The Mystery of Three Quarters by Sophie Hannah @HarperCollinsUK #NetGalley #review

Today I am delighted to be sharing my review for The Mystery of Three Quarters by Sophie Hannah. My thanks to the publisher Harper Collins for accepting my request to review this book.

Let’s see what it is all about…

The world’s most beloved detective, Hercule Poirot – the legendary star of Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express and most recently The Monogram Murders and Closed Casket—returns in a stylish, diabolically clever mystery set in 1930’s London.

Returning home after lunch one day, Hercule Poirot finds an angry woman waiting outside his front door. She demands to know why Poirot has sent her a letter accusing her of the murder of Barnabas Pandy, a man she has neither heard of nor ever met.

Poirot has also never heard of a Barnabas Pandy, and has accused nobody of murder. Shaken, he goes inside, only to find that he has a visitor waiting for him — a man who also claims also to have received a letter from Poirot that morning, accusing him of the murder of Barnabas Pandy…

Poirot wonders how many more letters of this sort have been sent in his name. Who sent them, and why? More importantly, who is Barnabas Pandy, is he dead, and, if so, was he murdered? And can Poirot find out the answers without putting more lives in danger?

Hercule Poirot is accused by four different people of writing letters that accuse them of murder. The problem is that Poirot did not send the letters, he has no idea how sent them, but he does think that something more sinister and dangerous could be afoot…

I have not read the previous two books in this series and to be honest this one reads very well as a stand-alone. I think this mirrors the way Christie herself wrote, each of her books could be picked up and read in any order.

So did this mysterious tale feel right? Actually yes it did, there was a lot of misdirection, clues that only came clear at the end, a series of possible characters who could have dunnit and who had the motive and of course there is a body.

I enjoyed the slower pace of this mystery novel and felt that the author did a really good job of creating a story with the infamous Poirot. Various mannerisms, quirks, and phrases felt right.

The plot is one that I was happy to sit back and watch (so to speak) as it worked its way through to the grand unveiling of the guilty party and the reasons why.

I have read all of Agatha Christie’s books, though it was several years ago now, and I found there were some good similarities between Sophie Hannah’s Poirot and the original. It was an enjoyable read and ones that I think would appeal to fans of cosy mystery and also of Christie fans as well.

Sophie Hannah
Photo taken from the authors Goodreads Page.

Sophie Hannah is an internationally bestselling writer of psychological crime fiction, published in 27 countries. In 2013, her latest novel, The Carrier, won the Crime Thriller of the Year Award at the Specsavers National Book Awards. Two of Sophie’s crime novels, The Point of Rescue and The Other Half Lives, have been adapted for television and appeared on ITV1 under the series title Case Sensitive in 2011 and 2012. In 2004, Sophie won first prize in the Daphne Du Maurier Festival Short Story Competition for her suspense story The Octopus Nest, which is now published in her first collection of short stories, The Fantastic Book of Everybody’s Secrets. 

Sophie has also published five collections of poetry. Her fifth, Pessimism for Beginners, was shortlisted for the 2007 T S Eliot Award. Her poetry is studied at GCSE, A-level and degree level across the UK. From 1997 to 1999 she was Fellow Commoner in Creative Arts at Trinity College, Cambridge, and between 1999 and 2001 she was a fellow of Wolfson College, Oxford. She is forty-one and lives with her husband and children in Cambridge, where she is a Fellow Commoner at Lucy Cavendish College. She is currently working on a new challenge for the little grey cells of Hercule Poirot, Agatha Christie’s famous detective.

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A Brush With Death by Ali Carter #MeAndMyBooks #NetGalley #review

Today I have my review of A Brush With Death by Ali Carter. This book has been on my TBR for a little while now. I would like to thank Oneworld Publications for approving my request to read this ebook via NetGalley.

Agatha Christie meets Downton Abbey in this delightful new series introducing pet portraitist and amateur super-sleuth, Susie Mahl

In the village of Spire, murder is afoot. Rich landowner Alexander, 9th Earl of Greengrass is caught with his trousers down in the village graveyard before meeting a gruesome end.

Luckily Susie Mahl happens to be on hand. With her artist’s eye for detail and her curious nature she is soon on the scent of the murderer…

Susie Mahl paints portraits of peoples pets. Her latest commission is of a Deerhound called Situp…I love this as a name for a dog. During a weekend stay at pet owners home in the village of Spire, one of Sophie’s friends is murdered.

