Book reviews, Historical fiction, Science fiction

A Superior Spectre by Angela Meyer – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

 

“A brilliant, deeply unsettling work.” Books + Publishing

 

Jeff is dying. Haunted by memories and grappling with shame, he runs away to a remote part of Scotland with a piece of beta tech that allows him to enter the mind of someone in the past. Instructed to only use it three times, Jeff – self-indulgent, isolated and deteriorating – ignores this advice.

In the late 1860s, Leonora lives in the Scottish Highlands, surrounded by nature. Contemplating the social conventions that bind her, her contented life and a secret romantic friendship with the local laird are interrupted when her father sends her to stay with her aunt in Edinburgh. But Leonora’s ability to embrace her new life is shadowed by a dark presence that begins to lurk behind her eyes, and strange visions.

A Superior Spectre is a novel about curiosity, entitlement and manipulation. It reminds us that the scariest ghosts aren’t the ones that go bump in the night, but those that are born and create a place for themselves in the human soul.

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MY REVIEW

Jeff leaves his life behind in Melbourne, Australia to travel to Scotland with his Andserv robot helper and companion. He is dying, but has declined medical treatment.

He has, and uses tech that assigns you a hosts mind in the past, where you can see and feel what they feel, but they are unaware. He visits Leonora in the 1860’s…..in her mind …a time travelling parasite. I have to admit to disliking Jeff, as he was a self-indulgent, yet self pitying man whose desires control everything he does…with little thought for the effect he is having on Leonora’s mind.

Leonora is a simple kind soul, with a secret romance with the local laird, William. But her life is one of hard work and oppression as a woman in the 1860’s. The descriptive writing really brings this to life.

Jeff uses his invasion of Leonora’s mind to pass his own desires to her…..an abuse,  of male domination and as a result she feels she is possessed. It also shows society’s double standards when it comes to female sexuality, and promiscuity is seen as a mental illness.

A beautifully written, almost poet mix of historical, gothic fiction and sci-fi with real atmosphere and both likeable and reprehensible characters. Thought provoking and something rather special. I’m sure this will be a favourite amongst Book clubs everywhere. A definite must read.

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

You can buy a copy here 

https://amzn.to/2N0LKrO

 

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

Unseen Evil by Liz Mistry – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

New Release from best-selling author Liz Mistry is number 6 in her D.I. Gus McGuire series.

Social Media can be the death of you …

The Snapchat

A twisted killer comes to the attention of DI Gus McGuire and his team when a teenager receives a Snapchat image of his murdered friend. 

The Killer

As the killer becomes bolder, using social media to publicise the murders, Gus fears there may be more than one murderer targeting young people.

The Stalker

Meanwhile, Gus comes under threat from a stalker who is not afraid to get up close and personal.

Can Gus protect his loved ones and catch the killer before another Snap is received?  

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MY REVIEW 

This is #6 in the DI Gus McGuire series.

Set in Bradford, DI McGuire and his team are investigating a possible murder after a teenager is sent a Snapchat picture showing a image of his friend, who he at first thinks is a prank, but it soon becomes all too real.

Someone has a list of people they want to take their revenge on……who is next? Can Gus and the team find out who is, or are responsible and stop them before anyone else dies?

Gus also has his own problems…..a stalker, who is sending threatening letters and seems to be watching him.

There are a few stories all taking place at the same time, which lends a feeling of reality and really helps build the characters and the world around them. 

There’s murder, stalking and the perils of the ever present social media in our lives. A very clever and topical psychological thriller. 

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.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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Born in Scotland, Made in Bradford sums up Liz Mistry’s life. Over thirty years ago she moved from a small village in West Lothian to Yorkshire to get her teaching degree. Once here, Liz fell in love with three things; curries, the rich cultural diversity of the city … and her Indian husband (not necessarily in this order). Now thirty years, three children, two cats (Winky and Scumpy) and a huge extended family later, Liz uses her experiences of living and working in the inner city to flavour her writing. Her gritty crime fiction police procedural novels set in Bradford embrace the city she describes as ‘Warm, Rich and Fearless’ whilst exploring the darkness that lurks beneath.

