Book reviews, Children’s fiction

Hemlock Jones & The Underground Orphans by Justin Carroll – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

When orphans vanish from their beds across Victorian London, twelve-year-old demystifier Hemlock Jones and her companion, Edward, take the case!

This time, the trail will lead them from their Baker Street home, along lost rivers and into the heart of the city, to face exotic enemies and a charming man with dark plans…

Hemlock Jones & The Underground Orphans is the second of the Hemlock Jones Chronicles, the award-winning series of detective adventures for children and adults.
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MY REVIEW 

What a fun read….

Hemlock Jones and her friend, Edward live at 211b Baker Street, she is a demystifier. Due to her exceptional observational skills, she has helped the police on a difficult case before…..but her neighbour Sherlock got most of the credit!

She is a young girl, but certainly knows her own mind.

When 11 orphans disappear from an orphanage she offers her skills to the police….can she find out where these poor boys have gone? Is there a link to the digging of the new London Underground tunnels?

With sewers, rats and the odd pirate, this is an entertaining adventure with a strong female character and a great story that’s ideal for young readers. I can thoroughly recommend it.

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

 

You can buy a copy here

 

https://amzn.to/2WK2R3e

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Justin Carroll is an author who balances his love of comic books and games with a passion for martial arts and musicals.

Ever since he stopped wanting to be a dinosaur, Justin wanted to be a writer. He graduated with a degree in English Literature and Language from King’s College, London in 2004 and now, when not writing, he fritters away his time on all manner of geeky things.

Shortlisted for several international short story competitions, Justin was a finalist in the 2010 British Fantasy Awards with “Careful What You Wish For” (Wyvern Publishing) and placed in the top twenty of the NYC Midnight Short Story Challenge twice.

December 2012 saw the birth of Justin Carroll’s first novel: Everything’s Cool – a dark, psychological thriller.

His second novel, Hemlock Jones & The Angel of Death, is a Young Adult novel and the first in a series featuring Hemlock Jones, the fiery 12-year-old demystifier whose brain easily equals and surpasses that of the famous consulting detective, Sherlock Holmes. “Hemlock Jones & The Angel of Death” won a Silver Medal in the 2017 Wishing Shelf Awards.

Now, Justin has published the second book in the Hemlock Jones Chronicles: Hemlock Jones & The Underground Orphans, perfect for all fans of 10 years and above of adventurous detective mysteries!

 

Justin Carroll on Social Media:

 

Author website: ​www.justin-carroll.com/

Twitter: ​​https://twitter.com/WriterJustinC

Facebook: ​​https://www.facebook.com/JustinCarrollAuthor/ 

Amazon: ​​https://author.to/JustinCarroll

GoodReads:​​https://www.goodreads.com/JustinCarroll

Book reviews, Horror

Those Who Came Before by J.H. Moncrieff – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

An idyllic weekend camping trip is cut short when Reese Wallace’s friends are brutally murdered. As the group’s only survivor, Reese is the prime suspect, and his story doesn’t make much sense. A disembodied voice warning him to leave the campground the night before? A strange, blackened tree that gave him an electric shock when he cut it down for firewood?

Detective Greyeyes isn’t having any of it—until she hears the voice herself and finds an arrowhead at the crime scene—an arrowhead she can’t get rid of. Troubling visions of a doomed Native American tribe who once called the campground home, and rumors of cursed land and a mythical beast plague the strangest murder case she’s ever been a part of.

People are dying at Strong Lake, and the worst is yet to come.

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MY REVIEW 

Reese, his girlfriend Jessica and her friends Dan and Kira are off for a weekend camping trip. After a row, they all head off to sleep, but when Reese wakes he finds his friends all dead, literally ripped apart….he hadn’t heard a thing….

This all happened on land, part of a nearby American Indian reservation, so the local Detective Maria Greyeyes asks for help from the local Chief. Together they identify something else may be stalking the woods…a Wendigo

This is a camping trip horror story with some really gruesome and creepy moments to keep your heart pounding. (It reminded me of one of the Supernatural TV show’s episodes too). Great characters, atmospheric writing and a gripping, creepy plot make this a thoroughly entertaining read.

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

 

You can buy a copy here 

 

https://www.flametreepublishing.com/Those-Who-Came-Before-ISBN-9781787582989.html

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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J.H. Moncrieff’s City of Ghosts won the 2018 Kindle Book Review Award for best Horror/Suspense. Reviewers have described her work as early Gillian Flynn with a little Ray Bradbury and Stephen King thrown in for good measure. She won Harlequin’s search for “the next Gillian Flynn” in 2016.

Her first published novella, The Bear Who Wouldn’t Leave, was featured in Samhain’s Childhood Fears collection and stayed on its horror bestsellers list for over a year.

When not writing, she loves exploring the world’s most haunted places, advocating for animal rights, and summoning her inner ninja in muay thai class.

To get free ebooks and a new spooky story every week, go to http://bit.ly/MoncrieffLibrary.

 

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

 

Book reviews, Police procedural

See Them Run by Marion Todd – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

In a famous Scottish town, someone is bent on murder – but why?

On the night of a wedding celebration, one guest meets a grisly end when he’s killed in a hit-and-run. A card bearing the number ‘5’ has been placed on the victim’s chest. DI Clare Mackay, who recently moved from Glasgow to join the St Andrews force, leads the investigation. If Clare wants to solve the case she must face her own past and discover the deepest secrets of the victims – and the killer.

See Them Run is a brilliant crime novel with Scotland at its heart. Todd has conceived an intriguing Scottish police force, including the fierce DI Clare Mackay and her right-hand man, Chris. The two of them are a force to be reckoned with in this gripping police procedural, which has so far received excellent response from advance readers.

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MY REVIEW 

#1 in a new series featuring DI Clare Mackay.