This is a cosy mystery and the first in the Susie Mahl Mystery series. From the very outset, was quickly engaged as I discovered the main characters. It was found numerous mentions and references to art, painting and the processes and while I did find them interesting I felt it slowed the telling of the main story down a bit. Once the painting sections started to diminish the story itself started to come to the forefront again and the pace quickened. Susie was able to embark on her own truth-finding mission.

While reading I found myself surprised when mentions of mobile phones, internet etc were mentioned. I think this is due to having comparisons with Downton Abbey and Agatha Christie who I associate with 1920’s/30’s. I think this is my own assumption, but as there were only the occasional technology mentions it didn’t really matter that much.

Susie paints for those who have money and status, they are Lords, Ladies, Earls and Countesses. She stays for weekends to get to know the pet she is going to paint, it gives her a chance to explore and try to discover various truths. The plot itself is nicely laid out as Susie’s investigations are being delved into. It has a gentle pace rather than a full pelt race to the end.

If you like cosy mysteries then I think this is one readers of the genre will enjoy. I am looking forward to reading more about Susie in this series and will be buying more as they are available. This is one I would recommend.

Image from the Author Page on Amazon UK

Ali Carter was born in Scotland and read art history at St Andrews. There followed an eclectic career in investment management, retail and technology; then in 2011 she had a catastrophic bicycling accident. After major brain surgery and a long recovery, Ali set herself a challenge to walk alone from Canterbury to Rome, a three-month pilgrimage she wrote about in her book, An Accidental Jubilee by Alice Warrender. From then she decided to follow her passion and become a fine artist, specialising in oil paintings from life with an emphasis on colour. Ali works from her studio in East Sussex and also draws pet portraits to commission. A Brush with Death is her first novel.

Visit Ali on her Amazon Author Page

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The Talisman – Molly’s Story by Eliza J. Scott @ElizaJScott1 @rararesources #review

Today I am delighted to be sharing my review for The Talisman – Molly’s Story by Eliza J. Scott as part of the Blog Tour with Rachel’s Random Resources. Many thanks to Rachel for the invite and to Eliza for my e-copy.

Synopsis:

Molly’s dream of taking over her childhood home at Withrin Hill Farm with husband Pip and their three children has finally come true. And, as they settle into the stunning Georgian farmhouse, with their plans to diversify into glamping nicely taking shape, the family couldn’t be happier.

But tragedy suddenly strikes, and Molly’s world is turned upside down.

Heartbroken and devastated, she struggles to face each day. True to form, her fiercely loyal best friends, Kitty and Violet, rally round offering love and support, but Molly doesn’t think she’ll ever be able to smile again. Until the day a tall, dark stranger with twinkly eyes arrives…

 Follow Molly’s story in book 2 of the Life on the Moors Series set in Lytell Stangdale, a picture-perfect village in the heart of the North Yorkshire Moors, where life is anything but quiet.

A heart-warming story of love, friendship and hope.

Pre-order Links – Amazon UK – Amazon.com

My Thoughts:

When Molly was a teenager she helped out Camm, a young gypsy boy, in return he gives her half of a talisman. He tells her they will meet again in the future. Years go by and she forgets about this encounter, Molly marries and has children, she has a wonderful life and is definitely part of the community that lives and works on the Yorkshire Moors. A hard life but full of love and happiness, a life that is complete.

I have to say that Molly is a brilliant character, fiesty to say the least, able to lower the tone of most conversations at the drop of a hat and someone I think I would definitely get along with. She has a great group of friends and family around her, a tight-knit group that are an absolute hoot. This closeness is something she will need and rely on to get her through and will keep her going when her world comes crashing so unexpectedly down around her.

The story itself has a real great feeling of togetherness, that is in the sense of living and working together. A story that had me snorting with laughter at some of the random characters and their antics. For example, the fumble-fingered text messages then there is Reg the Rooster and his determination to name a couple. Mixed in with the friendly characters, there are a couple of undesirables who keep popping their heads up on occasion.

The Yorkshire dialect features in the writing of this author in conversations. It is something I really like in a book and it helps to keep the setting and the characters firmly in the “where they are”. There was the odd word that stumped me but luckily there is a glossary at the end.

