I wanted to wish all my followers, a wonderful Christmas or Happy Holiday. I have decided to take a break from my Blog for a couple of weeks as I am too busy to give it my full attention. I will be back in the New Year, so I will catch up with you all then.
I am delighted to share my review today for Lost by Leona Deakin. This is the 2nd book in the Dr Bloom series and if you are a fan of intriguing crime and psychological thriller then this is a series that you will want to have a look at.
HOW CAN YOU SOLVE A CRIME IF YOU CAN’T REMEMBER THE CLUES?
There is an explosion at a military ball. The casualties are rushed to hospital in eight ambulances, but only seven vehicles arrive. Captain Harry Peterson is missing.
His girlfriend calls upon her old friend Dr Augusta Bloom, who rushes to support the investigation. But no one can work out what connects the bomb and the disappearance.
When Harry is eventually discovered three days later, they hope he holds the answers to their questions. But he can’t remember a single thing.
This is the 2nd book in this author’s Dr Bloom, series, I have read the 1st one and the 4th one. Nothing new for me to read out of order.
After a rough start in the first book, Marcus Jameson decides to come back to help Augusta Bloom. She is asked to investigate the disappearance of the boyfriend of one of her old friends. The friend Kerena is concerned about her boyfriend after a bomb exploded at a military ball. Captain Harry Peterson was at the ball and caught up in the explosion, Kerena had seen him just after but went to help someone more seriously wounded. It is when she tries to visit him that she discovers that he is missing, not at the hospital where the other injured were taken. Randomly he turns up at a different hospital, looking far worse than he did when she had last seen him.
What follows is such an intriguing and devious thriller that takes Augusta and Marcus around the country and also steps back into the clutches of a certain psychopath.
If you have read the first book then you will realise some of the back stories of the main characters. If not you will start to get an idea of what has happened but you would also be missing out on an amazing twisted and devious plot.
With the disappearance of a military man, you would imagine the military to be all over it. The thing is there is an interest but not one that has an urgency to it. This is something for Augusta and Marcus to try and work their way through. There are also some strange messages and it does have a cat-and-mouse feel to the plot, but one that doesn’t make sense to the characters until much later in the story.
The story isn’t straight forward and the authors stretches out the storyline to include others. This gives a dangerous predicament and one that has implications for Harry.
This is a brilliantly plotted story and it is one that I couldn’t see what was coming. I do love it when an author does this and twists things like this. By the end of the story, there are a lot more surprises that were unexpected but felt very right for this style of this book. Nothing is as it seems and there are some wonderful revelations.
This is another fabulous book in this series and I will be reading the 3rd one soon. This is great for fans who love a crime thriller plot with a strong psychological feel to it. It is one I would definitely recommend.
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I am delighted to share my review today for The Nazi’s Son by Andrew Turpin. I have got a little behind with this series which is a real shame as it is brilliant. This is the 5th book in the Joe Johnson series, a series that gets better and better.
A deadly legacy of the Cold War. A mysterious Nazi source. A desperate escape bid through northern Russia. And life-threatening secrets being leaked by a mole at the heart of Western intelligence.
In the fifth book of this thriller series, ex-CIA war crimes investigator Joe Johnson heads to Berlin to assist with the supposedly straightforward debriefing of a Russian defector. The defector knows the background to the terrorist bombing of the city’s famous La Belle nightclub in the 1980s as well as the identity of a Russian agent who is funneling American and British military secrets to Moscow.
But things go wrong. Johnson is pursued by his nemesis, the vengeful Russian oligarch Yuri Severinov. And subsequent events turn out to be vastly more complex and terrifying than he expected.
Why are ex-KGB and Stasi intelligence chiefs so anxious to prevent Johnson from getting to the heart of what really happened? And what are the Kremlin connections that suck him into a life-or-death chase in St. Petersburg? Johnson and his ex-MI6 colleague Jayne Robinson find themselves battling against the odds to dig out truths that have been concealed for almost thirty years.
At the same time, the pair find themselves inexorably drawn toward resuming the brief love affair they once had in Islamabad.
The key to solving the conundrum around the Berlin bombing comes from an unlikely direction, and the identity of the Russian mole who is wreaking havoc in the West turns out to be equally surprising.
