If anyone asks me about my favourite books, I always mention The Darkest Hand Trilogy by Tarn Richardson. This is fabulous Dark Fiction that absolutely blew me away. A blend of historical fiction, fantasy and religious conspiracy.
Why am I letting you know about this, I hear you ask!
Well Tarn Richardson also has a novella, a prequel to the series and it’s called The Haunted. It is an amazing action packed, full speed intro to Poldeck Tacit and the best bit is that it’s FREE!
You heard me right!
A FREE download over on Amazon!
Do yourself a favour go and get a copy. It is 48 pages long so grab a coffee and have a read.
In the bustling streets of Sarajevo in June 1914, the dead body of a priest lies, head shattered by the impact of a fall from a building high above. As the city prepares for the arrival Archduke Franz Ferdinand, grim-faced inquisitor Tacit Poldek is faced not only with the challenge of discovering why the priest has been killed but also confronting other menaces: the demon rumoured to be at large in the city and the conspirators of the Black Hand organisation who plan to assassinate the Archduke.
With terrible danger only ever one step away and his private demons silenced only by a strong drink, THE HUNTED introduces us to the damaged soul that is the unorthodox Catholic inquisitor Tacit Poldek. It is a world both like and unlike our own but in which the Inquisition, is alive and well yet existing in the shadows; in which history is poised to take dangerous and unpredictable paths; where evil assumes many horrific forms, from werewolves to the institutional slaughter of the trenches; and the threat to humanity (in all senses of the word) – and to love – is ever constant.
THE HUNTED is the FREE prequel to Tarn Richardson’s gritty and compelling DARKEST HAND TRILOGY featuring the brilliant but flawed inquisitor Tacit Poldek.
I have been a huge fan of Tarn Richardson’s The Darkest Hand Trilogy and I am so excited and delighted to be welcoming you all to have a look at the fabulous new look covers for this fabulous and Highly Recommended trilogy. Tarn has recently moved to Red Door Publishing and I wish him all the best for this new journey.
I first became aware of this fabulous trilogy when I read the short prequel called The Hunted. This is action packed from the very start and was when I first got to meet inquisitor Poldeck Tacit. This prequel is available free for download from Amazon and is the start to an absolutely amazing trilogy. If anyone asks me about some of the best books I have read, this series always gets a mention! Get your free copy of The Hunted HERE
In the bustling streets of Sarajevo in June 1914, the dead body of a priest lies, head shattered by the impact of a fall from a building high above. As the city prepares for the arrival Archduke Franz Ferdinand, grim-faced inquisitor Poldek Tacit is faced not only with the challenge of discovering why the priest has been killed but also confronting other menaces: the demon rumoured to be at large in the city and the conspirators of the Black Hand organisation who plan to assassinate the Archduke.
With terrible danger only ever one step away and his private demons silenced only by a strong drink, THE HUNTED introduces us to the damaged soul that is the unorthodox Catholic inquisitor Poldek Tacit. It is a world both like and unlike our own but in which the Inquisition, is alive and well yet existing in the shadows; in which history is poised to take dangerous and unpredictable paths; where evil assumes many horrific forms, from werewolves to the institutional slaughter of the trenches; and the threat to humanity (in all senses of the word) – and to love – is ever constant.
After reading The Hunted I wondered how on earth this author could maintain such a frenetic pace in a full length book? Well not only did he deliver a story he did it in a very intricate way.
The Damned follows and I realised what sort of journey I was on. Referred to as Dark Fiction, for me this series covers many genres. Historical fiction, fantasy, crime, thriller, alternative history, if you love reading any of these or like mystery, thriller and suspense then this is for you as well.
Here is a snippet of one of my reviews… “I fell in love with a little e-book called “The Hunted”. It had so many things going on its 45 pages, I couldn’t help but wonder how it would transfer into a longer book, nevermind a trilogy of them. Tarn Richardson has brilliantly put together a huge story with a vast array of memorable and unique characters. I have loved some, loathed some and have been very wrong in my opinion of some. For me this shows what a great author he is, he has managed to bring his characters and his books alive for me in the words he has written. It is like reading a film. There has been a huge amount of research gone into this book and it shows, through the way he has intertwined his world into our own world history.”
The Fallen and then The Risen just cemented my love for this trilogy and I was gutted when I realised that I had come to the end of my journey with Polek and the other fabulous characters. This trilogy for me was simply sublime reading, it ticked so many boxes because of the many genres it spans. The attention and research to historical events is brilliant and very evident. There is conspiracy and intrigue at every turn as Poldeck battles his own demons and investigates others. This is a trilogy that was perfect for me and I think deserves far more attention than it has had. It is my sincere hope that as Tarn has now moved publishers The Darkest Hand gets the notice, attention and acclaim that it deserves.
So let’s have a proper look at the covers …
Now when it comes to covers I am one of those that tends to prefer the cover of a book I see. So for me I loved the original ones, but I to say that I am impressed with these new ones. I love that the original main colour was kept and the imagery is very suited to each book and link in to the main story. I will definitely be buying these new copies when they are published.
