The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary @OLearyBeth @QuercusBooks #20booksofsummer #fiction #bookreview

I am absolutely delighted to share my review for The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary. I have had this on my TBR since it came out last year and it is one of the books I am reading for #20Booksofsummer reading challange and it was blooming brilliant.

Let me show you what this book is all about…

Tiffy and Leon share a flat
Tiffy and Leon share a bed
Tiffy and Leon have never met…
 

Tiffy Moore needs a cheap flat, and fast. Leon Twomey works nights and needs cash. Their friends think they’re crazy, but it’s the perfect solution: Leon occupies the one-bed flat while Tiffy’s at work in the day, and she has the run of the place the rest of the time. 

But with obsessive ex-boyfriends, demanding clients at work, wrongly imprisoned brothers and, of course, the fact that they still haven’t met yet, they’re about to discover that if you want the perfect home you need to throw the rulebook out the window…

I am kicking myself for not reading The Flatshare sooner, it has been languishing on my TBR ever since it came out and it is such a brilliant read.

Tiffy has been living in her ex’s flat and finally decides to move out when he parades his girlfriend through his property. I have to say I took an immediate dislike to him and wondered why on earth Tiffy still lived there.

Her new place is a flat where she will rent the bed when the other occupant is not there!!!!! Yeah you read that right! He works nightshifts Monday to Friday and stays with his girlfriend at weekends. Tiffy works Monday to Friday in the day so actually it makes sense… sort of!

Now once I had got my head around the flatshare, and so had Tiffy and her friends it does actually seem to work. It gives Tiffy a chance to get her head straight after her long overdue split from her ex, much to the delight of her friends. This is where the real story comes out about her relationship and it is much darker than I had realised as I had not really read the synopsis properly! So everything was a revelation and a shock.

As flat mates, Tiffy and Leon, he is the other person in the flat, by the way, never meet, they are the proverbial ships that pass in the night. They instead communicate by post-it notes, leaving messages and gradually they get to know each other. This relationship works really well, several months go by before an unexpectedly embarrassing and hilarious bumping into each other finally happens.

The author has created such an addictive one sitting read that I was loath to put down for even a second. The way she created and worked this storyline is just brilliant, there is a nervous start as you would expect when two people live together, but this is where it gets interesting. They are strangers and therefore they find it easier to communicate with each other through the notes they leave. So as I read I got to know them and about their individual lives as they also got to know each other.

Woven into this getting to know each other storyline, there is also other plots that emerge. For Tiffy it is a darker thread, one that makes her realise about her past and gives her the chance to deal with how she will shape her future. For Leon it is about getting justice for his brother and again about how he wants his life to pan out.

This was a brilliant read and I adored everything about it, the pacing the characters the story just completely worked for me. There is a balance between the darker moments with funny occurrences and mishaps. There is a sense of friendship and of finding things that are right for each individual. It is a book that readers who are after a human interest storyline that has moments of humour injected into, it shows how an obsessive personality can change a person and how friends are there when needed.

Yeah, I loved The Flatshare and I would Highly Recommend it.

Purchase from Amazon UK (this is an Amazon affiliate link)

Beth studied English at university before going into children’s publishing. She lives as close to the countryside as she can get while still being within reach of London, and wrote her first novel, The Flatshare, on her train journey to and from work.
You’ll usually find her curled up with a book, a cup of tea, and several woolly jumpers (whatever the weather).

You can visit Beth on her Website or Twitter

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

Handcuffs, Truncheon and a Polyester Thong by Gina Kirkham @GinaGeeJay @zooloo2008 #AuthorTakeover #Bookreview

I am absolutely delighted to share my review of Handcuff’s, Truncheons and a Polyester Thong by Gina Kirkham. This is a book I have had on my TBR for a while and when I knew Zoe at Zooloo’s Book Diary had her #AuthorTakeover featuring Gina I knew it was the perfect opportunity to pick up this book. And the title appeals to me 😁

Over the past few days Zoe and Gina have featured, extracts, Q&A’a, Behind the story features and so much more. There are interviews, reviews and it has been brilliant reading them. Please head over and have a giggle at the antics of Gina and her alter-ego Mavis Upton you will not regret it.

