The One by John Marrs

The One by John Marrs is the last book I read as part of my #20booksofsummer reading challenge and what a book to end the challenge with !!!!! It has taken me a month to get the final reviews posted, but better late than never!

Before I get carried away, let me show you what this book is about…

Synopsis…

Soon to be a major Netflix Original series and perfect for fans of Caroline Kepnes’s You
__________________________
HOW FAR WOULD YOU GO TO FIND THE ONE?

One simple mouth swab is all it takes. A quick DNA test to find your perfect partner – the one you’re genetically made for.

A decade after scientists discover everyone has a gene they share with just one other person, millions have taken the test, desperate to find true love. Now, five more people meet their Match. But even soul mates have secrets. And some are more shocking – and deadlier – than others…

You can get a copy of this and other books by John Marrs HERE

My Review…

I have seen several readers rave about this book in various book groups on Facebook and thought yeah it’s about time I read it. I should have read this when I first bought it as it is such an amazing book to read.

The basic premise is that a gene in human DNA has been identified and it is now possible to find your perfect match, the love of your life, your soul mate.

So is science a sure-fire way of finding the person you are meant to be with? Is this cheating fate if you are led to the one or does fate still have a hand in the natural way of things? I really enjoyed the various different ways that this subject has been expanded on. Some of the scenarios mentioned are what if you are matched with someone of the same sex, what if you are already in a relationship and find that your DNA shows it is not the one. What if there are other problems of a medical kind? These are the tip of an ice-berg that took a wonderful slippery path around the possibilities.

I adored the way the author approached various themes in his story. Introducing and exploring the characters and what makes them tick, but more importantly gradually drawing their secrets out. There is a whole lot of twist in this book and I loved the journey with some unexpected revelations and surprises.

I really enjoyed this fictional look at love and human nature. Secrets, shocks, surprises all wrapped up in such a wonderfully gripping and addictive story. A mix of mystery, crime, psychological, contemporary and basically a really cracking read that left me wishing I had read it when I first bought it. I would most definitely recommend this book.

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

Ravens Gathering by Graeme Cumming #20booksofsummer #thriller #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Raven’s Gathering by Graeme Cumming. This was one of the books I added to my #20booksofsummer reading list, and yes, I am still playing catch-up on the reviews. Raven’s Gathering was a fabulous read and let me show you more about it…

Synopsis…

As she let her gaze drift around her, she saw that there were more birds. Perhaps a dozen or so, perched among the trees that stood on the edge of the clearing. And yet more were arriving, swooping down through the gap overhead and landing on branches that overlooked them. The birds weren’t threatening, yet the sight of them all coming together in this dark and isolated spot was unnerving. Tanya reached a hand out towards Martin, and was relieved to feel him take it. She felt him move in behind her. After the uncertainty she’d experienced with him in a similar position only a few moments ago, she recognised the irony of her reaction. His closeness offered security.

“You know what they are, don’t you?” 

A stranger’s arrival in a small village coincides with a tragic accident. For the Gates family in particular it’s more than a coincidence, but their unease increases following a brutal attack. As tensions rise, a dark past returns to haunt them and others, while newcomers to the village are drawn into a mystery with terrifying consequences. And no one can explain why the ravens are gathering.

Ravens Gathering twists and turns as the truth is gradually exposed in a gripping thriller with a supernatural edge to it.

You can get your own copy from Amazon, HERE is the link to his Author Page 🙂

My Review…

I went into this book blind, by this I mean I didn’t read the synopsis immediately prior to starting it so I was unsure what to expect. From a dark, eerie and very creepy start, it took me on a journey that I found myself very quickly wrapped up in.

This is the first book I have read by this author and I have to say I really enjoyed it as it crossed genres. A mix of suspense, family secrets a little fantasy and a sense of an underlying ominous sense of something nasty lurking around the edges.

The main character is Martin Gates, he has returned to his childhood home after being away for many years. He hasn’t been in touch with his family in all this time. So his arrival is tinged with a sense of nervousness and also apprehension. Returning to a village community I would expect to see something along the lines of being asked how you are, or its been a while but no. Not in this village. Strangers are met with a silence and wariness that borders on being almost hostile. The only spirit is found in the pub in a bottle, a pub that falls silent when unknown people enter.

