Book reviews, Historical fiction

Monopoli Blues by Tim Clark and Nick Cook – Book Review



A son’s journey to uncover the story of his parents in war-time special forces

PRAISE for Monopoli Blues

‘Lucidly written, deeply researched and extremely well-structured … a remarkable act of imagination and filial homage’ William Boyd, New Statesman

‘Powerful … this is the reality of war behind the headlines’ Jonathan Dimbleby

‘A gripping tale of wartime exploits, an unlikely love story, and a son’s journey to discover his father’s secret war’ Joshua Levine, author of Dunkirk.



In November 1944, Sub Lt Bob Clark, a twenty-year old agent with Britain’s top-secret Special Operations Executive, parachuted into northern Italy.

He left behind the girl he had fallen in love with, Marjorie, his radio operator. Captured by the enemy, Bob’s fate hangs in the balance and Marjorie won’t know for six months whether he is alive or dead…

Monopoli Blues recounts the story of Tim Clark’s journey to uncover the story of his parents’ war – and the truth behind the betrayal of his father’s Clarion mission to the Nazis.



I found this to be a wonderful book, it’s how history of war should be written from the personal lives and experiences of ordinary men and women in sometimes extraordinary circumstances.

This is beautifully written and captures the emotions and atmosphere of the time. It shows just how war affected those involved, the fear and suffering they experienced and then kept it all bottled up to protect those around them.

This is an epic story of love, bravery, humility, war and betrayal. This will bring tears to your eyes more than once as Bob and Marjorie capture your heart. Totally spellbinding and magnificent…..a must read.

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

You can buy a copy here (click on the image)




Tim Clark spent a large part of his career working as a lawyer at one of the world’s leading firms specialising in M+A and corporate work in the UK and internationally, ultimately becoming Senior Partner. Since retiring as a lawyer, Tim has taken on board positions on a number of corporate, arts and charitable organisations, and senior advisory roles at a number of international think tanks.

Nick Cook is an author, journalist, broadcaster and entrepreneur. In 1986, he joined the world-renowned Jane’s Defence Weekly, initially as a reporter, rising quickly to become Aviation Editor, a position he held until 2005. His first novel, Angel, Archangel, was published in 1989 to critical acclaim. In 2001, Cook’s first non-fiction title, The Hunt For Zero Point, was published, reaching Number 1 in Amazon’s Non-Fiction charts. He has also written, hosted and produced two documentaries about the world of aerospace and defence – Billion Dollar Secret and an Alien History of Planet Earth. He lives and works with his wife and two children in London.

Tim Clark and Nick Cook have spoken about the book to sold-out audiences at the Chalke Valley History Festival and the National Theatre.

The book has received considerable attention in the media: the authors have been interviewed on Sky News and BBC Radio London, and a glowing review from William Boyd was published in New Statesman. A feature written by Tim Clark has also appeared in the i newspaper.

Book reviews, Psychlogical thriller

The Last Widow by Karin Slaughter- Book Review


From the No.1 bestselling author comes a gripping new crime thriller featuring Will Trent and Sara Linton

It begins with an abduction. The routine of a family shopping trip is shattered when Michelle Spivey is snatched as she leaves the mall with her young daughter. The police search for her, her partner pleads for her release, but in the end…they find nothing. It’s as if she disappeared into thin air.

A month later, on a sleepy Sunday afternoon, medical examiner Sara Linton is at lunch with her boyfriend Will Trent, an agent with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. But the serenity of the summer’s day is broken by the wail of sirens.

Sara and Will are trained to help in an emergency. Their jobs – their vocations – mean that they run towards a crisis, not away from it. But on this one terrible day that instinct betrays them both. Within hours the situation has spiralled out of control; Sara is taken prisoner; Will is forced undercover. And the fallout will lead them into the Appalachian mountains, to the terrible truth about what really happened to Michelle, and to a remote compound where a radical group has murder in mind


This is book #9 in the Will Trent series but can easily be read as a stand-alone.

Told From the point of view of three main characters, Will, his girlfriend Sara and Faith. It gives a different perspective of the same events at times, so may feel a little repetitive but I enjoyed seeing how things seemed to the different parties,.

Will and Sara are just having a relaxing day with family, when explosions break the calm and so they rush to offer their help, but on they way they are involved in a car accident…..but all is not as it seems.

Will is hurt and Sara is taken, they need a medic!…in the vehicle is a woman, she’s terrified and clearly in a state….she’s Michelle Spivey who had been kidnapped a while ago…just who are these men?

Brilliant writing by Karin Slaughter and This really touches a nerve, with the current climate the thought of an abhorrent white supremacist plot to cause such horrific disruption and terror doesn’t seem that far fetched and that’s what makes this so scary.

I would like to thank the Pigeonhole and the author for the opportunity to read this book for free and this is my honest and unbiased review


Book reviews, Historical fiction, Romance

The House Of Secrets by Terry Lynn Thomas- Book Review




Sarah Bennett has two secrets: she sees ghosts, and she is in love with a spy.

When Sarah takes a job with occult expert Dr Matthew Geisler, he promises to help her understand the sorrowful spirit that seems to have attached itself to her.

As Sarah struggles to cope with the ghostly presence, she runs into Zeke, the man who left her six months earlier and is recovering from injuries suffered in an alleged accident. But Zeke has secrets of his own, and when an attempt is made on Geisler’s life, Sarah finds herself caught in a struggle between the living and the dead.

Unsure who she can trust, Sarah must solve the mystery of the soul determined to haunt her, and save Dr Geisler and herself from an unknown threat.

This book was previously published as WEEPING IN THE WINGS


This is a following novel to Spirit of Grace, but can easily be read as a stand-alone.

Sarah Bennett, still traumatised by her fathers murder trial, she takes a job working for a psychiatrist, Dr Matthew Geisler..

He has an interest in the supernatural and says he can help with her visions… Sarah takes the job, she can also keep an eye on her ex fiancé, Zeke, who is there for treatment for his injuries..

She befriends, Minna, who is struggling at the institution…..she also claims to see ghosts…and there are threats of harm to Dr Geisler……just who is intent of doing him harm?

“My mind went to my pocket book where the glass bottle that held the opium tincture waited for me, the panacea for situations such as this. Two drops in eight ounces of water, and whatever I heard, whomever I saw, would disappear.”

This is a supernatural historical fiction mystery with a touch of romance too and I found it to be well plotted and certainly entertaining with a clever ending that brings all the pieces together. A thoroughly entertaining read.

