A Dark Matter by Doug Johnstone @doug_johnstone @OrendaBooks @annecater #RandomThingsTours #OrendaBooks #BookReview

I am delighted to share my review for A Dark Matter by Doug Johnstone. My huge thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours and Orenda Books for my spot on the Blog Tour and my e-copy of this terrrific book.

Let me show you what it is all about…

After an unexpected death, three generations of women take over the family funeral-home and PI businesses in the first book of a brilliant, page-turning and darkly funny new series


The Skelfs are a well-known Edinburgh family, proprietors of a long-established funeral-home business, and private investigators. When patriarch Jim dies, it’s left to his wife Dorothy, daughter Jenny and granddaughter Hannah to take charge of both businesses, kicking off an unexpected series of events.

Dorothy discovers mysterious payments to another women, suggesting that Jim wasn’t the husband she thought he was. Hannah’s best friend Mel has vanished from university, and the simple adultery case that Jenny takes on leads to something stranger and far darker than any of them could have imagined.

As the women struggle to come to terms with their grief, and the demands of the business threaten to overwhelm them, secrets from the past emerge, which change everything… It’s a compelling and tense thriller and a darkly funny, warm portrait of a family in turmoil.

The really like the simplicity of this cover and as I again look at it after reading the book it is also so appropriate. The synopsis does a great job of setting the basics up for this story. This is the first in a new series by Doug Johnstone and I have to say I cannot wait to see what these feisty Sklef women get up to in further books.

This is a story that is about coming to terms with the death of a loved one who left one or two skeletons lurking behind him. Jim’s death leaves not only a big hole in the lives of his family, it also leaves a hole in the two businesses. One is a funeral directors the other is a private Investigation business.

Taking over two businesses throws up a few surprises, in fact surprise is something that each of the three Skelf women, in this story, have got to deal with. Some hit closer to home than others. In some respects this book is like reading interconnected stories, that have an individual feel at times but also are linked.

The individual stories gradually make themselves known and after a slower start I suddenly found myself finding my feet. There were a few characters to get my head around, but gradually I did and I was able to see the story rather than trying to remember who was who.

Dealing with grief at the same time as discovering secrets and trying to keep business running is a tall order. This is something the Skelf ‘s seem to take in their stride. These are strong women, who do have moments of doubt but continue on.

This is a really good read that has more than a few surprises tucked in the pages, very cleverly worked and quite a lot of facts scattered throughout that added some wonderful reading extras.

If you are a reader who likes crime and mystery reads then this will be right up your street, I am really looking forward to what happens next and what the author can weave into his next book. A Dark Matter gets a definitely recommended from me.

Doug Johnstone is the author of ten novels, most recently Breakers (2018), which has been shortlisted for the McIlvanney Prize for Scottish Crime Novel of the Year. Several of his books have been bestsellers and award winners, and his work has been praised by the likes of Val McDermid, Irvine Welsh and Ian Rankin. He’s taught creative writing and been writer in residence at various institutions – including a funeral home – and has been an arts journalist for twenty years. Doug is a songwriter and musician with five albums and three EPs released, and he plays drums for the Fun Lovin’ Crime Writers, a band of crime writers. He’s also playermanager of the Scotland Writers Football Club. He lives in Edinburgh.

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No Mercy by Robert Crouch @robertcrouchuk #mystery #BookReview

I am absolutely delighted to share my review for Robert Crouch’s latest book No Mercy. I am a big fan of Robert’s Kent Fisher series and he is an author who is on my “will automatically read” list. So when I saw an email asking me if I wanted to read book #5 in the series it was an automatic “Yes please” without reading any of the blurb.

So without further ado, let me show you what No Mercy is all about…

COULD YOU KILL IF JUSTICE FAILED YOU?

Highways Inspector, Derek Forster, couldn’t go on after the death of his wife. Even though he had a secret lover, he took his own life. Or did he?

Samson Capote, the restaurateur from hell, brutally attacked and left to die in a deep freezer. Did he antagonise too many people? Was he sharing Forster’s secret lover?

Millionaire entrepreneur, Clive Chesterton, falls from his yacht and drowns in Sovereign Harbour. Why did he have Forster’s missing journals in his cabin?

When Kent Fisher becomes a murder suspect, he realises he could be the next victim of a killer who shows no mercy.

Can Kent connect the deaths and solve the mystery before the killer gets to him? 

