Bloody January by Alan Parks #20booksofsummer #policeprocedural #crime #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Bloody January by Alan Parks. This is the first book in the Harry McCoy series, I started this series part way through so it was great to go back to the beginning.

This is the 12th of my #20booksofsummer reading challenge.

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When a teenage boy shoots a young woman dead in the middle of a busy Glasgow street and then commits suicide, Detective Harry McCoy is sure of one thing. It wasn’t a random act of violence.

With his new partner in tow, McCoy uses his underworld network to lead the investigation but soon runs up against a secret society led by Glasgow’s wealthiest family, the Dunlops.

McCoy’s boss doesn’t want him to investigate. The Dunlops seem untouchable. But McCoy has other ideas . . .

In a helter-skelter tale – winding from moneyed elite to hipster music groupies to the brutal gangs of the urban wasteland – Bloody January brings to life the dark underbelly of 1970s Glasgow and establishes Alan Parks as a new and exciting voice in Scottish noir.

MY REVIEW

This is the first book in the Harry McCoy series, it is not however the first one I have read! I first came to this series by reading book 3 -Bobby March Will Live Forever, then The April Dead and May God Forgive. I still have February’s Son to read.

Because I am already aware of Harry McCoy and his mate Wattie I think I had an advantage. Because I know what has happened in future books I was able to see things from a slightly different perspective than if I had started at the beginning of the series.

Going back to where it began with Bloody January was a good move for me. Wattie is the newbie and Harry is already established in the Glasgow Police. Harry is known to have an opinion, have dubious friends and seems to have a knack for winding his boss Murray up. Wattie is naive, and it is fun to see how naive he actually is, this doesn’t mean he is daft but doesn’t understand the streets of 1970s Glasgow as Harry does.

When a woman is shot in broad daylight in front of Harry and the shooter then shoots himself questions are obviously a priority. Who are the victims, why was she shot, what is the connection and why on earth would a prisoner give Harry an early heads up as to what was going to happen?

The case is one that has possibilities as to why things happened, for some, it would be a quick and easy case to deal with, but Harry doesn’t work like that. His contacts give him some extra info to work with. However, trying to get to the people and question them is a different matter especially when those people are wealthy, influential and do not want any publicity.

Harry is a tough copper, he isn’t scared of taking a punch and standing his ground. He has Wattie now, he is the voice of reason, well he is a whisper of reason as he finds his feet. These two are a good team in future books and it is great to see how the series started out.

Take my word for it when I say this is a good series, this first book is full of action, it is dark, brooding and dangerous. 1970s Glasgow is not a place for the faint-hearted, it’s a good job Harry is made of tougher stuff.

This is one for those of you who like a gritty, tough, dangerous and shady police procedural. It is one I would definitely recommend.

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

Alias Emma by Ava Glass #NetGalley @penguinrandom #PublicationDay #crime #spythriller #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Alias Emma by Ava Glass. This is a fabulous spy-thriller story and I have discovered it is the first in a planned series. Today is Publication Day for this book.

Emma Makepeace is about to spend the longest night in her life.

She’s on her first operation with a shadowy organisation known only as ‘The Agency’, assigned to track down and save an innocent man wanted by the Russian government

All Emma has to do is bring him in to MI6 before sunrise, and before an assassination team gets to him first.

But the Russians have hacked the city’s CCTV cameras. There are spies all over London searching for the two of them. And her target, Michael Primalov, doesn’t want to be rescued.

As London sleeps, a battle is taking place on its streets as Emma fights to keep Michael alive.

But what sort of reception await them if and when they get to MI6?

KILLING EVE meets JAMES BOND in the first novel of the ALIAS EMMA series: a thrilling, cinematic page-turner starring the most likeable and resourceful of heroines. 

MY REVIEW

I do love a good spy thriller story and especially one that involves different government agencies. I think most of us have a mistrust of these agencies and so it always makes sense that they are involved in some plot, conspiracy or cover-up.

Emma Makepeace, a spy for the British government has not long been in this job. She is not a rookie, she already has experience as she served as an intelligence officer in the forces. She also has an interesting family background.

