Book reviews, Crime thriller

A Clean Canvas by Elizabeth Mundy – Book Review

 

 

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PUBLISHERS BLURB

Crime always leaves a stain…


Lena Szarka, a Hungarian cleaner, dusts off her detective skills when a masterpiece is stolen from a gallery she cleans with her cousin Sarika. When Sarika goes missing too, accusations start to fly.

Convinced her cousin is innocent, Lena sweeps her way through the secrets of the London art scene. But with the evidence against Sarika mounting and the police on her trail, Lena needs to track down the missing painting if she is to clear her cousin.

Embroiling herself in the sketchy world of thwarted talents, unpaid debts and elegant fraudsters, Lena finds that there’s more to this gallery than meets the eye.

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MY REVIEW

Well this is quite unique, a crime thriller with no bodies, but an art theft…and Lena, a cleaner being an armature detective to solve the mystery…

Lena is Hungarian, intelligent and sharp, but still has a little difficulty understanding the quirks of the English language at times, which makers her even more endearing.

I found the story intriguing with plenty of twists to keep you engrossed. This is a well written, interesting and original mystery,  a refreshing change to the usual crime thrillers.

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 Link – amzn.to/2VWJ3ZD


Author Bio –

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Elizabeth Mundy’s grandmother was a Hungarian immigrant to America who raised five children on a chicken farm in Indiana. An English Literature graduate from Edinburgh University, Elizabeth is a marketing director for an investment firm and lives in London with her messy husband and two young children. A Clean Canvas is the second book in the Lena Szarka mystery series about a Hungarian cleaner who turns detective.

Social Media Links –
Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @ElizabethEMundy
www.elizabethmundy.com

 

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Book reviews, Thriller

The Plastic Seed by Maisie Porter – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Two schemes uncoil—and, very quickly, begin to unravel—on the same day in the Australian town of West Glassport…

Jean Hima isn’t happy with the way her life has been going. First, her husband leaves her. Then, she loses her job as a midwife at the local hospital, over the easily-fixed misplacement of a baby or two…

Now, Jean is sure a snooty real estate agent is blocking her efforts to find a rental in a nice part of town.

Given possession of a batch of incriminating photographs, who wouldn’t begin thinking about a little life-restorative blackmail?

Written in three acts and covering a quarter of a century, The Plastic Seed is an environmental thriller that explores the hypocrisy of some aspects of the philosophy of wellness. This novella is part satire of the human potential movement, and sincere testimony to the ability of humans to face facts when given no choice.

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MY REVIEW 

4⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The Plastic Seed is a novella by Maisie Porter. It is set out in three parts, the beginning, 5 and 20 years later.

The story is told from the perspectives of each character, Jean, an alcoholic midwife…..who mixed up a couple of babies….but that could happen to anyone couldn’t it?

Amy, her daughter, who begins by sneaking out at night to meet a boyfriend,  but, eventually ends up in jail for drug dealing….

Carlana, a woman who seems confused most of the time, becomes a health and well-being seminar and lifestyles advocate, who used to neglect herself and her dog….

And, Evan …..a rather strange, controlling man, who is Carlana’s husband and recycling fanatic.

Jean cannot accept the troubles in her life are her own doing and that Carlana is responsible….it’s all her fault and she wants revenge. Carlana, however,  wants a new life and is plotting a way to leave her husband…..

Jean’s exploits are a little bizarre, such as climbing in the boot of Carlana’s car….she does seem a little frazzled!

Will Jean carry out her blackmail threat? will this end in violence ?…….or will they all come to their senses?

There is also a very clever, almost social documentary feel to this in how we are destroying the planet, and that everyone wants to be a social media guru…..the how to live, eat and be happy with less materialism accounts became so popular, the government ban them as consumer sales dropped. So unless you are a licensed health and well-being practitioner it’s illegal to offer advice! So these licences are very sought after.

I really enjoyed this satirical view of the continuous promotion of well-being….what we should think, eat and do….plus the inability of some to accept the facts that are staring them in the face and take responsibility for their own actions. Fun, whacky, part thriller,  part sci-fi and at times just odd, but never dull…..

