Audiobook, Book reviews, Historical fiction

The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner – AUDIOBOOK Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Just after the Second World War, in the small English village of Chawton, an unusual but like-minded group of people band together to attempt something remarkable.

One hundred and fifty years ago, Chawton was the final home of Jane Austen, one of England’s finest novelists. Now it’s home to a few distant relatives and their diminishing estate. With the last bit of Austen’s legacy threatened, a group of disparate individuals come together to preserve both Jane Austen’s home and her legacy. 

These people—a laborer, a young widow, the local doctor, and a movie star, among others—could not be more different and yet they are united in their love for the works and words of Austen. As each of them endures their own quiet struggle with loss and trauma, some from the recent war, others from more distant tragedies, they rally together to create the Jane Austen Society
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MY REVIEW

The Jane Austen Society is set in the 1940’s and the village of Chawton.

It begins by introducing the characters and their varying backgrounds, but they all have one thing in common and that’s a love for the author, Jane Austen and her works.

This is a lovely, gently and slow paced tale with lots of references to Jane Austen’s books and characters. There’s a little tension between some characters and a little romance too.

I found this to be an absolutely charming novel and beautifully read by Richard Armitage, he really captures the mood and  story to life. Definitely a must read for any fan of Jane Austen. At 9 hours and 34 minutes, this is one to savour, relax and enjoy.

Thank you to Kate at Orion Publishing for the opportunity to take part in this blog tour, for the promotional material and a copy of the audiobook. This is my honest and unbiased review.

 

Available from Audible.co.uk 

Book reviews, Crime thriller, Thriller

Singapore Killer by Murray Bailey – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

 

A helicopter crash and burned bodies.

 

A faceless corpse.

 

A mysterious town.

 

Carter is drawn into a dark case from which there seems no escape.

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MY REVIEW 

#5 in the Ash Carter series, but can also be read as a stand-alone.

Wow….the action starts from the off and really doesn’t stop in this heart pounding thriller.

Set in 1950’s Singapore, a devastating helicopter crash turns out to be a deliberate act…..and so the story begins.

Ash Carter is on the hunt for the killer, Black Jack.

This is so well written with a real sense of time and place. Full of atmosphere, it has a brutal serial killer, plenty of great characters and a twisty, violent and action packed plot to keep every thriller fan on the edge of their seats. A fantastic read.

Thank you to Murray Bailey for the opportunity to take part in this blog tour and for an eARC of the book. This is my honest and unbiased review. 

Book reviews, Horror

Until Summer Comes Around by Glenn Rolfe – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

When fifteen year old Rocky Zukas meets a mysterious dark-haired girl named November, his world is forever changed. The young couple falls under the spell of summer love, but not everyone approves. November’s brother, Gabriel, is the keeper of the family’s secret, and big brother is always watching, growing more sinister as his bloodlust gets the best of him. Directing his attention to Rocky’s family, Gabriel aims to make sure little sister knows who is in charge.

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MY REVIEW 

Until Summer Comes Around is a classic vampire story, set in the summer of 1986 in Old Orchard Beach, Maine.

15 year old Rocky spends his summer wandering the beach and it’s arcades, but then he meets the beautiful November. A typical summer romance, except November is a vampire and her brother, Gabriel is hellbent on bleeding the local population to feed his addiction….and the bodies pile up.

These vampires are day walkers, the sun doesn’t bother them (no they don’t sparkle), but they prefer the night time. This reminded me of The Lost Boys due to its setting. It this is different as these vampires are on vacation.

When Rocky finds out what November is, his heart is broken…..but he needs to protect his family from Gabriel and needs her help.

This is a dark and violent coming of age drama, albeit a very bloody one. Great characters and a gripping, fast paced plot make this a must read for any fan of vampire fiction. I loved it in all its toothsome glory.

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

 

Purchase link : https://www.flametreepublishing.com/until-summer-comes-around-isbn-9781787583948.html 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

Glenn Rolfe is an author/singer/songwriter from the haunted woods of New England. He has studied Creative Writing at Southern New Hampshire University, and continues his education in the world of horror by devouring the novels of Stephen King, Ronald Malfi, Jack Ketchum, and many others. He and his wife, Meghan, have three children, Ruby, Ramona, and Axl. He is grateful to be loved despite his weirdness.

He is a Splatterpunk Award nominee and the author of The Window, Becoming, Blood and Rain, The Haunted Halls, Chasing Ghosts, Abram’s Bridge, Things We Fear, Boom Town, and the collections, Slush. and Land of Bones.

He is hard at work on many more. Stay tuned!

 

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

 

Book reviews, Crime thriller, Murder mystery

The Split by Sharon Bolton – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

The nail-biting new crime thriller from Sharon Bolton, author of Sunday

Times Bestseller The Craftsman.

 

SHE’S GOT NOWHERE LEFT TO HIDE.

 

A year ago, in desperation, Felicity Lloyd signed up for a lengthy research trip to the remote island of South Georgia.

 

It was her only way to escape.

 

AND NOW HE’S COMING FOR HER.

 

Freddie Lloyd has served time for murder. Out at last, he’s on her trail. And this time, he won’t stop until he finds her.

 

BECAUSE NO MATTER HOW FAR YOU RUN, SOME SECRETS WILL ALWAYS CATCH UP WITH YOU…

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MY REVIEW 

The Split is mainly set in South Georgia, a small, isolated island in the Atlantic Ocean.

Felicity is a specialist in ice, she has come to Georgia to work, but also to hide.

But Freddie has found her!

Will Felicity be able to escape before Freddie arrives?

The story is told in two timelines, Felicity’s present and past. It builds her story and you slowly learn why she is hiding……

This is a murder mystery with a really unique edge, there are the murders of rough sleepers, home invasion and yet it also deals with abuse, mental illness, homelessness and fear. There’s a clever, complex plot with some really creepy moments too…..my windows are all shut and locked that’s for sure….! Dark, tension filled and a thoroughly chilling read. I loved every minute.