As the synopsis suggests, she has been tasked with finding and convincing an innocent man that his life is at risk. It is her job to get him to a safe place. What should be a basic job, suddenly becomes a flight through and under the streets of London. Trying to evade capture and being seen, is very difficult when London has cameras everywhere.

This is a fast-paced read, a quick intro to Emma and that’s it, straight into the action. The story does have a little back and forth as far as timelines and people go, not much but it does give some valuable additional information. There is not a huge cast of characters in this story, some don’t even have a name. This makes sense given the genre of the story.

As I mentioned conspiracy goes hand in hand with spies and governments, so this story ticked a lot of boxes for me. There are several things on the go and it was interesting to see how the author would play this one out. I really enjoyed the route she took and it felt right. This is a story that is full of mystery as well as crime set mainly in London.

This is a cracking read and I am hoping this is the start of a series. The author has left the opportunity to make this an option.

This is one for those who like a fast-paced, spy thriller that has that edge-of-the-seat frenetic energy to it, It is one I would definitely recommend.

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

Marriage Unarranged by Ritu Bhathal @RituBhathal@ZooloosBT @SpellBoundBks  #romance #chicklit #bookreview

I am delighted to be one of the Book Bloggers opening the tour today and to share my review today for Marriage Unarranged by Ritu Bhathal. This was a fabulous read that took me into the life of Aashi, her family and her friends. A chick-lit with an Indian twist!

My huge thanks to Zoe at Zooloos Book Tours for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of the book via NetGalley from the publisher Spellbound Books.

It all s̶t̶a̶r̶t̶e̶d̶ ended with that box…
The year 2000 and Aashi’s life was all set.
New Millennium, exciting beginnings, new life.
Or so she thought.
Like in the Bollywood films, Ravi would woo her, charm her family and they’d get married and live happily ever after.

But then Aashi found the empty condom box…

Putting her ex-fiancé and her innocence behind her, Aashi embarks upon an enlightening journey, to another country, where vibrant memories are created, and unforgettable friendships forged.

Old images erased, new beginnings to explore.

And how can she forget the handsome stranger she meets?
A stranger who’s hiding something…
Coming Summer 2023, book 2 in The Rishtay Series

PURCHASE LINKS – AMAZON UK US

MY REVIEW

This is the first time I have read anything by this author and I need to read more. I loved the journey I was taken on with the story of Aashi, her brothers Bali and Sunny, also her best friend Kiran.

After discovering her fiance isn’t quite the man she thought he was, Aashi makes the decision to break up the relationship. Aware of the possible embarrassment and shame that she may bring on her family worries her. It is so good that she has an understanding family and her best friend.

Deciding to use the honeymoon holiday rather than cancel it, Aashi and her brothers and Kiran make the journey to India. A trip that brought surprises and new experiences as well as new contacts.

This is such a wonderful story and it was interesting to see the author had put a list of the Punjab terms for the different family members. I have to say that as I got to know each of the family members and also others in the cast it soon became easy to understand them. This list of terms also includes that they may refer to non-related people as well.

This was a fabulous story and one that was full of so many things I know nothing much about. Understanding the family and the traditions as well as how things are gradually changing was great, also the food. mmmm… it sounds amazing. The one thing that I really appreciated knowing was the way the characters reacted when they arrived in India. The distinct smell and the colour overload were something that I had not even considered.

While this is a story about family and friends, it is also one about working out what makes the characters tick. There is a wonderful romantic tension, and nothing is straightforward. I do like the referrals back to tradition and how the rest of their families would feel. Even though each character has a choice, they are always resp[ectful of their families and how things will appear. Family is the core of the story in some ways and it was great to discover this.

As the story gradually progressed from home to India and then back home again I was taken on a whirlwind of a tour. Had some giggles and laughs as well as feeling for some of the characters. Aashi especially. It seems that Aashi transformed when she was allowed to be herself, and this was a subtle but amazing thing to watch.

How things worked out at the end was so appropriate and I felt it kept within the traits of the characters and it just felt really right.

I cannot wait to read the next book in this series, as this one was the first. A story that I think fans of romance and contemporary fiction are going to love. I know I did and I would definitely recommend it.