The author built up such a sense of foreboding and an air of suspense with this story as I was unsure what was actually happening and what route the story would take. But through this, I was still hooked on the atmospherics, the mistrust, the strange occurrences and too many coincidences. It was further into the story that I began to see how the various threads were gradually linked together. It led me to a story that was dark, secretive, mysterious and quite creepy.

This was such a good book to read as I really enjoyed the suspense that was woven through along with the eerie atmosphere. As I read, I was aware that there were many things that were unknown to me, but the author did a fantastic job of gradually filling in the gaps and also putting back on the right track when I was caught out by the red herrings.

A wonderful book that is a mix of things but one that absolutely captured my attention so that I read it over two sittings. A book that ticked many boxes for me and one that I would definitely recommend.

About the Author…

Photo and Bio taken from Graeme’s Amazon Page

Graeme Cumming lives in Robin Hood country. He has wide and varied tastes when it comes to fiction so he’s conscious that his thrillers can cross into territories including horror, fantasy and science fiction as well as more traditional arenas. 
When not writing, Graeme is an enthusiastic sailor (and, by default, swimmer), and enjoys off-road cycling and walking. He is currently Education Director at Sheffield Speakers Club. Oh yes, and he reads (a lot) and loves the cinema.

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

The Guest List by Lucy Foley #20booksofsummer #crimefiction #bookreview

I am delighted to share review for another of the books I chose for “20booksofsummer reading challenge. The Guest List by Lucy Foley is a cracking read and head me guessing right the way through.

Here’s what it’s all about…

Synopsis…

A wedding celebration turns dark and deadly in this deliciously wicked and atmospheric thriller reminiscent of Agatha Christie from the New York Times bestselling author of The Hunting Party.

The bride – The plus one – The best man – The wedding planner – The bridesmaid – The body

On an island off the coast of Ireland, guests gather to celebrate two people joining their lives together as one. The groom: handsome and charming, a rising television star. The bride: smart and ambitious, a magazine publisher. It’s a wedding for a magazine, or for a celebrity: the designer dress, the remote location, the luxe party favors, the boutique whiskey. The cell phone service may be spotty and the waves may be rough, but every detail has been expertly planned and will be expertly executed.

But perfection is for plans, and people are all too human. As the champagne is popped and the festivities begin, resentments and petty jealousies begin to mingle with the reminiscences and well wishes. The groomsmen begin the drinking game from their school days. The bridesmaid not-so-accidentally ruins her dress. The bride’s oldest (male) friend gives an uncomfortably caring toast.

And then someone turns up dead. Who didn’t wish the happy couple well? And perhaps more important, why?

My Review…

This was a book I really enjoyed. A wedding on a remote island between two very well-known people. The synopsis gives a great glimpse into the theme of this story. Hints at secrets, grudges, pasts and a sense of something lurking.

I liked the layout of this book with quick chapters that flit between characters and also in the days on the run up to the wedding and the day of the wedding itself. This format gives the reader a glimpse into the thoughts of each character and it works well because often things are left unsaid but the thoughts are there for the reader to see.

Having the location of a remote island that is only accessible by boat gives the sense of a closed-door mystery style read. The setting gives a mysterious and eerie quality that adds to the atmospheric feel. I liked the description of the waves crashing against the cliffs, the bogs and the general remoteness.

The characters are definitely a real mixed bunch and there were some I took an immediate dislike to, well more how they saw themselves and wanted others to see them. There are others that try to remain in the shadows and are timider. There is one thing in common with a handful of the characters and that is the secrets they carry and hold.

The story leads its way through the characters and gradually pieces together their stories. These all lead to a sort of grand finale. This was a style I like as it made me mistrust people and I did think I had got this one but as usual I was off the mark. I liked this slow and gradual sense of something bad going to happen, never knowing who or how. The why… well there were various options as to why this would be done and it was a matter of time until it was all revealed.

A very enjoyable read with some nice details about the setting, a sense of suspense that grew and an all-round good crime, fiction read and one that I would recommend reading.

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

The Summer Island Swap by Samantha Tonge #20booksofsummer #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Island Swap by Samantha Tonge. This was a book I read at the beginning of August this year and it is one of the books I chose for the #20booksofsummer #readingchallenge and I am still playing catch-up on posting my reviews!

Let me show you what this wonderful book is all about…

Synopsis…

Sometimes the best holidays are the ones you least expect… 

After a long and turbulent year, Sarah is dreaming of the five-star getaway her sister has booked them on. White sands, cocktails, massages, the Caribbean is calling to them.