Thank you to Rachel’s Random Resources for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook. This is my honest, unbiased review.


Purchase Links:

US –


UK –


The House of Secrets is 99p throughout June as part of the June Kindle Monthly deal. The Spirit of Grace, book 1 in the series is also .99 throughout June.




Terry Lynn Thomas grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, which explains her love of foggy beaches and Gothic mysteries. When her husband promised to buy Terry a horse and the time to write if she moved to Mississippi with him, she jumped at the chance. Although she had written several novels and screenplays prior to 2006, after she relocated to the South she set out to write in earnest and has never looked back.

Terry Lynn writes the Sarah Bennett Mysteries, set on the California coast during the 1940s, which feature a misunderstood medium in love with a spy. The Drowned Woman is a recipient of the IndieBRAG Medallion. She also writes the Cat Carlisle Mysteries, set in Britain during World War II.

The first book in this series, The Silent Woman, came out in April 2018 and has since become a USA TODAY bestseller. When she’s not writing, you can find Terry Lynn riding her horse, walking in the woods with her dogs, or visiting old cemeteries in search of story ideas.


Social Media Links




Book reviews

The Story A Day May Collection by Morgen Bailey – Book Review



This collection was written from a variety of prompts supplied by and originally published on Morgen’s blog ( – where you can still read the list of prompts), during May 2011, 2012, and 2013.

In this book there are stories of revenge, overcoming obstacles, newfound and lost love, shopping, chocolate, legends of history, and the occasional alien or two.

We have crimes afoot, writer’s block, characters with and without friends, homages, humans and non-humans, scratches, squeaks and barks.

From Chelsea buns to casseroles, we share the highs and lows, but the stories all go to show what can be done with a prompt, a few hours, and a colourful imagination.



What a fun read, perfect for dipping in and out of when you don’t really have time for a novel but want a quick read…..

Each of the short and some very short stories are all the result of a writing prompt….so if the prompt is alternate reality, then the story is a little sci-fi tale and so on, resulting in an eclectic mix of stories with many characters and genre and a joy to read.

There’s quirky, fun, heartwarming, sci-fi,  creepy thrillers and so much more …..

A very clever way of igniting the imagination….

Thank you to Sarah at Book On The Bright Side for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook. This is my honest, unbiased review.


Author Bio:


Morgen Bailey (Morgen with an E) is an author (of novels, short stories, writing and editing guides), freelance editor (for publishers and indie authors), writing tutor (in person and online), Writers’ Forum magazine ‘Competitive Edge’ columnist, blogger, speaker, and co-founder of Northants Authors. The former Chair of three writing groups, she has judged the H.E. Bates Short Story Competition, RONE, as well as the BBC Radio 2, BeaconLit, and Althorp Literary Festival children’s short story competitions. She also runs her own monthly 100-word competition. 2018 events include talks and workshops at Troubador’s Self Publishing Conference speakers, workshops and panels at Delapre Book Festival, interviewing and workshops at BeaconLit, and NAWG Fest with her ‘Editing your Fiction’ weekend residential course. Morgen can be found on Twitter, Facebook, and many others. Her blog is, and email address


Links used above:


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Book reviews, Psychlogical thriller

Without A Trace by Carissa Anne Lynch – Book Review



From the USA Today bestselling author of My Sister Is Missing

Lily’s gone.

Someone took her.

Unless she was she never there…

A little girl has gone missing.

Lily was last seen being tucked into bed by her adoring mother, Nova. But the next morning, the bed is empty except for a creepy toy rabbit.

Has Nova’s abusive ex stolen his “little bunny” back for good?

At first, Officer Ellie James assumes this is a clear custody battle. Until she discovers that there are no pictures of the girl and her drawers are full of unused toys and brand new clothes that have never been worn…

Is Ellie searching for a missing child who doesn’t actually exist?



Nova has run away from her abusive husband, Martin. She has taken her daughter Lily to a secluded cabin…….

When she goes to wake Lily, she finds the bed empty and a little bunny in her place. Panic stricken she calls the police and Ellie James arrives…..looking around she questions why no pictures or toys and all belongings are new, some still in their wrappings…..(it reminded me a little of the old film Bunny Lake is Missing). Had Lily actually been there? Does she exist at all?

Neighbour, Clara says she saw Nova arrive, but not Lily and that a truck had pulled up to the cabin late at night……..then Nova goes missing! Blood and teeth are found and the search begins…..but does Clara know more than she is telling?….as she has a secret of her own!

Martin, says it was him who wanted to end the marriage, Nova was unstable due to losing a baby, a son and they didn’t have a daughter…he is a sly, nasty piece of work, but just how far would he go to get his revenge on Nova for having the cheek to leave him…….

The police have suspicions that Nova is troubled, that Lily never existed and as the investigation progresses, we find out more secrets and the tension builds…..

I enjoyed the way the story is told, the different chapters from each of the characters point of view,  and how it shows the effect domestic violence can have…..the lengths people will go to keep their secret. This is a tense, twisty psychological thriller with a slightly creepy feel that will keep you on tenterhooks right to the incredible ending…

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

You can buy a copy here (click on the image)



Carissa Ann Lynch is the USA Today bestselling author of My Sister is Missing, Flocksdales Files trilogy, Horror High series, Searching for Sullivan, Shades and Shadows, Midnight Moss, This Is Not About Love, 13 anthology, Twisted anthology and Without A Trace.

She resides in Floyds Knobs, Indiana with her family and collection of books. With a background in psychology and corrections, she’s always been a little obsessed with the darker areas of the human mind.

Website :

Twitter : @carissaannlynch

Author page on Facebook

Book details 

Without A Trace by Carissa Ann Lynch

  • Paperback: 380 pages
  • Publisher: Killer Reads; Digital original edition (13 Jun. 2019)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0008324514
  • ISBN-13: 978-0008324513


Book reviews, Crime thriller, Police procedural, Psychlogical thriller

The Coop by E.C.Deacon – Book Review



When a woman staggers, naked, from a river, she has no idea that she’s been saved from a killer by a text message from a dead woman.

Laura Fell is horrified when she discovers of her friend Gina’s suicide. But when the autopsy reveals Gina died before her arrival at the house, she is perplexed. Who then answered her mobile phone?

Everton Bowe, a cop whose career is as dead as his marriage, insists there was no-one else present.  But he’s wrong.