The only problem with this book that I had, is that I have to wait until next year before I can read the second in the series!!!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ritu Bhathal was born in Birmingham in the mid-1970s to migrant parents, hailing from Kenya but of Indian origin. This colourful background has been a constant source of inspiration to her. From childhood, she always enjoyed reading. This love of books is credited to her mother. The joy of reading spurred her on to become creative in her writing, from fiction to poetry. Winning little writing competitions at school and locally encouraged her to continue writing.
As a wife, mother, daughter, sister, and teacher, she has drawn inspiration from many avenues to create the poems that she writes. A qualified teacher, having studied at Kingston University, she now deals with classes of children as a sideline to her writing! Ritu also writes a blog, www.butismileanyway.com, a mixture of life and creativity, thoughts and opinions, which was awarded first place in the Best Overall Blog Category at the 2017 Annual Bloggers Bash Awards and Best Book Blog in 2019.
Ritu is happily married and living in Kent, with her Hubby Dearest, and two children, not forgetting the fur baby Sonu Singh.

Follow her at – Facebook Instagram Twitter TikTok Website

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The Weekend Getaway by Hannah Ellis @BookEllis @rararesources #contemporaryfiction #romance #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review for The Weekend Getaway by Hannah Ellis. This was a wonderful read that fans of contemporary fiction and romance will enjoy.

My huge thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of this fabulous story.

This is quite a timely release for this book as The World Pilot Gig Championships are taking place this weekend on The Isles of Scilly.

A weekend away changes everything…
The chemistry between Keira and Noah is instant. After their first date, it’s clear there’s something special between them.
A weekend in Noah’s hometown further cements their feelings, and Keira falls head over heels. Not only for Noah, but his close-knit family and the stunning Isles of Scilly.

There’s just one problem: Noah’s about to move back home and his plans can’t be altered.
It’s too early in their relationship to make life-changing plans, but if they stand a chance of being together, one of them is going to have to take a leap of faith.

Can love triumph over location? And when following your heart, how far should you go?

Purchase Link – HERE

MY REVIEW

Keira and friend Mel have been popping in their local Bristol pub for a few months now, and while they have good banter with the barman Noah it hasn’t gone much further. That changes when Mel provides a little intervention as she sees that Noah and Keira obviously like each other.

This was a fabulous book that I only planned on reading a few chapters of, and I ended up reading the whole book over the course of an evening, Yep another late-night reading!

The signs that Mel could see between Noah and Keira were not wrong and the two soon start to find that there is a real attraction. One problem though, Noah is due to return back home to the Isles of Scilly. Does he really want to start a relationship?

When Kiera realises that this relationship will be hard to continue she tries to do the best thing, trying not to get to attached, but this isn’t possible. The attraction and the easy way the two have with each other are natural and effortless. Noah decides that he will invite Keira to his home and meet his family.

There is a lot more to this story than romance and friendship. Both Keira and Noah have things that hold them back, they have very different families. His is a larger family and her very small. the differences and the backstories gradually come out and this makes for some wonderful heart to heart moments and also for admitting truths.

The other characters in this book are brilliant and I am so glad to see that this is the first book in a planned series. I cannot wait to see what lies in store for two characters that will be the focus of the next book!

This was a gorgeous read and it was nice to see the Isles of Scilly being shown off, I still have to visit there and I will one day, I do live in Cornwall after all.

This is definitely one for those who like contemporary fiction, romance and stories about family and friendships. I loved it and I would definitely recommend it.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Hannah Ellis spent many years working in childcare before deciding she’d like to write books. When she’s not busy writing she likes to read, drink tea and eat chocolate. She also enjoys yoga and jogging.

Social Media Links – Twitter Facebook Instagram

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How to Spot a Psychopath by M.Q. Webb @marswebb1 @RandomTTours #psycological #thriller #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for How to Spot a Psychopath by M.Q. Webb. This is a very good psychological thriller, the title does kind of give this away 🙂

My huge thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of this book.

We’ve all wondered about someone… are they… how do I know?

How to Spot a Psychopath is a thoughtful, intelligent, psychological thriller full of conflicting accounts and sharp turns. How to Spot a Psychopath will keep you questioning who is hiding what, and why.

When four-year-old Mia Edwards goes missing on a play date, everyone suspects that Jessica Green knows what happened to her, especially Mia’s mother, Holly, but Jessica isn’t talking.