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  in exchange for my honest, unbiased review.

Purchase Links

mybook.to/theplasticseed

 

Author Bio

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Maisie Porter works as a professional photographer in Australia, with wide experience covering weddings, though she has neither abducted nor been abducted by any competitors. No Reception is Maisie’s first novel.

Social Media Links –

https://twitter.com/eyeointment

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Book reviews

This Strange Hell by C J Sutton – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

A suited man runs from a burning tower in Melbourne as bodies rain down upon him.

Before the city’s millions can compose, he boards a train into the countryside. Hiding his identity and changing his appearance, the man finds his way to Sulley Ridge, a lawless town in the heart of the harsh Victorian outback.

The following day, a burned man wakes up in a hospital bed. Surging with rage, he speaks a name. Within an hour, the suited man’s face is across every screen in the country. It’s the greatest manhunt Australia has ever seen.

But as he tries to camouflage in Sulley Ridge, he soon realises the town has its own problems. Under the iron fist of a violent leader, the locals are trapped within slow and torturous decay…

As we learn more about the night of the burning tower, the connection between the suited man and the burned man threatens to leave a trail of destruction across the state.

Here is the story of a man on the run from his past, as the line between sanity and evil is danced upon.

Here is the tale of This Strange Hell.

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MY REVIEW 

Where do I start? This is a tale of the power of fear…….of corruption, brutality and also of the strength and kindness of strangers.

Brady Lockhart, he ran away from the inferno of Barron Tower…..he is named by the burned man as the arsonist. The media and people vilify him and he is hunted by everyone.

He runs, changes his appearance and decides to look for work in a small rural town, Sully Ridge. He’s taken in by Wallace, who rents him a house but he knows who the man really is ……he also knows about the $1000000 he has stashed.

The man is now aware of Siphon, the brutal, violent and cruel gang leader who is running the town, he demands ‘rent’ from everyone…..if they don’t pay the consequences are dire…..just ask Wiggles…

The man decides to help the locals (a bit of a Magnificent Seven ….) and joins the gang but with an ulterior motive.

BUT The Burned man has found out where he is and is now on his way….!

I can’t say more for fear of spoilers…..but I will say this is a very well written book, the many characters and their back stories will have you cheering them on, crying with them and feel their bruises….it’s brutal, bloody and violent but there’s also the goodness of people to bring some hope…..a real credit to C J Sutton’s creative writing…..I can thoroughly recommend it….

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  in exchange for my honest, unbiased review.

you can preorder a copy here…out on 15 March

 

 

 

About the Author

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C.J. Sutton is a writer based in Melbourne, Australia. He holds a Masters in journalism and creative writing and supports the value of study through correspondence. His fictional writing delves into the unpredictability of the human mind and the fears that drive us.

As a professional writer C. J. Sutton has worked within the hustle and bustle of newsrooms, the competitive offices of advertising and the trenches of marketing. But his interest in creating new characters and worlds has seen a move into fiction, which has always pleaded for complete attention. Dortmund Hibernate was his debut novel, released by Crooked Cat Books on July 18. It is available now – mybook.to/dortmundhibernate

His new novel, This Strange Hell, will be released on March 15.

Social Media Links –

https://www.facebook.com/cjsutton.author/

https://twitter.com/c_j_sutton

Instagram: @c.j.sutton

www.cjsutton-author.com

 

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Book reviews, Thriller

Unlawful Things by Anna Sayburn Lane – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

A hidden masterpiece. A secret buried for 500 years, and one woman determined to uncover the truth.

When London tour guide Helen Oddfellow meets a historian on the trail of a lost manuscript, she’s intrigued by the mystery – and the man. But the pair are not the only ones desperate to find the missing final play by sixteenth century English playwright Christopher Marlowe.

What starts as a literary puzzle quickly becomes a quest with deadly consequences.When Helen realises the play hides an explosive religious secret, she begins to understand how much is at stake. Relying on her quick wits, she battles far-right thugs, eccentric aristocrats and an ancient religious foundation, each with their own motives for getting their hands on the manuscript.