So, let me show you what the book is about…

Will have you laughing out loud and is hugely entertaining. This is a book that oozes charisma and character, one you will not be able to put down – Nikki’s Books4U 

Meet Mavis Upton. As mummy to 7-year old Ella, surrogate to far too many pets and with a failed marriage under her belt, Mavis knows she needs to make some life-changing decisions. It’s time to strike out into the world, to stand on her own two feet … to pursue a lifelong ambition to become a Police Officer. I mean, what could go wrong? 

Supported by her quirky, malapropism-suffering mum, Mavis throws herself headlong into a world of uncertainty, self-discovery, fearless escapades, laughter and extra-large knickers. And using her newly discovered investigative skills, she reluctantly embarks on a search to find her errant dad who was last seen years before, making off with her mum’s much needed coupon for a fabulous foam cup bra all the way from America. 

Follow Mavis as she tackles everything life can throw at her, and revel in Gina Kirkham’s humorous, poignant and moving story of an everyday girl who one day followed a dream. 

Hilarious…real life and so touching, a fabulous read! – Christina Green 

Purchase link – Amazon UK

Oh my goodness this is such a hilarious read. The author has used her own experiences in the Police and gave them to her alter ego – Mavis Upton and adds a little fiction.

The story starts and within a few pages I knew I was going to love this book. Mavis finally does something about her dream job and joins the police. A series of mishaps, some good friends and she has made it.

Now out in the real world her training has provided her with the knowledge to do her job, but her naivety still leaves her open to some of the in-jokes. She does however stand her own and makes her mark.

This book had me giggling, chuckling and laughing out loud so many times. It is just what the doctor ordered for brightening up any day. This is a book that is like a series of anecdotes, some of which you can see coming and others catch you out of the blue. Both sorts are funny no matter how they are delivered.

As this is a story based on experience it does have a semi autobiographic feel but it also has some fiction, but it is so easy to read. A book that readers who like humour, funny stories and just want a good giggle would really enjoy. I thought it was excellent and I would definitely recommend it.

Image taken from Gina’s Author Page on Amazon UK

Gina was born during the not-so-swinging 50’s to a mum who frequently abandoned her in a pram outside Woolworths and a dad who, after two pints of beer, could play a mean Boogie Woogie on the piano in the front room of their 3-bed semi on the Wirral. Being the less adventurous of three children, she remains there to this day – apart from a long weekend in Bognor Regis in 1982.

Her teenage years were filled with angst, a CSE in Arithmetic, pimples, PLJ juice, Barry White and rather large knickers. Marriage and motherhood ensued, quickly followed by divorce in her early thirties and a desperate need for a career and some form of financial support for herself and her daughter. Trundling a bicycle along a leafy path one wintry day, a lifelong passion to be a police officer gave her simultaneously an epiphany and fond memories of her favourite author Enid Blyton and moments of solving mysteries. 

And thus began an enjoyable and fulfilling career with Merseyside Police. 

On reaching an age most women lie about, she quickly adapted to retirement by utilising her policing skills to chase after two granddaughters, two dogs and one previously used, but still in excellent condition, husband. Having said goodbye to what had been a huge part of her life, she suddenly had another wonderful epiphany. This time it was to put pen to paper to write a book based on her experiences as a police officer. 

Lying in bed one night staring at the ceiling and contemplating life as she knew it, Gina’s alter-ego, Mavis Upton was born, ready to star in a humorous and sometimes poignant look at the life, loves and career of an everyday girl who followed a dream and embarked upon a search for the missing piece of her childhood.

Follow Gina on TwitterBlogAmazon

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

The Doll Factory by Elizabeth Macneal @esmacneal #histfic #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review for The Doll Factory by Elizabeth Macneal, I have had this book on my TBR since it came out last year and I read it last month. Let me show you what is is all about…

The Doll Factory, the debut novel by Elizabeth Macneal, is an intoxicating story of art, obsession and possession.