But the sisters turn up to tatty beaches, basic wooden shacks, a compost toilet and outdoor cold water showers. It turns out that at the last minute Amy decided a conservation project would be much more fun than a luxury resort.

So now Sarah’s battling mosquitos, trying to stomach fish soup and praying for a swift escape. Life on a desert island though isn’t all doom and gloom. They’re at one with nature, learning about each other and making new friends. And Sarah is distracted by the dishy, yet incredibly moody, island leader she’s sure is hiding a secret.

My Review…

I have 2 or 3of this authors books and they seem to have slid down my TBR pile. When I decided that I wanted a more relaxing summery, romance style read it was this author that suddenly sprung to mind and I thought I really need to read one of her books.

Well, what an amazing book this was and I absolutely adored it. Amy and Sarah are sisters and after a lottery win, Amy decides to treat them both to a luxury holiday. Amy works as a veterinary nurse and Sarah has a management role in a hotel. Both are looking forward to getting away, although Sarah is a little worried about leaving all the arrangements to her younger sister. Expecting a resort with pools, spas, beaches and the full 5-star treatment only to discover that Amy has suddenly changed the plan. Instead, they are on a working holiday on a small island in the Virgin Islands, No spas, 5-star treatments or anything else she was expecting, instead, Sarah has to deal with compost toilets, mosquitoes, cold showers and physical work.

Yes, this story does has a romantic thread running but it is actually the relationship between the sisters that really intrigued me. Sarah is the eldest and has looked out for Amy since their mum passed away, effectively taking on the parenting role and guiding, advising and to be fair has been quite controlling. The reasons for this are revealed more within the story. Amy is lacking confidence but she more than makes up for in enthusiasm and passion for animals.

While the sisters are chalk and cheese, they also have a very strong bond. They have been looking out for each other for years. This trip to a remote island with absolutely no mod cons and basic amenities is right up to Amy’s street but not so much for Sarah.

The thing about this story is the way the author has woven the story of the sisters and their upbringing around the conservation aspects of the island. The author goes into detail about the inspiration behind the story a the end, but it is obvious that there has been research and fact-checking as there is a myriad of little snippets about the wold life, flora and fauna, food, ecology and environment. So many interesting facts add a wonderful additional ingredient.

A wonderful story that readers of contemporary fiction, friendship and family will really enjoy, as I said there is a romantic thread but it is a subtle slower one that really fits in with the feel of the characters. A fabulous read and one I would definitely recommend.

About the Author…

Image and Bio taken from the Author’s Goodreads Page.

Samantha Tonge lives in Manchester UK with her husband and children. She studied German and French at university and has worked abroad, including a stint at Disneyland Paris. She has travelled widely.
When not writing she passes her days cycling, baking and drinking coffee. Samantha has sold many dozens of short stories to women’s magazines. 
She is represented by the Darley Anderson literary agency. In 2013, she landed a publishing deal for romantic comedy fiction with HQDigital at HarperCollins. In 2015 her summer novel, Game of Scones, hit #5 in the UK Kindle chart and won the Love Stories Awards Best Romantic Ebook category. In 2018 Forgive Me Not, heralded a new direction into darker women’s fiction with publisher Canelo and in 2020 her novel Knowing You won the RNA’s Jackie Collins Romantic Thriller Award. 

http://samanthatonge.co.uk/

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

Killer Instinct by Zoe Sharp #20booksofsummer #crime #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review of Killer Instinct by Zoe Sharp. I have had this book in my tbr for a year or more, I had seen some reviews and decided rather than buy the latest book (at the time) I would start at the beginning. I decided it had lingered long enough and this is why this book was one of my picks for #20booksofsummer #readingchallenge

Synopsis…

‘Susie Hollins may have been no great shakes as a karaoke singer, but I didn’t think that was enough reason for anyone to want to kill her.’

Charlie Fox makes a living teaching self-defence to women in a quiet northern English city. It makes best use of the deadly skills she picked up after being kicked out of army Special Forces training for reasons she prefers not to go into. So, when Susie Hollins is found dead hours after she foolishly takes on Charlie at the New Adelphi Club, Charlie knows it’s only a matter of time before the police come calling. What they don’t tell her is that Hollins is the latest victim of a homicidal rapist stalking the local area.