Tarn Richardson was brought up in a remote house, rumored to be haunted, near Somerset. He has worked as a copywriter, written mystery murder dinner party games and worked in digital media for nearly twenty years. He lives near Salisbury in England. The Damned is his debut novel, the first in a series of three featuring tortured Inquisitor Poldek Tacit.
Having grown up in Somerset, he now lives in Salisbury with his wife, the portraiture artist Caroline Richardson.
Well hello once again! I was going to post this yesterday but as I was taking part in the Publication Day Review for Jaded by Rob Ashman I decided I would change the day for My Week In Books rather than have two posts on one day 🙂
Another month gone!!! April has been a mix of sunshine and showers and a bit windy thanks to Storm Hannah, but my garden survived pretty unscathed, thank goodness.
This week has been a better one as far as my reading has gone and I have managed to read a five books.
So let me share the books I have read this week…
The Queen of Wishful Thinking by Milly Johnson.
I have several books by this author and, do you know what? I have never actually read one! I saw a review post by the fabulous Linda at Linda’s Book Bag for one of this Authors books. As I had just finished reading one book and deciding which to pick up next, Linda’s enthusiasm for Milly Johnson made me go to my TBR and pick up The Queen of Wishful Thinking.
This is a good sized book at just short of 500 pages. I will tell you it was so good that I read it in one sitting! Yes it was a brilliant read that captivated me completely. I am really looking forward to reading the other 7-8 that I have and obviously buying the ones I am missing.
Dead Inside by Noelle Holten
If you are a Book Blogger then I am sure you have seen Dead Inside by fellow Book Blogger and now Debut Author Noelle. Check out Noelle’s Blog at Crime Book Junkie I have been excited to read this book and I had been hearing so many amazing things about Dead Inside.
If you like your crime thriller reads to be hard hitting, emotional deeply intriguing and want a real belter of a read then you seriously NEED to pick this book up when it is published. As soon as I had finished Dead Inside I immediately nipped over to Amazon to pre-order the next book in the Maggie Jamieson series. A fabulous debut and one that I would Absolutely and Most Definitely recommend.
Spring at the Little Duck Pond Cafe by Rosie Green
I was mooching around on my kindle not quite sure what I wanted to read next when I came across this gorgeous cover. It is the first instalment in the Little Duck Pond Cafe series. It is a short read at 127 pages but it is a wonderful intro to a wonderful sounding community that Ellie finds herself drawn to. I am definitely looking forward to reading the rest of this one.
Step Sister by Jennifer Donnelly
I was a lucky recipient of this paperback book via Readers First. When it arrived I immediately picked it up to read, one of those right books at the right time things…
This is the story of what happened to the Ugly Sisters after Ella was whisked away by her Prince. I love a chance to remember childhood fairy tales and I do admit that Cinderella was one I really liked. The author has done a fabulous job of keeping the magical fairy tale feel in her story but also injecting moral aspect that I really, really enjoyed. This was a fabulous escapism read on a rainy April afternoon.
The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware
When I read a Hardback book I always take off the cover so it doesn’t get damaged and also so I can see if there is any other details hidden underneath…I love these Magpies on a white cover. The significance of the Magpies are part of the story in this fabulous read, I have had this book since last year and I am so pleased I have finally managed to read it. It is one of those books that has a sad almost bleak style to it, this is not a criticism at all in fact it is this style that really draws a reader in, it plays on the emotional ties that you start to build with the character. This is a fabulously atmospheric and creepy feeling read that I thoroughly enjoyed.
Books In The Post
I have been very lucky with books this week. I enter a few giveaways, yes it is a bonus to win but I do it to help share the #BookLove it is my way of helping the promotions and Blog Tours in the hope that my tweets will help other readers find “new to them authors”. So, as well as winning a copy of Step Sister by Jennifer Donnelly, I also won a paperback copy of…
A Sister’s Sorrow by Kitty Neale
My copy came from the wonderful Avon Books in a Twitter Giveaway, I have seen but as yet not read any books by this author and I am really looking forward to starting this one.
The Confessions of Frannie Langton by Sara Collins
I recieved my copy of this Hardback, and I have to say it is gorgeous, from Penguin Random House. I entered a Giveaway on Cathy’s blog and you can find her wonderful Blog at What Cathy Read Next. I had seen many wonderful reviews about this book and I am looking forward to reading this so much.
Baxter’s Requiem by Matthew Crow
This is another book I had got on my reading radar, and this paperback copy is one that might just be my next read! Many thanks to Anne who has an amazing Blog at Random Things Through My Letterbox. If I say that Anne has said that she ” adored it” and also that she “adore this author.” I think this is one I will also enjoy!
Well, that’s me rounded up for the week. My total books read for the month of April was 15 taking my Goodreads tally to 72 out of my planned 200 for the year, so still on target.
My Netgalley tally is 18 on my shelf with 2 of those slipping into the older than 3 months, but with my 88% Feedback Ratio I think I can live with that for the moment, but I do hope to get them read soon!