She discovers there is a price to pay for secret knowledge, but how high is too high?

Unlawful Things was shortlisted for the Virago/The Pool New Crime Writer Award. If you love a bit of historical sleuthing and a healthy dose of fast-paced action, you’ll enjoy this intriguing debut thriller from Anna Sayburn Lane.Discover Unlawful Things today!

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MY REVIEW 

The great prologue has you hooked from the off……What then follows is a gripping tale of history, religion, conspiracies and a little romance.

Helen Oddfellow is trying to complete her PhD in the works of the famous (or infamous)playwright Christopher Marlowe. To fund herself, she runs historical walking tours around London. She is contacted by Richard, a historian about a lost Marlowe play. 

Alongside this runs the story of Nick Wilson who’s a reporter investigating the  racist gang of thugs responsible for recent violence at a newly opened mosque. His investigation links to Helen and Richards….

This is where the story starts to ramp up the tension with the three of them   trying to outwit and outrun some really unsavoury characters who will do just about anything to get their hands on what Helen & Richard discover. 

This is a tale of religion, zealots and old secrets as they follow the stories of Marlowe, Raleigh and even Beckett….some historical fact and some from the author, Anna Sayburn Lane’s marvellously creative writing..

Religion is a large part of the plot and I found it interesting to see that not much has really changed in the tensions between faiths even up to the present day.

I very much enjoyed this and can thoroughly recommend it.

Thank you to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours 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.

Buy a copy here (link to Amazon by clicking the image)

UK

USA

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Anna Sayburn Lane is a novelist, short story writer and storyteller, inspired by the history and contemporary life of London. Unlawful Things is her first novel.
She has published award-winning short stories in a number of magazines, including Mslexia, Scribble and One Eye Grey.
Her Mslexia award-winning story Conservation was described by judge and Booker-longlisted author Alison MacLeod as “a powerful and profound contemporary piece in which one man’s story stands for an entire nation’s… it’s a punch to the heart, a story that will haunt and touch its readers deeply”.
She has told stories at London club The Story Party and One Eye Grey’s Halloween event, Moon Over the Lido

Twitter: @BloomsburyB

Website: http://www.annasayburnlane.com/

Author Page on Facebook A hidden masterpiece.A secret buried for 500 years.And one woman determined to uncover the truth.When London tour guide Helen Oddfellow meets a historian on the trail of a lost manuscript, she’s intrigued by the mystery – and the man. But the pair are not the only ones desperate to find the missing final play by sixteenth century English playwright Christopher Marlowe. What starts as a literary puzzle quickly becomes a quest with deadly consequences.When Helen realises the play hides an explosive religious secret, she begins to understand how much is at stake. Relying on her quick wits, she battles far-right thugs, eccentric aristocrats and an ancient religious foundation, each with their own motives for getting their hands on the manuscript. She discovers there is a price to pay for secret knowledge, but how high is too high?Unlawful Things was shortlisted for the Virago/The Pool New Crime Writer Award. If you love a bit of historical sleuthing and a healthy dose of fast-paced action, you’ll enjoy this intriguing debut thriller from Anna Sayburn Lane.Discover Unlawful Things today!

Paperback: 424 pages

• Publisher: Anna Sayburn Lane (22 Oct. 2018)

• Language: English

• ISBN-10: 191642080X

• ISBN-13: 978-1916420809

Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Unlawful-Things-Anna-Sayburn-Lane/dp/191642080X/ref=sr_1_1_twi_pap_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1549467597&sr=1-1&keywords=unlawful+things

 

 

 

 

Book reviews

Kayak the Kwanza by Oscar Scafidi – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

In August 2015, Oscar Scafidi and Alfy Weston set out to kayak and hike 1,300km along Angola’s longest river, the Kwanza.