DI Clare Mackay has moved to St Andrews, for a fresh start away from Glasgow. 

Clare has the investigation, a pending private prosecution relating to events in Glasgow and a messy personal life too.

She is investigating a hit and run accident, but the body has a card pinned to them with the number 5…..so was this really an accident? What is the link to the Thursday Club?

When another hit and run is found, and the body has the number 4, she realises there must be something to link these incidents…..can she find the person responsible before any more killings?

Marion Todd has written a really in depth police procedural which is non stop, with great characters and a clever plot, this really is a tense and gripping thriller. 

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

 

You can buy a copy here 

 

https://amzn.to/2qbor4v

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

 

Marion Todd is a debut author who has worked as a college lecturer, plantswoman and candle-maker. Early success saw her winning first prize in the Family Circle Magazine short story for children national competition and she followed this up by writing short stories and articles for her local newspaper. As a keen reader of crime fiction, the lure of the genre was strong, and she began writing her debut crime novel. Now a full-time writer, Marion lives in North-east Fife, overlooking the River Tay.

Don’t miss the page-turning first novel in a gripping series featuring DI Clare Mackay, perfect for fans of Alex Gray, D. S. Butler and Rachel Amphlett.

 

 

Book reviews, Womens fiction

Syrian Brides by Anna Halabi – Book Review


PUBLISHERS BLURB 

This delightful collection of short stories offers insight into the lives of Syrian women, both the married and the brides-to-be. It reveals the warmth and humor as well as the oppression in the Syrian society. The stories make the reader laugh while addressing serious issues such as domestic violence.

Um Hussam can’t find a suitable bride for her son, testing each candidate’s sight, hearing and reading skills, occasionally cobbing a feel. Jamila’s husband Hassan can’t forget his deceased wife, until she makes sure he never mentions her again. 

Rami can’t help but wonder whether his new bride is a natural beauty or a talented surgeon’s masterpiece. Khadija’s maid stabs her in the back while Rana’s husband Muafak can’t find the right excuse to avoid a fight.

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MY REVIEW 

Syrian Brides by Anna Halabi is a collection of short stories of women living in Syria.

It tells of love, marriage, life and sometimes domestic violence and controlling behaviour. These behaviours are not specific to Syria, but unfortunately the world over.

But, this also has wonderful insights into the life and culture and food of the country, with beautifully descriptive writing that really brings it to life.

Tales of strong women that’s original, touching and humorous too. I loved it.

Thank you to the author, Anna Halabi for the opportunity to read this for free. This is my honest and unbiased review. 

Book reviews, Psychlogical thriller

Safe House by Jo Jakeman – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

THE NEW NOVEL FROM THE ACCLAIMED AUTHOR OF STICKS AND STONES A REFRESHING THRILLER WITH A FEMINIST TWIST.

PERFECT FOR FANS OF CLARE MACKINTOSH, FIONA BARTON, LISA JEWELL,

EVA DOLAN & LAURA MARSHALL.

 

Charlie just wants to be forgotten but everyone else wants to know her story…

The morning after a terrible storm, a woman turns up in a remote Cornish village. She has bought the crumbling cottage that has lain empty for over a decade, and she’s going to make it her home. She calls herself Charlie, but it’s a name she’s only had for afew days. 

She keeps herself to herself, reluctant to integrate with the locals. Because Charlie has a secret.

Charlie was in prison for providing a false alibi for a murderer. But Lee Fisher wasn’t a murderer to her; he was the man she loved. Convinced of his innocence, Charlie said she was with him the night a young woman was killed. That lie cost her everything.

And now she has the chance to start again. But someone is watching her, waiting for her, wondering if she’s really paid the price for what she did.

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MY REVIEW

Steffi Finn is in prison, serving 10 months for giving a false alibi for her boyfriend, Lee. The relationship had been one sided and very coercive, but she loved Lee….but he had then killed another woman…

On her release, she moves to Cornwall, takes a new identity, Charlie Miller, and settles into life in a small community.

However, she starts to feel she is being watched, is this paranoia? Or is someone really watching, someone who knows her real identity?

This is quite a gentle psychological thriller, but it has a sense of foreboding, a darkness to it that really makes this so gripping. The clever plot, the twists and surprises make this a thoroughly entertaining read.

Thank you to Mia at Harvill Secker for the opportunity to take part in this blog tour, for the promotional material and a free copy of the book. This is my honest and unbiased review.

You can buy a copy here (only 99p through November)

https://amzn.to/337B1jN

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

 

JO JAKEMAN was the winner of the Friday Night Live 2016 competition

at the York Festival of Writing. Born in Cyprus, she worked for many years

in the City of London before moving to Derbyshire with her husband and twin boys. Safe House is her second novel and Sticks and Stones was her debut thriller.

 

Book reviews, Womens fiction

Devon And Hell : Four Seasons By The Sea by Karen Wheeler – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

One woman, one dog and a disastrous move to Devon. Throw in an estranged mother who has just been diagnosed with dementia and the result is a brilliantly written comic memoir with more ups and downs than the South West Coastal Path.

This is not your usual tale of ‘I moved to a chocolate-box cottage by the sea and lived happily ever after’. Instead, it is a powerful and gripping story of relocation – and a maternal relationship – gone wrong.

Ultimately this is an uplifting, feel-good story as Karen triumphs over adversity and finds new peace following the death of her mother. 

Synopsis

After eight years of living in France, Karen Wheeler returns to live by the seaside near Budleigh Salterton on East Devon’s Jurassic Coast. Plum Tree Cottage, with its full set of cottagey credentials – climbing roses, old Georgian floorboards and a dove-grey Aga – is a classic case of love at first sight. But the disasters begin before she has even moved in.

