Audiobook, blog tour, Non fiction

The Bad Place by Shane Dunphy – Audiobook Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

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

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

MY REVIEW 

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

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

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

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

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

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

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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

Audiobook, blog tour, Book reviews

Strangers by C.L. Taylor – Audiobook Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Ursula thinks she killed the love of her life.

Gareth’s been receiving strange postcards.

And Alice is being stalked.

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

Three strangers, two secrets, one terrifying evening.

MY REVIEW 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Audiobook, Book reviews, Psychlogical thriller

The Hit List by Holly Seddon – Audiobook Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

You don’t know who.

You don’t know why. 

But someone wants you dead. 

When Marianne’s husband Greg is knocked off his bike and killed on the way to work, she must unpick the life he left behind. Numb with grief, Marianne consoles herself by scouring Greg’s laptop, finding comfort in reading his old emails and tracing his footsteps across the web. Until one day, she discovers that he had been accessing the dark web. Why was Greg, a principled charity worker and dedicated husband, logging on to a website that showcases the worst of humanity’s cruel impulses and where anything is available for a price? Marianne steels herself and logs on. After tentative searching, she discovers her name on a hit list.

In this fast-paced, powerful and exceptionally plotted novel, Marianne must figure out whether Greg was trying to protect her or whether he was complicit in the conspiracy for her murder. As she is pulled deeper into the depths of the underworld that Greg was seemingly hostage to, she gets closer and closer to coming face to face with Sam – the assassin hired to kill her. The dark truths that Marianne uncovers speak volumes about the dark underbelly of our society and forces us to question how far we would go to protect those we care most about.

MY REVIEW 

Marianne was widowed a year ago, still grieving the loss of husband Greg, on a whim she checks his laptop. She discovers he had accessed the dark web.

At first she believes this must have been for his job, he helped trafficked women, but then she finds the hit list. Here you can enter your name to find out if anyone has hired an assassin to kill you. She puts in Greg’s name…..nothing.

But when she enters her own name…….there it is…..someone wants her dead.

Why?

I can’t say much more for fear of spoiling the plot. But what I will say is that this is a clever, tension filled and twisty psychological thriller. It is very well narrated by Tuppence Middleton, Stephanie Racine, Damian Lynch, Chris Reilly and Perdita Weeks.

Thank you to Alex at Orion/Trapeze for the opportunity to be part of this audiobook blog tour and for an audiobook copy of The Hit List. This is my honest and unbiased review.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

Holly Seddon is the international bestselling author of TRY NOT TO BREATHE, DON’T CLOSE YOUR EYES and LOVE WILL TEAR US APART. THE HIT LIST will be published in August 2020 in ebook, and April 2021 in paperback.

After growing up in the English countryside obsessed with music and books, Holly worked in London as a journalist and editor. She now lives in Amsterdam with her family and writes full time.

Alongside fellow author Gillian McAllister, Holly co-hosts the popular Honest Authors Podcast.

Audiobook, blog tour, Book reviews, Murder mystery, Science fiction

Clockwork Sherlock by Ian W. Sainsbury – Audiobook Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

A thrilling new adventure featuring literature’s favourite detective like you’ve never seen him before. The first in a series, Clockwork Sherlock follows ex-soldier Captain Jo Barnes. The mysterious VR detective singles her out as his own Dr Watson, but he’s about to find out she’s no fawning sidekick. 

When tech giant Robert Fairfield is found dead of a suspected drug overdose, fingers are pointed at the two women who stood most to gain from his death: his fiancée and leader of the New Ludds, Greta Blackstone, and Beth Fairchild, Robert’s ambitious daughter. But when Beth is found dead and the evidence shows she was killed before her father, the suspect is obvious. To everyone, that is, except Sherlock Holmes. 

Using futuristic tech and good, old-fashioned sleuthing, Captain Barnes and the famed detective set out to find the killer. With rooftop pursuits, gangland bosses and plenty of action – this listen is sure to appeal to fans of Ben Aaronovitch, Paul Cornell and Jim Butcher.

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MY REVIEW 

Jo  Barnes an ex-soldier wakes to find herself in a room she doesn’t know, it’s Victorian in style, an old slipper is on the mantelpiece and bullet holes in the wall. Oh and she has a moustache!