Charlie finds herself drawn closer to the crime when the New Adelphi’s enigmatic owner, Marc Quinn, offers her a job working security at the club. Viewed as an outsider by the existing all-male team, her suspicion that there’s a link between the club and a serial killer doesn’t exactly endear her to anyone. Charlie has always taught her students that it’s better to run than to stand and fight, But, when the killer starts taking a very personal interest, it’s clear he isn’t going to give her that option . . .

Purchase links from Amazon (these are affiliate links) KindlePaperbackHardbackAudio CD

My Review…

This is the first book in the Charlies Fox series by Zoe Sharp. This is also the first time I have read a book by this author and I have to say Charlie is a fabulous character.

Charlie Fox is a no-nonsense woman who teaches self-defence to women. She is confident and comes across as a very sure person. There is a good amount of mystery behind her and some of it has been included in this, story, but I feel there is more her than I have seen so far.

The plot involves Charlie as another body is discovered at a nightclub that she has just been to with her friend and involves an altercation. This is the start of a very twisted road that the author takes not only her main character but also her reader upon.

The further the story progressed the more I got to see of Charlie, what makes her tick, her friendships and there is also a sense of vulnerability that comes with being let down in the past. It makes her a very interesting character that has a sense of loneliness about her at times.

A fabulous first book and one that is intriguing and with a character that I really like the sound of. The plot is a good fast-paced one with Charlie string to join all the dots to discover who is behind the crimes. She is in some ways a one-woman sleuth, but she is no Miss Marple, she is tough, can be dangerous but has a level head on her shoulders. Yeah, a little on the moody side, but then who doesn’t have a moment like that.

AS I mentioned this is the first book and there are quite a few more in this series that I am definitely looking forward to reading. If you like an excellent good fast-paced crime with a strong female lead that has full-throttle action then you really do need to have a look at this series. I would definitely recommend it.

About the Author…

Photo and Bio taken from the Authors Amazon Page

Zoë Sharp opted out of mainstream education at the age of twelve and wrote her first novel at fifteen. (Which, thankfully, still sits in a box in her attic, despite her father’s suggestion that she should sell it on eBay.) She became a freelance photojournalist in 1988 and wrote the first of her highly acclaimed Charlotte ‘Charlie’ Fox crime thrillers after receiving death-threats in the course of her work.

It was at this point she took a keen interest in learning various forms of self-defence. She had also been a competition rifle shooter, both of which skills have come in very handy for her ex-Special Forces turned bodyguard heroine.

“I loved thrillers, but wanted to read about female characters who were just as self-reliant, and just as skilled as the guys. When I couldn’t find any that fitted the bill, I decided I was simply going to have to write my own.”

She has won a Lovey Award for Best Series and been nominated (often more than once) for Edgar, Anthony, Barry, Benjamin Franklin and Macavity Awards in the United States, as well as the CWA Dagger Award. Her work has been used in a Danish school textbook, turned into a short film, and optioned for TV and film.

Zoë is a regular blogger on her own website — http://www.ZoeSharp.com — on the group site MurderIsEverywhere, as well as wittering on Twitter (@AuthorZoeSharp) and fooling about on Facebook (@AuthorZoeSharp).

Check out all of Zoe’s books on her Amazon Author Page

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

#20booksofsummer update #readingchallenge #bookblogger

I am so late in writing this up I have completed the #20booksofsummer challenge and in time as well but somehow the 1st of September came and went very quickly indeed.

So, to recap. This challenge is organised by Cathy at 746books, pick 10/15 or 20 books to be read between 1st June to 1st September. You can swap books, you can change your list. A flexible, fun and no-pressure reading challenge.

I decided that this year I would choose 15 books and then add 5 lucky dip books from my TBR. How did I do…

These books are my original picks…

I read every single one! No swaps!

Now for the 5 lucky dips that I added…

There were no Blog Tour books on my list this year and many were NetGalley books that were overdue being read. I am pleased that I reduced my NetGalley by several books, although I have added a couple or six!!!

Between the period of 1st June – 1st September I have read a total of…

52 books.

17 of these were for Blog Tours.

5 were audio books that I listened.

I am now looking at the figures and I have actually surpassed the 20 books challenge…

All in all a pretty good 3 months worth of reading 🙂

I do still have quite a few reviews for this challenge to post, so keep your eyes peeled over the next week or so.