Thank you to Alex at Orion Publishing for the opportunity to take part in this blog tour, for the promotional material and an eCopy of the book. This is my honest and unbiased review.

 

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

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

 

Sharon (formerly S J) Bolton grew up in a cotton-mill town in Lancashire and had an eclectic early career in marketing and public relations. She gave it up in 2000 to become a mother and a writer. Her first novel, Sacrifice, was voted Best New Read by Amazon.uk, whilst her second, Awakening, won the 2010 Mary Higgins Clark Award (part of the prestigious Edgars) in the US. 

She has been shortlisted for the CWA Gold Dagger, the Theakston’s Prize for Best Thriller, the International Thriller Writers’ Best First Novel award, the Prix Du Polar in France and the Martin Beck award in Sweden. Sharon is available for interview and feature pieces.

 

Book reviews, FREE ON KINDLE, Spotlight

Vultures by Luke Tarzian

 Just seen this …..FREE FOR KINDLE AT THE MOMENT TOO

 

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

An enemy slain is not a conflict won… 

After decades of war the demon Te Mirkvahíl is dead. But its progeny endure, spilling from the Heart of Mirkúr, sowing death across the land of Ariath. If the people are to finally know peace, the Heart must be destroyed. Theailys An believes he can do just that with The Keepers’ Wrath, an infamous power focus wrought in Ariath’s yesteryears–but the weapon first must be reforged.

War spares no one…

Serece never intended to get involved in Ariath’s war. But history and demons have a way of pulling strings. When she learns Theailys An, a man whom she abhors, bears striking similarity to the first creator of The Keepers’ Wrath, Serece departs

 

her mountain world for Ariath to ascertain the truth.

From patience, hope…

For millennia Behtréal has walked the world alone. Rewriting history to resurrect his people is easier said than done. But Ariath holds the key–soon The Keepers’ Wrath will be remade.

Truth from madness…

As paths converge and a shadow falls across Ariath, one thing becomes increasingly and horrifyingly clear–these events have played out many times before.’

 

FREE ON KINDLE AT THE MOMENT :    https://amzn.to/2TRaDYH 

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https://amzn.to/2TRaDYH

Book reviews

**COVER REVEAL** for Hush Little Baby by Jane Issac

Welcome to the COVER reveal for Jane Issac’s gripping new novel Hush Little Baby, but first a little about the book….

 

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

 

Hush Little Baby, Jane Isaac 

Someone stole a baby…

One sunny day in July, someone took three-month-old Alicia Owen from her pram outside a supermarket. Her mother, Marie, was inside. No one saw who took Alicia. 

And no one could find her.

They silenced her cry…

Fifteen years later, a teenager on a construction site sees a tiny hand in the ground. When the police investigate, they find a baby buried and preserved in concrete. 

Could it be Alicia?

But the truth will always out.

When Alicia disappeared, the papers accused Marie of detachment and neglect. The Owens never got over the grief of their child’s disappearance and divorced not long after. By reopening the case, DC Beth Chamberlain must reopen old wounds. But the killer may be closer than anyone ever suspected…

The latest crime thriller featuring Family Liaison Officer DC Beth Chamberlain, Hush Little Baby is tightly plotted, fraught with tension and impossible to put down. Perfect for fans of Cara Hunter and K.L. Slater.

 

Doesn’t this sound fantastic?

 

So here’s the COVER……just gorgeous 

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About the author

 

Jane Isaac is married to a serving detective and they live in rural Northamptonshire, UK with their daughter, and dog, Bollo. Jane loves to hear from readers and writers. You can reach her via her website at http://www.janeisaac.co.uk Sign up to her book club at http://eepurl.com/1a2uT for book recommendations and details of new releases, events and giveaways.

 

Follow Jane:

 

Facebook: @JaneIsaacAuthor Twitter: @JaneIsaacAuthor Website: www.janeisaac.co.uk

 

Pre-order links:

 

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2AM9evY Kobo: https://bit.ly/2TiC7Gv Google Play: https://bit.ly/2Tp2tXf

 

Follow Aria

Website: www.ariafiction.com

 

Twitter:  @aria_fiction Facebook: @ariafiction

Book reviews, Psychlogical thriller

His & Hers by Alice Feeney – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

If there are two sides to every story, someone is always lying… 

Jack: Three words to describe my wife: Beautiful. Ambitious. Unforgiving.

Anna: I only need one word to describe my husband: Liar.

When a woman is murdered in Blackdown village, newsreader Anna Andrews is reluctant to cover the case. Anna’s ex-husband, DCI Jack Harper, is suspicious of her involvement, until he becomes a suspect in his own murder investigation.

Someone is lying, and some secrets are worth killing to keep.

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MY REVIEW 

Oh my, where do I start…..?

DCI Jack Harper is called to a murder scene. A woman’s body has been found in the woods and he recognises her, as he had been with her that night. But, he keeps that to himself for fear of being thought a suspect…

Anna Andrews, a TV journalist isn’t covering the story. She’s had to return to her hometown of Blackdown to do so and memories of her earlier life there floodback. She’s also an alcoholic.

Tragedy links these two damaged people.

When a second body is found, the story gets dark and twisted. As the body count grows how are these victims linked? Who would want them dead? 

I can’t say much for fear of spoiling this complex plot, but it deals with difficult, emotive subjects with a deft touch. Told from the perspective of Jack, Anna and a killer it gives a unique atmosphere and insights into the characters lives, their secrets and pasts, really bringing them to life.

I read a lot of thrillers, but this is something special, it’s dark, compelling and a read in one sitting psychological thriller. Absolutely brilliant.