I am a big fan of this series and I adore the character of Kent Fisher an Environmental Health Officer who runs and animal sanctuary and solves the odd murder.

This is the latest in the Kent Fisher series and while you can read it as a stand-alone, why would you even want to, just read the series from the beginning.

So this book sees Kent right in the thick of things as usual, he is quite used to being in this position as he does seem to attack trouble. This time however he has things coming at him from all sides. It starts with his ex-girlfriend rocking up on his doorstep, then an alleged suicide starts the ball rolling. As the story pans out things gather momentum and a bigger picture is gradually seen.

This book could just as easily be called the Trials of Kent Fisher, except it wouldn’t fit with the “No” titles of the previous books. There are problems at work and on the home front and I felt really sorry for Kent having to deal with so much. But as one lead leads to another things gradually start coming to light until quite a dramatic final few pages when things are pieced together fully.

The author has once again done a cracking job with Kent Fisher, there are many different things going on in the story and not once did I feel confused. The pacing is spot on for me and suited the story so well. I do admit to being invested in this character and I am chuckling as I write this, because there were times when my blood boiled as I read parts of the story where Kent was being given a rough time by some of the powers that be! This is credit to the author for making this reader care about what happens to this fictional character.

I thoroughly enjoyed catching up with Kent and the other characters, there are some old favourites as well as a few new ones that are pertinent to this story. The whole book was a pleasure to read and I sat and read it over one lazy evening.

If you like a good mystery series that has a wonderful classic ‘whodunit’ style as leads are followed and deductions are made, and if you haven’t yet come across Robert Crouch’s Kent Fisher series then do go and look it up, it is a fabulous series that I have loved from the very start. No Mercy is a cracking read and I would Definitely Recommend it.

Robert Crouch writes the kind of books he loves to read. Books ranging from the classic whodunit by authors like Agatha Christie, the feisty private eye novels of Sue Grafton, thrillers by Dick Francis, and the modern crime fiction of Peter James and LJ Ross.

He created Kent Fisher as an ordinary person, drawn into solving murders. He’s an underdog battling superior forces and minds, seeking justice and fair play in a cruel world. These are the values and motivations that underpinned Robert’s long career as an environmental health officer.

He now writes full time from his home in East Sussex. When not writing, he’s often find walking on the South Downs with his West Highland white terrier, Harvey, taking photographs and researching the settings for future Kent Fisher mysteries.

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Check out the series on Amazon UK

The Choice by Claire Wade #Dystopian #BookReview

I am delighted to share my review for The Choice by Claire Wade. I originally saw a review for this book on Linda’s Book Bag and after reading her fabulous review I immediately ordered a copy.

If you have read this book you will understand the significance of the cake in my photo! If you haven’t read the book then go and get a copy as you will not be disappointed 🙂

‘Eat the best, leave the rest! Remember Mother knows best.’

Olivia Pritchard lives in constant fear since Mother Mason came into power. Everything from healthy eating to exercise is controlled by the government, all in the name of health and happiness. Olivia hates being dictated to, but to protect her family she must follow the rules or face a stay in the Shame Box – a perspex box, placed in a public place for everyone to judge.

After Olivia witnesses an innocent woman being violently arrested, she is no longer able to ignore the injustice. The underground rebellion ‘Cut The Apron Strings’ is gaining momentum and for the first time in years Olivia has a choice: keep her head down or join the fray…

When you hear the saying “Mother knows best” it conjures up an image of your mum knowing what is good for you, helping you to make good and right decisions to hopefully give you the tools for living and leading a good life in the future. However, what if that guiding encouragement is taken to the extreme and becomes more than guidance. What if it becomes a regime! What if Mother is a dictator that does know what is best and controls your life, health, exercise and in fact permeates your every waking moment!

The author has done an amazing job of exploring the idea of choice to a wonderful level. Having a choice about the things we eat, drink, talk about and take part in, is part of our way of life. The author has used the character of Mother Mason to show how a figure in power can use and a political platform and then abuse her position to create a society that lives in fear.

The main protagonist of this story is Olivia Pritchard, a wife and mum of two. She lives in perpetual fear. Fear of being caught doing or saying the wrong thing, of being noticed and it consumes her life. The consequences of making a mistake are severe. It could impact her life, but more importantly the lives of her two children. This is a story that shows Olivia’s “Mothers Love” can make cause drastic and life-threatening implications.

