Hemlock Jones and the Underground Orphans by Justin Carroll @WriterJustinC @CazVinBooks #Bookreview

I am delighted to be sharing my review for Hemlock Jones and the Underground Orphans by Justin Carroll. My thanks to Caroline at Bits About Books for arranging my spot on the Blog Tour and also for arranging a copy of this fabulous book. My apologies for being late with this review, I hadn’t realised the Tour dates had changed, but better late than never as they say 🙂

This is the second book in the Hemlock Jones series and I loved it as much as I did the first one. Before I get carried away singing the praises for this author’s Hemlock series, let me show you what it is all about…

When orphans vanish from their beds across Victorian London, twelve-year-old demystifier Hemlock Jones and her companion, Edward, take the case!


This time, the trail will lead them from their Baker Street home, along lost rivers and into the heart of the city, to face exotic enemies and a charming man with dark plans…

Hemlock Jones & The Underground Orphans is the second of the Hemlock Jones Chronicles, the award-winning series of detective adventures for children and adults.

Oh it is so good to be travelling around Victorian London with Hemlock and Eddie, oops sorry Edward! Hemlock and Edward are a fabulous combination. Hemlock is a demystifier, she takes the mystery out of criminal cases that she decides to investigate and Edward is her Associate.

Her latest case is one that involves the disappearance of orphans. She is approached as she had helped on a previous case, though her and Edward did not get the credit they deserved, instead it went to that other famous consultant from Baker Street! Though she did not get the credit, she is recognised as being a help, so she agrees to give her expert help in the search for the missing children.

Now, you know I mentioned how I enjoyed wandering around Victorian London with the duo? Well, this time I was glad that as a reader I can experience things from the pages of a book! I bet Edward would wish to be in my position instead of traipsing and crawling through the rat infested sewers!

This book is fabulous and has mystery, intrigue and uses powers of observation and deduction or should I say demystification! I should mention that it is aimed at a younger audience, but this grown up (depending who you ask!) reader loves it!

It is a story that is accessible and is at a pace that holds the attention, there are quieter moments in it but these are moments are essential to the case or are about the lives of the characters themselves. I think this story is ideal for giving a younger audience a mystery novel that has a feel of the classic Sherlock Holmes but in a more upbeat way, it has action and adventure as well as mishaps and danger. I remember trying to read a Sherlock story when I was younger and I was not old enough to understand it, but if I had access to Hemlock Jones I would have been so happy. I will add that as an adult reader I love the Sherlock Holmes books!

The story itself is good and holds the attention, there are mentions of the yuckier side of London and it also has reference to a poem / folk tale that I think would make for good further reading for the target audience. I love that the main heroes of the story are children and their escapades are in an adult world. They are given a chance to deal with an investigation that is adult sized, but its their belief in their own instincts and observations that lead to solving the case.

This is a fabulous read and I think that the younger audience would absolutely enjoy it. It is the 2nd book in the Hemlock Jones series and I would definitely recommend it.

Justin Carroll is an author who balances his love of comic books and games with a passion for martial arts and musicals.

Ever since he stopped wanting to be a dinosaur, Justin wanted to be a writer. He graduated with a degree in English Literature and Language from King’s College, London in 2004 and now, when not writing, he fritters away his time on all manner of geeky things.

Shortlisted for several international short story competitions, Justin was a finalist in the 2010 British Fantasy Awards with “Careful What You Wish For” (Wyvern Publishing) and placed in the top twenty of the NYC Midnight Short Story Challenge twice.

December 2012 saw the birth of Justin Carroll’s first novel: Everything’s Cool – a dark, psychological thriller.

His second novel, Hemlock Jones & The Angel of Death, is a Young Adult novel and the first in a series featuring Hemlock Jones, the fiery 12-year-old demystifier whose brain easily equals and surpasses that of the famous consulting detective, Sherlock Holmes. “Hemlock Jones & The Angel of Death” won a Silver Medal in the 2017 Wishing Shelf Awards.

Now, Justin has published the second book in the Hemlock Jones Chronicles: Hemlock Jones & The Underground Orphans, perfect for all fans of 10 years and above of adventurous detective mysteries!

Follow Justin on – Author websiteTwitterFacebookAmazonGoodReads

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

Darkest Hour by Rachel Churcher @Rachel_Churcher @rararesources #Bookreview

I am delighted to share my review for Darkest Hour by Rachel Churcher. This is the third book in this series and it is just getting better, more intriguing and addictive with each each book. It is a series that really should be read in order. My huge thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of this book.

Let me show you what it is all about…

Bex Ellman and Ketty Smith are fighting on opposite sides in a British civil war. Bex and her friends are in hiding, but when Ketty threatens her family, Bex learns that her safety is more fragile than she thought.

The Battle Ground series is set in a dystopian near-future UK, after Brexit and Scottish independence.

