Book reviews

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have a peek at the T&C’s here…..

https://amzn.to/35KDaUV

Book reviews, Dystopian fiction, Science fiction

Goldilocks by Laura Lam – Book Review

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OUT IN PAPERBACK TODAY – 29 October

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

A bold, thought provoking and high-concept feminist dystopian thriller

Ravaged by environmental disaster, greed and oppression, our planet is in crisis. The future of humanity hangs in the balance – and one woman can tip it over.

Despite increasing restrictions on the freedoms of women on Earth, Valerie Black is spearheading the first all-female mission to a planet in the Goldilocks Zone, where conditions are just right for human habitation.

It’s humanity’s last hope for survival, and Naomi, Valerie’s surrogate daughter and the ship’s botanist, has been waiting her whole life for an opportunity like this – to step out of Valerie’s shadow and really make a difference.

But when things start going wrong on the ship, Naomi starts to suspect that someone on board is concealing a terrible secret – and realises time for life on Earth may be running out faster than they feared…

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MY REVIEW 

Goldilocks is science fiction that feels a bit too close to home for comfort.

The human race has ruined Earth, the ice caps have melted, temperatures rising and some areas of this glorious planet are now uninhabitable. So there are plans to move to a new planet.

Women are now no longer welcome to work in the space industry, or anywhere for that matter, so a group of 5 women, all trained astronauts, medics and scientists decide to take matters in their own hands and steal a rocket. They head to th new planet, Cavendish, via Mars with great plans to set up a utopian world and save humankind.

But, someone has a secret, one that changes everything.

I loved this, from the atmosphere, the world building plans and life on the ship as they travel for many months. The twists and tension keep building in this tale of hope, of love and betrayal and of the dangers of fanaticism.  Scarily prescient at times and definitely a cautionary tale. Thought provoking and utterly gripping from start to finish.

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

Purchase link : https://amzn.to/2YqNijz

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Laura Lam is the author of several science fiction books, including Radio 2 Book Club selection False Hearts. Her short fiction and essays have appeared in anthologies such as Nasty Women, Solaris Rising 3, Cranky Ladies of History, Scotland in Space, and more.

Originally from California, she now lives in Scotland with her husband, and teaches Creative Writing at Edinburgh Napier University.

Twitter: @LR_Lam 

Book reviews, Psychlogical thriller

Then She Vanishes by Claire Douglas – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

THE ONLY THING THAT WILL SHOCK YOU MORE THAN THE FIRST CHAPTER . . . IS THE LAST. . .

‘I stayed up until 3am to read it because I was so sucked in. Brilliant, brilliant book!’ 5* Reader Review

Jess and Heather were once best friends – until the night Heather’s sister Flora vanished. The night that lies tore their friendship apart.

But years later, when a brutal double murder shakes their childhood town, Jess returns home.

Because the suspect is Heather.

What happened to the girl you used to know?

MY REVIEW 

Then She Vanishes is a thriller that had me hooked from the off?

Jess is a journalist sent to cover a double murder. She finds the accused is old best friend Heather. They had grown apart when Heather’s sister disappeared.

Now Heather is accused of killing a couple in their home. Jess doesn’t believe her old friend could do this……..could she?

With a clever plot, lots of twists and turns this will keep you guessing right to the end. A psychological thriller just perfect for these dark winter nights.

Thank you to the publishers and NetGalley for an eARC of Then She Vanishes.

Book reviews

Then She Vanishes by Claire Douglas – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

THE ONLY THING THAT WILL SHOCK YOU MORE THAN THE FIRST CHAPTER . . . IS THE LAST. . .

‘I stayed up until 3am to read it because I was so sucked in. Brilliant, brilliant book!’ 5* Reader Review

Jess and Heather were once best friends – until the night Heather’s sister Flora vanished. The night that lies tore their friendship apart.

But years later, when a brutal double murder shakes their childhood town, Jess returns home.

Because the suspect is Heather.

What happened to the girl you used to know?

MY REVIEW 

Then She Vanishes is a thriller that had me hooked from the off?

Jess is a journalist sent to cover a double murder. She finds the accused is old best friend Heather. They had grown apart when Heather’s sister disappeared.