Then the famously fictitious Sherlock Holmes speaks to her. Jo quickly realises she is in a VR world, she has heard of this new tech and the ‘clockwork’ sherlock and believed it to be an aid to solving crimes, she wasn’t aware how real Sherlock seems. But why is she here?

Well, a tech creator has been found dead of an overdose, but there are suspicions this was not a suicide and there are two suspects. But when one of these two are murdered, Sherlock has already deduced the killer. With Jo’s help they set out to prove it.

Clockwork Sherlock has the soul of the original Conan Doyle’s tales, but with modern and futuristic tech. It has the famous sleuthing but Jo’s Dr Watson brings a modern edge. With lots of puzzles and action this clever, well plotted tale is Beautifully read by Shvorne Marks and perfect for any fan of Sherlock Holmes. I enjoyed every minute.

Thank you to Ben at Midas PR for the opportunity to take part in this blog tour, for the promotional material and the audiobook of Clockwork Sherlock. This is my honest and unbiased review.

 

An Audible Original and only available from Audible

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

Ian W Sainsbury is a musician, composer, writer, comedian and puppet wrangler (yes, that’s a real job). Obviously, he doesn’t know what to do when he grows up and – now that he’s in his forties – he’s resigned to the fact that he probably never will.

 

His first novel was published in 2016. 

Audiobook, Book reviews, Contemporary fiction

Bad Love by Maame Blue – Audiobook Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Bad Love tells the story of Ekuah Danquah, a London-born Ghanaian who is 18 years old when she falls in love for the first time. As both narrator and protagonist now in her 30s, she delves into her memories of angst and confusion that dismantled her experience of that first, impactful romantic relationship. It meets none of her rigid expectations and instead shines a light on other significant relationships in her life, especially the marriage of her parents, something she had long considered an unhappy pairing.

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MY REVIEW 

The story is told by Ekuah, she’s now 30 and recalling her past when her boyfriend, Dee just dropped out of her life, leaving her heartbroken. She wonders if Dee ever cared for her, he never even referred to himself as her boyfriend over the 18 months they were together, passionate yes, but always distant. Can she move on and find love ?

This is a well paced tale about relationships good and bad,  the beauty of the spoken word,  about finding yourself and the perceptions of what love really is. I loved the details of Ekuah’s experiences of her travels overseas too.

Beautifully narrated by Vivienne Acheampong, she really brings Ekuah and the other characters to life. I thoroughly enjoyed Bad Love from start to finish.

Thank you to Amber at Midas PR for the opportunity to take part in this blog tour, for the promotional material and an eARC of the Audiobook. This is my honest and unbiased review.

Available from Audible.co.uk and is 8hrs 16mins long.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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Maame Blue is a Ghanaian Londoner, writer. As well as co-hosting Headscarves and Carry-ons-a podcast about black girls living abroad-she regularly runs social media campaigns for http://www.bmeprpros.co.uk and blogs at http://www.maamebluewrites.com. In 2018 she won the Africa Writes x AFREADA flash fiction competition for her story Black Sky. She has since been published in AFREADA, Afribuku, and Memoir Magazine; with stories forthcoming in Storm Cellar Quarterly and Litro Magazine.

 

About Vivienne Acheampong

Vivienne Acheampong is an actress and comedian, best known for featuring in Death in Paradise (2011), The Trap (2015) and Turn Up Charlie (2019).

 

About Audible

Among the acclaimed performers who have narrated works of literature for Audible are Zachary Quinto, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Lily Collins, Emma Thompson and Jesse Eisenberg. Audible Studios has won a Grammy Award, for its production of Janis Ian’s memoir Society’s Child, and has also been recognised with the Audie Award for Audiobook of the Year, for Colin Firth’s performance of Graham Greene’s The End of the Affair. Audible invented and commercialised the first digital audio player in 1997, and has since been at the forefront of the explosively growing audiobook download segment. On Average, Audible members listen to Audible content for 2 hours a day. In 2018, Audible customers downloaded nearly 3 billion hours of content.

Audiobook, Book reviews, Domestic noir

Little Whispers by K.L. Slater – Audiobook Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

You shared a secret with the wrong person.  

Janey Markham is thrilled to be moving with her family to Buckingham Crescent, the smartest address in a desirable suburban town. 