Purchase Link

Darkest Hour is the 3rd book I have read in the Battleground series. The first book was mainly about Bex, the 2nd about Ketty and the 3rd book joins them both together again. Now these two young girls are not friends, Ketty was a trainer at the Recruit Training Service, a government run organisation. Bex was a recruit until she decided to turn to the rebels side.

The series is set in the UK and is set in the future after Brexit and Scottish Independance. Britain has isolated itself and all those living in Britain are under a Big Brother style regime. Ketty has gained promotion and has moved to London whereas Bex and her friends are in a safe house.

This is such a brilliant series and feels very topical given the state of the British Goverment at the moment with Brexit looming ever closer. There is a divide between people as well as the UK and there is an ever present feel of a country that is struggling.

I love the way the author describes the very different ways in which propaganda is used to justify people being taken prisoner and held as terrorists. The author balances it well with the side of the terrorists/ rebels that are trying to overthrow and reveal the truth behind the government forces actions.

Bex is on the run and holds a huge amount of guilt for those she has left behind at training camp and also at a previous safe house. She struggles to come to terms with her emotions. The author delves into this characters fears and guilt well, even little victories have a price to pay. Ketty however is constantly frustrated at not being able to find Bex and her friends. She is always one step behind, but there is also an added pressure of having to prove her worth and show that she is worthy of her new promotion. She also ups in the game in this one, and the bait is dangled very provocatively to tempt the rebels into a false move.

The author weaves a good amount of suspicion and corruption into her stories. But this book has something else that has started to creep in, its realisation. The realisation that is unsettling that maybe things are not quite right.

This is a series that should be read in order, there are so many details that explain where this series is up to. Histories and backgrounds as well as different perspectives and points of view have been explored and each book paves the way to the next. I cannot wait to see where the author goes next.

This is a book, in fact a series that is set in the future and has a great dystopian, big brother vibe to it. It is aimed as a Young Adult / Teen but this adult is loving it and Highly recommends it. Roll on December when the next book is due out 🙂

achel Churcher was born between the last manned moon landing, and the first orbital Space Shuttle mission. She remembers watching the launch of STS-1, and falling in love with space flight, at the age of five. She fell in love with science fiction shortly after that, and in her teens she discovered dystopian fiction. In an effort to find out what she wanted to do with her life, she collected degrees and other qualifications in Geography, Science Fiction Studies, Architectural Technology, Childminding, and Writing for Radio.

She has worked as an editor on national and in-house magazines; as an IT trainer; and as a freelance writer and artist. She has renovated several properties, and has plenty of horror stories to tell about dangerous electrics and nightmare plumbers. She enjoys reading, travelling, stargazing, and eating good food with good friends – but nothing makes her as happy as writing fiction.

Her first published short story appeared in an anthology in 2014, and the Battle Ground series is her first long-form work. Rachel lives in East Anglia, in a house with a large library and a conservatory full of house plants. She would love to live on Mars, but only if she’s allowed to bring her books.

Follow Rachel on – TwitterInstagramGoodreadsBlog

See what other Book Bloggers think and check out their stops on the Blog Tour…

Many thanks for reading my post 🙂 xx

Blindsighted by Karin Slaughter #20booksofsummer #bookreview

I am delighted to welcome you to my thoughts on Blindsighted by Karin Slaughter. I own several books by this author and this is the first I have read. This is book #1 in the Grant County series and it was a cracking read. It is #17 in my reading challenge for #20 Books Of Summer.

Let me show you what it is all about…

The first book in Karin Slaughter’s #1 bestselling GRANT COUNTY series.

She was found in the local diner. Brutally murdered. Ritually mutilated.
And she won’t be the last.
___________________

The sleepy town of Heartsdale, Georgia, is jolted into panic when Sara Linton, paediatrician and medical examiner, finds Sibyl Adams dead in the local diner. As well as being viciously raped, Sibyl has been cut: two deep knife wounds form a lethal cross over her stomach. But it’s only once Sara starts to perform the post-mortem that the full extent of the killer’s brutality becomes clear.

Police chief Jeffrey Tolliver – Sara’s ex-husband – is in charge of the investigation, and when a second victim is found, crucified, only a few days later, both Jeffrey and Sara have to face the fact that Sibyl’s murder wasn’t a one-off attack. What they’re dealing with is a seasoned sexual predator. A violent serial killer…

I have to say right from the off that I really, really enjoyed this book and what a fabulous introduction to a “new to me” author!

The synopsis is one that gives a great idea as to what the story is about, not that I read the synopsis until I have finished reading the book! It does give an indication that this story is going to be a bit on the brutal side, and yes it and in such a brilliant way.

Dr. Sara Linton is the medical examiner/ coroner whose main job is a paediatrician. She works for her ex-husband while doing her role as coroner, not ideal but they do still talk to each other. Oh I should mention that her ex is Police Chief Jeffrey Tolliver.