From the outset, I knew that something was going to happen. I thought I would be prepared, but Oh my goodness I was so not prepared in the slightest . The author really did pull my emotions and left me with leaky eyes on more than couple of occasions. The sense of loss and grief really did come through and it made its presence felt. The moving forward in life for all concerned was another aspect that again the author did a great job with. She managed to capture the emotions, the changes to daily life and adapting to challenges as they appeared. Dilemmas, decisions, feelings, and family again played a very big part.

This is a story I really did enjoy, a story of family, friendship, life, love, and living. One I would definitely recommend.

About the Author:

Eliza lives in a 17th-century cottage on the edge of a village in the North Yorkshire Moors with her husband, their two daughters and two mischievous black Labradors. When she’s not writing, she can usually be found with her nose in a book/glued to her Kindle or working in her garden. Eliza also enjoys bracing walks in the countryside, rounded off by a visit to a teashop where she can indulge in another two of her favourite things: tea and cake.

Eliza is inspired by her beautiful surroundings and loves to write heart-warming stories with happy endings.

Social Media Links –

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The Suspect by Fiona Barton @figbarton #RandomThingsTours @annecater #review

Today I am delighted to be sharing my review for The Suspect by Fiona Barton as part of the Blog Tour with Anne at Random Things Tours. My huge thanks to Anne for the invite and to Fiona and the Publisher for my copy of the book.

Let’s see what the book is about…

Synopsis:

THE NEW MUST-READ STANDALONE CRIME THRILLER FROM THE AUTHOR OF SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLERS AND RICHARD & JUDY BOOK CLUB PICKS THE WIDOW AND THE CHILD


When two eighteen-year-old girls go missing on their gap year in Thailand, their families are thrust into the international spotlight: desperate, bereft and frantic with worry.


Journalist Kate Waters always does everything she can to be first to the story, first with the exclusive, first to discover the truth – and this time is no exception. But she can’t help but think of her own son, who she hasn’t seen in two years, since he left home to go travelling. This time it’s personal.


And as the case of the missing girls unfolds, they will all find that even this far away, danger can lie closer to home than you might think…

Purchase Link – Amazon UK

My Thoughts:

The synopsis did a great job of giving an idea of what I would find within the cover of this book. This is the first time I have read a book by this author and based on what I found with this book, I will be reading more…

Two girls go to Thailand and then go missing. It is the stuff of nightmares for parents. This is something that reporter Kate Waters is well aware of, as her son went there a couple of years ago, and though there is random calls, he is essentially out of touch. When she goes to see the parents of the missing girls, she has somewhat of an advantage given her experience of having a child the otherside of the world.

The author did a good job of portraying the emotions of the parents, helplessness, hopelessness, heartbreak, grief and anger were some that spring to mind. The plot istelf worked along at a good pace and I found myself eagerly turning the pages. I do admit that there were a couple of times where I did guess the outcomes, but that really didn’t matter as there were also some that I didn’t see.

Along with the disappearance of the girls, there is also the story of Kate’s son and their story. Also intertwined is that of the Detective on the case. These add an extra dimension to both the reporting and the investigation. It made me realise that while you are doing your best for others you still have your own life and responsibilities to deal with.

The story is told in very quick snappy chapters that keeps the story moving on. Each chapter is time stamped, and most of them have a subtitle, such as Mother, Detective or Reporter.

The setting of Thailand is not the glossy brochure one the travel agents sell. Instead it is one I am aware of from newspapers and documentaries that are usually the drug and drink filled back streets just off the tourist track. The streets are not for the naive and is one that the girls would not have been prepared for.

I really enjoyed this story and happily read in a couple of days. It is one I would recommend this to readers who like crime, mystery and suspense novels.

About the Author:

Fiona Barton’s debut, The Widow, was a Sunday Times and New York Times bestseller and has been published in thirty-five countries and optioned for television. Her second novel, The Child, was a Sunday Times bestseller. Born in Cambridge, Fiona currently lives in south-west France.
Previously, she was a senior writer at the Daily Mail, news editor at the Daily Telegraph, and chief reporter at the Mail on Sunday, where she won Reporter of the Year at the British Press Awards.