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

Red Snow by Will Dean #20booksofsummer 14/20 #crime #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Red Snow by Will Dean. This is another of my many books that have been languishing on my bookcase from when I first bought them, this is why Red Snow was one of the books to make my #20booksofsummer #readingchallenge

Synopsis…

Longlisted for the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award, 2020

Red Snow is the eagerly awaited follow-up to Dark Pines, selected for ITV’s Zoe Ball Book Club

TWO BODIES

One suicide. One cold-blooded murder. Are they connected? And who’s really pulling the strings in the small Swedish town of Gavrik?

TWO COINS

Black Grimberg liquorice coins cover the murdered man’s eyes. The hashtag #Ferryman starts to trend as local people stock up on ammunition.

TWO WEEKS

Tuva Moodyson, deaf reporter at the local paper, has a fortnight to investigate the deaths before she starts her new job in the south. A blizzard moves in. Residents, already terrified, feel increasingly cut-off. Tuva must go deep inside the Grimberg factory to stop the killer before she leaves town for good. But who’s to say the Ferryman will let her go?

Purchase links from Amazon UK – KindlePaperbackHardbackAudio (these are affiliate links that earn me a small commission at no cost to you)

My Review…

I read the first book, Dark Pines, quite a while ago and when this second book came out I immediately bought it. Like many of the books I buy, it has gradually lipped down my TBR and is why it was one of the books I chose for my summer reading challenge.

This is the second in the Tuva Moodyson series. Tuva is a journalist in a small out in the middle of nowhere town. She is not the usual main protagonist for a story and I think this is why I like her character so much. She has been death since childhood, is bisexual and has been living in the Swedish town of Gavrik. A town she is due to leave after a job offer to bigger and better things. This is a result of her last big story.

Red Snow has a slow style to it as Tuva is looking for leads on the suicide of a local businessman. The leg work of getting people to reveal what they know in a tight-knit community is hard. SHe gets snippets from local law enforcement but the majority of what she learns takes its time.

The author has such a wonderful way of describing the setting in the bitterly cold town. There are so many little things that are mentioned as a standard way of life that I was not aware of. I think this sort of knowledge is only gained from living in the area. I liked the picture that was built up over the book of an area that is bleak, cold but also has some stunning areas.

The plot is very captivating, there are hints of things from the past that added an extra level to the overall atmospheric feel. I was so impatient to discover more and this kept me eagerly turning the pages. This was increased with the secrecy of the three generations of women in the family, secretive, evasive and reluctant to talk to Tuva initially and then gradually opening up.

This is a book that you savour as you read. A book this length I would normally read quite quickly, but I took my time, it isn’t a book I wanted to rush through and it makes for wonderful reading. A mystery that is intriguing, has just enough twists and has a lot of details. It is one for crime and mystery fans and I would definitely recommend it.

About the Author…

Will Dean grew up in the East Midlands, living in nine different villages before the age of eighteen. He was a bookish, daydreaming kid who found comfort in stories and nature (and he still does). After studying Law at the LSE, and working in London, he settled in rural Sweden. He built a wooden house in a boggy clearing at the centre of a vast elk forest, and it’s from this base that he compulsively reads and writes. He is the author of Dark Pines.

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

The Chestnut Man by Søren Sveistrup #20booksofsummer #thriller #mustread #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Chestnut Man by Søren Sveistrup, this is a book I bought when it was first released and another that has gradually slipped down the TBR. This is why it was one of the books I chose to go on my #20booksofsummer #readingchallenge list and it is book 13 of 20.

So, what is it about…

Synopsis…

THE CHILLING DEBUT NOVEL FROM THE CREATOR AND WRITER OF HIT TV SHOW THE KILLING

As the leaves fall, he’s coming for you. . .

One October morning in a quiet suburb, the police make a terrible discovery.

A young woman is found brutally murdered with one of her hands missing.

Above her hangs a small doll made of chestnuts.

Examining the doll, Forensics are shocked to find a fingerprint belonging to a young girl, kidnapped and murdered a year ago.

Can a new killer be the key to an old crime?

And will his spree be over when winter arrives – or is he only just getting started?

Purchase links from Amazon UK – KindlePaperbackHardbackAudio (these are affiliate links) some of the covers are different, but I have used the image from the hardback as this is the copy I have.

My Review…

Wow!!!!!
Where exactly do I start with my review for this outstanding book? I mean when I finished it, it left me in “book hangover mode”

I bought my copy of this book when it was released and I had all intentions of reading it then, but it gradually slipped further down my TBR as other books took priority. I know this is something that many readers will get!