Now Heather is accused of killing a couple in their home. Jess doesn’t believe her old friend could do this……..could she?

With a clever plot, lots of twists and turns this will keep you guessing right to the end. A psychological thriller just perfect for these dark winter nights.

Thank you to the publishers and NetGalley for an eARC of Then She Vanishes.

Book reviews

Black Summer by M. W. Craven – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Welcome to the other side of the mirror . . .

Jared Keaton, chef to the stars. Charming. Charismatic. Psychopath . . . He’s currently serving a life sentence for the brutal murder of his daughter, Elizabeth. Her body was never found and Keaton was convicted largely on the testimony of Detective Sergeant Washington Poe.

So when a young woman staggers into a remote police station with irrefutable evidence that she is Elizabeth Keaton, Poe finds himself on the wrong end of an investigation, one that could cost him much more than his career.

Helped by the only person he trusts, the brilliant but socially awkward Tilly Bradshaw, Poe races to answer the only question that matters: how can someone be both dead and alive at the same time?

And then Elizabeth goes missing again – and all paths of investigation lead back to Poe.

Cynical and ruthless, he has always teetered on the edge. Has Poe finally crossed that line and embraced his darkness?

MY REVIEW 

Black Summer is #2 in the Washington Poe series, but can also be read as a stand-alone.

In a small village in Cumbria, Police Officer Alsop holds a monthly surgery in the local library. Here village residents can voice their concerns and worries they have. 

At one of these sessions a young woman arrives, all dishevelled and tells him she had been kidnapped 6 years ago and has just managed to escape.

DS Poe is called back from London to help with the investigation, as he had been involved in the original case. Is this woman Elizabeth who had disappeared 6 years ago? DNA says it is, but Poe has doubts……had he put an innocent man behind bars?

Black Summer is an utterly compelling crime thriller. Poe and Tilly are great characters and the clever, twisty plot keeps you on tenterhooks. A fantastic, original and gripping read.

Thank you to the publishers and NetGalley for an eARC of Black Summer.

blog tour, Book reviews, Crime thriller, Police procedural

Dead Perfect by Noelle Holten – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

A murdered woman…

When the body of a young woman is found in a local park, DC Maggie Jamieson knows she’s dealing with no ordinary killer.  The murder victim has been disfigured; her outfit changed to resemble someone else.  Someone Maggie knows all too well…her close friend Dr Kate Moloney.

A determined detective…

Maggie is determined to keep her friend safe, but with Kate already struggling with a threatening stalker, Maggie now fears Kate’s life is in real danger.  Who else would want to harm Kate and why else would the killer be turning his victims into exact replicas – his living dolls? 

Can Maggie find the depraved killer?  Or will Kate become his next living doll?

MY REVIEW 

Maggie Jamieson is back!

When Kate Maloney finds out a killer is dressing his victims to look like her, she’s worried to say the least. When she starts to receive letters and gifts, her friend, Maggie, insists she stays with her….until they catch the perpetrator.

Who is Kate’s stalker and can Maggie keep her friend safe?

Dead Perfect is a proper thriller, with twists and turns to keep your heart racing. A police procedural with a creepy edge. A Perfect read.

Thank you to Book On The Bright Side for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour, for the promotional material and an eARC of Dead Perfect.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

Noelle Holten is an award-winning blogger at http://www.crimebookjunkie.co.uk. She is the PR & Social Media Manager for Bookouture, a leading digital publisher in the UK, and worked as a Senior Probation Officer for eighteen years, covering a variety of risk cases as well as working in a multi agency setting. She has three Hons BA’s – Philosophy, Sociology (Crime & Deviance) and Community Justice – and a Masters in Criminology. Noelle’s hobbies include reading, attending as many book festivals as she can afford and sharing the booklove via her blog.

Dead Inside – her debut novel with One More Chapter/Harper Collins UK is an international kindle bestseller and the start of a new series featuring DC Maggie Jamieson.