London. 1850. The Great Exhibition is being erected in Hyde Park and among the crowd watching the spectacle two people meet. For Iris, an aspiring artist, it is the encounter of a moment – forgotten seconds later, but for Silas, a collector entranced by the strange and beautiful, that meeting marks a new beginning. 

When Iris is asked to model for pre-Raphaelite artist Louis Frost, she agrees on the condition that he will also teach her to paint. Suddenly her world begins to expand, to become a place of art and love.

But Silas has only thought of one thing since their meeting, and his obsession is darkening . . . 

I have had this book on my tbr since it first came out last year. I have wanted to read it but kept putting it off until now. I have to say I wasn’t sure what I was expecting and I didn’t read the synopsis until after I had finished the book! To be fair though, even if I had read the synopsis prior to reading I think I would still have been surprised by how dark this book turned.

Let me backtrack, and start with the cover and say that now I have read the book how amazing and so appropriate this cover is, that glass dome encompasses the story perfectly and has a lot of things in it relevent to the story of Iris.

Iris and her sister Rose have been working in a rather depressing and soul destroying business making dolls. When there is a chance for Iris to leave and have the nerve to join an artist as his model, she takes it. Rose isn’t impressed and neither is Silas.

Silas is besotted with Iris, but she doesn’t see him as he thinks she does. He watches her, hoping that she will take him up the various offers her proposes. She however has no time for him, she has her own life and a chance to be something.

Now I did mention this book takes a dark turn, and well to be honest I am not going to tell you why or how even though I am bursting to. The author takes a route that leads its way to this dark thread that is part of the story. It has been done so well, it starts off quite subtly and then worsens over the course of the story. It seems to fit well with the setting.

Now the setting is London, wealth is evident as The Great Exhibition opens so showcase the industry and culture, a place where the who’s who would have been seen. But balanced against that are the slums, side-streets and squalid alleyways where the poor live. This contrast between living conditions, social class and opinions seem to share the ideals behind the various characters. Some wanting to move up, others reluctantly making the most of their lot in life and others just wanting to be accepted.

This is a book that I am so glad I have finally got around to reading, it is a beautifully written book about life in 1850’s London, about life, love, betrayal, art and yes as the synopsis states “obsession and possession”. A fabulous read and one I would definitely recommend.

Elizabeth Macneal was born in Edinburgh and now lives in East London. She is a writer and potter and works from a small studio at the bottom of her garden. She read English Literature at Oxford University, before working in the City for several years. In 2017, she completed the Creative Writing MA at UEA in 2017 where she was awarded the Malcolm Bradbury scholarship. 

The Doll Factory, Elizabeth’s debut novel, won the Caledonia Noel Award 2018. It will be published in twenty-eight languages and TV rights have sold to Buccaneer Media. 

Follow the author on Twitter

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It Started With A Snub by B. R. Maycock #BookReview

Normally on a Monday I share my weekly wrap-up for books I have read, this week I shared it yesterday because… well… I thought today was booked in for a Blog Tour Review. When I actually came to double check the dates it turns out that today was not booked for a Blog Tour at all, instead I have double booked for Wednesday!!! Any regular followers know I try my hardest to keep to one post a day and this usually works until my scheduling goes pear shaped, as it obviously did this week!

So today I am bringing you a review for It Started With A Snub by (Bernadette) B.R Maycock. Let me show you what it is all about..

There are two different covers for this book, I am going with the one on Amazon UK as I like that one a lot…

Heather Green is a fun loving, happy go lucky, twenty-six year old who has remained upright and beaming despite a few wobbles in life. She wears her heart on her sleeve and pins on her thoughts for good measure.

We meet Heather as she moves out of her family home to share with four guys, much to the dismay of her long suffering (by his own admission!) boyfriend Graham. We follow her housemates and watch their sometimes funny, sometimes-fraught relationships as they go about their daily lives.