This is the story of their 33-day expedition in a 1960s Klepper collapsible kayak as they journey through some of the last remaining wilderness areas in Africa. Enroute they avoid hippo attacks, waterfalls and security forces but are arrested at gunpoint, almost drown, take part in a diamond mine rescue and display incredible courage.

The journey was in support of The HALO Trust, the oldest and largest humanitarian landmine clearance organisation in the world.

The authors will be donating 25% of the book profits to support The HALO Trust’s continued work in Angola.

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MY REVIEW 

Oscar and Alfy spent many months planning their expedition to Kayak the Kwanza…I found this part very interesting, I had no idea just how much goes into these plans, from the route, equipment, medical supplies and the English essentials….PG Tips and Marmite !

This is their true story of the quite amazing expedition from Luanda in Angola to the Atlantic Ocean in a kayak.

The trip was in aid of the HALO trust,  a non-political charity which remove debris left behind by war, in particular land mines. 

Kayaking on both previously unexplored areas of the river and some already known. The detailed and expressive writing is so good you can practically smell the dank river, mud and unwashed bodies…

They came across some aggressive hippos, guarding the river with the risk of them overturning the kayak at times. The fast flowing water, terrifying rapids and the mosquitoes sounded quite horrific and Oscar’s poor feet had me wincing…I can’t imagine how painful this must have been……and then their arrest for being close to a dam…. Angolan bureaucracy which delayed and almost ended their journey and sneaking past checkpoints on the river…A absolutely fantastic adventure brought to life, I loved every minute (well apart from BREXIT lol)…..

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

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

Book reviews, Thriller

Falling from the Floating World by Nick Hurst -Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

When Ray is sacked from his job in London, he goes to Japan hoping to start his life afresh. Things begin well: he lands work as an English teacher and strikes up a relationship with the beautiful, intriguing Tomoe. But his world is turned upside down when Tomoe’s father is found dead. 

Convinced that his death was a murder, Tomoe sets out after the killers, and when she goes missing Ray is forced to act. In his quest to find her he’s dragged into the ‘floating world’ – a place of corrupt politicians, yakuza, sumo wrestlers and call-girls – living out an adventure that echoes his dreams of Tokyo’s feudal past. 

It’s a search guaranteed to bring further loss of life, and Ray is pulled into a desperate chase to ensure it won’t be his.

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MY REVIEW 

Ray is a bit of a baby, he once walked away from a bungee jump through fear and just wants a life of mundanity……ha !

He meets Tomoe, a beautiful, spontaneous girl who he falls for instantly, but he finds out she has a secret life….and they argue….Tomoe goes missing and Ray-san realises he loves her and is intent on finding her, no matter what!

It’s violent and yet beautiful, with the wonderful insight into Japanese culture, past and present and of the Floating World, which is the world of play, brothels and entertainment in Tokyo (and some other cities in Japan). The descriptive writing is so good, I could feel the menace from Kurotaki and The Beast, the beauty of Tomoe and the desperation of Ray……brilliant.

This is a stunningly written tale of power, grace, honour and love…..oh and a bit of Yakuza lore too. There’s also some corporate wrong doings and a plan to bring this to light, in all a masterful and totally captivating thrill of a read. I loved it.

Thank you to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours 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.

you can buy a copy here :

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About the Author

Nick Hurst has been an English-language teacher, money broker, model, marketer and stuntman. He spent three years training with a kung fu master in Malaysia to write his first book and ended up with a full-back traditional Japanese tattoo while researching his second.

His book Sugong was published in 2012 to positive reviews from The Times Literary Supplement and The Independent on Sunday among others, and he has also written for The Guardian and Time Out.

Further details

Nick Hurst’s first book, Sugong, the ‘extraordinary story’ (Independent) of the three years he spent training with a kung fu master in Malaysia, was published to positive reviews and widespread coverage in 2012.

The author is an expert on Japanese culture, and has lived in the country for many years: the book is filled with fascinating cultural detail.

For fans of Hideo Yokoyama’s Six Four, Keigo Higashino’s The Devotion of Subject X, Natsuo Kirino’s Out.

