Book reviews, Family drama, Womens fiction

Three Little Truths by Eithne Shortall – Book Review. @eithneshortall @CorvusBooks @annecater #ThreeLittleTruths

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PUBLISHERS BLURB

A brilliant novel about our neighbours and the secrets we keep from one another, from the bestselling and award-winning author of Grace After Henry.

One happy street. Three pretty houses. So many lies… 

Martha used to be a force of nature: calm, collected, and in charge. But since moving her husband and two daughters to Dublin under sudden and mysterious circumstances, she can’t seem to find her footing.

Robin was the “it” girl in school, destined for success. Now she’s back at her parents’ with her four-year-old son, vowing that her ne’er-do-well ex is out of the picture for good.

Edie has everything she could want, apart from a baby, and the acceptance of her new neighbours. She longs to be one of the girls, and to figure out why her perfect husband seems to be avoiding their perfect future.

Three women looking for a fresh start on idyllic Pine Road. Their friendship will change their lives, and reveal secrets they never imagined. Liane Moriarty meets Lisa Jewell in this story of the love affairs, rivalries and scandals that hide behind every door…

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 MY REVIEW 

This is the story of Pine Road in Dublin and its residents.

Robin has returned to her parents’ home with her son after a relationship breakdown.

Edie, married and desperately wants a baby, but her husband doesn’t seem so keen. Why?

Bernie, the ‘matriarch ‘, the top woman who rules the Road.

These are the three main characters and the story revolves mainly around them with hilarious asides from other residents WhatsApp messages. There’s a rat hole, stole newspapers and wheels. We hear gossip and secrets, affairs, petty minded people and neighbourhood disputes but also a close community, love, laughs and family.

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 book. This is my honest, unbiased review.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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EITHNE SHORTALL studied jouralism at Dublin City University and has lived in London, France and America. Now based in Dublin, she is chief arts writer for the Sunday Times Ireland. She enjoys sea swimming, cycling and eating scones.

Grace After Henry is her second novel. Shorthall’s bestselling debut novel, Love in Row 27, has been optioned for a TV series by NBC Universal Studios International, the production company behind Downton Abbey. 

 

PRAISE

 

Liane Moriarty meets Maeve Binchy meets Marian Keyes. I laughed, I cried, I shuddered, I was agog.’ Jo Spain, author of The Confession

‘Eithne Shortall writes a community of neighbours so vividly that I feel like I’m one of them, adjusting my telescope and keeping a glass to the wall for fear that I’d miss anything. Funny, endearing, mysterious and outrageous, this book is wildly entertaining and hugely enjoyable.’ Liz Nugent, author of Unravelling Oliver

three little truths 

Eithne Shortall

 

 

 

Praise for Grace After Henry

 

‘Beautiful and moving’ Good Housekeeping

 

‘Poignant, funny and deeply satisfying’ RED

 

‘A tender, warm-hearted read’ Prima

 

‘A moving exploration of what it means to lose your love… and if it’s wise to try to recreate what you once had.’ Daily Mail

 

‘Grace After Henry is sometimes heartbreaking and sometimes very funny as Eithne Shortall mixes humour and tragedy with a deftness reminiscent of Marian Keyes.’

Irish Times

 

‘A bittersweet story that tackles grief, love and moving on after a partner, and keeps readers guessing until the final page.’ Irish Independent, Book of the Year, 2018

 

‘Grace After Henry made me WEEP… it was so moving – but also witty and well written. I loved it.’ Louise O’Neill

 

‘I really enjoyed it – satisfying and warm, and written with humour and heart.’

Sheila O’Flanagan

 

‘Grace After Henry is an engrossing, surprising, and empowering story about the complexities of love, grief, and family. The characters were so beautifully developed that by the time I finished reading, I felt like I’d known them forever.’

Jill Santopolo, bestselling author of The Light We Lost

 

‘This book is an emotional rollercoaster of the very best kind. Sad, funny, touching and ultimately uplifting, Grace After Henry is simply wonderful.’ Chrissie Manby

 

  • Winner: The Big Book Awards: The Best Page Turners, 2018 
  • Shortlisted: Popular Fiction Book of the Year: The Irish Book Awards, 2018
  • An Irish Independent Book of the Year, 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book reviews, Horror, Police procedural, Thriller

Sound by Catherine Fearns – Book Review. @metalmamawrites @rararesources #Sound

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Sound

Can you hear it?

A professor of psychoacoustics is found dead in his office. It appears to be a heart attack, until a second acoustician dies a few days later in similar circumstances.

Meanwhile, there’s an outbreak of mysterious illnesses on a council estate, and outbursts of unexplained violence in a city centre nightclub. Not to mention strange noises coming from the tunnels underneath Liverpool. Can it really be a coincidence that death metal band Total Depravity are back in the city, waging their own form of sonic warfare?

Detective Inspector Darren Swift is convinced there are connections. Still grieving his fiancé’s death and sworn to revenge, he is thrown back into action on the trail of a murderer with a terrifying and undetectable weapon.

But this case cannot be solved using conventional detective work, and D.I. Swift will need to put the rulebook aside and seek the occult expertise of Dr. Helen Hope and her unlikely sidekick, guitarist Mikko Kristensen.

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MY REVIEW

This is #3 in the Reprobation series by Catherine Fearns. It can be read as a stand-alone. But I am a fan and have read the previous books, so may be a little biased.

This begins with a Professor, who has synesthesia, so sees sounds as colours and has found a new frequency being transmitted. He has been warned off and then he dies in an unusual way. He was troubled by something and had arranged to send information to the police.

DI Darren Swift is still grieving the death of his fiancé, Matt during events in the previous book, but is at work and needing something to investigate again. With his colleague, DC Colette Quinn they are looking into this case while awaiting the start of a big trial. Again they are joined by Helen Hope, the ex-nun and now partner to guitarist Mike to uncover the mystery.

They find the USB left for them by the professor and find the word Napier…is this relating to the Napier Estate. What is causing the illnesses on the estate? 

And so the story begins…..there are weapons of sound, death metal bands, the mysterious Adramelech and books with human skin bindings, religion, more murder and even a peacock!.

Just what is Shawn Forrest up to ? And are Justine and her baby in more danger?

Creepy, gripping and totally entertaining from start to the rather menacing end. Brilliant….I’m already waiting for Book #4.

Thank you to Rachel’s Random Resources for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook. This is my honest, unbiased review.

Purchase Link – mybook.to/sound

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Author Bio –

Catherine Fearns is a writer from Liverpool. Her novels Reprobation (2018) and Consuming Fire (2019) 

are published by Crooked Cat and are both Amazon bestsellers. As a music journalist Catherine has written for Pure Grain Audio, Broken Amp and Noisey. Her short fiction and non-fiction has appeared in Toasted Cheese, Succubus, Here Comes Everyone, Offshoots and Metal Music Studies. She lives in Geneva with her husband and four children, and when she’s not writing or parenting, she plays guitar in a heavy metal band. 

 

Social Media Links –

Twitter: @metalmamawrites

Website: https://www.catherine-fearns.com/

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Book reviews, Domestic noir, Police procedural

Hands Up by Stephen Clark – Book Review. @StephCWrites #HandsUp

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Officer Ryan Quinn, a rookie raised in a family of cops, is on the fast track to detective until he shoots an unarmed black male. Now, with his career, reputation and freedom on the line, he embarks on a quest for redemption that forces him to confront his fears and biases and choose between conscience or silence.