Thank you to HQ for the opportunity to take part in this blogger takeover day and for an eARC of the book. This is my honest and unbiased review.

 

Audiobook, Book reviews, Crime thriller

Fair Warning by Michael Connelly – AUDIOBOOK Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

The hero of The Poet and The Scarecrow is back in the new thriller from #1 New York Times bestselling author Michael Connelly. Jack McEvoy, the journalist who never backs down, tracks a serial killer who has been operating completely under the radar–until now.

Veteran reporter Jack McEvoy has taken down killers before, but when a woman he had a one-night stand with is murdered in a particularly brutal way, McEvoy realises he might be facing a criminal mind unlike any he’s ever encountered.

McEvoy investigates—against the warnings of the police and his own editor—and makes a shocking discovery that connects the crime to other mysterious deaths across the country. But his inquiry hits a snag when he himself becomes a suspect.

As he races to clear his name, McEvoy’s findings point to a serial killer working under the radar of law enforcement for years, and using personal data shared by the victims themselves to select and hunt his targets.

Called “the Raymond Chandler of this generation” (Associated Press), Michael Connelly once again delivers an unputdownable thriller that reveals a predator operating from the darkest corners of human nature—and one man courageous and determined enough to stand in his way.

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MY AUDIOBOOK REVIEW 

#3 In the Jack McEvoy series and is a 10 hours 20 minutes listen.

In Fair Warning, Jack is working for a news website when he becomes a suspect in the murder of a woman he spent a night with many months before.

So he begins his own investigation and the detectives in charge of the case are really not pleased.

Jack finds out a DNA testing company are selling their customers DNA results to third parties for huge sums. 

Who wants these DNA analysis results and why? A truly terrifying thought….

This is an absolutely compelling thriller, with a complex plot and great characters. I loved Peter Giles’ narration too he really brought the tale to life.

Thank you to Alex at Orion Publishing for a copy of the audiobook. This is my honest and unbiased review.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

Michael Connelly decided to become a writer after discovering the books of Raymond Chandler while attending the University of Florida. Once he decided on this direction he chose a major in journalism and a minor in creative writing — a curriculum in which one of his teachers was novelist Harry Crews.

After graduating in 1980, Connelly worked at newspapers in Daytona Beach and Fort Lauderdale, Florida, primarily specializing in the crime beat. In Fort Lauderdale he wrote about police and crime during the height of the murder and violence wave that rolled over South Florida during the so-called cocaine wars. In 1986, he and two other reporters spent several months interviewing survivors of a major airline crash. They wrote a magazine story on the crash and the survivors which was later short-listed for the Pulitzer Prize for feature writing. The magazine story also moved Connelly into the upper levels of journalism, landing him a job as a crime reporter for the Los Angeles Times, one of the largest papers in the country, and bringing him to the city of which his literary hero, Chandler, had written.

After three years on the crime beat in L.A., Connelly began writing his first novel to feature LAPD Detective Hieronymus Bosch. The novel, The Black Echo, based in part on a true crime that had occurred in Los Angeles, was published in 1992 and won the Edgar Award for Best First Novel by the Mystery Writers of America. Connelly has followed that up with 26 more novels. 

 

Book reviews, Thriller

Fire And Vengeance by Robert McCaw – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

 

The story in Fire and Vengeance is propelled by the unthinkable—an elementary school, knowingly built atop a volcanic vent, has now exploded. The subsequent murders of the school’s contractor and architect only add urgency to Koa’s search for the truth. Was it an act of terrorism? Or a result of greed, power, and a forty-year-old conspiracy?

 

As Koa’s investigation heats up, his brother collapses in jail from a previously undiagnosed brain tumor. Using his connections, Koa devises a risky plan to win his brother’s freedom. As Koa gradually unravels the obscure connections between multiple suspects, his investigation suddenly becomes entwined with his brother’s future, forcing Koa to choose between justice for the victims and his brother’s freedom.

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MY REVIEW 

Fire And Vengeance is a story of greed and corruption. Set in Hawaii, Chief Detective Koa Kane is investigating a property developer who built a school over a volcanic vent……when this exploded it resulted in the death of 14 children.

Who knew of the dangers? How far will they go to keep their secret?

This is a thriller full of tension and drama, it’s a slow burn which builds to make a thoroughly engrossing, edge of your seat read. 

Thank you to Michelle at FSB Associates for an eARC of the book. This is my honest and unbiased review.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

 

Robert McCaw is the author of Fire and Vengeance, Off the Grid, and Death of a Messenger. McCaw grew up in a military family, traveling the world. He is a graduate of Georgetown University, served as a U.S. Army lieutenant, and earned a law degree from the University of Virginia. He was a partner in a major international law firm in Washington, D.C. and New York City, representing major Wall Street clients in complex civil and criminal cases. Having lived on the Big Island of Hawaii, McCaw imbues his writing of the Islands with his more than 2-year love affair with this Pacific paradise. He now ives in New York City with his wife, Calli. 

Book reviews, Domestic noir, Thriller

Ash Mountain by Helen Fitzgerald – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Fran hates her hometown, and she thought she’d escaped. But her father is ill, and needs care. Her relationship is over, and she hates her dead-end job in the city, anyway.

She returns home to nurse her dying father, her distant teenage daughter in tow for the weekends. There, in the sleepy town of Ash Mountain, childhood memories prick at her fragile self-esteem, she falls in love for the first time, and her demanding dad tests her patience, all in the unbearable heat of an Australian summer.

As past friendships and rivalries are renewed, and new ones forged, Fran’s tumultuous home life is the least of her worries, when old crimes rear their heads and a devastating bushfire ravages the town and all of its inhabitants…

Simultaneously a warm, darkly funny portrait of small-town life – and a woman and a land in crisis – and a shocking and truly distressing account of a catastrophic event that changes things forever, Ash Mountain is a heart-breaking slice of domestic noir, and a disturbing disaster thriller that you will never forget…
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MY REVIEW 

Fran has returned home to Ash Mountain, a small town in Australia. She’s caring for her dad, who has had a stroke and needs constant care. She has a teenage daughter, Vonny and an older son, Dante.