Worried she’ll be excluded by the glossy local mothers, Janey is thrilled when she meets Tanya, the kind of woman she has always looked up to. Tanya takes Janey under her wing and her teenage daughter, Angel, is amazing with Janey’s little boy. As Janey and Tanya grow closer, Janey feels she can finally leave her troubled past behind.  

But then everything changes…. 

In a weak moment over a bottle of wine, Janey finds herself telling Tanya her most shocking secret. Why wouldn’t she trust her new friend?  

The following day, Janey sees Angel, with a man old enough to be her father, pushing someone into a car. The next day a body is found, and police appeal for witnesses – and share a picture of the same car…. 

When Janey tells Tanya she is going to the police, Tanya turns threatening. She’ll stop at nothing to defend Angel, even if her daughter is guilty. If Janey says anything, Tanya will make sure that her dark secret gets out. Janey faces an impossible choice. Stay quiet about what she saw that terrible day or speak up and destroy the family she has worked so hard to protect…

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MY REVIEW 

The first half of Little Whispers is about Janey’s life. A new home, her husband has a new job which will ease their financial worries and their young son, Roman is starting a new school. But Janey has a secret….

She becomes friends with one of the other mums, Tanya and after a little wine tells her the secret.

But, Janey’s  husband seems to be changing, he’s a bit moody and his behaviour seems a bit odd too.

Then Janey sees someone being forced into a car by Tanya’s daughter and an older man. When a body is discovered she speaks to Tanya, but she threatens to tell Janey’s secret to everyone if she goes to the police.

Will Janey go to the police with what she’d seen and risk her family falling apart?

This has a slow pace as it builds the background to Janey’s life and family. She’s a bit insecure and has always tried to fit in, but there’s the secret and a few twists to make this an entertaining, engaging tale. Beautifully read by Lucy Price-Lewis who, for me, brought this to life.

Thank you to Amber at Midas PR for the opportunity to take part in this blog tour, to listen to the audiobook and for the promotional material. This is my honest and unbiased review.

 

Available from Audible.co.uk

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

 

Kim is the million-copy bestselling author of twelve psychological crime thrillers. THE APARTMENT, will be published in -April 2020 by Thomas and Mercer and is now available for pre-order. 

Kim’s titles are also published by Bookouture, Audible and are available in paperback by Sphere in the UK and Grand Central in the USA.

For many years, Kim sent her work out to literary agents and collected an impressive stack of rejection slips. At the age of 40 she went back to Nottingham Trent University and now has an MA in Creative Writing.

Before graduating in 2012, she gained literary agent representation and a book deal. As Kim says, ‘it was a fairytale … at the end of a very long road!’

Kim is a full-time writer and lives in Nottinghamshire with her husband.(Courtesy of Goodreads). 

 

About Audible

 

Among the acclaimed performers who have narrated works of literature for Audible are Zachary Quinto, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Lily Collins, Emma Thompson and Jesse Eisenberg. Audible Studios has won a Grammy Award, for its production of Janis Ian’s memoir Society’s Child, and has also been recognised with the Audie Award for Audiobook of the Year, for Colin Firth’s performance of Graham Greene’s The End of the Affair. Audible invented and commercialised the first digital audio player in 1997, and has since been at the forefront of the explosively growing audiobook download segment. On average, Audible members listen to Audible content for 2 hours a day. In 2018, Audible customers downloaded nearly 3 billion hours of content

 

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 

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. 

 

Audiobook, Book reviews, humour

The Game’s Gone by Simon Barnes – Audiobook Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Not since Richard Ford’s classic novel, The Sportswriter, has a novel caught the world of sports journalism so vividly and so well.

No one would call David Rose – or ‘Rosie’ as he’s known to one and all – a star, but he’s good at his job and proud of his work as a sportswriter for a national newspaper. He’s used to seeing flashier talents come and go – both on the field, and in the competitive world of the press. Football comes first in the way he spends his working life, but he’s happy to pitch in whatever the sport – from Formula 1 to Test cricket in the West Indies, the Olympics to a heavyweight championship bout in Japan.

He’s used to the ups and downs of a journalist’s life and has learned to keep his own head safely down – until an especially venal boss pins his own misdemeanours on the entirely innocent Rose. He’s forced to work closely first with a frustrated poet, then with a moral puritan and then the final horror: a real woman. How will Rosie cope?
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MY REVIEW 

The Game’s Gone is the tale of David ‘Rosie’ Rose and his ups and downs in sports journalism.