Sara stumbles on the victim in a toilet booth. Sybil has been brutally murdered, and I must add it is quite a bloody affair and as wrong as this sounds… it was so good. It meant that straight away I wanted to know more, the how’s, the why’s and the who’s, it made me impatient and I was addicted straight away.

So with a beginning like that, I knew this was going to be a good book. A great opening with blood, guts, murder and a character I was going to get on with and like. Over the course of the story I got to know Sara a little better, her family, her past and also her relationship with her ex.

The author builds up the story and gradually adds more intrigue and never was I close to working out who was responsible, though I did have the odd idea floating around. The characters fall into various categories, those you will like, those you won’t and those that don’t quite sit right but you don’t know why! I like the way the author littered this story with seeds of doubt, it kept me on my toes and my fingers turning the pages.

Having a main character as a coroner meant I was able to see inside the examination room so to speak, and it was not pleasant but at the same time it was again very good. The descriptions of the bodies and what had happened to them made me shudder and curl my toes up. The investigation was brilliantly paced and move along nicely.

This book could just as easily been called Blindsided rather than Blindsighted and I was the former for most of the story. This author got the balance right with regards to the case, the drama of the personal lives and also the tension and stress in trying to track down the killer.

So as I mentioned, this is the first time of reading anything by this author and what a brilliant book I chose to read. I can definitely see why she is so popular. I am looking forward to reading more in the series as well as the others that she has written. It’s great to find a new author who has lots of already published books out there.

And, as if you really needed me to mention this…. I would Absolutely Recommend Blindsighted!


Book #17 of 20


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

The Death of Justice by Tony J Forder @TonyJForder @Bloodhoundbook #bookreview

I am absolutely delighted to welcome you to read my thoughts on The Death of Justice by Tony J Forder. This is #5 in the DI Bliss series and I want to say a huge thank you to Heather at Bloodhound Books for arranging for an e-copy of Tony’s latest book.

I am a huge fan of this series and the author, and this latest book is bloody brilliant!

Let me show you what it is all about…

To keep a secret hidden you must bury the truth

One night. Two shootings. Two victims.

When DI Bliss arrives at the scene of the second murder, he recognises the same three-shot pattern as the first. But there is one major difference: the second victim has been decapitated, the head nowhere to be found. When a second headless corpse is discovered the following day, Bliss and his team realise the killer is on a spree – and he’s not done yet.

After Bliss links the killings and forms a task force with officers from Lincolnshire, they uncover further disturbing news: the murders are not the first in the series – there are four more headless victims, and the Lincolnshire team believe they know why. Not only that, they are also convinced that more potential victims are on the killer’s list.

In a race against time to save further loss of life, Bliss constantly finds himself one step behind and chasing shadows. In order to flush out the hired assassin, he and his team have no choice but to put their own lives at risk. But will everyone survive? 

This is the latest in the DI Bliss series, and you know I am going to say that Yes you should read this series in order. There are smaller personal stories that are running through the series, and they are mentioned in the books but obviously are much better when read in order.

Oh Wow, what a book! This for me see’s a real step up for this author, I have always been a fan of his books, but this one just knocks the socks off what I have read by him… so far! This author always provides a good solid read and I have enjoyed reading the developments with the characters and the addictive story lines. For me, The Death of Justice sees this author step things up big time.

The case begins with a shooting, it is then followed by a decapitation. This is only the beginning! Bliss and his team realise that this could be the start of something much bigger and things could spectacularly spiral out of control. There is a sense of not having much time as Bliss and his department have to cross into another county and co-operation is required across the county borders. Bliss has never really been one for tact and diplomacy and is often found stamping on toes within the hierarchy, but this time he is going to have to hold back, well to a certain extent!

The author has definitely ramped up the complexity in the case as Bliss finds himself in an investigation that has him pulled from pillar to post and is struggling to be everywhere he wants to be. Yet while the case is complex for Bliss, it is not for the reader. I found it easy to follow and I like the logical progress the author uses for Bliss.

Bliss is old school and knows about grey areas and experienced in reading people. He is one of those characters that does interact well with his team, they are valued and respected by Bliss and they have a bond that has been built up over time. This is where I back up my statement about reading in order.

As well as the complex case , the author has injected a great pace to this story. There is definitely a “race against time” aspect to the investigation. It adds to the dramatic and tense that is present throughout. The unusual nature of the case means Bliss is given a little more leeway than usual, he has this with the blessing of his superiors. This is the grey area that Bliss seems to thrive in, and he is definitely well placed to think outside the box as far as protocol and procedure is concerned.

This story starts dramatically and ends spectacularly dramatically. I was able to get up to date with the smaller personal stories in the lives of the regular characters, while they are not major storylines and they do fade during the investigation, they make an appearance again at the end. They are poignant and I like them a lot.

