The Last House on the Street by Diane Chamberlain #NetGalley @HeadlineFiction #histfic #contemporaryfiction #mystery #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Last House on the Street by Diane Chamberlain. This is a wonderful book that is a mix of past and present with a strong mysterious streak within it.

My huge thanks to Headline Fiction Books for granting my request to read this book via NetGalley.

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Secrets won’t stay silent forever.

2020. A recently widowed architect moves into the home she and her late husband designed, heartbroken that he will never cross the threshold. But when disturbing things begin to happen, it’s clear that someone is sending her a warning. Who is trying to frighten her away, and why? It is only when she meets an elderly neighbour that she learns the street has a shocking and tragic past. A past that some will go to any lengths to keep hidden.

1964. A young white female student becomes involved in the fight for civil rights in North Carolina, falling in love with one of her fellow activists, in a time and place where an interracial relationship must be hidden from family, friends and especially the reemerging Ku Klux Klan. As tensions rise in the town, she realises not everyone is who they appear to be.

Decades later, past and present are set to collide in the last house on the street…

MY REVIEW


If you like to read books with duel timelines, have historical as well as present-day mysteries, including prejudice, political and social injustice, violence, mistrust and love, then this is a book that should definitely be on your radar.

This is set in North Carolina. The present-day setting is of Kayla and her daughter moving into their new home. It is one that Kayla and her late husband designed and built, so it is a bitter/ sweet occasion. The past is set in the same area and of a young woman Ellie who decides that rather than just report about the social injustices occurring in the US in the ’60s.

How the two connect is something that becomes apparent as the stories start to delve into emerging. As much as I really enjoyed the present-day setting, I found it was the historical setting that I found the most addictive. The author portrays so well the decisions of Ellie and how she felt so moved to stand up for what she believes in. This was also the harder of the two stories to read. It shows so many different aspects of life in the US at the time.

Without giving too much away, the 1960s in the US was a turbulent and troubled time. It was an era that challenged peoples perceptions, rights and beliefs. Protests, speeches, demonstrations during the Civil Rights Movement and the backlash from the KKK is something that is very hard to read. But I do think that the author has tackled this very well within the context of the story.

The present-day setting is still an amazing section, it is harrowing and how it is connected to the past is something that again has been done so well. ASs a reader you see links, but it is often why things are linked that keeps you reading. This is where the author has really excelled, bringing the mysteries of the past to the present makes for extremely addictive reading.

This really is a fabulous story to read, it is harrowing and also shows discrimination as its worst. It is one that I found to be addictive and heartbreaking. A mix of past and present that I would definitely recommend.

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

Her Previous Self by Anne Allen @AnneAllen21 #historicalfiction #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Her Previous Self by Anne Allen. I was very fortunate to win a signed paperback copy of this book during Anne’s recent Blog Tour with Rachel’s Random Resources. Although I do own several copies from this series it is actually the first time I have read one! I will also add that it will not be the last time 🙂

Mary, miserable in her marriage to Thomas Carre, a merchant and privateer and living in the new family mansion in Georgian Guernsey.
Lucy, separated from her husband after a tragic loss and now acting as an unwilling sitter for her elderly grandfather, Gregory Carre, who has inherited the same mansion.
Lucy is haunted by Mary’s continued presence in the house and finds herself being pulled more and more back in time. How is it possible for her to live as Mary? To experience scenes from her tragic life? Lucy is forced to come to terms with Mary’s grief as well as her own.
The more enmeshed she becomes the more anxious Lucy is to discover the truth. Why is Mary still restless? What caused her mysterious disappearance two hundred years ago?

And can Lucy move on from her own loss to find happiness again?

MY REVIEW

This is the first time I have read a book by this author, although I do own 3 or 4 from the Guernsey series. This is book 8 in the series and from what I can see with this latest book, they can be read as stand-alone books.

This is a mix of present-day and historical fiction. The present-day is set with Lucy returning home to Guernsey and she keeps her Grandfather company while her parents take a break. Lucy is tired, feeling alone and is grieving. The house in which she returns is one that has been in the family for generations. One of those ancestors is Mary, there is a mystery surrounding her. There is a date of birth, a marriage date and then a blank as to when she died.

This is told in a timeslip format, and not quite the usual back and forth format. I have to say it worked really well for me and I don’t know which character I wanted to know more about each time. When I was reading about Lucy I needed to know more about Mary, and vice versa.

