#BlogBlitz : Wormwood by @LarryEnmon :with @Bloodhoundbook : @sarahhardy681 : #BookReview

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“Wormwood” by Larry Enmon is available in paperback and eBook.  Published on 20th October 2017 by Bloodhound Books.

Synopsis:

In Dallas, Texas, Katrina Wallace goes missing. As the mayor’s daughter, her kidnapping triggers mounting political pressure and forces the Chief of Police to put two senior detectives on the case. Rob Soliz and Frank Pierce have done the impossible in the past, but their methods are unconventional.

The only evidence at the scene is a Bible found in the girl’s car and soon Frank and Rob find themselves involved in a disturbing investigation shrouded by Bible prophecy, doomsday cults, and murder.

Is Katrina still alive? And what exactly is Wormwood?

As the trail leads them into the woods of rural East Texas, Frank must deal with his lingering religious doubts and solve the case. His worst fears will be realised when he must discover the ugly truth about Wormwood. But he and Rob will have to get out alive to tell the story…

My Thoughts:

I do like a good crime / thriller / murder / mystery read, and always like to find that something that makes the book stand out, this is one of those.  When Katrina disappears it is the duo of Detectives Rob Soliz and Frank Pierce that are specifically requested to lead the investigation.  They have a unique outlook regarding rules, they believe they are there as a suggestion, but don’t think that they are dirty cops, they are straight up, wise cracking and cheeky.  You will soon realise they have a great working relationship and a skill for thinking and linking details as their investigation takes them into the depths of East Texas.

I really enjoed this book, it has a good solid plot that has been developed well.  At first it appears that it is a girl goes missing case and a bible left as a clue, but from that basic premise the author has managed to weave some very deep and twisted plots and angles.  These I really enjoyed, he has managed to entwine religious fanaticism as well as other religious views into the story and they are all part of the investigation.  As I journeyed through the story, I discovered the detectives history, a little of what made them tick.  The story is told from the perspective of Rob, Frank and Katrina.  This is where the dynamics of Rob and Frank really shine.  Also the viewpoint of the victim, her thoughts, actions and reactions.

This is set at a good pace and feels right for the theme of a missing person case.  The descriptions of the settings have been well described, and I was able build up a reasonable mental picture. There a number of other characters with their various parts to play, and I also liked Sarge and Edna.  I found there was a good number of twists to keep me guessing, by the conclusion all the loose ends had been tied up.

I would recommend this book to readers of Crime/ Mystery/ Thriller.  With memorable characters, good plot, plenty of twists and well written.  I am hoping there will be a follow on to this book as I really liked this duo.

I would like to thank Sarah Hardy and Bloodhound Books for allowing me a spot on this tour.  All views expressed are my own and are unbiased.

 

About the Author:

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Larry Enmon retired from the U.S. Secret Service and started writing. During his career he acted as liaison between the USSS and FBI, working in the Joint Terrorism Task Force.  He received special training from the FBI and CIA in weapons of mass destruction.

For relaxation, and to get away from the city, he likes spending time at his ranch in rural Eastern Texas. With 200+ acres, private shooting range, a 2 ½ acre pond, and miles of woodland trails to explore on four-wheelers and RTV’s, it’s the perfect getaway.

He swims four miles a week, holds a Divemaster rating with the Professional Association of Diving Instructors and has a black belt in Tang Soo Do karate.  He is married with two children and lives in Tarrant County, TX.

Author Links:  Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Book Details:

  • Paperback: 284 pages
  • Publisher: Bloodhound Books (20 Oct. 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 191217572X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1912175727

Purchase from:  Amazon UK | Amazon US

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#BookReview Dinner At The Happy Skeleton by Chris Chalmers @CCsw19 #HappyPublicationDay

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Happy Publication Day today to Chris Chalmers for “Dinner At The Happy Skeleton” available in as an eBook. (2nd Nov 2017), Published by J.Mendel Books

Synopsis:

Dan is the kind of gay man for whom the Noughties might have been named. Warm, witty and serially promiscuous, his heart melts at the sight of a chocolate brown Labrador – but with men, it’s a different matter. He’s thirty-nine and as single as ever, not counting the couple he just met online. An arrangement that looks oddly like it’s going somewhere until Dan gets fired from his job in advertising. With time out from his career and a payoff in his pocket, the summer presents a world of possibilities; just as the memories surface of the ex he blames for the thinly-veiled chaos of his life.