I found this to be a thoroughly enjoyable listen even though I’m not a big sports fan, but it really doesn’t matter as it’s not just about the sport, but how Rosie deals with his despicable, backstabbing boss and his ultimate revenge.

It’s full of humour and quite emotional at times, with lots of insight into the cut throat world of sports journalism.

Perfectly narrated by Colin Mace who captures the atmosphere so well. An enjoyable and compelling listen. 

Thank you to Amber at Midas PR 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.

Exclusively available from Audible

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Simon Barnes was the Chief Sports Writer for The Times until 2014, having worked for the paper for 30 years, during which he covered seven Olympic Games and six World Cup finals. He writes about sports and wildlife and is the author of over 20 books, including the best-selling How to be a Bad Birdwatcher; Epic: In Search of the Soul of Sport and Why It Matters; and Rewild Yourself: 23 Spellbinding Ways to Make Nature More Visible.

Simon Barnes commented: “It was only after I had left the asylum that I was truly aware of the madness. So I thought I’d try and write the madness before I forgot it. But I thought I’d better tone it down a bit – to make it believable.”

 

 

The Game’s Gone will be available for 1 credit to Audible members or priced at £19.99 for non-members. It joins a wealth of compelling original fiction on Audible, including Alex Callister’s Winter Dark, Michael Wood’s The Seventh Victim, Ann Morgan’s Crossing Over, K.L. Slater’s The Apartment, and Tom Bale’s The Stone Song. 

Audiobook, Book reviews, Crime thriller, Family drama

What’s Left Of Me Is Yours by Stephanie Scott – Audiobook Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

In Japan, a covert industry has grown up around the “wakaresaseya” (literally “breaker-upper”), a person hired by one spouse to seduce the other in order to gain the advantage in divorce proceedings.

When Satō hires Kaitarō, a wakaresaseya agent, to have an affair with his wife, Rina, he assumes it will be an easy case. But Satō has never truly understood Rina or her desires and Kaitarō’s job is to do exactly that–until he does it too well. 

While Rina remains ignorant of the circumstances that brought them together, she and Kaitarō fall in a desperate, singular love, setting in motion a series of violent acts that will forever haunt her daughter’s life. As Rina’s daughter, Sumiko, fills in the gaps of her mother’s story and her own memory, Scott probes the thorny psychological and moral grounds of the actions we take in the name of love, asking where we draw the line between passion and possession.
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MY REVIEW 

Sumiko is telling the story of her mother’s life.

Sumiko’s father, Satō, used the services of an wakaresaseya, to seduce his wife, Rina, so he could then divorce her for adultery. But his plan goes awry with consequences that echo through all their lives and lead to a tragic crime.

Sumiko had been unaware of this history until a phone call brings these secrets to light. She decides to find the truth of what happened to her mother.

This is an incredible and beautifully written tale of love and betrayal, of loss and grief all set in the stunning backdrop of Japan and its unique culture.

I listened to this as an audiobook and found the narration by Hanako Footman to be mesmerising, she has such a soothing voice and the emotions come across so perfectly. A stunning, tragic love story beautifully told. Haunting and unforgettable.

Thank you to Kate at Orion Books for the opportunity to listen to this audiobook from Audible for free. This is my honest and unbiased review.

 

Available from Audible.co.uk :  

Audiobook, Book reviews, Non fiction

Animal Societies By Ashley Ward – Audiobook Review

 

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

In our modern world of social media and relentless technological advancement, we are more connected than ever before. Though the scale of this connectivity is new, the instinctive desire to gather with our own kind has ancient roots. We can see the origins of our own societies in the social behaviour of the animals that share the planet with us. What’s more, human characteristics such as altruism, empathy, leadership and language can also be witnessed among animal groups. 

Join Biologist Ashley Ward as he takes listeners into the intimate worlds of social animals. Journeying from Aysgarth Falls to the Great Barrier Reef, it becomes clear that animals are not so far removed from us as we might imagine. In a time where humans are struggling to navigate cityscapes, isolation and a loneliness epidemic, Ward shows us that studying the social behaviour of animals offers insights valuable in their own right as well as a window into the evolutionary basis of our own species.