Wheeler is left reeling when Plum Tree Cottage reveals a very unwelcome surprise. She then receives the shocking news that her mother – a cold and cruel woman from whom she has been estranged for most of her life – has been sectioned.

 Living the dream by the sea rapidly descends into a living hell with each day bringing a new onslaught of domestic and mother-related disasters. Convinced that her cottage is unlucky, Wheeler consults Harsh Jain, a practitioner of vastu shastra – the Hindu equivalent of feng shui.

Back comes a report that would have most people not just moving their gas stove – which Wheeler discovers is ideally placed for ‘burning up blessings’ – but sticking their head in it. Harsh predicts that the cottage will bring a host of problems and ‘unwelcome surprises’. The doom-laden report finishes by warning the author – who is planning to walk the Jurassic Coast Path  – to ‘Please be avoiding high places’.

One by one, Harsh Jain’s predictions come true – in surprising detail. Wheeler is forced to face up to the childhood she has long tried to ignore and is literally taken to a cliff edge before the book’s end. But then, in a heartwarming twist, she makes a surprising discovery that changes everything.

 

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MY REVIEW 

Carrie has moved from France to Devon, she has bought the beautiful Plum Tree Cottage and is looking forward to moving in with her beloved little dog Biff…….but Rats put the kibosh on her plans….

Then she gets a call her mother has been sectioned…..and so the drama begins.

This is full of humour, hurt and chaos, it’s so funny in parts and then so emotional too.

This really struck a chord with me, as my childhood was similar and now my mother has dementia and is in a care home after breaking her hip….so I know the feelings Carrie was going through.

I loved the friendships she made, her flustered panic, flip flops and her paint dealer all brought to life by Karen Wheeler’s creative writing……lots of laughs and a few tears too. A very engaging, heartwarming read.

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

You can buy a copy here 

https://amzn.to/2WxjAqs

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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Karen Wheeler is a former journalist and national newspaper fashion editor who has successfully published five comic travel memoirs about her life in France, starting with Tout Sweet: Hanging up my High Heels for a New Life in France, which made it to #1 in Amazon’s travel writing book chart.

She wrote for the Financial Times for over fifteen years and is a former fashion editor of the Mail on Sunday. She studied Modern History at Kings College, London University and worked briefly at Sotheby’s art auctioneers before embarking on a career in fashion journalism. 

During her career she has interviewed many of fashion’s top names including Tom Ford, Karl Lagerfeld, Giorgio Armani and Calvin Klein. Her work has also appeared frequently in Vogue Japan, You magazine, the Daily Mail and Sunday Times Style.

Originally hailing from the north of England, Karen is one of the many ex-pats now returning to the UK – as she points out the food is much better here. She has run holiday cottages, knows the Farrow and Ball colour chart inside out, never turns down a glass of pink champagne and lives near Budleigh Salterton in East Devon with her boyfriend and her dog Biff.

You can read more about her life at http://www.toutsweet.net – the blog she started while living in rural France; and follow her on Twitter at @mimipompom1

Karen has great interview experience and is available to write feature pieces.

 Earlier this year the Daily Mail published a moving feature on her relationship with her bipolar mother: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-6676089/Writer-shares-story-cruel-childhood-reluctant-deathbed-visit.html 

Devon and Hell will appeal to fans of Eleanor Oliphant, as well as the armchair renovators who enjoy watching Grand Designs, Homes by the
 Sea and Amazing Spaces and to the large number of Brits who are moving to the coast or taking ‘staycations’ in the UK. Devon and Hell is set in Lympstone, an aspirational and newly fashionable area of Devon, which was recently shortlisted in Penelope Keith’s C4 series, Britain’s Best Villages: Village of the Year 2017 and recently saw 
the opening of Lympstone Manor, by Michelin-starred chef Michael Caines.

 

 

Book Format Information

Devon and Hell: Four Seasons by the Sea is the omnibus version of a four-part series of mini e-books, launched earlier this year as Dream Cottage: Four Seasons in Devon and released in accordance with the seasons. All of the books were designated Amazon ‘Hot New Releases’ and made it into the top five in travel writing.

 Devon and Hell: Four Seasons by the Sea will be released in e-book format on 28th October 2019, £9.99, by Sweet Pea Publishing. The print version will be published in October 2020.

 

 

Book reviews, Psychlogical thriller, Thriller

Nothing Important Happened Today by Will Carver – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

A shocking, mesmerisingly original, pitch-black thriller, which, following the critically acclaimed Good Samaritans, confirms Will Carver as one of the most imaginative, innovative and exciting authors in crime fiction.

Nine people arrive one night on Chelsea Bridge. They’ve never met. But, at the same time, they leap to their deaths. Each of them received a letter in the post that morning, a pre-written suicide note, and a page containing only four words: Nothing important happened today.

That is how they knew they had been chosen to become a part of The People of Choice: a mysterious suicide cult whose members have no knowledge of one another.

Thirty-two people on a train witness the event. Two of them will be next. By the morning, People of Choice are appearing around the globe. It becomes a movement. A social-media page that has lain dormant for four years suddenly has thousands of followers.

The police are under pressure to find a link between the cult members, to locate a leader who does not seem to exist …
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MY REVIEW 

I usually write my reviews immediately after finishing a book, but for this ? Nope, I had to leave it while my brain could catch up. I’ve never read anything that’s had such a visceral reaction……

It is the story of suicide, that starts with 9, very different people, jumping off Chelsea bridge, with nooses round their necks…..each given a number, not a name…..what would make them do this? Who are The People of Choice?

Is this a cult?

Told from several perspectives, in a way that gives you an insight into the thoughts of, at times, depressive people, struggling in the day to day. Their inner thoughts and feelings of the world in general. The all too real comments about social media and the ‘fakery’ of it all is thought provoking to say the least.