From London to Ljubljana, a yen for closure sets Dan on the trail of the man who fed his ego into a shredder. Through an eerie encounter at the home of the Olympiad and a sleepover at the Dutch Embassy, run-ins with a fading porn star and the celestial manifestation of Margaret Thatcher, he ultimately confronts his past. Until, with his Big Four-Oh rapidly approaching, destiny beckons from where he least expects it.

‘Full of wit, comedy and unflinching honesty, like reading a gay Nick Hornby. This is clever contemporary fiction at its finest.’ Bleach House Library

My Thoughts:

Meet Dan, a nearly 40 something about to be made redundant.  Since splitting up with his last boyfriend he has muddled along, between one night stands and surfing the net for his next fling.  He has some great friends that seem to keep him grounded, unless alcohol is involved! Sandra is a work colleague and along with Dan she is also made redundant.  They are both given a payout that gives them a chance to relax before having to get a job, she is married with children and Dan does show more concern for her than for himself. Set in London, this is really the story of Dan.  He comes across as a down to earth man who, like everyone else, just wants to find that special person, his Mr. Right.  He does not seem to have much luck in love.  His last boyfriend’s personality seemed to change as they started to get settled,  and he hovers ominously around the edges of the story.  This is set at a nice comfortable pace, it fits perfectly with the story, it is about love, relationships, opportunity, friendship with wit and humour.

I really liked Dan, he is a sensitive, wary, caring but lonely character.  He has support of great friends like Gina, Duncan, Sandra and his internet chat-room friend Maestroman.  These characters have been wonderfully written, they are memorable.  I imagine they would be an absolute howl to go out for a drink with.  The descriptions of the various settings were very good, and the author does mention that he has travelled a lot.  I am assuming the destinations mentioned in the book are places that he has actually been to, as some of the descriptions have a little bit of an extra to them.  Chris has used his own experiences in the world of advertising to build a more complete picture of Dan, it’s those extra touches that add more depth to the characters, makes them more believable.

I would recommend this book to readers of contemporary fiction.  A refreshing read from the perspective of a man looking for love , this made a nice change, from an almost 40 year old, and his journey through love, life, relationships, with honesty and a good sense of humour to it.

I would like to express my thanks to Chris to allowing me a copy of this great book. My thoughts are my own and are unbiased.

About The Author:

6432527After many years creating advertising campaigns for everything from The Economist to ballet shoes, Chris Chalmers took the plunge into writing contemporary fiction.

His first adult novel, Five To One, about the day a helicopter crashes on Clapham Common, won a debut novel competition run by an indie publisher and was nominated for the Polari First Book Award. His next, Light From Other Windows, explores the effect on a family when the youngest son is caught in a tsunami. Literary critic Suzi Feay described it as a book that “can bring tears to your eyes on one page and make you laugh the next”. A third novel, Dinner at the Happy Skeleton, follows in autumn 2017. For children, he has written Gillian Vermillion — Dream Detective, which like all his work is published by J.Mendel Books.

Chris lives in South-West London with his partner, a quite-famous concert pianist. He has been the understudy on Mastermind, travelled to 40 different countries, and shared a pizza with Donnie Brasco. Publication aside, his most treasured literary achievement is making Martina Navratilova ROFLAO on Twitter.

Author Links: Website  Twitter

Book details:

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 671.0 KB
  • Publisher: J.Mendel Books (2 Nov. 2017)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B076X98C31

Book Links:Amazon UK     Goodreads

Many thanks for reading my post.  If you liked it, give it a share.  Or better still go and buy the book.

#Book Review The Things We Learn When We’re Dead by @claidlawauthor #Giveaway

The things we learn COVER FINAL

“The things We Learn When We’re Dead” by Charlie Laidlaw is available in paperback and also on eBook.  Published by Accent Press.

