this really doesn’t disappoint.

Max and her merry gang of disaster magnets are off on their adventures again, they visit London in search of missing princes, Max comes close to drowning and secrets come to light which change her feeling towards a member of the team. Max also makes friends with Vikings and the main trip is to Crete and the Minoan empire as a volcanic eruption is due….what they don’t expect are bulls and an old enemy arriving just at the wrong time!

Can they all return to St Mary’s unscathed or has Max angered the gods of time just once too often?

This had me hooting with laughter at times, the mix of fantasy ‘time travel’, historical fact and madcap humour make this a thoroughly entertaining read. I’ll never look at a frozen chicken in the same way again! Brilliant.

Thank you so much to Headline for an ARc of the book. This is my honest and unbiased review. 

 

You Can buy a copy here: https://amzn.to/3fTCTTQ

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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Jodi Taylor is the internationally bestselling author of the Chronicles of St Mary’s series, the story of a bunch of disaster-prone individuals who investigate major historical events in contemporary time. Do NOT call it time travel!

Born in Bristol and now living in Gloucester (facts both cities vigorously deny), she spent many years with her head somewhere else, much to the dismay of family, teachers and employers, before finally deciding to put all that daydreaming to good use and write a novel. Nearly twenty books later, she still has no idea what she wants to do when she grows up. 

Book reviews, Gothic horror, Psychlogical thriller, Supernatural

(S)witchboard by Andrew Post – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

It’s only as haunted as you are.

After two raids turn up zero evidence, narcotics detective Dwayne Spare infiltrates a crumbling apartment building where a suspected manufacturer of krokodil is hiding—but finds something much worse. The chemist Gerald Metzger isn’t after money; he’s lulling his most ‘dedicated’ customers into catatonia, to make contact with an eldritch being.

When Dwayne’s cover is blown, he becomes Metzger’s new test subject, an involuntary pilgrim into a world where “it’s all just in your head” is far from a reassuring statement.
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MY REVIEW

Well, what can I say about Switchboard, this is a trippy nightmare that grabs you by the throat and won’t let go…….

Dwayne Spare is a cop, he has been chasing George Metzger for some time but somehow he knows when they are coming and all evidence of his Krokodil production has disappeared. So he decides to go undercover and moves into the same apartment block, he sets up his surveillance cameras and phone tap…..what could go wrong?

Well Metzger knows and uses Dwayne as another of his ‘dreamers’……

Can he hear him?

It starts off like a solid police procedural,  but oh dear god! It descends into a nightmarish tale of a twisted limbo….where the worlds of the living and the dead meet in ‘dreams’ to the extent no one knows who or what are real……..it’s not all in your head! The more damaged you are the worse it gets……

Metzger controls this, listening for voicemail from the thing in the basement……phones connecting to the dead……a switchboard to a ghostly world where time no longer exists and reality unravels….

Bizarre, brutal and horrific at times but utterly compelling…….I need a lie down now, but not on a stained carpet!!!!!!!

Thank you to Anne Cater and Random Things Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour,  for the promotional materials and a free copy of the book. This is my honest, unbiased review.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

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Andrew Post was born in Erie, Pennsylvania (imagine Eraserhead but in color). While he was honing his craft as a writer (those early stories were awful) he worked in a gift shop in one of the scuzziest hotels in the Midwest, he cleaned rental cars (also gross), he was a butcher (despite being a vegetarian), and in 2013 his first novel, the cyberpunk thriller, Knuckleduster, was published. No one really seemed to care much but he kept at it and has since published a handful of other works to varying degrees of resulting public interest with a few seeing translations and one almost became a movie (that lit agent has since been fired).

Andrew lives in a sleepy river town in Minnesota where he may or may not be planning aquatic “accidents” to befall the many other authors who live in the area and he has been mistaken for Rob Zombie on no less than ten separate occasions.

Twitter @MegaDeluxo

 

Book reviews, Police procedural, Psychlogical thriller

The Soul Killer by Ross Greenwood – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

The Soul Killer

‘Repent in this life, rejoice in the next…’

A murder made to look like suicide. Another that appears to be an accident. DI Barton investigates the tragedies that have shattered a family’s lives, but without obvious leads the case goes nowhere. 

Then, when the remains of a body are found, everything points to one suspect.