So, the book!!!!! It is absolutely blooming fantastic from start to finish. The characters are a real interesting bunch and there were a couple I definitely warmed too, others definitely not so much. They have varied personalities and traits and I have to say I really did like Hess. He is damaged goods and has been sent back to Copenhagen under a little bit of a shadow. Even though I didn’t know exactly what had happened in his past until further into the book I was aware of a solitary, broken man who buried himself in work.

Hess is teamed up with Thulin, she is waiting until she can move to the new cybercrime unit. It is something that will give her a chance to have more regular hours and so she spends more time with her daughter. Thulin is another character I really liked which is really odd because she isn’t someone I would necessarily warm to in real life. Both Hess and Thulin rile each other but they also see that each other knows their job and so respect is gradually built up.

Now the plot, well where to begin with that!!!!! It is a plot that I had no idea who had done it! The author creatively led me through the investigation, the body count started to rise and I was never anywhere close to guessing the culprit. Yes, I did have a couple of suspicions but I was way off the mark.

I loved the way he set the scenes, and the details are something I really got on with in this book. Some may find this a bit of a drag but for me, it just added to the story. There was at times a remoteness to the setting and this was sort of mirrored int he characters as well as the plot. It felt like everyone was alone, or working by themselves and this gave it more of a scandi noir feel.

The crime is dark and definitely on the disturbing side. It has a macabre side to it and by the time all is revealed, there was a little bit of me that could understand the why, only a little bit mind you! A cracking ending that left me stunned.

This is a book I read over several sittings, it was like I had to stop and digest chunks of it before I could pick it up and carry on again. I still read it over a couple of days as I could feel it nagging me to carry on reading again.

An excellent read and one that crime, thriller, murder readers who like their fiction on the dark and disturbing side will most likely really enjoy. I know I did and I would definitely recommend it.

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

I Am Dust by Louise Beech @OrendaBooks #20booksofsummer #mystery #suspense #mustread #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for I Am Dust by Louise Beech. THis is a book I have chosen to be part of my #20booksofsummer #readingchallenge and what a wonderful book it was.

Let me show you what it is about…

Synopsis

A haunted theatre
A murdered actress
Three cursed teenagers
A secret that devastates them all…

The Dean Wilson Theatre is believed to be haunted by a long-dead actress, singing her last song, waiting for her final cue, looking for her killer…

Now Dust, the iconic musical, is returning after twenty years. But who will be brave enough to take on the role of ghostly goddess Esme Black, last played by Morgan Miller, who was murdered in her dressing room?

Theatre usher Chloe Dee is caught up in the spectacle. As the new actors arrive, including an unexpected face from her past, everything changes. Are the eerie sounds and sightings backstage real or just her imagination? Is someone playing games?

Is the role of Esme Black cursed? Could witchcraft be at the heart of the tragedy? And are dark deeds from Chloe’s past about to catch up with her?

Not all the drama takes place onstage. Sometimes murder, magic, obsession and the biggest of betrayals are real life. When you’re in the theatre shadows, you see everything.

And Chloe has been watching…

Purchase from Amazon UK (this is an affiliate link)

My Review

I have just finished reading this book and there are two words that I think sum this book up “hauntingly beautiful” I wish I could leave that as my review, but as a Book Blogger I know I need to add more to it. The synopsis gives a very good idea as to the story, but, Oh there is so much more it than that!

The story is told in a time slip style. The past goes back to when three teens, Chloe, Jess and Ryan use a Ouija board to contact a dead actress. She was murdered while the show Dust was being performed. The now is the DW theatre, not as popular as it used to be, and there is exciting news that the show Dust will be performed once again.

The author did such an amazing job with this story, I loved the haunting atmospherics that added some amazing tension. The story started with some excitement as the teens started to use the spirit board, this was then built on over the course of the story. Mixed into this was the mystery about the dead actress, Morgan Miller, who wanted to kill her and why.

There is another mystery that also comes into play, and that is what exactly happened to the teens when they walked away from the board? Did it change them? Did they follow the warnings? Well these questions are just the tip of the ice-berg as the author took this reader deeper and deeper into this mystery.

