Book reviews, Mystery

The Mystery Of Henri Pick by David Foenkinos – Book Review

BAD72126-071F-4CB2-A1A5-3389CAE11C00
PUBLISHERS BLURB 

The delightful first title in a new collaboration with Channel 4’s Walter Presents: a fast-paced comic mystery enriched by a deep love of books.

In the small town of Crozon in Brittany, a library houses manuscripts that were rejected for publication: the faded dreams of aspiring writers. Visiting while on holiday, young editor Delphine Despero is thrilled to discover a novel so powerful that she feels compelled to bring it back to Paris to publish it.

The book is a sensation, prompting fevered interest in the identity of its author – apparently one Henri Pick, a now-deceased pizza chef from Crozon. Sceptics cry that the whole thing is a hoax: how could this man have written such a masterpiece? An obstinate journalist, Jean-Michel Rouche, heads to Brittany to investigate.

The Mystery of Henri Pick is a fast-paced comic mystery enriched by a deep love of books – and of the authors who write them.

28316E60-7D0E-449C-A0E8-08001FDC4990

MY REVIEW 

The Mystery Of Henri Pick is a gentle novel, no violence or fanged, just the mystery of who has written an unpublished literary masterpiece,   ‘The Last Hours of a Love Affair’,  that has been found in a local library.

It exudes a deep love of books and of the process of writing with the emotional toll it takes on authors. It’s also about love, life and finding happiness, all set in a small town in France.

An absolutely charming read with a little twisty mystery too, perfect escapism and a warm hug of a read. 

Thank you to Poppy at Pushkin Press for the opportunity to take part in this blog tour, for the promotional material and an ecopy of the book. This is my honest and unbiased review.

You can buy a copy here: https://amzn.to/2Zhgp9G or https://www.hive.co.uk/Product/David-Foenkinos/The-Mystery-of-Henri-Pick/24707984 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

 

Novelist, screenwriter and musician David Foenkinos was born in 1974. He is the author of fourteen novels that have been translated into forty languages. Several of his works have been adapted for film, including Delicacy (2011). The Mystery of Henri Pick is the first title in a new collaboration with Channel 4’s Walter Presents.

‘It has always been a dream for French writers to be translated into the English language. I am especially happy that The Mystery of Henri Pick has been selected by the ‘Walter Presents’ program because it is as much literary as it is entertaining. I wanted my book to be a playful reflection of the literary world – filled with suspense and false leads. First and foremost – it’s a tribute to books and literature and to the writers that have long been heroes of mine.’ – DAVID FOENKINOS

 

ABOUT WALTER PRESENTS:

Walter Presents is a global streaming service

dedicated to showcasing award-winning

foreign-language drama. First launched in

the UK in 2016 the service is named after its curator, Walter Iuzzolino and is now available in the US, Australia and a number of European countries. You can watch world drama box sets from Walter Presents for free in the UK on all4.com/walterpresents 

131F8A6F-C07E-45CE-8C75-3338ED226A85

 

Book reviews, Mystery, Thriller

Overboard by Ivy Ngeow – Book Review

24AE7D7C-A93C-4F9C-AA79-C319A7984FE3
PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Thailand. An epic storm. A shipwreck. A white man has been found alive.

But who is he? Suffering horrific injuries and burns, he is taken to a local hospital. He is mute. Everything is a blank. They tell him his name. That is all he knows. When his Chinese wife arrives, he has no choice but to return to London to her family. He starts getting better with care and more surgery until one day… he’s assaulted. And he knows why.

The blow brings back a dangerous memory. But he’s crippled, disfigured and penniless… and he’s living the life of the man they think he is. What will he risk to uncover the truth?

If you like a compelling, suspenseful thriller with witty dialogue and taut, dark storytelling, you’ll love Ivy Ngeow’s Overboard. Discover today what it means to go Overboard… jump off and start your adventure now.

A431D7CB-AB88-49D7-98CF-40564EB7955C

MY REVIEW 

Overboard starts with a shipwreck and there’s only one survivor. A man with amnesia.

Phoebe is told her husband is alive, but horrifically injured and disfigured.

Dominique is told her husband died in a boating accident.

Przemek is working for both women.

and then there is You…telling their side of the story.

I can’t say much more for fear of spoilers, but I can say this is a compelling thriller, told from four very different characters and their perspectives. It builds gradually as it all starts to link together towards the final reveal.