Barton and his team move quickly, and once the killer is behind bars, they can all breathe a sigh of relief. But death still lurks in the shadows, and no one’s soul is safe. Not even those of the detectives…

How do you stop a killer that believes life is a rehearsal for eternity, and their future is worth more than your own…?

Ross Greenwood writes gritty, heart-pounding thrillers, with twists aplenty, and unforgettable endings. Perfect for fans of Mark Billingham and Stuart MacBride.

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MY REVIEW 

This starts with the disturbing childhood of a young boy and his ultra religious mother…he is used to pain!

DI Barton is still recovering from dealing with the Snow Killer, when he starts investigating sudden deaths in a family.

As the body count grows Barton is drawn into the dark mind of the Soul Killer….

I can’t say too much for fear of spoiling the plot, but this is a dark, psychological serial killer thriller. It’s disturbing, action filled, truly chilling and thoroughly engrossing. 

Thank you to Rachel’s Random Resources and Boldwood Books for the opportunity to take part in this blog tour, for the promotional material and and an eARC of the book.

 

Purchase Links – https://amzn.to/32oszvj

 

Author Bio – 

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Ross Greenwood is the author of six crime thrillers. Before becoming a full-time writer he was most recently a prison officer and so worked everyday with murderers, rapists and thieves for four years. He lives in Peterborough. 

 

Social Media Links – 

Newsletter sign up: http://bit.ly/RossGreenwoodNewsletter

https://twitter.com/greenwoodross

https://www.facebook.com/RossGreenwoodAuthor

http://bookbub.com/authors/ross-greenwood

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Book reviews, Historical fiction

When We Fall by Carolyn Kirby – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Based on the Katyn massacre of 1940, When We Fall is a moving historical novel of three lives forever altered by one fatal choice.

April – May 2020 marks 80 years since the Katyn massacre and 10th April 2020 also marks the 10th anniversary of the airline crash that killed top Polish dignitaries on their way to Russia to commemorate the atrocity.

England, 1943. Lost in fog, Air Transport Auxiliary pilot Vee Katchatourian is forced to make an emergency landing where she meets enigmatic RAF airman Stefan Bergel, and then can’t get him out of her mind.

In occupied Poland, Ewa Hartman hosts German officers in her father’s guest house, while secretly gathering intelligence for the Polish resistance. Mourning her lover, Stefan, who was captured by the Soviets at the start of the war, Ewa is shocked to see him on the street one day.

Haunted by a terrible choice he made in captivity, Stefan asks Vee and Ewa to help him expose one of the darkest secrets of the war. But it is not clear where everyone’s loyalties lie until they are tested.

All of the victims of the Katyn massacre were men, except, remarkably, for one woman. And when I discovered that this woman, Janina Lewandowska, was a pilot, I knew that the Polish experience would become the heart of my novel… The story I tell is fiction, but it is one that I could not have begun to imagine without the remarkable life and death of Janina Lewandowska. CAROLYN KIRBY

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MY REVIEW 

When We Fall is set during WWII and is a fictional story which centres on the real Katyn massacre.

Vee is a pilot, flying planes between RAF airbases in the UK. Lost in the fog, she lands and meets Stefan, a Polish man in the RAF.

Ewa lives in Poland in a German occupied town. Her father runs a hotel for Germans only, he does this to protect his family. Ewa is a member of the Polish Resistance and passes information from SS officers to them. Her lover, Stefan was a POW and has been missing now for 3 years.

This marvellous tale tells of life during these troubled times, how Vee deals with racism and sexism as a female pilot of Armenian descent, and of Ewa, her bravery and commitment to fighting for what’s right. All linked by Stefan and the horrific massacre at Katyn. 

Beautifully written with great characters, full of an atmosphere so evocative of the time and place. A mix of love, bravery and the horrors of war. A truly stunning read.

Thank you to Anne Cater and Random Things Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour,  for the promotional materials and an eARC of the book. This is my honest, unbiased review.

 

You can buy a copy here: https://amzn.to/3bwMtbY

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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CAROLYN KIRBY is the author of The Conviction of Cora Burns which was longlisted for the Historical Writers’ Association Debut Crown Award.

Before being a full-time writer, Carolyn worked in social housing and as a teacher.

She has two grown-up daughters and lives with her husband in Oxfordshire.

 

carolynkirby.com @novelcarolyn