Jade Wakefield is an emotionally damaged college student living in one of Philadelphia’s worst neighborhoods. She knows the chances of getting an indictment against the cop who killed her brother are slim. When she learns there’s more to the story than the official police account, Jade is determined, even desperate, to find out what really happened. She plans to get revenge by any means necessary.

Kelly Randolph, who returns to Philadelphia broke and broken after abandoning his family ten years earlier, seeks forgiveness while mourning the death of his son. But after he’s thrust into the spotlight as the face of the protest movement, his disavowed criminal past resurfaces and threatens to derail the family’s pursuit of justice.

Ryan, Jade, and Kelly–three people from different worlds—are on a collision course after the shooting, as their lives interconnect and then spiral into chaos.

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MY REVIEW 

I’m not sure what category this fits into, it’s a social commentary, a police procedural, and a domestic drama. But it doesn’t matter really, what does matter is that it’s rather brilliant.

Ryan is a cop, he’s only been in the job a year and he’s partnered with Greg a long standing, experience cop. Oh and he’s abhorrently racist.

One day, Greg decides to pull over a young black guy, just because he wants to. Tyrell is unarmed, but Greg causes an altercation and as a result, Ryan shoots and kills Tyrell. Together they create a story, that Tyrell assaulted Greg, that Ryan believed he had managed to get Greg’s gun and so was left with no choice but to shoot.

Jade is Tyrell’s sister, and cannot believe he would ever have hit a cop. She has her own issues with self harm.

Kelly, is Jade and Tyrell’s estranged dad, he left when they were young and he’s now back and wants to help.

The story is told from Ryan, Kelly and Jade’s perspectives, it tells of their emotions and thoughts and how they can come to terms with this killing….or not!

Ryan is plagued with guilt, has panic attacks and wants to do the right thing, but he’s scared.

Jade is a mess, she wants the truth.

Kelly, he’s a homeless, ex gang member who’s now straight, but he’s angry.

This is a very topical tale of young black men being shot by police in America arbitrarily. I cannot imagine the intense emotions and fear this must cause. It highlights too, the #BlackLivesMatter movement and how high emotions run as people see the injustices happening in everyday life.

Here in the UK our cops do not routinely carry guns, so while it would be incredibly naive of me to say racism does not exist in the UK police, they do not kill young men on the streets, a daily occurrence in the US it seems. Just today, there has been a police chase, with 4 young people…I can’t say why, but armed police were there, however, not one of these young people were hurt…..It’s hard to imagine a similar situation in the US ending the same way and this is tragic and scary and so, so wrong.

Hands Up is a powerful and gripping tale, full of emotions, great realistic characters and a story with heartbreak, love and a twist or two. I can thoroughly recommend it.

Thank you to Stephen Clark for the opportunity to read this for free. This is my honest and unbiased review. 

 

You can can buy a copy here 

 

Book reviews, Police procedural

A Barrow Boys Cadenza : In Dead Flat Major by Pete Adams – Book Review. @Peteadams8 @nextchapterpb @damppebbles #ABarrowBoysCadenza

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Surviving a terrorist explosion, a tutu incident, and a night of celebratory drinking, hungover hero DCI Jack Austin proposes an ill-advised alliance with a newly-turned criminal informant.

After a string of high-profile murders is committed, Austin goes deep undercover – and uncovers a villainous scheme that threatens the Star Chamber. 

His world turned upside down, Austin needs to rely on courage, skill and improbable luck. But can he bring the perpetrators of the far-reaching scheme to justice?

 

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MY REVIEW 

This is #3 in the Kind Hearts and Martinets series and while it can be read as a stand-alone, you are missing out on some real fun if you haven’t read the previous two.

DCI Jack Austin, Mr Malacopperism himself,  is recovering from being shot. He’s back to his usual self and back at work.

He gives everyone a nickname, gets his words muddled up and says what he is thinking out loud at times too. 

This time the tale revolves around the world of finance, and the relatively recent financial collapse was engineered to make a few unscrupulous people a lot of money. He is called to a community policing job, dead dogs are being found in the harbour….but he ends up getting shot again. Who wants him dead? Is there a link to the dogs ? Or is this something else entirely?

So, this is a political thriller, with dead dogs and tutu’s! Full of humour that will have you laughing out loud. There are are darker moments too which makes this a quite unique thriller. Looking forward to the next book already.

Thank you to Damppebbles Blog Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook. This is my honest, unbiased review. 
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

 

Pete Adams is an architect with a practice in Portsmouth, UK, and from there he has, over forty years, designed and built buildings across England and Wales. Pete took up writing after listening to a radio interview of the writer Michael Connolly whilst driving home from Leeds. A passionate reader, the notion of writing his own novel was compelling, but he had always been told you must have a mind map for the book; Jeez, he could never get that.

Et Voila, Connolly responding to a question, said he never can plan a book, and starts with an idea for chapter one and looks forward to seeing where it would lead. Job done, and that evening Pete started writing and the series, Kind Hearts and Martinets, was on the starting blocks. That was some eight years ago, and hardly a day has passed where Pete has not worked on his writing, and currently, is halfway through his tenth book, has a growing number of short stories, one, critically acclaimed and published by Bloodhound, and has written and illustrated a series of historical nonsense stories called, Whopping Tales. 

Pete describes himself as an inveterate daydreamer, and escapes into those dreams by writing crime thrillers with a thoughtful dash of social commentary. He has a writing style shaped by his formative years on an estate that re-housed London families after WWII, and his books have been likened to the writing of Tom Sharpe; his most cherished review, “made me laugh, made me cry, and made me think”.

Pete lives in Southsea with his partner, and Charlie the star-struck Border terrier, the children having flown the coop, and has 3 beautiful granddaughters who will play with him so long as he promises not to be silly.

 

 

Social Media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Peteadams8

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pete.adams.9256

 

 

Purchase Links:

Amazon UK: 

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Barrow-Boys-Cadenza-Hearts-Martinets-ebook/dp/B07RLTXLFY/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1568113734&sr=8-1

 

Amazon US: 

 

https://www.amazon.com/Barrow-Boys-Cadenza-Hearts-Martinets-ebook/dp/B07RLTXLFY/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=a+barrow+boys+cadenza&qid=1568113857&s=gateway&sr=8-1

 

Book Depository: 

 

https://www.bookdepository.com/Barrow-Boys-Cadenza-Pete-Adams/9781077738805?ref=grid-view&qid=1568113887010&sr=1-1

 

Publishing Information:

Published by Next Chapter Publishing in ebook and paperback formats on 28th July 2019.

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Book reviews, Psychlogical thriller

Her Missing Child by Kerry Watts – Book Review. @denmanisfab @bookouture #HerMissingChild

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

She lays her baby in his cot – the sound of his quiet breath filling the nursery as she leaves the room. Soon Claire will be fast asleep herself. She won’t hear the back door opening or the footsteps on the stairs.

When Claire Lucas is woken by her husband asking where their baby son is, she is dazed and confused. When she follows Darren into their child’s bedroom, she hears nothing but silence. No baby cries, no cute gurgles. The only thing left in Finlay’s cot is his beloved teddy bear. Finlay has gone. 