Connect with Noelle on Social Media here:

Subscribe to Newsletter: http://ow.ly/cgww50BkBtt 

Twitter: (@nholten40) https://twitter.com/nholten40 

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

Blog FB page: https://www.facebook.com/crimebookjunkie/ 

Instagram: @author_noelleholten

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

Bookbub Author page : https://bit.ly/2LkT4LB 

Audiobook, blog tour, Non fiction

The Bad Place by Shane Dunphy – Audiobook Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

The Bad Place sees Shane Dunphy contacted by an old friend seeking advice about children who went missing in the 1980s. The call forces him to revisit a dark time in his early career as a child protection officer, when a young girl described children in care being taken to a residence known as the Bad Place. As a conspiracy emerges that goes to the top of the Irish police and Government, Dunphy recognises the MO of the alleged killer as The Dark Man, a terrifying figure he encountered over thirty years ago, who nearly ended his career before it had even begun.

Determined to confront his past, Dunphy decides to investigate, uncovering a vast international child trafficking ring involving cases of historical child disappearances, unsolved abductions, collusion with the Catholic church and its culture of secrets, lies and cover up and more.

MY REVIEW 

The Bad Place is the harrowing tale of missing children in Ireland.

When Shane is approached by a journalist friend for some background information in regards to a missing child, he mentions the dark man. This immediately scares Shane, as he had met the dark man once when he was a young man just starting his career in child protection. The nightmares still haunt him.

But, he feels he owes to those children to put aside his fears and investigate what really went on in the Bad Place.

This audiobook is read by Shane Dunphy himself and this really brings alive the terrible atmosphere, it has a real sense of time and place and the fear Shane felt about the dark man is palpable. Just think of the fear those children felt !

This is not an easy listen as it deals with child abuse, child trafficking and the dark history of Ireland in relation to children. An interesting, gripping read that’s heartbreaking and anger inducing at the same time. 

Thank you to Ben at Midas PR for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour, for the promotional material and a copy of the audiobook, The Bad Place.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

Shane Dunphy is the million-selling author of non-fiction titles relating the years he spent as a child protection worker. He is an accomplished musician and has composed soundtracks for television and radio. Dunphy is an award-winning documentary maker and he writes regularly for Independent newspapers. He also writes a series of crime novels under the pseudonym S.A. Dunphy.

blog tour, Book reviews, Gothic horror, Nordic noir

The Nesting by CJ Cooke – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

The grieving widower. The motherless daughters. A beautiful house in the woods. And a nanny came to save the day….

So what if Lexi isn’t telling the truth about who she is? Escaping to the remote snows of Norway was her lifeline. And all she wanted was to be a part of their lives.

But soon, isolated in that cold, creaking house in the middle of ancient, whispering woods, Lexi’s fairytale starts to turn into a nightmare.

With darkness creeping in from the outside, Lexi’s fears are deepening. Lexi knows she needs to protect the children in her care.

But protect them from what?

MY REVIEW 

This starts with the death of Aurelia. Was it suicide? 

Then Lexi attempts to take her life, but is saved by a friend. Her boyfriend then leaves her.

She hears of a job opportunity in Norway, so she steals the identity of another woman and applies to be a Nanny.

She gets the job and travels to Norway to be Nanny to Tom’s children. Tom was Aurelias husband.

Lexi feels she is living a fairytale, but then the sad lady begins to appear and things get dark and creepy.

I found The Nesting to be an atmospheric and downright creepy gothic thriller with some really scary moments…..one to read with the lights on! ……a thoroughly entertaining read.

Thank you to Random Things Tours for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour, for the promotional material and an eARC of The Nesting.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

C.J. Cooke is an acclaimed, award-winning poet, novelist and academic with numerous other publications under the name of Carolyn Jess-Cooke. Born in Belfast, she has a PhD in Literature from Queen’s University, Belfast, and is currently Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Glasgow, where she researches creative writing interventions for mental health.

She also founded the Stay-At-Home Festival.

#TheNesting @CJessCooke

blog tour, Book reviews, Horror, Psychlogical thriller

Stranded by Stuart James – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

A family trapped. A psychopath on the loose. Let the game begin…

What could be more innocent than going on holiday?

As a family drive along a quiet country lane on their way to the airport, they meet a stranger standing alone in the middle of the road.

Steering them along another path, he tells the driver, Ben, that a tree has fallen and there’s no way through.