While working as a journalist, Fiona reported on many high-profile criminal cases and she developed a fascination with watching those involved, their body language and verbal tics. Fiona interviewed people at the heart of these crimes, from the guilty to their families, as well as those on the periphery, and found it was those just outside the spotlight who interested her most . . .

Visit Fiona on TwitterWebsiteFacebook

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Out Of The Silence by Owen Mullen @OwenMullen6 @Bloodhoundbook #review

Today I am delighted to be sharing my review for Out Of The Silence by Owen Mullen as part of the Blog Blitz with Emma at Bloodhound Books. My huge thanks to Emma for the invite to the tour and also to the Publisher and Author for my e-copy.

Let’s see what the book is about…

Synopsis:

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

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

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

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

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

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

My Thoughts:

The story of disgraced Investigative Reporter Ralph Buchanan and how he discovers the story of Afra. Afra is a young girl who has left her village to live in Lahore. This story is harrowing and heartbreaking and ultimately leads to murder. But why?

OH WOW! Not sorry for shouting! I read this book in one sitting and I literally shut the world out as I was completely overwhelmed by what I was reading. This is going to be such a hard one to review as the synopsis only hinted at what I was in store for me. It gives a glimpse and that is all. So I am going to be vague and give nothing much away.

Yes, this is a murder, mystery story but that doesn’t even come close to explaining what else is included within the cover. It is about Pakistan’s culture and how the plight of some have to deal with in their daily lives. An unjust world existence with no support of any kind. When pushed to the edge by harrowing, heartbreaking and unwarranted treatment, does murder become justifiable?

This is a stunningly beautiful story as well as one that was hard to read at times. So many different layers and characters that had their story to tell. They are wrapped up and intertwined with each other and not necessarily aware of the existence of the other. The author has done an amazing job of highlighting an important issue and dealing with it in a balanced way. I did warn you this was going to be vague…

If you want a story that has heart, soul, humanity, resistance, and determination then you really should pick this book to read. It is emotional and heartbreaking from the very first page right to the very last. It had me in tears by the time I got to the end. It is one I would Highly Recommend.

About the Author:

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

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

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Love Heart Lane by Christie Barlow @ChristieJBarlow @rararesources #review

Today I am delighted to be part of the Blog Tour for Love Heart Lane by Christie Barlow. My thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources and to Christie for my e-copy of the book.

Synopsis:

Welcome to Love Heart Lane…

When Flick Simons returns to the small village of Heartcross she only expected to stay for a few days. The white-washed cottages of Love Heart Lane might be her home, but the place holds too many painful memories, and of one man in particular – Fergus Campbell.

When a winter storm sweeps in, the only bridge connecting the village to the main land is swept away! As the villagers pull together, Flick finds herself welcomed back by the friends she once left behind. And as the snow begins to melt, maybe there is a chance that Fergus’s heart will thaw too…

Is your book part of a series / standalone? There will be more books based around Love Heart Lane – even though this is the first one in the series they can be read stand alone too.

Purchase LinksAmazon UKAmazon US

My Thoughts:

Felicity makes an emotional visit to her home of Heartcross. What she did not expect, was to be cut off and stranded there by bad weather along with the rest of the residents of this community that she no longer feels completely part of.

There is one thing this author manages to do and that is to create a story that completely wraps me up in the lives of her characters. Felicity has had a rough time and has been avoiding her past. There is a reason why she left her home years ago, and while it takes a while for that explanation to be known, once I did I understood her reluctance a little more.

Being stranded in the village has opened her eyes to the changes that she had been unaware of. It hits home that life in Heartcross has moved on and she feels a little left behind. It was inevitable that she would bump into her ex, Fergus. Their first meeting on her arrival was definitely out of the blue, and both were caught unawares, making this encounter as cold as the weather they were caught up in.

Felicity and Fergus were characters I really liked. The history of their time together and also after their separation was told, I found myself becoming more emotionally attached to them. They both really did struggle through what life had thrown at them.

Community plays a large part in this story and the author did such a great job with community spirit. There was a nice balance of a little mistrust and tension as well as that spirit of togetherness. Friendships that had been neglected over the years had a nice dose of peevishness to them, as you would expect if you had been ignored.

This is a story about family, friends, community and togetherness. Dealing with chaos and catastrophe and dealing with past issues. Old wounds are opened and some long over due heartfelt confessions, feelings and truths are dealt with. This visit home is tinged with sadness but turns into something very special indeed.