Detective Jessie Blake rushes to the family’s modern home in the rugged Scottish Highlands. She notices that Darren avoids eye contact, and Claire seems disconnected – unable to account for the last few hours of her afternoon. Jessie knows there’s no normal response to losing a child, but something doesn’t feel right.

Friends rally round the young family, as a search of the narrow lanes and green hills of Moncrieffe begins in earnest. And as helpers battle the wild Scottish weather, Jessie is sure that someone in the search party must know more than they’re letting on. Someone must have seen something. 

As a ghost from her own past comes back to haunt her, Jessie must put aside her own personal tragedy to save baby Finlay. Can she get the people of the small town to talk before it’s too late?

If you love Cara Hunter, LJ Ross and Robert Bryndza, you’ll love this addictive new crime thriller from Kerry Watts. Her Missing Child will have you hooked from the start!

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MY REVIEW

This is the second book to feature Detective Jessie Blake, but I found it easy to read as a stand-alone.

Baby Finlay has disappeared. Who could have taken him ?

Jessie and her partner Dylan are tasked with leading the investigation, in what could be a heartbreaking case. 

With many characters, this has an intensity that fits with the fraught plot. It covers the many emotions of those affected by a missing child and mental health issues in such a compassionate way too. 

While spending all her time on this case, Jessie is also having to deal with an abusive ex, adding to the tension.

A clever plot, full of emotions and tension, in a solid police procedural. A thoughtful and gripping read.

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

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Kerry Watts was born and grew up in a small town in the East of Scotland where she still lives today. She is always writing and carries a little notebook and pen with her wherever she goes because at her age ideas need to be captured before they disappear. 

Kerry specialises in crime fiction because she enjoys pushing the boundaries of what it is to be human. The nature versus nurture debate 

 

Author Social Media Links

 

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/KerryWattsAuthor/

TWITTER: https://twitter.com/Denmanisfab

 

Buy LINK

https://geni.us/B07VJNKXYZSoc

 

Book reviews, Crime thriller, Psychlogical thriller

Kult by Stefan Malmström – Book Review. @kpstefan @silvertailbooks @BOTBSPublicity #Kult

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

THE PAST WILL NEVER LET YOU GO…

When a four-year-old girl and her father are found dead in the Swedish city of Karlskrona, the police quickly conclude it was a murder-suicide, a tragedy requiring no further investigation.

But Luke Bergmann, a reformed criminal still haunted by his violent past, believes they are wrong. The dead man, Viktor, was his best friend, and Luke knows he would never commit such a horrific crime.

When more bodies turn up, Luke is certain the same killer has struck again. Alone, he embarks on an investigation which reaches back through decades to his friend’s involvement with a sinister cult and dark secrets are exposed as Luke struggles to keep his own long-buried demons hidden away.

And when Luke finds himself in a killer’s sights, his search for the truth becomes the fight of his life.

Can Luke get justice for Viktor and his daughter and prove his best friend was not a murderer, or will the shadows of the past overwhelm him?

Fans of The Killing, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Jo Nesbø and Will Dean will love this dark and gripping début thriller.

NOTE: KULT is inspired by shocking and tragic real events.

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MY REVIEW 

If you like a dark thriller, then this is for you.

Luke finds his friend Viktor’s body and that of Agnes, Viktor’s young daughter. The police feel this is a case of murder suicide, but Luke knows his friend would never hurt Agnes.

So, Luke begins his own investigation and slowly he convinces the police there is something sinister going on. Someone appears to be killing Scientologists ! Why? Is this linked to events in the 1990’s?

This is at times a difficult read, as a paedophile is involved in the abuse of children and distributing child porn as well as a murderer.  I have to admit I felt some of this was unnecessary as while it confirmed this is an evil man, in my opinion it added nothing to the story. 

However, apart from that, this is an incredible, dark and disturbing thriller, there’s a lot of insights into how Scientology operates, its indoctrination and brainwashing of young and impressionable people. The plot is well developed and as it moves to and fro between the 90’s and today, the picture gradually builds. Totally gripping from start to the heart pounding end. 

Thank you to Sarah at Book On The Bright Side for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook. This is my honest, unbiased review. 

You can buy a copy here

https://amzn.to/2nJZFHd

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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Stefan Malmström is a former news journalist who has worked for Sveriges Radio and Swedish TV4. Today he works as a consultant, lecturer and author. At a young age, Stefan was manipulated into the Church of Scientology in Hässleholm, a small town in southern Sweden. KULT, his first book, is based on his experiences in the cult. Stefan lives in Karlskrona in Sweden with his family.  

 

Book reviews, Children’s fiction

Timothy Mean And The Time Machine by William A. E. Ford – Children’s Book Review

A slight change of genre for me !

 

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

2019 READERS FAVORITE BEST SCI-Fi \ FANTASY CHILDREN’S BOOK AWARD*

With Timothy Mean’s amazing imagination and time machine, anything and anywhere is possible! 

Join Timothy on a magical rhyming adventure as he skips through time and pranks with pirates, gets daring with dragons, and even teases a T-Rex!

“It’s Monday. Hip hip hooray! Where shall we travel in time today?

With Timothy Mean, every day is a rhyme in time!

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MY REVIEW 

Timothy is a bit of a rascal, he’s bored so in his imagination he builds a time machine and has a marvellous adventure every day of the week.

This is a simple rhyming story with an easy cadence and children will love its humour and the pranks he pulls. 

I’ve seen some reviews that feel there should be repercussions for Timothy’s behaviour and Yes they could be seen as naughty but his name is Timothy MEAN….so children will be able to make the link…..or the adult could ! And have a chat after the story..

I found this to be absolutely charming, it’s fun and the illustrations are so bright and full of details….I’ll certainly be getting a hard copy for my granddaughter.

Thank you to The Author for a free copy of Timothy Mean and The Time Machine. This is my honest and unbiased review.

you can buy a copy here 

https://amzn.to/2lyfi3P

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

William has always had a passion for books, writing and story-telling. William’s favourite way to end a cosy evening is to spend time dreaming up and reading bed-time stories to his five wonderful children.

Just one of his many stories, ‘Timothy Mean and the Time Machine’ was inspired by the spark of his children’s colourful imaginations as they tirelessly created unique, laughter filled days from even the most mundane, everyday objects and situations!

Born in England, William currently lives in Oslo, Norway with his wife and five children.

‘Timothy Mean and the Time Machine’ winner of the Readers Favorite Children’s Sci-Fi / Fantasy 2019 Award’ is William’s first published work and he plans to publish more books shortly. (Courtesy of Goodreads)

Book reviews, Psychlogical thriller

The Liar’s Sister by Sarah Denzil – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

A SHOCKING DISAPPEARANCE. A VILLAGE FULL OF SECRETS.

Ten years ago, a boy named Samuel Murray went missing from the quiet village of Buckthorpe and was never seen again.

Rosie Sharpe cried over her missing friend for weeks after.

But her little sister Heather knows that Rosie’s tears hide the truth. 

Because the night Samuel was last seen, Heather watched her older sister climbing back through the window of their childhood bedroom. Her jacket torn, her eyes wild and her body trembling with fear.

Heather never told anyone what she saw, but secrets can’t stay buried forever…

A decade later, Rosie and Heather return to the home they grew up in when their mother falls ill. But when their house is ransacked and they receive a threatening note, it becomes clear that someone in the close-knit village doesn’t want them there.