Psychiatrist, Dr Oscar de la Nuit, is determined to save Jess from the same mistakes he’s living with.

Will Jess lead to his redemption, or will she be his downfall?

Is Mia safe, and will Jess be able to return to the life she had before?

MY REVIEW


What a great introduction to Oscar de la Nuit the author has created with this first book in the series. It is a series I am looking forward to reading more of.

Oscar is a psychiatrist and he transfers a high profile person into his care as he believes he can help her. The person is Jess, she is accused of killing the missing child Mia, but won’t talk about it. Public opinion and the police have already decided on her guilt, but what exactly is she guilty of, or is she guilty of nothing at all?

This is a wonderfully intriguing and twisted psychological thriller. It is one that is told in a now and then format and I do like this method of storytelling. Information is given from the past when it is relevant to what is happening in the now.

As well as this being a story about Jess, this is also a story of what happened in Oscar’s life. This becomes relevant as he tries to help Jess.

There are several characters in this book and some have a larger part to play than others. There are a couple that felt a little clunky in being there but were needed for part of the story development. On the whole, the characters bring their own traits and agendas, but not everyone plays the role they are supposed to. Not all professionals act professionally.

There is a strong sense of mistrust for many of the characters and I do think this is what really helps the story move along at a good pace. The constant doubting and second-guessing yourself as a reader is brilliant. By the end of the book, I didn’t know who I could completely believe or trust, but I had hoped for a certain outcome.

I really liked this book, it felt full of suspicion quite early on and this carried on through the story. It is a good pace and I did feel it quickened over the latter half. This is one for those who like suspense riddled psychological thrillers and one that I would happily recommend.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

MQ Webb enjoys writing thrillers, suspense, mysteries and horror. They once worked in an office in a building that was actually an old goal.


How to Spot a Psychopath is the first book in the Oscar de la Nuit series.

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City of Vengeance by D.V Bishop @davidbishop #CesareAldo #historicalfiction #mystery #bookreview

am delighted to share my review today for City of Vengeance by D.V. Bishop. I have to give a massive shout out to the wonderful Eva @noveldeelights and David for my copy of this book. This is ideal for those who adore mystery novels set in the past, I adored this book and cannot wait to read the next one – The Darkest Sin.

“A first-class historical thriller . . . Bishop’s spirited and richly detailed story is a tour-de-force” —DAVID BALDACCI

City of Vengeance is an explosive debut historical thriller by D. V. Bishop, set in Renaissance Florence.

Florence. Winter, 1536. A prominent Jewish moneylender is murdered in his home, a death with wide implications in a city powered by immense wealth.

Cesare Aldo, a former soldier and now an officer of the Renaissance city’s most-feared criminal court is given four days to solve the murder: catch the killer before the feast of Epiphany—or suffer the consequences.

During his investigations, Aldo uncovers a plot to overthrow the volatile ruler of Florence, Alessandro de’ Medici. If the Duke falls, it will endanger the whole city. But a rival officer of the court is determined to expose details about Aldo’s private life that could lead to his ruin. Can Aldo stop the conspiracy before anyone else dies, or will his own secrets destroy him first? 

MY REVIEW


This is the first book in the Cesare Aldo series. Set in Florence in 1536 there are several names I am aware of from history. Such as the Medici family, I do think many of us historical fiction readers or those with an interest in European history are quite aware of this name.

Cesare Aldo is essentially a policeman, he works for the Otton who are responsible for gathering the information together before it goes forward for charges and sentences to be sorted.

Florence, and to be fair the rest of Europe is not the safest place to be. An age of power struggles, murders, spying and conspiracy. The time is one where those who are in power have to watch their backs and also where the wranglings and politics of those lower down the scale come into play. Very much a chess game, yet a brutal, bloody and dangerous one.

Cesare Aldo finds himself in the midst of an investigation, and while he makes slow progress he is aware of other things going on that could make life very difficult for him. A murder has ramifications for many and this is great for a reader as it is a way of immersing them further into the story and also the atmosphere of the story.

When I started reading this book I did have a bit of a struggle with remembering who was who. This is something I found got easier the more I read, I think it was more me coming across names I didn’t recognise. I did think there were some similarities at the beginning but I soon got to grips with the names within a few chapters.