In between the main story there is also some chapters from the perspective of another character. Oh my goodness are they chilling and creepy or what! This adds a great psychological suspense to the story and definitely gets the spine tingling as I read these particular chapters.

Emotions… well… Yes Mr Forder you broke me! That means you got it absolutely right! The author mentions in a note at the end of the story about the balance of this story, my floods of tears meant that for me it was right. Yes it was balanced, the investigation is obviously the main focus, but in with that there was drama, suspicion, tension, emotion and complexity and they all have an important part to play.

This is without doubt THE best book I have read by this author. So many things I loved about it and even though there is a sadness it also made sense because not everything is finite and there are things that happen in daily life that is life itself. I also feel that this is a huge step forward in a series I already love and has left me with such a feeling of “WOW that was bloody good!”

I would have happily read this book in one sitting, instead I had to read it over a couple of days, it’s so annoying when you have to work a night shift ad you would rather be sat at home with your head in a book!

This is a book that , as if you need telling at this point, that I would absolutely would Highly Recommend!

Tony J Forder is the author of the critically acclaimed and international bestselling crime thriller series featuring Peterborough based detectives Jimmy Bliss and Penny Chandler. The first four books, Bad to the Bone, The Scent of Guilt, If Fear Wins, and The Reach of Shadows, will be joined on 9 September by The Death of Justice.

Tony’s dark, psychological crime thriller, Degrees of Darkness, featuring ex-detective Frank Rogers, was also published by Bloodhound Books.

Scream Blue Murder was written as a standalone, but even before it was published back in November 2017, he had decided to write the sequel, Cold Winter Sun, which was released on 1 November 2018.

Tony lives with his wife in Peterborough, UK, and is busy working on book six in the DI Bliss series, as well as another novel, Fifteen Coffins. 

Follow tony on his – Website Twitter

See what other Book Bloggers think and check out their stops on the Blog Blitz xx

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

False Flag by Rachel Churcher @ @rararesources #bookreview

I am delighted to share my thoughts for False Flag by Rachel Churcher. This is #2 in the Battleground series. My thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on the Blog Tour and also to Rachel Churcher for my e-copy of the book.

Let’s see what is is about…

Ketty Smith is an instructor with the Recruit Training Service, turning sixteen-year-old conscripts into government fighters. She’s determined to win the job of lead instructor at Camp Bishop, but the arrival of Bex and her friends brings challenges she’s not ready to handle. Running from her own traumatic past, Ketty faces a choice: to make a stand, and expose a government conspiracy, or keep herself safe, and hope she’s working for the winning side.

The Battle Ground series is set in a dystopian near-future UK, after Brexit and Scottish independence.

Purchase Link: HERE

I really enjoyed the first book in this series, so I was looking forward to seeing what happened next. I started reading and thought ‘hang on, this sounds familiar and yet different!’. It is the same timeline as the previous book but from a different perspective and it worked really well for me.

This is a Young Adult dystopian book that is set in the near future, post-Brexit. The series pits ‘terrorists’ against the government, but it is not as basic as that, nothing is black and white in the series.

In False Flag I discovered, as I have mentioned, a similar story to the first book. The timeline and the people are the same, but it is from the perspective of the trainers in the Training Camp. The camps are for 16 year olds recruited from schools, the trainers are basically there to kick the newcomers into shape.

I liked the perspective reversal a lot as it challenged my thoughts that I had built up from the first book. Originally I thought Ketty was a glory hunting bully, and yes while she is a bully there is something more to her. I started to reassess her cold hearted persona and discovered reasons and motives in her.

Reading this book was a retelling of the first and it gives the reader a chance to sit on the proverbial fence and see things from both sides. For a book aimed a YA Readers it gives definite food for thought and is a way to challenge preconceptions and that there is always two sides to a story.

This is again a fast paced book that is full of action conspiracy and has a challenging reader dilemma. I liked the way Kitty his put on the spot on several occasions and has to not only think on her feet, but also think about herself.

Another great read that had me thinking about how I originally saw and thought of the characters. Can’t wait to see what the author has lined up next, or which way she is going to go. It gets a Definitely Recommended from Me.


If you want to see my review of Battleground #1, then please click HERE.

Rachel Churcher was born between the last manned moon landing, and the first orbital Space Shuttle mission. She remembers watching the launch of STS-1, and falling in love with space flight, at the age of five. She fell in love with science fiction shortly after that, and in her teens she discovered dystopian fiction. In an effort to find out what she wanted to do with her life, she collected degrees and other qualifications in Geography, Science Fiction Studies, Architectural Technology, Childminding, and Writing for Radio.

She has worked as an editor on national and in-house magazines; as an IT trainer; and as a freelance writer and artist. She has renovated several properties, and has plenty of horror stories to tell about dangerous electrics and nightmare plumbers. She enjoys reading, travelling, stargazing, and eating good food with good friends – but nothing makes her as happy as writing fiction.