Join Heather as she navigates the simple things in life, her inability to remember the code for the house alarm, odd driving habits, general musings on chick flicks, casualties in cooking, as well as her attempts to talk down the “mad farmer with the gun.” Experience comedy and drama as we get to know her family and housemates, and, as an unexpected event finally takes her down, learn what happens when the last people you expected to turn to are actually the ones you need the most.

Heather has just moved out of her family home and into a shared house. Her fellow housemates are all men and she sends a text to one of her friends listing them in slightly stereotypical terms and this is a really good way of getting a quick snap shot or first impression of the four guys.

Heather and Graham have been in a relationship for over 6 years, though they don’t live together. Now right from the off I didn’t like him, and throughout the story I wished she would just drop him, I mean she is living in a house with four guys and they sound so much better than he is!

This is a rom-com that is more than it appears, yes there is romance there is humour but there is also a cracking story that brings so much more than I expected. Family is an important aspect of Heather’s life, as is her job and as she gets to know her housemates they also become important.

The story takes in various turns that have a serious impact on Heather’s life and way of thinking. The more I got to know Heather the more I liked her, she would be such a great person to know in real life a bit ditsy, a chatter box who says whatever comes into her head, and is a woman with a big heart.

I really enjoyed this story and it is the first book I have read by this author and I will be buying more in the future. I was only going to read a couple of chapters before starting on the housework… the housework was still waiting to be done a few hours later when I got to the end of the book!

A story that I really enjoyed, that had some surprises and was a lot of fun to read and one I would happily recommend to other reader who like rom-com, romance, family and relationship books.

Bernadette Maycock (writing as B. R. Maycock) participates in a closed Facebook group called Image, Write, Inspire (IWI), led by the award-winning author Carmel Harrington (Beyond Grace’s Rainbow, The Life You Left) Bernadette has just started a book review blog (https://brmaycock.wordpress.com/) that is in complete infancy, reviewing books that are ‘the lighter side of heavy TBR lists,’ in particular chick lit (her first love!) and women’s fiction.

She lives in Co. Westmeath, Ireland with her brilliantly out there husband, Keith, and four amazing children- Paul, Conor, Aidan and Brian. She can be found on twitter most days as @brmaycock.

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

The Woman Who Spoke To Spirits by Alys Clare #HistoricalMystery #BookReview

I am delighted to share my review for the first book in A World’s End Bureau Victorian Mystery Series, this first book is The Woman Who Spoke To Spirits by Alys Clare. This is the first time I have read a book by this author and I was delighted to see that there is a whole host of books by Alys for me to buy and read.

Let me show you what it is all about…

Introducing private investigators Lily Raynor and Felix Wilbraham in the first of the brand-new World’s End Bureau Victorian mystery series.

London, 1880. “I’m dreadfully afraid someone is threatening to kill my wife …” When accounts clerk Ernest Stibbins approaches the World’s End investigation bureau with wild claims that his wife Albertina has been warned by her spirit guides that someone is out to harm her, the bureau’s owner Lily Raynor and her new employee Felix Wilbraham are initially sceptical. How are the two private enquiry agents supposed to investigate threats from beyond the grave?

But after she attends a séance at the Stibbins family home, Lily comes to realize that Albertina is in terrible danger. And very soon so too is Lily herself …

This is the first book in A World’s End Bureau – Victorian Mystery series. The World’s End Bureau is owned and run by Lily Raynor in London in the 1880s. She has had some success with her business and is now finding it difficult to keep up with the admin side. She employs Felix Wilbraham to help on the clerical aspects, but soon he proves his worth and helps Lily in a series of investigations.

One such investigation comes by way of Ernest Stibbins who is concerned as to his wife’s safety. She is a medium and it soon becomes apparent to Lily that Albertina is indeed in danger. Along with this investigation, there is another that concerns a young man and an actress. While the cases are very different they both lead Lily and Felix on a route that takes them and the reader into various areas of Victorian London.