The story works its way to a climax in London and Leipzig as Johnson battles against overwhelming odds to outwit the forces arrayed against him.
The Nazi’s Son is a thriller with many unexpected twists that will keep the reader guessing right to the end.
On 5th April 1986, the German nightclub la belle was bombed. 3 died, two of which were American and a further 79 Americans were injured of the 200+ that were in the club and vicinity. At the time tensions between the US and Libya were tense, and it gave US President Reagan the opportunity to take things further. The club was one that American service people used regularly. An enquiry later found that there was no evidence of this being a Libyan attack.
The author uses his character Joe Johnson, an ex CIA War Investigator to look into this matter further. Having read all the previous books in this series I am aware of how Joe works and how he manages to discover information, often at considerable risk to himself. Teaming up once again with Jayne Robinson, ex-MI6, they find that there is far more at stake than they first realised.
Joe is brought in to look at the bombing, this is a ruse as such as the bombing is a historical crime and therefore fits his resume to a tee. The initial role of Joe is to discover why a Russian is defecting and has information about the bombing. This link, although a little tenuous is one that gives reason for him being there. But Joe’s attendance sets alarm bells off in other agencies, such as Stasi and KGB. What ensues is a fast and addictive game of cat and mouse that is dangerous and thrilling.
I do like a good spy, espionage and thriller read and this one ticks those boxes brilliantly. I have an interest in this series and it is one that delivers every time. There is action from the start and it continues pretty much throughout the story. Pitting agencies against each other and mixing in foreign politics and agendas make for a great edge-of-the-seat book.
While the investigation is the main focus, the author does bring the past and personal lives of Joe and Jayne into this story. It is something that I felt has been on the cards for a while and I am curious as to how the author will deal with this in future books.
The author uses past events and historical figures to help jog the memory, so mentioning Medvedev, Reagan, and Gorbachev is ideal for remembering who was around. As I read this it felt odd as it mentioned the annexation of Crimea and Putin’s role. This is now at a time when Putin’s war against Ukraine is still ongoing, so in an odd sense, it feels like the right time to have picked this book up. At the time of writing this review, it has been just over 9 months since it started.
I should mention that Jayne Robinson has her own series of books and I must get to these.
If you are a fan of spy thrillers then this is one that you should have a good look at. In fact, all of the books are excellent and are good action-packed stories. This is a fabulously aced story, and there is action and danger all the way. This is one for fans of spy thrillers, crime, espionage, action and historical thrillers. It is a book and series I would definitely recommend.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Andrew is a former journalist who has always had a love of writing and a passion for reading good thrillers. Now he has finally put the two interests together.
His first book in the Joe Johnson thriller series, The Last Nazi, was published in August 2017, and the second, The Old Bridge, in January 2018. The third, Bandit Country, followed in February 2018. In January 2019 the fourth, Stalin’s Final Sting, was published along with a prequel to the series, entitled The Afghan. Book #5 in the series, The Nazi’s Son, appeared in November 2019, followed by book 6, The Black Sea, published in May 2020.
The themes behind these thrillers also pull together some of Andrew’s other interests, particularly history, world news, and travel. They explore the ways in which events and human behaviours deep into the past continue to impact on modern society, politics and business.
All of Andrew’s books draw strongly on these themes. They feature Joe Johnson, an ex-CIA officer and former U.S. Nazi hunter with the Office of Special Investigations, part of the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. Johnson has a passion for justice and a drive to investigate unsolved war crimes in different parts of the world.
Andrew studied history at Loughborough University and worked for many years as a business and financial journalist before becoming a corporate and financial communications adviser with several large energy companies.
He originally came from Grantham, Lincolnshire, and lives with his family in St. Albans in Hertfordshire, U.K.
Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx
I am delighted to share my review today for a lovely festive book, A Gift Called Hope by Eva Jordan. This is such a wonderful and heartwarming story and I adored it. I have read several books by this author and have thoroughly enjoyed them.
A heartfelt novel of a Christmas shadowed by loss and regret—and brightened by hope for renewal—from the author of Time Will Tell.
Six-year-old Jack is counting the days to Christmas. But his grandmother is just counting the days until it’s over. For Jill, the holiday comes with painful memories, and she wants only to escape the recent past and its tragedies.