The story is one that isn’t just about a murder, it is much more mysterious than that and the author does a fabulous job of twisting various subplots. It is also a great way of bringing in things that are not acceptable at the time and also social etiquette. Religion and politics seem to work hand in hand but neither want to tread on toes. Aldo walks a fine line and at times this line becomes very indistinct!

This is a very addictive murder mystery, it is a slower-paced story but one that suits the era it is set in. It has been well researched and there is an author’s note at the end as regards the facts that were used. I really enjoyed meeting Aldo and look forward to reading more of him. He isn’t a character who is particularly likeable, but he is very thorough, has loyalties and does tend to keep himself to himself. But there is a sort of aura of wisdom and respectability about him that I really liked. As I said I am looking forward to getting to know more about him.

This is one for those who like historical crime, murder, and mystery novels. This one is fabulously atmospheric, twisted, devious and there are several surprising turns. It is one I would definitely recommend.

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

Blood Sentence by Keith Nixon @knntom @GladiusPress @ZooloosBT #crime #policeprocedural #thriller #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Blood Sentence by Keith Nixon. This is the first book in the DI Jonah Pennance series and I am so glad that I have started this one at the very beginning. Pennance is a character that I really liked and I can’t wait to read more. Also, the name choice is so good as well.

My huge thanks to Zoe at Zooloo’s book tours for the spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of this fabulous crime thriller.

Three bodies, one suspect. That suspect is you…

When the unidentified corpse of an apparent suicide victim is found hanging above a complex pattern of forty photographs of children, Detective Inspector Jonah Pennance of the Met’s specialist Sapphire Unit is brought in to investigate.

A post-mortem reveals the suicide was murder, and Pennance realises he knows the man. But as the body count rises, all the signs point to a care home in Kent – a place that Pennance is all too familiar with.

The problem is the only person connecting the victims is Pennance – and he has a solid motive for wanting them dead… Can Pennance prove his innocence?

Perfect for fans of Ian Rankin, Stuart MacBride, and Peter James Blood Sentence is the first book in the explosive series featuring Detective Inspector Jonah Pennance.

MY REVIEW

WOW! What a brilliant read this book was. It is the first book in the DI Jonah Pennance series and what an opener it is.

When Pennance is dragged away from a crime scene in London to go to Anglesey, he isn’t expecting to find that he is a connection, not that he is connected to others. I have to be really careful here, it would be so easy to make a slip up in this review and reveal details!!!

Pennance, well he is mystified and so was I. I mean how could he be connected to two bodies, one a suicide in Wales and a murder in London. He works for the Sapphire Unit of the MET, it’s the department that deals with sex crimes, so it becomes more and more intriguing.

Pennance is a bit of a closed book, the only person who he seems to really get on with is a work colleague, Smithson. The relationship between them is friendly and supportive and I am glad it is a friendship rather than a relationship as it means that Pennance has someone to turn to. Why would he need someone to turn to I hear you ask! Well the more you learn about him the more you realise the complexities of his character. Yeah, I know, vague!

The author has created a wonderfully intense and twisted police procedural that has some really dark scenes, it is twisted around one main plot, but it isn’t straightforward. It also has subplots that keep you on your toes and makes for very addictive reading.

Pennance is a character that comes across as cold, so having a sidekick as such makes a good balance. You do get to learn more about him and his past and I think there is possibly more to come out, I definitely think there are more layers to him for the author to tease out, there is definitely the potential from this reader’s opinion.

This is a crime thriller, it has a very mysterious feel to it and it kept me reading. It feels wrong to call a book exciting when it deals with murders and crime, but exciting it is as it is the start of a new series, and I think it is going to be a very good one. I will be keeping my eye out for more.

Ideal for those looking for something new in police procedures. It’s got plenty of twists, some unexpected turns and all in all a fab read. It is one I would definitely recommend.

About the author

Keith Nixon is the best-selling author of sixteen novels and one million words in print, including the Margate based Solomon Gray series of over 250,000 copies in circulation and reached no.1 on Amazon in the UK, US, Canada and Australia.