Welcome to another My Week in Books post, this week is actually a two week round-up. Last Monday I was delighted to be one of the readers to take part in the Publication Day Celebrations for The Feud by Amanda James, hence the reason for a double book week.
It is quite amazing how quick the weeks and months are flying past. It really doesn’t seem that long ago that we were celebrating the start of a new year and now we are at Easter…
I also have an apology. On Good Friday I was part of the Blog Tour for Amazing Grace by Kim Nash, it is an excellent read and if you have not read it then go and get a copy. Now for some reason WordPress wouldn’t show my post on my reader, I didn’t realise this until lunchtime when I woke up…I should mention that I had worked a rather busy night shift 🙂 Not only was WP being a sod, I also had problems post to FB and Twitter was being a bit of an arse as well which meant I was having problems seeing people sharing AND I have a stinking cold …enter the drama queen that swoons saying… “Oh Woe is me!!!”😉😂 . So if you shared my post or retweeted then I am very grateful and thank you so much.
So now down to the books I read last week…sorry over the last 2 weeks!
KIN by Snorri Kristjansson
I think it was the beginning of the month when I saw a post by Drew at The Tattooed Book Geek, he was looking forward to reading the 2nd book in the Helga Finnsdottir Mystery series, this reminded me that I still had Kin on my TBR. So off I tootled to grab my copy to start reading and look what I saw…
“Kin will appeal to fans of crime, thrillers, mystery and historical fiction and is well worth a read” – The Tattooed Book Geek
I can tell you, Drew is spot on with this quote. It is a fabulous read, I loved the historical fiction in this story and it is a brilliant read leaving very eager to see what Helga gets involved in next. Highly recommended as well!
Time Will Tell by Eva Jordan
Did you know that the paperback of this book is due for publication very soon! Eva got in touch with me to ask if I would like a copy of her book to read and to review for Publication Day…I replied no thank you as I already have a copy but I will happily bump it up my TBR 🙂 And what a fabulous story it is as well. If you are after a story with emotion and wonderful characters then I urge you to go and check out this author. Time Will Tell is a beautiful, captivating and a totally wonderful read.
Jaded by Rob Ashman
I was delighted when Rob got in touch to ask if I would read Jaded as part of the Publication Day team of readers to share their reviews. I love the main protagonist DI Roz Kray. Somehow along the way I have missed books 2 and 3 in this series, but I have read book 1.
If you are a fan of crime thrillers that pack a punch then this is definitely one you want to pick up. It is a fabulous read and one that I read in one sitting and I would highly recommend it. You can pre-order your copy now for publication on 29th April.
Blackpool’s Daughter by Maggie Mason
Oh Maggie you had my heart in my mouth once again with this stunning read. The author Mary Wood also writes as Maggie Mason and if you are after emotional and heartbreaking family saga reads then this author is fabulous.
The story of mother and daughter, Julia and Clara and their separation and evacuation in 1940 from Guernsey to the mainland is one that really does pull on the heartstrings. If you are a fan of histfic and family sagas then look up this author.
The Strings of Murder by Oscar de Muriel
OH WOW! I have just discovered a fabulous Gothic thriller. I was wandering through Amazon, as you do and I came across this fabulous book. The setting is Edinburgh in 1888 and see’s to very different detectives coming together to solve a very interesting and bloody murder.
I love a good gothic read and this is bloody brilliant, from the characters, the setting, the plot, everything about this one ticked all the boxes in this genre for me. And, sorry pause for my happy dance… there are more in the series. Look this author up and have a look at the Frey & McGrey series.
Twisted by Steve Cavanagh
This is another OH WOW, OH WOW!! book by this fabulous author. I write my initial thoughts on paper when I finish reading a book, then I use those to then write my review up. I have just read my notes and they are so convoluted as I tried to put into words what I thought!
This is such a wickedly brilliant read, so many twists that kept me reading. I am dreading trying to get my thoughts in order to actually write a review that makes some sense. It is another highly recommended read!
Dear Jane by Allie Cresswell
I am in the process of reading this book. Oh this is a sweet and sorrow for me. I am so glad to read the next in the Highbury Trilogy and gutted that it is the end of the Highbury Trilogy. I have loved this series and it is inspired by Jane Austen’s Emma.
This is a historical fiction that has had me wrapped up in it’s words as I have been immersed into a such a fasbulous setting, with wonderful descriptions and characters. If you are a fan of classic literature or books written in that style then you really should pick this series up.
So 7 books over two weeks is not bad, but still a little less than my normal. My Goodreads tally I think is at 66/200 for the year.
Books I received this week …
I had a wonderful email from Quercus Books about a “wish” for a NetGalley book… my wish had been granted for The Flat Share by Beth O’Leary
I am one of the Book Bloggers on the Blog Tour by Anne Cater for Never Be Broken by Sarah Hilary and I was delighted to be sent a Hardback copy of the book. I am really looking forward to getting to this one.