There’s an anger to the narration and a despair at the world we have created for ourselves. Will Carver’s writing here is so disturbing and dark but oh so utterly compelling, I felt like one of the 32 people on the train, watching events but just couldn’t turn away…..

I can’t say anymore for fear of spoiling any part of this incredible story, but if you like your stories dark and gripping then this is a must, must read. In fact, I know I’m going to have to read this several times, it’s that good and I can’t get it out of my head.

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

 

You can buy a copy here 

 

https://amzn.to/36eXP33

 

AUTHOR BIO
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Will Carver is the international bestselling author of the January David series. He spent his early years in Germany, but returned to the UK at age eleven, when his sporting career took off. He turned down a professional rugby contract to study theatre and television at King Alfred’s, Winchester, where he set up a successful theatre company. He currently runs his own fitness and nutrition company, and lives in Reading with his two children. Good Samaritans was book of the year in Guardian, Daily Telegraph and Sunday Express, and hit number one on the ebook charts.

Book reviews, Crime thriller

Closer Than Blood by Paul Grzegorzek – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

You would do anything for your family. Wouldn’t you?

A gripping crime thriller, perfect for fans of Peter James.

‘Writes with raw, engaging, authenticity’ Peter James

The real nightmare begins when the missing person returns…

Gareth Bell is about to arrest a cocaine dealer on Brighton Marina, when he makes a shocking discovery that turns his world upside down: the dealer is his long-lost brother, Jake, someone he thought had died years ago.

But their reunion is short lived. For Jake is on the run from a cold-blooded killer, whose network reaches all the way into the police force itself. Now that his brother’s life is on the line, Bell has only two choices. Family, or duty?
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MY REVIEW 

Sergeant Gareth Bell is on a surveillance operation, they are watching a drug deal taking place hoping to catch them as the transaction takes place. But, he recognises the drug dealer, as his brother ! All hell breaks out then and ends with his brother, Jake, jumping into the sea. 

He finally catches up with him and finds out he has stolen something from the Russians and they now want him dead. Can Gareth save his brother? 

This is an incredible, action packed thriller, all set in Brighton. Told from Gareth’s perspective, it gives insight into his character. He’s short tempered, prone to act first and think later, but he is also dealing with a broken marriage and his father’s ill health. It feels personal, a journey through just about every emotion while trying to do what’s right.

A well written, gritty, gripping and emotion packed thriller, with plenty of surprises to make this a real page turner. I can thoroughly recommend it.

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

You can buy a copy here 

https://amzn.to/3301qQv

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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Paul Grzegorzek was born in 1976 and despite the name is Sussex born and (mostly) bred.

Paul writes dark, gritty crime novels inspired by his time as a police officer in his home town of Brighton, giving them a realistic feel that can only come from years of experience pounding the streets.  During his police career, he worked in a number of specialist units, including as a riot medic, method of entry specialist and intelligence officer, where he met and worked with many of the people who became characters in his books.

He has also worked in the private security and defence industries, as well as consulting for various agencies, giving him a unique insight into crime at both street and higher levels.

Born in Shoreham-By-Sea, within spitting distance of Brighton, Paul now lives in Hove with his wife and two sons.

 

Social media links:

 

twitter: @paulglaznost

 

facebook: https://en-gb.facebook.com/pages/category/Author/Paul-Grzegorzek-173832352713621/

 

Book reviews, Crime thriller, Psychlogical thriller

The Desire Card by Lee Matthew Goldberg – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Any wish fulfilled for the right price. That’s the promise the organization behind The Desire Card gives to its elite clients – but sometimes the price may be more menacing than anyone could ever imagine.

Harrison Stockton has lived an adult life of privilege and excess: a high-powered job on Wall Street fuels his fondness for alcohol and pills at the expense of a family he has no time for. Quite suddenly all of this comes crashing to a halt when he loses his job and at the same time discovers he almost certainly has only months left to live.

Desperate, and with seemingly nowhere else left to turn, Harrison activates his Desire Card. What follows is a gritty and gripping quest that takes him from New York City to the slums of Mumbai and forces him to take chances, and make decisions, he never thought he’d ever have to face. When his moral descent threatens his wife and children, Harrison must decide whether to save himself at any cost, or do what’s right and break his bargain with the mysterious group behind The Desire Card.

The Desire Card is a taut, fast-paced thriller, from internationally acclaimed author Lee Matthew Goldberg, that explores what a man will do to survive when money isn’t always enough to get everything he desires.
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MY REVIEW 

Harrison Stockton works for Sanford & Co in Mergers and Acquisitions, he’s also an alcoholic. He is let go by the company in a ‘restructuring ‘. Part of his severance package is The Desire Card…..a perk, whatever you want, but at a price.

So before he goes home, he calls The Desire Card and requests a prostitute, Naelle, with whom he instantly feels a bond with…..but then he collapses and she saves his life, but doctors then tell him he has cirrhosis of the liver and will die without a transplant.

He goes home to his lonely home, his wife is busy with charity work and he no longer feels much of a bond with his children…and his father in law, Jay, detests him…..he doesn’t tell anyone of his illness, but makes a decision to contact an old friend in Mumbai, a Doctor and arranges a black market liver transplant……just as he thinks he’s saved, something changes everything.

So he resorts to The Desire Card…..could they get him a liver? But at what cost?

Non stop panic and fear felt by Harrison in his desperation as he really makes some questionable decisions, yet while his liver is failing he still can’t stop drinking and eating to excess……I found it difficult to have any sympathy for Harrison, he’s emotionally distant, probably due to his difficult childhood, he’s self absorbed and morally bankrupt, but my he didn’t deserve the rollercoaster of disasters that befall him….

Will Harrison get his liver? Will he somehow redeem himself?

A dark look at the black market for organs, the exploitation of the poor and the belief that money can buy you anything if you know the right people and to hell with the consequences. So scary, as it just seems so plausible! Brilliantly fraught and totally believable.

