blog tour, Book reviews, Horror, Supernatural

The House Of A Hundred Whispers by Graham Masterton – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

On a windswept moor, an old house guards its secrets… The new standalone horror novel from ‘a true master of horror.’

All Hallows Hall is a rambling Tudor mansion on the edge of the bleak and misty Dartmoor. It is not a place many would choose to live. Yet the former Governer of Dartmoor Prison did just that. Now he’s dead, and his children – long estranged – are set to inherit his estate.

But when the dead man’s family come to stay, the atmosphere of the moors seems to drift into every room. Floorboards creak, secret passageways echo, and wind whistles in the house’s famous priest hole. And then, on the same morning the family decide to leave All Hallows Hall and never come back, their young son Timmy disappears – from inside the house.

Does evil linger in the walls? Or is evil only ever found inside the minds of men?

MY REVIEW

In All Hallows Hall on Dartmoor, the owner and ex governor of Dartmoor Prison is found murdered.

His family arrive at the Hall for the reading of his will. Then 5 year old Tommy goes missing. So, they end up staying at the Hall while the search for the young boy is underway.

But, at night the whispers start..

This is classic supernatural horror. A creepy house on the moors, demons, witches, exorcisms and evil it has it all. What’s not to love ? Well written, atmospheric and thoroughly entertaining.

Thank you to Vicky at Head Of Zeus and for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour, for the promotional material and an eARC of The House Of A Hundred Whispers.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

Graham Masterton is mainly recognized for his horror novels but he has also been a prolific writer of thrillers, disaster novels and historical epics, as well as one of the world’s most influential series of sex instruction books. He became a newspaper reporter at the age of 17 and was appointed editor of Penthouse magazine at only 24. His first horror novel The Manitou was filmed with Tony Curtis playing the lead, and three of his short horror stories were filmed by Tony Scott for The Hunger TV series. Ten years ago Graham turned his hand to crime novels and White Bones, set in Ireland, was a Kindle phenomenon, selling over 100,000 copies in a month. This has been followed by ten more bestselling crime novels featuring Detective Superintendent Katie Maguire, the latest of which is The Last Drop of Blood. In 2019 Graham was given a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Horror Writers Association. The Prix Graham Masterton for the best horror fiction in French has been awarded annually for the past ten years, and four years ago he established an annual award for short stories written by inmates in Polish prisons, Nagroda Grahama Mastertona “W Więzieniu Pisane.” He is currently working on new horror and crime novels. 

Buy links:

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2DejwGk

iBooks: https://apple.co/2P3pcFX

Kobo: https://bit.ly/338461g

Google Play: https://bit.ly/332yzxP

Follow Graham Masterton:

Twitter: @GrahamMasterton

Wesbite: www.grahammasterton.co.uk.

Follow Head of Zeus:

Twitter: @HoZ_Books

Facebook: @headofzeus

Instagram: @headofzeus

blog tour, Book reviews, Murder mystery, Mystery

No Love Lost by Robert Crouch – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

How can a simple job interview end in complete carnage?

When Mandy Paige seeks Kent Fisher’s help to find the mother who abandoned her as a baby, he has no idea of the mayhem his investigation will unleash. With only a photograph of a woman he once knew, he discovers she left her office one Friday afternoon twenty years ago and never returned.

Did Helen Cassidy escape an abusive husband or was she abducted and murdered?

People connected to Helen begin to die in mysterious circumstances. An old foe returns, leaving cryptic messages on the windscreen of Kent’s car. He seems to know Kent’s every move, hounding and taunting the sleuth, attacking those who can help him solve the mystery.

When the main suspect dies, Kent’s investigation lies in tatters – until he realises he’s not the one pursuing the killer. The killer’s pursuing him.

MY REVIEW 

No Love Lost is #6 in the Kent Fisher series, it can also be read as a stand-alone.

Kent is an environmental health officer, an animal sanctuary owner and amateur detective. His personal life is an integral part of the stories and in this one, he’s single again and something from his past back has come to bite him.