Being as this is the first in the series, it was good to get to know the two main characters as they got to know each other. I liked how there is mutual respect between them, especially as Felix is working for a female and this is an unusual thing at this time and for this profession.

The author has done a good job of creating an atmospheric read and delves into some unsavoury sides of the era. The murkiness and the ominous feelings at times provide an eeriness to the story. this is particularly good for the investigation into the Stibbins’s.

I did find the pacing of the story fluctuated, at the time it felt a little slow, but on the whole, it worked well. There was a good deal of intrigue and I was so very curious as to how the author would conclude the mysteries.

This was an enjoyable read and one that kept me intrigued throughout. I am looking forward to reading the next in the series to see how the author proceeds with not only Lily and Felix but also to see if she incorporates a couple of other characters that I think would make good additions to future investigations.

A good start to a series for mystery readers and a good atmospheric read and one I would definitely recommend.

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

Bury Them Deep by James Oswald #CrimeThriller #BookReview

I am delighted to share my review for Bury Them Deep by James Oswald. This is the 10th book in the Inspector McLean Series and it is blooming brilliant.

Let me show you what it is all about…

The tenth book in the Sunday Times-bestselling Inspector McLean series, from one of Scotland’s most celebrated crime writers

When a member of the Police Scotland team fails to clock-in for work, concern for her whereabouts is immediate… and the discovery of her burnt-out car in remote woodland to the south of Edinburgh sets off a desperate search for the missing woman.

Meanwhile, DCI Tony McLean and the team are preparing for a major anti-corruption operation – one which may raise the ire of more than a few powerful people in the city. Is Anya Renfrew’s disappearance a co-incidence or related to the case?

McLean’s investigations suggest that perhaps that Anya isn’t the first woman to have mysteriously vanished in these ancient hills. Once again, McLean can’t shake the feeling that there is a far greater evil at work here…

Wow! What an amazing book Bury Them Deep is. This is the 10th in the Inspector McLean Series and works so well as a stand alone. I have read a couple of books in this series and this latest book is a crime readers dream. It is tense, dark and draws on local legends and tales told to scare youngsters, but they always say that there is some truth to local legends.

The author had me intrigued before the story actually began with an introduction to a local legend. By the time I had read that page I was already interested in this police procedural.

Set in Scotland, DCI McLean is part of a very hush-hush inter-agency investigation, well actually it was in the beginning stages when one of the civilian members of the team goes missing. Her disappearance goes against the grain for her personality and causes concern due to the information she has access to. McLean and his team soon discover that the woman they thought they knew had a very different life out of work.

The story was so brilliantly woven, as I read I was on edge as various leads and sub-plots were expertly woven. This is a story that has plot upon plot upon plot and the more I read the more intrigues I got. As the story progressed various pieces of the puzzle were starting to be pulled together and even with all these pieces they still didn’t quite fit until the author was ready to give them all a final shunt into place.

Using old stories and local legends was such a brilliant twist on a police procedural, it gave the book such a dark element to the story, it gave a wonderful sense of suspense and made it such an addictive read.

This was an absolutely brilliant read that I found so hard to put down. A must read for all crime, thriller fans and one I would Absolutely Recommend.

Lantern Square Series Books Three and Four by Helen J Rolfe #BookReview

I am delighted to share two review today, these are for the 3rd and 4th books in the Lantern Square series by Helen J Rolfe. I am a big fan of this author and had this on my kindle for a while. Let me show you the gorgeous covers of the Lantern Square books in order…

The series in order is…

Let me show you what Christmas in Lantern Square is all about…

Step into the cosy community of Lantern Square…

Hannah went from high flyer in the city to business owner and has never looked back. In the cosy Cotswold village of Butterbury she runs Tied up with String, sending handmade gifts and care packages across the miles, as well as delivering them to people she thinks need them the most.

But when her ex best-friend Georgia turns up and wants in on the action, will Hannah be willing to forgive and forget? With her business in jeopardy, she needs to maintain the reputation she’s established, and discover who she can trust…

Straight off the back of book two in the series I delved straight into book three. I was looking forward to seeing how the run-up to Christmas Day and the day itself would pan out.