I did like the historical side of this story, set in a regency style it is one that has heartbreaking revelations. The characters in this era are a mix of really good and also downright wicked. In the present day, the characters are mainly good, although there is the odd one or two who did annoy me a very small amount due to their attitudes.

Overall a great story and one that I really enjoyed reading over a couple of days. One for fans of historical fiction and romance, with a historical fantasy streak to it. Very enjoyable reading and it is an author to who I will be returning and one I would happily recommend.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Anne Allen lives in Devon, by her beloved sea. She has three children and her daughter and two grandchildren live nearby. She was born in Rugby, to an English mother and Welsh father. As a result she spent many summers with her Welsh grandparents in Anglesey and learnt to love the sea. Her restless spirit has meant a number of moves which included Spain for a couple of years. The longest stay was in Guernsey for nearly fourteen years after falling in love with the island and the people. She contrived to leave one son behind to ensure a valid reason for frequent returns.
By profession Anne was a psychotherapist but has long had creative ‘itches’, learning to mosaic, paint furniture, interior design and sculpt. At the back of her mind the itch to write was always present but seemed too time-consuming for a single mum with a need to earn a living. Now retired from the ‘day job’, there’s more time to write.

The Secrets of Latimer House by Jules Wake @OneMoreChapter_ #NetGalley #historicalfiction #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Secrets of Latimer House by Jules Wake. I requested this via NetGalley from the publisher One More Chapter, a division of Harper Collins.

I do like this author and have always enjoyed her books, she also writes under Julie Caplin.

In the war against Hitler every secret counts…

Society heiress Evelyn Brooke-Edwards is a skilled interrogator – her beauty making her a non-threat in the eyes of the prisoners.

Farm girl Betty Connors may not be able to type as she claimed, but her crack analytical skills soon find her unearthing covert connections.

German ex-pat Judith Stern never expected to find herself listening in to German POW’s whispered conversations, but the Nazis took her father from her so she will do whatever it takes to help the Allies end this war.

Billeted together in the attic of Latimer House – a place where secrets abound – Evelyn, Betty and Judith soon form a bond of friendship that carries them through the war. Because nothing is stronger than women united.

Tucked away in the Buckinghamshire countryside, Latimer House, a grand country estate, stands proudly – a witness to some of greatest secrets of WW2.

Used by the SOE to hold Nazi prisoners of war, this stunning historical novel is inspired by the untold story of the secret listeners of ‘M Room’ who worked day and night to help the Allies win the war. A must-read for fans of Dinah Jefferies, Fiona Valpy, Elaine Everest, Jean Fullerton and Deborah Burrowes.

MY REVIEW


What a fabulous story this was, it does have a mix of historical fact and fiction. This is the story of three women who come from very different backgrounds but have a valuable and important way of helping the war effort. These girls are listeners and secret gathers and what they discover help Churchill and his g3enerals plot and plan to bring down Hitler and end World War II.

Judith is a quiet woman, she isn’t outgoing, more mouselike. She is one of the survivors who made her way to England and is of Jewish descent. Betty is local to Latimer house as she grew up in the village nearby. She has a farming background. Evelyn is from a monied background, private education and believes it is more important to help out where she can rather than gallivant around in social circles.

The author provides a quick intro to each of the women and to what they have been doing up to this part of the war. Each of them has a specialism that is of benefit to the goings-on in Lattimer House. Whether it is the ability to speak German or have lived there or indeed having a memory that makes connections easier.

The author brings these three together and gradually as they begin to get to know each other it is easy for the reader to do the same. It wasn’t long before I could distinguish each character, their personality and their way of thinking. Each one brings sadness with them, this is war and life being life is always going to leave an impression.

The author really does a brilliant job with the characters, the main ones as well as the supporting ones. The story has a fabulous flow and I was able to see the women doing their job and realise what an impact this actually had on them mentally.

The author has included a piece at the end of the story as she describes the role of this large Buckinghamshire house and its part in the war. A place where captured crew and pilots were taken to prior to their transfer to Prisoner of War camps in other parts of the UK. It was interesting to follow up this story by having a browse through the internet to discover more.

I found this book to be addictive and a fabulous read apart from the last 15%, it is hard to read when you have tears in your eyes. This ending was very special and I loved how the author brought the story of the three women to a conclusion. It seemed very fitting and appropriate as well as keeping in with the story.