He begins investigating an old mystery and what he finds has repercussions for many people’s lives. The body count begins to rise. Can he solve this mystery without any more deaths?

Kent is a marvellously complex, likeable character with an engaging humour and slight eccentricity about him. The plot has twists, turns and some shocks and heartbreaking moments too. It really has it all. Such a brilliant series, so well written it is completely engrossing from start to finish. 

Thank you to the author, Robert Crouch for the opportunity to be part of this book launch, for the promotional material and an eARC of No Love Lost. This is my honest and unbiased review review.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

Robert Crouch is the author of the Kent Fisher murder mystery series. Set in today’s world, the books pay homage to the traditional murder mystery and classic whodunit.

Based on his career as an environmental health officer, Kent Fisher is a different kind of detective, described as ‘unique in crime fiction’ by one reviewer.

Having left environmental health, Robert now writes full time from his home on the East Sussex coast. He loves walking on the South Downs with his wife, Carol, and their Westie, Harvey, reading crime fiction and photography.

To find out more, you can visit his

website at https://robertcrouch.co.uk

Amazon page at https://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B01HFPCYOM

Facebook Author page at https://www.facebook.com/robertcrouchauthor

blog tour, Book reviews, Crime thriller, Murder mystery, Political thriller

Plague by Julie Anderson – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

There are many ways to die. Plague is just one of them.

Work on a London tube line is halted by the discovery of an ancient plague pit and, within it, a very recent corpse. A day later another body is found, killed in the same way, also in a plague pit. This victim is linked to the Palace of Westminster, where rumours swirl around the Prime Minister and his rivals.

As the number of deaths climbs, the media stokes fear. Government assurances are disbelieved. Everyone feels threatened. This has to be resolved and fast.

The Westminster connection enables Detective Inspector Andrew Rowlands, working alone on  a series of rapes and murders of vulnerable young people in central London, to finally persuade his superiors that there is a pattern. He is assigned to lead the case.  Cassandra Fortune, a disgraced civil servant, is given the uncomfortable task of investigating the investigation, while joining forces with Rowlands to find the killers before Parliament rises for recess.

Together they navigate the arcane world of the Palace of Westminster as the body count grows. But someone is leaking important details about the case to the press and the media ratchets up the pressure. Misinformation and malice online feeds distrust and panic and the Black Death begins to stalk the streets of London once again.

Meanwhile the commercial and political world focuses on the launch of a huge government Thames-side building programme worth billions. Powerful forces, in Parliament and the City, are competing for its spoils. How, if at all, does this link with the killings? Drawn into the melee, Cassandra Fortune finds herself the object of the attentions of one of the major players, wealthy City broker, Lawrence Delahaye. The attraction is mutual. Fortune and Rowlands discover a shadowy underground network of influence and power as they race against the clock to prevent the death of more innocents and the destruction of the Mother of Parliaments itself. Cassandra will be forced to make a terrible decision as she faces ruin. Time is running out and it’s not clear what, or who, is going to survive. 

MY REVIEW 

Plague is part Murder mystery and part political thriller, all set in and around the Palace of Westminster.

Cassie, an ex-employee of GCHQ is now working in the office of the Deputy Prime Minister. She witnesses the discovery of the body of a murder victim when the wall of an old plague pit collapses.

The body is linked to a previous victim found in a similar location. 

Cassie works with Detective Andrew Rowlands to find the killer before anymore deaths.

As they investigate, they find powerful people in parliament may be involved. 

The media is causing the public to panic as there is mention of plague being back in London, but who is feeding all the misinformation to the press?

With the politics of politics in parliament, big business involvement and murder ‘events’ this is a well plotted, twisty political thriller with some shocks along the way. Julie Anderson clearly knows her way around Westminster, the history of London and it’s lost or hidden rivers, all of which makes this a gripping and entertaining read. 