My final book for you is one I won on Readers First for adding my Initial thoughts on a book cover. When the book arrived in the post I was again stunned by another Hardback copy. I have to say it is a beautiful cover…
The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri
Published by Zaffre, this story is about Nuri and his wife Afra leaving the city of Aleppo in Syria and making a perilous journey to Britain when all they care for is destroyed by war. They make their way to a cousin in Yorkshire to keep bees.
This sounds like it could be an emotional read and also a fabulous read. I am looking forward to this one a lot.
I have got a few bargains on my kindle but if I added those as well this post would be miles long, so until next time…
Today I am delighted and excited to be sharing my review for Perfect Crime by Helen Fields. This is Book #5 in the DI Callanch Crime Thriller series. My huge thanks to Avon Books UK for approving my request on NetGalley for an e-copy. I read this book wayyyyy back in January and finally, I can share my thoughts 🙂
Anyone who reads my blog may be aware that I am a huge fan of this author and the Perfect series. I think I may have just found my favourite one…
Let’s see what it’s all about…
Your darkest moment is your most vulnerable…
Stephen Berry is about to jump off a bridge until a suicide prevention counsellor stops him. A week later, Stephen is dead. Found at the bottom of a cliff, DI Luc Callanach and DCI Ava Turner are drafted in to investigate whether he jumped or whether he was pushed…
As they dig deeper, more would-be suicides roll in: a woman found dead in a bath; a man violently electrocuted. But these are carefully curated deaths – nothing like the impulsive suicide attempts they’ve been made out to be.
Little do Callanach and Turner know how close their perpetrator is as, across Edinburgh, a violent and psychopathic killer gains more confidence with every life he takes…
An unstoppable crime thriller from the #1 bestseller. The perfect read for fans of Karin Slaughter and M. J. Arlidge.
Di Luc Callanch and DCI Ava Turner are investigating murders, that at the beginning look like suicides. They seem unconnected and random. I have learnt from experience, that this author does not do unconnected and she does not do random. What she does do is clever, devious and intriguing.
As I have read every one of the books in this series I have got to know the various characters and their traits. It was great to get to know a little more about them and see the ways in which they work together as a team. Working as a team has, in the past been a little tense as the pecking order is established and trust is gradually built on. Perfect Crime sees the old faces again as well as a couple of newcomers. One has made a previous appearance, I am reserving judgment on this one at the moment. The other definitely goes out on a limb…
The one thing I really like about this series is the way friendships and past stories have been built up over time. Luc and Ava… well I could seriously bash their heads together. Their friendship has always hovered on a precarious tightrope of emotion. This story shows a more personal side to each of them as the investigations take precedence over “normal life”. Luc delves into his past, he is trying to quash his demons that have had a way of always hanging around, but in doing so he leaves himself vulnerable and open to trouble that also threatens Ava.
The investigation is wonderful and well paced. I really enjoyed the false leads and was wrong-footed in a spectacular way when I finally discovered who was responsible. The author really does have a knack for leading the reader down blind alleys and leaving a trail of red herrings.
There are so many things I want to say about this book, and all are good. It has a twisted and devious plot with details about suicide and the help that can be sought. It plays on the vulnerability of those who are the lowest point in their lives. Adding in sinister characters who exploit perceived weakness in others makes this a deceptively dark read.
I adore this series and would recommend it to anyone who has not yet read any. This is a police procedural series that also incorporates personal life details of the main characters. It is something that is expanded on with each book and builds up a relationship with the reader.
If you love crime, thriller books and have not yet read this series then Why the hell not? If you have read the series, then you are in for a real treat with this one. It is deceptive, sinister and devious making for a cracking read. It gets a Highly Recommended from me.
And… I cannot wait for the next one PERFECT DARK 🙂
About the Author:
Helen can be found on Twitter @Helen_Fields for up to date news and information. A former barrister, Helen now writes a Scottish set crime series – D.I.Callanach and D.I. Ava Turner. Her debut novel Perfect Remains and the second in the series Perfect Prey are Amazon best sellers. Her next book ‘Perfect Death’ is due out on 25 January 2018. She currently commutes between Hampshire, Scotland and California, and lives with her husband and three children.
Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be wonderful 🙂 xx
It has been another quiet-ish week for me as far as reading goes, three books this week, so still a good number. I have been quite busy sorting out our spare room and making it into some sort of office/ study/ craft room. So painting, moving furniture, sorting through boxes of craft supplies and random scraps of material, paper, paints and accumulated odds and sods. It is quite amazing how much stuff I have managed to pack into the small box room that has been home to all my supplies. This GIF is so perfect for what I have literally what I have been like 😱🤬😂
I should mention the box room is going to be home to some book cases so hopefully some sort of order will be on the horizon.
So let me share the books I read last week with you…
This first one is one that has been on my shelf for several years, it has gone unnoticed and for no particular reason, but last week it caught my eye. It is by Peter Benchley, the author of Jaws. It is so very different from the misrepresented shark that saw its notoriety soar after the release of the film that was based on the book. It is called The Girl of the Sea of Cortez.
On an island in the Gulf of California, an intrepid young woman named Paloma carries a special legacy from her father—a deep understanding of the sea and a sixth sense about the need to protect it.