Falling from the Floating World is :

Published on 7 MARCH 2019

PRICE: £8.99

ISBN: 978-1-78352-631-4 FORMAT: Paperback

BINDING: B Format PB EXTENT: 320 pages SIZE: 198 × 129 mm CATEGORY BIC: FH

Book reviews

Boss Girl – by Emma Tallon – Book Review. #blogtour #bookreview #crimethriller

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

If you love Martina Cole, Kimberley Chambers, Casey Kelleher and Jessie Keane, you’ll love Boss Girl.

You’ll do anything to save your family, even kill for them… 

Anna Davis is under pressure. With her West End nightclub packed full every night and the opening of another club just around the corner, she knows she can’t take her eye off the ball. 

Her boyfriend Freddie Tyler practically owns London’s West End and he’s got a big deal on – one that could make the Tylers the most powerful family in London. He’s going into business with crime boss Frank Gambino. But visiting Anna at work one night, Gambino tells her he’ll only sign the deal with Freddie on one condition – that she hands over Club Anya to him. 

With tension growing between Anna and Freddie, her mind is on other things. She doesn’t notice that someone is watching her every move. She doesn’t realise just how much danger she’s in. 

When one night she doesn’t return home, Freddie is beside himself with worry. And as he races to save Anna, one thing is for sure – he’ll get back the girl he loves. Even if it means taking down the whole of the London underworld to find her…

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MY REVIEW

Anna and Tanya run a couple of clubs in London, but someone feels one of the clubs should be theirs, due to an ‘administration’ error at the time of the original sale……this is where things get nasty !

Freddie, Anna’s boyfriend, is a well known London gangster, violent and not above murder and so much more!!!

Anna goes missing and Freddie will do anything to get her back….I won’t go into details as it would really spoil this and that just wouldn’t be fair.

While I appreciate this is part of a series, it really can be read as a stand-alone, but you will want to read the others afterwards, I’m certain…..

This is a fast paced, dark, violent insight into the seedy underworld of London or any major city really. I can’t say any of the characters are the nicest of people, but I did care what happened to them and this reflects the marvellous writing of Emma Tallon. I can thoroughly recommend it.

You can buy a copy here at Amazon

 

 

 

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Author Bio:

Emma Tallon is a British, gritty crime writer, adventurer, Londoner and mother to a young son. Starting her career a few years ago as a ghostwriter, Emma crafted some of the most adventurous, edgy and heart-wrenching stories you can find on the shelves today.

In March 2017 Emma stepped out of the literary shadows and self-published her first book, Life Game. The book was an instant success, the results far exceeding anything she had expected. As news of Life Games popularity spread, she joined forces with W.F.Howes and the audiobook was launched in October 2017.

In December 2017, Emma signed a three book deal with publishers Bookouture. This included Life Game which was changed, re-edited and re-released as Runaway Girl.

Drawing inspiration for her books from a mixture of her own observations and an active imagination, the characters Emma paints are colourful and larger than life. Her story lines are an interesting recipe of deep emotion and violent grit, that keep her readers engrossed.

With two more books in the works for this series already, Emma has many more stories planned out for the future.

Social Media Links:

For more information on Emma or to join her mailing list, please go to: www.emmatallon.com or alternatively, follow her on Facebook: www.facebook.com/emmatallonofficial or on Twitter: @EmmaEsj

Author:          Emma Tallon

Book:               BOSS GIRL

Publication Day:  Feb 1st 2019

Buy Link:

Amazon: http://geni.us/B07KG7V5F6Social

Apple Books: https://tinyurl.com/y754kgpe

Kobo: https://tinyurl.com/yaquhngy

Googleplay: https://tinyurl.com/y8f95c37

Thank you to Noelle Holten and 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, unbiased review. 

Book reviews

Spare Room by Dreda Say Mitchell #blogtour #bookreview

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BOOK BLURB

Home Is Where The Nightmare Is

Beautiful double room to let to single person

Lisa, a troubled young woman with a past, can’t believe her luck when she finds a beautiful room to rent in a large house. The live-in owners are a kind and welcoming couple. Everything is fine until she finds a suicide note hidden in her room. But when the couple insist this man didn’t exist and that Lisa is their first tenant, Lisa begins to doubt herself.