Synopsis:

On the way home from a dinner party she didn’t want to attend, Lorna Love steps into the path of an oncoming car. When she wakes up she is in what appears to be a hospital – but a hospital in which her nurse looks like a young Sean Connery, she is served wine for supper, and everyone avoids her questions. It soon transpires that she is in Heaven, or on HVN. Because HVN is a lost, dysfunctional spaceship, and God the aging hippy captain. She seems to be there by accident. Or does God have a higher purpose after all? At first Lorna can remember nothing. As her memories return – some good, some bad – she realises that she has decisions to make and that she needs to find a way home…

My Thoughts:

Lorna Love is almost a lawyer, working for a prestigious and old firm, her Dad is agnostic, her mum a Catholic, Suzie is her best friend and wants to be an actress.  Now throw in the odd boyfriend, going to heaven, meeting God and meeting his second in command, who is a chain smoker.  Did I forget to mention that heaven is actually a spaceship, and God is a hippy wearing a track suit, or that the spaceship is over-run with hamsters who keep chewing the wiring?

So the main protagonist is Lorna, she has just died.  After waking from the accident to find herself in a spaceship, it is not an everyday occurrence, obviously! Her memories are hit and miss, and as they return we learn of her life up to the point of her accident.  She has what I would call a fairly normal life, education, growing up, university, social life and such, but I found it really interesting to read, captivating and at times sad.  When Lorna meets God she finds he is nothing like she expected, at times he is quite an odd character, but during the course of the story he explains his role and he seems to fit in a quirky sort of way.  Lorna has been taken to heaven for a reason, she will not be told that reason until her memories have sorted themselves, up to this point she wanders round the ship and meets some of the crew.

This is an interesting book to read, I found myself captivated by the characters and the main plot of the story, it is a gentle paced book that takes you through the journey of Lorna’s life, she has had her ups and downs but seems to be moving forward.  It is told in two timelines as such, the main emphasis is on her own life story, as well as her experiences on the ship, a little bit abstract but for me it worked.

When the author approached me to see if I was interested in reading a copy of this book, I was intrigued by the phrase of it being a “retelling of the Wizard of Oz”.  I admit to being baffled by this as I was reading the book, but it didn’t matter as I was enjoying it.  Then suddenly I hit that “I Got It” point of the story, then the phrase made perfect sense and is  very clever.

I would definitely recommend this book to readers of contemporary and general fiction, yes I am aware there is a sci-fi element to it, but it is not overly sci-fi at all.  It is a poignant, funny, sad, philosophical and it will make you think.

I would like to thank Charlie for sending me a copy of his book.  My thoughts expressed here are my own and are unbiased.

About the Author:

  I was born in Paisley, central Scotland, which wasn’t my fault.  That week, Eddie Calvert with Norrie Paramor and his Orchestra were Top of the Pops, with Oh, Mein Papa, as sung by a young German woman remembering her once-famous clown father.  That gives a clue to my age, not my musical taste.

I was brought up in the west of Scotland (quite near Paisley, but thankfully not too close) and graduated from the University of Edinburgh.  I still have the scroll, but it’s in Latin, so it could say anything.

I then worked briefly as a street actor, baby photographer, puppeteer and restaurant dogsbody before becoming a journalist.  I started in Glasgow and ended up in London, covering news, features and politics.  I interviewed motorbike ace Barry Sheene, Noel Edmonds threatened me with legal action and, because of a bureaucratic muddle, I was ordered out of Greece.

I then took a year to travel round the world, visiting 19 countries.  Highlights included being threatened by a man with a gun in Dubai, being given an armed bodyguard by the PLO in Beirut (not the same person with a gun), and visiting Robert Louis Stevenson’s grave in Samoa.  What I did for the rest of the year I can’t quite remember.

Surprisingly, I was approached by a government agency to work in intelligence, which just shows how shoddy government recruitment was back then.  However, it turned out to be very boring and I don’t like vodka martini.

Craving excitement and adventure, I ended up as a PR consultant, which is the fate of all journalists who haven’t won a Pulitzer Prize, and I’ve still to listen to Oh, Mein Papa.

I am married with two grown-up children and live in East Lothian.   And that’s about it.