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MY REVIEW 

Animal Societies is read by Ashley Ward and his passion clearly comes across, as does his humour. It’s full of marvellous descriptions, such as a storm at sea and fascinating insights into the social nature of the animal world.

It covers the behaviours of so many different species, including krill, cockroaches, bees, fish, baboons, chimps and even whales. I’ve learnt so much,  from a bees waggle dance to the features of whale pooh…….oh that image !

Great narration and an amazing subject makes this an absolutely engrossing listen, perfect for anyone with an interest in the mysterious world of animal behaviour.

Thank you to Amber at Midas PR for the opportunity to listen to this audiobook from Audible.com, to take part in this blog tour and for the promotional material. This is my honest and unbiased review.

 

Available here from Audible.com : https://amzn.to/2Y2uGX3

Audiobook, Book reviews, Historical fiction, Murder mystery

This Lovely City by Louise Hare – Audiobook Review

 

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

The drinks are flowing. The music’s playing. But the party can’t last.

London, 1950. With the Blitz over and London still rebuilding after the war, jazz musician Lawrie Matthews has answered England’s call for help. Arriving from Jamaica aboard the Empire Windrush, he’s taken a tiny room in south London lodgings, and has fallen in love with the girl next door.

Touring Soho’s music halls by night, pacing the streets as a postman by day, Lawrie has poured his heart into his new home — and it’s alive with possibility. Until one morning, while crossing a misty common, he makes a terrible discovery.

As the local community rallies, fingers of blame are pointed at those who had recently been welcomed with open arms. And before long, London’s newest arrivals become the prime suspects in a tragedy which threatens to tear the city apart. Immersive, poignant, and utterly compelling, Louise Hare’s debut examines the complexities of love and belonging, and teaches us that even in the face of anger and fear, there is always hope.
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MY REVIEW

This is historical fiction set in London soon after WW2 and is so redolent with atmosphere you can almost smell it.

Lawrie had arrived in London on the ship, Empire Windrush, he’s now a postman by day and an aspiring musician at night. He’s also in love with Evie, but they face many difficult challenges to say the least. They just want a quiet life together.

One day, Lawrie hears a woman shouting and a baby is found in a pond, regrettably they baby doesn’t survive. The police immediately suspect the Jamaican community just because the baby had dark skin…….but can the truth be found?

While this is a murder mystery, I felt it so much more as it deals with the reality of the horrific discrimination and abuse the ‘Windrush’ generation deal with on a daily basis, truly shameful.

This is beautifully, movingly narrated by Theo Solomon and Karise Yansen,  and with the Jazz music at the beginning of chapters, they really brought this wonderful tale to life. One that will stay with me for a long time.

Thank you to Joe at HQ for the opportunity to take part in this Audio Blog Tour, for the promotional material and a free copy of the Audiobook. This is my honest and unbiased review.

Available from Audiobooks.co.uk

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

 

Louise Hare is a London-based writer and has an MA in Creative Writing from Birkbeck, University of London. Originally from Warrington, the capital is the inspiration for much of her work, including This Lovely City, which began life after a trip into the deep level shelter below Clapham Common. 

Audiobook, Crime thriller

The Seventh Victim by Michael Wood – Audiobook Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Imagine receiving a letter from your son’s murderer. Imagine starting to trust him.

What if the only person who can help you find your son, is the man in prison for killing him?

A child taken. A mother on the hunt for the truth.

Twenty-five years after her son Zachery disappeared without trace, Diane Marshall receives a letter that overturns her world once again. The man convicted of killing 13 boys, Zachery among them, finally confesses to it all – except the murder of her son.

Armed with this new information and determined to discover the location of his body, Diane and the former DI in charge of the case start investigating. Somewhere out there, her son’s killer is waiting as the reckoning draws nearer. Sooner or later, the terrible truth – buried and undisturbed for a quarter of a century – will out.

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MY REVIEW 

This is the tale of prolific serial killer, Jonathan Egan Walsh, who has been convicted of the murder of 13 boys. 

25 years later, Walsh is dying of cancer and writes a letter to the mother of Zachary Marshall. He tells her he didn’t kill her son…..he admits to the others, but no Zachary.

She takes the letter to the police, but they are not interested, telling Diane, Walsh was a manipulator and evidence shows he had been in contact with Zachary and the case is closed.

