The Housewife by Alex Kane @AlexKaneWriter @BOTBSPublicity @HeraBooks #crime #thriller #bookreview

I am delighted, if somewhat late today, to help kick off the Blog Tour for The Housewife by Alex Kane. This was a fabulous gangland crime thriller that I adored.

My huge thanks to Sarah at BOTBSPublicity for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of this cracking book.

Even perfect mothers have secrets…

Leah. She’s the perfect mum to ten-year-old Samuel, wife to loving husband Thomas, head of the PTA. But her closet is full of skeletons – and if the truth gets out, her world could be destroyed.

Annie. She’s the gangster’s moll with a brain. She might be a woman, but she’s not afraid to get her hands dirty to play the men at their own game. But what no one knows is the devastating secret haunting her.

Terry. He’s the king of Glasgow gangland, working his way up from estate to mansion. From drugs to guns, there’s nothing he won’t stop at to grow his dirty money. He might be a hard man, but his weakness is women.

As their three stories collide, the lives of each will never be the same. Because even perfect women hide dark secrets… Don’t they?

My Review…

This is a fabulous crime thriller story that involves three main characters as well as a handful of secondary ones. The story revolves around the gangland scene in an area in Glasgow. An area where drugs are rife and lives are not lived, people just exist.

The author has woven such a brilliant story that focuses on Leah, a mother who has a secret that she is desperate to keep hidden from her son and husband. Annie has stepped away from her life and into that of the girlfriend of gangland crime boss Terry. Terry is the third main character, the boss who is not averse to breaking the law to maintain control of his area.

This is such an addictive read as I was drawn further into the three storylines. Throughout the story, I was taken into the murk and grime of an inner-city housing estate. The author built a picture of deprivation and drug addiction. There is one however who has seen what drugs do and steers clear of using and wants a better life.

Using to of the characters, the author has injected a secretive edge, it is one that kept me so intrigued as I desperately wanted to work out the connection. When that was eventually dropped I was shocked. Definitely a “I never saw that coming” moment.

I really enjoyed how quickly I was taken into the lives and the story. It is gritty as I was taken into the drug world from both the user and the dealer. As well as those who are involved through association. The stories are brilliantly worked and had a tense filled edge to them. A fabulous story from start to finish and it is one for those who love their crime thrillers on the dark and gritty side. I would definitely recommend it.

About the Author…

Alex Kane is a writer from Glasgow. She has been writing for ten years and in 2018 signed with Hera Books, a digital first publisher.

(2019) No Looking Back
(2019) What She Did
(2020) She Who Lies
(2020) The Angels
(2021) The Housewife

Alex Kane writes gangland crime and psychological thrillers and will read anything she can get her hands on from both genres. If she is not writing, she can be found relaxing at home reading, or drinking tea and/or gin (sometimes all of the above).
Alex is currently working on future books but can also be found procrastinating on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Links – Facebook Twitter  

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The Forgotten Life of Arthur Pettinger by Suzanne Fortin @suefortin1 #ArthurPettinger @Aria_Fiction #AriaFiction #bookreview

I am absolutely delighted to share my review today for a very special book. The Forgotten Life of Arthur Pettinger by Suzanne Fortin. I wish to say a huge thank you to Vicky at Aria Fiction for the gorgeous copy she sent me through the post for an honest review. This is such a stunning book and I loved it.

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Sometimes the past won’t stay hidden, it demands to be uncovered…

Arthur Pettinger’s memory isn’t what it used to be. He can’t always remember the names of his grandchildren, where he lives or which way round his slippers go. He does remember Maryse though, a woman he hasn’t seen for decades, but whose face he will never forget.

When Arthur’s granddaughter, Maddy moves in along with her daughter Esther, it’s her first step towards pulling her life back together. But when Esther makes a video with Arthur, the hunt for the mysterious Maryse goes viral.

There’s only one person who can help Maddy track down this woman – the one that got away, Joe. Their quest takes them to France, and into the heart of the French Resistance.