When Heather finally confronts her sister about what really happened on the dark, rainy night Samuel vanished, Rosie’s version of the truth is more shocking than she could ever have imagined. But can she trust her sister? And who broke into their house that night? As the lies of the past begin to unravel, they have the power to put the lives of both women in terrible danger…

This twist-filled, page-turning psychological thriller from the million-copy-bestselling author of Silent Child will keep you hooked until the final, jaw-dropping pages. Perfect for fans of Behind Closed Doors and The Girl on the Train.

 

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MY REVIEW 

This starts with Heather writing a letter to her sister Rosie….it says she thinks she is a murderer.

Heather returns home to support her mother, who is near the end of her life. She wants to see Rosie too. But, Heather and Rosie have drifted apart since Heather’s friend Samuel disappeared ten years ago.

Rosie was troubled, with various addictions and even passed out behind a sofa at her father funeral…

So Heather contacts her sister and she arrives, clean and sober to say her goodbye to her mother. But they receive a note after a break in and it seems the local village want them all gone. But why?

Told from each of the women’s perspective and from the past and present, we find out what happened all those years ago…this is a story of family and secrets….but who else knows ?

The Liar’s Sister is a fast read, in that it keeps your attention throughout, with secrets, lies and a marvellously twisty plot. Thoroughly entertaining.

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

 

You can buy a copy here 

 

https://amzn.to/2ntJXQm

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

 

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Sarah A. Denzil is a British suspense writer from Derbyshire. In her alternative life–AKA Sarah Dalton–she writes speculative fiction for teenagers, including The Blemished, Mary Hades and White Hart.

Sarah lives in Yorkshire with her partner, enjoying the scenic countryside and rather unpredictable weather. 

Saving April, Sarah’s debut suspense thriller, is a psychological look into the minds of the people around us who we rarely even consider – our neighbours. What do we really know about them, and what goes on when the doors are closed?

 

Author Social Media Links:

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/sarahdenzil

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

Website: https://www.sarahdenzil.com/

 

Book reviews, Psychlogical thriller

Dying To Tell by Keri Beevis – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

As the only survivor of a horrific car crash, Lila Amberson believes she is on the road to recovery after she is released from the hospital. Her memories of the accident are blurred though and a series of unsettling incidents leave her fearing for her safety. Does she have survivor’s guilt or is something molre sinister at play?

Jack Foley is reeling from the shock of losing his sister in the crash and when he first meets Lila, he lashes out, blaming her for Stephanie’s death. But when Lila gives him a locket that she believes belonged to his sister, it presents more questions than answers.

As Lila and Jack work together to find out what really happened on the night of the accident, they are unaware that someone is watching them closely. Someone who has much to lose if the truth comes out, and someone who is prepared to do everything necessary to ensure all loose ends are taken care of.

Keri Beevis - Dying to Tell_cover

 

MY REVIEW 

A tense psychological thriller set in Norfolk, in places I have been many times so it had a sense of familiarity to it for me.

Lila wakes in hospital with no memory of the car accident that left her the sole survivor. She was a passenger in her dates car, so no fault of hers.

She leaves hospital and starts to have flashbacks of the accident, she knows a young girl, Stephanie, who was driving the other car had died and wants to pay her respects at the funeral. Here she meets her brother, Jack, who is less than welcoming.

However, he feels bad for being so rude to her and he meets her to apologise….is there a budding romance here?

But, something sinister is lurking and first Lila gets pushed into the road, a bus just missing her, then there’s an intruder in her house….why would anyone want to hurt he

As Jack and Lila delve into Stephanie’s life, they find mention of The Bishop and threats of blackmail. Was the car accident really an accident? Who feels so threatened by Lila?

The characters are well developed and Lila and Jack are really likeable, which builds the tension even more, Others are plain creepy!

This is a slow burn of a thriller, with lots of clues and suspects in such a well plotted tale, it really keeps you hooked from the very start to the heart pounding end. 

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

You can buy a copy here 

https://amzn.to/2mTvjlo

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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Keri Beevis wrote her first novel at age twenty, but it was a further twenty years before she was published after entering the Rethink Press New Novels Competition 2012. Her entry, Dead Letter Day, was a winner, earning her a publishing contract, and the book proved to be a minor hit, leading to a sequel, Dead Write. However it was Keri’s third novel, standalone mystery thriller The Darkness Beneaththat gained her the most success, along with many new fans, both in the UK and the USA.

Born in the village of Old Catton, less than a mile from where Anna Sewell was living when she wrote Black Beauty, Keri had a passion for reading and writing from a young age, though her tastes veered more to the macabre. 

Today she still lives in Norwich, along with her two naughty kitties, Ellie and Lola, and a plentiful supply of red wine (her writing fuel), where she writes a comedic lifestyle column for a local magazine. She loves Hitchcock movies, exploring creepy places, and gets extremely competitive in local pub quizzes. She is also a self-confessed klutz.

Keri’s previous books have all been US based and she is looking forward to the release of her first UK based novel, which is set in her beautiful home county of Norfolk.

Book reviews, Police procedural, Thriller

The Demons Beneath by WD Jackson-Smart – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

A detective new to London. A possible serial killer. And a demon?

When a bloody corpse is discovered in a North London park, Detective Inspector Daniel Graves is the man tasked with finding the killer. With no clues and no suspects it seems like a dead end. Then another body turns up and this time it looks like it could be his fault. Has his investigation caused the murderer to strike again? Is he dealing with a serial killer?

As the case gets ever more complicated, a report comes in of another suspicious death but this is nothing like any other Graves has dealt with. All involved are convinced that something supernatural is to blame. A demon. Daniel is no believer but could he be wrong?

With two cases on his shoulders and the truth behind each beyond his grasp, Graves must race against time before both killers, human or otherwise, strike again.

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MY REVIEW 

This is #1 in a new series featuring DI Daniel Graves.

DI Daniel Graves is new to London’s Met Police and is on the Homicide and Serious Crime Command and is called to the body of a man found with a horrific wound. Then the victim’s boss is found murdered too with similarities…..is a serial killer at work? And what is the link to the mysterious Banksy of the tattooing world?

Running alongside this is the story of the Morris family, they are being terrified in their home by something spooky….the children are too frightened to go in their bedroom and things are being moved around…they are contacted by a demonologist, Catherine Delamar. She tells them a demon called Adremelech has made its home there….she can perform an exorcism to clear the house. Creepy stuff.

DI’s Graves and Palmer and Sargeant Harding make a great team and I love the gentle banter between them. Two completely different cases but the writing is so good they work well alongside each other. So many tense moments too that keep you utterly gripped.

Will they find out who is the tattoo killer? And are demons walking this earth?

 

And OMG!!!! That ending…..I really can’t wait for Book #2. Game On!

Thank you to Damppebbles Blog Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook. This is my honest, unbiased review. 

You can buy a copy here 

https://amzn.to/2l5SsAt

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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WD Jackson-Smart, 35, is a London-based horror and crime fiction author who has been writing crime and horror fiction since 2011. His novel Red Light was self published on Amazon and charted in the top twenty best selling Suspense / Thriller Kindle books on release.  

His horror short story, What’s Yours Is Mine, was shortlisted for the Horror For Good anthology.

His first crime thriller Slasher, about a serial killer targeting slasher movie actresses in Hollywood, is out now, and he has launched a brand new crime series set in London and starring D.I. Graves. The Demons Beneath is the first in the series, and the sequel From Inside The House was published on July 1st 2019.