Thank you to Damppebbles Blog Tours for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour, for the promotional material and an ARC of Plague. This is my honest and unbiased review.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

Julie Anderson was a Senior Civil Servant in Westminster and Whitehall for many years, including at the Office for the Deputy Prime Minister, the Inland Revenue and Treasury Solicitors. Earlier publications include historical adventure novels and short stories. She is Chair of Trustees of Clapham Writers, organisers of the Clapham Book Festival, and curates events across London. Find her at https://www.jandmanderson.com

Social Media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jjulieanderson

Website: https://julieandersonwriter.com/

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

Purchase Links:

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/3jUbbrw

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2ZfD45l

Foyles: https://bit.ly/3m6ilLh

Barnes and Noble: https://bit.ly/2ZfFyAz

Waterstones: https://bit.ly/2EXn3u4

Plague by Julie Anderson


blog tour, Book reviews, Extract, Fantasy

*EXTRACT* from Whispers In The Mist by Darcy Coates

Hello and welcome to The Bookwormery.

Today I am sharing an extract from Whispers in the Mist by Darcy Coates…but first a little about the book….

PUBLISHERS BLURB

Clare and Dorran may still be alive against all odds, but relief is only temporary. Dorran is sick, and rapidly worsening. Clare fears the only way to save him lies in the mysterious Evandale Research Station, supposedly one of the few remaining human refuges. But the station is three days’ journey away, and Clare isn’t certain their small group can endure that long. 

Because the danger they’re facing comes not only from the ravenous hollow ones… but from each other. 

This terrible new world has left scars, and only some of them are physical. As Clare fights to protect the most precious people in her life, she begins to realize a horrible truth: Not everyone can be saved. And sometimes the worst monsters wear a human smile..


and here is the extract…

Chapter 1

Clare clung to her seat as the minibus rocked through the city. Abandoned cars littered the streets like the fallen on a battlefield. A path had been carved through them using brute force, but it was irregular, weaving in sharp angles and often forcing them to rise onto the curb.

Every time the bus jolted over some obstacle, Dorran’s shoulder bumped hers. Clare felt pure elation rush through her. They had gotten out of Helexis Tower and away from the scientist who had created the thanites that destroyed humanity. Dorran was with her. Dorran was safe.

She looked up at him, grinning. He tried to return the expression. Clare’s heart sank.

They might be free, but Dorran hadn’t escaped the tower unscathed. Even though he matched her smile, it was obvious that it took him effort. He braced one hand on the seat ahead to absorb the shocks. The fingers trembled. His skin was ashen, his dark eyes had lost their familiar brightness, and every jostle seemed to drain more of his strength. Black hair, slightly too long, was damp with sweat.

He needs rest. A few days of good food and sleep, and he’ll start to heal. She wanted to believe the idea. She was desperate to. It seemed too cruel to escape the tower—to escape Ezra and his experiment—only to lose Dorran.

She took his free hand and pressed it gently. He threaded his fingers between hers. His thumb grazed over the ring he’d given her.

Hold on a little longer, Dorran. I’ll do whatever it takes to make this right.

Two rows ahead of then, Beth sat in the driver’s seat, navigating the congested roads. It felt like a dream. Clare had clung to hope for her sister longer than any rational part of her could justify. She had travelled across the country only to lose her again. To find Beth by what seemed like pure coincidence was more good luck than Clare dared trust in. But she was there, within touching distance, alive and real.

Clare swallowed, trying to find her voice. “Beth—”

“Not now,” she barked, her eyes fixed on the path ahead as the minibus screeched around a tight bend.

Ten years her senior, Beth had become a surrogate mother to Clare after their father left and their mother passed away. Beth had taken her to school programs, swimming lessons, and camps, and watched her like a hawk the entire time. There had been doctor’s visits over mild

coughs. No swimming in pools unless both Beth and a lifeguard were present. No sleepovers unless Beth empirically trusted the families.

The old Beth, naturally cautious, had never sped in her life. She’d once told Clare,

driving is one of the most dangerous things a person can do, second only to eating undercooked meat.