When the only way to move forwards is to look back, will this family finally be able to?

My Review…

Oh my goodness this is such a special book, it is an absolutely stunning read.

Arthur Pettinger is getting flashbacks of memories, fragments of times past and is struggling to remember. He has Alzheimer’s so his grandaughter and great-grandaughter struggle to understand the significance when he gets upset or apologises to a mystery person.

This is such a wonderfully written story that is about the past and the present. For Arthur, he recalls memories but cannot explain the meanings of them. For Maddie and Esther, they want to help him piece together a mystery they don’t know much about. This leads to such a heartwarming story that is full of emotion and discovery.

This story is told in a timeslip format for Arthur’s story, the past is his time in France and how he met a young woman Maryse during the second world war. These events come in fragments from his experiences. The present, for Arthur, is told in a mix of confusion of short term memory loss. I have to say that the way the author dealt with the disease and its effects has been very well done. It shows confusion and frustration from the perspective of the sufferer. Also from the angle of family members that again includes frustration but also concern.

The story is also one about love, truth and misunderstandings, or maybe missed opportunities depending on how you look at it. It is a mix of contemporary fiction with historical fiction and it is a stunningly beautiful read.

This book got to me very quickly, I knew within the first couple of chapters that this book was going to be special and it just got better and better. Emotional it most definitely is but it is also about discovery and truth. I was in tears several times in this book as I read and by the end, I was gutted to have finished this wonderful story.

If you like a mix of past and present with a historical fiction wartime setting and a contemporary fiction one, then you really do need to get this one. It is one that I would absolutely and most definitely recommend. 

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Anthrax Island by D.L. Marshall #AnthraxIsland @DLMWrites @canelo_co @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours #thriller #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Anthrax Island by D.L. Marshall. This is a fabulous crime thriller book and I was delighted to get a spot on the blog tour. My thanks to Emma at #damppebblesblogtours for my e-copy of this book.

FACT: In 1942, in growing desperation at the progress of the war and fearing invasion by the Nazis, the UK government approved biological weapons tests on British soil. Their aim: to perfect an anthrax weapon destined for Germany. They succeeded.

FACT: Though the attack was never launched, the testing ground, Gruinard Island, was left lethally contaminated. It became known as Anthrax Island.

Now government scientists have returned to the island. They become stranded by an equipment failure and so John Tyler is flown in to fix the problem. He quickly discovers there’s more than research going on. When one of the scientists is found impossibly murdered inside a sealed room, Tyler realises he’s trapped with a killer…

A gripping thriller that will leave you guessing until the final page. Perfect for fans of Terry Hayes, James Swallow and Alistair MacLean.

PURCHASE LINKS – AMAZON UK US

My Review…

This was a tense crime thriller read that also had a spy thriller feel to it. The author used the Scottish island of Gruinard as the basis for his story and then expanded on it. The island was used for the testing of Anthrax in 1942 and using this fact the author then weaved a suspense ridden tale about what happened if the island still had active spores.

John Tyler, well what to say about him. Well, a man with a troubled past, a mercenary who takes on various “off the book jobs” and he has just been sent to Anthrax Island to look at the death of a technician on the base.

Given the location of the island and also that it is a no go area, this gives the story that brilliant locked in thriller feel. The isolation and also the barren and windswept island really does come through well in the writing. There is a limited number of characters and some have more of a presence than others.

The characters are used to great effect as the author gradually ramps up the mystery and intrigue of what begins a single death but then escalates to more bodies. As the story progresses then so does the suspense as I was left wondering two things, who was going to be next and could the killer be caught in time.

This, as I mentioned, is the first book in the series and the author has already got a poor battered John Tyler ready for his next mission. The main character has his flaws, and the author has left little snippets about him in the story. He is a character I will enjoy getting to know a little more as the series progresses and I am looking forward to the next book.