Her first published short story appeared in an anthology in 2014, and the Battle Ground series is her first long-form work. Rachel lives in East Anglia, in a house with a large library and a conservatory full of house plants. She would love to live on Mars, but only if she’s allowed to bring her books.

Follow Rachel on – TwitterInstagramGoodreadsBlog

See what other Book Bloggers think by following the Tour…

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

Boxer Boys Collection by Nick Rippington @nickripp #bookreview @BOTBSPublicity

I am delighted to welcome you to read my thoughts as I help to kick off the Blog Tour for Boxer Boys Collection by Nick Rippington. My huge thanks to Nick for sending me the 3 e-book set and to Sarah Hardy at BOTBSPublicity for the invite onto the Blog Tour. This collection is a series of 3 books and I will try by best to give you a mini review for each book…

But first how about I let you know what the Boxer Boys Collection is all about…

Some Family feuds just won’t go away… For 40 years the Dolans and the Marshalls have lived side by side on the same rundown housing estate in east London. While teens Gary Marshall and Arnie Dolan forge a close friendship, fighting constant battles to survive both on the streets and closer to home, the relationship between their parents is complicated and, at times, toxic. Gradually family secrets emerge which have their roots in the early 80s… and Gary and Arnie realise their entire upbringing was built on lies.  

So first up is Crossing the White

Gary Marshall is being bullied on the rundown London estate he lives on, local lad Arnie (Arnold) Dolan steps in and saves Gary from a beating. This is the start of a friendship that see’s the boys through their teens and is the start of the Boxer Boys.

It is a story of family, friendship, changing from kids into adults and watching each others backs. Over the course of the story it becomes apparent that Gary is drawn into the murkier side than he really wants to. Things go awry for Gary and his chances at living his dream in a career he is passionate about, instead he takes different route.

This is a gritty read that deals with teens in the sprawling and gang ruled estates of London. There are various things that have been dealt with and it adds to the authentic feel of the story.

A great first book in the collection and it made me want to know exactly what was going to happen next. So much so that I went straight onto the 2nd in the set.

Spark Out

This is a book that goes back to the era of Gary and Arnies parents, mainly the Dolans, but the Marshall’s do have a part to play. The Dolan family is made up of Big Mo & Beryl and, Chuck their eldest, it is also about Clive, Big Mo’s brother.

This has a different feel to it and it was nice to get to know more about the family of the boys I had met in the first book. Big Mo is, well tough to say the least. He has a fiery temper and is the sort that hits first and then asks questions later and he is the leader of a shady small group of friends. The Dolan’s have a reputation not to be messed with.

Clive and Mo are very different in what they want out of their lives. Mo is about power, reputation and money. Clive is about wanting more from his life and this is why he joins the Scots Guards. This is the time of Maggie Thatcher in the 80’s and the Falklands conflict. Nobody thought that would come to anything and so off Clive goes. History tells us that this was something and Clive is not the same person he was when he left.

This is a more emotional read as well as having more violence. It gives a great insight into the families, their priorities and loyalty. It’s all about the family and who they are.

Once again as soon as I had finished this one I was straight onto the next…

Dying Seconds

Back again with Gary and Arnie, or should I say Gareth and Arnie. The previous books were extensive in their groundwork and this is brought to a fabulous conclusion in Dying Seconds. It is 2016 and while Garth is dealing with a job in Wales, Rugby and Football matches, Arnie is having to come to terms with his new lifestyle.

He has had his role in the Boxer Boys changed and the families are fracturing with tension and suspicions are running at an all time high.

There is a lot for the two men to deal with and their responsibilities and loyalties have changed. Gareth’s past is brought up to date and he can finally deal with things that have been hanging over him for the past few years.

This is a tense 3rd book and it is where all the threads are finally pulled together and things slot into their proper places. It is a story full of doubt, suspicion and fear and it is full of pace.


OVERALL – this has been a great series and I really do apologise for being so vague, but I was aware that if I wasn’t careful then spoilers would slip out.

The three stories combine to give a fabulous insight in two main families and the trials and tribulations that go with them. There are so many things that happen along the way for not only the families but also the boys as well.

The style of the story is gritty and it fits so well with the gangland setting. As much as there is violence with the story as you would expect, there is also much more than that. It is a story that show the dynamics of family and society of the respective times the stories are set in. It is about loyalty and friendship and how long they can be stretched before something gives.

This has been a really good collection of 3 stories that are intertwined and linked and that span the years. They each have a connection to each other and yet at the same time each have a different feel in the way they read. After reading Nick’s Bio I can see that he brings his own knowledge and experiences to his writing. This is a collection that I thoroughly enjoyed each one of the books and I would suggest that they are definitely read in order, you could argue that they could be read as stand alone books but for me they worked perfectly as they were set out.