But the new world had changed Beth. Even with the road choked, she was over the speed limit. The minibus scraped half the cars it passed. She drove aggressively, but efficiently. The chattering screams from the hollow ones pursuing them were already fading.

That wasn’t the only part of Beth that had changed. Her fine, wavy blonde hair had grown out a little since Clare had last seen her, and grazed over her shoulders. Her face looked harder. Leaner. Fresh scars marked her delicate features.

Clare leaned forward to try to see her sister more clearly. If Beth was aware of the scrutiny, she didn’t acknowledge it. They rose onto another curb and clipped a light post, and Clare dropped back into her seat to avoid being rattled any more than she already was.

The scars were fresh. One ran across Beth’s nose, starting near her eye and arcing down onto her cheek. Another mottled patch stood just above her temple. Three small marks showed where something had sliced into her jaw.

They were recent, but already sealed over. Clare knew the thanites would be responsible for that. Airborne, nano-particle-sized machines designed to heal the human body, but gone terribly, horrifically wrong. Like Clare, Beth would have been spared a full dose. She’d had her bunker, an airtight fortress that had saved her from being converted into one of the twisted, mindless creatures during the hours the thanites had been active.

The bunker would have limited Beth’s exposure to the thanites, but not eliminated them entirely. And now the tiny machines were inhabiting her body, healing her injuries. It was one of the reasons Clare had survived so long. Poison, bloodloss, and infection were all being repaired by the same creations that had grown out of control and mutated most of humanity.

Beth wrenched the wheel to navigate a tight angle. Clare hit Dorran’s side, and he hit the window. The bus rose onto one side of wheels, and for a moment, Clare was afraid they were about to tip. Then the bus lurched back down, sending shockwaves through them as it reconnected with the road.

This reckless, energetic Beth was a sharp contrast to the woman Clare knew. Her

wardrobe had changed, too. All black swaddled her from the scarf around her neck to her boots. If she wore a mask, there wouldn’t be a scrap of skin visible. Covering skin was a defence against the hollows, but it still left Clare disconcerted. She’d never seen Beth wear black before. It was as though all of Beth’s soft sides had been sharpened into angles.

Clare supposed it was hard to stay static in the new world. She wondered how much she had changed in the past weeks.

The minibus’s windows had been covered with plyboard. Narrow gaps existed around the boards’ edges. When Clare was close to them, she could see the businesses and vehicles they passed. She caught sight of movement inside many of the cars. Hollows, trapped, pressed their hands against the closed windows and hissed in frustration. Each nightmarish face was only visible for a split second, but the images haunted Clare. Deformed mouths. Missing teeth. Bulging eyes. Sparse hair.

She tried to imagine what their lives would have been like before the stillness. People on their way to their jobs, parents dropping their children off at daycare, an elderly couple driving to an early-morning breakfast date. Those were the monsters that now surrounded them.

Stop. Focus on what’s good. Because there’s a lot of good to be found today.

Dorran was safe. Hurt, but still alive. Clare tightened her hand around his. Against all odds, they had found Beth. Or, rather, Beth had found them. She’d gotten them out of Helexis Tower. And now they were leaving the city. The high-rise buildings were being replaced by homes and wider roads as they entered the outer suburbs. The country wasn’t far off.

The tyres screeched as Beth pulled off the road. It wasn’t the first time she’d taken a shortcut across a parking lot, but this time, she didn’t floor the accelerator. She let the minibus rock to a halt, pulled the handbrake, and jumped out of her driver’s seat.

“What the hell were you doing in the city?” She stood in the aisle, her face made of sharp angles and her eyes doused with fire. Then the expression softened, her jaw unclenching and her eyebrows rising, and she reached towards Clare. “Thank goodness you’re okay.”

Clare crossed to her in two quick steps. Beth’s hug was fierce as she was half cried, half laughed into Clare’s wet hair.

“I didn’t think I’d get to see you again,” Clare managed.

“Neither did I.” Beth leaned back far enough to see Clare’s face and used her fingertips to brush wet hair off her cheek. “You’re not hurt, are you?”