As well as his passion for horror and crime thrillers in all forms, WD Jackson-Smart also loves art and design, having studied Fine Art and Art History in Leeds and Toronto and working as a graphic designer for the majority of his career.

 

 

Social Media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/wdejackson

Website: https://www.wdjacksonauthor.co.uk/

 

 

Purchase Links:

Amazon UK:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Demons-Beneath-D-I-Graves-Thriller ebook/dp/B07QHFZGL5/ref=sr_1_2?qid=1568110222&refinements=p_27%3AWD+Jackson-Smart&s=digital-text&sr=1-2&text=WD+Jackson-Smart

Amazon US:

https://www.amazon.com/Demons-Beneath-D-I-Graves-Thriller-ebook/dp/B07QHFZGL5/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=the+demons+beneath+wd+jackson-smart&qid=1568110621&s=gateway&sr=8-1

Waterstones: https://www.waterstones.com/book/the-demons-beneath/wd-jackson-smart/9781527241305

Foyles: https://www.foyles.co.uk/witem/fiction-poetry/the-demons-beneath-a-british-sleuth,wd-jacksonsmart-9781527241305

 

 

Publishing Information:

Published by Panther Publishing in paperback and ebook formats on 1st June 2019

Book reviews, Historical fiction

The Familiars by Stacey Halls – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Fleetwood Shuttleworth is 17 years old, married, and pregnant for the fourth time. But as the mistress at Gawthorpe Hall, she still has no living child, and her husband Richard is anxious for an heir. When Fleetwood finds a letter she isn¹t supposed to read from the doctor who delivered her third stillbirth, she is dealt the crushing blow that she will not survive another pregnancy.

When she crosses paths by chance with Alice Gray, a young midwife, Alice promises to help her give birth to a healthy baby, and to prove the physician wrong. 

When Alice is drawn into the witchcraft accusations that are sweeping the North-West, Fleetwood risks everything by trying to help her. But is there more to Alice than meets the eye? 

As the two women’s lives become inextricably bound together, the legendary trial at Lancaster approaches, and Fleetwood¹s stomach continues to grow. Time is running out, and both their lives are at stake. 

Only they know the truth. Only they can save each other.

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MY REVIEW 

The Familiars is Stacey Halls first novel and I am very impressed with the beautiful, descriptive writing, which makes it very easy to get lost in its intriguing plot. 

Fleetwood Shuttleworth is 17 years old, married to Richard and is pregnant for a 4th time. She is an independent woman, who likes to ride and joins her husband on hunts, against the expected norms of the time. 

Fleetwood meets a young local woman on one of her rides, Alice Grey. She is a midwife and healer, which according to the time makes her a witch and as this is set near Pendle Hill there is a lot of local legends about witches here. The witch trials are part of the story, but more as a constant threat rather than the tale itself.

There are no spells or creepy rituals just kind, helpful wise women who use herbal remedies to cure simple ailments and act as midwives. There are mentions of witches familiars and dark magic, but it’s not really a part of this story. I felt it is more about the relationship between Fleetwood and Alice and how women struggled so much in life where the patriarchy was so strong, yet strong women still managed to make themselves heard. This is compelling, captivating historical fiction, with strong likeable female characters and a large Mastiff dog. I loved it and can highly recommend it.

Thank you to Tracy at CompulsIve Readers for the opportunity to take part in this blog tour. I first read this via NetGalley, so this is a repost of my original review.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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Stacey Halls grew up in Rossendale, Lancashire, as the daughter of market traders. She has always been fascinated by the Pendle witches. She studied journalism at the University of Central Lancashire and moved to London aged 21. She was media editor at The Bookseller and books editor at Stylist.co.uk, and has also worked as a journalist for Psychologies, the Independent and Fabulous magazine. TV rights have been sold to The Bureau production company.

The Familiars is her first novel and her second, The Foundling, is coming Feb 2020.  Say hello @Stacey_Halls on Twitter and @StaceyHallsAuthor on Instagram.

Themes include women and power, social history of witches. Stacey has done huge amounts of research and can speak eloquently on Gawthorpe Manor and her real life heroine Fleetwood

 

Book reviews, post-apocalyptic

A Savage Generation by David Tallerman – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Sickness is ravaging America, driving the infected to savagery. 

Petty criminal Ben Silensky is determined to get his girlfriend Carlita and son Kyle free of the quarantined city they live in, enough so to risk a foolhardy crime and then to team up with Carlita’s equally desperate cop cousin Nando. Once they’re out, Nando is certain they’ll find a place in the open prison where his uncle works, unbeknownst to him already become a survivalist colony named Funland under the management of entrepreneurial convict Plan John.

In Funland itself, guard Doyle Johnson is shocked when his ex-wife abandons his son Austin into his care. Fearing the vulnerable position he’s been placed in, he recruits the help of Katherine Aaronovich, the former prison’s doctor. But Aaronovich’s traumatic past has left her with vulnerabilities of her own, along with radical theories on the nature of the epidemic that will place all their lives in jeopardy. 

As the last vestiges of civilisation crumble, Funland may prove to be the safest or the most dangerous of places, depending on who comes out on top – and what can’t be held together will inevitably be torn apart.

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MY REVIEW 

A sickness is spreading around the world, those it doesn’t kill, turn savage with an uncontrollable violence.

White Cliff prison was evacuated but then taken over by Plan John and it’s now called Funland…..its a place of safety as the Sickers can’t get in.

Doyle Johnson has an uneasy relationship with Plan John, which is put into jeopardy when Doyle’s ex wife turns up and leaves his son Kyle with him.

Then Ben, his girlfriend Carlita and her son Austin arrive, but Carlita has to be kept hidden as the only woman in Funland, she wouldn’t be safe.

So, while this does feel like an episode of The Walking Dead, there is so much more to it. Yes the Sickers are out there and if they bite, scratch or spit on you, you will get infected, BUT, this is also about children, and how they are affected, left to pretty much fend for themselves while the adults plot and fight amongst themselves and the Sickers. 

Austin, scared and hurt by his stepdad, then abandoned by his mother. Kyle left to his own devices in a tense environment.  They have secrets of their own.

There’s the politics of a new society with power struggles and violence, but ultimately with survival at its core.  A story of fear, abandonment and tragedy, but also maybe a little hope. 

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 book. This is my honest, unbiased review.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

David Tallerman is the author of crime drama The Bad Neighbour with Flame Tree Press. His other publications consist of the YA fantasy series The Black River Chronicles, which began in late 2016 with Level One and continued in 2017 with The Ursvaal Exchange, the Tales of Easie Damasco series – consisting of Giant Thief, Crown Thief and Prince Thief – and the novella Patchwerk. His comics work includes the absurdist steampunk graphic novel Endangered Weapon B: Mechanimal Science (with artist Bob Molesworth).

David’s short fiction has appeared in around eighty markets, including Clarkesworld, Nightmare, Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine and Beneath Ceaseless Skies. A number of his best dark fantasy and horror stories were gathered together in his debut collection The Sign in the Moonlight and Other Stories.

His previous career as an IT Technician took him all across the country, but he currently resides in West Yorkshire, on the opposite side of the county of his birth. In his spare time he likes to hike around the local countryside, a hobby that has also taken him to wild spots throughout England and beyond.

David can be found online at davidtallerman.blogspot.co.uk and davidtallerman.co.uk.

