blog tour, Book reviews, Contemporary fiction

This Green And Pleasant Land by Ayisha Malik – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

For years Bilal Hasham and his wife Mariam have lived contented, quiet lives in the sleepy rural village of Babbel’s End. Now all that is about to change.

On her deathbed, Bilal’s mother reaches for his hand. Instead of whispering her final prayers, she gives him a task: build a mosque in his country village.

Mariam is horrified by Bilal’s plan. His friends and neighbours are unnerved. As outrage sweeps Babbel’s End, battle lines are drawn. His mother’s dying wish reveals deeper divisions in their village than Bilal had ever imagined.

Soon Bilal is forced to choose between community and identity, between faith and friendship, between honouring his beloved mother’s last wish and preserving what is held dear in the place that he calls home.

MY REVIEW 

Set in a small village on the edge of Birmingham, Bilal and his family live and feel at home here.

When his mother dies, her last wish is for a mosque in the village.

So, Bilal approaches his neighbours as he wants to build a mosque. Suddenly, he is treated differently and some outright hostility, he’s now made to feel an outsider and he begins to question his life and faith.

Beautifully written and such a thoughtful, sensitive look into prejudice and wanting to belong.

A moving and thought provoking read.

Thank you to Compulsive Readers for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour, for the promotional material and an eARC of This Green And Pleasant Land. This is my honest and unbiased review.

blog tour, Book reviews, Historical fiction

People Of Abandoned Character by Clare Whitfield – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

What would you do if you thought you had married a murderer?

He is my husband.

To honour and obey.

Until murder do us part.

London, 1888: Tormented by the death of her secret lover, Nurse Susannah Chapman rushes into marriage to a doctor. While attracted to her adoring, younger husband, she is more than aware her decision is at least partially driven by her ambition to escape a life of servitude to the labouring poor of the East End of London. After a passionate honeymoon, she returns home confident in her marriage. But then everything changes.

She quickly learns she has swapped her profession for a type of captivity; that of a Victorian middle-class housewife, feeling isolated in her home as her housekeeper refuses to acknowledge her as mistress. Her husband becomes increasingly volatile and distant, he stays out all night, returning home dark with secrets.

Following the first death in Whitechapel, Susannah’s interest is piqued. Lost in boredom and self-doubt, she becomes obsessed with the string of violent murders terrorising the city. Horrifyingly, she finds herself beginning to believe the charming young man she thought she had seduced for economic security, could well be involved in the crimes.

Is it coincidence? Or is her husband the man they call Jack the Ripper?

 MY REVIEW 

Susannah’s last remaining grandparent has died, so now alone, she decides to move to London and train to be a nurse.

Here she meets Thomas, a wealthy surgeon and after a whirlwind romance they marry. But, as soon as the honeymoon is over a different side of Thomas emerges. He’s moody, violent and abusive, he begins staying out all night, returning home bloodied and secretive.

Then, the murders begin in Whitechapel…..

Susannah begins to wonder if Thomas is the notorious Jack The Ripper……..and wants to find out.

This is historical fiction at its finest. Full of descriptions of the squalid life of the poor in Victorian London, the gruesome murders and the way women were treated at that time. There’s a mystery too and with the great characters, the marvellous plot with some shocks and surprises on the way, this is a totally immersive read. If you enjoy the books of Ambrose Parry and Bridget Collins, you are going to love this. A must read.

Thank you to Gabriella at Midas PR for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour, for the promotional material and an ARC of People Of Abandoned Character. This is my honest and unbiased review.

Purchase Link : https://amzn.to/2RS42f4

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

Clare Whitfield is a UK-based writer living in a suburb where the main cultural landmark is a home store/Starbucks combo. Clare nurtures an obsession with female characters that are as much villain as hero, and enjoys lurking in the blurry landscape between perception and reality. She is the wife of a tattoo artist, mother of a small benign dictator and relies on her dog for emotional stability. Previously Clare has been a dancer, copywriter, amateur fire breather, buyer and a mediocre weightlifter. People of Abandoned Character is her first novel. Follow Clare on Twitter (@whitfield_riley) and Instagram (@clarerileywhitfield).

Praise for People of Abandoned Character:

‘An astonishing book set in a Victorian London plagued by Jack the Ripper. Whitfield’s narrator is Susannah, an ex-nurse who rushed into a rapidly souring marriage with a wealthy surgeon and starts to believe that her husband might be Leather Apron himself. I’d be amazed if it isn’t dominating the shortlists come next year’s awards season’ M.W.Craven.

People of Abandoned Character follows the journey of Susannah who shortly after becoming happily married begins to discover the real man she has committed to, as she delves further into the dark truth, she fears what she might find out next…Where is Thomas disappearing to late into the night, and why when he returns is there yet another reported murder? Could the man she married be the serial killer they call, Jack the Ripper? This novel gives a haunting new perspective to the well-known murder mystery. A dark and twisted tale, People of Abandoned Character explores toxic relationships and taps into our continued fascination with Jack the Ripper, while asking readers what would you do if you thought your husband was a murderer?