I really liked how the author wove fact with fiction. Using Anthrax and the testing of it on the island was such a great starting point to a story that had a reasonably fast pace to it, the intrigue, suspense and tension married sin well with the traits of the main character. The isolation and limited characters kept the main focus of the story very much in the reader’s mind.

I really enjoyed this book, it had a spy thriller feel as well as being a crime thriller. One I would definitely recommend.

About the Author…

D. L. Marshall was born and raised in Halifax, West Yorkshire. Influenced by the dark industrial architecture, steep wooded valleys, and bleak Pennine moors, he writes thrillers tinged with horror, exploring the impact of geography and isolation. In 2016 he pitched at Bloody Scotland. In 2018 he won a Northern Writers’ Award for his thriller novel Anthrax Island.

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My Week In Books (w/e 14th March) #booklove #bookupdate #MeAndMyBooks

Welcome to another week of books I have read over this past week. I usually do read a good mix, but this week the mix is far more mixed than usual…

Good Eggs

I was after a book that would have a few chuckles in it and Good Eggs by Rebecca Hardiman was one that had just that. It is the story of three generations of the Gogarty family, how poor Kevin keeps up with his mothers antics and also the the problems his daughter is having, well to say he is run ragged is an understatement. A fun, light-hearted read that definitely did have me chuckling, but also deals with the daily life of a family. One I would recommend.

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I did say different and A History of the Vampire in Popular Culture by Violet Fenn is a non fiction book that I wished for on NetGalley. It seems wishes do come true as the publisher Pen & Sword History granted me access to an e-copy. This is an entertaining read that delves into the way vampires have become more popular in pop culture over the years. The author references film, early and modern literature as she gives her opinion. I really enjoyed this book and it is one I would recommend.

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Last year I read and loved The Flatshare and so I was really looking forward to The Switch by Beth O’Leary as well. This is a fabulous book about Leena and Eileen, grand-daughter and grandmother who switch their lives, well actually it is where they live that they switch. I adored these two characters, although Eileen was my favourite with her antics. A fabulous story that I loved everything about and would definitely recommend.

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Sometimes you come across a book that you know is going to be special within the first few pages. The Forgotten Life of Arthur Pettinger by Suzanne Fortin is one such book. I just loved, adored and fell in love with this book that steps back and forth in time. It is a story that tells Arthurs story of his time and people he met in the second world war, told in snippets of memories and flashbacks. It is simply beautiful and I cannot recommend this one enough.

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I never thought I would read a book about quantum physics, but this is exactly what I did when I read Helgoland by Carlo Rovelli. As surprising as that revelation is, the fact that I found myself entertained and had a chuckle or two as I read this book is even more surprising. I have not got a braincell in me that understands science or physics, yes I get the basics and can understand things to a point but that is it. I did manage to understand some of the concepts, but it was more the writing style and personality of the author that made this an interesting read. I am really glad I picked this one up and I would recommend it, although it is probably a book suited to a more specific audience.

So, there you go I don’t think you can get much more varied than vampires, quantum physics, humour, contemporary fiction and historical fiction 😂 I did say it was an unusual mix and I think you can see I wasn’t wrong!

All that leaves me to say is, have a great week ahead and happy reading,

Yvonne xx

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Mr Right Across The Street by Kathryn Freeman @KathrynFreeman1 @rararesources #NetGalley #romcom #bookreview

Kathryn Freeman is an author who I regularly read and her latest book Mr Right Across The Street was another fabulous read. My huge thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of this fabulous book.

Mia Abbott’s move to Manchester was supposed to give her time and space from all the disastrous romantic choices she’s made in her past. But then the hot guy who lives opposite – the one who works out every day at exactly 10 a.m., not that Mia has noticed thank-you-very-much – starts leaving notes in his window…for her.

Bar owner Luke Doyle has his own issues to deal with but as he shows Mia the sites of her new city he also shows her what real romance looks like for the first time. And when he cooks up a signature cocktail in her honour, she realises that the man behind the bar is even more enticing than any of his creations. And once she’s had a taste she knows it will never be enough!