It is one of those collections that falls into several categories. I add my own tags and the ones I have chosen for this is, Urban Fiction, Family Drama, Family & Lifestyle and Contemporary Fiction as well as General Fiction. I think it is one would interest many readers.

A fabulous collection and one I would Definitely Recommend.

NICK RIPPINGTON is one of the victims of the News of the World phone-hacking scandal you never hear about. 

As the newspaper’s Welsh Sports Editor, he was made redundant with two days notice when Rupert Murdoch closed down Europe’s biggest-selling tabloid in 2011. 

On holiday at the time, Nick was never allowed back into the building, investigators sealed off the area with crime scene tape and seized his computer, which contained all the secrets to his Fantasy Football selections.

Handed the contents of his desk in a black bin bag in a murky car park, deep throat style, Nick was at a crossroads – married just two years earlier and with a wife and 9-month-old baby to support. Options were limited but self-publishing was booming. Having hit on an idea for a UK gangland thriller taking place against the backdrop of the Rugby World Cup, in 2015 he produced Crossing The Whitewash.

The book was praised by many, received an honourable mention in the genre category of the Writers’ Digest self-published eBook awards and more than 25 five-star reviews on both sides of the pond. 

Almost two years after Crossing The Whitewash came the second in the Boxer Boys series, a prequel called Spark Out, which was released in paperback on July 1 and for Kindle on July 10, 2017. The book received an award for best cover of 2017 with the Chill With A Book website, along with a readers award, before receiving the IndieBRAG medallion from a prestigious site covering Independent writers and publishers throughout the world.

The third book in the Boxer Boys series Dying Seconds, a sequel to Crossing the Whitewash, was released in December 2018.

Married to Liz, Nick is now a full-time back bench designer on the Daily Star sports desk and has two daughters – Jemma, 36, and Olivia, 8. A Bristolian at heart, he lives near Ilford, Essex. In the past he has worked for the Sunday Mirror, Wales on Sunday and Media Wales in Cardiff as an executive editor.

You can follow Nick on…

FacebookTwitterGoodreads Author PageWebsiteAmazon Author Page in the UK

See what other Book Bloggers thought of The Boxer Boys books by following the Blog Tour


Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share is always appreciated 🙂 xx

Silent Scream by Angela Marsons #20booksofsummer #bookreview

I am delighted to share my thoughts on Silent Scream by Angela Marsons. This is a series I have been seeing and hearing good things about from other readers. It has taken me a while but I have finally started the series.

Let me show you what it is all about…

Even the darkest secrets can’t stay buried forever …

Five figures gather round a shallow grave. They had all taken turns to dig. An adult sized hole would have taken longer. An innocent life had been taken but the pact had been made. Their secrets would be buried, bound in blood …

Years later, a headmistress is found brutally murdered, the first in a spate of gruesome killings which shock the Black Country.

But when human remains are discovered at a former children’s home, disturbing secrets are also unearthed. D.I. Kim Stone fast realises she’s on the hunt for a twisted individual whose killing spree spans decades.

As the body count rises, Kim needs to stop the murderer before they strike again. But to catch the killer, can Kim confront the demons of her own past before it’s too late?

This author has created a fabulous and feisty character in the form of DI Kim Stone. Along with Stone, there is a brilliant team supporting her. Her main sidekick is Bryant and seems to be a “voice of reason” to Stone’s abrupt, “bull in a china shop” approach. The banter between these two is so good and there is a strong sense of friendship and respect between them. There are strong characters in this story and with this strength there is going to be the odd clash, especially with her superior. Luckily for Stone she delivers results so she does have a bit of leeway.

The case itself is that of the discovery of a body that has been found on a local dig site. These requires a different skill set and a specialist team are called in. I love the way the author has used Bates, one of those brought in, and almost painted a bulls-eye on him for Stone’s sarcasm. It is actually something that is a good thing as this sarcasm is usually when a discussion about a body is due to be dealt with. It kind of breaks the tension before the nitty gritty details about the body takes place.

During the case I was able to learn some interesting stuff about Stone, they came in little snippets that were scattered through the story. I have a feeling she is a complex character from what I have learnt about her so far and I think there is a lot more to come.

This story was one that once I started I had problems putting down. It was immediately engaging and really did keep my attention. There is a good amount of detail in the various aspects of the investigation that for me worked really well and these were balanced wonderfully with the more personal side of Stone’s life-history.

This is a series I am so happy about finally beginning, and the best bit is… there are several more books in the series for me to catch up on.

Silent Scream is a book I would Definitely Recommend!