Vonny is a typical teen, a bit moody and glued to her phone. Dante however, is happiness personified, cool and satisfied with his life.

The story revolves around a bushfire that heading for the town.

Told in two timelines, 30 years before and the few days leading up to the day of the fire. Mainly from Fran’s perspective but also some chapters from a few of the other characters, such as Rosie and Maz.

This is so full of humour, the everyday humour between friends and family that’s sharp, dark and honest. It also deals with the more serious subjects of abuse, racial and sexual, sexuality and death. Ash Mountain is domestic noir, but also a disaster thriller that literally takes your breath away…..

I love Fran, with her bonker’s humour, irreverent and hilarious and her commitment to her family is unquestionable. Ash Mountain is laugh out loud funny, (Gramps on a Stick!)….dark and tragic too. Full of emotional moments and I loved every fraught minute.  I’ll forever mourn poor Ronnie Corbett. Sheer genius and just  brilliant.

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

 

PURCHASE LINKS

 

https://amzn.to/3d0sUui

 

https://www.hive.co.uk/Product/Helen-FitzGerald/Ash-Mountain/24853306

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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Helen FitzGerald is the bestselling author of ten adult and young adult thrillers, including The Donor (2011) and The Cry (2013), which was longlisted for the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year, and is now a major drama for BBC1. Her 2019 dark comedy thriller Worst Case Scenario was a Book of the Year in both The Guardian and Daily Telegraph. Helen worked as a criminal justice social worker for over fifteen years. She grew up in Victoria, Australia, and now lives in Glasgow with her husband. 

Book reviews

UNLEASHED – THE GAME CHANGERS – VIDEO AND AUDIO PODCAST BY PAOLA DIANA – *PROMO*

Here’s the blurb about an excellent video and audio podcast by Paola Diana. The episode available today has Trisha Goddard, so will be an interesting watch/listen. 

 

Best-selling Author, Women’s Rights Activist, Entrepreneur, Speaker & TV Host Paola Diana’s inspiring and empowering new Podcast and YouTube Talk Show Unleashed: The Game Changers introduces 20 inspirational champions of change – successful women and men who have faced huge personal and professional challenges and who have all dramatically changed their lives for the better. The series shows that we should not be blinded by fear, instead we should embrace new challenges and be brave enough to change our lives – perfect inspirational listening for the difficult times we’re living in now. Talking love lives, careers, family and dreams, Paola’s candid and honest interview style feels just like a conversation with your closest friends.

 

Trisha Goddard, the pioneering TV presenter and the first black woman to front a British chat show, opens up about everything from dating younger men, feeling 17 at 63, and sex in your 60s to controlling men, what it’s like to be the breadwinner in a marriage, and boyfriends who need mothering, as well as how she finally found the one, in a candid chat with Paola Diana on Unleashed: The Game Changers.

 

The Trisha Godard episode is available from Friday 22nd May with a new episode available each week. Previous interviews have included:

 

Celebrity chef & cookery author Ching He Huang, about how financial setbacks paved the way to her success.

 

Award winning film makers and pioneering LGBTQ couple  Shamim Sarif and Hanan Kattan who talk about diversity,  prejudice and religion.

 

Tessy Antony de Nassau, formerly Princess Tessy of Luxembourg, is a former member of the grand ducal family of Luxembourg as the ex-wife of Prince Louis of Luxembourg.

 

Sarah Ho, award winning jewellery designer and granddaughter of the legendary tycoon Stanley Ho.

 

This is the actual blurb about the show itself.
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UNLEASHED

THE GAME CHANGERS

 

A VIDEO AND AUDIO PODCAST BY

PAOLA DIANA

 

YOU TUBE TALK SHOW |APPLE PODCAST | PAOLADIANA.COM

 

UNLEASHED: THE GAME CHANGERS is an inspiring and empowering YouTube Talk Show and Podcast hosted by Women’s Rights Activist, Author, Entrepreneur, Speaker & Host Paola Diana.

 

Unleashed: The Game Changers introduces 20 inspirational champions of change, successful women and men who have faced huge personal and professional challenges and who have all dramatically changed their lives for the better.

 

The first series of Unleased: The Game Changes includes conversations with Claudia Doval the Jiu jitsu black belt World Champion speaks openly for the first time about her fight with Bulimia and her experiences of sexual abuse, with female airline pilot Captain Brenda Riepsaame Wassink  whose extraordinary sideways emergency landing saved the lives  of her passengers,  with award winning film makers and pioneering LGBTQ couple  Shamim Sarif and Hanan Kattan about diversity,  prejudice and religion, with  Melanie Seymour Global Head of Black Rock and  Vice President  of the  Advisory Board of Women in Banking and Finance about glass ceilings and equality in the work place, with TV chef & cookery author Ching He Huang, about how financial setbacks paved the way to her success and with Neuroscientist  Sarah J. Caddick, about human behaviour and the behaviour  of change and challenge.  

 

In her signature no filter, no hypocrisy style, Paola Diana speaks to leading scientists, entrepreneurs, doctors, authors, activists, athletes, philanthropists  about game changing career moves and personal changes that have transformed their own  lives and  the lives  of others.  Subjects discussed range  from  mental health, relationships, discrimination, gender equality, and self-defence to business, sport, religion, neuroscience, and fake news.