Thank you to Blackthorn Book Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials. This is my honest, unbiased review.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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

 

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Book reviews, Cover reveal

COVER REVEAL for The Last Drop Of Blood by Graham Masterton

Welcome to the Cover Reveal for Graham Masterton’s new novel – The Last Drop Of Blood….

 

But first a little about the book…..

 

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

 

The Last Drop of Blood – Graham Masterton

It started with the judge. He was about to sentence five of Cork’s most notorious criminals. But his body has just turned up, beaten and broken, on an isolated road in his burned-out car. Now four members of a rival gang have been shot, and in retaliation three civilians have been blown up. To Katie’s horror, Cork is becoming a gang battleground like Dublin.

Can Katie save the city? Can she save herself?

 

Nearly There…..but here’s a bit about the author….

GRAHAM MASTERTON trained as a newspaper reporter before beginning a career as an author. After twenty-five years writing horror and thrillers, Graham turned his talent to crimewriting. The first book in the Katie Maguire series, White Bones, was published by Head of Zeus in 2012 and became a top-ten bestseller. The series was inspired by Graham’s five-year stay in County Cork.

 

 

And finally, here’s the STUNNING cover…..
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Follow Graham:

Facebook: @GrahamMasterton

Twitter: @GrahamMasterton

Buy links:

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

Kobo: https://bit.ly/32mnm7U

Google Play: https://bit.ly/2BcQl2h

 

 

 

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Book reviews, Cover reveal

COVER REVEAL for Death Of A Mermaid by Lesley Thomson

Welcome to the Cover Reveal of Death Of A Mermaid by Lesley Thomson…..

 

But first a little about the book….

 

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

 

Freddy left her childhood home in Newhaven twenty-two years ago and swore never to return. But now her parents are dead, and she’s back in her hometown to help her brothers manage the family fishmonger. Nothing here has changed: the stink of fish coming up from the marshes; the shopping trolleys half-buried by muddy tides; the neighbours sniffing for a new piece of gossip.

It’s not what Freddy would have chosen, but at least while she’s here she’ll get to see her childhood best friends, Toni and Pauline. At school, the three of them were inseparable. The teachers called them the Mermaids for their obsession with the sea, and with each other.

Then Pauline goes missing, and Freddy must decide. Go back to her new life, or stay and find her friend?

 

Nearly there….here’s a little about the Author…

Lesley Thomson was born in 1958 and grew up in London. She went to Holland Park Comprehensive and the Universities of Brighton and Sussex. Her novel A Kind of Vanishing won The People’s Book Prize in 2010. Lesley combines writing with teaching creative writing. She lives in Lewes with her partner.

 

And here’s the Cover in all its glory ……
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Book reviews, Crime thriller

The Final Reckoning by Margaret James – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

The Final Reckoning

A dark and twisty thriller by Margaret James 

What if you had to return to the place that made you fall apart?

When Lindsay Ellis was a teenager, she witnessed the aftermath of the violent murder of her lover’s father. The killer was never found.

Traumatised by what she saw, Lindsay had no choice but to leave her home village of Hartley Cross and its close-knit community behind.

Now, years later, she must face up to the terrible memories that haunt her still. But will confronting the past finally allow Lindsay to heal, or will her return to Hartley Cross unearth dangerous secrets and put the people she has come to care about most at risk?

 

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MY REVIEW

This is the story of Lindsay and a horrific event she witnessed 7 years before. This had left her traumatised at the time and now she has returned to the area, after the death of her mother, all those memories and emotions come flooding back.

What really happened to her boyfriend’s father? 

A tale of rumour, secrets and life in a small community. It has a darker side and enough intrigue and twists to make this a real page turner.

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

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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Margaret James has been a member of the RNA for 22 years. She has written thirteen published novels, many short stories, and she also teaches creative writing for the London School of Journalism. Margaret’s first novel was A Touch of Earth, a family saga set in Herefordshire where she was born and grew up, and her most recent is The Penny Bangle, set in Dorset and published by Robert Hale. But her personal favourite among her novels is Elegy for a Queen, published by Solidus, a small independent which has a varied and fascinating list. Margaret now lives in Devon, which she loves. (Courtesy of Goodreads)

The Final Reckoning was published in ebook format by Ruby Fiction and in audio by Soundings on 22 January 2019. It is available on all major platforms including:

 

Amazon UK:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Final-Reckoning-compelling-thriller-winter-ebook/dp/B07KFH2GYD/ref=sr_1_8 keywords=the+final+reckoning&qid=1564952238&s=gateway&sr=8-8

 

 

Kobo UK: https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/the-final-reckoning-15

 

The price of the ebook varies: average is £1.99. 

Book reviews, Cosy mystery, LGBTQ

Crazy For You by T.S. Hunter – Book Review

 

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

THE COURSE OF TRUE LOVE NEVER RUNS SMOOTH

It’s 1987, and Soho is in the grip of another hot summer. While working part-time in The Red Lion, Joe finds himself agreeing to help a notorious gangster search for her missing girlfriend.

Antonia The Gecko Lagorio is daughter to the ruthless but ageing gang boss, Tony The Lizard Lagorio. When her girlfriend, Charlotte Fenwick, goes missing, Antonia turns to Joe for help, believing her to have been kidnapped by a rival gang.

Charlotte Fenwick is daughter to multi-millionaire, Charles Fenwick—who also happens to be one of Freddie Gillespie’s bigger clients. Keen to keep any hint of a scandal out of the public eye, Charles Fenwick had already asked Freddie to recruit Russell and Joe to help him find his daughter discreetly.

With both of them on the case, Joe and Russell find themselves trying to stop a turf war between the two rival gangs while uncovering all manner of dark secrets about the missing heiress and her troubled life.