This is the start of a new series and I am really looking forward to reading more about Heartcross. This is the ideal introduction to this author if you have not read anything by her before, as well as being one that fans of her work would also really enjoy. It gets a definitely recommended from me xx

About the Author:

Christie Barlow is the author of A Year in the Life of a Playground Mother, The Misadventures of a Playground Mother, Kitty’s Countryside Dream, Lizzie’s Christmas Escape, Evie’s Year of Taking Chances, The Cosy Canal Boat Dream, A Home at Honeysuckle Farm and Love Heart Lane. Her writing career came as somewhat a surprise when she decided to write a book to teach her children a valuable life lesson and show them that they are capable of achieving their dreams. The book she wrote to prove a point is now a #1 bestseller in the UK, USA & Australia. 

Christie is an ambassador for @ZuriProject raising money/awareness and engaging with impoverished people in Uganda through organisations to improve their well-being as well as Literary Editor for http://www.mamalifemagazine.co.uk bringing you all the latest news and reviews from the book world.

Visit Christie on her – WebsiteTwitter Facebook

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My Top Reads of 2018…finally

I know, I know, this is a little late but better late than never as they say..

Before I get into my top reads of last year I just want to share some of my Goodreads stats with you. My original Goodreads 2018 Challenge was to read 200 books, I read 222 and one manuscript that I am sworn to secrecy about at the moment…

I read 59,747 pages across 222 books

I am breaking this down into genres, that I would recommend and then right at the end if you are still reading I will do a TOP 3 Reads.

So first off Contemporary/General Fiction… Recommended Reads

These were stories that really touched my heart, for various and different reasons. They each had a special something about them.

Next up is… Crime and Thriller Reads

Crime is probably one of the genres I read most. There are several authors here that have released more than one book and I would happily list them as well. I have decided to limit myself to one author.

Nest genre is Fantasy/ Dystopia I have put these together for my convenience 🙂 …

Again these are very different and yet still fall into my category. They give a glimpse into a different reality and all are fabulous reads, some are part of a series while others are stand alone reads.

Historical (Fiction/Non-Fiction) is my next category…

I say Historical because the books I have chosen here is because they have either a historic setting or are based in myth and legend, historical culture if you like. They are a mix of fact and fiction or based on real life.

Finally, I have Romance, Chick Lit, Rom-Com… whichever term floats your boat. They all have a romance aspect to them.

These are stories that worked for various reasons, nothing in love ever goes according to plan and these stories really made for great reading.

Now then…

Are you still here?

Helloooooooo, anyone still reading?

Do you think I have missed any?

Are there any books that you think I should have included?

Well maybe they made it into my TOP 5…

Yes I know I originally said TOP 3…

But as I was writing this post up…

I found that I was wrong in thinking I could narrow it down to a Top 3…

What on earth was I thinking…

Okay to my Top 5 book s that I read last year…

Right then…

The eagle eyed readers will have noticed that I have listed only 4 books so far…

wait for it…

There was one book that absolutely made me have goosebumps on a very hot summers day as I read it…

It made my fingernails go twitchy…

I felt claustrophobic and I was sat outside while reading…

It was fabulous read…

Have you guessed what it is yet?

It’s one I would HIGHLY RECOMMEND if you have not yet read it

Okay here it is…

And…

It was a brilliant book…

I would love to know what you think of my picks.

I know that some of the genre grouping may look random to some, but for me they make sense. This has been such a hard post to write up as I could included so many more books than the…

just scrolls back to count how many books …

44… thats a nice number…oops

Hope you all have a great reading year and thank you all for sharing, posting and commenting on my posts. Hopefully 2019 Top Reads will actually be posted in 2019 🙂

#Reckoning by J.B. Turner #AmericanGhost #NetGalley #Review

Reckoning (American Ghost #2)

Today I am sharing my review for Reckoning by J.B. Turner. This is actually the second book in the American Ghost Thriller series. My thanks to the publishers, Thomas & Mercer and Amazon Publishing UK for my e-copy via NetGalley.

Synopsis:

A sister kidnapped. A journalist in danger. A killer out for revenge.

After taking out a covert facility run by the Commission, a deep-state syndicate, Nathan Stone has made powerful enemies. He’s a black-ops asset—and he’s gone rogue.