“I’m not, but—”

Clare turned to look at Dorran. He stood a few steps behind them, one hand braced on the back of a chair for support, watching cautiously. He was trying not to look intimidating, Clare knew, but that was hard to avoid when his head grazed the ceiling.

Beth’s eyes fixed on Dorran. The hand on Clare’s shoulder tightened a fraction. “This is the man you’ve been staying with?”

“Yes.” Clare reached towards him. “I’m really glad you get to meet him. Dorran, this is Beth. Beth, Dorran.”

He dipped his head in a respectful nod, his eyes not quite meeting hers and his voice subdued. “A pleasure.”

“Mm.” Beth’s lips pressed into a tight line as her eyes ran over him, from his black hair, to his broad shoulders, across the muddied lab coat he’d borrowed from Ezra, down to the boots. Clare wished she would be more subtle about it.

“He figured out how to repair my car.” Clare spoke too fast as she tried to soften some of Beth’s hostility. “I’d never have gotten this far without him—”

“Outside,” Beth said, abruptly, and tugged on her arm.

“Ah—what?”

“Come on. We’ll talk outside.”

Clare stared at the windshield. Light reflected off the water flowing over the surface. “It’s

raining.”

“You’re already drenched.” Beth hit a button and the door hissed open, letting the steady

drum of rain inside, along with the faint scent of smoke, oil, and hollows. “Come on. I want to talk in private.”

Clare sent Dorran an apologetic glance as she was dragged out of the bus. He looked conflicted, one hand reaching towards her, and Clare mouthed don’t worry. Then the door creaked closed behind her, sealing him inside the bus.

Beth kept her hold on Clare’s arm as she dragged her away from the vehicle. The rain, vicious in its intensity at Helexis Tower, had reduced to a drizzle in the outer suburbs.

Clare blinked at the space, surprised. Beth had stopped the minibus in the centre of a shopping mall’s parking lot. They were well-lit as gigantic bulbs washed the area with cold white light. Clare didn’t know how the lights could still be running four weeks into the stillness. Even

if the centre had a generator—and she guessed it must have for emergencies—it would need to be refuelled. The area seemed deserted except for their vehicle.

“Beth?” Clare was already wet from the run out of Helexis tower, but the new wash of rain drained another layer of warmth. Her sneakers sank into a puddle two inches deep and she shivered. Beth stopped a dozen paces away from the bus, facing the deserted shopping mall, arms crossed. Clare hunched her shoulders. “Is everything okay?”

Beth dragged her hands over her hair, plastering it back, and then turned towards Clare. “I don’t like the way he looks.”

She’d been expecting wariness towards Dorran. “He’s a good man. He’s kind, and patient, and he saved my life. Multiple times. I can’t even begin to tell you how much I owe him.”

Beth paced across the asphalt, arms folded, expression tense. When she turned back to Clare there was fresh suspicion in her eyes. “He looks sick.”

“He…” She could tell Beth exactly what had happened: about how Dorran had been coerced into becoming part of Ezra’s experiment to destroy the thanites, and how they didn’t know what the consequences might be. But the way Beth was talking about Dorran—like he was an unwanted liability—made Clare swallow the story. She couldn’t afford to give Beth any more reasons to mistrust him. Instead, she opted for a half-truth. “It’s been a weird couple of days. He didn’t sleep last night.”

“Uh-huh.” Beth’s eyes narrowed in the way they did when she was sceptical. Her jaw worked as she stared towards the bus, chewing something over. Then she took a deep breath. “We’ll drop him off with some other survivors then get back on the road.”

“What?” Clare blinked water out of her eyes.

“Don’t worry. I know some groups that would take him in.”

“No.” Clare took a step back, her heart thundering. “We’re not going to abandon him.

We’re a team.”

“He’s a stranger.”

“To you.” She hated how defensive she sounded, but she couldn’t stop. “He’s my best friend.”