Purchase Links – Amazon UK US

My Review…

This was a really fun book that I sat and read over the course of an afternoon. Mia, a newcomer to the Manchester area eagerly awaits 10 each morning when she can watch the gorgeous hunk in the opposite flat work out.

She has decided it is time to start over and stand on her own two feet. She has been a bit of a recluse since moving into her flat, her mum and sister want her to go out and meet people and find friends. Mia not so much, she isn’t one for socialising, doesn’t appear to like letting people find out much about her. But then her last relationship has left her doubting herself so its no wonder really.

Good job she walks into the local bar and finds people to talk to then, especially when one of them is the guy opposite who works out. She soon discovers from others that he is a player, he doesn’t do relationships and he, being the cool guy isn’t going to be interested in her, the nerd!

This is such a lovely story about opposites attracting, but when you have a reputation then its hard for anyone to see past that. Wanting to find herself and gradually into a new life in a new area, Mia finds herself making a deal to get to know the area a little better. As she gets to know people Mia finds that not everyone is quite as they seem. Not quite as shallow as she originally thought, so is she going to take a chance!

The author created as tory with some very likeable characters and with plenty of will they/won’t they moments. It was a story that was easy to get into and provided a light-hearted literary escape, ideal for fans of rom-coms and contemporary romance. One that has some serious moments but also plenty of chuckles. One I would thoroughly recommend.

About the Author…

A former pharmacist, I’m now a medical writer who also writes romance. Some days a racing heart is a medical condition, others it’s the reaction to a sexy hero. 

With a husband who asks every Valentine’s Day whether he has to buy a card (yes, he does), any romance is all in my head. Then again, his unstinting support of my career change proves love isn’t always about hearts and flowers – and heroes come in many disguises.

Social Media Links – Website Facebook Twitter

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The Hat Girl From Silver Street by Lindsey Hutchinson @LHutchAuthor @BoldwoodBooks #boldwoodbloggers @rararesources #histfic #bookreview

Today see’s the final day of the Blog Tour for The Hat Girl from Silver Street by Lindsey Johnson. I am delighted to be one of the Book bloggers to share my review today as tour. I would like to thank Rachel at Rachels Random Resources for my e-copy of this wonderful historical fiction novel.

Let bestselling author Lindsey Hutchinson take you back in time to the Victorian Black Country, for a tale of love, hardship and fighting against the odds to succeed.

Life is tough for Ella Bancroft. After her father, Thomas, is wheelchair-bound by an accident at the tube works, the responsibility for keeping a roof over their head falls to Ella. Ella’s mother died when she was ten, and her sister Sally lives with her no-good, work-shy husband Eddy, so is no help at all.  If she and her father are to keep the bailiffs from the door, then Ella must earn a living.

But Ella is resourceful as well as creative, and soon discovers she has a gift for millinery. Setting up shop in the front room of their two-up, two-down home in Silver Street, Walsall, Ella and Thomas work hard to establish a thriving business. Before long, the fashionable ladies of the Black Country are lining up to wear one of Ella’s beautiful creations, and finally Ella dares to hope for a life with love, friendship and family.

Meeting the man she longs to marry should be a turning point for Ella, but life’s twists and turns can be cruel. As the winter grows colder, events seem to conspire to test Ella’s spirit. And by the time spring is approaching, will the hat girl of Silver Street triumph, or will Ella have to admit defeat as all her dreams are tested.

The Queen of the Black Country sagas is back with a heart-breaking, unforgettable, page-turning story of love, life and battling against the odds. Perfect for fans of Val Wood and Lyn Andrews. 

Purchase Link – Amazon

My Review…

What a wonderful story The Hat Girl From Silver Street was, and also my first outing with this author and be I will come back to based on this book.

The story revolves around Ella, the younger, and nicer of two sisters. She is a hard worker under the employ of a milliner. With low wages and unfair working conditions, her father encourages Ella to leave. Between them, they start their own business and this introduces them to many other people.