Compelled to undercover the secrets of the man who lived in the room before her, Lisa is alarmed when increasingly disturbing incidents start to happen. Someone doesn’t want Lisa to find out the truth.

As the four walls of this house and its secrets begin to capture close in on Lisa, she descends into a hellish hall of mirrors where she’s not sure what’s real and what’s not as she claws her way towards the truth… 

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MY REVIEW 

So here goes:

Lisa Kendal is a mess, she takes antidepressants ad hoc, she has night terrors, sleep walks and is a little paranoid to say the least.

Lisa rents the Spare Room in Martha and Jack’s beautiful home, there are very strict house rules, which seem a little over the top but she is determined to stay and find out what happened to the previous tenant. She has found a suicide note and writings on the wall and is certain something bad went on in that house…

Oh my…..what a story, Dreda Say Mitchell has created a taut tale that just bristles with tension. CLICHE ALERT…..but I really couldn’t put it down, I had to know, was Lisa having a breakdown ? Is Jack violent ? What terrible event happened in that house?

This truly gave me goosebumps, that shivery tingle down my spine with the final, marvellously horrific reveal. A masterpiece of tension, brilliant and a must read for lovers of psychological thrillers.

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 review. 

Buy a copy here :

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dreda Say Mitchell is an award-winning, bestselling crime writer, broadcaster, campaigner, and journalist. Since her sixth book she has been co-writing with Tony Mason. She is the author of eleven novels, with her debut awarded The CWA’s John Creasey Dagger. She has been a frequent guest on television and radio including Question Time, BBC Breakfast, Newsnight, Victoria Derbyshire, The Stephen Nolan Show, Front Row and Woman’s Hour and numerous others. She has presented Radio 4’s Open Book. Dreda was named one of Britain’s 50 Remarkable Women by Lady Geek in association with Nokia. She was the 2011 chair of the Harrogate Crime Fiction Festival. Dreda and Tony’s work is currently in development for TV. She was born and raised in the East End of London where she continues to live.

Social Media Links:

Website: www.dredasaymitchell.com

Twitter: http://twitter.com/DredaMitchell

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/DredaSayMitchell

Book reviews

Go West by David Quantick – Book Review. #bookreview #GoWest

PUBLISHERS BLURB

GO WEST is a novel about Charlie Bread, self-styled Antiques Whisperer and forgery hunter. When Charlie is sent on the trail of a mysterious document that may have been written by the inventor of Peter Pan, his life becomes a road movie full of pursuit and intrigue, soundtracked by old John Peel shows, the beautiful Penelope, and a game of high road hide-and-seek all across the West Country.

In a world where nothing is what it seems, Bread has to find out the truth – before the truth finds him out. 

Go West is the second novel by David Quantick, Emmy-winning writer (Veep, The Thick Of It) and author of The Mule (“A Da Vinci Code with laughs – The Independent, “ingenious, likable, funny and above all entertaining” -Spectator, “accomplished and witty highbrow farce”

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MY REVIEW

Charlie Bread is a self styled ‘Antiques Whisperer’, who can spot a fake at 20 paces. He’s employed by Roger Armstrong of Prings Auction House to authenticate a notebook, which may have been written by JM Barrie of Peter Pan fame. This is where the madness begins……

The marvellous plot jumps about, with the wonderful Penelope, appearing and disappearing, with Cora and the fake Cora, vintage cars and tapes of John Peel’s radio shows……the star of the story for me was the Three in One Inn…..I haven’t laughed out loud while reading for a long time but this had me crying with laughter at points.

No it’s not great literature and doesn’t purport to be, but it does have great characters, twists and turns, music and some great humour. I can absolutely recommend it.

My thanks to The Pigeonhole and David Quantick for the opportunity to read this for free. My opinions are my own, honest and unbiased.

you can buy a copy here ar Amazon