The Inspiration behind ‘People of Abandoned Character’ in Clare’s own words: ‘The book was initially inspired by Jack the Ripper, and newspaper articles from the time, which lead me to the idea that perhaps the Ripper may have been married. With this in mind, I wanted to create a complex and strong female protagonist who was prepared to do anything to keep her head above water, and succeed.

While based in a historical setting, the story has a contemporary appeal as the language is accessible, set in the Victorian era of the 1880s when years of austerity had taken their toll on the communities of an increasingly gentrified London. The novel explores the smoke and mirrors of perceived social mobility, the role of a wealthy society and their responsibility to the poor (or not as it may be the case), toxic relationships and narcissistic abuse, gender equality and freedom to pursue personal ambition.’

blog tour, Book reviews, Fantasy

Sword In The Storm by David Gemmell – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Born in the storm that doomed his father, Connavar grows to manhood among the mist-covered mountains of Caer Druagh, where the Rigante tribe dwell in harmony with the land and its gods. But beyond the border, across the water, an evil force is gathering strength, an unstoppable force that will change the world beyond all recognition.

MY REVIEW 


#1 in the Rigante Series.

Sword In The Storm is an heroic fantasy tale. The hero is Connavar, a young man who earns his reputation as a great warrior.

He travels widely and,  as humans do, makes good and bad decisions that lead to a variety of events and battles as Connava strives to save the Rigante tribe.

There’s magic, fairies and other creatures, with the incredible world building that makes this an action packed, fast paced classic fantasy and 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 a copy of Sword In The Storm. This is my honest and unbiased review.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

David Andrew Gemmell was a bestselling British author of heroic fantasy. A former journalist and newspaper editor, Gemmell had his first work of fiction published in 1984. He went on to write over thirty novels. Best known for his debut, Legend, Gemmell’s works display violence, yet also explores themes in honour, loyalty and redemption. With over one million copies sold, his work continues to sell worldwide.

blog tour, Book reviews, Horror, Mystery, Thriller

Even If We Break by Marieke Nijkamp – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Marieke Nijkamp comes a shocking new thriller about a group of friends tied together by a game and the deadly weekend that tears them apart.

FIVE friends go to a cabin.

FOUR of them are hiding secrets.

THREE years of history bind them.

TWO are doomed from the start.

ONE person wants to end this.

NO ONE IS SAFE.

Are you ready to play?

MY REVIEW 

Even If We Break is a slow burn of a suspense filled thriller. Five friends have always spent their summers together in a family cabin (sound familiar? Well it’s not!)

They all love to play role playing games, but when events start to mirror their game their already tenuous friendships start to crumble….

This is told from the five perspectives, we learn of their background, their thoughts and the recent events that have caused such distrust and suspicion. 

So, the five friends are not that close anymore and so as events turn nasty, it’s each to their own…….

The isolated cabin adds a creepiness to the already tense atmosphere.

I found this to be a very clever, mystery and suspenseful thriller with great, diverse characters that has some dark and creepy moments. Not one to read at night! A thoroughly entertaining read.

Thank you to Amber at Midas PR for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour, for the promotional material and an ARC of Even If We Break. This is my honest and unbiased review.

blog tour, Book reviews, Dystopian fiction

Secrets In The Dark by Darcy Coates – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Winterbourne Hall is not safe. Even as Clare and Dorran scramble to secure the ancient building against ravenous hollow ones, they face something far worse: Clare’s sister has made contact, but she’s trapped, and her oxygen is running out. 

Hundreds of miles separate Clare from Beth. The land between them is infested with monsters, and the roads are a maze of dead ends. Clare has to choose between making a journey she knows she might not survive, or staying safe in Winterbourne and listening as her sister slowly suffocates. 

At least, whatever her choice, she’ll have Dorran by her side. And yet there are eyes in the dark. There are whispers in the mist. There is danger lurking in the snow, and one false step could end it all.

MY REVIEW 

Secrets In The Dark is #2 in the Black Winter series and continues where book one left off, so it would be useful to read that first, but you can also read this as a stand-alone (although you will miss a bit of the background story).

Clare has managed to contact her sister, Beth, only to find she is trapped in an underground bunker and her air is running out. They have no idea how long she has left.

Clare has to try to save her sister and so, with Dorran at her side the journey begins.

The world outside Winterbourne is a very different place where Clare and Dorran meet some truly horrific monsters and the Hollows are everywhere.

Will they reach Beth in time?

Well, this is an incredibly tense and atmospheric thrill of a heart pounding read. It keeps you on tenterhooks as you wonder just what’s round the next corner for Clare and Dorran. Just brilliant.

Thank you to Amber at Midas PR for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour, for the promotional material and a copy of Secrets In The Dark. This is my honest and unbiased review.

blog tour, Book reviews, Nordic noir

The Seven Doors by Agnes Ravatn – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

One of Norway’s most distinguished voices, Agnes Ravatn’s first novel to be published in the UK was The Bird Tribunal. It won an English PEN Translation Award, was shortlisted for the Dublin Literary Award and the Petrona Award, and was adapted for a BBC Book at Bedtime. She returns now with a dark, powerful and deeply disturbing psychological thriller about family, secrets and dangerous curiosity…

University professor Nina is at a turning point. Her work seems increasingly irrelevant, her doctor husband is never home, relations with her adult daughter Ingeborg are strained, and their beautiful house is scheduled for demolition.