 

Author Links: Website     Facebook   Twitter

Book Details:

  • Paperback: 397 pages
  • Publisher: Accent Press; UK ed. edition (21 Sept. 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1786150352
  • ISBN-13: 978-1786150356
  • Amazon UK   Amazon US

Giveaway:

Charlie has very generously agreed to provide a signed copy of his book to one lucky winner.  This is open to UK only, the winner will be contacted and their details passed onto the author who will then send out the book.

 Rafflecopter Giveaway Click Here

 

Many thanks for reading my post.  If you liked it, give it a share.  Better still buy the book.

#BookReview : The Ornatrix by Kate Howard pub by @Duckbooks

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The Ornatrix is available for purchase in Hardback, Paperback or eBook.  Published by Duckworth Overlook in July 2016.

 

Synopsis:

Flavia was born with a birthmark covering her face, in the shape of a bird in flight. A dyer’s daughter, she grows up in a little house in the woods, far away from prying eyes. Ashamed of the mark, her mother makes Flavia hide her face behind a veil on the rare occasions she is allowed to be seen in public. But on the night before her younger sister’s wedding, Flavia does something drastic, something that will draw her into a much wider and stranger world than she could have imagined: the convent of Santa Giuliana, just outside the city walls.

There she meets Ghostanza, a courtesan turned widow, whose white-lead painted face entrances Flavia, and whose beauty and cruelty are unmatched. Flavia becomes her ornatrix: her hairdresser and personal maid. But as white-lead paint rots the flesh below it, the bustling city, and Santa Giuliana, is rotting below the shimmer of wealth and privilege. And Flavia is drawn into a world of desire and jealousy that has devastating consequences.

Set in sixteenth-century Italy and rich in description and character, Kate Howard’s stunning debut novel is perfect for fans of Patrick Süskind’s Perfume, Kate Mosse’s The Taxidermist’s Daughter and Jessie Burton’s The Miniaturist. Painted against a vivid historical landscape with themes and characters relevant today, it tackles issues of belonging, female identity and the perception of beauty and cannot fail to move.

My Thoughts:

This book delves into the world of beauty and how beauty is perceived.  It is set in 16th Century Italy, at a time when it was fashionable for women to paint their faces in a lead based white paste called “cerussa” and the aim for the perfect face was all consuming.

This is something that Flavia, the main protagonist, would love to achieve.  Having been born with a birthmark in the shape of a bird on her face.  It was looked upon by her parents as being shameful and a mark of the devil, therefore Flavia spent most of her childhood hidden inside, or when going to church, wearing a veil.  Her life changes in many ways, one of the most significant is her meeting and working for Ghostanza.  Falvia becomes her personal hairdresser and maid, she becomes her “Ornatrix”.

This is a story I really enjoyed.  It’s a story that has a message.  It gave me something  to think about after reading.  Also I have learnt something from reading it.  I really liked the character of Flavia, at times she was petulant, jealous, and wilful, but given her history and her experiences it fitted well. It also fitted in with peoples perceptions of those who are different.  Difference seemed to give people the right to ridicule, mock and be extremely prejudiced.  The story also discusses the way cerussa was made, the long processes of having make up applied and the health dangers that came with using the products.  Also there is a character, I will not mention the name, who offers a voice of reason along with his views of beauty being on the inside and not on the outside.

Initially I found Flavia a little difficult to warm to, but this actually makes sense, she is a defensive, guarded character, but as her story comes out  I found myself understanding her and liked her, though not at all times.  There are several other characters from different backgrounds, these give a nice balance and show the the various opinions of society and class distinctions, giving a diverse range of viewpoints.  The settings were wonderfully described, giving me a indicators of sights, sounds and smells that helped build a vivid picture.

This story captivated me and kept me turning the pages.  Many themes discussed are still relevant today, particularly the lengths people will go to for beauty though the methods are different, also the prejudice shown for people who are considered different by society, we all know this still occurs though not to the lengths discussed in the book.

I would definitely recommend this book to readers of historical fiction.  I really liked the  inclusion of society, class and a girl trying desperately to find her place in the world.  I also think it would make a really good Book Group discussion read, there are some great talking/ debating points here.

 

I was sent his book by the publisher Duckworth Overlook , my views expressed are my own and are unbiased.