Keith lived near the gritty seaside town of Margate, where many of his novels are based, for 17 years before relocating to the edge of the Peak District with his family where he lives today. Keith works in a senior sales role within a high-tech industry and has regularly travelled all over the globe.
His novels are published by Gladius Press and Bastei Lubbe (German)

Social media links – Facebook Instagram Twitter – Website

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She Who Became the Sun by Shelley Parker – Chan @panmacmillan @MantleBooks #NetGalley #historicalfantasy #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for She Who Became the Sun by Shelley Parker – Chan. This is the first book in The Radiant Emperor series and ios set in China in1345. It is a reimagined story from history and I adored this a lot. My thanks to Pan Macmillan and Mantle Books for accepting my request to review this title via NetGalley.

She’ll change the world to survive her fate . . .

In Mongol-occupied imperial China, a peasant girl refuses her fate of an early death. Stealing her dead brother’s identity to survive, she rises from monk to soldier, then to rebel commander. Zhu’s pursuing the destiny her brother somehow failed to attain: greatness. But all the while, she feels Heaven is watching.

Can anyone fool Heaven indefinitely, escaping what’s written in the stars? Or can Zhu claim her own future, burn all the rules and rise as high as she can dream?

She Who Became the Sun by Shelley Parker-Chan is a re-imagining of the rise to power of Zhu Yuanzhang. Zhu was the peasant rebel who expelled the Mongols, unified China under native rule, and became the founding Emperor of the Ming Dynasty. 

MY REVIEW

The synopsis for this book mentions how it is based on Zhu Yuanzhang, a peasant born in 1328 who led the rebels who brought the end of Mongolian rule in China. This story is a reimagining or alternative version of Zhu and the rise to power.

So how is this reimagining? A young peasant girl decides she wants to live, she doesn’t want to be nothing, she wants to be something. In fact, she wants greatness and for all to know her name. The only way this can happen is she takes on the identity of her dead brother Zhu.

Set in the 1300s this is a story that I absolutely loved. I really like the idea of a woman having the nerve to rise to power especially in a time when women have no power or status, are possession and should bear the next generation of sons. Having a character that has the temerity and the nerve to make her own way in this male-dominated world was great.

As this is a reimagining of a historical period, it means the book falls into a category of historical fantasy, and to a point yes it is fantasy but it is also fabulous reading for those who love historical fiction. AS soon as I started this book and read the first couple of sentences I knew I was going to enjoy reading it. Those opening lines were ideal for drawing me in.

As this is set in the 1300s there is a lot of turmoil in the Mongolian/ Chinese areas, under the Khanate, Mongolia wanted to extend its reach and the size of the kingdom. China was a country that has had a lot of turbulent times, Mongolian rule is just one of those times.

The author created a fabulous set of characters who all have their own desires, some more honest than others but very few I would call trustworthy. The middle ages are about power, land, resources, armies, feuds and dominance. Sides and allegiances can be swapped in a blink of an eye. Families are even worse.

I did like that the author decided to choose a female to be the main protagonist, especially when women hold such a low status in this era. I really enjoyed following the journey from peasant girl to a monk and then the story that followed.

I adored everything about this book, it was also incredibly difficult to put down once I had started it. As this is the first book in The Radiant Emporer, I will be looking forward to continuing the story of Zhu in the next book.

I liked this a huge amount and it is one I would definitely recommend.

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

War Clouds Over Blackberry Farm by Rosie Clarke @AnneHerries @rararesources @BoldwoodBooks #boldwoodbloggers #histfic #saga #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for War Clouds Over Blackberry Farm by Rosie Clarke. I have read a few books by this author and have thoroughly enjoyed them. Her latest book is the start of a new series, it was a brilliant book to read.

As always, my huge thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of the book via NetGalley.

Cambridgeshire – March 1939


As the clouds of war begin to gather in Europe, the Talbot family of rural Blackberry Farm will be torn apart, just as so many families all over the world will be. Life will never be the same again.


Whilst in London, the Salmons family will feel the pain of parting and loss.


Brought together by war, the two families become intertwined and, as the outlook looks bleak, they must draw on each other’s strength to fight through the hard times.


Lizzie Johnson and Tom were sweethearts until a mistake caused a terrible rift. Lizzie takes herself off to London to heal the pain in a glamorous new job but she still loves Tom. His pride has been hurt – but deep down inside Tom still cares. Can they find happiness before their chance is gone and the whole world is swept into the terrible madness of war?