When Ingeborg decides to move into another house they own, things take a very dark turn. The young woman who rents it disappears, leaving behind her son, the day after Nina and Ingeborg pay her a visit.

With few clues, the police enquiry soon grinds to a halt, but Nina has an inexplicable sense of guilt. Unable to rest, she begins her own investigation, but as she pulls on the threads of the case, it seems her discoveries may have very grave consequences for her and her family.

MY REVIEW 

Nina and her husband, Mads, are having to move home as their house is in the way of a new construction and is under a compulsory purchase order.

Their daughter, Ingeborg, has an infestation of silverfish in her and wants to move out and into Mads aunt’s old house that he rents out. But there is a tenant living there….

So Nina and Ingeborg drive just to have a look at the house, but Ingeborg, who is oblivious to anyone else’s feelings, practically forces her way into the home and makes Mari feel very uncomfortable. As a result, Mads gets a message that Mari is moving out……but then she disappears, leaving her young son behind.

Nina wonders if Ingeborg is responsible and begins her own investigation….but this brings to light family secrets..

This is not a police investigation but just Nina’s, her life is in upheaval and she tries to find out what happened to Mari.

The Seven Doors has a steady pace, with lots of detail about Nina’s life and marriage, but it also has an underlying, creeping tension that slowly builds and makes it a gripping read throughout. Fans of Nordic Noir are going to love this…

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 Seven Doors. This is my honest and unbiased review.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Agnes Ravatn (b. 1983) is a Norwegian author and columnist. She made her literary début with the novel Week 53 (Veke 53) in 2007. Since then she has written three critically acclaimed and award-winning essay collections: Standing still (Stillstand), 2011, Popular Reading (Folkelesnad), 2011, and Operation self-discipline (Operasjon sjøldisiplin), 2014. In these works, Ravatn revealed a unique, witty voice and sharp eye for human fallibility. Her second novel, The Bird Tribunal (Fugletribuanlet), was an international bestseller translated into fifteen languages, winning an English PEN Award, shortlisting for the Dublin Literary Award, a WHSmith Fresh Talent pick and a BBC Book at Bedtime. It was also made into a successful play, which premiered in Oslo in 2015. Agnes lives with her family in the Norwegian countryside.

Audiobook, Book reviews

The Confession by Jessie Burton – Audiobook Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

One winter’s afternoon on Hampstead Heath in 1980, Elise Morceau meets Constance Holden and quickly falls under her spell. Connie is bold and alluring, a successful writer whose novel is being turned into a major Hollywood film. Elise follows Connie to LA, a city of strange dreams and swimming pools and late-night gatherings of glamorous people. But whilst Connie thrives on the heat and electricity of this new world where everyone is reaching for the stars and no one is telling the truth, Elise finds herself floundering. When she overhears a conversation at a party that turns everything on its head, Elise makes an impulsive decision that will change her life forever.

Three decades later, Rose Simmons is seeking answers about her mother, who disappeared when she was a baby. Having learned that the last person to see her was Constance Holden, a reclusive novelist who withdrew from public life at the peak of her fame, Rose is drawn to the door of Connie’s imposing house in search of a confession…. 

From the million-copy bestselling author of The Miniaturist and The Muse, this is a luminous, powerful and deeply moving novel about secrets and storytelling, motherhood and friendship, and how we lose and find ourselves.

MY REVIEW 

In 1980, Elise meets Connie, a successful author, on Hampstead Heath. They become a couple. Connie’s novel is being turned into a movie, so they travel to LA, a world of glamour and constant socialising. But, Elise feels alone and abandoned and makes a decision that leads to her disappearance.

Now, 30 years later, Rose is searching for her mother who disappeared when she was very young, she’s never known her mother and feels something is missing in her life. She sees a job advert, Connie is looking for an assistant, so she changes her name and goes to work for Connie. Will she find the answers she’s looking for? Why did her mother leave? What happened to her?

I loved listening to this emotional tale, it’s beautifully narrated by Hayley Atwell. It captures the atmosphere of the 80’s and the present day perfectly.

It’s a story of love, relationships and loss. I was totally engrossed in the lives of these wonderful characters to the extent I didn’t want it to end. Perfect escapism and I loved every minute.

Thank you to the publishers and NetGalley for a copy of the audiobook. This is my honest and unbiased review.