I adored the style and theme of this story. The author has taken the idea of certain foods being bad for us and taking it it to a whole new level along with the idea that rules regarding how a healthy life should be lived. Because of this basis, the story has a really good believable feel to it. Government guidelines are often in the news about what we should eat more of, what we should limit ourselves to and how much exercise we should have. While these guidelines are good, they are also ever-changing.

Olivia was a character that I immediately felt for, I felt sorry for her and I could see why she worried about everything. She was the quiet one who had priorities. Her friend, the slightly reckless Alice, didn’t have children so she could afford to be a little more outspoken in her views. As the story progressed from the opening few chapters, the real oppression could be felt. It gradually got deeper and the full implications started to come to light.

I do love a good dystopian novel that has it’s feet well and truly in the Orwellian Big Brother style and this book really did have that feel.. The fear of your neighbour or someone overhearing a remark or seeing something was so good. It added a thrill element to the story that had me on the edge of my seat.

This is a story that has a core of character that are the main players, there are a few others that are introduced but not too many that you lose track of them. This keeps the flow of the reading as I didn’t have to remember who was who.

This was a fabulous read and had me totally hooked. If you are a fan of this style of story then you are going to love The Choice. It gets a definitely recommended from Me!

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

My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing #Bookreview

I am delighted to share my thoughts on My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing. The title for this book is fabulous and is such a deceptive title for what lies in wait fo rthe reader!

I read this before Christmas last year and I am still catching up with a few stray Book Reviews from my own reading pile so…

Let me show you what it is all about…

Every marriage has secrets. Everyone has flaws. Your wife isn’t perfect – you know that – but then again nor are you.

But now a serial killer is on the loose in your small town, preying on young women. Fear is driving your well-behaved young daughter off the rails, and you find yourself in bed late at night, looking at the woman who lies asleep beside you.

Because you thought you knew the worst about her. The truth is you know nothing at all.

This is a thriller like nothing you’ve read before…

OK, so when I saw a quote by author CJ. Tudor referring to this book being “Dexter meets Gone Girl” I thought to myself that if done well it should be a twisted read! And bloomin’ ‘eck it certainly was!

So, what to tell you about this story…hmmm! It is about a family of Mum, Dad and two kids: one of each, nice house, both work and they all seem to muddle along quite nicely. Will that do? No! Oh, okay…

There is a killer at large and he is targeting women, to all intents and purposes this is the re-emergence of a serial killer that had been at large years ago. There is a certain amount of tension as the killer has got in touch with the media, as is the way of things nowadays everything is analysed under a microscope. This attention adds fuel to the psychological firestorm that is brewing. It’s effects are felt very close to home.

The author has used quick chapters and a back and forth style to create a fabulous domestic thriller, there are tensions from many aspects. The teenage children are exposed to an limitlessness torrent of news and media reports that have some unsettling consequences for the parents in this family.

The family from the outside look like your normal suburban family, but it is what goes on behind closed doors that counts, that’s when you get to see the real them! The mother seems a little too controlled and ordered and this gives her a slightly cold trait, but given her history it wasn’t that surprising. The dad, is a tennis coach and has a steady stream of clients, but he is not the main earner, that is the wife.

I feel I must apologise at this point for the really, really randomness of this review. There are so many things I want to tell you about this book and each time I start I have to stop as it would give away too many things.

This book is a psychological thriller of the domestic variety, it is a book that centre around one particular family. It delves into their daily lives and tiptoes briefly back in time. It has quite a few surprises along the way and at one point in the story I did have an inkling and then thought nah, and brushed it aside and it lay forgotten about until I had that eureka moment of “OMG I was right” and I have o say I was still shocked!

This is a clever and viciously twisted book, it had a certain amount of intrigue from the outset that just increased as the story unfolded. I did take a little longer to read this, I think three or four sittings, due to work and other boring but necessary stuff, but it is one of those books that kept niggling at me to pick it up and read it.

If you like a good domestic, psychological thriller then get a copy of this one. I thoroughly enjoyed it and would definitely recommend it.

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

The Place We Call Home by Faith Hogan @GerHogan @aria_fiction #BookReview

I am delighted to share my thoughts on The Place We Call Home by Faith Hogan. My huge thanks to the author and also Vicki at Aria Fiction for the invite to read the book and also a spot on the Blog Tour.