Hannah is well and truly up to her eyeballs in gifts, cards and care packages as her business hits its busiest time. She is run ragged and the flu is a visitor who is definitely;y not welcome. It does mean that the Doctor makes a visit, and also Hannah’s ex, Luke, is on hand to help look after her.

This is a perfect follow on from the previous two books. Hannah is beginning to struggle, mistakes are made, things are not posted and something doesn’t quite sit right. There is a little about her past and it does come knocking on her door and instead of it being a bad thing it actually comes out for the good.

The story has been gradually building up and gathering a momentum that has left me absolutely glued to this series. There is an undercurrent of things having a nasty side to them and it is gradually starting to emerge. This adds a rather nice dramatic tension as my mind is desperately trying to shout at Hannah to tell her what I am thinking is going on.

I also really enjoy the rather subtle romantic tension to this story, it has been there all along, but I feel that this is where it is now starting to become something a bit more of a “what if” rather than a “would be nice” thing.

Once again the author has captured the community feel of the village, connections are made and little plans are being put in place. There is also a mystery benefactor lurking and they have been doing some fabulous acts of kindness that has me a little puzzled, I mean I do have a theory so I cannot wait to read the final part to see if I am right. 

A fabulous third instalment in The Lantern Square series that is an absolutely brilliant read, it has all the heartwarming and cosy feel but also has a sense of foreboding lurking in the wings. I definitely recommend this series.

Here is the synopsis for – Snowfall In Lantern Square

Step into the cosy community of Lantern Square…

Hannah went from high flyer in the city to business owner and has never looked back. In the cosy Cotswold village of Butterbury she runs Tied up with String, sending handmade gifts and care packages across the miles, as well as delivering them to people she thinks need them the most.

But when her ex best-friend Georgia turns up and wants in on the action, will Hannah be willing to forgive and forget? With her business in jeopardy, she needs to maintain the reputation she’s established, and discover who she can trust…

So the final part of the Lantern Square series sees Hannah still keeping a brave face even though things had been going awry around her. Her ex keeps wanting to meet up, her best friend may have ulterior motives and the Doctor seems to have more women going in and out of his house than you would believe. 

The story gradually pulls together these threads and other bringing the story to a wonderful conclusion that has left me feeling very sad. I really like Hannah, Rhys, Joe, Mr G, Charles and so many of the other wonderful characters that I have met along the way. They cover such a diverse range and each has their own part to play in the story.

This has been a fabulous series to read and I have enjoyed each part of it. It has such a wonderful and welcoming style to it that envelops the reader in makes it ideal for snuggly under a blanket and escaping for an hour or so for each part. 

The setting is sublime, a Cotswold village setting with a wonderful sense of community, of friendship and also support. The author really nails the sense of the spirit of the village in a wonderful way. 

I am sad to see the end of this series, it is one that leaves you with a wonderful feeling of things being right with the world, a marvellous literary escape if you like. It is a book and a series I would definitely recommend.


This has been a fabulous 4 part series, I really enjoy reading Helen’s books and there are quite a few to choose from.

You can read my reviews for the first two book in this series CLICK HERE

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

Bridge of Lies by Misha Herwin @MishaHerwin #YAfiction #BookReview

I am delighted to share my review for Bridge of Lies by Misha Herwin, this is the second book in The Adventures of Letty Parker series and I have to say I adored it.

Let me show you what it is all about…

Letty Parker and Associates Detective Agency is finally in business. Before they can take on their first case, Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s famous suspension bridge is blown up. Letty decides to investigate but getting hired is not as easy as she thought, especially when the Dark Ones have their own plans for her.


Then there is Ma Pountney and her witches, plus The Bear and his gang of villains each determined to stand in Letty’s way. Nothing goes right and one by one Letty’s friends desert her. Even in a city, crowded with folk arriving for the Balloon Festival, Letty finds herself alone.

