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, 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

Out Of The Silence by Owen Mullen – Book Review #blogtour #OutOfTheSilence

Out of the Silence by Owen Mullen

 

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Book Blurb:

Star investigative reporter Ralph Buchanan’s glory days are behind him. His newspaper has banished him to Pakistan, not knowing the greatest moment of his long career is waiting for him there.

When Simone Jasnin asks him to help expose a grave injustice, he finds himself embroiled in a harrowing tale that began in a dusty settlement in rural Punjab, setting in motion a chain of events that will change the lives of everyone involved.

Seven years later in the city of Lahore, members of a prominent family are being brutally murdered one by one. The only clue is a hand-carved wooden bangle left at the scene of each crime.

As the list of suspects grows and the tension mounts, Ralph realises the answers might be closer to home than he ever thought possible.

Solving the mystery will put him back on top but at what cost?

Only when the smoke clears will the killing stop and honour be satisfied…

 

 

 

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MY REVIEW:

This story is set in Lahore, Pakistan and starts with a young woman being admitted to a hospital after being the subject of an acid attack. While she can, she tells her story to Doctor Simone Jasnin and so the tale begins and we travel back to 1986…

It tells of Afra, a young girl in love with Jameel, a village boy, but her mother arranges her marriage to another man for the dowry.

Jameel leaves the village alone to make a life with his Great Uncle in Lahore, Afra’s life is one of brutality and slavery as is the case for many women in that area. Dr Jasnin and the reporter, Ralph Buchanan, try to highlight the dreadful treatment of women and help where they can.

Without giving away too much, this is one of the most gripping, heartbreaking and morbidly satisfying books I’ve read for a long while. 

It is, at its heart, a love story, tragic and moving, but also covers the abuse of women in Pakistan that appears to be the accepted norm, and a tale of retribution and revenge. The author, Owen Mullen’s excellent writing will make you angry at the injustices but then cry at the sheer heart rending emotion. I know this is a cliche, but I really could not put this down and read it in one (quite long) sitting. 

Books are my escape and relaxation and my reviews are my honest opinion. If it’s tripe, I’ll say so and alternately if it’s excellent I may gush a bit. Many books are a good read, but are a bit forgettable, others, however, touch your soul a little and stay with you bringing a little magic to life, this is one of those books. I can thoroughly recommend it.

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. 

 

 

 

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About the Author:

Owen Mullen is a McIlvanney Crime Book Of The Year long-listed novelist.

Owen graduated from Strathclyde University, moved to London and worked as a rock musician, session singer and songwriter, and had a hit record in Japan with a band he refuses to name; he still loves to perform on occasion. His passion for travel has taken him on many adventures from the Amazon and Africa to the colourful continent of India and Nepal. A gregarious recluse, he and his wife, Christine, split their time between Glasgow, and their home in the Greek Islands where In Harm’s Way and the Charlie Cameron and Delaney series’ were created and written. His latest novel Out Of The Silence is a truly compelling thriller set in Pakistan.

 

Buy it here :

 

 

Social Media Links:

Author.to/OwenMullen

bit.ly/YouTube-OwenMullen

bit.ly/Twitter-OwenMullen6

bit.ly/FB-OwenMullen

bit.ly/InstagramOwenMullen

bit.ly/Goodreads-OwenMullen

bit.ly/BookBubOwenMullen

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

Book reviews

East of England by Eamonn Griffin – Book Review

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1789650143/ref=as_li_tl?ieag=-21&linkIdf8d94249-4afe-4363-a6f9-1db7048731f6East of England

By Eamonn Griffin

Published by Unbound Digital

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Dan Matlock is out of jail. He’s got a choice. Stay or leave. Go back to where it all went wrong, or simply get out of the county. Disappear. Start again as someone else.

But it’s not as simple as that.

There’s the matter of the man he killed. It wasn’t murder, but even so. You tell that to the family. Especially when that family is the Mintons, who own half that’s profitable and two-thirds of what’s crooked between the Wolds and the coast. And who could have got to Matlock as easy as you like in prison, but who haven’t touched him. Not yet.

And like Matlock found out in prison, there’s no getting away from yourself, so what would the point be in not facing up to other people?

It’s time to go home.

East of England blends a rural take on the noir thriller with a fascination with the British industrialised countryside that lies east of the Wolds, between the Humber and the Wash. Unlit byways rather than the neon-bright and rain-slicked city. A world of caravan parks, slot machines, and low-rise battery farms.

The flatlands of the east coast; decaying market towns and run-down resorts, and the distant throb of offshore windfarms. Where the smell you’re trying to get out of your clothes is the cigarette taint of old phone boxes and bus shelters, and where redemption, like life, is either hard-earned or fought for, one way or another

MY REVIEW

Dan Matlock, released from prison after two years is expecting his father, Joe to pick him up, but he’s not there. So he steals a car and makes his way home….

Dan is not a nice man, he’s back into ‘working’ for Big Chris almost immediately as her debt collector, he’s also choosing other targets for his thieving, to let certain factions, namely the Mintons and Corrigans that he’s back.

So begins a tale of violence and various dodgy dealings, with such descriptive writing you feel you could find your way round the area with no problem. You can almost smell the seedy, seaside, Skeg, and rural Lincolnshire with its menacing darkness that’s just out of eyesight, something you might catch out of the corner of your eye beyond the bright lights and noise of ‘fun’.

Eamonn Griffin has created a realistic, believable character in Dan Matlock, Lincolnshire’s very own ‘Jack Reacher’…you may not like him much, but you will still be on his side, and hoping for the best with the tension building to a bloody, violent end, with some surprises that I didn’t see coming at all. Brilliant read and I can thoroughly recommend it. 

Thank you to The Pigeonhole, Unbound Digital and Eamonn Griffin for the opportunity to read this.

@eamonngriffin

@ThePigeonholeHQ

@Unbound_Digital

 

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