Let me show you what this book is all about…

Welcome to Ballycove, the home of Corrigan Mills…

Set against the backdrop of the beautiful Irish countryside the famed mills have created the finest wool in all of Ireland. Run by the seemingly perfect Corrigan family, but every family has its secrets, and how the mills came to be the Corrigan’s is one of them…


Miranda and her husband were never meant to own the mills, until one fateful day catapults them into a life they never thought they’d lead.


Ada has forever lived her life in her sister’s shadow. Wanting only to please her mother and take her place as the new leader of the mill, Ada might just have to take a look at what her heart really wants.


Callie has a flourishing international career as a top designer and a man who loves her dearly, she appears to have it all. When a secret is revealed and she’s unceremoniously turfed out of the design world, Callie might just get what’s she’s been yearning for. The chance to go home.


Simon has always wanted more. More money, more fame, more notoriety. The problem child. Simon has made more enemies than friends over the years, and when one of his latest schemes falls foul he’ll have to return to the people who always believe in him.


Ballycove isn’t just a town in the Irish countryside. It isn’t just the base of the famous mills. It’s a place to call home.

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Well I have to say that the imagery that this author has created in this book is exceptional, I loved reading the sections about the mills, the countryside and life that Miranda experienced as a child.

Then add the present day settings as Miranda, the owner of Corrigan’s Mill, is starting to feel her years, her health is not as it once was. In the wings her three children try to workout what their mum is going to do with a lucrative business and also worry about her remaining years and their futures.

These timelines have been brilliantly woven to create such a wonderful stroll through the Irish countryside and community as I was transported into the Corrigan family through the years.

This is such a gentle read and it was an absolute pleasure to disappear between the pages and discover a life that has had it’s up’s and downs over the years. Miranda was a lovely character and I soon warmed to her in her childhood and admired her resilience in her adult years. She brought up three children who are very individual and very different characters.

Ada is the more serious one, Simon is always looking for the next big deal and Callie a big name in the fashion world. Each child has a good life and in theory they should be happy, but each one seems to have a crisis and this is what finally brings them home and together again. It is only Ada who has remained at home over the years.

This is a family that should be strong together but are actually fractured. They have had opportunity and chances and yet can’t seem to see what they have. As hard as it is for Miranda to try and keep them all happy, and even with her health, they seem as distant with each other as ever.

This is such a wonderful story that opens old wounds and confronts new ones that are still raw, resentment and anger are as rife as frustrations and honesty start to make themselves shown. It is an emotional book and I did have the odd watery eye moment, but this is not what I would call a heartrendingly sad book. There are heartbreaking moments, but the story is also heartwarming as realisations are finally acknowledged.

This was a terrific read and one that I sat and read in one sitting. It was a story that drew me in and had me totally captivated with the gentle pacing and also the compelling story line. This is really good read and one I would definitely recommend.

Faith lives in the west of Ireland with her husband, four children and two very fussy cats. She has an Hons Degree in English Literature and Psychology, has worked as a fashion model and in the intellectual disability and mental health sector.

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

Victory Day by Rachel Churcher @Rachel_Churcher @rararesources #BookReview

I am delighted to share my thoughts for Victory Day by Rachel Churcher. This is the latest in the Battleground series and I have been loving it. It is a YA dystopian that is set in the near future. My huge thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my invite onto the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of this book.

Let me show you what it is all about…

Bex Ellman and Ketty Smith meet in London. As the war heats up around them, Bex and Ketty must learn to trust each other. With her friends and family in danger, Bex needs Ketty to help rescue them. For Ketty, working with Bex is a matter of survival. When Victory is declared, both will be held accountable for their decisions.

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

This is the latest in the Battleground series, a YA dystopian set in th near future. Bex and her group are in hiding in Scotland while family and friends are awaiting a trial. Ketty is feeling the pressure in London as the tension increases and her position is reliant on her boss.

Up to this latest instalment in the series, the focus has been on Bex and the resistance trying to evade capture, getting embroiled in skirmishes and trying to survive. The government is using Bex and the resistance in propaganda style news broadcasts and using video clips of family and friends to provoke a reaction. Ketty is the one responsible for the video and is not adverse to using her own strong arm tactics to gather information that could help in the capture of Bex and her group of friends.

Victory Day has a more political leaning to it, the machinations of government and politics has been very carefully woven into the story that has seen the Bex and Ketty pitted against each other from the very start of the series. As we know, when politics is involved things can get messy. People are used and lies are the norm, putting yourself in the best possible position becomes priority and is a matter of survival.