Struggling with severe clinical depression and anxiety for a large number of years, Liz often includes mental health themes in her writing. She credits the MA in Creative Writing she took at Leeds Trinity University with helping her find a way of using her writing to navigate her ongoing mental health struggles. Being a debut novelist in her fifties was something Liz had only dreamed of and she counts herself lucky, whilst pinching herself regularly to make sure it’s all real. One of the nicest things about being a published author is chatting with and responding to readers’ feedback and Liz regularly does events at local libraries, universities, literature festivals and open mics. She also teaches creative writing too. Now, having nearly completed a PhD in Creative Writing focussing on ‘the absence of the teen voice in adult crime fiction’ and ‘why expansive narratives matter’, Liz is chock full of ideas to continue writing.

In her spare time, Liz loves pub quizzes (although she admits to being rubbish at them), dancing (she does a mean jig to Proud Mary – her opinion, not ratified by her family), visiting the varied Yorkshire landscape, with Robin Hoods Bay being one of her favourite coastal destinations, listening to music, reading and blogging about all things crime fiction on her blog, The Crime Warp.

 

Social Media links

 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LizMistrybooks/        @LizMistrybooks

 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LizMistryAuthor                             @LizMistryAuthor

 

Website :  https://www.lizmistry.com/

Book reviews, Crime thriller, Psychlogical thriller

Essence Of Evil by Rob Sinclair – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

He’s your attacker.

He’s a murderer.

He’s your twin. 

When D.I Dani Stephens returns to work after the attack that almost ended her life, she’s quickly plunged into a horrific new case, as dead bodies are discovered on the streets of Birmingham.

But with no link between the victims, Dani has to get inside a killer’s mind – so turns to the murderer she knows best. Her own twin brother…

But what makes a psychopath? Can understanding her twin help her find a murderer who leaves no trace? As the circle closes on Dani, the clock is ticking and she needs a breakthrough – before she becomes the latest victim.

A heart-stopping crime thriller that fans of Peter James and Mark Billingham won’t be able to put down.

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MY REVIEW 

DI Dani Stephens is back at work after a 2 year absence. Her twin brother, Ben had killed others and attempted to murder her too. After a traumatic brain injury and extensive rehab, she is now back……but is she ready?

Immediately thrown into a murder case, Dani feels there is more to this than a random murder and a serial killer may be at work. Her bosses disagree and after a person of interest dies, she is suspended while an internal investigation is completed. But she can’t let it go…..when a young student goes missing, she knows she is right and carries on her own investigation, putting herself In danger.

Dani is damaged, she’s afraid, frustrated and angry, partly due to her brain injury but is her feeling of paranoia justified? Will Jason stick around to support her, even though she keeps pushing him away?

Great, realistic characters, with some real surprising moments in this incredibly well plotted crime thriller, that’s so engrossing it really is unputdownable…. If you like a dark twisty thriller, you’ll love this.

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 (well pre-order it)

 

https://amzn.to/314fyHt

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

 

Rob is the author of the critically acclaimed and bestselling Enemy series and James Ryker series of espionage thrillers. His books have sold over half a million copies to date with many reviewers and readers having likened Rob’s work to authors at the very top of the genre, including Lee Child and Vince Flynn. 

Rob began writing in 2009 following a promise to his wife, an avid reader, that he could pen a ‘can’t put down’ thriller. He worked for nearly 13 years for a global accounting firm after graduating from The University of Nottingham in 2002, specialising in forensic fraud investigations at both national and international levels. Rob now writes full time.

 

Originally from the North East of England, Rob has lived and worked in a number of fast paced cities, including New York, and is now settled in the West Midlands with his wife and young sons.(Courtesy of Goodreads)