But, Diane will not give in, she needs to know the truth. 

This really is an incredible listen, beautifully narrated by Joanne Froggatt and Mathew Horne. They really bring these characters to life and make this very tense and atmospheric.

I loved this utterly gripping thriller, twisty, and with a heart rending ending making this a completely engrossing must listen.

Only available at Audible 

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

 

Audiobook, Book reviews, Thriller, True Crime

Bleak Alley by Shane Dunphy – Audiobook Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

True crime within the dark heart of Irish gangs. Featuring original Irish folksongs written and performed by the author, Shane Dunphy.

He seems like a typical 16-year-old boy except that Mikey is walking the knife edge of crime. He’s tough and good with his fists, but when journalist Shane Dunphy is offered the chance to write his story, he discovers a lost, vulnerable child, in danger and desperate for help.

Shane descends into the perilous underworld of organised crime and discovers that the glamour of gangland life is riven with brutality and murder. Far from providing a means of survival for boys from broken families, the price they pay is often with their life.

With skill and empathy, and no little courage, Shane attempts to rescue Mikey from the clutches of warring gangland leaders and to restore the love and harmony of Mikey’s family which has been shattered by poverty and bad blood.

For fans of Peaky Blinders, Bleak Alley is the first in a series of true crime stories from the heart of Irish gangland life. The author provides extensive historical analysis of the rise of Irish street gangs and their outlaw Celtic culture, as well as original Irish folksongs.

Bleak Alley examines serious issues of social deprivation, state indifference and lawlessness with the pace and intrigue of a high-class thriller.

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MY REVIEW

This audiobook, Bleak Alley is the true crime story of 16 year old Mikey, a young man from a troubled background. His mum is a schizophrenic and his alcoholic dad beats them both regularly. Mikey becomes caught up in a gang. 

Shane, a journalist wants to write about Mikey and wants to try to help him realise that being in a gang, heading for a life of violence and crime isn’t his only option.

This is not a tale for the faint hearted, it’s a gritty look at the reality of gang culture, the violence and exploitation of young vulnerable men in this lawless part of Irish gangland society. Very well read by Shane Dunphy and along with the Irish folk songs make this an unforgettable listen. 

Thank you to Ben at Midas PR for the opportunity to listen to this audiobook for free. This is my honest and unbiased review.

 

Only available from Audible 

Audiobook, Book reviews, Psychlogical thriller

The Wreckage by Robin Morgan-Bentley – Audiobook Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Things will never be the same again…

Ben is driving on the motorway, on his usual commute to the school where he works.

A day like any other, except for Adam, who in a last despairing act jumps in front of Ben’s car, and in killing himself, turns the teacher’s world upside down.

Wracked with guilt and desperate to clear his conscience, Ben develops a friendship with Alice, Adam’s widow, and her 7-year-old son Max.

But as he tries to escape the trauma of the wreckage, could Ben go too far in trying to make amends?

Gripping and sinister, The Wreckage is guaranteed to keep you up all night…
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MY REVIEW

Ben is driving to work on the motorway when he sees a flash of white….he has hit a man.

Adam has deliberately jumped in front of Ben’s car.

While not Ben’s fault he is so guilt ridden he can barely function, but he decides to see Adam’s wife, Alice to say sorry.

Alice is a bit taken aback, but they become slightly uneasy friends and Ben becomes close to her son Max.  But, then Ben takes Max to give Alice some time alone, as he’s concerned about her drinking and if Max is safe.

This is the tale of three damaged people, each with their own problems. It deals with mental illness, obsession and domestic abuse.

I didn’t find any of the characters likeable at all, Adam was controlling, Alice is rude, selfish and just nasty and Ben….well Ben, I’m really not sure about Ben ! But, due to Robin Morgan-Bentley’s incredible writing, you become so gripped by their story.  Beautifully read by Emilia Fox, Jack Hawkins and Kobna Holbrook-Smith. Their fantastic performances really brought this to life and made it so compelling, you really become involved and just have to know how this is going to turn out for each of the characters. The final few sentences made me feel a little uneasy I have to say……I thoroughly enjoyed every minute.

Thank you to Alex at Orion Books for the opportunity to participate in this Audio Book blog tour, for the promotional materials and a free copy of the AudioBook.  This is my honest, unbiased review. 