Available from Audible.co.uk

blog tour, Book reviews, Crime thriller

Thursday Night Widows by Claudia Piñeiro – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

“An agile novel written in a language perfectly pitched for the subject matter, a ruthless dissection of a fast decaying society”—José Saramago

Three bodies lie at the bottom of a swimming pool in a gated country estate near Buenos Aires. It’s Thursday night at the magnificent Scaglia house. Behind the locked gates, shielded from the crime, poverty and filth of the people on the streets, the Scaglias and their friends hide lives of infidelity, alcoholism, and abusive marriage. Claudia Piñeiro’s novel eerily foreshadowed a criminal case that generated a scandal in the Argentine media. But this is more than a story about crime. The suspense is a by-product of Piñeiro’s hand at crafting a psychological portrait of a professional class that lives beyond its means and leads secret lives of deadly stress and despair. It takes place during the post 9/11 economic melt-down in Argentina but it’s a universal story that will resonate among credit-crunched readers of today.

Production is expected in 2009 of the film of Thursday Night Widows, by Argentine new wave and award winning director Marcelo Piñeyro.

“A razor-sharp psychological and social portrait not only of Argentina, but of the affluent Western world as a whole.”—Rosa Montero

MY REVIEW 

Set in Argentina amongst the wealthy inhabitants of an exclusive gated community.

The Thursday Night Widows are the wives of a group of friends who meet on a Thursday for poker night.

It starts with the discovery of three of the men’s bodies in a swimming pool. The story then really begins by jumping to the pasts of each family, building the characters and their lives to an ending with a few surprises. Not really a thriller, but a social commentary on wealth and the loss of it. An intriguing 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 Thursday Night Widows. This is my honest and unbiased review.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

Claudia Piñeiro was a journalist, playwright and television scriptwriter and in 1992 won the prestigious Pléyade journalism award. She has more recently turned to fiction and is the author of literary crime novels that are all bestsellers in Latin America and have been translated into four languages. This novel won the Clarin Prize for fiction and is her first title to be available in English.

The Translator

Miranda France wrote Bad Times in Buenos Aires which in essay form won the Shiva Naipaul Memorial Prize in The Spectator magazine. A book by the same title was published in 1998 and met with great critical acclaim. The New York Times described it as ‘a remarkable achievement’ and the Sunday Times as ‘an outstanding book’.

blog tour, Book reviews, Fantasy

Orfeia by Joanne M. Harris – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

When you can find me an acre of land, Every sage grows merry in time, Between the ocean and the sand

Then will you be united again.

So begins a beautiful and tragic quest as a heartbroken mother sets out to save her lost daughter, through the realms of the real, of dream, and even into the underworld itself.

But determination alone is not enough. For to save something precious, she must give up something precious, be it a song, a memory, or her freedom itself . . .

MY REVIEW 

Fay is a widow, she is also grieving the death of her daughter, Daisy. Not a minute goes by that Daisy is not on her mind. So, she runs the streets of London at night, until she is exhausted.

One night all the lights go out, she can see the stars and in a bright crack in the pavement she thinks she sees her daughter, sleeping. The magic begins.

Orfeia is so beautifully written, you get lost in this alternate world with Fay, it’s so full of emotion and magic it’s almost dreamlike. The wonderfully illustrations add to that ethereal and otherworldly feel. 

It is incredibly moving in its portrait of grief, that it’s all encompassing to the point life becomes existing rather than living, but it’s also full of love, memories and beauty. A modern day fairytale that is stunning, beautiful and unique. This book just reinforces why I read, it’s perfect and pure escapism. One to treasure.

Thank you to Random Things Tours for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour, for the promotional material and an eARC of Orfeia. This is my honest and unbiased review.

Purchase link: https://amzn.to/3iJfyp2

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

Joanne Harris is an Anglo-French writer, whose books include fourteen novels, two cookbooks and many short stories. Her work is extremely diverse, covering aspects of magic realism, suspense, historical fiction,mythology and fantasy. In 2000, her 1999 novel CHOCOLAT was adapted for the screen, starring Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp. CHOCOLAT hassold over a million copies in the UK alone and was a global bestseller. She is an Honorary Fellow of St Catherine’s College, Cambridge, and in 2013 was awarded an MBE by the Queen. Her hobbies are listed in Who’s Who as’mooching, lounging, strutting, strumming, priest-baiting and quiet subversion’. She plays bass guitar in a band first formed when she was 16 and runs the musical storytelling show Storytime. Joanne lives with her husband in Yorkshire, about 15 miles from the place she was born. Find out more at http://www.joanne-harris.co.uk or follow her on Twitter @Joannechocolat

Book reviews, Short story

Lost Girls by Ellen Birkett Morris – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Lost Girls explores the experiences of women and girls as they grieve, find love, face uncertainty, take a stand, find their future, and say goodbye to the past. A young woman creates a ritual to celebrate the life of a kidnapped girl, an unmarried woman wanders into a breast feeder’s support group and stays, a grieving mother finds solace in an unlikely place, a young girl discovers more than she bargained for when she spies on her neighbors. Though they may seem lost, each finds their center as they confront the challenges and expectations of womanhood.

MY REVIEW 

Lost Girls is a collection of short stories, each one about a different woman in various stages of life and situations.

It tells of grief, family, love and lust, of aging and poverty.

But at its heart it’s about what it’s like being a woman in a masculine world,

It’s full of emotion and sensitivity, it feels so real and relatable.

Beautifully written, almost poetic at times and really is a quite captivating read.