This is a lovely story that I found very easy to get caught up in, so much so I read it in one sitting. The author delves into the living conditions briefly as well as the hardships and uncertainties of the time. Starting a business from scratch is a brave decision but the author has given solid reasons. Meeting new people in a society is one fraught with danger as Ella’s shop is in her house.

This story revolves around family and life in general. A society that is all about class and getting the best marriage deals is something the author did tackle well. It made for an agonising waiting game as I read the story, getting more and more drawn in.

There are some really good characters that range from the outspoken to the more gentle and with a good range of traits that include vindictive, sly, aloof and downright nasty there is something to keep a sense of intrigue. This means that you will root for some and wait for the others to get their comeuppance.

Overall a great story to lose yourself in for a few hours, it is one that I found easy reading as well as very addictive. A little predictable at times but still very enjoyable. One for those that do like their historical fiction and romance that leans more towards the family saga style of story. One I would recommend and a great introduction for a new to me author.

About the Author…

Lindsey Hutchinson is a bestselling saga author whose novels include The Workhouse Children. She was born and raised in Wednesbury, and was always destined to follow in the footsteps of her mother, the multi-million selling Meg Hutchinson.

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Wartime With the Tram Girls by Lynn Johnson @lynnjohnsonjots @HeraBooks @rararesources #excerpt #histfic

I am delighted to share an extract today for Wartime With The Tram Girls by Lynn Johnson . I wish I had got the time to read this rather than just offering an extract as this book sounds great. Many thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on the tour and for arranging my extract for the final day of the tour.

This is the second book in the two book series.

July 1914: Britain is in turmoil as WW1 begins to change the world. While the young men disappear off to foreign battlefields, the women left at home throw themselves into jobs meant for the boys.

Hiding her privileged background and her suffragette past, Constance Copeland signs up to be a Clippie – collecting money and giving out tickets – on the trams, despite her parents’ disapproval.

Constance, now known as Connie, soon finds there is more to life than the wealth she was born into and she soon makes fast friends with lively fellow Clippies, Betty and Jean, as well as growing closer to the charming, gentle Inspector Robert Caldwell.

But Connie is haunted by another secret; and if it comes out, it could destroy her new life.

After war ends and the men return to take back their roles, will Connie find that she can return to her previous existence? Or has she been changed forever by seeing a new world through the tram windows?

Purchase LinksAmazon Kobo Apple

EXTRACT…

Preparations for Christmas were well underway at Holmorton Lodge. Mrs Williams had been working day and night in the kitchen. Alice had taken over much of the housework and day-to-day management under Mrs Williams’s tutelage and was doing a good job.

Constance and her mother were sitting in the morning room taking their tea. There was a knock on the door and Mrs Williams, along with a tearful Alice, entered.

‘Sorry to trouble you Mrs Copeland, but Alice here’s had a problem at the butcher’s.’

‘Whatever’s the matter, Alice?’ asked Constance.

‘They have put up the meat we ordered but won’t give it to me unless I pay for it. Oh Miss Constance, they say we’re behind with the bill. I dunno what to do.’

‘She’s right, ma’am, I have checked the book. Nothing’s been paid since October,’ said Mrs Williams.

Constance turned to look at her mother. ‘Surely that can’t be right?’

‘Mrs Williams, would you and Alice mind leaving us, and I’ll get it sorted?’ Mother asked.

When they were alone, her mother continued. ‘I will speak to your father immediately.’

‘Before you go, Mother, I would like to understand a little more about our finances. We have a very nice lifestyle, but I have no idea how it’s funded.’

‘Your father deals with all of that, but I can tell you a little. The proceeds from the sale of the business and our house in Manchester enabled us to buy this house,’ her mother waved her arms about her, ‘and renovate it.’

‘I remember, it looked very sad when we moved in. I imagined it to be haunted or fancied some other terrible event had taken place!’