Every day, Paloma paddles her tiny boat into the ocean and anchors over a seamount—a submerged volcanic peak sixty feet underwater that is clustered with spectacular sea animals and a wondrous web of marine life.
It is there that an astonishing event takes place, when on one of her dives Paloma is shadowed by a manta ray—an animal so large it blocks the sun. She develops an extraordinary relationship with this luminous, gentle creature, but instinctively knows its existence is a secret she must fiercely protect.
Benchley’s novel paints a poignant picture of humanity’s precarious relationship with the ocean, which unfolds alongside a heartrending story of familial bonds, often revealing that the ignorance of man is far more dangerous than the sea. Full of beauty, danger, and adventure, The Girl of the Sea of Cortez is triumphant—a novel to fall in love with.
The second book I read was one that was sent to me last summer by Urbane Publishers. I have, I am embarrassed to say, just re-discovered it buried under a pile of other books. The Lighthouse Keepers Daughter by Cherry Radford, is a beautiful story that I adored. Here is the cover and the synopsis –
After the break-up of her marriage, Imogen escapes to her aunt’s converted lighthouse on Beachy Head. Writing for a tedious online magazine but hoping to starting a novel, she wants to be alone – until she finds an entrancing flamenco CD in her borrowed car and contacts the artist via Twitter. It turns out that actor-musician Santiago needs help with English, and is soon calling her profesora.
Through her window, the other lighthouse winks at her across the sea. The one where her father was a keeper, until he mysteriously drowned there in 1982. Her aunt is sending extracts from his diary, and Imogen is intrigued to learn that, like her and Santi, her father had a penfriend.
Meanwhile, despite their differences – Imogen is surrounded by emotional and geographical barriers, Santi surrounded by family and land-locked Madrid – their friendship develops. So, she reads, did her father’s – but shocking revelations cause Imogen to question whether she ever really knew him.
Two stories of communication: the hilarious mistakes, the painful misunderstandings, and the miracle – or tragedy – of finding someone out there with whom you have an unforeseen, irresistible connection.
‘A wonderful romance that deftly weaves past and present – a story so full of music it sings.’ Avril Joy, author of Sometimes a River Song, Costa Award Winner
‘A fresh new voice telling a charming and moving story of love, loss, loneliness, Twitter and Spanish lessons. An absolute delight.’ Louise Douglas, bestselling author of The Secret by the Lake.
Finally I have a book that I won on a Twitter Giveaway and it was sent out by DHH Literacy Agency. When I recieved this back in November I decided to buy the first book and read that a little while ago and really enjoyed it. I have a 1/4 of this book still to read, and I know I will finish reading it tonight (it’s currently Sunday afternoon, I have just finished watching the Boat Race 🙂 ) Sleeper – The Red Storm by J D Fennell is a wonderful read, let me share the cover and the blurb –
1943. Sleeper spy Will Starling has been drafted in to the SOE, joining forces with the French Resistance in the fight against the Nazis; but Will’s memory is fractured and only occasional flashbacks reveal fragments of his past. Despite this, he has not forgotten his pledge to find and rescue his sister, Rose – if she is still alive. When his mission in France is compromised, Will suspects he’s been betrayed.
Back in London he hears that VIPER are in league with the Axis powers and are developing a new and deadly weapon. As he and MI5 agent Anna Wilder set out to destroy it, their every move is anticipated by their enemies. Who is the mole in the British Secret Service? As they close in on VIPER’s Swiss headquarters, it seems no one can be trusted. Are Will and Anna able to prevent the unleashing of the Red Storm that will bring mass destruction on a scale even the Nazis haven’t dreamt of?
While Will tries to save the world, Rose has become the key to VIPER’s future plans and is drugged to dull her kinetic powers. But Rose faces danger from an unexpected enemy and her time is running out.
I had some fabulous “proper” books in the post this week as well 🙂
The Path To The Sea by Liz Fenwick
I finally got my pre-order for Twisted by Steve Cavanagh
That’s me done for another week, I was going to write up the 7 reviews that I have waiting, but instead I am grabbing my book, you never know I may even start another …
Well that was March, the clocks sprang forward an hour and the weather definitely feels more spring like. The months are flying by and sometimes its scary to think that we are already a quarter of the way through the year already.
So this week I have not read that many books. Only two and part way through a third one, I have read but not been able to concentrate for the length of time I normally would. This does not bother me, it means my head has got enough going on and once it sorts itself out and makes space again I will be back up and reading again 🙂
So lets have a look at the TWO whole books I read this week 🙂 🙂 🙂
The Taken Girls by G.D. Sanders – I received an e-copy of this from Avon Books via NetGalley.
Synopsis – Someone is watching them…
When a missing teenage girl reappears unharmed but pregnant, the case falls to DI Edina Ogborne, the newest recruit of Canterbury Police. But Ed’s already got her hands full with a team who don’t want her, an ex who won’t quit, and terrible guilt over a secret from her past.
