Book reviews

The Pumilio Child by Judy McInerney – Book Review





Ya Ling’s cultured life of privilege in Beijing is cruelly cut short when she is abducted and shipped to the slave market in Venice. When Mantegna sees her chained to a post, his initial intention is to paint her exotic beauty, but he soon he desires her company for pleasures of a more private nature.

Ya Ling has two ambitions, to ruin Mantegna, then to escape back to her family in China. However, Mantegna’s latest commission, two huge frescos for the ruling Gonzaga family, make him invincible.

Will Ya Ling survive? And can she succeed?




The Pumilio Child by Judy McInerey is historical fiction at its best and is a gripping tale about kidnap, slavery, cultural differences, superstition and cruelty in the 1400’s China and Italy. 

If you love a historical novel that just pulls you along and that touches your heart a little….this is for you…its both sad and yet beautiful. 

An emotional read that’s for sure….the whole gamut, fear, horror, disgust and anger and hope, it will put you through the wringer…..

Ya Ling is such a deep character, clever, kind and so brave, while initially spoilt and privileged her common sense and determination makes you care deeply for her…..all credit to Judy McInerney’s poetic, beautiful and creative writing ….a masterpiece.

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






Judy McInerney has lived and worked in London for most of her professional life. Living in the Middle East, she managed to get lost in the desert, and to live through a military coup. After teaching in Abu Dhabi and starting her own business in Turkey, she returned to London and completed a creative writing course at Goldsmiths. Writing for food and travel guides has enabled her to justify travelling and eating out far too often

As a frequent traveller to China over the last thirty years she has seen the country undergo massive seismic changes, – from the times of Mao jackets and vast shoals of bicycles meandering along every hutong, to the present day, where Beijing is bigger than Belgium and has six million cars. She still travels in China each year to keep in close touch with family there. She also has a longstanding love affair with Italy, particularly the Renaissance cities of the north. Mantua is an undiscovered gem, both magical and macabre.


Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Unbound Digital (20 Sept. 2018)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1911586033
ISBN-13: 978-1911586036



Book reviews

The Housewife by Valerie Keogh -Book Review



“There’s no place like home” – that’s what I tell myself as I pull another flawless meal from the oven. This perfect house on a quiet street was supposed to be my sanctuary, a place to recover. But everything changed the moment I saw that woman in the charity shop. She triggered something dark, buried deep within my memory…

Now I’ve started forgetting small things, like locking the front door.

And bigger things, like remembering to pick my little girl up from nursery.

I feel terrified every time I pass through a particular spot in our living room.

And sometimes, when I’m alone, I’m sure I can hear a baby crying…

I think the woman in the shop knows what happened to me. But if I can’t trust myself to believe she’s real, who will?

One of the most gripping and heart-pounding psychological thrillers you’ll ever read! If you were totally hooked by, The Wife Between Us, The Girl on the Train or The Woman in the Window you won’t be able to put this jaw-dropping thriller down until it’s finished. 



Diane had a ‘ bit of a breakdown ‘ and had been admitted to a clinic for a few weeks until she felt better. But, she has lost months of memories and no one will tell her what happened leading up to her breakdown.

Her husband Paul, barely speaks to her and spends most evening in his office working, he keeps the door locked when he’s not in there. How much does his behaviour affect Emma’s state of mind?

Daughter, Emma, is a beautiful, happy child and is their world with both parents absolutely doting on her.

Paul persuades Diane that Emma is ready for nursery, to socialise with other children and while Emma agrees, she has doubts and her anxiety builds. To pass the time, Emma volunteers at a local charity shop and makes a friend in Anne, but her time there is short after a women approached her and then just ran away causing Emma to panic and get herself in a fluster.

As a result she doesn’t go back, but the same women keeps popping up everywhere but no one else seems to see her. She finally confides in Anne about her fears and even mentions the babies cries she hears during the nights. Poor Emma is drinking more and more to try to calm herself but she has now developed an irrational fear of her lounge… she heading for another breakdown?

I can’t and won’t say anymore because I would hate to spoil this marvellously tense tale. Valerie Keogh’s creative writing builds the tension so well, a cliche I know, but I really couldn’t put this down, great characters that I had real sympathy for and I could feel the panic building in this brilliant, believable psychological thriller.

Thank you to Bookouture for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook  in exchange for my honest review. 

You can buy a copy for yourself here – Click the image (Amazon link)



Valerie Keogh grew up reading Agatha Christie so when she started writing it seemed natural to write crime novels. She writes two different series, one based in Ireland featuring Garda Sergeant Mike West and a grittier one based in the UK featuring Nicola Connolly, a serial killer.



Valerie has also written a stand-alone psychological thriller, Exit Five from Charing Cross

In March 2018, Valerie signed a two-book contract with the publisher, Bookouture. The first of these, Secrets Between Us, is out now. The Housewife is published Feb 27th 2019.


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Book reviews

Bad Seed by Heleyne Hammersley – Book Review. #bookreview #blogtour



When the body of a woman is discovered near Doncaster’s red light district, DI Kate Fletcher is called to the scene.

The victim has an abdominal wound that looks like a Caesarean incision, leading the police to believe she may have been pregnant.

Kate’s team establish the woman’s identity but it soon becomes clear that those close to her have something to hide.

The post-mortem reveals the victim wasn’t pregnant and, when a second body is discovered with similar wounds, the police realise they are hunting for a serial killer with a sinister fixation.

Can Kate solve the case before another woman dies?

And can a ruthless, methodical killer be brought to justice?



A body of a woman is found, strangled, mutilated and left where it was meant to be found.

DI Kate Fletcher is sent to investigate with her usual dogged determination. Then a second body is found, again with the same injuries… the killer leaving a message? Is there a link between these poor women, and why the mutilation ? 

What follows is a totally gripping tale of a police investigation with the personal lives of each of them and how sometimes it adds to the stresses of their work. DC Hollis’ story is just so emotional, I was just willing him to talk to someone…….

I felt these personal stories and problems added such a feeling of realism, I was so immersed in the story, a credit to the very clever and creative writing by Heleyne Hammersley. The story races along with so much going on right up to the last page….a brilliant read and I can wholeheartedly recommend it….

Thank you to Bloodhound Books for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook  in exchange for my honest, unbiased review.

Buy a copy here ….you know you want to ….(Amazon affiliate link)



Heleyne Hammersley is a British writer based in Cumbria. She writes psychological suspense thrillers and crime novels.

Heleyne has been writing since junior school – her first work was a collection of poems called ‘Give Them the Works’ when she was ten years old. The poems were carefully handwritten on plain paper and tied together with knitting wool. 

When she’s not writing, Heleyne can often be found wandering on the fells or in the local park with her dog.

Links: Website:

Facebook: Heleyne Hammersley author

Twitter: @hhammersley66