Meanwhile Freddie Gillespie has a run in with an old foe that could see him lose both his job and his relationship with Russell.
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MY REVIEW 

Book 4 in the Soho Noir series by TS Hunter, but can easily be read as a stand-alone, but you will be missing out on a fantastic series.

In this tale, a young heiress, Charlotte goes missing, her father receives a ransom note …so where is she? Who has taken her?

Charlotte’s girlfriend, Antonia, approaches Joe Stone, to ask for his help finding Charlotte. Antonia is daughter to the gangster ‘The Lizard’….is this a turf war?

So, Joe and his friend and working partner, Russell start looking into the case, with a little help from Russell’s boyfriend Freddie. 

Meanwhile, Russell’s nemesis, Detective Skinner is trying to cause trouble between Russell and Freddie…

Can Joe and Russell find Charlotte before any harm befalls her? 

While this is only a relatively short novella there is no shortage of action in this cosy mystery. A marvellously twisty plot, with tension, fun and a little love too. Brilliant.

Thank you to Red Dog Press for the opportunity to take part in this blog tour, for the promotional material and a free copy of the ebook. This is my honest and unbiased review.

 

You can buy a copy here 

 

https://www.reddogpress.co.uk/product-page/crazy-for-you

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

 

Claiming to be at least half-Welsh, T.S. Hunter lived in South Wales for much of his latter teens, moving to London as soon as confidence and finances allowed. He never looked back. He has variously been a teacher, a cocktail waiter, a podium dancer and a removal man, but his passion for writing has been the only constant. He’s a confident and engaging speaker and guest, who is as passionate about writing and storytelling as he is about promoting mainstream LGBT fiction. He now lives with his husband in the country, and is active on social media as @TSHunter5.

 

 
https://www.reddogpress.co.uk/product-page/crazy-for-you

Book reviews, Crime thriller

The Love Detective: Next Level by Angela Dyson – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Angela Dyson returns with another hilarious, heart-warming and hijinks-packed mystery,  on the heels of her successful debut, The Love Detective comes more misadventures and murder with Clarry Pennhaligan and her creator, author Angela Dyson.

Note to self: 

Do not screw this up. 

When Clarry Pennhaligan, rookie private detective and unlikely heroine, takes on her second case, she is determined to master the art of smart. All she has been asked to do is to infiltrate a group of women who share a rather unusual way of spending their spare time. 

Shouldn’t be too demanding, she thinks, nothing to it. But, after her first clumsy steps reveal secrets that may best be kept hidden, her investigation gains momentum and events take a bizarre and sinister turn. Out of her depth and working above her paygrade, Clarry soon faces a very real danger. 

Things just got Next Level.

“The role of amateur detective has always appealed to me,” Angela Dyson explains. “The artless inexperienced meddler asking questions, stirring things up and getting in to a whole heap of trouble. But I’d never be brave enough to do it myself.”

Apart from the twists and turns of her crime caper, Angela has made sure to include some important messages to young and old. As she explains, “Twenty-six year old, Clarry Pennhaligan, is a modern heroine. She’s a generously proportioned size 14. She’s Body Positive and reflects the New Activism: Accept yourself …just as you are. Accept others…..just as they are.”

And then there’s her side-kick, the glamorous septuagenarian Flan. “I love Flan! She’s gloriously outspoken, and with a huge appetite for life. The inter-generational aspect of the novel sends a powerful message: We can do anything we want, no matter what our age
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MY REVIEW

Clarry Pennhaligan is a waitress, she’s also an amateur sleuth.

One of her colleagues, has a friend who needs help….and she will pay! So obviously Clarry takes the job. 

Vanessa’s well to do mother, wants Clarry to snoop on a group of women, she feels are the ‘wrong’ people for her daughter to associate with…..it might damage the 21 year olds marriage prospects!!!!

So, Clarry finds a way to befriend Vanessa, and gets invited to a secret meeting …Blessed Be!  A group of witches, raising money for a wellness centre …but is there something more sinister going on?

This just fizzes along, it’s beautifully light, descriptive writing really gives a sense of the events, while also dealing with the darker side of the story.

I love Clarry and her sense of humour. She feels like a real person, with her inner thoughts, her healthy body image and appetite to match.  Another great character is Flan, Clarry’s friend, a 70 year old woman who exudes glamour, fun and sheer enjoyment of life. I’m looking forward to reading the next in the series….

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

You can buy a copy here 

https://amzn.to/31UEoJe

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Book reviews, Crime thriller

The Cobalt Sky by Keith Dixon – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Edward Ransome is one of England’s most famous artists – rich, a friend to celebrities and known for his devotion to his craft for almost fifty years.Then someone steals his favourite painting – the painting that set Ransome on course to fame and fortune but was never sold and rarely seen.

Sam Dyke is hired to find the painting, and the thief, but quickly discovers that the loss of the painting is only one of the many losses suffered by Ransome, and his family. What’s more, whoever stole the painting is keen to keep it a secret, and committing murder to do so is not out of the question. 

Soon Dyke finds he has more than a simple burglary on his hands – it’s a case that spans generations and includes more than one ordinary crime.The Cobalt Sky is a subtle but exciting exploration of the ways in which families can hurt each other over time … without even trying.

From the two-time winner of the Chanticleer Reviews CLUE Award in the private eye/noir category, for The Bleak and The Innocent Dead.

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MY REVIEW 

#10 in the Sam Dyke series, but can easily be read as a stand-alone.

Sam Dyke, a private investigator is hired by Charles Ransome to find out who stole one of his father’s paintings and replaced it with a forgery.

Edward Ransome, or ER as he is known, is the artist. The painting, No 1, holds an emotional link for him. This is the painting that started his career, but more than that, it has memories for him.

The Ransomes are not a likeable family, monied, privileged and selfish, but who really wants to hurt them? And Why?