This is the second book in this series, 12 year old Letty Parker has recently started her own business of finding missing persons and lost things. Letty Parker & Associates has its first job and it comes in by way of one of the associates Mango, the other are Hepzibah, Jeb and Gabriel although he seems to be absent at the moment.

The setting for this story is Bristol and is just as Brunel is building a bridge. Having a historic fact like this is great for helping to set the scene and also keeps the reader well and truly in the time. It is also a great time to use for other things in the story such as Ma Poutney and her witches as there would have still been a lot of superstition and belief in old magical rites and rituals.

As I mentioned, Letty and her team have a new case but this soon gets overtaken buy other events as once again Letty is right in the thick of things. Friendships are put to the test in this story as loyalties are strained.

I really enjoyed this book and it has such a great feel to it while I was reading. The setting and time are great and there is also the inclusion of a fantasy thread with witches, bears, magic, nephilim, gargoyles and other dark creatures. I also found that one character in particular brings a steam punk style with some of his advanced technologies and adds a great additional element.

This is aimed at younger readers at around 8-12 years but I can say I adored it and it didn’t take long before I was engrossed. If you are a fan of YA books that have mystery, magic and mayhem then you really should look at this series. I would definitely recommend it.

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

Stalins Final Sting by Andrew Turpin @AndrewTurpin #Historical #Thriller #BookReview

I am delighted to share my review for Stalin’s Final Sting by Andrew Turpin. I am a fan of this authors Joe Johnson series, a series that is action packed and is very addictive reading.

Let me show you what it is all about…

The darkest secrets of a Russian oligarch—a legacy from Stalin. A hidden batch of the CIA’s Stinger missiles. And the insatiable Afghan thirst for revenge.
Ex-CIA war crimes investigator Joe Johnson is sucked into an inquiry which delves into the deadly world of Soviet and US undercover operations in Afghanistan during the 1980s—and mysterious connections to current US and Russian politics.
Johnson and his ex-MI6 colleague Jayne Robinson find themselves pursuing a Russian oligarch with strong links to Putin and a past he would rather keep hidden—and also an Afghan mujahideen bent on the most bloodthirsty revenge.
The investigation is thrown awry by Johnson’s crooked former CIA boss, now on the run, and by a miscalculation of the dangers lurking in the Hindu Kush mountains, ridden with heavily armed Taliban insurgents.
The story reaches a raw climax in Brooklyn, Manhattan, Moscow, and Kabul, as Johnson battles to overcome the powerful forces lined up against him, including former KGB agents.

**This thriller comes with a link inside the book allowing readers a COMPLIMENTARY download of a prequel novel in the Joe Johnson series — The Afghan**

This is the fourth book in the Joe Johnson Thriller series, and I have read and loved each one. There is also a mini novel that I would recommend reading before you read this book though, its called The Afghan.

Stalin’s Final Sting sees the main protagonist ex-CIA Joe Johnson take a step back into his past. His current job is investigating war crimes as well as undertaking other investigative work with long time friend and ex-MI6 Jayne Robinson. Together these two have a great network of resources and they are going to need them.

The setting is in Afghanistan, this is where Joe has a history from the late 1980’s during the Russian-Afghan Conflict. His current brief is to do background checks on some of the major players for bids on an extremely lucrative deal. Not a war crimes job, but one that sparks an interest that has links to his past.

There is one thing I recognise with this author and it is the detail and research that goes on behind the book. It is very evident as you read and then at the end of his books you get an amazing few pages of research notes that make ideal pointers for further reading.

The next thing that I find about the books is the fast pacing and it is pure action right from the outset. The author is very good at keeping everything clear and on point.

Now as for the story, for me it felt stronger and more in depth as it addresses some story lines that have been present from a previous book. If you are not up to date with the series then there is enough info to get you up to speed but in all seriousness… just read the series. The story delves into the Russian-Afghan conflict of the 1980’s. It was a brutal period where many innocents were caught up in the conflict. Many were tortured and killed. While the author does go into some details he keeps things to more of a minimum which as a reader I sometimes prefer.