 

Unleashed: The Game Changers explores the lives of inspirational people who have been brave enough to change their lives more than once. The first season includes 20 episodes which feature interviews with inspirational people and leaders from the fields of Business, Sport, Science,  Politics, Law, Film, and the Arts.  Unleashed: The Game Changers shows that we should not be blinded by fear, instead  we should embrace change and be brave enough to change  our lives. Episodes  of Unleashed: The Game Changers have been  watched 200,000 times

 

Paola Diana: Game Changer

 

“I left in awe of her willingness to say the unsayable,

no matter what trouble it will cause”

Helen Rumbelow, The Times

 

Paola Diana’s own life story is one of inspirational change and challenge. As a child and a teenager, she suffered physical and psychological abuse at the hands of her father, which lead to bulimia and depression. Escaping at 19 to attend university, she never returned to her family. Instead she carved a path for herself. Despite facing sexual discrimination, she forged a career as one of the only females  in Italy working in politics.

 

She ran a Think Tank in support of the former Prime Minister of Italy and President of the European Commission, Romano Prodi’s political campaign. And then went on to found her own  Think Tank  PariMerito (Equal Merit), which she used to lobby the Italian Government to pass new equality laws in the workplace, including a new bill requiring every company board to have minimum 30% female representation.

 

In her  personal life she has moved to completely new cities where she knew no one three times  in her life, Bologna, Rome and London. Each time relishing the challenge of building up a new life for herself from scratch. A commentator and critic of sexual equality, domestic abuse, and violence against women, she is incredibly outspoken, honest and brave in tackling taboo subjects around women.

 

About Paola Diana

A bestselling author and political activist, Paola Diana is a mouthpiece for female equality, having experienced both domestic abuse and sex discrimination throughout her life. Now a London based entrepreneur and campaigner for equal rights Paola has dedicated her life to championing sexual equality in business and politics.

 

In her home country of Italy, Paola is the founder of the organisation PariMerito (Equal Merit), which she used to lobby the Italian Government to pass new equality laws in the work place, including a new bill requiring every company board to have minimum 30% female representation. Prior to starting PariMerito Paola ran a Think Tank in support of the former Prime Minister and President of the European Commission, Romano Prodi’s political campaign, which had a focus on issues including welfare, female employment and structural policies in favour of the family and equal opportunities.

 

In  the UK Paola is also an entrepreneur starting her first business as a single mother of two, she now runs three separate businesses and has established herself as a market leader in recruitment and lifestyle services, recognised as one of London’s most influential service providers for high net worth individuals, families and corporations around the world.  

 

Saving the World by Paola Diana

Part manifesto for change part historical and sociological essay, Saving the World charts women’s condition through the centuries, analysing their treatment within political, religious, economic and societal contexts to form a bigger picture of their place in the world; because to understand the present, and make a meaningful difference, we must get to grips with the past. This is a journey that concludes with a clear vision for a better society in which all women are set free from fear, violence and oppression. Paola Diana impresses on us that this world we inhabit, dominated by men and often seemingly immutable, is far from the only one possible.

 

Thank you to Bei at Midas PR for the promotional material. 

Book reviews, Classic style whodunnit

The MX Book Of New Sherlock Holmes Stories. Part XLX: 2020 Annual. 1882-1890 – Edited by David Marcum – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB
 

64 new, traditional Sherlock Holmes Stories making up the latest three volumes in the world’s largest collection of Sherlock Holmes Stories – XIX, XX and XXI.

In 2015, the first three volumes of The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories arrived, containing over 60 stories in the true traditional Canonical manner, revisiting Holmes and Watson in those days where it is “always 1895” . . . or a few decades on either side of that. That was the largest collection of new Holmes stories ever assembled, and originally planned to be a one-time event. But readers wanted more, and the contributors had more stories from Watson’s Tin Dispatch Box, so the fun continued.

Now, with the release of Parts XIX, XX, and XXI, the series has grown to over 450 new Holmes adventures by nearly 200 contributors from around the world. Since the beginning, all contributor royalties go to the Stepping Stones School for special needs children at Undershaw, one of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s former homes, and to date the project has raised nearly $60,000 for the school.

As has become the tradition, this new collection of 64 adventures features Holmes and Watson carrying out their masterful investigations from the early days of their friendship in Baker Street to the post-War years during Holmes’s retirement. Along the way they are involved in some fascinating mysteries – some relating Untold Cases, others sequels to Canonical adventures, and a number progressing along completely unexpected lines.

Join us as we return to Baker Street and discover more authentic adventures of Sherlock Holmes, described by the estimable Dr. Watson as “the best and wisest . . . whom I have ever known.”

Featuring – Roger Riccard, Matthew White, Kevin P. Thornton, Chris Chan, Nick Cardillo, MJH Simmonds, Craig Stephen Copland, Will Murray, Ian Ableson, Thomas A. Turley, David Marcum, Dick Gillman, David Friend, Arthur Hall, Brenda Seabrooke, James Moffett, Robert Stapleton, Andrew Bryant, Will Murray, Andrew Bryant, Peter Coe Verbica, Sean M. Wright, and Tim Gambrell, with a poem by Christopher James, and forewords by John Lescroart, Roger Johnson, Lizzy Butler, Steve Emecz, and David Marcum
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MY REVIEW 

I’ve been a fan of Conan-Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories for many years and it’s so exciting to have a collection of new tales.

The MX Book of New Sherlock tales is just fantastic. It’s a collection of 64 new tales featuring Sherlock Holmes and each has the same atmosphere as the originals. 

With titles such as The Impaled Man and The Case Of The Short-Sighted Clown there is plenty to keep the legend of Sherlock alive.

Written by a variety of authors that capture the soul of Sherlock, Watson and, obviously, Baker Street. A treasure trove of tales..

Thank you to Caroline of CazVin Books for the opportunity to take part in this blog tour, for the promotional material and so many wonderful books. This is my honest and unbiased review.