But the organization wants payback. Kidnapping Stone’s sister from a Florida psychiatric hospital, the Commission have their asset exactly where they want him. They instruct him to neutralize journalist Mark Mahoney, to whom Stone had previously leaked documents about the Commission and their deadly conspiracy. Now, Nathan Stone has a choice: neutralize Mahoney and kill the story for good, or lose the only family he has left.

Stone knows that these men will stop at nothing to get what they want. Killing Mahoney is just the beginning. And when Stone learns the identity of their final target, he knows he has to stop the Commission once and for all—no matter the cost.

Purchase Here

My Thoughts:

As is the norm with me and reading a series in order, I started with Book 2, and so I can honestly say that “yes this works well as a stand-alone, but you would benefit from reading these in order”.

If you are a fan of Jason Bourne or Jack Reacher style books then this one will be right up your street. The main protagonist is Nathan Stone, an ex-military man who has definitely stood on some toes and made some very powerful enemies. These enemies have hit Nathan hard when they kidnap his sister and use her in a blackmail attempt.

The scenarios that play out are fast paced, violent and action-packed and I really liked the variety in these scenarios as they were not too samey or stereotypical. They were used in such a way as to keep the speed of the read at a breakneck tempo.

With Nathan being backed into a corner he comes out fighting and kicking, stabbing… I think you get the idea. Yes, he is a man who has gone rogue there is no argument about that, but underneath this dangerous exterior there resides a man who has a soul and morals but only towards those who deserve them.

As I mentioned this is fast paced and if you are someone who likes mysteries, corruption and double dealings then this is a great book to read. I have bought the first so I can back track to learn more about the origins and what makes this character tick and look forward to reading more in the series.

One I would definitely recommend to readers.

About the Author:

J. B. Turner is a former journalist and the author of the Jon Reznick series of conspiracy action thrillers (Hard Road, Hard Kill, Hard Wired, Hard Way, and Hard Fall), as well as the Deborah Jones political thrillers (Miami Requiem and Dark Waters). He loves music, from Beethoven to the Beatles, and watching good films, from Manhattan to The Deer Hunter. He has a keen interest in geopolitics. He lives in Scotland with his wife and two children.

Many thanks for reading my post.

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Godlefe’s Cuckoo by Bill Todd @williamjtodd #damppebblesblogtours #review

I am delighted to be sharing my review today for Godlefe’s Cuckoo by Bill Todd as part of the Blog Tour with Emma at #damppebblestours My thanks to Emma for the invite and also to Bill for my e-copy of his book.

Synopsis:

Danny Lancaster has been missing since the fishing boat exploded. Police are closing their inquiry but Wanda Lovejoy continues her campaign to find the truth. An evil man kept alive by machines nurses a corrosive hate. As drugs and disease pull his dying mind apart he throws his crime empire into a scorched earth quest to find one man. If Danny Lancaster isn’t dead he soon will be.

Purchase link – Amazon UKAmazon US

My Thoughts:

This is set around Brighton and provides a dramatic backdrop to an action-packed read. A book with a fair sized cast of characters with individual roles that you will soon come to recognise as the story unfurls and the how’s and why’s of each character becomes more obvious.

A good amount of concentration was required by me and my so very tired brain when I started this book. The author really does lay down the groundwork for this book well, it involves the characters and describes various aspects of who they are, what they do. Any connections to each other are tenuous at best and it is not until the second half of the book that the author gradually starts pulling these connections together. This builds up a real sense of intrigue and initially caught me unawares until I realised the style of the writing.

The chapters are quick and flit between the characters, this was actually really good for me as it meant I was able to remember them,  rather than focusing on one then moving on. I did find the first half slower paced, but as I had mentioned being tired, but then suddenly the author seemed to kick up a gear, or my brain felt slightly better and awake. The vagaries and groundwork of the first half started to come together and things started to add up and it really did turn into a fast action riddled read. It is at this point I realised how important the groundwork was in the first half. 

I am not going into the plot as the synopsis does a great job in a very small space of a few lines. These few lines do give a sense of what to expect, drugs, evil man, missing person, search for the truth with a threat of death. The plot involves all of the above and then some. It had me hooked and turned an already interesting and intriguing good read into a great action read.

