The Tattoo Thief by Alison Belsham #review

I had the fortune to win a signed copy of The Tattoo Thief by Alison Belsham on the TBC Christmas giveaway. I had already bought a digital copy of the book after reading so many good reviews during the Blog Tour for the book.

So then, let us see what this book is all about then…

A policeman on his first murder case
A tattoo artist with a deadly secret
And a twisted serial killer sharpening his blades to kill again…

When Brighton tattoo artist Marni Mullins discovers a flayed body, newly-promoted DI Francis Sullivan needs her help. There’s a serial killer at large, slicing tattoos from his victims’ bodies while they’re still alive. Marni knows the tattooing world like the back of her hand, but has her own reasons to distrust the police. So when she identifies the killer’s next target, will she tell Sullivan or go after the Tattoo Thief alone?

This book is one that caught my eye when it was first released. This book is right up my street I have 3 small tattoo’s with a 4th in mind. And before anyone asks one at the top of each arm and one between my shoulder blades 🙂 so with this book being about a killer who removes tattoos how could I not resist.

This is so deliciously dark as unique tattoos are the target of the killer. It gradually emerges about specific tattoos and why they are being removed. This is told in quick chapters that alternate between Marnie, a tattoo artist, Francis the detective with Roy his next in command and the killer.

The story isn’t a straight forward murder inquiry, it is the main focus of the story but incorporated into this is quite a bit of stuff about tattoos. Some history and designs adds an extra point of interest and it has been done in a way as to become part of the story.

The character of Marnie is one I really liked, she becomes part of the story as she is the one who finds the first body. She is like a reluctant participant, but she also wants to help the investigator. She helps the new DI, Francis, and together they form a slightly unconventional partnership in his investigation. As this is his first time he has run and organised a case he is trying his hardest to get to the bottom of. Pressure from the powers that be hinder him in various ways and I felt so frustrated for him.

With the various threads there is a sense of tension from various sources and these come in various guises. The pressure to wrap the case up, the personal tension from Marnie and the fear and apprehension from the tattooing community and then the killer who has his own schedule add to the atmosphere. With skin crawling and goose-bumpy moments that kept me avidly turning the pages and kept me captivated.

I was so sure I had got the killer sussed out, then a bit later in the story another potential character could also have done it, yeah… I was wrong on both counts.

This is an atmospheric, dark crime thriller and is a suspense filled read that completely caught me in its spell. It is one I would definitely recommend.

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

Sleeper by J D Fennell #review

Today I am delighted to be sharing Sleeper by J D Fennell. This is the first in the Sleeper series and I am looking forward to reading the next one Sleeper – The Red Storm.

So let’s have a look at the synopsis…

Sixteen-year-old Will Starling is pulled from the sea with no memory of his past. In his blazer is a strange notebook with a bullet lodged inside: a bullet meant for him. As London prepares for the Blitz, Will soon finds himself pursued by vicious agents and a ruthless killer known as the Pastor. All of them want Will’s notebook and will do anything to get it. As Will’s memory starts to return, he realises he is no ordinary sixteen-year old. He has skills that make him a match for any assassin. But there is something else. At his core is a deep-rooted rage that he cannot explain. Where is his family and why has no one reported him missing?Fighting for survival with the help of Mi5 agent-in-training, Anna Wilder, Will follows leads across London in a race against time to find the Stones of Fire before the next air raid makes a direct hit and destroys London forever.

Will Starling is on a mission when something makes him disobey orders. The result is him fleeing for his life and guarding what he has discovered in his search for truth.

Set in 1940’s London, this book definitely falls into the “fast-paced” category. Will has a specific skill set, though these skills do catch him unawares as he tries to remember who he is, who he should trust. It was great to learn about Will as he remembered things about himself, a great way to put the reader on an even keel with a character.

Now the plot, it’s just great full of deception and twists that kept me on my toes every step of the way. A race against the bad guys to keep an artifact from falling into the wrong hands gave a wonderful cat and mouse, ducking and diving chase across London.

This has the feel of a younger verion of Jason Bourne or Jack Reacher feel to it and I will say a hint of Indiana Jones. It has elements that I like in all the above and I thoroughly enjoyed this quick, fast paced, action packed book.

A brilliantly paced teen spy, thriller with a great plot. It’s one I would absolutely recommend.

J. D. Fennell
Photo and Bio taken
from Author’s Amazon Page

J.D. was born in Belfast at the start of the Troubles, and began writing stories at a young age to help understand the madness unfolding around him. A lover of reading, he devoured a diverse range of books – his early influences include Fleming, Tolkien, Shakespeare and the Brontës.

He left Belfast at the age of nineteen and worked as a chef, bartender, waiter and later began a career in writing for the software industry.

These days he divides his time between Brighton and London, where he lives with his partner and their two dogs.

Facebook: JDFennellAuthor
Twitter: jd_fennell
Instagram: jdfennellauthor

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

One Law For The Rest Of Us by Peter Murphy #netgalley #review

Today I am delighted to be sharin my review for One Law For The Rest Of Us by peter Murphy. My thnaks to Oldcastle Books for my e-copy via NetGalley.

I have previously read a couple of books by this author, They were from the Walden series and I really enjoyed them, One Law For The Rest Of Us is very different from Walden and it is also the 6th in the Ben Schroeder series. I have not read any other books in this series and this one worked very well as a stand-alone.

When Audrey Marshall sends her daughter Emily to the religious boarding school where she herself was educated a generation before, memories return—memories of a culture of child sexual abuse presided over by a highly-regarded priest. Audrey turns to barrister Ben Schroeder in search of justice for Emily and herself. But there are powerful men involved, men determined to protect themselves at all costs. Will they succeed? Is there indeed one law for the rich and powerful, and one law for . . . ?

When I first read the synopsis for this book I was a little unsure given the subject matter of child abuse, reading further on in the synopsis gave indications of things I do like to read about. So it gave a balance that appealed to me and I decided to give it a go and I am so glad I did.

Initially there are two cases with this story, one from the 1940’s and one from the 1970’s. Audrey was sent to a boarding school during the blitz in the 40’s. While there she was abused but she cannot remember anything about it, her mind has blocked it out. When Emily tells her mum that she has been abused, Audrey’s memories suddenly come rushing back.

The story gradually tells the memories of Audrey and also her daughter as a trial starts. Witnesses, evidence, investigations and information gathering add to the courtroom process. This is not however a straightforward case as implications are far reaching. Manipulation and attempts to cover up and protect the guilty are rife.

This is not a single plot book, though it’s focus is on the mother and daughter case. There are many other things in the background and other characters make their presence felt. This book made my blood boil at times as I followed the interviews and trials.

This author has a lot of experience given his legal background, in this book it really shows. I did however feel that at times some of the protocols and processes were a little too much. I understand the importance of showing all the steps involved in a trial, with all the legal wranglings and decision making, but at times I did feel t slowed the story down occasionally. On the plus side it really did give an insightful glimpse into the traditions, wordings and requirements required in law.

At times this was a hard read, the scenes describing the abuse were uncomfortable, but they were not numerous ans were not glorified or dwelt upon too much. The main focus was on the fight for justice.

This story is a serious legal court room read, there are various legal aspects that are intense, it follows the fight for justice. This is a book I would recommend to people who prefer a more legally technical fiction read rather than a fast paced thriller. It is one I would definitely recommend.

Peter Murphy
Photo taken from the Author’s Amazon Uk page

Peter Murphy was born in 1946. After graduating from Cambridge University he spent a career in the law, as an advocate and teacher, both in England and the United States. His legal work included a number of years in The Hague as defence counsel at the Yugoslavian War Crimes Tribunal. He lives with his wife, Chris, in Cambridgeshire.

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

Rosie’s Travelling Tea Shop by Rebecca Raisin @HQDigitalUK #NetGalley #Review

I am delighted to be sharing my review for Rosie’s Travelling Tea Shop by Rebecca Raisin. This was the absolutely perfect pick-me-up read, I have been reading some quite dark, heavy books just recently and was looking for a lighter entertaining read, this book was exactly that and more.

My thanks to HQ Digital for accepting my request to review this book via NetGalley.

I just love this cover so how about I share what its all about and what I thought…

The trip of a lifetime!

Rosie Lewis has her life together.
 
A swanky job as a Michelin-Starred Sous Chef, a loving husband and future children scheduled for exactly January 2021.
 
That’s until she comes home one day to find her husband’s pre-packed bag and a confession that he’s had an affair.
 
Heartbroken and devastated, Rosie drowns her sorrows in a glass (or three) of wine, only to discover the following morning that she has spontaneously invested in a bright pink camper van to facilitate her grand plans to travel the country.
 
Now, Rosie is about to embark on the trip of a lifetime, and the chance to change her life! With Poppy, her new-found travelling tea shop in tow, nothing could go wrong, could it…?
 
A laugh-out-loud novel of love, friendship and adventure! Perfect for fans of Debbie Johnson and Holly Martin.

As soon as I saw this cover and then read the synopsis I knew I needed to read this book. After being dumped by her husband on her birthday, Rosie makes the best drunk purchase ever… well in my opinion she did. A bright pink camper van!!! Awesome!!! It made me want to break out the wine and see what I could drunk purchase, though I’d probably end up with a packet of out of date cereal!

I have to say this book was absolutely brilliant. Rosie is a driven career woman with her life planned out. She does have a bit of an O.C.D thing going on with her planning, routines, cleanliness, order and everything being in it’s place. Not a bad thing at all, but it leaves little flexibility in her hectic scheduled up to the eyeballs life.

The arrival of the pink camper van was something that completely went against the grain, it makes her stop in her tracks and think about her life, what she wants and, what she wants others to see in her.

The author took me on a road trip of festivals, with mouth watering food, drinks and fabulous company. Rosie is having to adapt to living day to day, going with the flow, rather than the planned out one she was originally aiming for.

With her career in catering, the obvious choice for Rosie’s van is… yep a Travelling Tea Shop. Specially hand blended teas and an assortment of foods that are food for the soul rather than the high end cuisine she has left behind her.

Along the way she finds the perfect travelling companion, they make a amazing combination with Aria, a contrast in many ways to Rosie, but this combination both in personalities and also in how the vans compliment each other is great. I also want to mention Max, the authors description of him…mmmmmmm… there are a few other characters that add there part to this story and help keep the story flowing as the travelers take the vans on tour.

In case you had not realised, I loved this book a huge amount. For me it was just the perfect book for lifting the spirits and it was so easy to forget about the world while I sat and read it in an afternoon. I would love to see a follow up for this book.

Ideal for readers who are after a light, feel good book that has a really enjoyable story and it is one I would Absolutely Recommend 🙂

This is the first time I have read anything by this author and I am pleased to see there are several books already published… bookworm happy dance… although I do have a couple that I bought a while ago that are sat on my kindle .

Rebecca Raisin is a true bibliophile. This love of books morphed into the desire to write them. She’s been widely published in short story anthologies, and in fiction magazines. And now she is focusing on writing romance.

Rebecca aims to write characters you can see yourself being friends with. People with big hearts who care about relationships and believe in true love.

Visit the Author – Twitter Website FacebookAmazon Author Page

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

Now You See Her by Heidi Perks @HeidiPerksBooks @arrowpublishing #NowYouSeeHer

Today I am delighted to be part of the Paperback Publication Day Celebrations for Now You See Her by Heidi Perks. My huge thanks to Rachel at Arrow Publishing for accepting my request to review this book and for sending me a paperback copy.

SHE WAS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY. AND NOW SHE’S MISSING.

Unputdownable psychological suspense from an exciting new talent, perfect for fans of The Couple Next Door and I Let You Go.

NOW YOU SEE HER
She’s playing at the school fete with your children. You pull out your phone, scroll through Facebook, and look up again.
NOW YOU DON’T

Charlotte is looking after her best friend’s daughter the day she disappears. She thought the little girl was playing with her own children. She swears she only took her eyes off them for a second.

Now, Charlotte must do the unthinkable, tell her best friend Harriet that her only child is missing. The child she was meant to be watching.

Devastated, Harriet can no longer bear to see Charlotte. No one could expect her to trust her friend again.

Only now she needs to. Because two weeks later Harriet and Charlotte are both being questioned separately by the police. And secrets are about to surface.

HOW FAR WOULD YOU GO TO PUT THINGS RIGHT?

Well, now that synopsis got my attention! It did a cracking job of hinting what I would discover on the ensuing pages. It comes across as intriguing, it has an element of suspense and tension and it hints that there is more to this than meets the eye. Well by the time I finished the book I was right, it did have those elements and a whole lot more.

It’s told in a very easy to follow way with a now and before timeline that alternates between Charlotte and Harriet. During the now sections it is mainly the questions being asked during the police investigations. This has been very cleverly done and in such an ambiguous way. It wasn’t until I had finished the story that I realised how the questioning never let on about how the story panned out. The before sections tell the lead up to the disappearance of CCharlottes daughter and how she was supposed to be the responsibility of Harriet. It delves into the relationship and lives of the two mothers.

I had no idea how this story would pan out until the Author was ready to let me in it. I was really interested in the dynamic and backlash that became part of Charlotte and Harriet’s lives. Imagine losing a child, then imagine losing someone else’s child. The build-up of icy stares, cold shoulders and snubbing were on the ball for me. It showed how a parent automatically gathers her children to her to protect them regardless of being in receipt of all the facts.

This is a clever story that I was immediately invested and drawn into. The author did a great job of dealing with various emotions, she kept the story flowing and my interest deeply rooted in the story. It gave me several Oh! moments as realisations where dropped.

A fabulous psychological thriller that I thoroughly enjoyed. A story with quick chapters and a flow that fitted perfectly. It’s one I would definitely recommend.

Purchase a copy of Now You See Her – HERE

Heidi Perks was born in 1973. She lives by the sea in Bournemouth with her husband and two children.
Heidi graduated from Bournemouth University in 1997 with a BA (Hons) in Retail Management, and then enjoyed a career in Marketing before leaving in 2012 to focus on both bringing up her family and writing.
Heidi successfully applied for a place on the inaugural Curtis Brown Creative online Novel Writing Course and after that dedicated her time to completing her first novel, Beneath The Surface.
She has a huge interest in what makes people tick and loves to write about family relationships, especially where some of the characters are slightly dysfunctional. 
Heidi is now writing her second novel

Many thanks for reading my post,

a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx

The Winters by Lisa Gabriele #review

Today I am delighted to be sharing my review for The Winters by Lisa Gabriele. I was sent a copy of this book by the publisher Vintage Books before Christmas and I have finally got to it.

I have to say the cover for this book really does suit the story inside, condensated windows and roses…

So let’s see what it is all about…

An addictively suspenseful new novel set in the glamorous world of the New York Hamptons, about secrets that refuse to remain buried and consequences that cannot be escaped.

After a whirlwind romance, a young woman returns to the opulent, secluded mansion of her new fiancé Max Winter – a wealthy senator and recent widower – and a life of luxury she’s never known. But all is not as it appears at the Asherley estate. The house is steeped in the memory of Max’s beautiful first wife Rebekah, who haunts the young woman’s imagination and feeds her uncertainties, while his very alive teenage daughter Dani makes her life a living hell.

As the soon-to-be second Mrs. Winter grows more in love with Max, and more afraid of Dani, she is drawn deeper into the family’s dark secrets – the kind of secrets that could kill her, too.

Inspired by the classic novel Rebecca, The Winters is a riveting story about what happens when a family’s ghosts resurface and threaten to upend everything.

This book is inspired by Rebecca, a story I read many years ago, and though I cannot remember huge amounts about it, I do remember reading it and really, really enjoying it.

The setting for Gabriele’s story is the exclusive Hamptons area of New York, as well as the Grand Caymans. A whirlwind romance and being whisked away from scraping a living on the Caymans to the Hamptons should be a dream come true for the unnamed narrator. She tells how Max came into her life and turned it upside down.

Secrets are aplenty in this novel and so many of them caught me unawares. Secrets of the past and new ones promised not ever to tell are a heavy feature. It helps build up a sense of mistrust for pretty much all of the characters and left me unsure who I could actually believe. Were any of them telling the truth, were accusations based on fact, did anything anyone said true?

This story is descriptive and atmospheric and I did feel that it had elements I would expect in a story like this. Passages from the narrator helped build up a picture of her thoughts, feelings, worries, and concerns. I found that I was immediately hooked with a wonderful first line

“Last night Rebekah tried to murder me again.”

That line was brilliant, it had me intrigued to know more. What I discovered was a fantastically addictive read that had me wondering who Rebekah was. Wrapped up in the walls of Asherly are memories, memories of a family, a husband, a wife, a daughter, parties, friends, of heartbreak, loss, lies, deception and always lurking on the edge is the suspicion of danger. The narrator came across as intimidated and out of her depth, just as she was supposed to feel…

While I was reading this story I thought the narrator had a calmness to her, almost distracted and by the end of the book, I could understand this matter of fact-ness and distance that I felt. A story that I could have quite happily read in one sitting and that I would definitely recommend.

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

The Blameless Dead by Gary Haynes @endeavourquill #review

Today I am delighted to be joining the Blog Tour for The Blameless Dead by Gary Haynes. My thanks to Hannah Groves at Endeavour Quill for the invite and for arranging my e-copy of this book. This is due for Publication in e-book and paperback on 18th March and is also available on kindle unlimited. Here’s the link.

In the dying days of World War Two, Pavel Romasko and his Red Army colleagues pick their way through the carnage and detritus of a dying Berlin. Stumbling upon the smoking remains of a Nazi bunker, they find something inside that eclipses the horror of even the worst excesses in the city above them…

As the war ends, retribution begins. But some revenge cannot be taken at once. Some revenge takes years.

And so it is, as post-war Europe tries desperately to drag itself back onto its feet, and soldiers attempt a return to normality, that retribution continues to ferment in the Gulags of the Soviet Union and beneath the surface of apparently ordinary lives.

Which is how, seventy years later, FBI agent Carla Romero and New York lawyer Gabriel Hall are enlisted to investigate a series of blood-chilling crimes that seem to have their roots in the distant past — even though the suffering they cause is all too present. And for one of them, the disappearance of young women is a particularly personal matter.

The Blameless Dead is an epic, compelling, edge-of-the-seat drama that sweeps the reader from twentieth-century Europe to modern-day New York, taking in some of the most important events of modern history and exposing them in honest and unflinching terms. Part murder-mystery, part historical novel and shot through with adrenaline-pumping action, this novel superbly demonstrates that, while the hostilities may cease and the peace be signed, the horror that is war is never really over.

The synopsis does a really great job of describing this book. It’s a story that starts at the end of WWII and finished 70 years later.

I found this to be a complex story and one that took me a little longer to read than usual for a book this length. It has two main timelines, with the appearance of a couple of others as well, these additional ones are very relevant to the story. The main timelines have been expanded on so it is not just a basic then and now. At the start of each chapter. It is obvious where you are as they start with the date and then through the rest of the chapter I was taken to different characters, subchapters if you like, and these began with the same day or the next day. This may sound a little confusing, but it really wasn’t, I always knew where and when I was.

The plot is one that I am struggling to define as such as I found there were many plots, but they also had a link. There are those from the past that have revenge to them and the more recent one is more about the discovery of the truth. The hints and what links everything gradually becomes more clear as the story goes on. The story is of human tragedy with the origins being in the past. It tells of wanting justice and the sense of what justice is depends on the relevant person. Revenge is also mixed in as well as a hunt for a missing girl. This leads to a very dark discovery.

There is a lot of historical detail in this book, it delves into the murky world of Secret Police, Russian and German involvement with political prisoners. While I am aware of secret police and their roles I am not that knowledgable about the numerous departments, but I did get the feeling that the author does know a lot or he has done a good deal of research.

This story is intense and shows the lengths people can and are willing to go. Revenge and guilt, as well as the road to truth, are definitely in play with this story.

This for me was a complex and intense story, it did require concentration and I did enjoy it. It took me a while to get the basics settled in my head and once that was sorted and I was then able to settle into the book a lot more and found it was quite a compelling read. If you like intense, dark crime thriller reads then I think this is one that you would enjoy, it has WWII atrocities, Russian and German Secret Police, that is a mix of murder/ mystery and historical fiction. It is one I would recommend.

Bestselling Thriller/Crime novelist published by HarperCollins/Endeavour Quill. Gary Haynes studied law at university before becoming a commercial litigator. He is interested in history, philosophy and international relations. When he’s not writing or reading, he enjoys watching European films, travelling, hillwalking and spending time with his family. He is a member of the International Thriller Writers Organization. 

Visist Gary on – TwitterGoodreadsWebsite

See what other Book Blogger think by following the tour

GIVEAWAY ON GOODREADS

Before I finish off this post…

There is a Giveaway being run on Goodreads to win 1 of 10 copies of this book. If you want a chance of winning a copy then follow the link HERE

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

Whisper To Me by Sherrie Lowe @SherrieLowe2 #review

I am delighted to be sharing my review of Whisper To Me by Sherrie Lowe. I saw this book during a recent Blog Tour and entered a giveaway, I was lucky to be one of the fortunate recipients of an e-copy. To be honest, the synopsis for this book caught my eye so I would have brought it even if I hadn’t won a copy.

I must also mention the fabulous cover, I love fuschias and when I visit my mum I seem to bring back more cuttings of them. The cover ties very nicely to the story inside.

So let’s have a look and see what it all about…

A new wife and a vengeful ghost. Not a good mix. 

Letitia – Tish – Stanyer makes husband Theo promise never to remarry if she dies and he complies just to pacify her. She isn’t going to die. 

She does – and he does remarry. Tish isn’t happy. Her spirit cannot rest with another woman in her domain, sampling the delights of her husband. Theo belongs to her – Sheena will have to go. 

Letitia and Theo are celebrating their 14th Wedding Anniversary when she makes the comment about how they are supposed to be together forever, she means not only in life but also as and when they die as well. She does not want him to meet anyone else or move on, and so he makes the promise never to remarry…

I think this is a conversation many couples may have had. I for one believe that if I go before my husband then he should move on, find happiness and live his life, that’s if anyone will put up with lol… and he shares the same sentiment. Everyone, however, is different and I don’t believe there is a right or wrong in whatever anyone believes or chooses because at the end of the day it is the choice of the couple and the individual.

So this book definitely has an interesting base to work from and for a 151-page story, I found myself caught up in it. It is an easy to read story as I got to know Theo and his immediate family and the spirit of the dead Letitia. I discovered how after many years Theo has indeed moved on and forgotten about his promise, Letitia, however, has not. She begins to make her feelings known in some very dark ways.

Love, life, and death are the main focuses in this story and I thought the author did a great job in such a quick read. It moved along at a gentle, easy flowing pace and it was perfect to read in one sitting.

There is a proverb that states “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned” and this is so appropriate for Letitia.

This is a book that I think would go down well for discussion for Book Reading Groups and it is one I would definitely recommend.