As Ed investigates the case, she discovers Canterbury has seen this crime not once, but several times before. And when Ed and her detectives encounter missing historic police files, falsified school records, and Ed’s new lover as a prime suspect, it becomes clear that the system has been corrupted.
Can Ed find the kidnapper behind these depraved crimes before he strikes again? Or has time already run out?
After She’s Gone by Camilla Grebe – I won a copy of this book via Readers First.
Synopsis – In the two years that have passed since psychological profiler Hanne Lagerlind-Schön survived an attempted murder, she and investigator Peter Lindgren have rekindled their love, and a recent extended vacation in Greenland seems to have eased the symptoms of her early onset dementia. But when the pair is called back to Sweden to investigate a cold case involving the murder of a young girl whose remains were found in a cairn ten years earlier, the icy winter conditions and stress of the job take their toll, and she feels her mind beginning to slip. Desperate not to lose her job–or worse, Peter–Hanne begins keeping a diary, meticulously chronicling everything she’s worried about forgetting.
As Hanne and Peter get closer to solving the case of the murdered girl, they both suddenly go missing. The local police have no leads. The only witness is a teenage boy who sees a woman get into a strange car in the middle of the night but, guarding a secret of his own, he is unable to come forward. The boy, Jake, discovers the notebook Hanne left behind, and reads her notes, fascinating by the unfolding murder case until he makes a shocking realization: his own father was a key suspect in the investigation. Jake becomes determined to uncover the truth on his own.
Hanne reappears days later, with no memory of where she’s been–or who she is. Without her notebook, she is lost and terrified, driven by a single thought: find Peter.
Me and My Books – BOOKS OF THE MONTH
March has been a really good month as far as amazing reads goes. So I have decided to highlight the books that for me were the standout reads for the month…
I am delighted to welcome you all to the Cover Reveal for The Feud by Amanda James. Before I show you the cover how about we have a look and see what the synopsis says about it…
Matthew Trevelyar leaves his job in London to return to his Cornish roots in the village of St Agnes. After losing his wife to leukaemia, he wants to make a fresh start.
His new life is going well until Matt returns to his cottage to discover a grim warning on his doorstop. The message is clear – Leave now and go back to London.
Not wanting to give up his new life, Matt eventually discovers that there has been a 200-year-old feud between his family, the Trevelyars, and another local family, the Penhallows.
When Matt learns that one of his ancestors burned down a barn belonging to the Penhallows, and that a child died in the fire, he understands why his family name is mud. But why is Matt paying for the sins of his ancestors now? And is there more to the feud than meets the eye?
It sounds great doesn’t it?
Having read it myself I can say I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I have read several of Mandy’s books and I have enjoyed them all.
How about a read of the opening pages…
Opening Chapters –
The Feud with an intro and comments from the Author.
would like to talk about the importance creating impact and interest in the
opening chapters of a novel. When you consider the number of books on the
shelves and virtual shelves nowadays, writers, and less well-known writers in
particular, have to make sure that when a reader opens the cover of their book
they are compelled to read on. This of course is easier said than done and for
me one of the hardest things to get right. The writer of course knows the
story, or at least some of it, (I never really know what is going to happen!)
but the reader has no clue apart from the blurb. Therefore, to make an impact
and create enough interest for the reader to want to know the rest of the story
is a little tricky. They have no knowledge of the various characters’
personality, feelings, motives or twists and turns of the plot, because
literally nothing has happened yet.
It could be argued that
with writing suspense, it is somewhat easier to create a dramatic opening than
some genres, but that keeping up the mystery without giving too much away as
the story progresses is far from simple. I love a challenge, and that’s one of
the reasons I love writing suspense.
opens with a dramatic situation. I use the setting to create a feeling of
unease in the reader and as it’s set in the past, a desire to see how it
relates to the present. I have included an extract from the opening pages below
to illustrate what I mean. The scene is set in 1818.
‘Fire, Wenna. Fire! Look, the barn is almost lost to it, and the outhouse too!’
Kenver runs to the bedroom door, pulling Wenna behind him. ‘Get the children. Run to the well, form a line! We need to vanquish this devilry before it consumes the house!’
In his nightshirt, Kenver runs to the paddock, a scarf around his mouth to protect against the thick acrid smoke. It proves no barrier and soon he’s on his knees by the well, coughing so hard he feels his lungs will collapse. Somehow, he pulls up a bucket of water and runs at the barn, hurls the water at the wall of fire and staggers back a few paces as the flames force a retreat. A bucket of water against this? It’s like a teardrop. There is no hope.
He raises his arm to shield his eyes and watches his family of six mustering by the well with buckets to form a human chain. The fire mocks them. It’s too little too late. Kenver hurries to his wife and children. ‘It’s no good. We are beaten. Come, we must take the horses and flee. The farmhouse will burn, and us along with it if we stay much longer!’
Wenna shakes her head. ‘I can’t go until we’ve found Jago. He’s nowhere in the house!’ His wife kneels on the ground, sending a wail from her throat keening up to the sky.