‘It’s a substantial property and your father could see its merits. The remainder of the money was invested equally in Government Bonds and shares in solid British companies.’

‘What are Government Bonds?’

‘I believe it’s money lent to the government by people like ourselves. In return, we get guaranteed interest periodically. The shares pay dividends which are not guaranteed but the income we get is higher, so it makes sense to have a mix of both. We live on the interest and dividends.’

‘I think I understand.’

‘Things have not gone too well for us recently. The war has had a considerable effect on our income. Many companies are paying very low dividends or none at all.’

‘Is that why he hasn’t replaced any of the servants?’

‘In part. We would have had considerable difficulty finding anyone when factories are paying such high wages for women, and conscription has taken most able-bodied men.’

Constance’s cheeks felt tight. How could they be in such a predicament without her knowing? She might have helped in some way. ‘Why didn’t you tell me?’

‘We didn’t want to bother you. You had enough on your plate. Your father thought we could manage without selling investments which are perfectly sound and will pay out again once the war is over and things get back to normal. We didn’t think that the war would last so long and it is affecting all incomes. Add this to the increase in living costs and we are feeling the strain of it all.’

‘My wedding fiasco hasn’t helped, has it?’

‘In all honesty, no. But we shall manage.’ Her mother got to her feet. ‘I must talk to your father.’

Constance didn’t understand much of what her mother said, after all financial matters were the domain of the man of the house and her education had done nothing to change that. All this information about shares and bonds and equities was beyond her current understanding, but that could be resolved in time and Constance decided that would be her first priority.

She could understand now why her father had been so eager to see her married, but she was not and never would be another commodity to be bought and sold. She would get a job as soon as she possibly could, where she could start immediately, and get paid. She might not earn very much initially, but at least she would make a contribution.

A job that was different, where the pay was the same for men and women. A job that gave her some freedom.

About the Author…

Lynn Johnson was born in the Staffordshire Potteries and went to school in Burslem, where the novel is set. She left school with no qualifications and got a job as a dental nurse (and lasted a day), a nursery assistant, and a library assistant before her ambition grew and she enrolled at the Elms Technical College, Stoke-on-Trent and obtained six O’levels. She obtained a Diploma in Management Studies and a BA Hons in Humanities with Literature from the Open University while working full-time.

Most of her working life was spent in Local Government in England and Scotland, and ultimately became a Human Resources Manager with a large county council.

She started to write after taking early retirement and moving to the north of Scotland with her husband where she did relief work in the famous Orkney Library and Archives, and voluntary work with Orkney’s Learning Link. Voluntary work with Cats Protection resulted in them sharing their home with six cats.

She joined Stromness Writing Group and, three months after moving to Orkney, wrote a short story which would become the Prologue to The Girl From the Workhouse.

Social Media Link –  Twitter

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Bobby March Will Live Forever by Alan Parks @AlanJParks @blackthornbks @RandomTTours #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Bobby March Will Live Forever by Alan Parks. My huge thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my copy of this fabulous book from Black Thorn Books.

Harry McCoy investigates the suspicious overdose of a rock legend and the disappearance of a young girl in this gripping thriller

WHO IS TO BLAME WHEN NO ONE IS INNOCENT?

There’s a heatwave in Glasgow and the drugs trade is booming. The whole force is searching for missing thirteen-year-old Alice Kelly. All except Harry McCoy, who has been taken off the case after a run-in with the boss, and is instead sent alone to investigate the death of rock-star Bobby March, who has just overdosed in the Royal Stuart hotel.

The papers want blood. The force wants results. McCoy has a hunch. But does he have enough time?

  • Themes include inner-city poverty, gang warfare, the rise and fall of rock & roll stardom, illegal narcotics distribution and the growth of the IRA, seen through the eyes of his good-cop-in-a-gray-world, Detective Harry McCoy.
  • Will appeal to fans of Ian Rankin, Denise Mina, Peter May, William McIlvanney and
    Val McDermid, as well as TV series such as Idris Elba’s Luther

My Review…

This is the 3rd book in the Harry McCoy series and the first time I have read a book by this author. This book does work really well as a stand-alone, but I do wish I had read the previous 2 books. I have got them on order, so it kind of shows how much I enjoyed Bobby March Will Live Forever!