Overboard is a masterpiece of character building and plotting. It’s sharp, witty dialogue mixed with a tension filled tale makes this a stunning, almost poetic thriller. I love Ivy Ngeow’s writing and her use of language just sparkles. I loved it.

Thank you to Anne Cater and Random Things Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour,  for the promotional materials and a special thank you to Ivy Ngeow for a copy of the book (and the sparkly cloud!). This is my honest, unbiased review.

 

Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Overboard-compelling-modern- suspense-novel/dp/1913584003

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

6DAFE627-1909-4B57-AF61-5DE58BD310DC

Ivy Ngeow was born and raised in Johor Bahru, Malaysia. A graduate of the Middlesex University Writing MA programme, Ivy won the 2005 Middlesex University Literary Prize out of almost 1500 entrants worldwide. 

She has written non-fiction for Marie Claire, The Star, The New Straits Times, South London Society of Architects’ Newsletter and Wimbledon magazine. Her fiction has appeared in Silverfish New Writing anthologies twice, The New Writer and on the BBC World Service. Most recently, her story was published by Fixi Novo in an anthology.

Ivy won first prize in the Commonwealth Essay Writing Competition 1994, first prize in the Barnes and Noble Career Essay Writing competition 1998 and was shortlisted for the David T K Wong Fellowship 1998 and the Ian St James Award 1999.

Ivy has been a highly-accomplished multi-instrumental musician since childhood and won fifth prize (out of 850 entrants) in the 2006 1-MIC (Music Industry Charts) UK Award for her original song – Celebrity, when she formed her own band, Satsuma (2005-07). Her songs are funky, modern and eclectic, with strong urban grooves and

lyrics. Satsuma has played headlining gigs at top London venues such as: The Marquee Club, The Troubadour Club, The Water Rats, The Betsey Trotwood, Plan B and Clockwork.

 

Website : http://www.writengeow.com/ Twitter: @ivyngeow
18B1036B-5DD4-4EA9-9454-F352F908AA3E

Paperback: 388 pages

  • Publisher: Leopard Print Publishing (24 Jan. 2020) • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1913584003
  • ISBN-13: 978-1913584009

 

Book reviews, Cyberpunk, Dystopian fiction, Mystery, Noir

Auxiliary: London 2039 by Jon Richter – Book Review

741005A0-FEB1-40CF-9833-8EC10EF1F1B6
PUBLISHERS BLURB 

The silicon revolution left Dremmler behind, but a good detective is never obsolete.

London is quiet in 2039—thanks to the machines. People stay indoors, communicating through high-tech glasses and gorging on simulated reality while 3D printers and scuttling robots cater to their every whim. Mammoth corporations wage war for dominance in a world where human augmentation blurs the line between flesh and steel.

And at the center of it all lurks The Imagination Machine: the hyper-advanced, omnipresent AI that drives our cars, flies our planes, cooks our food, and plans our lives. Servile, patient, tireless … TIM has everything humanity requires. Everything except a soul.

Through this silicon jungle prowls Carl Dremmler, police detective—one of the few professions better suited to meat than machine. His latest case: a grisly murder seemingly perpetrated by the victim’s boyfriend. Dremmler’s boss wants a quick end to the case, but the tech-wary detective can’t help but believe the accused’s bizarre story: that his robotic arm committed the heinous crime, not him. An advanced prosthetic, controlled by a chip in his skull. 

A chip controlled by TIM.

Dremmler smells blood: the seeds of a conspiracy that could burn London to ash unless he exposes the truth. His investigation pits him against desperate criminals, scheming businesswomen, deadly automatons—and the nightmares of his own past. And when Dremmler finds himself questioning even TIM’s inscrutable motives, he’s forced to stare into the blank soul of the machine. 

Auxiliary is gripping, unpredictable, and bleakly atmospheric—ideal for fans of cyberpunk classics like the Blade Runner movies, Richard K. Morgan’s Altered Carbon, William Gibson’s Neuromancer, and the Netflix original series Black Mirror

CE439AB0-5F4C-404B-B824-3C1FCD0E37ED

MY REVIEW 

Auxiliary is set in London in the not so distant 2039.

Carl Dremmler is a jaded detective sent to the scene of a death …..seeming just a man plugged in to Alt-World and had forgotten to live in the real world.

This is a world connected to technology, from driverless cars, robot surgeons and arachnoid posties……all with a single operating system known as TIM….’Alexa on steroids’. Robots are everywhere in the workplace and even the bedroom….