Meanwhile, his ex-lover, DC Helen Lake, insists there are similarities between the traumatized river woman and the cold case of three missing women; the victims, she fears, of a serial killer.

So, when a strange Dove’s feather, matching one found on the river victim, is found in Gina’s house, Everton and Helen are suspicious.

If there was someone inside Gina’s house could he also be the river attacker?

And could he also be responsible for the other missing women?

At the same time, Laura Fell uncovers a web of deceit that stains the relationships around her and seems weirdly linked to Gina’s death, as well as the attacked woman.

Is there a serial killer on the loose?

If so, what is his motive, and the macabre significance of the feather?



Members of the Chill Out group are on an evening out, but Gina hasn’t arrived….instead the troubled woman has hung herself in her home and sent an MMS of it to a special friend….

The special Friend was in the process of creating his angel…..Tessa Hayes, drugged, abducted and shaved, but interrupted by the MMS he dumps her…..alive but with no memory…….

“I am Nephilim… My spirit shall not abide in mortals… for they are flesh.”

PC Everton Bowe, Ménière’s disease sufferer with a broken marriage, is sent to Gina’s home, after a call from her friend Laura, who insists there was someone in the house…..he finds poor Gina’s body….

DC Helen Lake, who had a short lived relationship with Bowe, is ambitious and ruthless, sees there maybe a link between Gina, Tessa and other missing women…..a white feather is evidence there is more to these events than it first appears……

There are a lot of background stories, that for a while may feel a little disjointed, but they do start to link and show the characters backgrounds, secrets and their place in the overall tale. Some of these characters are truly reprehensible, and others, like Bowe, are endearingly human with all their flaws.

Plenty of red herrings and twists to make this a clever, well plotted thriller. The final few, shocking, tense and totally gripping chapters bring this to a marvellously taut ending. If you like dark, twisty thriller then you’ll love this.

Thank you to Bloodhound Books for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook  in exchange for my honest, unbiased review.





Eric had a successful acting career, playing leading roles in TV and film including, Penmarric and Kings Royal for the BBC. London’s Burning and Hard Cases for ITV. His films include the lead role in Peter Greenaway’s controversial A Zed and Two Noughts.

He started writing screenplays after a family illness and found almost immediate success. His scripts include the Bafta nominated, Prime Suspect and the multi IFTA nominated Relative Strangers, starring another Oscar winner, Brenda Fricker. His short film Engaged, which he wrote and directed, was short-listed for the Fuji Film and BBC awards. Whilst Orlas Song won the Best Horror UK Award.

Eric has four – yes, four – screenplays in development (hell). Which is probably why he started writing novels. The Coop is his first and will form the basis of a trilogy.

He has two sons, both working successfully in the television and film industry. Eric is divorced and lives in Esher with his partner, in a house once occupied by the Judge that jailed Oscar Wilde – which may or may not be a good omen for his work.


Book reviews, Historical fiction

God’s Children by Mabli Roberts – Book Review



‘Kate Marsden: nurse, intrepid adventurer, saviour of the lepers or devious manipulator, immoral and dishonest?’

As she lies on her deathbed visited by the ghosts of her past, who should we believe, Kate or those who accuse her of duplicity? Memory is a fickle thing: recollections may be frozen in time or distorted by the mirror of wishful thinking. Kate’s own story is one of incredible achievements, illicit love affairs and desperate longing; those of her accusers paint a very different portrait – of a woman determined on fame and fortune.

The reader navigates a narrative as fractured as the Siberian ice Kate crosses in search of a cure for leprosy, and as beautiful as Rose, her lost love, as the full picture emerges of a life lived when women were not expected to break the mould.



God’s Children is a unique, engaging read by Mabli Roberts….

This is the story of Kate Marsden and her 11,000 mile search for a flower that could possibly cure leprosy.

This is an epic tale of travels through a hostile environment of, forests, snow and ice with some truly perilous moments.

It starts on Kate’s death bed as she remembers her past…During her story she recounts earlier memories of her life in England, Russia, Bulgaria and New Zealand, we learn of her personal life too which damaged her reputation at the time.

“In the spring of 1890, St Petersburg was filled with blossom.”

Beautifully written with such descriptive writing you’ll feel every chill and moment of danger along with Kate. It’s not a fast read and I felt at sometimes a little disjointed, but it is human, with all its foibles, love, beauty, fear and death…..stunning and it will stay with me for a long time.

Thank you to Damppebbles Blog Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook. This is my honest, unbiased review.


About Mabli Roberts:


Mabli Roberts lives in a wild, mountainous part of Wales. She has an MA in Creative Writing from Lancaster University and has worked as a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Wales, Newport. Most of her inspiration comes from her love of history and from long walks in the timeless landscape around her.

Mabli also writes as Paula Brackston, PJ Brackston and PJ Davy. Nutters was shortlisted for the Mind Book Award and The Witch’s Daughter was a New York Times bestseller.

Her work has been translated into five languages and is sold around the world. You can find out more about her books on her website, her Author’s Facebook page and YouTube channel as well as the God’s Children Facebook page:

Social Media:





Purchase Links

Amazon UK:






Publishing Information:

Published by Honno Press in paperback and ebook format on 11th April 2019.

Amazon UK:






Publishing Information:

Published by Honno Press in paperback and ebook format on 11th April 2019.



Book reviews, Historical fiction

The Serpent’s Mark by S.W.Perry – Book Review



A smart and gripping tale of conspiracy, murder and espionage in Elizabethan London, ideal for fans of CJ Sansom, Rory Clements and SG MacLean.

Treason sleeps for no man…

London, 1591. Nicholas Shelby, physician and reluctant spy, returns to his old haunts on London’s lawless Bankside. But, when the queen’s spymaster Robert Cecil asks him to investigate the dubious practices of a mysterious doctor from Switzerland, Nicholas is soon embroiled in a conspiracy that threatens not just the life of an innocent young patient, but the overthrow of Queen Elizabeth herself.

With fellow healer and mistress of the Jackdaw tavern, Bianca Merton, again at his side, Nicholas is drawn into a dangerous world of zealots, charlatans and fanatics. As their own lives become increasingly at risk, they find themselves confronting the greatest treason of all: the spectre of a bloody war between the faiths…



#2 in a series featuring Dr Nicholas Selby, but can easily be read as a stand-alone.


“In the dusk of a desolate November evening an urchin in a mud-stained and threadbare jerkin, long since stolen from its rightful owner, hurries along the Thames foreshore beneath the grim ramparts of Tilbury Fort.”