Victory Day see’s these long term adversaries being thrust right into the thick of things once again as moves are made that could change the future in this story. Things are being brought out in the open and truths are finally being uncovered, feelings are shared and the full extent of the past is brought to the front.The tension has really increased with this story, but in a different way to the previous ones.

If you have not yet read any of this series, then you really want to read it from the very beginning. It is full of intrigue and tension as corruption, lies, deceit and politics have all been brilliantly woven to create an amazing series. Victory Day is another fabulous read and had me hooked and it became a one sitting read. I would definitely recommend this book and the series.

Rachel Churcher was born between the last manned moon landing, and the first orbital Space Shuttle mission. She remembers watching the launch of STS-1, and falling in love with space flight, at the age of five. She fell in love with science fiction shortly after that, and in her teens she discovered dystopian fiction. In an effort to find out what she wanted to do with her life, she collected degrees and other qualifications in Geography, Science Fiction Studies, Architectural Technology, Childminding, and Writing for Radio.
She has worked as an editor on national and in-house magazines; as an IT trainer; and as a freelance writer and artist. She has renovated several properties, and has plenty of horror stories to tell about dangerous electrics and nightmare plumbers. She enjoys reading, travelling, stargazing, and eating good food with good friends – but nothing makes her as happy as writing fiction.
Her first published short story appeared in an anthology in 2014, and the Battle Ground series is her first long-form work. Rachel lives in East Anglia, in a house with a large library and a conservatory full of house plants. She would love to live on Mars, but only if she’s allowed to bring her books.

See what other Book Bloggers think by checking out their stop on the Blog Tour…

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

The Missing Letters of Mrs Bright by Beth Miller @drbethmiller @bookouture @sarahhardy681 #BookReview

I am delighted to be sharing my review for The Missing Letters of Mrs Bright by Beth Miller. My huge thanks to Sarah for the invite for this Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of this heartwarming and fabulous family saga book.

Before I get to carried away here, let me show you what it is all about…

Sometimes it takes losing something to see where you truly belong.

For the past twenty-nine years, Kay Bright’s days have had a familiar rhythm: she works in her husband’s stationery shop hoping to finally sell the legendary gold pen, cooks for her family, tries to remember to practice yoga, and every other month she writes to her best friend, Ursula. Kay could set her calendar by their letters: her heart lifts when the blue airmail envelope, addressed in Ursula’s slanting handwriting, falls gently onto the mat.

But now Ursula has stopped writing and everything is a little bit worse.

Ursula is the only one who knows Kay’s deepest secret, something that happened decades ago that could tear Kay’s life apart today. She has always been the person Kay relies on.

Worried, Kay gets out her shoebox of Ursula’s letters and as she reads, her unease starts to grow. And then at ten o’clock in the morning, Kay walks out of her yellow front door with just a rucksack, leaving her wedding ring on the table…

This emotional and heart-warming novel is for anyone who knows it’s never too late to look for happiness. Fans of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely FineA Man Called Ove and The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry will fall in love with this feel-good and moving story that shows you that the best friendships truly last forever.

With a wonderful sounding synopsis, how could I not want to read this book…

Life is unpredictable and you never know what is round the corner. Plans made as a teenager with lists of things you would like to do before a certain age are not guaranteed. Years go by and before you know it you are older, children have left home and you find yourself looking back at your life. This is what happened to Kay Bright. Stuck in a rut and feeling unappreciated.

This is a story that has elements that will resonate with many people, how quickly time passes. Kay feels that she has spent most of her life supporting her husband, he owns and runs four stationary shops leaving Kay doing the main bulk of the parenting, household management and also spending time working in one of the shops. Because they are business owners holidays have been quick or cut short.

Feeling unhappy and wishing for more Kay decides she is leaving, she wants to travel and needs her own space to work out what she wants out of life. Walking out of her 29 year marriage causes more ripples than she had originally bargained for, there are tears, anger and frustrations.

Keeping in touch with her friends has been part of Kay’s life, one of her friends lives a long way away and it was through letters that they kept in touch. The letters are included in this story and fill in gaps and gives Kay the incentive to visit her friend who has mysteriously stopped writing.

I think what makes this books so special is the way you see various perspectives, not just from Kay but also from her daughter Stella. It shows the emotions that are part of a breakup and also as part of your parents breaking up. It is not all straight forward and there are some eye-opening moments and some quite emotional ones as well. I did have a few watery eye moments with this book.