So, let’s start with the basics. This is a police procedural set in Glasgow during the early 70s. McCoy is a DI who in theory should be heading the investigation for a missing girl but instead has been pushed out to investigate other crimes being committed. The reason for him being pushed out, well let’s call it a rather nasty power-hungry DI. The reasons for the animosity are made clear.

As this series focuses on McCoy, it is his cases that take a more prominent relevance in the story. While Bobby Fisher is mentioned in the title, and McCoy does investigate, the story is secondary in some respects to all the other things that are going on. The author does such a great job of weaving various threads of various subplots into a really addictive story.

The other great thing the author achieved int his story was really encompassing the era of the story and of the region of its setting. Giving an atmospheric, smoky, crime-ridden world where the line between bent and straight is fine. I do like the fact that he used the local vernacular during conversations, again it helps to cement the area well in the reader.

This is a book that has a noirish feel to it, atmospheric with great characters that I soon either liked or loathed. Although it is a police procedural it didn’t always feel like it as there were a few “off the books” things going on as well. I know, another vague-ish review but I really don’t want to give anything away.

This is a cracking read and I cannot wait for my first two books in the series to arrive. I already have the 4th book sat waiting to be read as well!

Brilliant characters, cracking storyline and one that I would definitely recommend if you like crime and thriller reads that have a police presence with some dodgy dealers then this is a series you want to take a serious look at.

About the Author…

Alan Parks has worked in the music industry for over twenty years. His debut novel Bloody January was shortlisted for the Grand Prix de Littérature Policière. He lives and works in Glasgow.

Bobby March Will Live Forever is the third Harry McCoy thriller.

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx


My Week In Books (w/e 6th March) #booklove #bookupdates #MeAndMyBooks

Welcome to another week of bookish updates. This week has been another good week for reading, to be fair though, I did have the week off work so it did give me a little more time for catching up on one of my favourite hobbies. A day earlier than usual as I do have a few Blog Tour posts this week, oh and a trip to the dentist 😁 just a filling and a clean.

I have also managed to get out in the garden, something that I have been waiting to do for a while. I have started the weeding and getting the veg patch ready, even though it is too early for me to plant anything yet! It was just nice to get outside and start. Oh and if anyone knows where I put my netting I would love to know! I have hunted high and low and I am damned if I can find it!!!

So here is what I have read…

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When I saw Alexandria – The Quest for the Lost City by Edmund Richardson on NetGalley I knew it was one I wanted to read. It is a mix of several things I do have an interest in, history, adventure and a lost city. This is a non-fiction historical account of Charles Masson and his search for one of Alexanders cities. This is a historical book but does not read like one. So accessible but still full of facts and information. I adored this rogue and he way the author has told the story. One I would defintiely recommend. It is due to be published beginning of May.

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The Big Ol’ Bike by Rachael Clarke was one that I snuck in to help out with a blog tour and I am so glad I had time to read this. The illustrations are also by the author and the story is one of a young boy who is made to doubt himself by a group of bullies. I adored this story a lot and I thought it would be a great book for sitting and discussing with youngsters. A wonderful story that again I would recommend.

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I do like a book that has a slim synopsis, The Silent Friend by Diane Jeffrey has one that doesn’t give much away at all. This is a crime thriller as such because a crime was committed. For me however this was more about how the characters dealt with it, so a psychological aspect is a major part of the story. A story that is quite crafty and had a were heart-stopping moments as well a bombshells. Keep an eye out for the Blog Tour.

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The Housewife by Alex Kane is a fabulous story and as the cover suggests it is a gritty and gripping crime thriller. It is a gangland crime story that is set in an estate in Glasgow. With three main characters, the author has woven a brilliant story that had me guessing and it wasn’t until I was getting closer to the end that the full picture emerged. A brilliant book that I will share my full review of as part of the Blog Tour.