 

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

 

Book reviews, Graphic novels

Bloodlust & Bonnets byEmily McGovern – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Georgette Heyer meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer in this smart, funny graphic novel by Emily McGovern, the award-winning author of My Life as a Background Slytherin.

The year is 1820, and bored young debutante Lucy knows there must be more to life than embroidery and engagements – no matter how eligible the bachelor might be. Some bachelors, she has discovered, are less ‘eligible’ than they are ‘bloodthirsty,’ however… literally. It turns out that there are a lot of vampires in late-Regency England, and Lucy has an eye for spotting them and the desire to rid the world of them.

It’s not long before Lady Violet Travesty, leader of a mysterious vampire cult, spots Lucy’s talents and offers her a place amongst her vampire acolytes.

Unfortunately, Lady Violent is most horribly slain by the famous Lord Byron before Lucy can accept. Lucy instead joins Lord Byron and his enormous, psychic eagle Napoleon in their ongoing fight against evils such as bloodsucking ghouls and bad taste. Before long they’re joined by the mysterious Sham, an androgynous bounty hunter, who catches Lucy’s eye. The trio lie, flirt, fight and manipulate each other as they make their way across Britain, disrupting society balls, slaying vampires, and making every effort not to betray their feelings to each other as their personal and romantic lives become increasingly entangled.

A balm for the soul for readers who love Gail Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate series, novels by Eloisa James and Jane Austen, and the action and adventure of Xena, Warrior Princess, Bloodlust & Bonnets is the most modern action-heavy love-story set two hundred years ago that you’ll read this year.
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MY REVIEW 

This is so much fun…

It starts as Lucy dispatches her suitor with his own cane, she’s bored…she then carries on finishing off a crowd of vampires….she knew they were vampires didn’t she?

She is approached by Lady Travesty who wants her to join her secret immortal vampire cult, she’s ‘saved’ just in time by Lord Byron…you know? From the books?

He takes her to his Scottish magic castle, well his psychic eagle, Napoleon does!

Lucy meets, Sham, a short person with a gun, and so the three of them travel the country in search of the enemy,  Lady Travesty….but they each seem to have a different reason why.

Lovely, simple illustrations with a lot of slapstick humour. A joy to read.

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 book. This is my honest, unbiased review.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 
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Emily was born in the UK but grew up in Brussels, where she attended the European School of Brussels II. After graduating, she began a Foundation Art Diploma course at London College of Fashion. She studiously avoided any fashion, and instead spent her time making hand-drawn animations and weird paintings of witches.

She began a BA degree in Russian Studies at University College London and spent a year in Russia working in a rural commune, where she ran a weekly art “gathering” for the kids. The year abroad allowed her to go to many Russian art galleries, which were a revelation to her – artists such as Vereshchagin and Vasnetsov she found influenced her greatly.

She graduated with First Class Honours and by 2016 was building a comic driven social media platform based around the regular posting of her ‘My Life As A Background Slytherin’ comic. Bloodlust & Bonnets is her first graphic novel.

 

Book reviews, Police procedural, Thriller

Taken To The Grave by M M Chouinard – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

In a town full of secrets, the truth won’t stay buried…

When a girl’s body is discovered in a park in the sleepy Massachusetts town of Oakhurst, local detective Jo is shocked to the core. Because the girl is the second innocent victim to turn up dead in three days. And just like the first, a tarot card has been left by the body. The meaning of the card: betrayal.

After uncovering a series of threatening messages targeting the girl, a student at the university, and the first victim, her teacher, Jo thinks she’s locked the killer in her crosshairs. The primary suspect is a volatile ex-military student with an axe to grind for failing grades, and the frightened town is out for his blood. But the next day, a much-loved member of the community is found dead in her home, a tarot card in her mail. There’s no clear motive to link her death to the others, and the message on the card this time is even stranger: domestic bliss.

With a fourth body and card appearing the following day, Jo knows she’s running out of time to crack the code and bring the killer to justice. And the pressure only gets worse with heart-breaking news about Jo’s father forcing her to choose between helping her family heal or the victims’ families get justice. Can Jo find the twisted murderer sending the town into a panic before another life is lost? Or this time, will the dangerous killer find her first?

A completely addictive detective thriller that will keep you guessing into the early hours of the morning. If you love Kendra Elliot, Melinda Leigh and Lisa Regan you’ll love Taken to the Grave.

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MY REVIEW

This is #2 in the Jo Fournier series by M M Chouinard, but can very easily be read as a stand-alone.  

Jo is a detective and with her partner, Bill Arnett they are called to a suspicious death at a university. Professor Michael Whorton has been stabbed, a tarot card is found at the scene. They talk to many colleagues and students and find he was not a likeable man, a bully, a philanderer and a sex pest. So many suspects, but one stands out….Greg Crawley. He believes he was victimised by Whorton, his grades deliberately low so he lost his funding, he also has mental health issues.

But, then more bodies are found, all with links to the university and Michael. 

Jo is such a likeable character, well developed and her family problems are so relatable …a father diagnosed with cancer and a sister on ‘the fast train to martyrdom’, all the while she is investigating multiple murders.

A tale of university politics, sexual harassment and a disturbing murderer. The chapters from the killer perspective are disturbing for their lack of emotion, so blasé about taking a life, real goosebumpy moments. A fast paced, gripping thriller, with a twisty plot. Totally compelling. 

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

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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M.M. Chouinard’s first fiction story was published in her local paper when she was eight, and she fell in love with Agatha Christie novels not long after. While pursuing a Ph.D in psychology and helping to found the first U.S. research university of the new millenium, the stories kept rattling around inside her skull, demanding to come out. For sanity’s sake, she released them. She’s currently at work on her seventh novel.

 

Author Social Media Links:

Website: http://www.mmchouinard.com

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/m_m_chouinard

 

Buy  Links:      

 

Amazon: https://geni.us/B07VSPZGKRSocial

Apple Books: https://apple.co/2ZacLdW

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2HffEEg

Googleplay: http://bit.ly/2MpSlM0

 

Book reviews, War fiction

Eight Hours From England by Anthony Quayle – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Eight Hours from England by Anthony Quayle – A candid account of SOE operations in occupied Europe described by Andrew Roberts as ‘As well as being one of our greatest actors, Anthony Quayle was an intrepid war hero and his autobiographical novel is one of the greatest adventure stories of the Second World War. Beautifully written and full of pathos and authenticity, it brings alive the terrible moral decisions that have to be taken by soldiers under unimaginable pressures in wartime.’

Anthony Quayle was a renowned Shakespearean actor, director and film star and during the Second World War was a Special Operations Executive behind enemy lines in Albania.
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MY REVIEW

Major John Overton is a Special Operations Executive (SOE) and is posted to Nazi occupied Albania, to set up a new camp. He finds chaos, but with determination he tries to overcome the politics, the weather, the landscape and the Albanian people to get the camp ready. Were they really there to help ? Or impose the British way on a different culture?

An adventure story set in wartime, with all its horrors and is all the more remarkable as based on Anthony Quayle’s own experiences. Beautifully written and very moving at times. 

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 book. This is my honest, unbiased review.
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ABOUT THE SERIES 

In September 2019, to mark the 80th anniversary of the outbreak of the Second World War, IWM will launch a wonderful new series with four novels from their archives all set during the Second World War – Imperial War Museums Wartime Classics.