I call this a mystery, and in some ways yes it is, but it is also has a wonderful supernatural theme to it, also there is the murder which adds a crime element, then there is the relationships between the teens, oh and there is also a heartbreaking aspect. I think what I am getting at is that this book crosses genres and that makes it a book that will engage so many different readers.

The story gradually wrapped me up, drawing me deeper and deeper into its pages. I found myself addicted and at times when I was not reading it, I almost felt it calling out to me to pick it up again. It is a beautifully written story, that is heartbreaking and haunting. I loved it from start to finish and those last few pages completely broke me and left me a sobbing wreck.

This is a book that I am pretty sure will be on my Top Reads of the Year list. It is an exceptional read and one I would Highly Recommend.

About the Author

Louise’s debut novel, How to be Brave, was a Guardian Readers’ pick in 2015 and a top ten bestseller on Amazon. The Mountain in my Shoe longlisted for the Guardian’s Not The Booker Prize 2016. The Sunday Mirror called Maria in the Moon ‘quirky, darkly comic, original and heartfelt’. It was also a Must Read in the Sunday Express and a Book of the Year at LoveReadingUK. The Lion Tamer Who Lost was described as ‘engrossing and captivating’ by the Daily Express. It also shortlisted for the RNA’s Romantic Novel of the Year and longlisted for the Polari Prize 2019. Call Me Star Girl hit number one on Kobo. It also longlisted for the Not The Booker Prize and won the Best magazine Big Book Award 2019. I Am Dust is out in 2020.

Links – WebsiteTwitterAmazon Author Page

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

The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty #20booksofsummer #fantasyfiction #bookreview

Catching up with the reviews for the books I chose for the #20booksofsummer #readingchallenge I have for you The City of Brass by S. A. Chakraborty and it is an amazing book.

SYNOPSIS

Step into The City of Brass, the spellbinding debut from S. A. Chakraborty—an imaginative alchemy of The Golem and the Jinni, The Grace of Kings, and One Thousand and One Nights, in which the future of a magical Middle Eastern kingdom rests in the hands of a clever and defiant young con artist with miraculous healing gifts

Nahri has never believed in magic. Certainly, she has power; on the streets of 18th century Cairo, she’s a con woman of unsurpassed talent. But she knows better than anyone that the trade she uses to get by—palm readings, zars, healings—are all tricks, sleights of hand, learned skills; a means to the delightful end of swindling Ottoman nobles. 

But when Nahri accidentally summons an equally sly, darkly mysterious djinn warrior to her side during one of her cons, she’s forced to accept that the magical world she thought only existed in childhood stories is real. For the warrior tells her a new tale: across hot, windswept sands teeming with creatures of fire, and rivers where the mythical marid sleep; past ruins of once-magnificent human metropolises, and mountains where the circling hawks are not what they seem, lies Daevabad, the legendary city of brass, a city to which Nahri is irrevocably bound. 

In that city, behind gilded brass walls laced with enchantments, behind the six gates of the six djinn tribes, old resentments are simmering. And when Nahri decides to enter this world, she learns that true power is fierce and brutal. That magic cannot shield her from the dangerous web of court politics. That even the cleverest of schemes can have deadly consequences. 

After all, there is a reason they say be careful what you wish for . . . 

Purchase from Amazon UK – KindlePaperbackHardbackAudio ( these are affiliate links)

My Review

Wow what and adventure this was as I was transported across deserts into a magical land/ A land full of danger, lies, deceit and revenge. The synopsis gives a very good indication as to what this book is about and I thought it was brilliant.

The author had me hooked within a few pages of this book and kept me captivated till the end. It is the first book in the trilogy and as such there is some scene setting, and getting to know the characters, the history and the like bit it was done in such an interesting way and not once did I feel that I was bogged down.

There are a few characters to get to know, these are introduced gradually and so it was easier to remember who was who. As for what part each of the characters holds or their viewpoint, well that is another thing entirely. This is a story where control and power is at the heart of the decisions made by those higher up the ladder. Keeping people under control and therefore more compliant is easier than a riotous mob.

There are some characters that have a prominent position, such as Nahri, she is responsible for summoning a warrior, Dara, he is her bodyguard and it is he that is responsible for starting to explain about a world she was not aware of.

This is a cracking read and one that I adored. It has a whole load of good stuff in it and if you like speculative fiction and fantasy then you need to have a look at this. Warriors, old rivalries. secrets, magic, mistrust, deception are just the tip of the iceberg in this story and it is one I would definitely recommend.

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