She’s moved and started a new life running a food truck in Widmore Bay, a quaint seaside town, in order to flee her agonising history.
It’s only for little Jack’s sake that Jill tolerates the tree and decorations. She just wants to spend Christmas with the curtains drawn, reading a book and drinking coffee.
But this season, she may stumble onto a miracle that restores joy—and hope—in her heart . . .
this is such a wonderful story to read. The story is about the loss of a loved one and how family members react and deal with the following grief. For a 6-year-old with Christmas coming up, it is all about excitement, for a parent it is about trying to hide the grief, for a sibling it is trying to cope with a missing brother.
The author has created such a heartbreaking story about the unexpected death. While the dates of loved family members are always something to be remembered it is more poignant when those dates fall on days when it is a time for celebration, such as Christmas. every year the heartache of not having them there is a constant reminder, but the author shows how different members of her fictional family are dealing with things.
They say there are 5 stages of grief and I think the author pretty much covers those with her characters. This makes for such an engaging story and one that is sad but also has that glimmer of hope, and this is what makes the title so good.
There is a small cast of characters but ones that all have an important role to play, and how they are incorporated into the story is great as they become not only a support system but also friends. Sometimes when things get tough you need a friend to tell you how they see things rather than trying not to upset a member of the family.
This is a gorgeous story and one that does have a Christmas theme, but it is one moment in the calendar, however, it does become a huge shadow. It is a shadow that needs to be talked about and therefore to let the light in for everyone concerned.
If you are a fan of contemporary fiction then this is one I would definitely recommend.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Eva Jordan was born in Kent but has lived most of her life in a small Cambridgeshire town. She describes herself as a lover of words, books, travel and chocolate, and is also partial to the odd glass of wine.
Her career has been varied and has included working for the library service and in a women’s refuge. She is currently working on her 4th novel, writes a monthly column for a local magazine, and writes book reviews which she posts on her blog, where you’ll also find some fascinating author interviews. Storytelling through the art of writing is her passion and as a busy mum and step mum, and grandmother, Eva says she is never short of inspiration for her family based dramas!
It was the women in Eva’s life, including her mother, daughters, and good friends, that inspired her to write her debut novel, 183 TIMES A YEAR, which was then followed by ALL THE COLOURS IN BETWEEN, and finally TIME WILL TELL, all of which can be read as stand alone novels but are all part of THE TREE OF FAMILY LIFE TRILOGY. Modern stories exploring domestic love, hate, strength and friendship, set amongst the thorny realities of today’s divided and extended families.
Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx
I am delighted to share my review today for The Family Tree Mystery by Peter Bartram. I have been a fan of his Colin Crampton series for quite a while now and it is always a delight to be able to catch up with Colin and his girlfriend Shirley.
My huge thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours and to Peter for my spot on the Blog Tour and for my copy of this brilliant mystery book.
A FAMILY TREE… SKELETONS FROM THE PAST
Brighton crime reporter Colin Crampton gets on the trail of a big story when Hobart Birtwhistle, a distant relative of feisty model Shirley Goldsmith, is mysteriously murdered.
Colin and Shirley team up to investigate the case. Spiky history don, Victoria Nettlebed, suggests the mystery may lie a century earlier in the life of an Australian gold prospector… and the death of his partner.
But does Nettlebed know more than she’s telling? And why did cockney metals trader Lionel Bruce meet Birtwhistle days before his death?
Shirley wants Colin to track down her long-lost relatives. But more murders bring the threat closer to home. The pair tangle with London East End gangsters, an eccentric Scottish lord, and a team of women cricketers in their hunt for the truth.
There are laughs alongside the action as Colin and Shirley uncover the shocking secrets of the family tree. And Shirley has one last surprise for Colin.
It is always a pleasure to pick up the latest Crampton of The Chronicle book. Colin Crampton is a journalist for the Brighton newspaper The Chronicle. This series is set in the 60s and this particular one is in July 1967. Colin’s girlfriend Shirley has been contacted by a distant relative that wants to meet her, while Shirley is excited Colin is suspicious. I should mention that Shirley is a model and Australian.