This is a book that I think readers of crime, thriller and mystery books would really enjoy. Even though it is part of a series it can definitely be read as a stand-alone, although I am intrigued by Danny Lancaster and I am looking to get the earlier books to discover more about him and what makes him tick. It is one I would happily recommend.

About the Author:

Bill with grandson Theo

I’m a journalist and travel writer who has visited more than 40 countries from the white wastes of Arctic Finland to the ancient deserts of Namibia. Love a good wilderness. I received the Ed Lacy travel award in 2007.
I’ve written six crime thrillers featuring soldier-turned-investigator Danny Lancaster and was startled and delighted to be voted one of the 100 best crime authors in the WH Smith readers’ poll in 2015. I’ve also written three short factual military histories. I live to write although keyboard time has been cut lately with the arrival of grandson Theo.

Author links: 

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Tangled Vines by Megan Mayfair @mayfairmegan @rararesources #BookReview

I am delighted to be sharing my review today for Tangled Vines by Megan Mayfair as part of the Blog Tour with Rachel’s Random Resources. May huge thanks to Rachel for the invite and to Megan for my e-copy of her book.

Synopsis:

Amelia O’Sullivan is a photographer who has always viewed herself through the wrong lens. When her marriage publicly crashed around her, she flees to the safety of her aunt’s country property to pick up the pieces. Can she adjust her focus to what she really wants from her life? 

Born into a wealthy and powerful family, Frederick Doyle may seem like a man who has it all, but behind the scenes, a bitter business feud threatens an irrevocable family split. As he fights for control of the winery he’d built from the ground up, he finds a supportive ally in Amelia and becomes increasingly beguiled by her creative spirit. 

Jill McMahon is a successful novelist suffering from writer’s block over her latest manuscript. Finding her niece, Amelia, at her door, reminds her of the bonds of family, but in seeing Amelia andFrederick’s relationship grow, a long-forgotten and painful secret threatens tore-surface. 

Can Amelia, Frederick, and Jill untangle themselves from their pasts or will history simply repeat itself? 

PurchaseLink  – Here

My Thoughts:

I usually start a my thoughts with a bit of my own synopsis, but this time I am not as I would pretty much duplicate what it says so I will go straight into what I thought.

This is set in Australia and is a wonderful read that captured my attention from the outset and held right the way through until the end. The story is about three key characters and how they know or come to know each other. It is a story about their lives, their worries, their loves, and losses. Decisions that need to be made for their own individual future need to be made and they all seem to have come to a crossroads in their lives and they have to decide what, who and where their possible and potential happiness lies. The story is about finding an inner strength and confidence in making their decisions to move towards starting the next chapter in their lives and, it is not going to be plain sailing. Important decisions are not easily made.

Even thought there are some heartbreaking revelations, the author has not dwelt too much on them. The story has a pacing that keeps the story moving forward as I followed the characters on their uncertain futures while still dealing with ongoing grief and worries. 

There are various friends, family and colleagues that accompany the main characters and they each have their part to play in the story. I soon worked out who I liked and didn’t and I am sure you will have similar views.

As I mentioned earlier, the past has a part in this story and it plays out very well, and the author dealt with some aspects very well, one in particular was the anxiety that one of the characters has to deal with, for me this was a key trait of this character and it gave an insight into the reactions, emotions and also the personality of said character.

This is a story I really enjoyed, I found myself wondering as to how things would pan out as nothing was clear cut. Nothing was guaranteed to follow a certain pattern and this added a good deal of  subtle dramatic suspense. This is a romance that is not overly romantic which sounds a really odd thing to say. What I mean is that there is a romantic thread, but it is also about family, life, experiences, disappointments and new beginnings as I followed three people dealing with major decisions that could have implications for their futures and goals.

A story that would appeal to romance and also general fiction readers and is one I would definitely recommend.

About the Author:

Megan’sstories are about families, intrigue and love. Every book contains a bit of humour and a lot of heart.

Megan lives in Melbourne with her husband and three children and has a background in public relations and higher education.

She drinks far too much coffee and has an addiction to buying scarves. She interviews with other authors for her blog series, Espresso Tales, and loves a bit of #bookstagram.

Her debut novel, The Things We Leave Unsaid, was released by Crooked Cat Books in 2018. Tangled Vines is her second novel.

Social Media Links – Instagram – Facebook – Twitter – Website


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