 

About the Author:

Kate Howard has lived in Italy for many years, but now lives in Brighton. She works at the University of Sussex.
The Ornatrix is her first novel.

 

Book Details:

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Gerald Duckworth & Co Ltd (14 July 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0715650971
  • ISBN-13: 978-0715650974

Purchase from : Amazon UK   | Amazon US |

 

Many thanks for reading my post.  If you liked it, please give it a share.  Better still go and buy the book.

#BlogTour : No Bodies by @robertcrouchuk : tour org by @CarolineBookBit

No Bodies - Robert Crouch - Book Cover

It is my pleasure to be on the blog tour for “No Bodies” by Robert Crouch.  I would like to thank Caroline at Bits About Books  and Robert for allowing me a spot.  This is the 2nd in the “Kent Fisher Mystery Series” of books.  It is available as a paperback and as an eBook.  It is Independently Published.

Synopsis:

No motive. No connection.

Why would environmental health officer, Kent Fisher, show any interest in finding Daphne Witherington, the missing wife of a longstanding family friend?

The police believe she ran off with Colin Miller, a rather dubious caterer, and Kent has problems of his own when a young girl who visits his animal sanctuary is rushed to hospital.

When enquiries into Colin Miller reveal a second missing wife, Kent picks up a trail that went cold over a year ago. But he’s struggling to find a connection between the women, even when he discovers a third missing wife.

Is there a killer on the loose in Downland?

With no motive, no connection and no bodies, Kent may never uncover the truth.

My Thoughts:

When I first agreed to be part of the blog tour for this book  I was aware it was the second in a series.  Now I am kicking myself for not reading the first.  I will now never have the full experience of reading the first book, as some of the plots and outcomes follow through to the second one. Though this book did read as a stand alone very well , I urge anyone reading this post to download No Accident on their kindle, I honestly believe it will be time well spent.

It did take me a few chapters to get going with this, and to understand the characters as they have already been established in the 1st book, No Accidents (hint, hint), but once I got going I found an extremely addictive and intriguing story, a story that I could have dived straight into if, yes you guessed it, I had read the first book (I am still annoyed with myself about this).  So, Kent Fisher is an EHO (Environmental Health Officer) and is asked by a local counsellor, Colonel Witherington to look into the disappearance of his wife Daphne.  If you are wondering why the Colonel would ask this, it becomes evident if you read the first book (can you see a theme forming here?).  Kent and his co-worker and friend Gemma Dean, do as requested.  They combine their secret investigation into Daphne as well as doing their routine jobs.  What they discover as they are checking out fast food outlets, food providers and the like, are more puzzles and questions than there are answers, and much more than they originally bargained for.  Tempers are frayed and a past incident has never fully been resolved.

This book has so many plots and sub stories running along side each other, with the author putting many interesting and varied angles into this story, they kept me gripped from start to finish, and did not want to put it down at all.  The characters of Kent and Gemma have been very well developed, you realise that they have been friends for quite a while as the dynamics between them work very well.  There are some other really great characters that cover a range of personalities that gives a real enjoyment to the reader.

Robert has used a lot of his own knowledge from his days as working as an EHO, and has included procedures and protocols, all twisted around the plots to provide his own slant on this crime / mystery story.  It almost had a classic mystery feel to it at times, and it wasn’t until I read the author bio that I saw why.

I would definitely recommend this book to readers who like crime / mystery .  Also please read the first book as I am sure it will add to the reading of this story, it will give you a better understanding into the dynamics, characters and and previous story lines.  Though as a stand alone this one did read very well, but took me a few chapters to get a going, but once I did there was no stopping.

 

Author Bio:

Robert Crouch Author Image  Inspired by Miss Marple, Inspector Morse and Columbo, Robert Crouch wanted to write entertaining crime fiction the whole family could enjoy.

At their heart is Kent Fisher, an environmental health officer with more baggage than an airport carousel. Passionate about the environment, justice and fair play, he’s soon embroiled in murder.

Drawing on his experiences as an environmental health officer, Robert has created a new kind of detective who brings a unique and fresh twist to the traditional murder mystery. With complex plots, topical issues and a liberal dash of irreverent humour, the Kent Fisher mysteries offer an alternative to the standard police procedural.