I enjoyed the flow of this story and if I didn’t have to go to work I would have easily sat and read this book in one sitting. It is a story of life, growing up and getting older. A story of family, friendship, truths and forgiveness, it has the feel of a family saga and is a truly wonderful book that I would definitely recommend.

I have been told that I write like a tall blonde, so that’s how I’d like you to picture me.

I’ve published three novels, with one more about to be born, in January 2020. I’ve also published two non-fiction books. I work as a book coach and creative writing tutor.

Before writing books, I did a lot of different jobs. I worked in schools, shops, offices, hospitals, students’ unions, basements, from home, in my car, and up a tree. OK, not up a tree. I’ve been a sexual health trainer, a journalist, a psychology lecturer, a PhD student, a lousy alcohol counsellor, and an inept audio-typist. I sold pens, bread, and condoms. Not in the same shop. I taught parents how to tell if their teenagers are taking drugs (clue: they act like teenagers), and taught teenagers how to put on condoms (clue: there won’t really be a cucumber). I taught rabbis how to tell if their teenagers are druggedly putting condoms on cucumbers.

Throughout this, I always wrote, and always drank a lot of tea. I’m now pretty much unbeatable at drinking tea.  

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The Tear Collector by Shawn Burgess @ShawnBinJax @BOTBSPublicity #BookReview

I am delighted to share my thoughts on The Tear Collector by Shawn Burgess. This is a fabulous book for those that like spine-tingling reads. My huge thanks to Sarah at BOTBSPubicity for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of this terrific book.

Now, lt me show you what it is all about…

The misdeeds of our ancestors are debts passed from generation to generation. They lurk, hidden in the shadows, waiting for the right time to be collected. For the residents of Harper Pass—their debt is due.

* * *

MISSING PERSON:
Have you seen Margo Combs?
Contact Detective Holt (918) 555-0155
You may choose to remain anonymous.

* * *

When a young autistic girl goes missing from a small Appalachian community, the residents of Harper Pass descend into chaos. Brooks Raker and his friends stumble across the police investigation, and as they dig deeper into the mysterious events, the boys realize the fate of their missing classmate pales in comparison with the evil lurking in the shadows of the quiet little town.

With four boys who believe something sinister is at work, and an ambitious reporter breathing down his neck, Detective Holt of the Harper Pass Police Department must confront his doubts and follow the evidence. A chain of disappearances and suspicious deaths, leads Holt to the doorstep of the mysterious and reclusive Professor Wadlow who may know exactly what has come to collect in Harper Pass.

Can the detective and the boys work together to unravel the dark secrets of Harper Pass before those secrets devour them all?

It has been a while since I picked up a horror story to read and The Tear Collector was such a great read. It has a wonderful supernatural air to it and it has been wonderfully mixed in with a crime thriller vibe. The book reminded me of a blend of Stephen King’s book, It and the film Stand by Me.

The story is of a community that is in the midst of some supernatural phenomenon that only a small group are becoming aware of. What this phenomenon actually is, is slowly revealed further in the book. A group of boys start to put things together and gradually start to work things out and they discover that they are not alone in realising something is wrong, but the adults seem to be unaware of events and come up with more rational ideas and theories.

It is when the boys start to experience strange dreams and discuss within their group that links are made, it adds a great coming of age feel to the story as friendships are brought closer and they stick by their motto of never leaving one of their group behind.

The community that the story is set in has the feel of a town holding on, by this I mean that people work hard and often have more than one job. But when a girl goes missing they pull together, on the flip side however, it is a community that is full of gossip and when suspicion.

The author has done such a fabulous job of creating a story that has a spine-tingling and ominous presence as I read it. There was a definite feeling of something malevolent looming and I really enjoyed the journey to get to the root cause of the mystery.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and it was such an atmospheric and sinister feel to it, a well written story that had me hooked from those very first paragraphs right through till the end. A mystery with a good horror feel that I would definitely recommend.