His next youngest, Tilda, rubs streaks of soot from her eyes with the back of her hand and sobs, ‘Father, I am sorry to tell ’ee that my brother went to the barn to be with the ailing pup. He said not to tell ’ee in case ’ee were mad at him for sleeping all night out.’
All eyes fix on the barn just as the last blackened wall collapses with an ear-splitting groan. Sparks chase each other to the heavens and then race along the ground to the farmhouse. Wenna sends up another wail more heart-rending than the first and the children join in, hugging each other in despair.
Bewildered, Kenver asks, ‘He went to be with that sickly scrap of a sheepdog pup that I said wouldn’t see daylight? The one I forbade him to fret over?’
Tilda’s mouth forms a square of anguish. She nods and collapses next to her mother, wailing at the sky like a banshee.
Kenver forces his legs to carry him a few feet away. He can’t let the children see him weep. They would lose all sensibility. His legs do their duty then refuse to do more and he finds himself on his knees in the grass. The roar of the fire deafens him as it takes possession of the farmhouse and right now, Kenver can’t care less if he ever hears anything again – sees anything again. He would rather be deaf, dumb and blind than to be here and witness such carnage. His little five-year-old son is gone. Taken, burnt, consumed in hellfire.
‘Father, how can this be? It is too much to bear,’ George, his eldest, says, as he kneels next to him, puts a hand on his shoulder.
Kenver shakes his head and wipes moisture from his eyes. ‘I know not, lad. But I swear I’ll find out and avenge my youngest son. Fires don’t start by themselves.’
George gasps, takes his father’s arm, a horrified expression on his face. ‘But who would do us such evil?’
Kenver hawks smoke-filled phlegm from his throat and spits it out in disgust. ‘I have just the evil devil in mind, lad. And he’ll be sorry for what he’s done. I swear by almighty God, he’ll be sorry – and so will his sons and his line ever after. Mark my words.’
The reader will now have ideas and
questions about what’s happened and what’s going to happen. The book is
entitled – The Feud and the last line
indicates that the book might be about revenge upon the arsonist’s present-day
family. They might be wondering if revenge is justified, given the passage of
time, and how they would feel in a similar situation. Also, who is the ancestor
of Kenver, and how will he or she deliver this vengeance? Hopefully, the reader
will continue to turn the pages to find out.
The next dramatic extract drops a little
puzzle into the story that will keep the reader guessing. Matt, one of the main
characters, has recently moved to St Agnes in Cornwall where the story is set.
He’s from London and has taken a job in the primary school there and hopes to
make a new life. As we see. Some in the village don’t want him there…
Whistling, Matt steps outside onto the gravel path and points his keys at the car. As he turns to lock the door, the whistle sticks in his throat and his stomach comes up. Right in front of him there’s a rustic plant barrel in the recess by the front door; inside it there’s a wooden pole with… He swallows hard and forces himself to look. To look and make sure he’s not hallucinating. No. No, it’s real. There’s a badger’s head stuck on the top of a pole stained red with the poor creature’s blood. Like its eyes, the mouth is open, showing a row of bloodstained teeth. Secured with twine further down the pole, there’s a white sign with red writing that Matt assumes is also blood. It reads:
FUCK OFF BACK TO LONDON!
Shaking, Matt releases a slow breath, leans against the wall and wonders what the hell to do next.
sets up a ‘dialogue’ between writer and reader which I believe is essential. It
enables the reader to really engage with the text and helps to engender a
satisfying read. Sometimes these
questions aren’t asked in any conscious way but are part of the ‘feeling’ the
reader has for a book. It is all part of the dialogue. This dialogue is either
strong enough to keep you eagerly turning those pages and reading to the end,
or to end the conversation early and close the book.
I hope I have managed to do the former 🙂
Now how about we have a look at the Author…
Amanda has written since she was a child, but never imagined that her
words would be published, given that she
school with no real qualifications of note apart from an A* in how to be a
nuisance in class. Nevertheless, she returned to education when her daughter
was five and eventually became a history teacher. Then in 2010, after many twists and turns, the dream of
becoming a writer came true when her first short story was published. Amanda
has written many short stories and has six novels currently published.
Amanda grew up in Sheffield but now has realised her lifelong dream of living in Cornwall and her writing is inspired every day by the dramatic coastline near her home. She has sketched out many stories in her head while walking the cliff paths. Three of her mystery/suspense novels are set there, Somewhere Beyond the Sea, Summer in Tintagel and the Behind the Lie. Rip Current is also set in Cornwall and will be published by Bloodhound Books in April 2018.
Amanda, known to many as Mandy, spends far more time than is good for her on social media and has turned procrastination to a fine art. She can also usually be found playing on the beach with her family, or walking the cliff paths planning her next book.
It has been a quiet week for me as far as blogging goes. I decided that as I was having a week off work then why not have a week off from Blogging and all that goes along with it. It has been very nice to get up in the morning and not reach for my phone straight away. I think it is something that many of us do out of habit rather than just to check on our various social media accounts.
A nice quiet coffee or two seemed in order as well.