Set in 1590’s London, this is the continuing tale of surgeon and reluctant spy, Nicholas Selby..

Nicholas had been unable to stop his wife dying during childbirth, so distraught and disillusioned he takes up residence in a Tavern to drink the remainder of his life away….but he is asked, by Robert Cecil to investigate a mysterious Swiss doctor.

He finds a plot to overthrow the queen, Queen Elizabeth!

This is a tale of religious conflict, of zealots and fanatics, Nicholas is again in danger as he delves into the mystery. A beautifully written, slow burn of a tale that brings to life the Elizabethan age in all its, at times dark, glory.  Great characters and a clever, engaging plot….If you enjoy historical fiction with an edge, then you love this.

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


About the author


S . W. Perry was a journalist and broadcaster before retraining as an airline pilot. He lives in Worcestershire with his wife.

Praise for The Serpents Mark

“No-one is better than S. W. Perry at leading us through the squalid streets of London in the sixteenth century.” – Andrew Swanston

“The writing is of such a quality, the characters so engaging and the setting so persuasive that, only two books in, S.W. Perry’s ingeniously plotted novels have become my favourite historical crime series.” – S G MacLean

Praise for The Angel’s Mark

“A gorgeous book – rich, intelligent and dark in equal measure. It immerses you in the late 16th century and leaves you wrung out with terror. This is historical fiction at its most sumptuous…” – Rory Clements

“Wonderful! Beautiful writing, and Perry’s Elizabethan London is so skilfully evoked, so real that one can almost smell it.” – Giles Kristian

“An impressively dramatic and gripping debut novel. Elegantly written, thoroughly researched, The Angel’s Mark draws us into the murky world of Elizabethan London where life is a game of chance, and savage death a close neighbour, quick to pounce on the unsuspecting. I predict that we will be seeing much more of Nicholas Shelby, physician and reluctant spy.” – Anne O’Brien

“I knew before I got to the bottom of the first page that The Angel’s Mark was the real thing. In an increasingly crowded field, this one is going to stand out.” – S G MacLean


Corvus | Hardback £14.99 | 6th June 2019

Also available in e-book


Book reviews, Psychlogical thriller

The Mothers Mistake by Ruth Heald – Book Review



Everyone makes mistakes. But does everyone deserve to be forgiven?

She runs past the tinkling of children’s laughter that fills the park. Heart hammering, feet stinging, she reaches the riverbank, her breath catching in her throat. And then she sees…


Three years later.


Claire has everything she’s always wanted. A new-born baby. A doting husband by her side. A picturesque home in the countryside.

But behind closed doors, Claire’s life is falling apart. Her husband is barely ever home, she’s struggling to bond with her baby girl, and she swears that she is being watched in the remote, lonely cottage.

And when a threatening note is posted through her letterbox, saying she doesn’t deserve her daughter, it’s clear that someone knows about the terrible mistake that Claire made – someone won’t let her forget it. Three years ago, she would have known who to turn to. But now she no longer recognises those closest to her, or the person she’s become. Who can she trust?

An atmospheric, chilling and absolutely unputdownable psychological thriller about a mother’s worst nightmare. Fans of K.L. Slater, Shalini Boland and The Girl on the Train will love the twists, turns and gasp-worthy shocks of this stunning debut from Ruth Heald.


Matt’s mother Ruth has offered her recently deceased mothers cottage, for him, Claire and Olivia to live in rent they take her up on the offer, which will give them time to save for a deposit on their own home. They move from busy London to a lovely village……

But, the cottage is just behind Ruth and Jacks home and she keeps letting herself in and refusing to clear her mother’s belongings, so the cottage is cluttered, causing more stress for an already worried Claire….

Matt is busy setting up his new veterinary practice and is away from home for long hours and Claire, who used to be a journalist, is struggling with caring for Olivia…she does have a new friend in Emma with baby Lizzie but continues to feel she cannot cope and worries she isn’t bonding with Olivia…

Then she gets a note, someone knows her past, her secret……and so the tension starts to build.

Claire’s sense of paranoia continues, strange noises, things being moved in the house…she’s just tired…isn’t she?

Matt becomes worried about her and so after seeing a doctor, Claire is diagnosed with post natal depression…Emma is so supportive, her only friend!

The chapters of the unknown woman and the horrific abuse she is suffering at the hands of her husband were hard to read……I wondered where the link between the two stories was……there’s a shock I wasn’t expecting !!!!

The Mother’s Mistake is a tense, compelling and at times brutal read, with many twists….the final reveal will leave you speechless….Brilliant writing by Ruth Heald…I loved every minute…

Thank you to Bookouture for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook  in exchange for my honest review.


Author Bio:


Ruth Heald is a psychological thriller writer from a suburban Buckinghamshire town. She studied Economics at Oxford and then worked in an eclectic mix of sectors from nuclear decommissioning to management consulting.

Seeking a more creative environment, she found a role at the BBC and worked there for nine years before leaving to write full time. Ruth is fascinated by psychology and finding out what drives people to violence, destruction and revenge. She’s married with one daughter and her novels explore our greatest fears in otherwise ordinary, domestic lives.



Author:     Ruth Heald

Book:     The Mother’s Mistake  

Publication Day:  11/06/19

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Book reviews, Court room drama, Thriller

Beyond Reasonable Doubt by Gary Bell – Book Review



Elliot Rook QC is one of the greatest barristers of his generation.

He is also a complete fraud.

Elliot Rook is the epitome of a highly successful, old Etonian QC. Or so everyone believes. In fact, he is an ex-petty criminal with a past that he has spent decades keeping secret. Until now.

An unidentified young woman of Middle Eastern origin has been found murdered on the outskirts of Rook’s home town. Billy Barber – a violent football hooligan and white-supremacist – is accused of her murder. Barber insists that Rook must defend him. If Rook refuses, Barber will expose him, bringing crashing to the ground the life and career that Rook has spent his life building.

The truth is there for the finding. But at what cost?

The start of a thrilling new legal series, perfect for fans of Robert Galbraith and The Secret Barrister, written by an acclaimed QC



This is the first in a series featuring Elliot Rook QC.

Elliott Rook is a QC with a past that he has kept a secret from his peers

His personal life is a mess, his wife has gone, he drinks and smokes too much but he’s committed to the law. Everyone is entitled to a fair trial.