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

Jennifer Brown Moving On by Angie Langley #BookReview

I am delighted to welcome you to my thoughts on Jennifer Brown by Angie Langley. This is the 2nd book in this series, even though you could read it as a stand alone I would suggest reading in order as it gives you more insight into it’s main character. The first is Jennifer Brown’s Journey 😊

Let me show you what it is all about…

She’s back! 
Five feet one and full of fizz, Jennifer Brown has learned to roll with the punches and adapt to whatever life throws at her. It’s thrown plenty in the past and she’s had to use her steely core to reinvent herself, first as cook and housekeeper to a saucy sexagenarian, then as manager of a tumbledown country estate with sensitive secrets.

In Jennifer Brown On The Move, this Bridget Jones with knobs on is taking charge of her life again, showing the world she can move in the most exalted, high-power circles and lose not an ounce of her gutsy, down-to-earth charm. Her hilarious cross-dressing confidant Will is on hand once again, with pearls of caustic widsom, and her old boss Jonathan Dashwood-Silk breezes in and out of her life, still dripping charisma but still needing our heroine to dig him out of the odd hole. As she crosses continents and breaks bread with the world’s movers and shakers, Jennifer Brown finds her mind still troubled by thoughts of the quiet man with the warm eyes and the velvet vowels. Then that daydream is torpedoed when she’s invited to his wedding. 


But you know Jennifer. She never gives up! 

Oh it is so good to catch up again with Jennifer and see what she is going to get up to again. After her last job she moves into a different area as far as her career goes. This time she is all about the wine. How it’s made, the industry, the growing and most importantly the selling. Unlike me who see’s wine as something to be bought and drunk, there are those who will spend vast amounts on a bottle just to have it in a collection…. what a waste! But then I am someone who thinks that buying a £10 bottle for Christmas is a treat…😁 What do I know! 😂

So, Jennifer is a fabulous character, bubbly, blond and larger than her 5ft 1″ belies. She has to think on her feet as she makes her way through life and deals with whatever comes her way regardless of the up’s or down’s that may lay ahead.

This story also see’s the return of some characters from the previous book as well as some new ones. There are a few characters in the story but to be honest they are easy to get to know and remember.

The author has taken a terrific route for Jennifer and the story and by the time I had got to the end I think I was as surprised as Jennifer, and also so very pleased for her.

Jennifer has time for others, never mind what she needs to get done herself. This means the story itself has a nice feel about it. But not everything is sunshine and luscious grapes, and there are dark clouds that add a nice balance to the story.

On the outside Jennifer is bubbly, warm and appears to be in control, however she has her worries and concerns about her abilities. I had faith in her, as did others, but it is always what’s going on on the inside that upskittles a person. This lack of confidence leads to some hilarious faux pax moments for poor Jennifer and they definitely had me chuckling. These little stumbles for me were good as it meant that I saw Jennifer as a normal person rather than the wonder woman she may comes across as.

By the end of the book, well what can I say… hmmm not too much actually… apart from, there are things from the first that make a grand entrance and not only did it blow my socks off I was so happy. This is why I would suggest reading the first book before this one. Talk about having the hugest grin on my face or what! I know Jennifer is fictional, but the author has created a character and story that I would love to know in reality.

This is such a wonderful story that is lighthearted and one that leaves you feeling “aahhh!” if you know what I mean. It is one I quite happily read in an afternoon as the storyline was one that held my attention. I cannot wait to see what happens next to Jennifer Brown, I am sure it will be wonderful with the odd stumble.

Jennifer Brown Moving On get a Definitely Recommended from Me!


Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share is always appreciated 🙂 xx

Nightblind by Ragnar Jonasson #20booksofsummer #bookreview

I am delighted to welcome you to my thoughts on Nightblind by Ragnar Jonasson. This is the 2nd in the Dark Iceland series and it has been around 18 months since I read the first book Snowblind!

Let me show you what Nightblind is all about…

Siglufjörður: an idyllically quiet fishing village on the northernmost tip of Iceland, accessible only via a small mountain tunnel. Ari Thór Arason: a local policeman, whose tumultuous past and uneasy relationships with the villagers continue to haunt him. The peace of this close-knit community is shattered by the murder of a policeman – shot at point-blank range in the dead of night in a deserted house. With a killer on the loose and the dark arctic winter closing in, it falls to Ari Thór to piece together a puzzle that involves tangled local politics, a compromised new mayor, and a psychiatric ward in Reykjavik, where someone is being held against their will. Then a mysterious young woman moves to the area, on the run from something she dare not reveal, and it becomes all too clear that tragic events from the past are weaving a sinister spell that may threaten them all.

Dark, chilling and complex, Nightblind is an extraordinary thriller from an undeniable new talent.

This is set in Siglufjörður, Iceland (I still have trouble pronouncing this one!) and a killer is on the loose, the victim is a local police officer. Ari Thor is called off sick leave to investigate. He doesn’t know much about his dead colleague so Ari Thor has some catching up to do given the length of time he has been off.

this is listed as #2 in the series but, it is set 5 years after Snowblind. There is a sense of things that have happened in those 5 years. On further investigation I have discovered that the series has been published in this order, but it doesn’t follow the chronological order… does that make sense… I do hope so! Given this, I was still able to follow and in fact has left me twitching to read the next book in the series to fill in the intriguing gaps!