For two people who seem so different I adore the combination of Colin and Shirley, they just rub along together so well and the author obviously has great fun writing some of their scenes. Not wanting Shirley to go alone, Colin accompanies her to what he thinks will be a suspicious relative, well suspicious is right as the relative is dead. Murdered!
This starts Colin on a search for how the dead man and Shirley could possibly be related. How this story gets to the end and a conclusion is a series of clues, red herrings, more bodies and a road trip or two.
I adore this series and the author has once again given some fabulous lines to his characters to make me snigger, there are bodies and danger but the author keeps the humour to make this a wonderful cosy mystery story. The story is one that will lead Colin up and down the country and while the newspaper budget doesn’t stretch to a trip to Oz, phone calls are made. I like the era of this book as there are no mobiles or internet, clues are sought the old fashioned way and with the odd back-hander. As Colin works on the paper he has quite a few people that he can call on for help, but some are seriously dangerous.
The story follows the search for the truth about Shirley’s family, she doesn’t know much and it is a chance for her to discover her roots. I can guarantee she never expected to discover what she did and it makes for fabulous reading. And, there is a wonderful ending for this book, it is one I have been waiting for!
Mixing in a women’s cricket team, some dodgy east-end characters, gold miners and the odd Lord makes this an entertaining read and one that throws up many surprises. It is one for those who love a detective-style story with all the jargon, the slang and the slightly off-the-books mystery. Not your usual characters but my goodness it makes for such an entertaining and surprising read. I adored this latest book and it soon became a book that I couldn’t put down. Another on-sitting read and one I would definitely recommend.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Peter Bartram brings years of experience as a journalist to his Crampton of the Chronicle crime mystery series. His novels are fast-paced and humorous – the action is matched by the laughs. The books feature a host of colourful characters as befit stories set in Brighton, one of Britain’s most trend-setting towns.
You can download Murder in Capital Letters, a free book in the series, for your Kindle HERE.
Peter began his career as a reporter on a local weekly newspaper before editing newspapers and magazines in London, England and, finally, becoming freelance. He has done most things in journalism from door-stepping for quotes to writing serious editorials. He’s pursued stories in locations as diverse as 700-feet down a coal mine and a courtier’s chambers at Buckingham Palace. Peter is a member of the Society of Authors and the Crime Writers’ Association.
Hello and welcome to another weekly wrap-up of books I have read. I have been a bit quiet on social media for the last week and I would like to say a big thank you for all of the shares. It has been an emotional week and one that has left me emotionally drained. My Dad has been in hospital and is quite poorly and we are keeping our hopes up that he might be home for Christmas.
The weather change down here in Cornwall is very cold and we do have sleety showers and ice, but I did have a wander around the garden this morning (Sunday) and managed to get a few photos of some of the flowers that are still hanging on in there. The sun was out but my goodness it was chilly, definitely not as warm as it looked!
Here are the books I have got through this week…
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley – this is a book that I have been wanting to read for years and finally, I decided it was time. When I first started this I was a bit unsure about it, so I put it down and came back to it the next day and then devoured it. It is about a society that is genetically engineered for specific roles and for a happy population. Considering this book was published in 1932 it is a very good one to read. Slow at times, and at others disjointed but once I got going with it I found it to be very addictive. Review to follow soon.
Strangeways: My Life as a Prison Officer by Neil Samworth – well this is an absolutely amazing book to listen to. I bought this a while back from Audible and it is a brutal, hard-hitting, eye-opener of a story as the author tells of the things he has seen, and been involved in and also how the Prison Service has changed over the years. This is a brutally honest account and I will share my review soon.
Lost by Leona Deakin – after reading the 4th book, and then the 1st book I decided to read the 2nd book in this series. It is a brilliant series and if you are a fan of psychological thrillers then you should have this series on your list. When a Captain loses his memory it is his girlfriend that starts to raise the alarm bells. What follows is a deeply twisted thriller that had me hooked. Full review to follow.
Snowflakes over Muddleford Cove by Kim Nash – both my Mum and I adore this author and we read this book at the same time. We were chuckling and sniggering over some of the antics in this book as it really did appeal to our sense of humour. It isn’t all giggles though as there is a serious plot to it. This is another fabulous read and one for those of you who love heartwarming and humourous from comes. Full review to follow.