Audiobook, Book reviews, Thriller

Never Look Back by A.L Gaylin – Audiobook Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB
 

A new novel from award-winning crime writer, A. L. Gaylin. If you liked Serial and S-Town, you’ll LOVE this.

‘Right now, A L Gaylin is at the very top of her game, crafting exhilarating and audacious crime novels that are both rich in character and rivetingly told. Her books are, quite simply, not to be missed.’ – Megan Abbott

She was the most brutal killer of our time. And she may have been my mother…

When website columnist Robin Diamond is contacted by true crime podcast producer Quentin Garrison, she assumes it’s a business matter. It’s not. Quentin’s podcast, Closure, focuses on a series of murders in the 1970s, committed by teen couple April Cooper and Gabriel LeRoy. It seems that Quentin has reason to believe Robin’s own mother may be intimately connected with the killings.

Robin thinks Quentin’s claim is absurd. But is it? The more she researches the Cooper/LeRoy murders herself, the more disturbed she becomes by what she finds. Living just a few blocks from her, Robin’s beloved parents are the one absolute she’s always been able to rely upon, especially now amid rising doubts about her husband and frequent threats from internet trolls. Robin knows her mother better than anyone. 

But then her parents are brutally attacked, and Robin realises she doesn’t know the truth at all..
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MY REVIEW 

This tale revolves around an infamous murder case, The Inland Empire Killers, April Cooper and Gabriel Leroy.

They had been on a killing spree in the ‘70s and had died in a fire, bring the horrific crimes to an end.

Quentin Garrison works on a podcast reviewing cold cases and is looking into the Inland Empire Killers case. When he finds a new lead in the case things get dark.

This is so well plotted it really keeps you guessing. As you find how the characters are linked to the original case the tension really builds. 

The excellent narration by James Fouhey and Jorjeana Marie really brings the story to life and I thought their voices perfectly matched the characters and added to the tension.

An edge of your seat thriller and thoroughly entertaining.

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

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

Alison Gaylin is the award-winning author of Hide Your Eyes and its sequel, You Kill Me; the standalones Trashed, Heartless, What Remains Of Me and If I Die Tonight; and the Brenna Spector series: And She Was, Into the Dark, and Stay with Me. A graduate of Northwestern University and of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, she lives with her husband and daughter in Woodstock, New York. 

Audiobook, Book reviews, Police procedural, Psychlogical thriller

Perfect Remains by Helen Fields – Audiobook Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

The first in a nail-shredding new crime series. Fans of M.J. Arlidge will be gripped from start to finish.

On a remote Highland mountain, the body of Elaine Buxton is burning. All that will be left to identify the respected lawyer are her teeth and a fragment of clothing.

In the concealed back room of a house in Edinburgh, the real Elaine Buxton screams into the darkness.

Detective Inspector Luc Callanach has barely set foot in his new office when Elaine’s missing persons case is escalated to a murder investigation. Having left behind a promising career at Interpol, he’s eager to prove himself to his new team. But Edinburgh, he discovers, is a long way from Lyon, and Elaine’s killer has covered his tracks with meticulous care.

It’s not long before another successful woman is abducted from her doorstep, and Callanach finds himself in a race against the clock. Or so he believes … The real fate of the women will prove more twisted than he could have ever imagined.

Fans of Angela Marson, Mark Billingham and M. J. Aldridge will be gripped by this chilling journey into the mind of a troubled killer.

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MY REVIEW 

#1 in a new series that features DI Luc Callanach. He’d been born in Scotland but spent much of his life in France, so is seen as a bit of an outsider….the accent doesn’t help.

He’s brusque at times but a committed and determined detective.

He starts work on a murder case. Elaine had been abducted and her body found burned, and now another woman has gone missing. Abducted from her home.

The descriptions of the abduction and the ‘procedures’ the victim is put through are truly horrific. I cannot imagine the fear and pain she endures, but the excellent reading by Robin Laing, really brings it to life. You can feel the tension.

Can Luc and his colleague DI Ava Turner find the killer before anyone else dies?

If you like your thrillers on the dark side, then you’ll love this. Great characters, a wonderfully dark plot, perfectly read by Robin Laing. An atmospheric and nerve wracking thriller. Perfect.

Thank you to Sanjana at Avon Books for the opportunity to take part in this audio book blog tour, for the promotional material and a free copy of the audiobook. This is my honest and unbiased review.