But as they make their way along the diverted route, they come across a coach blocking the road.

Getting out of the car Ben goes to investigate and is horrified to find the passengers tied to their seats.

Then a discarded phone starts to ring…

If Ben calls the police, everyone on board will die.

Let the horrific game begin…

MY REVIEW 

Stranded is a nightmare!

When Ben and Laura are stopped on their way to the airport the tension begins to soar. A man tells them the road ahead is blocked and tells them there is a diversion. So,with no reason not to believe him they set off, only to find this road blocked by a coach.

Inside they find passengers tied to seats…….and then a phone rings and the game begins.

What follows is an incredibly tense, creepy and nerve wracking horror of a story, with twists and turns to keep you thoroughly hooked.

Why would anyone feel they had the right to punish wrongdoers? 

A true page Turner as you just cannot put it down, you have to know what’s going to happen next. Just brilliant and a perfect read for Halloween.

Thank you to Book On a the Bright Side Publicity for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour, for the promotional material and an eARC of Stranded.

Purchase Link: https://amzn.to/37kLvRE

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

I have always loved scary stories, especially ones that shocked me, left me terrified, looking under my bed or in the wardrobe before going to sleep.

There was just a fantastic buzz whenever I watched or read something that took my breathe away.

I remember going to my nan’s house in Ireland as a youngster with my mother and sister, on the West Coast, staying in a cottage, surrounded by miles of fields and my family sitting around the table in the kitchen at night telling ghost stories. Going out and exploring derelict farmhouses in the middle of nowhere. I remember clearly the field at the end of the road was supposed to be haunted by headless nuns.

My cousins often remind me of the great times we had, frightening each other and running for our lives whenever we’d see something that didn’t look right.

This is why I love nothing more than to tell a story.

I started writing three years ago, penning The House On Rectory Lane which has just won The International Book Award in horror fiction. I got the idea from something that has often seemed scary to me. I know that a terrifying story has to be something that you’re frightened of doing, something that makes the hairs stand on the back of your neck, something that fills you with dread, yet also with excitement.

To me, the thought of going to a house in the middle of nowhere, upping and leaving a busy town and moving to the country is something that scares lots of people and me: the seclusion, the quiet, the darkness. That’s what inspired me to write my first novel.

My second thriller is called Turn The Other Way, which was a world wide number 1 best seller and stayed at number 1 for 19 weeks in the US.

I have multiple stories running, past and present. A family who want answers from the surgeon responsible for their daughter’s death. A young woman looking for her parents after they go missing from a party. A couple driving home and hearing screams for help from the back of the van in front of them. A serial killer on the loose in North London, dragging victims off the street.

I’m so grateful when people not only read my thrillers but also take the time to get in touch and leave a review. To me, that is the greatest feeling, hearing from people that have enjoyed my work. I know then that I’m doing something right.

My third thriller, Apartment Six, was published in January of this year and was a number 1 hot new release on Amazon for 4 weeks.

Stranded goes on pre-order Monday October 12th on Amazon and is released October 19th.

I’m 47, married and have two beautiful children. Currently, I’m a full-time plumber but would love nothing more than to make a living from my writing. I hope I write stories and people continue to enjoy them for years to come. That would be completely amazing and a dream come true.

stuartjamesthrillers.com

@StuartJames73

https://www.facebook.com/stuartjamesauthor/

blog tour, Book reviews, Crime thriller

The Peacock Room by Anna Sayburn Lane – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

A literary obsession.

An angry young man with a gun.

And one woman trying to foil his deadly plan.

When Helen Oddfellow starts work as a lecturer in English literature, she’s hoping for a quiet life. But trouble knows where to find her.

There’s something wrong with her new students. Their unhappiness seems to be linked to their flamboyant former tutor, Professor Petrarch Greenwood, who holds decadent parties in his beautiful Bloomsbury apartment.

When Helen is asked to take over his course on the Romantic poet William Blake, life and art start to show uncomfortable parallels. Disturbing poison pen letters lead down dark paths, until Helen is the only person standing between a lone gunman and a massacre.