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Buying links:

Amazon UK:

The MX Book for New Sherlock Holmes Stories XIX The MX Book for New Sherlock Holmes Stories XX The MX Book for New Sherlock Holmes Stories XXI

MX Publishing – website: http://www.mxpublishing.com

MX Publishing – twitter: https://twitter.com/mxpublishing 

Book reviews, Icelandic noir, Police procedural, Thriller

The Creak On The Stairs by Eva Björg Ægisdóttir – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

The first in the electrifying new Forbidden Iceland series, The Creak on the Stairs is an exquisitely written, claustrophobic and chillingly atmospheric debut thriller by one of Iceland’s most exciting new talents

When the body of a woman is discovered at a lighthouse in the Icelandic town of Akranes, it soon becomes clear that she’s no stranger to the area.

Chief Investigating Officer Elma, who has returned to Akranes following a failed relationship, and her colleagues Sævar and Hörður, commence an uneasy investigation, which uncovers a shocking secret in the dead woman’s past that continues to reverberate in the present day…

But as Elma and her team make a series of discoveries, they bring to light a host of long-hidden crimes that shake the entire community. Sifting through the rubble of the townspeople’s shattered memories, they have to dodge increasingly serious threats, and find justice … before it’s too late.
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MY REVIEW 

Set in Iceland, Elma has returned to her hometown of Akranes, after her relationship has broken down. She has joined the local police in CID.

When the body of a woman is found near a lighthouse the investigation begins. Was this an accidental death or murder?

I found The Creak On The Stairs had a creeping tension and an almost claustrophobic atmosphere. The chapters from young Elisabet’s perspective are particularly harrowing.

Elma is a likeable character and I enjoyed her close relationship with her mother and their humour brought some lighter moments to this dark tale. I do hope this is the beginning of a series as I’d love to read more….I loved the useful guide to Icelandic pronunciation too.

A compelling, sometimes emotional, Icelandic Noir Thriller that had me hooked from the first page. Stunning.

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

 

You can buy a copy here: https://www.hive.co.uk/Product/Eva-Bjoerg-AEgisdottir/The-Creak-on-the-Stairs/24712304 or here : https://amzn.to/3e88pff 

https://www.goldsborobooks.com/product/the-creak-on-the-stairs-may-book-of-the-month

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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Born in Akranes in 1988, Eva moved to Trondheim, Norway to study my MSc in Globalisation when she was 25. After moving back home having completed her MSc, she knew it was time to start working on her novel. Eva has wanted to write books since she was 15 years old, having won a short story contest in Iceland.

Eva worked as a stewardess to make ends meet while she wrote her first novel. The book went on to win the Blackbird Award and became an Icelandic bestseller. Eva now lives with her husband and three children in Reykjavík, staying at home with her youngest until she begins Kindergarten. 

Book reviews, Police procedural, Psychlogical thriller

Before I Say I Do by Vicki Bradley – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Winner of the inaugural Write here, Right Now Prize 2018, in partnership with the Bradford Literature Festival, a debut by experienced Met Police detective constable

Her dream wedding is about to become her worst nightmare.

Julia is nervous and it’s not just because she’s about to get married. There’s a lot that her soon- to-be husband, Mark, doesn’t know – and she is determined to keep it that way.

As she walks down the aisle, spotting Mark is his tailored suit, she knows she is taking her first steps to happiness- her past can’t catch her now. He turns to face her…

But it isn’t Mark in the beautiful suit – it’s his best man. Because Mark is missing.

And Julia’s past is closer than she thinks.

Perfect for fans of Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll and Now You See Her by Heidi Perks
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MY REVIEW 

On Julia and Mark’s wedding day, Julia walks down the aisle but Mark has disappeared.

The police are called as Julia is certain this is more than just cold feet. So Detective Alana Loxton begins the investigation. 

It turns out Mark has a lot to hide, but so does Julia. Is his disappearance linked to events in her past?

This is a clever, well plotted and twisty thriller that’s gripping from start to finished. 

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

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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Vicki Bradley is a detective constable in the Metropolitan Police Service. She has had a varied career, as a uniformed response driver in Brent and then as a detective Constable in Southwark CID. She has managed High Risk Sex Offenders and worked on the Serious Organised Crime Command. She is currently on a 5-year career creak to focus on her writing. Vicki completed a Creative Writing MA at City University in 2016. Before I Say I Do won the Write Here, Right Now competition, came 3rd in the First Novel Prize and has been shortlisted for the Virago New Crime Writer 2017 and Peters Fraser and Dunlop Prize 2016. She enjoys travelling the world and climbing mountains. Vicki lives in London with her husband. 

Book reviews

PM Press – Submission Call

Wow, Holland House Books have a new imprint called PM Press…….And they are calling for submissions…exciting stuff, so here’s their blurb…..

 

We are a Kindle-First imprint of Holland House Books that specialises in crime, thriller and dystopian fiction. Phaidra Robinson and Mia Skevington set up PM Press in April 2020 in order to pursue their respective loves of true crime and detective fiction. Our background of Literary Fiction at Holland House Books means that we bring an expectation of and experience in producing high quality books to these genres. An inaugural imprint, this is the time for authors to submit their work for the chance to be one of our founding book releases.

 

We are looking for most types of crime and thriller fiction, from the classic English whodunit through to police procedurals, or classic noir through to mind-bending psychological thrillers. Maybe you want to introduce us to a dystopian future. We want well-written, satisfying work – a good twist and convincing characters are the ways to our hearts. It may be cosy and comfortable or dark and disturbing… or something completely different.

 

If you have a completed novel or novella which you believe may fit, then send us:

 

1) The first fifty pages of your work.

2) A synopsis of your work (maximum two pages).

3) A covering letter with a brief overview – we do NOT need you to do a brilliant ‘pitch’ or the kind of blurb which would go on the back of the book. The basic story, main character(s) and the general themes is all we need.

 

These documents should be Word Documents, size 12 in a standard font, with a line spacing of 1.5.