Originally published to considerable acclaim, these titles were written either during or just after the Second World War and are currently out of print. Each novel is written directly from the author’s own experience and takes the reader right into the heart of the conflict. They all capture the awful absurdity of war and the trauma and chaos of battle as well as some of the fierce loyalties and black humour that can emerge in extraordinary circumstances. Living through a time of great upheaval, as we are today, each wartime story brings the reality of war alive in a vivid and profoundly moving way and is a timely reminder of what the previous generations experienced.

 The remarkable IWM Library has an outstanding literary collection and was an integral part of Imperial War Museums from its very beginnings. Alan Jeffreys, (Senior Curator, Second World War, Imperial War Museums) searched the library collection to come up with these four launch titles, all of which deserve a new and wider audience. He has written an introduction to each novel that sets them in context and gives the wider historical background and says, ‘Researching the Wartime Classics has been one of the most enjoyable projects I’ve worked on in my years at IWM. It’s been very exciting rediscovering these fantastic novels and helping to bring them to the wider readership they so deserve’.

Each story speaks strongly to IWM’s remit to tell the stories of those who experienced conflict first hand. They cover diverse fronts and topics – preparations for D-Day and the advance into Normandy; the war in Malaya; London during the Blitz and SOE operations in occupied Europe and each author – three men and a woman – all have fascinating back stories. These are Second World War novels about the truth of war written by those who were actually there.

 

ABOUT THE BOOKS

The Four titles are:

From the City, From the Plough by Alexander Baron – A vivid and moving account of preparations for D- Day and the advance into Normandy. Published in the 75th anniversary year of the D-Day landings, this is based on the author’s first-hand experience of D-Day and has been described by Antony Beevor as ‘undoubtedly one of the very greatest British novels of the Second World War.’

Alexander Baron was a widely acclaimed author and screenwriter and his London novels have a wide following. This was his first novel.

 

Trial by Battle by David Piper – A quietly shattering and searingly authentic depiction of the claustrophobia of jungle warfare in Malaya described by William Boyd as ‘A tremendous rediscovery of a brilliant novel. Extremely well-written, its effects are both sophisticated and visceral. Remarkable’, and VS Naipaul as ‘one of the most absorbing and painful books about jungle warfare that I have read’ and by Frank Kermode as ‘probably the best English novel to come out of the Second World War.’

David Piper was best known as director of the National Portrait Gallery, the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge and the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford. The novel is based on his time serving with the Indian Army in Malaya where he was captured by the Japanese and spent three years as a POW. His son, Tom Piper, was the designer of the hugely successful Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red installation of ceramic poppies at the Tower of London to commemorate the First World War Centenary.

 

Eight Hours from England by Anthony Quayle – A candid account of SOE operations in occupied Europe described by Andrew Roberts as ‘As well as being one of our greatest actors, Anthony Quayle was an intrepid war hero and his autobiographical novel is one of the greatest adventure stories of the Second World War. Beautifully written and full of pathos and authenticity, it brings alive the terrible moral decisions that have to be taken by soldiers under unimaginable pressures in wartime.’

Anthony Quayle was a renowned Shakespearean actor, director and film star and during the Second World War was a Special Operations Executive behind enemy lines in Albania.

 

Plenty Under the Counter by Kathleen Hewitt – a murder mystery about opportunism and the black market set against the backdrop of London during the Blitz. ‘With a dead body on the first page and a debonair

 

Book reviews, Psychlogical thriller

Cold Echo by CJ Carver – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Should you trust your best friend with your life?

Harry, Lucas and Guy were best friends when they were kids.  But then they made a terrible mistake and their friendship shattered, forcing them to cut all ties.

Years later, a man’s head is discovered in the woods, skinned and with the tongue cut out.  The police call on Harry, a psychologist, to help with the case, and when it turns out the victim is his childhood friend Guy, old skeletons begin to surface.

Then one of Harry’s clients goes missing.  

Forced into a desperate hunt to save the boy, Harry finds himself closing in in on a shocking secret, a secret someone will do anything to keep safe…

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MY REVIEW

This is a psychological thriller, with great characters and a twisty plot.

Harry Hope is a psychotherapist, his wife has left him and he’s a bit of a wreck, but then he is called to help at a crime scene only to find that the victim was a childhood friend…..this brings back memories of a summer as a child when three boys, Harry, Guy and Lucas accidentally set fire to a barn and a man died….

But who would want to kill Guy and mutilate his body in such a horrific way?

When a young client, Nick, goes missing, Harry visits Eddie’s Farm, and to his surprise meets Lucas. Is this a coincidence that the three old friends are all linked again? 

There is a gruesome murder, attempted murder, kidnap, animal rights activists and a creepy murderer in a mask. A great range of characters, some likeable and some just downright reprehensible and a twisty plot that keeps you hooked from start to finish. Thoroughly entertaining.

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.  This is my honest, unbiased review. 

You can buy a copy here 

https://amzn.to/2mDj7oE

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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Winner of the CWA Debut Dagger for her first novel Blood Junction, CJ Carver has written a further ten critically acclaimed novels.  Spare Me The Truth, the first in the Dan Forrester series, was shortlisted for the Ngaio Marsh Award 2017.

Half-English, half-Kiwi, CJ lived in Australia for 10 years before taking up long-distance rallies, driving London to Saigon, London to Cape Town and covering 14,000 miles on the Inca Trail in South America. 

CJ began her writing career by writing about her adventures, eventually becoming a travel writer for various national publications including The Telegraph, The Independent, The Guardian, Autocar.  She is co-founder for the Women’s World Car of the Year Award 

CJ has been a judge for the Thriller Awards in the USA.  Her books have been published in the UK, USA and translated into several languages.  She lives just outside Bath.

 

Book reviews, Historical fiction

Blood In The Dust by Bill Swiggs – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Essential reading for all adventure fans. Honour and courage in the wild and unpredictable Outback.’ Wilbur Smith

1853, Victoria, Australia. Five bushrangers led by the murderous outlaw Warrigal Anderson raid a small homestead. When they ride away, nineteen year- old Toby O’Rourke’s life is changed forever. His parents lay dead at his feet and his brother, Patrick, is badly wounded. But Toby O’Rourke is made of steel forged in the hardship of colonial life. Forced into adulthood, he and Patrick will seek to restore the family fortunes and outwit not only the rich businessman who conspired to rob them of their birth right, but the vicious men who murdered their parents . . . For readers of Wilbur Smith, Jeffrey Archer and Bryce Courtenay, as fast-paced adventure story and the winner of the best unpublished manuscript category of the Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize.

The winner of the 2018 best unpublished manuscript category of the Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize.

A fast-paced adventure novel set in the Australian outback.

For readers of Wilbur Smith, Jeffrey Archer and Bryce Courtenay.
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MY REVIEW 

Set during Australia’s gold rush, this is the story of Toby O’Rourke.

Toby and his younger brother, Paddy see their parents murdered…leaving them to struggle in this harsh world alone…they are then conned by a neighbour and lose their home…..now Toby vows his revenge….

There are many adventures, setbacks and even a romance for Toby but he’s a young man, so how is he going to get his revenge…

This is an easy read, due to Bill Swiggs writing style, a simple story brilliantly told. A real boys own, ripping yarn….excellent stuff.

Thank you to The Author, the publishers and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this eARC. This is my honest and unbiased review.