THE PEACOCK ROOM is the intriguing follow-up to the acclaimed thriller UNLAWFUL THINGS, which introduced the literary sleuth Helen Oddfellow.

MY REVIEW 

#2 in the Helen Oddfellow mystery series, but can also be read as a stand-alone.

Here, Helen Oddfellow is asked to take over a class who are studying the romantic poets. This is not her usual area of expertise, but she is soon drawn into the world of William Blake. When some dark art surfaces, all using Blake’s imagery things take a dark and dangerous turn for Helen.

Can Helen stop a planned massacre?

This is a clever, slow burn of a thriller that builds the tension gradually up to a nail biting end. Full of great characters and lots of interesting detail, especially the life and works of William Blake, all of which make this a very engrossing and entertaining read.

Thank you to Random Things Tours for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour, for the promotional material and an eARC of The Peacock Room.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Anna Sayburn Lane is a novelist, short story writer and storyteller, inspired by the history and contemporary life of London. Unlawful Things is her first novel.

She has published award-winning short stories in a number of magazines, including Mslexia, Scribble and One Eye Grey.

Her Mslexia award-winning story Conservation was described by judge and Booker-longlisted author Alison MacLeod as “a powerful and profound contemporary piece in which one man’s story stands for an entire nation’s… it’s a punch to the heart, a story that will haunt and touch its readers deeply”.

She has told stories at London club The Story Party and One Eye Grey’s Halloween event, Moon Over the Lido.

Twitter: @BloomsburyBlue

Website: http://www.annasayburnlane.com/

blog tour, Book reviews, Crime thriller, Icelandic noir

Betrayal by Lilja Sigurdardóttir – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Burned out and traumatised by her horrifying experiences around the world, aid worker Úrsula has returned to Iceland. Unable to settle, she accepts a high-profile government role in which she hopes to make a difference again.

But on her first day in the post, Úrsula promises to help a mother seeking justice for her daughter, who had been raped by a policeman, and life in high office soon becomes much more harrowing than Úrsula could ever have imagined. A homeless man is stalking her – but is he hounding her, or warning her of some danger? And the death of her father in police custody so many years rears its head once again.

As Úrsula is drawn into dirty politics, facing increasingly deadly threats, the lives of her stalker, her bodyguard and even a witch- like cleaning lady intertwine. Small betrayals become large ones, and the stakes are raised ever higher…

The award-winning internationally bestselling author Lilja Sigurðardóttir returns with Betrayal, a relevant, powerful, fast- paced thriller about the worlds of politics, police corruption and misogyny that feels just a little bit too real…

MY REVIEW 

Úrsula is the Minister of the Interior in Iceland, her new role is putting more strain on her already troubled marriage, not less as she expected.

She is asked to look into a rape case, which has a police officer involved. As she investigates she sees into the darker side of politics and corruption.

Betrayal is a twisty thriller, so compelling from the very start. The incredibly well developed characters all slowly link to build the story, it’s complex plot keeps you turning the pages, you just have to know what’s coming next.

It also deals with contemporary issues such as social media, misogyny and homelessness, which all add to the sense of reality. I loved every minute.

Thank you to Random Things Tours for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour, for the promotional material and an eARC of Betrayal.

Purchase link : https://amzn.to/3dtVtRL

ABOUT LILJA SIGURÐARDÓTTIR

Icelandic crime-writer Lilja Sigurdardóttir was born in the town of Akranes in 1972 and raised in Mexico, Sweden, Spain and Iceland. An award-winning playwright, Lilja has written four crime novels, including Snare, Trap and Cage, making up the Reykjavik Noir trilogy, which have hit bestseller lists worldwide. The film rights have been bought by Palomar Pictures in California. She lives in Reykjavík with her partner.

blog tour, Book reviews, Crime thriller

Forgotten Toys by Ashley Laino – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

When you look in an empty pool, you don’t usually expect to see a body at the bottom but in a a small town in eastern Pennsylvania called Pikesville one summer, that is exactly what happens. Pikesville is a quaint community that is faced with the disappearance of a local teenager Jenna Hayes and the town is turned upside down. When Jenna is found brutally murdered at the bottom of the town’s abandoned pool, the town is devastated, but to Sarah Moore, Jenna was just a girl whose name she heard around sometimes, in some circles. What does this have to do with her? She is dealing with her own issues, anyway. But when Sarah’s sister, Chloe, goes missing, Sarah must uncover a murderer before he gets to her, too, or before it’s too late.