 

Please email us at pmpress@hhousebooks.com and address them to the Editor Phaidra Robinson.

 

PM Press Social Media Links:

Email: pmpress@hhousebooks.com

Website: https://pmpress9.wixsite.com/pmpress

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

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/PMPress1 

 

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Book reviews, Police procedural, Thriller

In Plain Sight by Marion Todd – Book Review

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I am pleased to be taking part in the blog tour for In Plain Sight and am reposting my review.

 


PUBLISHERS BLURB 

A child’s life is at stake. Which of the residents of St Andrews is hiding something – and why?

When a baby girl is snatched from the crowd of spectators at a fun run, the local police have a major investigation on their hands. DI Clare Mackay and her team are in a race against the clock when they learn that the child has a potentially fatal medical condition. 

As Clare investigates she realises this victim wasn’t selected at random. Someone knows who took the baby girl, and why. But will they reveal their secrets before it’s too late?

The second instalment from an exciting new Scottish detective series. Perfect for fans of Alex Gray, Rachel Amphlett and D. K. Hood.

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MY REVIEW 

#2 in the Detective Clare Mackay series, but can also easily be read as a stand-alone.

A very young child has been abducted while her parents were watching a commotion at a charity fun run.

Detective Clare Mackay was about to take part in the run so was on the scene immediately, but no sign of baby Abi.

When they find out Abi has a heart condition and needs regular medication to keep her alive, this becomes a tense race against time.

Can they find Abi before it’s too late?

This is a clever, well plotted police procedural that’s so much more involved. There’s a missing child, a thorough investigation with plenty of possible suspects, office politics, an overly ambitious senior officer and well developed characters. A truly gripping and thoroughly entertaining read. I’m already looking forward to the next in the series….

Thank you to Tracy at Compulsive Readers for the opportunity to take part in this blog tour. This is my honest and unbiased review.

 

You can preorder a copy here( available from 20 February) : 

https://amzn.to/2GPWsMJ

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

 

Marion grew up in the City of Dundee, now home to the magnificent V&A Museum. Always a keen writer, she has had point-of-view pieces published in the Dundee Courier and short stories in My Weekly magazine. She won first prize in the Family Circle Magazine Short Story for Children Competition in 1987.

More recently, Marion has turned her hand to crime fiction and was one of only six commercial fiction writers selected to pitch to an industry panel at XPONorth in Inverness in 2017. In 2018 Marion was long-listed for the Sunstory Award and the Scottish Arts Council Short Story Award. This year she was short-listed for Dundee Rep’s Stripped programme. She is represented by Northbank Talent Management and her debut novel, See Them Run, will be published as an eBook by Canelo on 31 October 2019.

Before becoming a full-time writer, Marion worked as a lecturer, candle-maker and hotel lounge pianist, a job which provided rich material for her novels. When she isn’t writing, Marion can be found tussling with her jungle-like garden and walking in the beautiful Scotish countryside.

Marion lives in North East Fife overlooking the River Tay and is a sometime babysitter for her daughter’s unruly but lovable dog. (Courtesy of Goodreads)

Book reviews, Memoir

Girl With A Gun by Diana Nammi and Karen Attwood – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Diana Nammi became a fighter with the Peshmerga when she was only seventeen. Originally known as Galavezh, she grew up in the Kurdish region of Iran in the 1960s and 70s. She became involved in politics as a teenager and, like many students, played a part in the Iranian Revolution of 1979. But the new Islamic regime tolerated no opposition, and after Kurdistan was brutally attacked, Galavezh found that she had no choice but to become a soldier in the famed military force.

She spent twelve years on the front line, and helped lead the struggle for women’s rights and equality for the Kurdish people, becoming one of the Iranian regime’s most wanted in the process. As well as being the startling account of Galavezh’s time as a fighter, Girl with a Gun is also a narrative about family and resilience, with a tragic love story at its heart.

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MY REVIEW

Girl With A Gun is the memoir of Diana Nammi, who at 17 was a Peshmerga fighter in the battle against the radical Islamic regime. 

This gives a real insight into her life during this terrible, turbulent time.

It tells of the effects of this conflict on the ordinary person in the Kurdish population and their day to day struggles. 

So well written it’s clear Diana is an incredibly strong and brave woman and this tale is both tragic and heartbreaking at times and also a testament to what can be achieved. Thought provoking to say the least.

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

 

Book reviews, Psychlogical thriller

The Secrets Of Strangers by Charity Norman – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

A compelling and fresh premise leads to a tense, humane, and touching novel’. Claire McGowan.

A regular weekday morning veers drastically off-course for five strangers whose paths cross in a London café – their lives never to be the same again when an apparently crazed gunman holds them hostage.

But there is more to the situation than first meets the eye and as the captives grapple with their own inner demons, the line between right and wrong starts to blur. Will the secrets they keep stop them from escaping with their lives?

Another tense, multi-dimensional drama from the writer of the Richard & Judy bestseller After the Fall.

‘Masterful, heartbreaking and compelling . . . a moving hymn to humanity’

Erin Kinsley, bestselling author of Found

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MY REVIEW 

Neil is a rough sleeper.

Abi is a lawyer.

Mutesi is a nurse for a care home…..

These three people are following their usual morning routines as they pop into the Tuckbox cafe in Balham for the usual breakfasts and coffees.

Robert is the owner and Rosie the waitress.

Just a usual morning until Sam arrives with a shotgun, shoots Robert and holds the others hostage…..terrifying.

As the story unfolds you learn of each of their lives and the secrets they hold.

I found this to be such a compelling read. It’s so well written and really captures your attention from the very start. The fear the hostages experience is palpable and the tension is gripping. But it also tells of compassion and how you never know just what is going on in the lives and the circumstances of those around you. 