Thank you to Ellen Birkett Morris for a copy of Lost Girls. This is my honest and unbiased review.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

ELLEN BIRKETT MORRIS is an award- winning writer, teacher and editor based in Louisville, Kentucky. Morris is the author of SURRENDER (Finishing Line Press). Her fiction has appeared in Shenandoah, Antioch Review, Notre Dame Review, and South Carolina Review, among other journals. Her commentaries have been heard on public radio stations across the United States.

blog tour, Book reviews, Dystopian fiction

The Trials Of Koli by M. R. Carey – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Koli is looking for lost London. In a world where a journey of two miles is an odyssey, he’s going to walk two hundred.

Spinner just wants peace and safety, but when her village of Mythen Rood is shaken by plague and violence she chooses a different path.

Ursala from Elsewhere needs to repair her medical kit, which means following the ancient signal to something called the ‘Sword of Albion’.

The Peacemaker believes that all tech is his by right – including Koli’s, Ursala’s and Mythen Rood’s precious, dwindling store. Now he’s reaching out to claim his property, and Ingland is facing something it hasn’t seen in three centuries. War.

MY REVIEW 

#2 in the Rampart Trilogy, and I really do think you need to read book 1 first.

Koli is back, telling the story of this dystopian world in his own unique way. It’s not the fastest paced read, but it has a rhythm of its own, it’s full of clever details and fantastic, well developed characters. 

It’s really building the background of this world with a bit more detail than Book 1, more about The Ramparts, Spinner and this world they live in. 

Can Koli keep his charming innocence?……roll on Book 3.

Thank you to Compulsive Readers for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour, for the promotional material and an eARC of The Trials Of Koli. This is my honest and unbiased review.

blog tour, Book reviews, War fiction

Squadron Airborne by Elleston Trevor – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

In the summer of 1940, the Battle of Britain rages in the skies over southern England. Nineteen-year-old Pilot Officer Peter Stuyckes arrives at RAF Westhill and is immediately put to the test. Based on the author’s own service as an RAF Flight Engineer,Squadron Airborne takes place over one unforgettable week that summer, depicting with intensity and brilliance the work of the many ground-crew and other staff as they support the Few in their fight against the Luftwaffe. The novel is published to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Britain in September 2020.

MY REVIEW 

Squadron Airborne is the story of the Battle Of Britain in 1940 and the people that took part in the air and on the ground.

Written shortly after the war, it uses the language of the time which gives this book its immense sense of realism, atmosphere and time and place.

There are also the precise details of the air battles, the planes and the time spent on the ground, it’s here the ground crew, responsible for keeping these planes flying, get the recognition they deserve.

There are some poignant moments and some humour too. A must read for anyone who enjoys reading of the history of WWII. 

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

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

Elleston Trevor (Trevor Dudley-Smith) was a prolific author who wrote under several pseudonyms, publishing over 100 books in his lifetime. He is perhaps best known for his Quiller series of spy novels and his 1964 novel The Flight of the Phoenix, which has been adapted into two Hollywood films.

blog tour, Book reviews, Non fiction

In Sat Nav We Trust by Jack Barrow – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

The book takes the form of a journey through one English county a day. Rather than having a plan, other than a rough anticlockwise direction of travel, the trip was largely spontaneous. This unplanned nature is what drives the narrative, similar to the way a MacGuffin drives a story, and opens the possibility of stumbling across unintended experiences.

The journey is taken in a fifteen-year-old 4×4 referred to throughout as The Truck, along with a sat nav referred to as Kathy (actually the voice of Kathy Clugston from Radio 4). Rather than paying for hotels this was a camping trip to keep the costs down. The logistics of finding somewhere to camp each night provided further challenges. All of these inconveniences, and the unexpected solutions that followed, provided useful metaphors for concepts that arose in the philosophical exploration.

The result of this unplanned approach is that the story only covers the areas of the counties passed through. There are no descriptions of the obvious locations in each county because the journey simply didn’t pass that way. However, this means that there were unplanned encounters with places such as a village falling into the sea, the wonderfully mad Tees Transporter Bridge, or accidentally driving a speedboat with two drunk blokes without any consideration about how to get ashore.

MY REVIEW 

In Sat Nat We Trust Is the story of one man’s journey around the historic counties of the UK. He has the truck, his tent and his thoughts. 

On the Journey there are many stories, anecdotes and random facts, with a few rants too. This is a little philosophical, about the differences in need and want, the rational and irrational, but really is just shows there are adventures to be had right on your doorstep,

A fun, interesting and thought provoking 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 In Sat Nav We Trust. This is my honest and unbiased review.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

Jack Barrow is a writer of books and blogs about ideas based on popular philosophy in modern life. He is a critical thinker but not a pedant. He has an interest in spiritual perspectives having been brought up as both a Mormon and a Jehovah’s Witness. He’s not sure, but he believes this particular  ecclesifringical upbringing makes him a member of a pretty exclusive club. He is also fascinated by science. At the same age as his parents were taking him to church services, he was also watching Horizon documentaries and Tomorrow’s World, becoming fascinated about science and technology. Perhaps around the time of the moon landings, when he was six or seven, he came to the conclusion that, sooner or later, people would realise that the sky was full of planets and stars, science explained the universe, and that there was no God looking down. He really thought that religion’s days were numbered. Declining congregations seemed to back that up, but since then there has been a growth in grass roots movements that seem to indicate people are looking for something to fill the void left by organised religion. He now has a particular interest in the way people are creating their own spiritual perspectives (whatever spiritual means) from the bottom up using ideas sourced from history, folkloric sources and imagination. Rather ironically it was members of the Jehovah’s Witnesses who first introduced him to the landscape of Wiltshire, with its stone circles and ancient monuments, which later kindled his interest in spiritual beliefs taken from more ancient perspectives.