Shawn Burgess has a BA in English from the University of Florida, and he focused on literature for his postgraduate studies at the University of North Florida. His travels have taken him to most parts of the country, where he often drew inspiration for his stories through meeting interesting people and experiencing unique places. Beware! If you find yourself behaving curiously within the crosshairs of his vision you might end up on one of his pages. In his spare time, Shawn enjoys travelling, attending concerts, reading, and playing golf. He typically makes year-round preparations for Halloween by building props and elaborate sets. Shawn claims Jacksonville, Florida as his home, but he has lived all over the southeastern United States. Many of his stories are set in those towns he once called home, or in fictional places inspired by them. He says, “I enjoy building upon the natural mysteries surrounding those areas I’ve personally experienced.” The Tear Collector is Shawn’s debut novel, but he’s currently working on a YA Fantasy novel, as well as The Tear Collector’s sequel. He is active on social media, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Facebook: shawnburgessauthor

Twitter: ShawnBinJax

Instagram: ShawnBinJax

Goodreads Author Page: Shawn Burgess

Website: http://www.shawnburgessauthor.com

See what other Book Bloggers think by checking out their stops on the Blog Tour

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

Violya by Rosalyn Kelly @RosalynKAuthor #Fantasy #Bookreview

I am so delighted to share my thoughts on Violya by Rosalyn Kelly. This is the second book in the fantasy saga trilogy In The Heart of the Mountains, the first book was the amazing Melokai and you cane read my review of that HERE

Let me show you what Violya is all about…

A gifted warrior consumed by revenge. An unstoppable enemy rampaging ever closer. A ravaged country in desperate need of a ruler.

After a brutal and bloody invasion, a once powerful matriarchal nation is in chaos.

Only the shy warrior Violya can pick up the pieces and save her broken country. But an old threat – for one thousand years suppressed – has awoken. Now unleashed, it’s hell-bent on destruction.

To protect her people, Violya must cast aside her desire for vengeance, master her rare magic and find the courage to rule – and fast.

Time is running out as a prophecy is coming true. A formidable enemy is closing in to crush them all. Can Violya unite friend and foe to face the looming catastrophe before it’s too late?

She’s out for blood, but first she must master her own…

VIOLYA is a grimdark epic fantasy packed with unique creatures and beings, blood-soaked action and brutal battles. It’s a sweeping tale of power and betrayal, sex and survival, love and family ties, powerful magic and hardened warriors.

Gritty adult fantasy with intricate worldbuilding, a diverse cast of complex characters, and a richly detailed plot told from multiple narratives.

VIOLYA is the second book in the In the Heart of the Mountains trilogy, the first is MELOKAI.

Violya is the second book in the In The Heart of the Mountains Trilogy, the first one being Melokai which I read a couple of years ago.

This is an epic fantasy saga and the second book delivers just as much action and adventure as the first. In this second instalment the author has drawn me once again back into the world she has created. This book see’s the different races of people being drawn into something more dangerous and it is a threat to the survival of their races.

The author has pitted family members against each other, with traitorous and bloody feudal consequences. For one family power is all-encompassing, it is all they have ever wanted so when it is threatened there are no holds barred. Trusted friends show their true colours and put lives at risk.

This story has a backstory that is interwoven throughout, it explains traditions and customs. As the different races are having to deal with many changes it is a really good way of bringing the past to the front as tradition is challenged.

Violya is the main protagonist and she has been chosen to become the new Melokai, leader of her race of people. Violya is stronger than most as she has the gift of magic. As she is a warrior she is used to being in the thick of the action and so she is her own envoy travelling through lands to try to form alliances.

The author has an amazing way with her descriptions. She has made it so easy to imagine the different races from her descriptions. She goes even further by developing each race so as they have their own histories, explanations about their troubles and also what threatens them. Not every race is innocent though, a way is needed to start to put the past in the past and by doing that a new future and alliances can be formed.

I love everything about this trilogy, the characters, the stories, the settings and the descriptions. The author has woven quite a complex story but it has been created in such a way as to make it understandable. The reading then becomes effortless and this makes it such a brilliant read.

If you are a fan of grim-dark, fantasy saga genres then both Melokai and Violya should be on your list to pick up and read. They are fabulous and I cannot wait for the final book in this epic trilogy, though it will also tinged with sadness as it will mean the end of a fabulous trilogy. Violya is a book I would Definitely Recommend.

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

Why She Ran by Geraldine Hogan @gerhogan @Bookouture #Bookreview

I am so delighted to share my thoughts on Why She Ran by Geraldine Hogan. My huge thanks to Sarah for my spot on the Blog Tour and also for arranging my e-copy of this fabulous book.