A tense, heartbreaking and utterly engrossing thriller from start to finish. Brilliant and I loved every emotion filled minute. 

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

 

You can buy a copy here: https://www.hive.co.uk/Product/Charity-Author-Norman/The-Secrets-of-Strangers/24738264 or here: https://amzn.to/2LLDdpT 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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Charity Norman was born in Uganda and brought up in successive draughty vicarages in Yorkshire and Birmingham. After several years’ travel she became a barrister, specialising in crime and family law. In 2002, realising that her three children had barely met her, she took a break from the law and moved with her family to New Zealand. THE SECRETS OF

STRANGERS is her sixth novel.

Book reviews, Thriller

Slow Down by Lee Matthew Goldberg – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

How far would you go to make your dreams come true? 

For budding writer and filmmaker Noah Spaeth, being a Production Assistant in director Dominick Bambach’s new avant-garde film isn’t enough. Neither is watching Dominick have an affair with the lead actress, the gorgeous but troubled Nevie Wyeth. For Noah’s dream is to get both the film and Nevie in the end, whatever the cost. And this obsession may soon become a reality once Dominick’s spurned wife Isadora reveals her femme fatale nature with a seductive plot to get rid of her husband for good. 

Slow Down, a cross between the noir styling of James M. Cain and the dark satire of Bret Easton Ellis, is a thrilling page-turner that holds a mirror up to a media-saturated society that is constantly searching for the fastest way to get ahead, regardless of consequences.

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MY REVIEW 

Slow Down is the tale of Noah Spaeth, the man who has everything, but wants more. It’s the story of one upmanship and how far Noah and Dominick will go to get what they want.

A fast paced thriller set in the film industry with all its decadence, drugs and greed.  A gripping, disturbing story of excess, betrayal and corruption. Brilliant.

Thank you to Blackthorn Tours for the opportunity to take part in this blog tour, for the promotional material and a free ecopy of the book. This is my honest and unbiased review. 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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Lee Matthew Goldberg is the author of the novels THE DESIRE CARD, THE MENTOR, and SLOW DOWN. He has been published in multiple languages and nominated for the 2018 Prix du Polar. The second book in the Desire Card series, PREY NO MORE, is forthcoming in 2020, along with his first Sci-Fi novel ORANGE CITY. His new endeavor will be as the editor-in-chief and co-founder of Fringe Press and Fringe Digital, dedicated to publishing fiction that’s outside-of-the-box. His pilots and screenplays have been finalists in Script Pipeline, Book Pipeline, Stage 32, We Screenplay, the New York Screenplay, Screencraft, and the Hollywood Screenplay contests. After graduating with an MFA from the New School, his writing has also appeared in the anthology DIRTY BOULEVARD, The Millions, Cagibi, The Montreal Review, The Adirondack Review, The New Plains Review, Underwood Press and others. He is the co-curator of The Guerrilla Lit Reading Series and lives in New York City. Follow him at leematthewgoldberg.com. 

 

Website – Leematthewgoldberg.com

FB – https://www.facebook.com/leemgol

IG – https://www.instagram.com/leematthewgoldberg/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/LeeMatthewG 

 

 

Book reviews, Mystery

The Mystery Of Henri Pick by David Foenkinos – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

The delightful first title in a new collaboration with Channel 4’s Walter Presents: a fast-paced comic mystery enriched by a deep love of books.

In the small town of Crozon in Brittany, a library houses manuscripts that were rejected for publication: the faded dreams of aspiring writers. Visiting while on holiday, young editor Delphine Despero is thrilled to discover a novel so powerful that she feels compelled to bring it back to Paris to publish it.

The book is a sensation, prompting fevered interest in the identity of its author – apparently one Henri Pick, a now-deceased pizza chef from Crozon. Sceptics cry that the whole thing is a hoax: how could this man have written such a masterpiece? An obstinate journalist, Jean-Michel Rouche, heads to Brittany to investigate.

The Mystery of Henri Pick is a fast-paced comic mystery enriched by a deep love of books – and of the authors who write them.

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MY REVIEW 

The Mystery Of Henri Pick is a gentle novel, no violence or fanged, just the mystery of who has written an unpublished literary masterpiece,   ‘The Last Hours of a Love Affair’,  that has been found in a local library.

It exudes a deep love of books and of the process of writing with the emotional toll it takes on authors. It’s also about love, life and finding happiness, all set in a small town in France.

An absolutely charming read with a little twisty mystery too, perfect escapism and a warm hug of a read. 

Thank you to Poppy at Pushkin Press for the opportunity to take part in this blog tour, for the promotional material and an ecopy of the book. This is my honest and unbiased review.

You can buy a copy here: https://amzn.to/2Zhgp9G or https://www.hive.co.uk/Product/David-Foenkinos/The-Mystery-of-Henri-Pick/24707984 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

 

Novelist, screenwriter and musician David Foenkinos was born in 1974. He is the author of fourteen novels that have been translated into forty languages. Several of his works have been adapted for film, including Delicacy (2011). The Mystery of Henri Pick is the first title in a new collaboration with Channel 4’s Walter Presents.

‘It has always been a dream for French writers to be translated into the English language. I am especially happy that The Mystery of Henri Pick has been selected by the ‘Walter Presents’ program because it is as much literary as it is entertaining. I wanted my book to be a playful reflection of the literary world – filled with suspense and false leads. First and foremost – it’s a tribute to books and literature and to the writers that have long been heroes of mine.’ – DAVID FOENKINOS

 

ABOUT WALTER PRESENTS:

Walter Presents is a global streaming service

dedicated to showcasing award-winning

foreign-language drama. First launched in

the UK in 2016 the service is named after its curator, Walter Iuzzolino and is now available in the US, Australia and a number of European countries. You can watch world drama box sets from Walter Presents for free in the UK on all4.com/walterpresents 

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