MY REVIEW 

Sarah and Chloe are sisters, both have eating disorders and they support each other through them. Sarah starves and Chloe binges and purges. They attend the funeral of Jenna, a friend of Chloe’s, but end up having a row on the way home. So, Chloe goes for a drive to clear her head. She doesn’t come home.

The police arrived as they had found her abandoned car. Chloe has disappeared.

As Sarah feels the police are not working hard enough on the case, she begins her own investigation……..

Forgotten Toys is compelling from the first page. As Sarah and Chloe have been so well developed from the start, you worry with and for them, especially Sarah as she searches for her sister. 

With its clever plot, great characters, twist and turns, this atmospheric thriller is a true page turner. 

Thank you to Random Things Tours for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour, for the promotional material and an eARC of Forgotten Toys.

Purchase link : https://amzn.to/3jZNwpT

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ashley Laino has currently resides in Bangor, Pennsylvania with her husband and two adorable cats. Her other works include the psychological thriller “Forgotten Toys.” When she is not writing, she enjoys running, reading, and watching weird documentaries on Netflix. 

Twitter @MSLAshley12

blog tour, Book reviews, Fantasy

The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

In 1893, there’s no such thing as witches. There used to be, in the wild, dark days before the burnings began, but now witching is nothing but tidy charms and nursery rhymes. If the modern woman wants any measure of power, she must find it at the ballot box.

But when the three Eastwood sisters join the suffragists of New Salem, they begin to pursue the forgotten ways that might turn the women’s movement into the witch’s movement. Stalked by shadows and sickness, hunted by forces who will not suffer a witch to vote – and perhaps not even to live – the sisters must delve into the oldest magics, draw new alliances, and heal the bond between them if they want to survive.

There’s no such thing as witches. But there will be.

MY REVIEW

Set in 1893, in the town of New Salem,

Women are fighting for the right to vote and suffragist rallies are being arranged.

Three sisters, Juniper, Agnes and Beatrice find themselves meeting up in New Salem. Drawn together after many years apart. Here they see a dark tower appear with strange symbols on the door. It seems witching has disappeared after all.

The Once and Future Witches is a feminist tale about the fight for equality, it’s also about diversity, acceptance and family all set in a marvellously witching world. Part historical fiction and part fantasy, with great characters and a clever, witchy plot. Compelling from start to finish. 

Thank you to Compulsive Readers for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour, for the promotional material and an ARC of The Once And Future Witches.

Book reviews, Fantasy

Pan’s Labyrinth: The Labyrinth of The Faun by Guillermo del Toro and Cornelia Funke – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

A thrillingly dark novel that shows the rare magic that can happen when two dazzlingly original imaginations come together to make a book. Bestselling author Cornelia Funke has written a novel inspired by Guillermo del Toro’s captivating 2006 film. Beautiful, haunting, visceral, gutsy, it’s a vastly inventive, grown-up modern fairytale, pulsing with power of stories to shape lives, hearts and minds.

Ofelia has been sent to stay with her new stepfather, a ruthless captain of the Spanish army. For him, the dark and eerie forest in which they live is a cage, serving only to hide resistance fighters in the drawn-out and bloody civil war – those he has made it his aim to destroy.

But with her mother bedridden, Ofelia is left unchecked and becomes enchanted by their magical home. Obsessed with fairytales, she is drawn deeper and deeper into a mythical world which is both cruel and kind, benign and deadly. For Ofelia, too, must endure violence if she is to complete the tasks that will win her place at the centre of the labyrinth: the palace of the Faun…

MY REVIEW 

Pan’s Labyrinth: The Labyrinth of the Faun is a fairy tale for adults. It’s a dark, gothic fantasy that draws you into a magical world.

Here, Ophelia discovers the labyrinth and fairies help and support her as she meets Pan himself. He tells her a secret, her birthright that she must fight to reclaim….