So while I have been off, I managed to get out in the garden and finish weeding the flower beds and getting the veg plot dug over again. I’m still not willing to plant anything out at the moment as the weather can still change. so I’m erring on the side of caution. Something the rhubarb is not aware of at the moment as it’s shooting away.
I also managed to get a bit of reading done 🙂 There are 3 Blog Tour books that I wanted to get started on, one from my own shelf and also one that I am reading for a publication day review. Now I know I said I was stopping Blog Tours and was just finishing up the ones I had already committed to…but I may have snuck the odd one or two in over the past month 🙂
So let’s have a look see what I did read…
The Culmfield Cuckoo by Celia Moore –
This is the second in the series by this author, although the blurb states it can be read as a stand alone, I think it is better read in order. Maybe this is because its how I have come to this series. It builds on the characters and the story from the first book Fox Halt Farm. My review for this will be as part of the Blog Tour.
Maybe Baby by Carol Thomas –
This is another in a series book, and because I have not read any other books in the series, I can say this works very well as a stand -alone. I do have the first book on my kindle though 🙂 This is such a fun read, it has so many things that I loved. Pets, friends, old flames, moving forward and just a really good feel good read. Look out for my review as part of the Blog Tour.
Arbitrage by Colette Kebell –
This is another book I read for the up coming Blog Tour. Now this is one I saw as I was passing through FB, and saw there was a space going on the tour, and decided it was one I fancied. This is a financial thriller, the world of Russian Mafia, money and deals. This is a fab read and one that I was a bit worried about. I though it might have been full of too much jargon, but this was not the case.
The Puppet Show by M.W. Craven –
This is one from my own shelf and it’s books like this that make me wish I could retire or win the lottery and retire so I could read all day. This is such a great story, the plot is yummy and dark, devious and twisted. But for me the real star or I should say stars were Washington Poe and Tilly Bradshaw. The contrasts between these two characters is outstanding and they have been worked so well into an amazing story. A cracking read. Review will follow soon.
The Feud by Amanda James –
I am delighted to be one of the readers to take part in publication day reviews for Mandy’s next book. If you have read any of her books before then you know you are going to get a great story, with vivid imagery and there is usually a twist or two along the way… I have not yet finished reading this book, but by the time this post goes live I will have (it’s sat afternoon at the moment 🙂 )
I also had some amazing book post this week…
I got an proof copy of I Looked Away by Jane Corry
I have read all of Jane’s previous books and really enjoyed them. This one is due to be published 27th June this year 🙂
Right then that’s me done for another week, I can’t believe that next Monday it will be April 😶. I may well do a ‘top reads of the month’ in the post next week and maybe some stats… but then maybe I won’t …🙄 😂
So last week I managed to read 6 books. A good week for reading and a good week for reducing my NetGalley shelf to 14 now. Talking of NetGalley, I had a good peruse through and discovered that they send a weekly update for whats on my shelf. How had I missed this!!, it’s very handy because it lets you know if you have any books to download, how many are on your shelf to be read and also if a book on your shelf has been published.
I am also on Annual leave this coming week, and very pleased about that as well.
I have not got anything planned on the blog, and I may not be as active on social media either. So taking time out and a chance to do a bit of long over-due Blogmin 😦
So let’s have a look at what I read shall we…
The Darkness by Ragnar Jonasson – I bought this one and read it straight away, normally I buy a book and it sits on my tbr for a while. The reason I read this as soon as it arrived through my letterbox was because I had a very nice email from Michael Joseph books inviting me to read the 2nd book via NetGalley.
I loved The Darkness, loved its main protagonist Hulda and you can read my full review HERE
The Island by Ragnar Jonasson – Is the second in the Hidden Iceland Trilogy, and it is different in some ways to the first but still has the same wonderful descriptive, atmospheric details that I am coming to expect from this author. Again this is another one that I absolutely loved and now I have to wait till 2020 until the final book is released… I have it on pre-order
The Rumour by Lesley Kara – I have had this on my TBR since it was first published and I bought the hardback while doing my weekly shopping. I quickly got caught up in the story, a simple rumour that turns this story head over heels. I completely got caught up in this very clever story that had turns I didn’t expect and when I got to the end well… Holy Shit Bags!!!!
A View To A Kilt by Wendy Holden – I received this one via NG, I really liked the idea of the story and it looked like a fun read. While I did enjoy this story and the humour, it didn’t quite hit my expectations, but I still read it and enjoyed it.
The Little Vintage Carousel by the Sea by Jaimie Admans – Oh just look at that cover, if that doesn’t cheer you up on a miserable march day then I dont know what will. The story inside is just as stunning as the cover, it had me smiling and smirking on many occasions, some fabulous facts that compliment a not so straight forward romance story.
The Afghan by Andrew Turpin – I have been a fan of this author and his main protagonist Joe Johnson for a while now. I have read the previous books in the series and now there is a prequel, so if you have not come across this author then this is the ideal place to start. It is a prequel to the first 3 books and is a link to the 4th book ‘Stalin’s Final Sting’ Reviews for both books will be on their way soon.