He has also written a novel; The Hidden Masters and the Unspeakable Evil is a story of a group of magicians who discover a plot to build casinos in Blackpool and so turn the resort into a seedy, tacky, and depraved town. During this hard-drinking occult adventure, with gambling and frivolous trousers, Nigel, Wayne and Clint travel north on Friday night but they need to save the world by Sunday evening because they have to be back at work on Monday morning.

Jack lives in Hertfordshire, England, where he earns a living writing about things in engineering; this usually means photocopiers and bits of aeroplanes. He shares his home with R2D2 and C3PO, occasionally mentioned in his blog posts. People used to say he should get out more. At the time of writing he is currently shielding from the apocalypse, having been of a sickly disposition as a child, and wondering if he will be able to go to a live music pub ever again.

blog tour, Book reviews, humour, Mental Health, Mystery

Don’t Worry, Everything Is Going To Be Amazing by Billy Moran – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Chris Pringle: simpleton, casualty or local hero?

Propped up by friends, benefits and a baffling faith in his plan, he lives in 

a world where every day is obsessively the same: wedged in his recliner, 

watching murder mysteries, taking notes. Until the day a serious and peculiar 

crime stumps the local police – and Chris announces he can solve it.

Accompanied by a loyal crew of chancers, committed to making 

amends, and pursued by a depressed Detective Inspector, trying to join the dots, Chris heads back to the raves of his past, where a heartbreaking personal tragedy lies abandoned.

But what exactly is Chris Pringle looking for? 

Has he really worked out the way to find it? 

And what will happen if he does?

MY REVIEW 

Don’t Worry is a mystery story with a difference. Told in two timelines, the 90’s, a time of raves, drugs and mayhem, and the present day.

Now, Chris Pringle is a unique character, who everyone thinks is a bit of an idiot, but he manages to solve the whodunnit, somehow! This is a tale of friendship, mental health and lots of chaos and laughter.

It has fantastic and likeable characters and a wild, chaotic plot that will have you laughing out loud, as the mystery draws you in. A marvellously bizarre and totally gripping read.

Thank you to Howard at Sauce Materials Books for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour, for the promotional material and an eARC of Don’t Worry, Everything Is Going To Be Amazing. This is my honest and unbiased review.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

Billy Moran is an award-winning television writer for shows including Horrible Histories.

Billy grew up in the West Country, where his teenage years were rudely interrupted

by the Second Summer of Love. Since then he has been embracing chaos, craving order, and watching whodunnits to find out who’s responsible. 

Billy lives in London and has two children, two cats, one football team and several favourite detectives. Don’t Worry, Everything Is Going To Be Amazing is Billy’s debut novel, and the first in a series of FRIENDS ON BENEFITS MYSTERIES.

blog tour, Book reviews

A Song Of Isolation by Michael J. Malone – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Film star Amelie Hart is the darling of the silver screen, appearing on the front pages of every newspaper. But at the peak of her fame she throws it all away for a regular guy with an ordinary job. The gossip columns are aghast: what happened to the woman who turned heads wherever she went?

Any hope the furore will die down are crushed when Amelie’s boyfriend Dave is arrested on charges of child sexual abuse. Dave strongly asserts his innocence, and when Amelie refuses to denounce him, the press furore quickly turns into physical violence, and she has to flee the country.

While Dave is locked up with the most depraved men in the country and Amelie is hiding on the continent, Damaris, the victim at the centre of the story, is also isolated – a child trying to make sense of an adult world…

Breathtakingly brutal, dark and immensely moving, A Song of Isolation looks beneath the magpie glimmer of celebrity to uncover a sinister world dominated by greed and lies, and the unfathomable destruction of innocent lives… in an instant.

MY REVIEW 

A Song Of Isolation is an emotion packed psychological thriller which deals with the subject of child abuse. It’s in no way gratuitous or sensationalist, but written with sympathy and sensitivity.

Amelia had been a successful actress, she gave it all up for an ordinary man, with an ordinary life, Dave.

One day the police arrive at their door, a neighbour has made a complaint to them, accusing Dave of touching their young daughter inappropriately. He’s arrested and charged with child sexual abuse.

Dave insists he’s innocent, Amelia believes him, but due to the media hounding her to the extent of violence, she leaves the country to escape. Meanwhile Dave is in prison, with some really reprehensible people….and the young girl at the centre of it all, Damaris, is alone, isolated and wondering what on earth is going on.