Robert now writes full time and lives on the South Coast of England with his wife and their West Highland White Terrier, Harvey, who appears in the novels as Kent’s sidekick, Columbo.

Links:

Author Website | Facebook Page | Twitter

Book Details and Links:

  • Paperback: 375 pages
  • Publisher: Independently published (17 Oct. 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1549844121
  • ISBN-13: 978-1549844126

To buy “No Bodies” from Amazon UK

To buy “No Accident” the first on the series from Amazon UK

Many thanks for reading my post.  If you liked it, give it a share.  Better still go and buy the books.

#BookReview : The Risen by @TarnRichardson : @DuckBooks

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Before I review this book and then give an overview of this Trilogy, I would like to say i have loved these books immensely. I have been amazed and blown away by this incredible trilogy, is a huge story, well researched and executed.

MY REVIEW: 5*

The Risen is the final book in “The Darkest Hand” trilogy.  It is set in during The First World War, when war is ravaging Europe and its implications are felt across the world.  The Vatican is dealing with its own internal war, the implications of this will affect the populations across the world.  The Apocalypse is almost here.  Those loyal to the Church will have to draw heavily on their reserves and resources as they battle the hordes.  They will discover the truth behind a prophecy. That all is not as it appears and old foes will again play their part. The story takes you on a journey around the globe, showing how far evil and war can travel, but comes back full circle as the battle against the Antichrist reaches its climax.

With this book being the final in the trilogy, it pulls together all the subplots, previously unanswered questions from the earlier books.  A small detail or conversation mentioned in those books, suddenly carries a great weight.  A seemingly insignificant detail becomes a bombshell of realisation.  Nothing has been missed out in this gory, brutal, bloody and truthful conclusion.  The story has come full circle into an epic finale.

REVIEW OF THE TRILOGY:

I fell in love with a little e-book called “The Hunted”. It had so many things going on its 45 pages, I couldn’t help but wonder how it would transfer into a longer book, nevermind a trilogy of them.  Tarn Richardson has brilliantly put together a huge story with a vast array of memorable and unique characters.  I have loved some, loathed some and have been very wrong in my opinion of some.  For me this shows what a great author he is, he has managed to bring his characters and his books alive for me in the words he has written.  It is like reading a film.  There has been a huge amount of research gone into this book and it shows, through the way he has intertwined his world into our own world history.  For me he has pulled off one of the most amazing trilogies i have come across.  I agree with Cal Moriarty’s comment on the front cover, “Evokes the fantasy of Tolkien and the darkness of King” very deserving of this recommendation.  For me these books are second only to The Lord of The Rings books, and they are my favourite.

You will not be disappointed when you read these books.  Be warned however;  you will become addicted, you will not want to miss a single word or sentence, if you skim over any passage (I don’t think you will) you will miss a crucial detail. You will be immersed in a magnificently twisted and deep-rooted plot, that will be intertwined with treachery, conspiracy, immorality and also faith, loyalty, friendship and so much more.

I would recommend these books for readers of fantasy, dark fiction, horror, thriller and historical fiction.

THE BLURB:

The final, thrilling instalment of Tarn Richardson’s Darkest Hand trilogy (‘a remarkably original premise [with] damn fine characters’ David Moody), The Risen serves up a fittingly visceral, relentlessly gripping and action-packed climax to this epic series of dark fantasy.

1917. War and revolution are consuming the world, and the apocalypse is imminent. The world is desperate for a hero who can push back the relentless tide of darkness, and save humanity from the return of the Antichrist. But where is Poldek Tacit, the only man capable of defeating these terrifying forces? As old allies unite in a frantic race to unmask the Antichrist and thwart his plan to bring everything into his power, the Darkest Hand continues to terrorise the innocent – while in the Vatican’s vaults long-buried secrets are about to be unveiled, and humanity’s chance of redemption from the forces of evil hangs by a single thread…

BOOK DETAILS:

Paperback, 352 pages
Published May 18th 2017 by Duckworth Overlook
ISBN13 9780715651704
Edition Language English
Many thanks for reading my post, if you liked it, please give it a share.  Better still, go and buy these great books.  You will not be disappointed.