 

 

Author Biography

Bill Swiggs was born in Victoria and brought up in Western Australia, where he still lives. He joined the Royal Australian Air Force as an aviation firefighter before becoming a police officer, and now works as a firefighter for a defence

contractor. Bill divides his time between working, writing, flying and his grandchildren.

Book reviews, Science fiction

The Guardian by J.D. Moyer – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

The Guardian, the sequel to the The Sky Woman, is a story of colliding worlds and the contested repopulation of a wild Earth. Tem really struggles as the only brown-skinned child in the village. His mother Car-En decides that the family should spend some time on the Stanford ringstation, but Tem gets caught up in the battle against Umana, the tentacle-enhanced ‘Squid Woman’, while protecting a secret that could change the course of civilization.

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MY REVIEW 

This is the second book in the Reclaimed Earth series by J.D. Moyer, but I felt it can easily be read as a stand-alone.

Earth had been decimated, with only small pockets of villages left, but they happily survive albeit with rivalries between the villages.

Tem, of the Happdal, a Norse speaking settlement is a young boy who has dreams of being a smith…..his mother Car-En is one of the Sky people who defected. She had fallen in love with Esper. Tem sometimes has trouble feeling like he belongs, with his darker skin and small stature….but this is his home.

She decides it’s time to take Tem, to the Stanford, a ringstation to meet his other grandparents…..just for a visit…may be a year!

And so the adventure begins…….there is a psychopathic leader, Adrian, who had previously tried to kill Car-En….he has plans!

There is also a squid woman, now she is terrifying…….many many spiders…..even more horrific!

Will the people of Earth survive ? Will Tem ?

A complex tale with great world building, which I have to admit that took me a while to get to grips with, but it evolves into a thrilling, intelligent sci-fi adventure. I enjoyed the way it was set out, with chapters from various perspectives and the characters have clear personalities and a clever, engaging plot. 

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 book. This is my honest, unbiased review.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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J.D. Moyer lives in Oakland, California, with his wife, daughter, and mystery-breed dog. He writes science fiction, produces electronic music in two groups (Jondi & Spesh and Momu), runs a record label (Loöq Records), and blogs at jdmoyer.com. His previous occupations include dolphin

cognition researcher, martial arts instructor, Renaissance Faire actor, dance music event promoter, and DJ.

His favorite authors include Iain Banks, Octavia Butler, William Gibson, Kim Stanley Robinson, Margaret Atwood, and David Mitchell.

His short stories have appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Strange Horizons, The InterGalactic Medicine Show, Cosmic Roots And Eldritch Shores, and Compelling Science Fiction. His novelette The Icelandic Cure won the 2016 Omnidawn Fabulist Fiction contest. His debut science fiction novel The Sky Woman was published by FLAME TREE PRESS in 2018.

Recurring themes in his fiction include genetic engineering, the sociological effects of climate change, virtualized consciousness, and evolutionary divergence.

 

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

 

Book reviews, Womens fiction

Joan Smokes by Angela Meyer – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Winner of the inaugural Mslexia Novella Award (2019). 

She used to be someone else, but now she’s arrived in Vegas, where she can start again. It won’t do to let the past leak in. It’s the Sixties now. She’s going to become … Joan. She makes a list: Buy a new dress (fitted, floral). Dye her hair (dark). Curl it. Buy red lipstick. Buy cigarettes and a lighter, too: Joan, she decides, is a smoker.

There’s no need to dwell on why she’s here, what went before. She is just moving forward, one foot in front of the other, becoming that new person. Joan. This city of flashing neon, casinos and shows is full of distractions. Finding a job will be quick and easy. Things to do. New people to meet. A clean sheet. She’s certainly not thinking about Jack, or … No. Not anymore. Her new life starts right here, right now

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MY REVIEW 

“How does the mind learn to let things go?”

Set in the 60’s, an unnamed woman has arrived in Vegas, she’s calling herself Joan …and Joan with her floral dresses and dark hair …smokes, it’s what a Joan would do!

She will not think about the past, just walk to the future, one small step at a time…

What is Joan running from? What is so terrible, she hasn’t even found the right words yet to write to her mother in Australia?

This is a tiny book, a 68 page novella, but don’t let that fool you …this is something special. The tale of a woman on the edge of a breakdown, who thinks if she changes herself she can forget….it never happened did it? That was someone else? 

Incredible, sophisticated and emotion packed literature.

Thank you to Ruth Killick Publicity for the opportunity to read this for free. This is my honest and unbiased review.

due for publication December 2019

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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Angela Meyer’s Joan Smokes won the inaugural Mslexia Novella Competition in 2019. Her short fiction has been widely published, including in Best Australian Stories, Island, The Big Issue, The Australian, The Lifted Brow and Killings. By day she works as a publisher for Echo Publishing, an Australian imprint of Bonnier Books UK, and in this role has discovered and developed a range of award-winning, globally published and bestselling talent, including global number one bestselling author Heather Morris. A Superior Spectre, Angela’s debut novel, is already shortlisted for a number of prestigious awards.

 

Angela Meyer is @literaryminded on Twitter and Insta. @literarymindedblog on Facebook. You can find her online at literaryminded.com.au where there are also some book club questions for A Superior Spectre.

Saraband is @SarabandBooks

 

Book reviews, Psychlogical thriller

Lake Child by Isabel Ashdown – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

You trust your family. They love you. Don’t they?

When 17-year-old Eva Olsen awakes after a horrific accident that has left her bedbound, her parents are right by her side. Devoted, they watch over her night and day in the attic room of their family home in the forests of Norway.

But the accident has left Eva without her most recent memories, and not everything is as it seems. As secrets from the night of the accident begin to surface, Eva realises – she has to escape her parents’ house and discover the truth. But what if someone doesn’t want her to find it?

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MY REVIEW 

Set in Norway, 17 year old Eva wakes and her parents tell her she’d been in a terrible car accident and they are going to look after her while she recovers. Eva’s confused and a little scared as she has no memory of the accident at all…. 

As she slowly recovers, she starts to remember little things and she’s now doubting her parents are telling her the truth…..and why they are keeping her in a locked room?

Isabel Ashdown’s writing really conveys Eva’s confusion and her state of mind while she tries to remember everything…..the tension is slowly building with plenty of twists to keep you turning the pages……just what is happening? And how is this linked to Maxine in London?

Gripping, compelling and with an ending you won’t see coming……brilliant.

Thank you to Tracy and Compulsive Readers for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook.  This is my honest, unbiased review.

 

You can buy a copy here 

 

https://amzn.to/2NpJ3Ah

 

About the Author:

Dark, compelling and beautifully twisty … have you read Isabel yet? Isabel’s thrillers BEAUTIFUL LIARS and LITTLE SISTER were both Amazon bestsellers, and both were shortlisted in the prestigious Dead Good Reader Awards. Her latest novel is LAKE CHILD, a dark and haunting thriller set in a remote valley town in the heart of Norway’s ancient fjords (out September 2019).

Isabel Ashdown was born in London and grew up on the Sussex coast. Her writing career first took off ten years ago when an extract of her debut novel GLASSHOPPER won a national writing competition and was twice named among the Best Books of the Year. Today she is the author of seven books, a Royal Literary Fund Lector, and a regular creative writing host at the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival in Harrogate. She lives and writes in West Sussex with her family and their two dogs.