I really enjoy the thrill of this series, it is fast, action packed and things get deeper and deeper as the intrigue and the mystery builds. It is one I sit and read and don’t try to work things out. I never know how the author is going to use his characters and what twists there are up his sleeves.

If you are a fan of historical, thrillers, mysteries and action reads then you really do need to check this series out. It is a brilliantly fast-paced and intensive ride. I would definitely recommend the series as well as this book.

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, 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.

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 behaviors 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.

City of Secrets by Misha Herwin @MishaHerwin #BookReview

I am delighted to share my review today for City of Secrets by Misha Herwin, this is the first book in the The Adventures of Letty Parker series and is aimed at Young Adult readers.

Let me show you what it is all about…

Letty Parker lives by her wits.

Estranged from her family, she sells pies on the streets of Bristol. But this is a Bristol full of dark secrets, peopled by gangs, monsters, dragons and gargoyles – and by creatures older than time.

When her friend and stepsister disappear, when members of Jeb’s gang vanish, Letty is plunged headlong into a conspiracy where homeless children are being spirited away to a place where a terrible fate awaits them.

These are the poor and the lost children of the streets whom no one seems to care about – except for Letty. But what if a rich child went missing? Would the authorities then act? Together, Letty and Jeb hatch a plan…

What a brilliant introduction to Letty Parker and the starting point for a series of books aimed at the Younger Reader. I am definitely not a young reader but I can honestly say that if I had picked up City of Secrets as a 9 or 10 year old I would have loved it, as it happens even now as a grown up reader I still loved it.

The author has created a fabulous character in Letty, she is joined by Jeb and his gang and also the somewhat lonely character of Gabriel. Letty is a pie-seller in Bristol, she is a street kid as such as she lives on her wits and needs to work to pay the rent on a small room. Some local children have been going missing in very mysterious circumstances, it is only when a young boy who Letty as just befriended also goes missing that she realises that something is amiss.

The author has created a fabulous story that has a Victorian feel to it. Carriages, gangs, murky alleys and dark, dangerous things that lurk in the shadows add to the ambience of the story. It is a story that has some wonderful descriptions and good dialogue that made me smirk on a few occasions.

Letty is a determined character who is stubborn and tenacious when she gets something in her head. This tenacious attitude will stand her in good stead as she faces her investigation.

There is an evil at work and this is investigated further into the story as Letty and Co start to dig further into the disappearances. The story has a good fantasy feel to it as various monsters, dragons and gargoyles become part of the story, yes there are gargoyles and this makes me very happy!

This was a wonderfully paced story that had me eagerly turning pages and has left me waiting and wanting to see what happens in the next book in the series called Bridge of Lies.

Even though it is aimed at a younger audience, I would say around 8-12 years, adults would also enjoy it, well I did! It is a fabuolous book full of adventure, fantasy and mystery, its exciting and a real page turner. I would definitely recommend it.

Image taken from Misha’s Amazon Author Page

Misha Herwin was born in England of Polish parents. English was not her first language but once she learned to speak it, she has never stopped. At twelve she wrote and staged her first play in a theatre made from a cardboard box. Since then things have improved and her plays have been both performed in England and Jamaica, where she lived for a while. As Misha M Herwin she has written two novels “Picking up the Pieces” and “House of Shadows”, both published by Penkull Press. “Dragonfire” “Juggler of Shapes” and “Master of Trades” are her fantasy trilogy for kids. “City of Secrets” is her most recent book and is the first in a fantasy adventure series for children. Her stories for adult readers have appeared in a number of anthologies including “A Fairy’s Story,” in “Bitch Lit”, and “The Satan Stones” in “Ancient Wonders,” by Alchemy Press. Her latest “The Loop Line” is in “The Darkest Midnight in December”. Her children are grown up and she lives in Staffordshire England with her husband in a house with a dragon in the garden.

Follow Misha on Twitter Amazon Author PageWebsite

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