This is a tale of lost innocence, of ruined lives and the effect an allegation of child abuse has on everybody involved, especially the victim and the accused. It’s a dark, compelling and emotional psychological drama, the exceptional writing by Michael J Malone ensures that it really will get under your skin. Just brilliant.

Thank you to Random Things Tours for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour, for the promotional material and an eARC of A Song Of Isolation. . This is my honest and unbiased review.

Purchase link….https://amzn.to/33lO5TZ

ABOUT MICHAEL J. MALONE

Michael Malone is a prize-winning poet and author who was born and brought up in the heart of Burns’ country. He has published over 200 poems in literary magazines throughout the UK, including New Writing Scotland, Poetry Scotland and Markings. Blood Tears, his bestselling debut novel won the Pitlochry Prize from the Scottish Association of Writers. His psychological thriller, A Suitable Lie, was a number-one bestseller, and the critically acclaimed House of Spines, After He Died and In the Absence of Miracles soon followed suit. A former Regional Sales Manager (Faber & Faber) he has also worked as an IFA and a bookseller. Michael lives in Ayr.

blog tour, Book reviews, Family drama

The Interpreter From Java by Alfred Birney – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Arto Nolan is the father’s name; his son Alan strives to overcome his loathing and comprehend the man who abused him and beat his mother.

His father spent his evenings typing on his Remington. Later, Alan discovers his father had been working on his memoirs. He reads about Arto’s ruthless work as an interpreter who not only translated but also led interrogations, tortured prisoners, and did not hesitate to murder.

Arto’s passages are chilling in their detachment. He first describes how he was abused as a child by his own father. He later became an assassin. At first his targets were Japanese; after the occupation ended, he murdered Indonesians in the service of the Dutch, without question. The source of his loyalty to his overlords, from a country he had never seen, remains a mystery.

In this unsparing family history, Birney exposes a crucial chapter in Dutch and European history that was deliberately concealed behind the ideological facade of postwar optimism. Readers of this superb novel will find that it reverberates long afterwards in their memory. 

MY REVIEW 

The Interpreter From Java is the tale mainly of the relationship between a father and son. It was a difficult relationship as the father terrorised the whole family.

From a childhood in the Netherlands, his father’s memories of fighting in the war and the horrors and atrocities that were committed against the Japanese and Indonesian people. It’s not an easy read as it is quite graphic at times but it tells the Dutch Colonial past and the effects of war on a family. 

Thank you to Amber at Midas PR for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour, for the promotional material and an ARC of The a interpreter From Java. This is my honest and unbiased review.

blog tour, Book reviews, Science fiction

Fearless by Allen Stroud – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

AD 2118. Humanity has colonised the Moon, Mars, Ceres and Europa. Captain Ellisa Shann commands Khidr, a search and rescue ship with a crew of twenty-five, tasked to assist the vast commercial freighters that supply the different solar system colonies.

Shann has no legs and has taken to life in zero-g partly as a result. She is a talented tactician who has a tendency to take too much on her own shoulders. Now, while on a regular six-month patrol through the solar system, Khidr picks up a distress call from the freighter Hercules…

MY REVIEW 

Captain Shann and her crew help protect space vehicles, an interstellar RAC! When they receive a distress signal off they go. But a crew member dies…..was this an accident or murder? And so this marvellous space opera becomes a murder mystery.

With a large cast of characters, lots of suspects, space battles and plenty of action to keep even the most ardent fans of sci-fi thoroughly entertained. Brilliant.

Thank you to Random Things Tours for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour, for the promotional material and an eARC of Fearless. This is my honest and unbiased review.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

Chair of the British Science Fiction Association, Editor of the British Fantasy Society Journal Allen Stroud was Chair of Fantasycon 2017 and 2018. He has a PhD and a Masters in Science Fiction and Fantasy world-building. Stroud has written video game novelisations such as Elite: Dangerous and Phoenix Point) and his short stories have appeared in 2001: An Odyssey in Words and 2017 Year’s Best Military & Adventure SF.

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.

blog tour, Book reviews, Psychlogical thriller

The Watcher by Kate Medina – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

If you see him it’s already too late…

‘A brilliant and believable female lead’ Good Housekeeping

Some secrets can’t be hidden.

The Fullers are the picture-perfect family, a wealthy couple with a grand home in the middle of remote woodland. But even they have something to hide – and it will prove fatal.

Some crimes can’t be forgotten.

Psychologist Dr Jessie Flynn and DI Marilyn Simmons arrive at the Fuller’s home to find a suburban nightmare. A crime scene more disturbing than anything they have ever encountered.

Some killers can’t be stopped.

Jessie knows that this is no random act of violence. And if she can’t unlock the motivation behind the crime and shine a light into this killer’s mind, the Fullers won’t be the only family to die…

Praise for Kate Medina:

‘A tense and pacy thriller’ Sun

‘If psychological thrillers are your bag, then look no further Closer ‘A haunting thriller’ Grazia

‘Medina demonstrates that she’s a considerable find’ Independent.