The story is faster paced than the first one and at just over 200 pages it is a quick read. this author really does excel at creating a brooding atmosphere. There is the feeling that people are holding things back or are working to their own agenda. The small community seems to know a lot but divulge very little. It adds an extra level of tense suspicion to the story.

There are several things that Ari Thor has to deal with. He needs the help of his old friend and boss, Tomas. While Ari Thor is a more cautious man, Tomas is not, he is blunt and to the point with his questioning and really doesn’t mind ruffling the odd feather or four.

The story has two different styles, there is the main story, then there are pages written in italics. The italic pages are from an anonymous person. I liked this switch between the two styles, it gets the old brain cells clicking and whirring trying to workout the connection between the two. I love that “realisation moment” when things suddenly become clear.

This is another fantastic read and if you are a fan of crime, mystery and noir then this is definitely one that should be on your list.

Nightblind gets a Definitely Recommended from Me!


Many thanks for reading my post, likes and shares are always appreciated 🙂 xx

Book 15 of 20

Raven’s Wand by Steve Hutton #20booksofsummer #bookreview

I am delighted to be finally sharing my review for Raven’s Wand by Steve Hutton. I say finally because the publishers, Boddington & Royall sent me a copy of this book several months ago and it has taken me until now to read it, many apologies to them for the lateness of the this review. And to also add, Yes you were right, I did enjoy it! 😊

I have included this book in the #20 Books of Summer Reading Challenge. It seems quite appropriate, and definitely unplanned, that this is the 13th book I read in the challenge! 😲

So, let me show you what it is all about…

Raven’s Wand sees two opposing secret societies waging a war of belief behind the skin of Victorian Britain. One uses magic to heal the world, while the other twists it into abominations and war machines. It is 1886 and a battle is about to be waged; Knight Superior Krast of the Illuminata is prepared for victory but fate is not wholly on his side.

Many years later, the survivors of that dreadful day will meet again. Kolfinnia has a great task set before her and, with the aid of the Raven wand, she dares more than she ever dreamed possible. A tale of two clashing worlds. The world of Kolfinnia and those who wish to eliminate her and all of her kind. Raven’s Wand is Book 1 in The Dark Raven Chronicles. Book 2: Flowers of Fate will be published Autumn 2016

The setting of 1886, Victorian Britain is absolutely spot on for this story. It is an era that still believes in the mysteries of the occult, witchcraft, superstition and traditional beliefs, it gives the perfect platform for witches and magic. On the flip side of the era coin is the the progression of industry, power, politics and propaganda. This is where the Illuminata come in, rounding up witches and destroying covens.

The story is focused around the Wildwood coven and of Knight Superior Krast. They both value the two sleeping dragons, the witches to protect them and Krast to possess them and their power.

I loved the contrast of the two sides to this “good ‘v’ evil” style story. The witches are very much at one with nature and is in harmony with living things, they nurture the young to understand their position in all things and their role in the world. Krast and the Illuminata however, well they want to possess and control things. The witches and the two hidden dragons have a power that can be harnessed and controlled, this has a double whammy as such, it means that Krast gets stronger and also the witches are destroyed. He builds great machines that cause devastation and destruction giving an almost steampunk vibe to the story.

The author has woven a fabulous story that just has a fantastic feel to it. He has successfully mixed in various things like, superstition, tradition, legend and folk lore into his tale. A nature ‘v’ man-made element is quite strong and so are the beliefs and politics that come with that, both believing they are right. It is one of those books that simply drew me in from the very beginning and had me eagerly turning the pages.

The characters are just wonderful, a maniacal power hungry Krast against the gentle coven, but don’t think for a moment that the witches are a walk over, they are most certainly not! The characters are very memorable and there are a few, but honestly, I found them easy to keep up with. the other thing I liked was that there were no strange names that I had to try and get my head around, this was great and also fitted with the time and setting of the story. The characters have traits and characteristics and as you get to know them you soon work out which side of the fence they sit, well most of them you do!

The setting is again another great contrast, the busy hustle bustle, smoke filled and noisy city of London is very different to the more rugged, tranquil, natural setting of the South West, an area that is full of legend, myth and folklore.

This is the first book in the series and it definitely wowed me. It is such an easy book to disappear into with a story that captured me and kept it’s hold. It moves along at a good pace and has a good amount of tension, intrigue, mystery and surprise.

In case you had not yet worked it out… Yes I loved this book a lot, a fantasy with wonderful characters, story-lines, settings and contrasts. These made it wonderful reading and has definitely left me wanting to know what happens next.

Raven’s Wand get a Definitely Recommended from Me!


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

Book 13 of 20