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I seem to have been on a bit of a crime mission this week! Trust Me by T.M. Logan is another gripping and tense read and one that kept me guessing. Why would a woman hand over her baby and then leave the train they were travelling on? This is what happened to Ellen as she was making her way home. Instead, she is drawn into such a devious plot and the title “Trust Me” is one that is perfect for this story, especially as I didn’t know who I could trust! Another book that is part of a Blog Tour.

After all this crime I decided to choose something a little more lighter! You will have to see what that is on next weeks round up 🙂

So that leaves me to wish you all a very happy week ahead.

All the best to you all

Yvonne xx

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx

The Big Ol’ Bike by Rachael Clarke #TheBigOlBike @raclarkewrites @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours #childrensfiction #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Big Ol’ Bike by Rachel Clarke. My thanks to Emma at damppebbles for my e-copy of this wonderful childrens book. I really enjoyed reading this one.

Big things are happening in Little Springs…

Everything about Oliver is small, from his footprint to his glasses-and a trio of bullies never let him forget it. When Oliver receives his grandfather’s old bike for his birthday, he rides tall for the first time. But the meanest bully in school doesn’t like that at all. Oliver quickly finds himself challenged to a race. Now, he’ll have to be bigger than he ever imagined in order to prove heroes come in small packages too.

The Big Ol’ Bike is a contemporary slice of life for ages 7-10. It’s filled with characters who could live down the street from you, or have a locker beside yours at school. Come hang out with Oliver, Austin, and Sue, as they experience excitement, setbacks, and adventure together. Themes of bullying, family, friendship, confidence, and community are all explored.

Longer than average for this age range, The Big Ol’ Bike is meant to be transitional between chapter books and middle grade novels. It’s an equally perfect choice for eager readers who fly through the pages, and kids who enjoy taking it chapter by chapter.

WARNING: Reading this book may cause an immediate and urgent need to ride your bike. Do not be alarmed-the feeling will pass soon enough. But don’t let it. 😉

Purchase from Amazon – UK CAN US

My Review…

What a wonderful story about The Bog Ol’ Bike was, as I read it I was reminded of my old Raleigh Chopper. I loved that bike and was gutted when I was then given a Raleigh Shopper! I was due to go to secondary school then and needed a bike suitable for carrying my school books. Yes a sensible decision, but still…

Back to the book, this is a gorgeous story that the author and illustrator has presented. It is about young Oliver and his bike. His old bike was too small for him and he is given his grandfathers old bike. Not a modern machine but one that Oliver loves.

This old bike however gives the school bullies something to tease poor Oliver about. It makes him doubt himself and also the reason behind the present.

The author has tackled bullying in this story as well as having a belief in yourself. it has been done in such a way as to encourage the reader to discuss problems they may be having. More importantly, I do think this book is a deal to sit and chat about. It would be great to pause the reading and start a discussion about “what would you do if it was you?”

This is such a lovely story and one that I do think is ideal for the age group of 7-10 that it is aimed at. It does have some very helpful advice that is part of the story. I thoroughly enjoyed this and I would definitely recommend it.

About the Author…

Rachael Clarke is a former police officer turned stay-at-home mom living in Portage la Prairie, MB. She rides the twisty rollercoaster of life alongside her sport-obsessed husband, adorably mischievous boys, and two quirky dogs. Rachael likes to stay busy, constantly juggling writing projects from children’s books to novels. Besides writing and illustrating, she enjoys photography, the outdoors, acting, and sipping steaming cups of coffee. Oh, and cake—can’t forget cake.

Rachael also writes multi-genre short fiction under the pen name R.A. Clarke. Her work has been featured in various publications, and has won both Writer’s Weekly and Writer’s Games.

Author Links – Twitter Facebook Website Goodreads Instagram YouTube

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx