The Siege by John Sutherland @policecommander @Tr4cyF3nt0n @orionbooks #compulsivereaders #crime #thriller #mystery #PublicationDay #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Siege by John Sutherland. This is a fabulously tense, thriller that had me absolutely hooked. Also, very Happy Publication Day to you John 🙂

My huge thanks to Tracy at Compulsive Readers for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging for my copy of this book from the Publisher – Orion Books.

Nine hostages. Ten hours. One chance to save them all.

Lee James Connor has found his purpose in life: to follow the teachings of far-right extremist leader, Nicholas Farmer. So when his idol is jailed, he comes up with the perfect plan: take a local immigrant support group hostage until Farmer is released.

Grace Wheatley is no stranger to loneliness having weathered the passing of her husband, whilst being left to raise her son alone. The local support group is her only source of comfort. Until the day Lee James Connor walks in and threatens the existence of everything she’s ever known.

Superintendent Alex Lewis may be one of the most experienced hostage negotiators on the force, but there’s no such thing as a perfect record. Still haunted by his last case, can he connect with Connor – and save his nine hostages – before it’s too late?

MY REVIEW

This was such a tense book and it soon became obvious to me that I was not going to put it down until it was finished. A brilliant story from start to finish.

As the synopsis shows, there are 9 hostages, and only 10 hours to save them. The story revolves around three main characters, Lee, Grace and Alex.

Lee is a young man who takes the 9 people hostage.
Grace is one of the hostages.
Alex is a police negotiator.

There are other characters that have supporting roles, but the focus is on these three. How they came to be in the situation they are in. But more importantly, this story gets under the skin of the characters, into their minds and this makes it a fabulously addictive read.

In some respects, this is a slow-paced story, tentative steps, planning, conversations, background and negotiations are all wrapped into the personal lives of the main three. While it is slower-paced, it is also so tense and tight that it feels as if it is a faster pace. I know this sounds very convoluted, but while the essence of the negotiations is controlled the feelings of those concerned felt fraught. I think it is the element of danger, the wonder of what will happen that add a thriller feel.

Each of the characters is introduced, and their individual stories are expanded on throughout the book. As a reader, it is great to see into the minds and lives of people in situations and also into their beliefs. This does have race and immigration at its core, but there is something that is much deeper to this story. It is a story of manipulation and of false or fake news, and how easy it is for people to believe in unsubstantiated facts.

I think this is a fabulous read, the atmospheric tension makes this a page-turner and the characters are so wonderfully portrayed. My thoughts at the beginning of the book were different by the time I had finished it. There is a wonderful message behind the story and it is one that really resonated.

This is a book for fans of tense, suspense-filled crime, thriller and with a wonderful psychological feel to it. I adored every part of this book and I would definitely recommend it. Now I have read a little more “About the Author” I can see this is a guy who definitely knows his stuff, this really shows within this story. I am looking forward to reading more by this author.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

JOHN SUTHERLAND is a father of three who lives with his wife and children in south London. For more than twenty-five years he served as an officer in the Metropolitan Police, rising to the rank of Chief Superintendent before his retirement on medical grounds in 2018. John is a sought-after public speaker and commentator on a broad range of issues, who regularly appears on TV and radio and writes for major newspapers. His first book, BLUE, written and published while he was still serving in the Met, was a Sunday Times bestseller. It tells the remarkable stories of his policing life and describes his long road to recovery following the serious nervous breakdown that ended his operational policing career.

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The Ballad of Perilous Graves by Alex Jennings @Magicknegro @orbitbooks #compulsivereaders @Tr4cyF3nt0n #mysterious #urbanfantasy #magick #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Ballad of Perilous Graves by Alex Jennings. This is a brilliant read set in New Orleans with a wonderfully magical, musical and dangerous vibe.

I also want to add that the author did include a playlist for Spotify, this was so good to listen to. A mix of Jazz and Blues, some remixes and some that were new to me, and some rather modern ones!

My huge thanks to Tracy at Compulsive Readers for my PB copy of the book from the Publisher – Orbit Books

In a fantastical version of New Orleans where music is magic, a battle for the city’s soul brews between two young mages, a vengeful wraith, and one powerful song in this vibrant and imaginative debut.

Nola is a city full of wonders. A place of sky trolleys and dead cabs, where haints dance the night away and Wise Women keep the order, and where songs walk, talk and keep the spirit of the city alive. To those from Far Away, Nola might seem strange. To failed magician, Perilous Graves, it’s simply home. Then the rhythm stutters.

Nine songs of power have escaped from the magical piano that maintains the city’s beat and without them, Nola will fail. Unexpectedly, Perry and his sister, Brendy, are tasked with saving the city. But a storm is brewing and the Haint of All Haints is awake. Even if they capture the songs, Nola’s time might be coming to an end.

MY REVIEW

This is a book that I adored. A mix of urban fantasy, music, family friends and enemies. They are wrapped around songs and music. New Orleans is an area that has a mix of races, nationalities and ethnicities. Each brings its own traditions, religions, faiths, legends and myths. In this book, the author has mixed all of these together to create a slightly weird, oddball, wacky and wonderful story.

Music is magic and magic is music. In this story, it is what makes Nola a special place to live. It keeps the city thriving, in check and safe, that is until a vengeful spirit decides to cause chaos. It will be down to a group of children and some of their relatives to try to work out what is happening to the magic and the songs.

This is a story that I occasionally wondered ‘what on earth is going on!’ as it flitted from one person to another, and from one group to another. Even though I had trouble following where the author was going I found myself sticking with the book. I didn’t once think of putting it down because I wanted to know the outcomes. I am really glad I did because things gradually started to merge, make sense and become more clear. Did I fully understand everything about the story? No, probably not, but that doesn’t take away the entertainment value of the story. I also really enjoyed the music references such as Stagger Lee, Buddy Bolden and songs from the old Jazz and Blues eras. There are also mentions of spirits, haints, dead cabs, and so many different other things.

Essentially this is a story that starts out as a mystery. Jaylon and Daddy Deke have gone missing. Their respective families or friends are trying to find them and discover that not everything is as they think it is. There is another side that is separated by a thin layer. There is a storm coming, one that could be catastrophic unless the main characters can work out exactly what, how and when to do what they need to do.

I do think this is one of those books that may well divide the readers. It is quirky but I do love quirky, and when it is mixed in with urban fantasy, a rich setting and has some good music vibes running through it then it makes it a book that will catch my eye. In fact, it was the cover that did it for me, it made me think of voodoo, magic and death!

This is a fabulous read, I have been wavering between giving it a 4 or a 5 star. Five for the fact that I really enjoyed the style of the story but a four because I did feel a little lost at times.

This is one for those who like adventure, to take a risk and maybe for those looking for something a little bit different. I really enjoyed it and I would definitely recommend it. 

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The Curfew by T.M. Logan @TMLoganAuthor @Tr4cyF3nt0n @ZaffreBooks #crime #mystery #thriller #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Curfew by T.M. Logan. If you have read any of this authors books before then you are in for a treat, this one is brilliant!

My huge thanks to Tracy at Compulsive Readers for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my hardback copy from the publisher Zaffre Books

I should have known something was wrong.
I should have sensed it. Felt it in the air, like the build-up of pressure before a thunderstorm, that heavy, loaded calm.

The curfew
Andy and Laura are good parents. They tell their son Connor that he can go out with friends to celebrate completing his exams, but he must be home by midnight.

The lie
When Connor misses his curfew, it sets off a series of events that will change the lives of five families forever.

The truth?
Because five teenagers went into the woods that night, but only four came out. And telling the truth might mean losing everything…

WHAT WOULD YOU DO? 

MY REVIEW

The synopsis for The Curfew is so tantalising and it nicely sets the mood for what is to follow. Right from the outset, this book has a tense atmospheric edge to it, the further I read the more I needed to know what exactly happened the night five teens went into the woods and only four returned!

This was an addictive read and once I read over two sittings, I got a real sense of mistrust as I read, this gave such a tense feel to the overall story. When a teen doesn’t come home parents are obviously worried, phone calls to known friends and other parents soon ensue.

The police are obviously called and this begins the nightmare for several people. How far would you go to protect your own child, would you lie for them, would you omit important details, would you look for your own answers? Well of course you would, and more. This is what makes this book so addictive, tiptoeing over the line to protect your own is something most parents would do.

The crime, well it isn’t straightforward as such. There is no sign of the missing teen, there are however rumours. Deep down you know you don’t want to believe them, but it makes you wonder! It challenges the perceptions you have of your own family and your friends. Who to trust, who can be trusted and more importantly how will this all end!

The over-lying atmosphere for this book is amazing, it oozes suspicion from the first pages and the author ramps it up. It makes this book quite a fast-paced and edgy read. As I read I just didn’t know who to trust, I knew in my heart who I thought I could, but, there was always the element of doubt. This gives such a great psychological edge to the story and all the time I was on edge for some of the characters.

The characters are a mix of parents, teens and family members. This is a community where the teens all know each other, they know each other’s secrets and they see what happens. How do you convince a teen to tell the truth when they could be implicating their friends or disappointing their own parents, or landing themselves in real life-changing trouble?

There are so many dilemmas in this story and I think it would make for a fabulous Book Club read. I also think this would make an amazing thriller film as the author really does bring the eerie and spooky woodland setting into an unsettling and vivid image through the pages.

If you are a fan of this author’s previous books then I think you are going to love this one. This is definitely one for fans of suspense-filled, atmospherically charged, crime thriller and mystery read. A brilliant read from start to finish, with several unexpected twists and a great read. It is one I would definitely recommend.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

T.M. Logan is a Sunday Times bestseller whose thrillers have sold more than 1 million copies in the UK and are published in 18 countries around the world. The Holiday was a Richard and Judy Book Club pick and will soon be a major TV drama. Formerly a national newspaper journalist, he now writes full time and lives in Nottinghamshire with his wife and two children. Follow him on Twitter @TMLoganAuthorFollow him on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram

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Whitesands by Johann Thorsson @johannthors @Tr4cyF3nt0n #compulsivereaders #thriller #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Whitesands by Johann Thorsson. This is a wonderfully atmospheric and chilling thriller that I really enjoyed.

My huge thanks to Tracy at Compulsive Readers for my spot on this Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of this fabulous book.

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THE BREAKOUT SUPERNATURAL THRILLER FROM ICELANDIC WRITER JOHANN THORSSON

Detective John Dark’s daughter has been missing for two years. In his frantic and unfruitful search for her two years ago, John Dark overreached and was reprimanded and demoted.

Now suddenly back into the homicide department, Dark is put on a chilling case – a man who killed his wife in their locked house and then dressed the body up to resemble a deer, but claims to remember none of it. A few days later an impossibly similar case crops up connecting the suspects to a prep school and a thirty-year-old missing persons’ case.

Just as he is getting back into his old groove, a new lead in his daughter’s disappearance pops up and threatens to derail his career again.

Time is running out and John Dark needs to solve the case before more people are killed, and while there is still hope to find his daughter.

In the style of True Detective and Silence of the Lambs, WHITESANDS is a thrilling supernatural crime novel.

MY REVIEW

What a cracking read this book was. This is a book that threw me initially as I was kind of expecting this to be set in Iceland. Once I got my head around that and moved continents I found myself gradually getting to know the characters and started to see a larger more complex case than is originally set up.

This is the first book in the John Dark series and it is one that I am very excited about. It is a crime, thriller mystery and it has a fabulous supernatural twist incorporated into it. I am kind of partial to a crime or thriller story that has something a little different and this one certainly does.

There is a back story for Dark, and I am thinking that this is developed more as the series progresses, it definitely has the potential for it. By the time I had finished this book, I found myself with a few unanswered questions, nothing that felt like a huge cliffhanger but there is a final twist!

I do like this authors style of writing. There are some wonderful chilling and eerie atmospherics going on in this book and it makes for a gripping read. It has a good pace to it and even though there are quite a few threads, I did find it relatively easy to keep up with the story and the plots.

I thoroughly enjoyed this and I cant wait to see where the author goes with this series next. Ideal for those who like a grittier, atmospheric crime thriller with some great twists and eerie vibes. It is one I would definitely recommend. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Johann Thorsson is a writer of fiction with a supernatural slant, mainly short stories, mainly in English.

He was born in 1978 in a small town in Iceland (dark and cold, close to the sea). When he was nine he moved to Israel, and later to Croatia. He now resides in the Reykjavik area with his beautiful wife and two little kids.

His work has appeared in numerous publications, including Every Day Fiction, eFiction Magazine, eFiction Horror and Fireside Fiction.

Most recently, a story of his was selected for in the forthcoming anthology Apex Book of World SF 4 and Garden of Fiends

His favourite books are 1984, Flowers for Algernon, I am LegendThe Things They Carried and Neil Gaiman’s Sandman graphic novels. Oh, and Michael Ondaatje’s The English Patient. Daniel Woodrell’s Winter’s Bone. Romeo and Juliet. (This could go on for a while).

Visit Johann’s Website HERE

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The Bone Shard Emperor (The Drowning Empire #2) by Andrea Stewart @AndreaGStewart @OrbitBooks #fantasy #Tr4cyF3nt0n #compulsivereaders #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Bone Shard Emperor by Andrea Stewart. This is the 2nd book in The Drowning Empire series and I am loving it.

My huge thanks to Tracy at Compulsive Readers for my invite and spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of this book from the publisher, Orbit Books, via NetGalley.

Andrea Stewart returns with The Bone Shard Emperor, the second instalment of this unmissable, action-packed, magic-laced fantasy epic.

The Emperor is Dead. Long live the Emperor.  

Lin Sukai finally sits on the throne she won at so much cost, but her struggles are only just beginning. Her people don’t trust her. Her political alliances are weak. And in the northeast of the Empire, a rebel army of constructs is gathering, its leader determined to take the throne by force.  

Yet an even greater threat is on the horizon, for the Alanga – the powerful magicians of legend – have returned to the Empire. They claim they come in peace, and Lin will need their help in order to defeat the rebels and restore peace.  

But can she trust them?

MY REVIEW

Following on from the first book, The Bone Shard Emperor follows Lin, now the Emperor as she tries to unite the Islands. Trying to break the mistrust of the last Emperor and show that she does in fact care about the people is going to be hard for Lin. She does however have Jovis by her side, someone the people look up to him and tell the songs of his smuggling days.

If you have not yet read the first book then I do highly recommend doing so before going into this book. The main characters, the basic premise for the series and of course the events all follow through to this second book.

The islands and their people are worried, some of the islands have sunk, there are rumours of constructs attacking villages and even more worrying is that mentions of the Alanga returning are starting to take hold. Governors and people of the Islands believe Lin to be like her father, the old Emperor, cruel, aloof, and never having time for them. Lin starts as she means to go on, but it is definitely an uphill battle. Return the bone shards to their owners is only part of the process, bringing unity is going to take something more.

I really enjoyed this second book, it felt similar to the previous but more detailed. I found this contained more history, background stories, and legend. The author added more details to her characters and brought the main ones more into play.

I enjoyed the way the author built on the mistrust between several characters and also on the whole within the islands. No one is quite sure how much each other can be trusted, and this adds to the intrigue of the story overall. This did feel slower, and at times I did wonder where it was going, but still very addictive. The pacing may have started a little slower, but my goodness did it speed up as it progressed.

The way the author has created the imagery within the story is fab, especially when it comes to Mephi and Thrana, the bone shard magic and of course the Alanga. Add into this as to why the islands are drowning, why the constructs are attacking and it all builds a magical fantasy empire full of secrets. It makes for an entertaining, absorbing and brilliant read full of adventure and action in the later stages. While this second book has brought Lin to the forefront and has repaired some of the trust that had been lost, there is obviously a lot more to be done.

This book is a fabulous second in the series, while it cements the characters, it also introduces new ones and adds more dimensions, questions and intrigue. This is a series I am absolutely loving and I cannot wait to see what happens next. There are so many possibilities and the author has left some tantalising hints.

If you are a fan of fantasy then this is a brilliant book, as I mentioned this is one you do really need in order. I adored everything about it and I would definitely recommend it. Addictive, magical, vivid imagery, good character development and completely addictive reading.

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The Lost by Simon Beckett @BeckettSimon @Tr4cyF3nt0n @orionbooks #compulsivereaders #crime #thriller #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Lost by Simon Beckett. This is the first time I have read anything by this author, so what better way to start than with this #1 Jonah Colley

My thanks to Tracy at Compulsive Readers for arranging my copy of this book and for my spot on the Blog Tour.

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A MISSING CHILD

Ten years ago, the disappearance of firearms police officer Jonah Colley’s young son almost destroyed him.

A GRUESOME DISCOVERY

A plea for help from an old friend leads Jonah to Slaughter Quay and the discovery of four bodies. Brutally attacked and left for dead, he is the only survivor.

A SEARCH FOR THE TRUTH


Under suspicion himself, he uncovers a network of secrets and lies about the people he thought he knew – forcing him to question what really happened all those years ago…

MY REVIEW

10 years separate two crimes, but what and is there a link is a question that Jonah Colley and other detectives want to know.

An old friend calls Jonah for help. Little does Jonah know what is to come. It will open old wounds and put him in the firing line as far as an investigation is concerned. How innocent is Jonah and what happened all those years ago?

This is the first time I have read a book by this author but I knew when I read the synopsis it was one I wanted to read. I do love a short synopsis and the one for this story is short, it is also very intriguing.

The author doesn’t hang about with this story and it progresses at such a good pace, it works so well with the story where time is something that is important. As the main investigation gets going it feels as if Jonah has to try and stay one step ahead.

I like how the author has woven the two timelines together so well, it has helped build a larger picture and it is also a way to gradually learn more details. The major details are trickled out and rather than being one large eureka moment, there are a series of realisations, that is until you get towards the end of the story and the final piece of the puzzle is placed.

This is a story that is quite complex as I now start to try and write my review, but while reading it there wasn’t a point where I felt lost or out of my depth. Instead, the author carefully laid the story out and it was full of double-crossing, lies, secrets and twists.

The story of Jonah is a heartbreaking one, it has tormented him for years and it gives such a brutal backstory which the author has used to build his character. There are dark and emotional themes in this story, there is cruelty that gradually unearths itself and it gives this a grittier edge.

This is one for those who like an intense, edgy, dark and atmospheric story. I thought it was an excellent read with some fabulously sneaky characters and also one that I found extremely addictive, so much so that this was a one-sitting read. I would definitely recommend it.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Simon Beckett is the No.1 International Bestselling author of the David Hunter series. His books have been translated into 29 languages, appeared in the Sunday Times Top 10 bestseller lists and sold over 10 million copies worldwide. A former freelance journalist who has written for The Times, The Daily Telegraph, The Independent on Sunday and The Observer, the inspiration for the first David Hunter novel came after a visit to the world-renowned Body Farm in Tennessee introduced him to the work of forensic anthropologists.

As well as co-winning the Ripper Award in 2018/19, the largest European crime prize, Simon has won the Raymond Chandler Society’s ‘Marlowe’ Award and been short-listed for the CWA Gold Dagger, CWA Dagger in the Library and Theakston’s Crime Novel of the Year.

In addition to the six David Hunter titles, the most recent of which is The Scent of Death, he has written five standalone novels, one of which, Where There’s Smoke, was adapted into a major ITV two-part drama.

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The New Kingdom by Wilbur Smith @thewilbursmith @ZaffreBooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n #compulsivereaders #ancientegypt #historicalfiction #bookreview

I am delighted to be joining the Blog Tour today for an author whose books I have read since I was around 15 years old. The New Kingdom by Wilbur Smith is the 7th book in the Ancient Egypt series and it is an action packed journey.

My huge thanks to Tracy at Compulsive Readers for arranging my gorgeous hardback copy of the book from the publisher Zaffre Books.

In the heart of Egypt
Under the watchful eye of the gods
A new power is rising

In the city of Lahun, Hui lives an enchanted life. The favoured son of a doting father, and ruler-in-waiting of the great city, his fate is set. But behind the beautiful façades, a sinister evil is plotting. Craving power and embittered by jealousy, Hui’s stepmother, the great sorceress Isetnofret, and Hui’s own brother Qen, orchestrate the downfall of Hui’s father, condemning Hui and seizing power in the city.

Cast out and alone, Hui finds himself a captive of a skilled and powerful army of outlaws, the Hyksos. Determined to seek vengeance for the death of his father and rescue his sister, Ipwet, Hui swears his allegiance to these enemies of Egypt. Through them he learns the art of war, learning how to fight and becoming an envied charioteer.

But soon Hui finds himself in an even greater battle – one for the very heart of Egypt itself. As the pieces fall into place and the Gods themselves join the fray, Hui finds himself fighting alongside the Egyptian General Tanus and renowned Mage, Taita. Now Hui must choose his path – will he be a hero in the old world or a master in a new kingdom?

Don’t miss the rest of the epic Ancient Egyptian Series, River God, The Seventh Scroll, Warlock, The Quest, Desert God and Pharaoh, available now. And Wilbur Smith will return to Ancient Egypt in 2022.

PURCHASE HERE

MY REVIEW

I always enjoy reading anything by this author and his latest book The New Kingdom was a riveting read. This is the 7th book in the Ancient Egypt series, somewhere along the way I have missed the last two books! But, this book could easily be read as a stand-alone, if you haven’t started this series and are planning on reading it, then read the previous ones first.

This is the story of Hui, he is the son of Kwahy, the governor of Luhan. Bandits, tribes and outlaws are known to be in the area, Lower and Upper Egypt show animosity towards each other. Egypt is a country that has wealth and also a lot of hardship.

Hui finds himself on the outside of Luhan, no longer in a position of privilege. What should have brought him good luck instead brought him to the edge of death. He is forced to flee the life he has known to survive. This leads him to a world of bandits, the outlaws and he will need all his wits about him to survive.

The story focuses on Hui and those closest to him. There is a good amount of historical reference in this story as well as the religion of the time. But for me, this was more an action and adventure story rather than the historical fiction I was expecting. I have to say I really enjoyed this fast-paced and exciting journey as I follo0wed Hui from one dilemma to another putting himself in situation after situation. This is one of those stories that I could see working well on the screen as there is quite a bit of action.

Hui is a character who thinks on his feet and if it wasn’t for his wit he would soon find himself in more trouble than he already had. He is a character that I really liked, a rogue in some ways, a liar, but one who has an end goal. So, no, not that trustworthy but I couldn’t help but like him.

I liked the historical content and also the way the mythology and religion were worked into the story. Let’s be honest any story about ancient Egypt needs to have some sort of magic in it, as well as conspiracy, and there is a lot of that. Conspiracy between families as they try to manoeuvre and outwit other, characters swapping allegiances and sides. This all adds to the thrill of the story and as I mentioned earlier, it adds to the action.

This was a fast-paced and exciting read and one that I thoroughly enjoyed. It was a wonderful story and one that I would definitely recommend.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Wilbur Smith

Wilbur Smith is the bestselling author of many novels, each meticulously researched on his numerous expeditions worldwide. His bestselling Courtney series includes AssegaiThe Sound of ThunderBirds of PreyMonsoon, and Blue Horizon. His other books include Those in PerilRiver GodWarlockThe Seventh Scroll, and The Sunbird. His books are now translated into twenty-six languages and have sold over 120 million copies. Smith was born to a British family in Northern Rhodesia, now Zambia, in Central Africa, and attended Rhodes University in South Africa. He has homes in Cape Town, London, Switzerland and Malta.

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The Country Village Summer Fete by Cathy Lake @LakeAuthor @Tr4cyF3nt0n #CompulsiveReaders @ZaffreBooks #contemporaryfiction #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Country Village Summer Fete by Cathy Lake. This was a gorgeous summery read and one that I adored.

My huge thanks to Tracy Fenton at Compulsive Readers and Zaffre for my spot on the Blog Tour and for my copy of this book.

A feel-good, uplifting summer read for fans of Heidi Swain and Cathy Bramley.

Emma Patrick’s life is spiralling out of control. On the cusp of her 50th birthday, she suddenly realises that she doesn’t have many meaningful relationships in her life. She’s single, successful, living alone and thinks she’s loving it, but being so focussed on work and always online means she’s lost any real connection to people.

When Emma gets a call to say her ageing father is becoming increasingly confused, she decides that she should go back home to the countryside to spend some time with him. But returning to Little Bramble, the village she grew up in, after all these years, is filled with complications of its own and people she’d rather avoid.

As Emma starts to settle in to her childhood home, she finds herself loving village life – much to her surprise. When the opportunity to get involved in the running of the summer fete comes her way, before she knows it she’s embracing jam making, cake baking and bunting. And with romance brewing, Emma begins to doubt the glamorous life in London that she worked so hard to build . . . 

My Review…

What a wonderful book this was as I got to know Emma as she returned to her childhood home of Bramble Village.

After finding herself wandering around a Tesco store at a ridiculous time of the morning she realises she needs a break from her life and career in London. She decides to return home when she hears her Dad has not been the best.

This was a wonderful story to disappear into for a few hours. A story that tells of how Emma had run away from the life that already seemed planned, instead of spending 30 years working hard, not fully embracing life and discovering she is running herself to the ground.

Being home opens old memories and brings heartache as she remembers things that have happened. She imagines people in the village will be hostile towards her and fears that the community has moved on. Things have indeed changed, but what makes the community is still there. The author brings a lovely sense of warmth, compassion and understanding to her village setting. A buzzing community with a sense of looking out for anyone who lives there.

This was such a wonderful read, it is a story of friendship and life, of family and friends. Moving on and accepting the past has happened but learning that it is ok. It is a story that had me smirking, feeling a sense of loss and also maybe the odd happy tear.

This is one for readers who enjoy a good bit of escapism reading, it has a lovely story with some friendly characters. It is one for contemporary romance and fiction readers and one that I would recommend. 

About the Author…

Cathy Lake is a women’s fiction writer who lives with her family and three dogs in beautiful South Wales. She writes uplifting stories about strong women, family, friendship, love, community and overcoming obstacles.

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Geiger by Gustaf Skördeman #Geiger @ZaffreBooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n #compulsivereaders #NetGalley #thriller #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Geiger by Gustaf Skördeman. This is a tense conspiracy thriller that I thoroughly enjoyed and is published tomorrow (29th April 2021).

My huge thanks to Tracy at Compulsive Readers for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of this fabulous book via Net Galley.

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For fans of  I Am Pilgrim, GEIGER is set to become the must-read international thriller of 2021. 

The landline rings as Agneta is waving off her grandchildren. Just one word comes out of the receiver: ‘Geiger’. For decades, Agneta has always known that this moment would come, but she is shaken. She knows what it means.

Retrieving her weapon from its hiding place, she attaches the silencer and creeps up behind her husband before pressing the barrel to his temple.

Then she squeezes the trigger and disappears – leaving behind her wallet and keys.

The extraordinary murder is not Sara Nowak’s case. But she was once close to those affected and, defying regulations, she joins the investigation. What Sara doesn’t know is that the mysterious codeword is just the first piece in the puzzle of an intricate and devastating plot fifty years in the making…

Purchase link – Amazon UK

My Review…

Well, the synopsis for Geiger is definitely intriguing, well I thought so, it also makes for a very good start to this story.

This is a really good and well-plotted spy thriller that I really enjoyed. There is a blend of past and present that the author links together really well and is full of little subplots. The present is about the death of Stellan, and of his missing wife as well as the character of Sara a police officer with connections to the family. The past is more in the eighties with the fall of the Berlin Wall, German reunifications, USSR, GDR, spies, espionage, theories, politics and various other items of the time.

The mix of historical into this story was the part that I probably enjoyed the most, the cloak and dagger spy stuff if you like. But then I also liked the present story with a more procedural presence to it as you would find in a crime thriller. The idea of having a historical aspect in the story is great as it does add a great amount of intrigue. There is a good amount of detail that emerges as part of the story, this does however slow the pace down. I do like a slower paced book, and it meant I could take my time and not feel rushed while I was reading. I was able to read with the flow of the story and absorb the many details.

The author has a good mix of characters, enough for the different parts of the story and the different subplots, but not too many that I lost track of who was who. I did mention that there is a whole range of different things going on in this story, one of the themes is quite a distressing one and one I didn’t expect. While it is part of the story, it doesn’t make for pleasant reading.

A story that starts with a murder that then develops into a central European espionage ring, with mentions of family, upbringing and lifestyle there is a lot going on. A really intriguing and interesting read that had me wondering who was who and why they did what they did. I would recommend this for readers who prefer a slower-paced and intense spy-thriller story.

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Judas Horse by Lynda La Plante @ZaffreBooks @NetGalley @LaPlanteLynda #compulsivereaders @Tr4cyF3nt0n #crime bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Judas Horse by Lynda La Plante. It has been a while since I have read a book by this author and I was delighted to get a spot on the Blog Tour. My huge thanks to Tracy at Compulsive Readers for my spot on the tour and for arranging my e-copy of the book.

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Not all killers can be tamed… The thrilling second book in the Sunday Times bestselling Detective Jack Warr crime series. 

Wild mustangs are difficult to rope, their lead stallion wary and protective of his herd. To capture that special stallion takes time. He is separated, roped, and lead back to the ranch. Once tamed, he is sent back into the wild. And before long, he will lead the entire herd back to the ranch. He is given the name ‘Judas Horse’. When Detective Jack Warr identifies an informer, the terrified man begins to give details of a massive robbery planned by a team of unscrupulous and dangerous men. These men have already orchestrated many audacious robberies, leaving terrified victims in their wake. And they have already killed to get what they want. Detective Jack Warr and his team must use their informant as a ‘Judas Horse’ to draw in the unsuspecting robbers, so that they go ahead with the planned robbery. However, one false move, and more blood will be spilled . . .

My Review…

This is the second book in the DC Jack Warr series and I can say it works very well as a standalone, I have not read the first one.

It has been a while since I have read any of this authors books, and I am delighted to see that she has lost none of her magic when it comes to writing. There is something mesmerising about her writing and the ability to draw the reader into a story so quickly.

Jack Warr is a character I already have a soft spot for. He is one of those intrinsically good guys, but there is something a little more to him. He shows not only great instincts when it comes to his work, but has a way with people, they either respect him or think he is above himself.

The story sees Jack join a team that has run out of ideas for a series of burglaries. Jack has superiors who believe in him and his abilities to get to the bottom of cases, so he becomes the ideal officer to send to the wealthy area of Chipping Norton.

The ability of the author to create such a complex and yet easy to understand the story is something else. There are layers upon layers to the story that seems to get deeper and deeper the further the story goes. It takes a while for all the threads to emerge and for them to get linked. This means the reader gets a wonderful story that is full of intrigue, plots, subplots and as if this isn’t enough there are some wonderful personal stories that have been woven in as well.

This was such a brilliant crime novel to read and has made me realise how much I used to enjoy reading this authors books. I thought that Jack was such a good character and is one that has more to him than meets the eye. I can’t wait to get to know him more. This is one for police procedural fans and lovers of crime thrillers. I thoroughly enjoyed it and would definitely recommend it.

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