MY REVIEW 

Jessie Flynn is a psychologist working with a major crimes team and DI Simmons.

One night they are called to a horrific crime scene where a wealthy couple have been murdered. The beaten, mutilated bodies and the violence perpetrated on them seems to show this may have been personal.

And so the investigation begins.

This is a dark, psychological with a really creepy atmosphere which adds to the tension. If you like your thrillers on the darker side, you’ll love The Watcher.

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 Watcher. This is my honest and unbiased review.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

 Kate Medina has always been fascinated by the ‘whys’ of human behaviour, an interest that drove her to study Psychology at university and later to start a crime series featuring clinical psychologist Dr Jessie Flynn. She has an MA in Creative Writing from Bath Spa University and her debut novel White Crocodile received widespread critical acclaim, as did Fire Damage, Scared to Death AND Two Little Girls, the first three books in the Jessie Flynn series.

Before turning to writing full time, Kate spent five years in the Territorial Army and has lectured at the London Business School and the London School of Economics. She lives in London with her husband and three children.

blog tour, Book reviews, Psychlogical thriller

You Can Trust Me by Emma Rowley – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

If you like Clare Mackintosh, Fiona Barton,  Rachel Abbott or Lisa Jewell then you will be utterly gripped by this psychological thriller with a massive twist you won’t see coming.

You can trust me.

But can I trust you?

Olivia is the domestic goddess who has won millions of followers by sharing her picture-perfect life online. And now she’s releasing her tell-all autobiography.

For professional ghostwriter Nicky it’s the biggest job of her career. But as she delves deeper into Olivia’s life, cracks begin to appear in the glamorous façade. From the strained relationship with her handsome husband, to murky details of a tragic family death in her childhood, the truth belies Olivia’s perfect public image.

But why is Olivia so desperate to leave an old tragedy well alone? And how far will she go to keep Nicky from the truth?

‘Genuinely compelling thriller, a rollercoaster of twists and intrigue’ 5* reader review

‘Great characters and brilliant suspense – Cleverly plotted, fantastically written and fast-paced’ 5* reader review

‘A brilliant suspenseful mystery that I just did not want to put down!! I loved it – Simply amazing’ 5* reader review.

MY REVIEW 

You Can Trust Me is a book that just flows, it’s an easy read due to the authors very clever writing…….but don’t be fooled into thinking this is a light read, it’s a clever, dark and twisty thriller.

Nicky is a ghostwriter, she has been invited into Olivia’s home to write her autobiography. Olivia is a social media darling, an influencer and style guru. But is her life really as perfect as she portrays? What secret is she hiding? 

Then Nicky goes missing and Olivia tries to find out more about the woman she trusted enough to stay in her home.   Well, not everything is as it seems.

This is an utterly compelling story which keeps you on your toes, it’s so well plotted and makes for a thoroughly engrossing read.

Thank you to Alex at Orion Books for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour and for an ARC of You Can Trust Me. This is my honest and unbiased review.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Emma Rowley is a writer, ghostwriter and editor with a background in journalism. She is currently a Contributing Editor at Grazia and formerly of the Daily Mail and Daily Telegraph. A graduate in Classics and English at Oxford University, she trained as a journalist on the prestigious City University course. Emma has spent considerable time in the courts and covering major crime stories. She lives in London.

blog tour, Book reviews, Family drama, Psychlogical thriller

The Heatwave by Kate Riordan – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Under the scorching French sun, a tense homecoming unearths a long-buried family secret in this deliciously propulsive beach read of a mother’s greatest fear brought to life.

Elodie was beautiful. Elodie was smart. Elodie was manipulative. Elodie is dead.

When Sylvie Durand receives a letter calling her back to her crumbling family home in the South of France, she knows she has to go. In the middle of a sweltering 1990’s summer marked by unusual fires across the countryside, she returns to La Reverie with her youngest daughter Emma in tow, ignoring the deep sense of dread she feels for this place she’s long tried to forget.

As memories of the events that shattered their family a decade earlier threaten to come to the surface, Sylvie struggles to shield Emma from the truth of what really happened all those years ago. In every corner of the house, Sylvie can’t escape the specter of Elodie, her first child. Elodie, born amid the ’68 Paris riots with one blue eye and one brown, and mysteriously dead by fourteen. Elodie, who reminded the small village of one those Manson girls. Elodie who knew exactly how to get what she wanted. As the fires creep towards the villa, it’s clear to Sylvie that something isn’t quite right at La Reverie . . . And there is a much greater threat closer to home.

MY REVIEW 

The Heatwave is a family drama set in the South Of France.

Sylvie has returned to La Reverie with her daughter, Emma. Being back here brings back all the memories of her first daughter, Elodie. 

Elodie had not been an easy child to day the least and there is an ambiguity to how she died. Sylvie is still haunted by events of that time.

This is a story of grief and guilt, with a sultry, claustrophobic feel that really adds to the tension. A thoroughly engrossing read.

Thank you to Ella at Penguin Random House for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour, for the promotional material and an ARC of The Heatwave. This is my honest and unbiased review.