Book reviews, Thriller

Reprobation by Catherine Fearns – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

A dark, intelligent and thoroughly inventive murder mystery that brings together religion, science and death metal.

Liverpool: A body is found on the beach among the Antony Gormley statues; a crucified man with a bible verse above him and a heavy metal band logo carved into his forehead…

Are you one of the elect?

Dr. Helen Hope is a lecturer in eschatology – the study of death, judgement, and the destiny of humankind. She is also a Calvinist nun, her life devoted to atoning for a secret crime.

When a body is found crucified on a Liverpool beach, she forms an unlikely alliance with suspect Mikko Kristensen, lead guitarist in death metal band Total Depravity. Together, they go on the trail of a rogue geneticist who they believe holds the key – not just to the murder, but to something much darker.

Also on the trail is cynical Scouse detective Darren Swift. In his first murder case, he must confront his own lack of faith as a series of horrific crimes drag the city of two cathedrals to the gates of hell.

Science meets religious belief in this gripping murder mystery.

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MY REVIEW 

I read Consuming Fire recently by Catherine Fearns and thoroughly enjoyed it, so wanted to read the previous novel featuring Quinn and Helen….so glad I did….

A young man is found tied to a cross, murdered….. so it begins…who would do such a thing, a crazy serial killer, a gang killing or a religious zealot…?

DI Darren Swift, on his first major case as DCI and his colleague, DC Colette Quinn are part of the team to investigate and hopefully solve this bizarre case.

Quinn meets Helen Hope a Calvinist nun, who studies death and humanity and her ‘friend’ Mikko,  a rather colourful, death metal musician who help bring some sense of reason to this dark and disturbing crime.

Swift is keen on following a drug angle in the murder case, but Helen discovers that there someone is mixing the concept of fate with DNA and genetics……mixing science with religion….

There are great characters in Quinn, Helen and Mikko, which is a real credit to Catherine Fearns creative and expressive writing…..twisty, dark and full of detail….brilliant.

I would like to thank the Author/the Publishers/NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book for free in exchange for a fair and honest review

Buy a copy here

UK

USA

About the Author

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CATHERINE FEARNS is an author, journalist and heavy metal guitarist from Liverpool. In previous incarnations she was a financial analyst, a cocktail pianist and a breastfeeding counsellor. Her first novel, Reprobation, was published by Crooked Cat Books in October 2018 and quickly became an Amazon bestseller. The follow-up, Consuming Fire, is currently on pre-order and will be available in early 2019.

Book reviews

Welcome to the Heady Heights by David F. Ross – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

It’s the year punk rock was born, Concorde entered commercial service and a tiny Romanian gymnast changed the sport forever…

Archie Blunt is a man with big ideas. He just needs a break for them to be realised. In a bizarre brush with the light- entertainment business, Archie unwittingly saves the life of the UK’s top showbiz star, Hank ‘Heady’ Hendricks, and immediately seizes the opportunity to aim for the big time. 

With dreams of becoming a musical impresario, he creates a new singing group called The High Five with five unruly working-class kids from Glasgow’s East End. The plan? Make it to the final of Heady’s Saturday night talent show, where fame and fortune awaits…

But there’s a complication. Archie’s made a fairly major misstep in his pursuit of fame and fortune, and now a trail of irate Glaswegian bookies, corrupt politicians and a determined Scottish WPC are all on his tail…

A hilarious, poignant nod to the elusiveness of stardom, in an age when ‘making it’ was ‘having it all’, Welcome to the Heady Heights is also a dark, laugh-out-loud comedy, a poignant

tribute to a bygone age and a delicious drama about desperate men, connected by secrets and lies, by accidents of time and, most of all, the city they live in.

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MY REVIEW

This takes place over 1975 to 1977 in Glasgow and charts the dark, seedy and yet hilarious at times, life of Archie Blunt.

Archie was a bus conductor, until he lost his job after leaving his bus unattended while he chased Bobby Souness, who had jumped out of the emergency door for the top deck…..

There are some real laugh out loud, snorting moments in amongst the bleakness of life in 1970’s Glasgow. From constant drinking alcohol of some sort to frying potato cakes in lard…..probably one of the reasons for Archie’s lack of front teeth ! 

I did feel some sympathy for Archie, he’s trying to cope with his Dad, who has dementia and has good days and bad and it breaks his heart……on the other hand Archie also has conversations with Jim Rockford …….

It’s hard to actually describe the plot without giving much away…….it involves a socialist MP Big Jamesie Campbell whom along with Heady Hendricks ( of a TV talent show fame) plan on opening a ‘hotel’ for the homeless and desperate…….but is there an ulterior motive?

Underlying all this is a theme of the abuse of vulnerable young people by respected members of the entertainment industry, politics and even the Police…..

There is also the obsession with fame….as though this will be the cure all, the utopian world of the 15 minutes of fame…..it even has a TV talent show reminiscent of the X-Factor and the humiliation of those less talented than they believe…

This is quite dark and bleak at times but with such humour and great characters it’s a great read…..

Thank you to Anne Cater and Orenda 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

 

AUTHOR BIO

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German Portraiture David F. Ross, architect and bookwriter from glasgow, scotland. shooting at the lovelace hotel in munich, may 24. 2018.

David F. Ross was born in Glasgow in 1964 and has lived in Kilmarnock for over thirty years. He is a graduate of the Mackintosh School of Architecture at Glasgow School of Art, an architect by day, and a hilarious social media commentator, author and enabler by night. His most prized possession is a signed Joe Strummer LP. Since the publication of his debut novel The Last Days of Disco, he’s become something of a media celebrity in Scotland, with a signed copy of his book going for £500 at auction, and the German edition has not left the bestseller list since it was published.

About the publishers 

Orenda Books is a small independent publishing company specialising in literary fiction with a heavy emphasis on crime/thrillers, and approximately half the list in translation. They’ve been twice shortlisted for the Nick Robinson Best Newcomer Award at the IPG awards, and publisher and owner Karen Sullivan was a Bookseller Rising Star in 2016. In 2018, they were awarded a prestigious Creative Europe grant for their translated books programme. Three authors, including Agnes Ravatn, Matt Wesolowski and Amanda Jennings have been WHSmith Fresh Talent picks, and Ravatn’s The Bird Tribunal was shortlisted for the Dublin Literary Award, won an English PEN Translation Award, and adapted for BBC Radio Four’s Book at Bedtime. Six titles have been short- or long-listed for the CWA Daggers. Launched in 2014 with a mission to bring more international literature to the UK market, Orenda Books publishes a host of debuts, many of which have gone on to sell millions worldwide, and looks for fresh, exciting new voices that push the genre in new directions. Bestselling authors include Ragnar Jonasson, Antti Tuomainen, Gunnar Staalesen, Michael J. Malone, Kjell Ola Dahl, Louise Beech, Johana Gustawsson, Lilja Sigurðardóttir and Sarah Stovell.

http://www.orendabooks.co.uk @OrendaBooks