Talking to a colleague about taking on a junior, they show a lack of respect for any one not from the established background of Eton and privilege……but Rook then meets Zara Barnes and her background reminds him of his own and so he takes her on as his Junior…

Both from working class background in Nottinghamshire, and with a similar determination they hit it off immediately…..Rook laughs genuinely for the first time in a long while…..

Zara is meant to be helping with a fraud case, by trawling though tonnes of paperwork to find evidence…..but Rook takes her along to a meeting with his new client, Billy Barber, a name from his past.

There has been a murder of a young girl from a Middle Eastern background and Barber has been arrested….all evidence points to him….doesn’t it?

Barber is a horrible excuse for a human being, a racist, white supremacist thug and Rook really doesn’t want the case, but Barber threatens to tell of his criminal background so he takes the case….

This tells of the investigation, the court case and the friendship that builds between Zara and Rook. Violent, twisty and so compelling. With a marvellously satisfying ending…..I love it and will be looking out for the next in the series….

Thank you to Damppebbles Blog Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook. This is my honest, unbiased review.

You can buy a copy here (click on the image)

About Gary Bell:

Born into a coal mining family, Gary Bell QC left school without any qualifications and was an apprentice mechanic, fork lift truck driver, production line worker, builder, fireman and door-to-door salesman, as well as a notorious football hooligan, before being arrested for fraud aged 18. After a brief stint in prison he set off to seek fame and fortune abroad and, after two years drifting around Europe ended up penniless and homeless. He next enrolled in a FE College to study his O and A levels, and then went on to study law as a mature student at Bristol University where he ‘became’ an Old Etonian. After graduating he spent a year as a litigation lawyer in Beverly Hills before coming back to England to become a barrister. He has spent over thirty years at the Bar, specialising in defending in major fraud and murder trials, becoming a QC in 2012. Always on the look out for challenges and opportunities he has also been an award winning stand-up comedian; an after-dinner speaker (when at University he won several national debating competitions and was runner up in the World’s Humorous Debating Competition at Princeton); he has learned to fly a plane, hosted his own TV show (the Legalizer) on BBC1; writes regularly for national newspapers; has a column in The Spectator and wrote his best-selling autobiography, Animal QC.


Social Media:


Purchase Links:

Amazon UK:

Amazon US:




Apple Books:

Publishing Information:

Published in hardcover and eBook formats by Bloomsbury Raven on 13th June 2019.

Beyond Reasonable Doubt by Gary Bell (Elliot Rook, QC Book 1)

#BeyondReasonableDoubt #ElliotRookQC @garybellqc @BloomsburyRaven @EmmaFinnigan @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours

Book reviews, Psychlogical thriller

The Van Apfel Girls Are Gone by Felicity McLean – Book Review



‘A smart, classy thriller blazing with the heat of Australia that slowly reveals its many layers.’ Fiona Mozley, author of Man Booker shortlisted Elmet

‘Engrossing and goosebumpy from start to finish, this novel about three young sisters who vanish all together one night has the chilling feel of true events that are stranger than fiction, and the stuff of nightmares….A novel that is as delightful as it is terrifying, and just scary good.’

Tim Johnston, bestselling author of Descent and The Current

‘I deeply admire the languid, lived-in prose of Felicity McLean’s lovely novel THE VAN APFEL GIRLS ARE GONE. This is a story as much about forgiving ourselves our own childhoods, as it is about acknowledging and embracing the people we’ve become because of those adolescent (and sometimes life altering) choices.’

Hannah Pittard, author of Visible Empire

‘A taut, beautifully written thriller with a scorching expansive setting. The Van Apfel Girls Are Gone is a fantastic debut and a story that lingers.’

Lisa Ballantyne, author of The Guilty One

‘How do you escape your childhood, emotionally, actually? This compelling mystery by Felicity McLean has a rare depth of psychological and emotional truth. It will engage your heart.’ Delia Ephron, author of Siracusa

‘We lost all three girls that summer. Let them slip away like the words of some half-remembered song and when one came back, she wasn’t the one we were trying to recall to begin with.’

Tikka Molloy was eleven years old during the long hot summer of 1992, growing up in an isolated suburb in Australia surrounded by encroaching bushland. That summer, the hottest on record, was when the Van Apfel sisters – Hannah, the beautiful Cordelia and Ruth – mysteriously disappeared during the school’s ‘Showstopper’ concert, held at the outdoor amphitheatre by the river.

Did they run away? Were they taken? While the search for the sisters unites the small community, the mystery of their disappearance has never been solved. Now, years later, Tikka has returned home and is beginning to make sense of that strange moment in time. The summer that shaped her. The girls that she never forgot.

Brilliantly observed, spiky, sharp, funny and unexpectedly endearing, THE VAN APFEL GIRLS ARE GONE is part mystery, part coming-of-age story – a perfect summer chiller with a dark shimmering unexplained absence at its heart.


What an engrossing, atmospheric read…..the stifling heat practically seeps off the page.

“The day of the school Showstopper –  like every other day – the sky was blue and clear. It had been windy in the night and the she-oaks has shaken off their needles. They lay on the ground like brown entrails we couldn’t read.”

Hannah, Cordelia and Ruth disappear during an outdoor school concert… The girls had been inseparable due to a shared harsh family life with a strict, religious father, who believes a beating is the correct punishment for any perceived misdemeanour…..

When the girls go missing questions are asked…..did they run away from their home life? Or were they taken?

The story has many wonderful characters  some creepy and sinister and some delightful as Tikka looks back on the events around the girls disappearance…the tension is palpable at times as the what ifs, pain, emotions and the feeling of something missing is felt.  There is humour too in this stunning, chilling read.

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

You can buy a copy here (click on the image)

About the author


Felicity McLean was born in Sydney Australia. She graduated at Sydney University with a BA in English and Australian literature and worked as a book publicist before embarking on a freelance career. Her journalism has appeared in The Daily Telegraph, The Courier Mail and the Big Issue, among others, and she has ghost-written celebrity autobiographies. THE VAN APFEL GIRLS ARE GONE is her first novel. She lives with her English husband and two young children in Australia.

Felicity McLean is available for interview and to write pieces.
Published by POINT BLANK 6 June 2019 Hardback £14.99

Book reviews, Crime thriller

Chop Shop by Andrew Post – Book Review



Amber Hawthorne and Jolene Morris, roommates and business partners at the Hawthorne Funeral Home, are drowning in debt. Because both young women have trouble keeping their partying habits in line, they start selling body parts on the black market to keep their business alive – and their new buyers seem friendly and trustworthy enough at first.