Ther we have it, another week of fabulous titles.
I will try to share posts when I can,
Wishing you all the very best
Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx
I am, delighted to share my review today for Queen of Diamonds by Gillian Godden. I have read the previous books in the series and I am thoroughly enjoying them.
My huge thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on the Blog Tour and arranging my e-copy from the publisher Boldwood Books.
Is the Diamond reign over?
Head of the Diamond family, Patsy is determined to make a success of husband Nick’s gangland empire – whatever the cost. Nick was ruthless and cold-blooded, but he built a legacy that Patsy wants to protect.
So when a mysterious woman from Nick’s past turns up claiming to be Patsy’s new business partner, she senses trouble. Karen Duret demands Patsy’s help, but it comes with a catch. If Patsy refuses, Karen threatens to expose the Diamond family’s darkest secrets…
Patsy needs the help of her trusted allies more than ever, but when a rival gang start a turf war, the stakes suddenly become deadly. Torn between loyalties, Patsy knows that blood will be spilled. And as battle commences, the question on everyone’s lips is – who will be crowned the queen of diamonds?
This is the 3rd book in the Diamonds series; they are all fabulous reads. This latest one see’s Patsy Diamond take a step further into her role as the head of the Diamond family and taking on the role of her late husband, Nick. He was ruthless and his work ethic was based on fear. Patsy, however, believes there is a better way of gaining trust and respect. Has she got what it takes though?
This is a brilliant book and sometimes quite hardcore as Patsy makes her mark in the gangland area of Glasgow. In previous books, she has had a lot to deal with, but now she wants to make changes and this means making deals with some of the worst of the worst. As Patsy comes across as quite aloof, the rich bitch, the well-dressed and manicured lady. It gives her a cold and uncaring persona, but she has a few surprises for people and I think she surprises herself with how much she now enjoys this challenge. She has to prove herself.
This one is a gritty and complex story and I adored it. There have always been things that have sprung up out of the woodwork in this series, and before you think there are no more surprises to come, you would be way off the mark. Yet again there are more surprises for the Diamonds and it could jeopardise the family business.
In a world of secrets, death, drugs, prostitution, money laundering and murder you need to be sure of those who are closest to you, a right-hand man is essential to help keep the day-to-day running of the business. There is an awful lot for Patsy to organise and with new deals and alliances to be forged, she really does have her work but out for her. If this isn’t enough there is also something far closer to home that requires her attention, if she gets this wrong it will destroy her.
The author has once again written an amazing book that I devoured in one sitting. It shows the strong woman that Patsy needs to be and it was a side that I didn’t expect to see. While she is strong she is also vulnerable and this brings out a nice balance to her character. Yes, she is naive, but she is also analytical in how she thinks things through and she will not be duped or made a fool of. I have really enjoyed seeing how the author has brought Pasty, the wife of Nick Diamond into the forefront and she is now beginning to stand on her own feet. She is not someone’s wife, she is Patsy or Mrs Diamond and she doesn’t take fools lightly.
Yet again the author has created a fabulous and dangerous story for her characters. This one speeds along at a great pace and there is a real sense of things potentially going very wrong. This is a book for those who love their gangland crime and it is one I would definitely recommend.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Gillian Godden is a brilliantly reviewed writer of gangland fiction as well as a full-time NHS Key Worker in Hull. She lived in London for over thirty years, where she sets her thrillers, and during this time worked in various stripper pubs and venues which have inspired her stories.
It is a pleasure to share my review today for The Lightning Rod by Tony Forder. I have been a fan of this author’s books since reading y first Jimmy Bliss book a few years ago. Now we are onto book 10 and it is just getting better and better.
My huge thanks to Tony and also Donna at DLM Book Tours for arranging my e-copy of the book and also for my spot on the Blog Tour.
When he strikes, nothing can protect you.
DI Bliss attends the aftermath of an apparent murder-suicide – but the scene tells him and his colleagues something very different occurred. Now the Peterborough Major Crimes Unit face an adversary like no other.
They have no idea why his victims had to die. They have no idea who he is. They have no idea where he might strike next – only that he will.
But while the killer is cunning, leaving no evidence for them to find, his biggest mistake might be in underestimating the team now hunting him. Because when Jimmy Bliss is on the case, all bets are off.