Dremmler is then sent to a murder case….the suspect says he prosthetic arm killed his girlfriend….it was out of control. Dremmler’s boss, Maggie, wants this investigated quietly so as to prevent any panic.  But when his partner, T, is murdered things get dark.

This is cyberpunk Noir…..a tale of robots, cybernetics, tech and the loss of society. It’s also a murder mystery, a thriller with some truly horrific moments and so terrifying in its plausibility. I’ll never look at a wireless printer the same way again. A compelling, heart pounding read. Unputdownable!!

Thank you to Heather Fitt at Overview Media for the opportunity to take part in this blog tour, for the promotional material and a free ecopy of the book. This is my honest and unbiased review.

 

Book reviews, Family drama, Mystery

The Girl In The White Dress by Paul Barrell – Book Review

B4C97746-8391-435E-BA29-B8872849B7F3
PUBLISHERS BLURB 

The Girl in the White Dress is quite simply unforgettable and unputdownable. It is based on a true story . Every Family has secrets. Imagine discovering you were guilty of something you can’t remember. 

1974 A family from London take a trip of a lifetime to the Caribbean aboard the cruise liner Oriana. 2005 The Peak District. Following the death of his wife , Paul finds a menu card from the Oriana covered in personal messages from the ghosts of his childhood.

One particular address catches his eye , and memories are stirred as he begins to dream about a girl in a white dress.Gradually with his mothers help he starts to unravel the identity of a long forgotten childhood sweetheart, and the disturbing truth about an incident that took place in their cabin.Something that would implicate his whole family, a Pandoras box of lies and deceit. Paul never saw the girl again after the cruise.

Their shared guilt had remained hidden for 30 years. That was until today… It is a remarkable true story about loss and grief, and one person’s quest for the truth. 

Sometimes in life things happen to us that are beyond our control; you don’t need to believe in ghosts or the supernatural, just believe in the Universe and the threads of random chance that link us all together.

8419992B-B2DD-438A-BD6B-069507D1B970

MY REVIEW

The Girl In The White Dress is a tale of guilt.

Paul had been on a cruise with his family when he was 13 years old, he remembers very little about the trip though, until he finds an old signed dinner menu from the ship, The Oriana.

He begins to have nightmares about a young woman and water, and with his mother’s help he decides to try to find one of the guests.

Here secrets long forgotten are unearthed. Can Paul make amends and put things right?

A well written, fast paced tale that keeps you engrossed from start to finish. Beautifully descriptive and has a real sense of time and place too. An 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.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

FFDC347D-3643-4C84-A656-A710ACD3FE2E

Paul Barrell is a keen sportsman and has skied all over the world. He is a serial entrepreneur and has owned restaurants, wine companies and is passionate about food and wine. He came to writing later than most and writes about people and events that have shaped his life. 

His first book, Postcards From Pimlico is currently being turned into a screenplay for TV. He now lives in the Surrey Hills with his wife and rescue dog, Lottie.

 

Twitter @paulbarrell

 

Book reviews, Mystery, Short story

Five Adventures Of Sherlock Holmes by Maurice Barkley – Book Review

CE07CCF0-41ED-48AB-B975-CEE56FA958C6
MY REVIEW

This is a collection of five new stories featuring Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson.

I am a big fan of Conan-Doyle’s Creation and found these stories by Maurice Barkley capture the essence of the Sherlock Holmes original tales.

The atmosphere and characters are truly spot on and the tales of mystery are well plotted and engaging. They also have some unique and refreshing tweaks too, all of which make this collection thoroughly entertaining.

Thank you to The Write Reads 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.
2C43C509-497F-4B1E-BC93-3CA07071F276

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

CBFDED99-7708-4A6F-9422-98B7ED4E7A05

Maurice Barkley lives with his wife Marie in a suburb of Rochester, New York. Retired from a career as a commercial artist and builder of tree houses, he is WRITING and busy reinforcing the stereotype of a pesky househusband. Favorite relaxation is throwing peanuts to squirrels, blue jays, cardinals and chipmunks from his porch. Once he built a doll hair-making machine using an old sewing machine. It worked, but his wife got tired of making Raggedy Ann dolls, so it sits in the garage.

 

 

https://www.amazon.com/ADVENTURES-SHERLOCK-HOLMES-Maurice-Barkley-ebook/dp/B079YX6KD2/ref=sr_1_5 keywords=maurice+barkley&qid=1576672024&sr=8-5

 

@MauriceBarkley