Let me show you what it is all about…

‘Rachel. They must have made a mistake. A mother would know?’ She let her words pour into the emptiness of the kitchen. She began to shiver. ‘I can’t feel anything,’ she said softly and rocked back and forth, as if she was a huge child, seeking solace in the simple gesture.

When young, pretty nurse Rachel McDermott is found murdered in the harsh lights of the hospital kitchen where she works, her mother can’t accept the news, and the small Irish town of Corbally reels in disbelief. Rushing to the scene, Detective Iris Locke vows to find the sick killer, whatever it takes.

The last person to see Rachel alive was her close friend, sixteen-year-old Eleanor Marshall, a troubled teenager, estranged from her family. Eleanor was spotted fleeing the kitchen where Rachel’s body was found and becomes the main suspect. Iris has a search party combing the endless woods near the Comeragh mountains where they believe she is hiding. But Iris is consumed with worry for the vulnerable girl and can’t shake a prickly disquiet that Eleanor shouldn’t be a suspect.

Eleanor’s sister agrees but a day later, when she is found dead in the area Eleanor is hiding, things don’t look good for the runaway teen. Iris can’t see Eleanor, who still sleeps with her childhood teddy bear, as someone who would kill her little sister and her best friend, but all the evidence seems to point that way.

Sleep-deprived and desperate to find the truth, Iris takes a closer look into Rachel’s background and discovers that she was keeping strange, shadowy company the night before she died. Convinced that Eleanor is in terrible danger, Iris sets out to find her, in the icy-cold woods, alone. But what if somebody else makes their way through the darkness and reaches Iris and Eleanor first?

This gripping mystery thriller is perfect for fans of Carol Wyer, Robert Dugoni and LJ Ross.

The title of “Why She Ran” is so intriguing, the “She” is a young girl from influential and moneyed parents. Why she ran is gradually unveiled as the story unfolds.

She, is Eleanor who is currently staying in a treatment facility and is estranged from her parents. She has escaped and Detective Iris Locke is desperate to find her her, and for more than the reason of being a suspect in the murder of Rachel McDermott, one of the nurses at the treatment centre.

This is the second book in the Detective Iris Locke series, and even though it can be read as a stand-alone, as I did, I would advise reading the first book. I say this because there is a story from the first that carries into this second book. The author does a cracking job of filling in the basics of what you need to know, but I felt that I would have a better understanding of Locke’s character if I had read in order.

Locke has gone through a hell of a time and is still coming to terms with changes in her personal life. She is thrown in at the deep-end to a certain extent as she is asked to lead this investigation into Rachel’s death and also Eleanor’s disappearance. There is some in-house rivalry that simmers through the story and it adds a good snarky moments for Locke to deal with. It is something she doesn’t really need a the moment as she has enough on her plate because Eleanor’s father has a lot of influence and she has to tread carefully.

This is a good story that moves a long at a slightly slower pace, but this sort of mirrors the pace the investigation flows at. It is quite a complex case as there are so many unknowns, but it is at the same time easy to follow. As well as the main focus of the case, Locke’s background, as I have mentioned, is touched upon. Also her second in command has a few of his own problems. I like this inclusion of personal details into a story like this, it humanises the characters and also grounds them.

The story took some surprising routes and concludes in a quicker paced finale. The quick step-up in pace gives a sense of urgency and comes at just the right point of the investigation and adds another level of tension.

I really enjoyed this crime thriller and I will try my very best to read the first one as I really want to know more about Locke, she intrigues me as the author hints at a how Locke was in the previous book compared to how she is now, almost like a before and after comparison.

This is a really intriguing read that threw some surprising twists that I didn’t see coming. A police procedural that has a different feel as it it not just a murder investigation, but also the search for a girl who has disappeared. Why She Ran is a book I would definitively recommend.

Geraldine Hogan was born in Ireland. She gained an Honors Degree in English Literature and Psychology from Dublin City University and a Postgraduate Degree in Training and Management from University College, Galway. She is an Irish award-winning and bestselling author of four contemporary fiction novels under the pen name Faith Hogan.
HER SISTER’S BONES is her first crime novel, her second WHY SHE RAN is due out in December 2019.
She is currently working on her next novel. She lives in the west of Ireland with her husband, four children and a very busy Labrador named Penny. She’s a writer, reader, enthusiastic dog walker and reluctant jogger – except of course when it is raining!

You can find out more about Geraldine on – FacebookTwitterInstagram

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