Sherrie Lowe
Image taken from Author’s Goodreads Page

I am a divorced mother of two adult sons and I have three lovely grandchildren. I was working as a learning support assistant in a mainstream high school when I became ill with ME (also called chronic fatigue syndrome) in 1995. I have since written ten novels and two memoirs and Song of the Phoenix although the fourth to be written is the first to be published, mainly because the first three are more or less a trilogy.

Writing has kept me sane through what is an extremely debilitating and isolating illness and my aim is to earn my living from it.

Visit Sherrie’s website Twitter

Purchase link for her paperback books HERE and Kindle editions HERE

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

The Labyrinth of the Spirits by Carlos Ruiz Zafon @orionbooks #NetGalley #review

I have followed this series from the very first book The Shadow of the Wind that was first published in 2001. The series is best read in order, but the author has stated that they can be read in any order, this final book does, however, wrap all the previous ones together.

I would like to thank Orion Publishing Group for accepting my request to review this book via NetGalley. As always my opinions are very much my own.

The Shadow of the Wind

The Angel’s Game

The Prisoner of Heaven

The Labyrinth of Spirits.

So let’s see what The Labyrinth of the Spirits is all about…

The long-awaited new novel from the author of the global bestseller and modern classic, The Shadow of the Wind.

As a child, Daniel Sempere discovered among the passageways of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books an extraordinary novel that would change the course of his life. Now a young man in the Barcelona of the late 1950s, Daniel runs the Sempere & Sons bookshop and enjoys a seemingly fulfilling life with his loving wife and son. Yet the mystery surrounding the death of his mother continues to plague his soul despite the moving efforts of his wife Bea and his faithful friend Fermín to save him.

Just when Daniel believes he is close to solving this enigma, a conspiracy more sinister than he could have imagined spreads its tentacles from the hellish regime. That is when Alicia Gris appears, a soul born out of the nightmare of the war. She is the one who will lead Daniel to the edge of the abyss and reveal the secret history of his family, although at a terrifying price.

The Labyrinth of the Spirits is an electrifying tale of passion, intrigue and adventure. Within its haunting pages Carlos Ruiz Zafón masterfully weaves together plots and subplots in an intricate and intensely imagined homage to books, the art of storytelling and that magical bridge between literature and our lives.

So this is the 4th book in The Cemetary of Forgotten Books series. It is an 800+ page book that I very easily found myself disappearing into. It pieces together the remaining pieces of past puzzles and wrapping them up.

This book has a darker feel to it than previous books, but it is a few years since I last read them. It didn’t take me long to remember certain characters and of course, remember how this author can wrap me up in his words.

Its roots are in Spain and I found myself once again drawn into the maze-like streets and atmosphere of Barcelona. An era of unrest and uncertainty as this is the time of Franco, Spanish Civil War, and nationalist airstrikes. The main characters are Daniel, the rather dramatic Fermin and our heroine Alicia Gris, there are many more other characters that have important roles to play but I will leave you to discover them yourself.

Alicia is trying to complete an assignment, at the end she hopes to be free of her role and start a new life. She is trying to discover the whereabouts of Mauricio Valls, not easy and definitely dangerous. In her investigations, she meets various other characters and the depth of the plot really does start to stand out.

The whereabouts of a mysterious author, Victor Mataix, the secrets of the Sempere family, the Cemetary of Forgotten Books, murder, kidnapping and a whole host of deception, tricks, and foul play are just the tip of the iceberg within the pages

The story itself is laid out in four interlocking stories that lead the reader through the labyrinth that is the story. Each section is intricately woven and leads from plot to plot. I found it easy to follow and though it has a great depth I found myself able to enjoy it a huge amount.

The thing about this book is the fact that it is essentially a multi-genre one. It has murder, mystery, history, suspense and thriller qualities. With everything going on in this book it may come across as being complex, but I found it flowed beautifully. With so many different plots and themes, I am really struggling to find the words to describe how amazing this book, in fact, the whole series has been. So I am going to break it down into basic words that immediately spring to mind when I think about this book…atmospheric, bewitching, heartbreaking, cryptic, dark, mysterious, complex, twisted, beautiful, historical, literary, fabulous, compelling, intriguing, and bloody brilliant…I think that sort of sums it up.