Purchase Link – HERE

MY REVIEW

War Clouds Over Blackberry Farm is a new series from the author and it is another fabulous historical fiction set in 1939.

Blackberry Farm is a delightful sounding farm where the Talbot’s, a hard-working and well-respected family in Cambridgeshire. Tom and Lizzie have been together for a while, but one night something happens that leaves her embarrassed and she decides to leave the village and try to find a job in a London hair salon. She falls on her feet when she finds not only a job but also a wonderful family to stay with.

The Salmon’s are another close-knit family who is welcoming and Lizzie soon finds herself feeling welcomed. She finally decides that she needs to confront what happened in the past come what may. She needs to know if Tom will accept her explanation as to what happened and if there is a chance for a future between them.

I thoroughly enjoyed this first book in this new series. It didn’t take me long to work out the characters and their roles in the families. Working between the city and the countryside brings different views and of course ways of living.

As the war is becoming more definite, people are thinking towards the weeks, months ad possible years to come. Some men sign up, others decide to wait to be called and some will apply for exemptions to work in their job. As the inevitable begins, wounded men are starting to return, women are thinking of training to be nurses as well as becoming land girls.

Bringing two new families means that I get to know a whole new set of characters. There are some glimpses of backstories and of course, not all the characters are nice to meet. The way the families live and work is laid out well and the mentions of foods and especially cakes sound amazing. I did like how the author used the soon to begin war as a way for her characters to make use of what they have while they have it.

I liked the contrast between the city and the country and how well the author bridged the gap between the two and also how the families become connected. I was gutted when I realised I had gotten to the end of the book. I did that whole thing of swiping back a page, and forward again, then back again before it sunk in that I had actually got to the end.

This is a book for those readers who like historical fiction and romance, for sagas and women’s fiction set in the early days of WW II. A brilliant opener to the series and one I would definitely recommend.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Rosie Clarke is a #1 bestselling saga writer whose most recent books include The Shop Girls of Harpers and The Mulberry Lane series. She has written over 100 novels under different pseudonyms and is an RNA Award winner. She lives in Cambridgeshire.

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Camp Death by Jim Ody @QuestionPress #YAFiction #horror #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Camp Death by Jim Ody. This is the first book in a new series from Question Mark Horror.

The place had a gruesome past that nobody wanted to talk about…

Camp Deathe is now a great place to spend the summer. Ritchie soon finds a group of outsiders like himself. Teenagers who ignore the organised activities, and bunk off in the old abandoned cabins deep in the woods. The cabins that have a history.

The campfire monster stories were meant to just scare them. Nobody expected them to come true. Then one of the teenagers disappears in the middle of the night.

Something is watching them. It hides in the woods and hunts at night.

Ritchie will have to uncover the secrets of the camp, and understand his own problems in order to survive.

Camp Death is Book 1 in a new series brought to you by Question Mark Horror. For fans of Point Horror, Christopher Pike & Nicholas Pine.

MY REVIEW

It has been many years since I last read any horror books, in fact thinking about it it was when I was a teen and was fascinated by James Herbert, Stephen King and Dean Koontz!

As I have recently read a couple of this authors books I decided to give this new series a go. It is mentioned that this series is similar to the Point Horror books. I have seen these but have not read them, so I don’t know how they do compare.

The story itself definitely had that teen vibe to it, as I followed the story of Ritchie as he discovers that his family is going on a retreat. This is a camp that is called Camp Deathe, and as you can see from the cover the final “e” has been scrubbed out! So even before I got into the story there is a sinister look to the book.

The story was one that I really enjoyed, it does have a horror feel to it as I gradually got to hear the rumours of events from the past. The author has created a nicely paced story that is really intriguing and one that definitely kept me reading. This is definitely aimed at the teen market rather than the hardcore horror readers, but if like me, you haven’t picked up a horror book in a while it does make a great genre switch option.

This does have that sinister, series atmospheric feel to it, movements and shapes blurred and fleeting. It all adds to a great read. It is one I really enjoyed and has left me already looking forward to the next book in the series, which also happens to be my next read.

This is a book that was a quick read, and one I would happily recommend.

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