Full of war, magic and marvellously dark beasts and monsters as Ophelia begins her fight. Beautifully written, almost poetic at times, with a creepy atmosphere throughout. A perfect Halloween read.

Thank you to the publishers and NetGalley for for an eARC of Pan’s Labyrinth: The Labyrinth of The Faun.

Audiobook, blog tour, Book reviews

Strangers by C.L. Taylor – Audiobook Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Ursula thinks she killed the love of her life.

Gareth’s been receiving strange postcards.

And Alice is being stalked.

None of them are used to relying on others – but when the three strangers’ lives unexpectedly collide, there’s only one thing for it: they have to stick together. Otherwise, one of them will die.

Three strangers, two secrets, one terrifying evening.

MY REVIEW 

Strangers is the story of three lonely and alone people, Gareth, Alice and Ursula. It starts with these three strangers standing over a dead body, the tale then begins with flashbacks to each of their lives and how they have ended up here.

But, how are the disappearances of young men in the Bristol area linked to these three strangers?

This is a truly compelling tale beautifully narrated by Clare Corbett who brings each character to life, she captures the atmosphere so well you really get caught up in the story. With its clever, twisty plot to keep you guessing this is an exciting and tension packed read. 

Thank you to Ellie at Avon books for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour, for the promotional material and a copy of the Strangers audiobook. 

Available from Audible.co.uk and is 9hours and 30mins long.

Book reviews, Crime thriller, Fantasy

The End Of The Line by Gray Williams – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

A fast-paced thriller set on the streets of a London rife with undercover magic.

Abras, as they are known, can harness these illegal powers, but for con-artist Amanda Coleman – whose father was a powerful and abusive practitioner – magic is anathema.

When her criminal crew decide to hire an Abra to help with their heists, they don’t expect to raise a demon, or to quickly lose control of it. Now Coleman and her crew must travel across Siberia to a remote stone circle in order to kill this murderous creature, who has destroyed everything they hold dear.

But as the demon’s power grows, a battle of wills commences. Coleman must fight to survive, facing demons both in chains and within herself.

This dark and chilling thriller is perfect for fans of Lauren Beukes and James Oswald.

MY REVIEW 

The End Of The Line is a mix of crime fiction and fantasy, with plenty of action and magic.

There are quite a few characters and the timeline jumps between the past and present as the story unfolds. Mainly set in a small train carriage, a demon had been summoned and somehow escapes only to go on a rampage, so the story is around their travels to Russia to find it.

This has a clever plot, but I found it quite confusing, especially the first half,  as the story gradually comes together. It has a tense, almost claustrophobic atmosphere overall and is an entertaining read.

Thank you to the publishers and NetGalley for an eARC of The End Of The Line.

Book reviews, Murder mystery

Fatal Flowers by Miranda Rijks – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Can psychologist Pippa Durrant unmask a killer before she becomes the next victim?

After a seemingly senseless murder at a garden center, the police turn to human lie detector, Pippa Durrant for help. Working alongside handsome detective Joe Swain, Pippa starts digging for the truth. But the Gower family, owners of the garden center, have deadly secrets – secrets they want to keep buried.

After a second body is found, it’s clear that the murderer is using flowers as a sinister calling card. And when Pippa receives a black rose, there’s no mistaking who will be the next victim…

In a fast-paced investigation that takes her to Holland and back to England, Pippa soon realises that the gentle world of flowers is anything but! Using her unique skills in spotting lies and deceit, can she weed out the truth before it’s too late?

Fatal Flowers is the second standalone novel in the Dr Pippa Durrant Mystery Series. If you like mysteries with compelling twists, then you’ll love Miranda Rijks’ tantalizing crime novel.

MY REVIEW 

Fatal Flowers is #2 in the Dr Pippa Durrant series, but it can also be read as a stand alone.

After a brutal murder in a garden centre, where a flower is left with the body, the police are struggling. So, they call in Dr Pippa Durrant. Working with Detective Swain the investigation really begins.

They find the owners of the garden centre, the Gower family, have many secrets they want kept hidden.

As the body count rises, Pippa receives a black rose…..is she next on the killers list? They are obviously getting close.