That is until the dead gangster they’ve recently parted up turns out to have been full of disease. Now Amber and Jolene’s buyers want something else to make up for lost profits, leaving the two undertakers to learn sometimes running your own business can cost you an arm and a leg. Literally.



Frank works in an organic, health food grocery store….it’s the only work he could get after losing his medical license and spending two years in jail……he needs a job to keep the IRS happy…….but he has another job, he’s a backstreet doctor, from performing STD blood tests and terminations to removing bullets and stitching up knife wounds…until that is, Simone arrives and unleashes all sorts of trouble…..!

Jolene and Amber, run a funeral home, but with mounting debts, a penchant for partying and complaints of ‘clownish’ makeup on the dead…..they are nearly bankrupt…….but then Amber’s drug dealer ‘Friend’, Shawn aka Slug…..suggests a way to help……the sums mentioned would clear all their money worries… but man it’s grim!

When Frank is left with a body, he is put in touch with Jolene and Amber, he’s their first ‘client’……and all hell breaks out….

This is like a dark, gruesome, Carry On Gangster caper with some truly horrific moments, but also really funny……Frank punching a toaster still makes me laugh out loud every time I think of it…totally insane from start to the slightly poignant ending…..

I loved the over the top characters from Missus Petrosky, Oscar and Vlad to Robbie Pescatelli and the really creepy Cornelius…..oh that’s just wrong!!

Not for the faint hearted, but an absolute riot of a read, you’ll laugh, cringe, then laugh again…….Glorious!

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


You can buy a copy here




Andrew Post was born in Erie, Pennsylvania (imagine Eraserhead but in color). While he was honing his craft as a writer (those early stories were awful) he worked in a gift shop in one of the scuzziest hotels in the Midwest, he cleaned rental cars (also gross), he was a butcher (despite being a vegetarian), and in 2013 his first novel, the cyberpunk thriller, Knuckleduster, was published.

No one really seemed to care much but he kept at it and has since published a handful of other works to varying degrees of resulting public interest with a few seeing translations and one almost became a movie (that lit agent has since been fired).

For Chop Shop, Andrew was inspired by the (early) films of Quentin Tarantino, Guy Ritchie, and Martin Scorsese, as well as the deliberately over- the-top horror films of the 80s like Peter Jackson’s Braindead. That was the goal with Chop Shop: a comedic crime caper with buckets of gore.

Andrew lives in a sleepy river town in Minnesota where he may or may not be planning aquatic “accidents” to befall the many other authors who live in the area and he has been mistaken for Rob Zombie on no less than ten separate occasions.

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


Book reviews, Cosy mystery, Thriller

Dead is Beautiful by Jo Perry – Book Review




Dead is Beautiful (Charlie and Rose Investigate Book #4) by Jo Perry

DEAD IS BEAUTIFUL finds Rose leading Charlie from the peace of the afterlife to the place he hates most on earth, “Beverly Fucking Hills,” where a mature, protected tree harboring a protected bird is being illegally cut down.

The tree-assault leads Charlie and Rose to a to murder and to the person Charlie loathes most in life and in death, the sibling he refers to only as “his shit brother,” who is in danger.

Charlie fights-across the borders of life and death–for the man who never fought for him, and with the help of a fearless Scotsman, a beautiful witch, and a pissed-off owl, Charlie must stop a cruel and exploitative scheme and protect his beloved Rose.



This is #4 in the Charlie and Rose investigate series, but I found it easy to read as a stand-alone.

Charlie and his beautiful dog Rose are just floating about, when Rose starts barking and Charlie has to follow her….

She’s upset at a tree being felled, and a poor little owl family in distress. Running to defend the tree and the owls, is the naked, Eleanor Starfeather, house sitter, doula and witch.

However the house she is sitting, belongs to Charlie’s ‘shit brother’ and his wife and he is drawn back to a place he doesn’t want to be.

Charlie and Rose then witness the murder of Kim, a foul, vicious woman who demands Charlie finds out who murdered her or she will make his and Rose’s life hell…..and so it begins…

All sorts of crazy mishaps and marvellous characters, from an owl on a revenge mission, a mini driving Scot and Charlie’s shit brother….

There is a lot of humour, but also a murder mystery, with politics, housing developments and conservation in this unique, entertaining tale of the afterlife and not wanting to let go…..

Thank you to Damppebbles Blog Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook. This is my honest, unbiased review.


About The Author


Jo Perry earned a Ph.D. in English, taught college literature and writing,  produced and wrote episodic television, and published articles, book reviews, and poetry.

She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, novelist Thomas Perry.    They have two adult children. Their two dogs are rescues.

Jo is the author of DEAD IS BETTER, DEAD IS BEST, DEAD IS GOOD, and DEAD IS BEAUTIFUL, a dark, comic mystery series from Fahrenheit Press.


Social Media:

Twitter: @JoPerryAuthor




Purchase Links:

Fahrenheit Press:

Amazon UK:

Amazon US:

Publishing Information:

Published by Fahrenheit 13 in paperback and ebook formats on 13th February 2019.



Book reviews, Dystopian fiction, Thriller

The Disappeared by Amy Lord – Book Review



Winner of a Northern Writers’ Award

Longlisted for The Bath Novel Award

What if reading the wrong book could get you arrested?

In a decaying city controlled by the First General and his army, expressing the wrong opinion can have terrible consequences. Clara Winter knows this better than anyone. When she was a child, her father was taken by the Authorisation Bureau for the crime of teaching banned books to his students. She is still haunted by his disappearance.

Now Clara teaches at the same university, determined to rebel against the regime that cost her family so much – and her weapons are the banned books her father left behind. But she has started something dangerous, something that brings her to the attention of the Authorisation Bureau and its most feared interrogator, Major Jackson. The same man who arrested Clara’s father.

With her rights stripped away, in a country where democracy has been replaced with something more sinister, will she be the next one to disappear?

‘Provocative and prescient,  The Disappeared is an unflinching tale of resistance in dark political times. Set in a near-future Britain where books are banned, this is a thought-provoking dystopian debut.’ –  Caroline Ambrose, Founder of The Bath Novel Award.



Set in the U.K in the near future, Clara is haunted by the arrest of her father, Matthew,  by agents of the Authorisation Bureau and Major Darius Jackson. He has disappeared.