I feel this is unique in that with cast of characters that is really quite small, so much is happening. There is murder, art theft, violence and intrigue but also the story of a broken family and how the cold, lack of showing any real emotion has affected them all. Very well plotted with a few surprises along the way. Gripping from start to finish.

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

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

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Keith Dixon was born in Yorkshire and grew up in the Midlands. He’s been writing since he was thirteen years old in a number of different genres: thriller, espionage, science fiction, literary. Two-time winner of the Chanticleer Reviews CLUE First in Category award for Private Eye/Noir novel, he’s the author of nine full-length books and one short-story in the Sam Dyke Investigations series and two other non-crime works, as well as two collections of blog posts on the craft of writing. His new series of Paul Storey Thrillers began in 2016 and there are now three books in the series.

Learn more about Keith by following him on Twitter @keithyd6, by reading his blog at http://www.cwconfidential.blogspot.com/or connect with him on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/SamDykeInvestigations/

You can find out more from his website at http://www.keithdixonnovels.com/

 

Paperback: 317 pages

  • Publisher: Semiologic Ltd; Pocket Size ed. edition (3 Sept. 2019)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 2490675087
  • ISBN-13: 978-2490675081

 

Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Cobalt-Sky-Sam-Dyke-Investigations/dp/2490675087

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Book reviews, Cover reveal

COVER REVEAL for One Dark, Two Light by Ruth Mancini

Welcome to the Cover Reveal for the new thriller:

One Dark, Two Light by Ruth Mancini

First a little about the book….

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

New Year’s Eve, London.

Outside the Hope & Glory pub, a man has been left to die. A victim of extraordinary violence, he will never walk or speak again. He remains in hospital for months, until criminal defence lawyer Sarah Kellerman walks onto his ward.

Sarah barely recognises the man she once worked with – he was honourable and kind – what was he involved in? Who wanted him dead? But in her race to uncover the truth, Sarah comes to realise there are two men in her life that she never really knew at all…

From one of crime fiction’s most compelling voices, One Dark, Two Light is where the personal and criminal collide, as Sarah works to bring dark secrets into the light.

 

Now a little about the Author: 

 

About the author:

 

Ruth Mancini is a criminal defence lawyer, author and freelance writer. She lives in Oxfordshire with her husband and two children.

Follow Ruth:  

Twitter: @RuthMancini1

Facebook: @ruth.mancini.author

 

Here is the stunning cover in all its GLORY……

 

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Buy Links:

Amazon: https://amzn.to/35EgK7a

Kobo: https://bit.ly/2MOgucO

Google Play: https://bit.ly/2IUQStQ

 

 

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Book reviews, Cover reveal

COVER REVEAL for The Final Trail by AA Abbott

Welcome to the Cover Reveal for the new novel by A A Abbott :

One Dark, Two Light

but first a little about the book…..


PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Family feuds just got bloodier… A gripping thriller, and a great story of death, revenge and vodka.

To save glamorous Kat White’s life, Ben Halloran killed his gangster father. Now his brother wants to even the score.

The gripping Trail series of British crime thrillers reaches its dramatic conclusion in this compelling page turner.  

The FINAL TRAIL is a perfect read for those who like a fast-paced crime thriller combined with suspense, humour and plot twists.  It’s ideal to take away on holiday and provides a great read during the autumn/winter nights.

The FINAL TRAIL will be available to order from Amazon in e-book, paperback and  dyslexia-friendly format from Monday 28th October 2019.

 

Website:  https://aaabbott.co.uk/    Twitter: @AAAbbottstories

 

Twitter Handles 

@AAAbbottstories

 

Here’s the striking cover in all its glory 

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Buy Link

https://amzn.to/2BJmoHg

 

Book reviews, Crime thriller, Police procedural

All His Pretty Girls by Charly Cox – Book

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Detective Alyssa Wyatt is hunting a serial killer.

She doesn’t know that he’s hunting her.

A woman is found naked, badly beaten and barely alive in the New Mexico mountains. The shocking discovery plunges Albuquerque Detective Alyssa Wyatt into a case that will test her to the limit.

It appears that Callie McCormick is the latest plaything of a shadowy psychopath that leaves a long shadow on the streets of New Mexico – an individual linked to a string of deaths but leaving no evidence.

But when Alyssa makes a breakthrough that just might reveal the killer, she unknowingly puts herself in the crosshairs of a brutal maniac – one with an old score to settle.

Because the killer knows Alyssa very well, even if she doesn’t know him. And he’s determined that she’ll know his name – even if he has to extract his deadly revenge on her and everything she loves.

The launch of a dark, gripping, completely unputdownable crime thriller series, All His Pretty Girl Introduces Albuquerque detective Alyssa Wyatt. Fans of Kendra Elliot, Melinda Leigh and Angela Marsons will be utterly engrossed.  

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MY REVIEW 

This is the first novel to feature Detective Alyssa Wyatt.

Someone is abducting women, torturing them and then killing them…….they all have a similar look. 

Alyssa and her partner Cord are beginning the investigation and things get dark and dangerous for Alyssa and her family…..

Meanwhile, Alyssa is still struggling with an event from her childhood, that has left her with a feeling of guilt and this case is bringing that to the fore….

I can’t say much more as I would really hate to spoil any part of this twisty thriller. It’s so immersive and has some real heart in the mouth moments too, all credit to Charly Cox’s creative writing. It flows so easily, with a fast pace and really is unputdownable. 

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

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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Born in the South, raised in the Midwest, Charly now resides in the Southwest in the Land of Enchantment where she enjoys eating copious amounts of green chile and other spicy foods. When she’s not reading, writing, or plotting sinister evils with her antagonists, she enjoys doing jigsaw and crossword puzzles, hanging out with her husband and her spoiled Siberian Husky, visiting her son in Arizona, and traveling, preferably to places surrounded by sun, sand, and warm uncrowded beaches.