When you have been involved in a series from the beginning you become aware of the changes, for Jimmy Bliss, it is his age. He is coming to retirement and there are tentative conversations about what he wants to do next. He has been a copper for years, it’s what keeps him going, that and the team he works with. With all his years on the job, it is inevitable that there will be a blast from the past at some point. Then there is the current case, it is one that could have repercussions for some of the other officers in his team. It appears an old case is not what they initially thought it was.
Once again the author has put DI Jimmy Bliss right in the thick of things, he does have a habit of this, but then this is exactly what Bliss would do himself. Letting the main character of Bliss at the lead of an investigation and getting his hands dirty is what Bliss is all about. While he may lead, he also listens, well maybe not all the time, but when it is an idea from his team he does. He will need his team and other officers from around the country to help work this case out.
There is no indication that an old case may have been wrong until a similarity is spotted. This then goes through the chain of command and there are procedures in place that must be followed. Where there is one similarity there must be another somewhere surely! Where has this person been, how has he honed his skills and more importantly where is he going to strike next?
This is such an intriguing story as there is not much in the way of clues, there are very few red herrings either. This makes this story a huge mystery, but one that is still evolving as more is learnt. This will have a huge impact on several areas and when I mention The Met and Firearms Officers being involved then you know this one is serious.
While the author has kept on track with the investigation, he has allowed for some personal time for Bliss. It is something that the author knows his character needs as it is at this time his brain cells start to work a little better. But thinking a crime through does not mean it is right.
This is a tough one for the Peterborough team. Is it a suicide murder, murder or something else? It is an intense story and in the first few chapters, I was a bit worried as it wasn’t as easy to get the flow of the story as I normally would. This one took a few chapters to grow on me but when it did it was a belter. It does have a different feel to it, while there is violence, the odd beating up and chase, it also has something else lurking. What is Bliss going to do next, he can get an extension for another couple of years, and he could walk away and retire or is there something else?
A fabulous 10th book in the series and one that is addictive as the first one. This is a series that I am obviously going to recommend that you read in order, but I do think this one would work well as a standalone.
An intense, dangerous and life-threatening time is on the cards for Bliss. If you are a fan of police procedural and crime thrillers then this is definitely one for you. It is one I would also definitely recommend.
Check out the other stops on the Blog Tour
Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx
I am delighted o0t share my review today for A Child for the Reich by Andie Newton. This is a heartbreaking and absolutely fabulous book and if you like reading about WWII then you want to have a look at this one.
My huge thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on the Blog Tour. This book is published by Harper Collins.
Rumours of the Nazis coming for Czech children swept through the villages like a breeze through the trees, and the story was always the same… They wanted our children to raise as their own Since her husband, Josef, joined the Czech resistance three years ago, Anna Dankova has done everything possible to keep her daughter, Ema, safe. But when blonde haired, blue-eyed Ema is ripped from her mother’s arms in the local marketplace by the dreaded Brown Sisters, nurses who were dedicated to Hitler’s cause, Anna is forced to go to new extremes to take back what the Nazis have stolen from her. Going undercover as a devoted German subject eager to prove her worth to the Reich, the former actress takes on a role of a lifetime to find and save her daughter. But getting close to Ema is one thing. Convincing her that the Germans are lying when they claim Anna stole her from her true parents is another…
I do enjoy reading books based around WWII, I often find there are things that I was not aware of. A Child for the Reich is one such book. There was a branch of the Reich that was responsible for collecting babies and children with the much sort after blue eyes and blond hair. This was seen as the perfect Arian child. If you were not German and you had the perfect baby or child then they would be taken, re-educated and then given to “Good German Families” to raise. In Poland, 200,000 children were removed by the NSV, these are the female version of the dreaded SS, these women were known as the “Brown Sisters”.
I had no idea about this practice so when I saw the synopsis for this book I knew I had to read it. After reading it I then had an internet search and discovered a few more horrifying facts about these kidnappings and what happened to those children afterwards.
The story is mainly about a Czech mother, Anna, who has no idea that her child is on a list to be taken until it happens. What follows is how Anna managed to discover where her daughter was taken and see how children were ‘Germanised’. This story is one of a mother’s heartbreak and determination while trying to avoid being discovered herself.