Major Jackson becomes besotted by Clara’s mother, Lucia and to keep her family safe, she has her marriage to Matthew annulled and marries Darius. A violent, evil man to say the least.

The government controls what books can be read, or taught, that free thinking is dangerous and so just owning banned books is enough to be arrested.

As Clara grows, literature is her passion and like her father, she becomes a teacher. She meets and falls in love with Simon, and together they begin teaching a few select students from the banned books…will they be found out? Or will they too disappear?

This is a fraught, dystopian tale (reminiscent of George Orwell’s 1984, which does get a mention) that feels all too real in the current political climate of ‘fake’ news and hate.

This is full of fear, violence and tension, but also love and hope. Compelling and disconcerting writing by Amy Lord. A thought provoking read… I loved every minute…..

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

My thanks also to Pigeonhole for the opportunity to read along with them.

You can buy a copy here (click on the image)

About the author


Amy Lord is a writer, blogger and digital marketer from North East England. She won a Northern Writers’ Award in 2015 for The Disappeared and was also longlisted in the inaugural Bath Novel Award. An earlier manuscript saw her shortlisted for Route Publishing’s Next Great Novelist Award. She blogs about books, writing, travel and life in the North East at Ten Penny Dreams, which won Best Arts and Culture Blog in the Northern Blog Awards. Amy is currently working on a new novel, which was developed as part of a year-long mentoring scheme with Writers’ Block NE.

Book reviews, Cosy mystery

The Silver Sting by Angela Dandy – Book Review



It has been thirteen years since the elderly residents of Magnolia Court were scammed out of a comfortable retirement by an unscrupulous developer who took their money and ran.

A twist of fate leads Gabby, Uncle Max and Aunt Hetty’s niece to uncover the developer’s whereabouts.

Pointed in the right direction by Gabby, the residents draw on their life skills to overcome one obstacle after another in order to recover what is theirs by right.

No one should underestimate the tenacity and ingenuity of this charming and endearing bunch of senior citizens. Age and infirmity are set aside as they set out on their quest to seek retribution.



The residents of Magnolia Court had been scammed some years before, by a developer who then disappeared with their funds…..and this is the story of how with teamwork these elderly ‘grifters’ can get justice…….

I loved the insight into the characters and their individual stories and how each of them were involved…will they get retribution? Never underestimate the elderly, with their life experience they can overcome any obstacle….can’t they?

There are some great twists and surprises, poor Gabby, and also some lovely heartwarming moments with these lively senior citizens in this entertaining cosy crime mystery by Angela Dandy.

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

you can buy a copy here (click on the image)



About the author


Angela Dandy is the author of thriller Lakeside and several published short stories. A retired project manager, Angela has travelled widely and enjoys spending time with people of all ages and walks of life. Angela’s aim in writing thrillers is to aspire and capture the imagination of her readers by weaving colourful and resourceful characters into her carefully crafted plots. Most importantly she aims to entertain!

“Our little ruse could well go down in history.”

Book reviews, Psychlogical thriller

The Child Before by Michael Scanlon – Book Review



She began to sing, the girl. Her voice was soft, so soft it was almost of the wind. It was a lullaby. She cradled her arms, rocking them gently back and forth. As if she was holding a baby. But she was not. Her arms were empty.

On a cold morning a cyclist finds the brutally-slaughtered body of a woman in her car, on a remote lane leading to the long-abandoned Irish village of Kelly’s Forge.

But when Detective Finnegan Beck arrives from the nearby town of Cross Beg to investigate he notices there’s a baby’s seat in the back of the car. A bottle of baby’s milk lying in the footwell. And no child.

Little Róisín isn’t the first child to go missing from that same remote location though. There was another baby girl, taken more than fifty years before, who was never found. Has too much time passed for there to be a connection, or does something – or someone – link these two crimes?

Beck claims he does not want to stay in Cross Beg. His heart is back in Dublin, with the woman he loves. But, knowing that a child’s life depends on him changes things. He knows he has to find the missing baby girl. Because if he doesn’t, he fears there’s a chance everyone will give up the baby for dead, just like they did before…

This dark, twisted page turner will keep you up all night. Perfect for fans of LJ Ross, Patricia Gibney, and Rachel Caine.


#2 in the DI Beck series, but I found it easy to read as a stand-alone.

Set in Ireland, The Child Before starts with DI Finnegan Beck being woken by a banging on his front door…Maurice Crabby has found a body…..

Samantha Power’s body, found in her car, throat cut and her baby, Roisin is missing…

The story has a few chapters from 1954, when a baby had been taken and never seen again…who is linked to this past crime?

When children’s bones are found in the ruined village of Kelly’s Forge, fear for baby Roisin’s wellbeing is palpable….

I found this to be a really gripping thriller, so many suspects and police officers, Gardai, with human emotions, troubled love lives and problems with alcohol…not a light read in any way, but utterly compelling…..right up to the nail biting end…

I also liked the epilogue…..a clever catch up on what happened after….anyone who likes a psychological thriller will love this…..

Thank you to Bookouture for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook  in exchange for my honest review.


About the Author



Michael Scanlon is a civilian employee of the An Garda Siochana (the Irish police force), but a life threatening undiagnosed illness that struck while travelling in Spain in 2014 has rendered him on long term sick leave. He is married to Eileen and has a daughter, Sarah. He lives in the countryside outside the town of Ballina in County Mayo. The town has arguably the best salmon river in Europe, called the Moy.


Author Social Media Links:




Author: Michael Scanlon

Buy Links:


Apple Books:




Publication Day: June 5th 2019


Book reviews, Psychlogical thriller

The Friend Who Lied by Rachel Amphlett – Book Review



What she doesn’t know might kill her…

Lisa Ashton receives a last-minute reprieve from death two weeks before her birthday. Regaining consciousness, she is horrified to learn one of her friends has been killed – and saved her life.

As she recovers, she uncovers a trail of carefully guarded reputations, disturbing rumours, and lies. Soon, Lisa begins to wonder if one of her friends is hiding a terrible secret.

Because five of them entered the escape room that day, and only four got out alive.

And someone is determined to cover their tracks before she can find out the truth.

Can Lisa find the killer before someone else dies?

The Friend Who Lied: a twisted psychological thriller from USA Today bestseller Rachel Amphlett – perfect for fans of The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley and Friend Request by Laura Marshall.  