 

Twitter

 

https://www.facebook.com/charlycoxauthor/

 

https://www.clcox-author.com/

 

https://www.amazon.com/Charly-Cox/e/B07WGQN19Q

 

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/19490745.Charly_Cox

 

Book reviews, Crime thriller, Police procedural

Deadly Silence by OMJ Ryan – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Some sins can never be forgiven.

DI Jane Phillips was a star detective driven by a relentless quest for justice. But then she stepped outside the law. 

Now, demoted and suffering with PTSD, she finds herself facing the deadliest threat of her career — a serial killer who is preying on vulnerable women, murdering them in a shocking and bizarre ritual. 

A master of deception, he selects his victims at random. Or so it seems. But as Phillips investigates, she begins to see a method in the killer’s madness. Perhaps these victims aren’t random at all…  

As the pressure mounts, can Phillips find the link between these ritual murders before the killer strikes again — or will her dogged determination to solve the case bring his deadly silence to her door?
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MY REVIEW

Jane Philips is a DI, demoted as a result of events at a previous case. Her boss, Fraser Brown really hates her and makes it very clear, luckily for her the feeling is reciprocated.

Her team are investigating the murder of a woman, found suffocated by a plastic bag…..but when further murders are committed, all in the same way….they have a serial killer to find. Jane, committed to her job, puts the truth before anything else and ends up in danger, the killer is watching! 

Jane is a likeable character, likeable and a strong woman with a sense of humour but takes no nonsense either. With a great team, even new recruit Entwistle soon settles in. The victims have links to each other and the local church, but who would want them dead ?

What follows is a race against time to stop the killer before anymore deaths….it has a dark and twisty plot which has you hooked from the very first page.  It’s very clever writing that makes you feel empathy for a killer, yes the crimes were heinous but they had been a victim themselves too. I’ll never look at Winnie the Pooh pyjamas in the same way again……..Utterly compelling.

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

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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http://www.inkubatorbooks.com/omj-ryan-author-page

Hailing from Yorkshire, OMJ Ryan worked in radio and entertainment for over twenty years, collaborating with household names and accumulating a host of international writing and radio awards. In 2018 he followed his passion to become a full-time novelist, writing stories for people who devour exciting, fast-paced thrillers by the pool, on their commute – or those rare moments of downtime before bed. Owen’s mission is to entertain from the first page to the last.

 

 

Social Media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/OMJRYAN1 @OMJRYAN1

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/OMJ-Ryan-2449880305025779/

Website: https://www.omjryan.com/

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

 

 

Purchase Links:

 

Amazon UK: 

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Deadly-Silence-gripping-thriller-Detective-ebook/dp/B07Z2R84T9/ref=sr_1_5?keywords=deadly+silence&qid=1571140575&sr=8-5

 

Amazon US: 

 

https://www.amazon.com/Deadly-Silence-gripping-thriller-Detective-ebook/dp/B07Z2R84T9/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=deadly+silence+OMJ+Ryan&qid=1571140710&sr=8-1

 

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Publishing Information:

Published in ebook format by Inkubator Books on 27th October 2019.

Book reviews, Feminist, Science fiction

The Future Of Another Timeline by Annalee Newitz – Book Review


PUBLISHERS BLURB 

The Future of Another Timeline is a dark thriller from Annalee Newitz, the founding editor of io9, about the lengths we’ll go to protect the ones we love. In a modern-day United States that’s just a step away from our own, time travel is possible. But a secret war is brewing over access to history.

Tess is a geologist desperately trying to change the past.

Beth is a teenage riot grrl who has witnessed a murder that will forever shape her future.

Across the timeline, a group of men are trying to destroy time travel. If they succeed, only a small elite will have the power to shape the past, present, and future.

A final confrontation is coming. Our only hope lies with an unlikely group of allies, their lives separated by centuries, battling for a world where anyone can change the future.
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MY REVIEW 

The Future Of Another Timeline, a sci-fi novel about time travel? Oh no it’s so much more than that.

Someone is travelling back in time, in ancient time machines, to edit the timeline to eradicate women’s rights, including their reproductive right to abortions etc. The Daughters of Harriet, a feminist group are intent of stopping this one mans plan. (It’s a worry that even now In this present day, a room of middle aged men sit and make decisions on women’s reproductive rights!)

The story centres around Tess, a traveller, who wants to help fix things, including her own past. What happened in those heady punk days of 1992?

She travels back and meets a wonderfully diverse group of feminist activists fighting the misogyny…..Will they succeed?  Will Tess get back to her own timeline?

This is a tale of relationships, friends and love and loss, with some time travel too. As in real life, a small change can have a much bigger impact than expected. It has violence, love and a lot of emotions too. It’s sharp, clever, feminist, queer, inclusive, totally amazing and utterly compelling. I loved every minute of it.

My thanks to Orbit Books for a free copy of this marvellous book. This is my honest and unbiased review.
You can buy a copy here 

https://amzn.to/2qLX8xL

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

 

Annalee Newitz is an American journalist who covers the cultural impact of science and technology. They received a PhD in English and American Studies from UC Berkeley, and in 1997 published the widely cited book, White Trash: Race and Class in America. From 2004–2005 they were a policy analyst for the Electronic Frontier Foundation. They write for many periodicals from ‘Popular Science’ to ‘Wired,’ and from 1999 to 2008 wrote a syndicated weekly column called ‘Techsploitation.’ They co-founded ‘other’ magazine in 2002, which was published triannually until 2007. Since 2008, they are editor-in-chief of ‘io9,’ a Gawker-owned science fiction blog, which was named in 2010 by The Times as one of the top science blogs on the internet.(Courtesy of Goodreads)