You can read a copy at Audiobooks.com

 

https://www.audiobooks.co.uk/audiobook/perfect-remains/408105

 

Audiobook, Book reviews, Romance

We Met In December by Rosie Curtis – Audiobook Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Following a year in the life of a twenty-something American woman who falls hard for her London flat mate, this clever, fun, and unforgettable romantic comedy is the perfect feel-good holiday read.

Two people. One house. A year that changes everything.  

Twenty-nine-year-old Jess is following her dream and moving to London. It’s December, and she’s taking a room in a crumbling, but grand, Notting Hill house-share with four virtual strangers. On her first night, Jess meets Alex, the guy sharing her floor, at a Christmas dinner hosted by her landlord. They don’t kiss, but as far as Jess is concerned the connection is clear. She starts planning how they will knock down the wall between them to spend more time together.

But when Jess returns from a two-week Christmas holiday, she finds Chris has started dating someone else—beautiful Emma, who lives on the floor above them. Now Jess faces a year of bumping into (hell, sharing a bathroom with) the man of her dreams…and the woman of his.
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MY REVIEW 

This is the story of Jess and Alex and is set in London.

Jess’ friend Becky invites her to live in her house as a flatmate. Also living there is Alex, a student nurse, after a change of career and recovering from a recent relationship breakup.

Jess is quite smitten by him as soon as she sees him, but keeps her feelings to herself….and so does Alex!

The story covers a year in their lives as they get to know each other, they grow closer but still keep their true feelings to themselves………

I love the narration, both readers, Jessica Preddy and Finlay Robertson really fit the characters and bring them to life.

It’s a warm snuggle of a tale and the absolutely perfect antidote to the problems of the real world. A beautifully written, kind and gentle romance with great narrators. I love it.

Thank you to Sanjana at Avon Books for the opportunity to take part in this blog tour, for the promotional material and a free copy of the Audiobook. This is my honest and unbiased review.

 

Audiobook, Book reviews, Psychlogical thriller

Sleep by C.L. Taylor – Audiobook Review. @callytaylor @AvonBooksUK @audiobooks_com #Sleep

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Seven guests. Seven secrets. One killer. Do you dare to SLEEP?

‘Beware! Sleep does not do what it says on the tin: I was awake until the small hours under its dark and twisty spell.’ FIONA BARTON

All Anna wants is to be able to sleep. But crushing insomnia, terrifying night terrors and memories of that terrible night are making it impossible. If only she didn’t feel so guilty…

To escape her past, Anna takes a job at a hotel on the remote Scottish island of Rum, but when seven guests join her, what started as a retreat from the world turns into a deadly nightmare.

Each of the guests have a secret, but one of them is lying – about who they are and why they’re on the island. There’s a murderer staying in the Bay View hotel. And they’ve set their sights on Anna.

Seven strangers. Seven secrets. One deadly lie.

The million-copy bestseller is back in her darkest, twistiest book to date. Read it if you dare! Perfect for fans of Lesley Kara’s The Rumour and Cara Hunter’s DI Fawley Thrillers.

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MY REVIEW 

I was hooked from the very beginning, what a start! Read by Clare Corbett over 8hours 55mins, this is totally immersive. Clare is an excellent reader, she manages to convey the tension, emotions and each character is easily distinguishable. 

The story itself is about Anna.

Anna was the driver of a car that was involved in an accident that resulted in the death of two people and injuring a third…..she holds herself responsible and has insomnia and nightmares.

Trying to pull herself together, she takes a job on a small island in Scotland…..but there meets all sorts of characters…..they all seem to have secrets …and so the tension begins…

CL Taylor’s writing draws you in as if you were watching the story unfold from a distance, feeling very emotion……and fear! Just who is the guilty one ?…Heart pounding stuff.

I would like to thank Sanjana at Avon Books for the opportunity to be part of the blog tour, and for a copy of this audiobook from Audiobooks.com for free. This is my honest and unbiased review.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

C.L. Taylor lives in Bristol with her partner and young son. She is a five times Sunday Times bestseller and her books have hit the number one spots on Amazon, Kobo, Audible, iBooks and Google Play. Cally has a degree in Psychology, with particular interest in abnormal and criminal Psychology. (Courtesy of Goodreads).