This starts with Lisa waking up in hospital, her first thought is that someone must have died. She has been very ill and needed a kidney transplant to stay alive and was only a short while from dying…..

She has no memory of the night she collapsed, other than a night out with her four friends to an escape room…one last chance to have fun together before she became too ill.

The story is told from multiple perspectives, Lisa being the main character, but David, Bec and Hayley also tell their side of the events…

I didn’t find any of the gang particularly likeable, but I certainly sympathised with Lisa and her struggle to come to terms with a potentially terminal condition…..what lengths would you go to for a friend… save a life?…or maybe to end one!

Brilliantly paced and full of simmering tension, guilt and toxic friendships…… was Simon’s death an accident or something more sinister……what was David’s hold over everyone? A compelling psychological thriller…..loved it.

Thank you to Sarah at Book On The Bright Side for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook. This is my honest, unbiased review.

Author Bio:


Before turning to writing, USA Today bestselling author Rachel Amphlett played guitar in bands, worked as a TV and film extra, dabbled in radio as a presenter and freelance producer for the BBC, and worked in publishing as a sub-editor and editorial assistant.

She now wields a pen instead of a plectrum and writes crime fiction and spy novels, including the Dan Taylor and English Spy Mysteries espionage novels and theDetective Kay Hunter British police procedural series.

She’s a member of International Thriller Writers and the Crime Writers Association, with the Italian foreign rights for her debut novel, White Gold sold to Fanucci Editore’s TIMECrime imprint, and the first four books in the Dan Taylor espionage series contracted to Germany’s Luzifer Verlag.

Praise for Rachel Amphlett

“Thrilling start to a new series. Scared to Death is a stylish, smart and gripping crime thriller” ~ Robert Bryndza, USA Today bestselling author ofThe Girl in the Ice

“Scared to Death… moves along at breakneck speed with twists and turns” ~ Angela Marsons, bestselling author of the Detective Kim Stone crime thriller series.


Social Media Links:


Twitter: @RachelAmphlett

Instagram: @RachelAmphlett

Facebook: Rachel Amphlett

Purchase Links:


Apple Books


Google Play

Book reviews, Womens fiction

Anna by Patricia Dixon – Book Review



Set on the coast of Portsmouth and the beautiful Loire Valley, this is the story of Anna. A married mother of three, the unremarkable rock of her family is content with her life until she discovers that Matthew, her husband of 22 years, is having an affair.

Consumed by hurt and tainted memories, Anna’s life is turned upside down by first betrayal and then loss. Her confidence totally destroyed, she is tormented by the spectre of Matthew’s unknown lover. Whilst keeping the secret of his affair from her family, Anna must find her way through the pain alone.

With one son on the other side of the world, another about to enter a war zone and her daughter off to university, her life gradually begins to crumble. A shock discovery, an unwelcome revelation and an advert in a magazine are the catalysts for her road to recovery.

Can Anna find peace and learn to love again?


Anna is on her way to her husband, Matthews funeral.

But she has a secret, Matthew had been seeing someone else, and she just doesn’t know where to turn to……

Anna decides its now her time, and sets off for a holiday, but Matthew’s secret is still playing on her mind all the time, just who was that woman she saw him with? She is tormenting herself, but who can she share her thoughts with? Can she ever truly trust anyone again?

Set mainly in the Loire valley, France, this is a tale of love, secrets, betrayal and friendships…beautifully emotional writing which will have you laughing and crying along with Anna…brilliant.

Thank you to Bombshell Publishing for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook  in exchange for my honest, unbiased review

Author Bio

Patricia Dixon was born in Manchester where she still lives with her husband. They have two grown up children and one grandson.

Ignoring her high school reports and possibly sound advice from teachers, Patricia shunned the world of academia and instead, stubbornly pursued a career in fashion. Once the sparkle of London life wore off she returned north and embarked on a new adventure, that of motherhood.

Now, almost thirty years later she has acquiesced to the wise words of her elders and turned her hand to writing. Patricia has written a total of eight novels, the latest is due for release in March 2019.


Amazon Author Page



Email –

Facebook Links

Author Page

Profile Page


Book reviews, Psychlogical thriller, Thriller

Sister Of Mine by Laurie Petrou – Book Review



Steeped in intrigue and suspense, Sister of Mine is a powerhouse debut, a sharp, disquieting thriller written in stunning, elegant prose with a devastating twist.

The Grayson sisters are trouble. everyone in their small town knows it. But no one can know the secret that binds them together.

Hattie is the light. Penny is the darkness. Together they have balance.

But one night the balance is toppled. A match is struck. A fire started. A cruel husband is killed. The potential for new life flickers in the fires embers, but resentment, guilt and jealousy suffocates like smoke.

They’re lives have been engulfed in flames – will they ever be able to put them out?


Penny and Hattie are the Grayson sisters. Penny dark haired and Hattie the red headed, larger and louder than life, younger sister. They’d do anything for each other.

One night Hattie takes their mothers treasured earrings and gives them to Penny, but their father is blamed, and so he walks out never to be seen again. Neither girl says anything!

Penny eventually leaves home, but then one day, their mum is stung by a bee and dies…..both girls  are heartbroken…..

There’s then Penny’s marriage to the brutal Buddy, after he breaks her collarbone one night, she decides enough is enough and plans to burn the house down with him in it…..but she can’t do it… steps Hattie…

Hattie wants a child but cannot get pregnant… Penny steps in and Elliot is born….will they now settle as they are even …..aren’t they?

“We were together again, stuck in time like bees in amber”

This is an incredibly paced novel that when the publishers say ‘you’ll burn through this in one sitting’ they’re not kidding…..

A tale of familial love, jealousy and guilt, the sort of guilt that wears away at the soul…..and the jealousy between two incredibly close, yet insular siblings….keeping the world at arms length……until Elliot and his fascination for fire causes the past to catch up with them. An compelling, immersive read…..I loved every minute.

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

You can buy a copy here (click on the image)



LAURIE PETROU has a PhD in Communication and Culture, and is an Associate Professor at Ryerson’s RTA School of Media in Toronto, where she is also the Director of the Masters of Media Production program. She has given several TEDx talks on subjects including gender and rejection. Laurie was the inaugural winner of the Half the World Global Literati Award in 2016, a prize that honours unpublished work featuring female protagonists, for her novel Sister of Mine. She now lives in a small town in Ontario wine country with her husband, a wine maker, and their two sons.


book details

published 20 June 2019

No Exit Press

Paperback original debut