This is a well paced murder mystery with a clever, interesting plot and the great characters that keeps you guessing. A thoroughly engaging and entertaining read.

Thank you to the publishers and NetGalley for an eARC of Fatal Flowers.

Book reviews, Crime thriller, Police procedural

Their Little Secret by Mark Billingham – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

She says she’s an ordinary mother.

He knows a liar when he sees one.

Sarah thinks of herself as a normal single mum. It’s what she wants others to think of her. But the truth is, she needs something new, something thrilling.

Meanwhile, DI Tom Thorne is investigating a woman’s suicide, convinced she was driven to do it by a man who preys on vulnerable women.

A man who is about to change Sarah’s life.

From five-million-copy bestseller Mark Billingham comes a breathless new thriller starring Thorne and Tanner that readers will devour . . .

MY REVIEW 

#16 in the Tom Thorne series, but can easily be read as a stand-alone too.

A woman dies after jumping in front of a train, it’s put down as just another suicide, but Tom Thorne thinks there’s more to it.

He finds she has been the victim of a romance scam and she has lost everything she owned.

Then a young man’s body is found,he had been beaten to death. It has a link to the suicide case……is the same person responsible ?

Can Thorne and his partner, Turner, find the killer before anyone else dies?

This is a well paced, page Turner of a police procedural, with its great characters and a twisty plot, it will keep you hooked from start to finish.

Thank you to the publishers and NetGalley for an eARC of Their Little Secret.

Book reviews, Dystopian fiction

The Farm by Joanne Ramos – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

THE MUST-READ DEBUT NOVEL OF 2019. Sharp, compulsive and darkly funny, this is an unforgettable novel about a world within touching distance of our own.

Ambitious businesswoman Mae Yu runs Golden Oaks – a luxury retreat transforming the fertility economy – where women get the very best of everything, so long as they play by the rules.

Jane is a young immigrant in search of a better future. Stuck living in a cramped dorm with her baby daughter and shrewd aunt Ate, she sees an unmissable chance to change her life. But at what cost?

A novel that explores the role of luck and merit, class, ambition and sacrifice, The Farm is an unforgettable story about how we live and who truly holds power.

MY REVIEW 

In The Farm, young women are paid to be surrogate mothers for the wealthy. These women get the best of everything to keep the baby healthy, paying parents to be…..regardless of what the mother herself wants.

This is a tale of power and privilege, of the exploitation of immigrants and racism. 

A dystopian world that feels all too close to the present day. I found this to be a compelling and thought provoking read.

Thank you to the publishers and NetGalley for an eARC of The Farm. 

Book reviews, Crime thriller, Murder mystery, Mystery

No One Home by Tim Weaver – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER FROM THE AUTHOR OF YOU WERE GONE

‘THE TENTH IN THE TERRIFIC DAVID RAKER SERIES – BLISS!’ LEE CHILD

One night, the residents of Black Gale gather for a dinner party. As the only nine people living there, they’ve become close friends as well as neighbours.

They eat, drink and laugh. They play games and take photographs. But those photographs will be the last record of any of them.

Because by the next morning, the whole village has vanished.

With no bodies, no evidence and no clues, the mystery of what happened at Black Gale remains unsolved two and a half years on. But then the families of the missing turn to investigator David Raker – and their obsession becomes his.

What secrets were the neighbours keeping from their families – and from each other?

Were they really everything they seemed to be?

And is Raker looking for nine missing people – or nine dead bodies?

MY REVIEW

#10 in the David Raker series. It can be read as a stand-alone. I hadn’t read any of the previous novels in this series and that’s something I am now going to rectify.

No One Home is a crime thriller. David Raker is an investigator who specialises in missing person cases. He is approached by some of the relatives of nine people who had gone missing from the same village a couple of years previously. All nine just disappeared one night. 

There is also a second story run set 30 years ago, in the US, Jo is a member of the LA Sheriff’s Department and in hunting a murderer……gradually it becomes clear these cases are connected.

This is so well written with a superbly twisty plot and a great, likeable main character. With an ending that will leave you gasping this is a compelling and utterly engrossing read.

Thank you to the publishers and NetGalley for an eARC of No One Home.