Beth’s lips twisted. “Oh, really? After knowing him for, what? A couple of weeks?” “After having to rely on him for my survival, repeatedly, through some of the worst

moments of my life, yeah. And I think I’m a good enough judge of character to say I trust him. Why can’t you believe that?”

“Oh, I don’t know.” Beth’s voice rose, and a harsh note entered it. “Maybe because I can’t even trust you to follow basic instructions.”

It took Clare a second to catch the implication. “Are you angry because I came looking for you?”

“What did I tell you the last time we spoke?” Beth lifted her eyebrows to arrest Clare with one of the sharpest looks she’d ever experienced. “Stay where you are.”

“Your generator died. Was I supposed to just leave you there to suffocate?”

“Yes.” Beth held her hands out to the sides, her open palms catching the rain. “It would have been better than traipsing across the country just to find my bunker was empty. And if that weren’t bad enough… what the hell were you doing in the city? The single most dangerous place in this part of the country.”

Clare was used to her share of lectures from Beth. She’d hated them as a teen, but as she grew older and moved into her own home, she’d learned to see them for what they really were: an expression of love. Beth cared about her, therefore Beth worried about her, therefore Beth lectured her.

But this felt different. There wasn’t any concerned tilt to her sister’s eyes or pleading note in her voice. This Beth, the Beth that had been hardened and sharpened by the still world, was full of fire and wrath. Clare took a half step back.

“We—” Were lost. Became trapped. Ran out of options. None of them sounded good. She swallowed. “We found the tower by pure luck and recognised the address, so we took a chance on it.”

“And how were you planning to get out?” Beth’s piercing blue eyes were relentless. “You ran through the hoard with no weapons. No protection. Not even a mask. If I hadn’t been there, what would you have done to escape the hollows?”

The rain drenched Clare’s skin. Her hair stuck to her face. But, for all the external cold she felt, it was nothing compared to the lump of ice that was forming deep in her stomach.

She’d been desperate to reunite with Beth. She’d taken risks she shouldn’t have just for the hope of finding her. But Beth was furious. And, unlike a normal lecture, she didn’t know how to stop this new anger.

Beth took her silence for the answer it was. “You had no way to get out of that tower, did you? You’re only alive right now because of pure, miserable luck.”

Angry tears were building, and she was grateful that the rain would stop Beth from seeing them.

“I told you all of this so clearly.” Beth’s voice dropped until it was almost inaudible through the rain. “Don’t take risks. People who gamble on the odds eventually lose. And what did you do?”

“Whatever it took to try to find my sister.”

Beth’s face stayed hard for all of a second, then the expression crumpled. She exhaled, head drooping and shoulders bowing. For a moment, they stood together, letting the rain beat on their backs and drip off their chins. Then Beth lifted her head, her expression soft again.

“That was really dumb, Clare.” “Okay.”

“But thank you, anyway.” “Yeah.”

Her sister’s arms wrapped around her again. Beth’s jacket was thick and cold, but her body was warm. She squeezed Clare tightly, swaying with her like she’d used to when Clare was a child.

“I’m happy to have you with me again,” she murmured. “I didn’t think I’d ever get the chance.”

“I missed you, Beth.”

“Mm.” She pulled back, blinking rapidly. “Me too.”

Thunder crackled in the distance. Clare turned to look behind them, towards the minibus.

Its windows were blacked out, but she could imagine Dorran sitting inside, anxious and uncertain, alone in the dark as he waited for them to return. Her heart ached for him. “I’m not letting you kick Dorran out.”

Beth chewed on her lip for a second, then sighed. “He can stay. For now. But, if he wants to split up, we let him go, okay?”

Clare still didn’t like her sister’s tone, but she nodded. It was probably the best concession she could get. And she already knew Dorran would stay.

Beth squinted up at the sky as lightning arced above them. “Rain’s nasty today. Come on. 

Let’s get dry. We shouldn’t linger here, anyway. The hollows are growing impatient.”

Wow, what a start…..

Thank you to Amber at Midas PR for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour, for the promotional material s extract from Whispers In The Dark. 

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.

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

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.