The story shows how the people of Czechoslovakia are being affected by the Germans taking over it country, their houses, businesses and it seems their families. The threat of being seen and reported is real and there is tension on the page as the author took Anna on her journey.
The regime in place for the children is awful and heartbreaking to read about as is the obvious struggle and pain of having your child stolen. This is not an easy read given the subject but my goodness it is one that I just could not leave alone. It wasn’t until I started to write this review that I realised it was 400 pages, I flew through this book in one sitting.
The author brings a horrifying and awful practice of taking children to be representative of Hitler’s vision of his Aryan race. Saying that I enjoyed reading this book feels wrong, but I did.
If you like your historical fiction set in Europe during WWII then this is one that should be on your reading list. It is a poignant and eye-opening read and it is one I would definitely recommend.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Andie Newton is the USA Today bestselling author of The Girls from the Beach, The Girl from Vichy, and The Girl I Left Behind. She writes gritty and emotional war stories about strong women. Andie holds a bachelor’s degree in history and a master’s in teaching. She lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her husband, her two boys, and one very lazy cat. You can find book club discussion questions on andienewton.com.
I am delighted to share my review today for The Angel’s Mark by S.W. Perry. I have had this book for a while and I am so glad I have finally got to reading it. This is the first book in the Nicholas Shelby series and I am looking forward to reading the rest.
LONDON, 1590. Queen Elizabeth I’s control over her kingdom is wavering. Amidst a tumultuous backdrop of Spanish plotters, Catholic heretics and foreign wars threatening the country’s fragile stability, the body of a small boy is found in the City of London, with strange marks that no one can explain.
When idealistic physician Nicholas Shelby finds another body displaying the same marks only days later, he becomes convinced that a killer is at work, preying on the weak and destitute of London.
Determined to find out who is behind these terrible murders, Nicholas is joined in his investigations by Bianca, a mysterious tavern keeper. As more bodies are discovered, the pair find themselves caught in the middle of a sinister plot. With the killer still at large, and Bianca in terrible danger, Nicholas’s choice seems impossible – to save Bianca, or save himself…
Set in Elizabethan England in 1590, the author creates a world around a physician. Dr Nicholas Shelby is a young doctor and one that doesn’t always believe in the old ways. New research is coming forward but this is a time when heretics, herbalists and witchcraft are not accepted. A licence is required to carry out basic medicine unless you are lucky enough to be one of the learned gentlemen.
Shelby suffers a dramatic event in his life, which leads him astray and towards the banks of the Thames. Here he discovers something unnatural at work when the body of a child is discovered with a dubious symbol cut into the leg. With the help of local tavern owner Bianca, they discover that London’s secrets are much deeper and more far-reaching than they ever imagined.
I do love good historical fiction that is full of murder and mayhem and this one is just the book to tick those boxes. The author doesn’t just focus on the characters and the story but also brings in relevant and very interesting medical procedures, thoughts, practices and observations of the time. This extra detail is wonderfully woven into the story and adds something special.
England does have a Queen in the form of Elizabeth I, but the country is still settling after Henry VIII and his dissolution of the Roman Catholic Church. It was Elizabeth that restored Catholicism with the Pope as its head, but she also established the Church of England with herself as the head. At this time religion is something that you are expected to take part in and if you do not attend the right Church it can hamper your future career. Shelby discovers that religion isn’t the only way your career can be ruined. Medicine had its own rules, regulations and thoughts and to rock that particular boat is to court trouble.
As well as Shelby’s story, there is another mysterious one. It is a troubled and hurt soul that the author uses in this instance, these passages are italicised and they tell of hardship and loss.
This is brilliantly researched and I loved the way the author brings in politics, religion, medicine and opinions of the time into the story. This is well-researched and the author obviously likes this era of history as he makes it exciting and so atmospheric. The different practices involved in medical practice are great, apothecary, witchcraft, herbalists, astrologers, divination and all manner of other tools used.
I really liked this and it is full of intrigue, suspicion, suspense, corruption and of course murder and mystery. Fabulous start to a series that I will definitely be keeping on with.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
S. W. Perry was a journalist and broadcaster before retraining as an airline pilot. He lives in Worcestershire, England with his wife.
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