This is a book and a series I would absolutely highly recommend.

Carlos Ruiz Zafón
Image taken from the Author’s goodreads page.

Carlos Ruiz Zafón is a Spanish novelist. Born in Barcelona in 1964, he has lived in Los Ángeles, United States, since 1994, and works as a scriptwriter aside from writing novels.

His first novel, El príncipe de la niebla (The Prince of Mist, 1993), earned the Edebé literary prize for young adult fiction. He is also the author of three more young-adult novels, El palacio de la medianoche (1994), Las luces de septiembre (1995) and Marina (1999).

In 2001 he published the novel La sombra del viento (The Shadow of the Wind), his first ‘adult’ novel, which has sold millions of copies worldwide. Since its publication, La sombra del viento has garnered critical acclaim around the world and has won numerous international awards. Ruiz Zafón’s works have been published in more than 40 countries and have been translated into more than 30 languages. 

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Do Not Disturb by Claire Douglas @MichaelJBooks #NetGalley #review

I am delighted to be sharing my review today for Do Not Disturb by Claire Douglas. My thanks to Michael Joseph Books who accepted my request to review this book via NetGalley.

This is the first time I have read a book by this author so I am delighted that she has published other books so I can read more by her.

Could your dream home be your worst nightmare? 

After what happened in London, Kirsty needs a fresh start with her family. 
And running a guesthouse in the Welsh mountains sounds idyllic.

But then their first guest arrives.
Selena is the last person Kirsty wants to see.
It’s 17 years since she tore everything apart.

Why has she chosen now to walk back into Kirsty’s life?
Is Selena running from something too?
Or is there an even darker reason for her visit?

Because Kirsty knows that once you invite trouble into your home, it can be murder getting rid of it . . .

The synopsis does a good job of laying the bones for this story and it has a nice amount of mysterious and enticing intrigue to it. I don’t know about anyone else, it worked for me.

The author has set this story at a good pace with a family moving to their new home. They have purchased a rundown property in a Welsh village, a chance to make it into a home and also be run as a guest house. Oh, by the way, I am not mentioning what it resides next to…

Even though it has a good pace, there are also quieter moments to the story. These tend to have a sinister feeling and aspects of a creepy sense start to be felt. I would expect this with an old property, but there is more than that. Adding to this feeling is the way the author has used the surrounding hills with their domineering presence to add an extra chill factor.

Old houses have histories and when they are in village communities they also have secrets, whispers and to some extent mistrust, depending on who you listen to …

As this is also a guest house, there are obviously guests, some are welcomed and some are not. It was interesting to see how things had been manipulated among the residents and how… actually I’m not saying anymore because I don’t want to spoil it… But I will say that there were several truths and revelations that raised my eyebrows.

While this is a psychological thriller, it is not a hardcore bloodfest sort. Yes, there is a body but there is something more sinisterly dangerous and also a vulnerability at play. It also deals with a tough condition that I thought had been done in a very well balanced way.

As for working out the culprit, well here the author outfoxed me, I could have listed several characters, in fact, this is what I believe the author has intended, so well played.

I have been very vague for this review, it is one of those books you need to experience for yourself. A story of family hoping for a new start. Secrets and rumours play a part. Mistrust add to the sense of suspense. A book that I really enjoyed from start to finish and it is one I would definitely recommend.

Image from Goodreads

Claire Douglas always wanted to write novels and, after many years of trying to get published, her dream came true when she won the Marie Claire Debut Novel Award in 2013 with THE SISTERS.

Her second and third novels, LOCAL GIRL MISSING and LAST SEEN ALIVE (Penguin), are Sunday Times bestsellers.

Visit Claire – Twitter

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