A wonderful story with fabulous characters and one for fans of historical romance and fiction. It is one I would definitely recommend

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jules Wake’s earliest known declaration that she planned to be a writer came at the age of ten. Along the way she was diverted by the glamorous world of PR and worked on many luxury brands, taking journalists on press trips to awful places like Turin, Milan, Geneva, Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam and occasionally losing the odd member of the press in an airport. It gave her the opportunity to eat amazing food, drink free alcohol as well as providing opportunities to hone her writing skills on press releases and to research European cities for her books.

Eventually the voices in her head persuaded her it was time to sit down and write the novel she’d always talked about. Her debut novel in 2014, was quickly followed by the bestselling From Italy With Love, published by One More Chapter, HarperCollins, which reached number 1 in the Amazon Kindle charts.

Jules’ book Covent Garden in the Snow was a Kindle Top 2 bestseller and the follow up book Notting Hill in the Snow was nominated for a Romantic Novel of the Year Award.

Her latest books The Saturday Morning Park Run came out in August 2020 and The Spark in December 2020. Her next book will be a complete departure as The Secrets of Latimer House is her first foray into historical fiction.

She also writes cosy romantic fiction as Julie Caplin and the seventh in her popular Romantic Escapes Series, The Little Swiss Ski Chalet was published in January 2021. The next in the series The Cosy Cottage in Ireland comes out in Autumn 2021.

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

The Silence of Scheherazade by Defne Suman trns Betsy Göksel @HoZ_Books #NetGalley

I am delighted to share my review today for The Silence of Scheherazade by Defne Suman, translated by Betsy Göksel.

I had requested this book via NetGalley and the publisher Head of Zeus very kindly accepted my request to read this fabulous title.

Set in the ancient city of Smyrna, this powerful novel follows the intertwining fates of four families as their peaceful city is ripped apart by the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire.

On an orange-tinted evening in September 1905, Scheherazade is born to an opium-dazed mother in the ancient city of Smyrna. At the very same moment, a dashing Indian spy arrives in the harbour with a secret mission from the British Empire. He sails into golden-hued spires and minarets, scents of fig and sycamore, and the cries of street hawkers selling their wares. When he leaves, seventeen years later, it will be to the heavy smell of kerosene and smoke as the city, and its people, are engulfed in flames.

But let us not rush, for much will happen between then and now. Birth, death, romance and grief are all to come as these peaceful, cosmopolitan streets are used as bargaining chips in the wake of the First World War.

Told through the intertwining fates of a Levantine, a Greek, a Turkish and an Armenian family, this unforgettable novel reveals a city, and a culture, now lost to time. 

MY REVIEW

This is a book that is a mix of historical fiction with a definite lean towards the literary fiction genre. It is the story of four families, an Armenian, a Levantine, a Greek and a Turkish. Starting in 1905 in the Aegean port city of Smyrna.

This book took me quite a few chapters before I could get to grips with it, and I found myself turning to the synopsis a couple of times in the first few chapters to try to get a better understanding of it. There are four different families to get your head around and also the alternating timelines. These timelines flit back and forth with the different family members and at times I found myself stumped as to who was who. I am however really glad I stuck with this book as things gradually started to make sense and I could start to recognise the characters and also their roles within the story.

Even though I was struggling with the characters I did find the writing to be evocative and completely enthralling. I know this may sound odd, the writing style is definitely on the literary side and I found it to be very mesmerising.

The story of the families in Smyrna is one that is wound up in tradition and also of a changing world. I did have a wander onto the internet so I could learn more about this period of history, it is an area that I didn’t really know much about so I found it really interesting to find photos, maps and other information about this ancient city.

The story of the families is one that has skeletons, heartache, loss, love and deception. As I got to know the main players I was able to recognise them, I could sympathise with the situations they found themselves in. Having families from different ethnicities gave differing perspectives of the world and of the trouble coming to the city. I found myself warming to several of the characters and was eagerly awaiting their next appearance in the story.

While this is very much a historical fiction book I did love the more literary writing style, it gave a more romanticised feel to the writing, and I do think this may lead some readers not to fully engage with it. I am so glad I persevered with the book and I found a story that was not only engaging but also very addictive. It is one I would definitely recommend.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Defne Suman was born in Istanbul and grew up on Prinkipo Island. She gained a Masters in sociology from the Bosphorus University and then worked as a teacher in Thailand and Laos, where she studied Far Eastern philosophy and mystic disciplines. She later continued her studies in Oregon, USA and now lives in Athens with her husband. The Silence of Scheherazade was first published in Turkey and Greece in 2016 and is her English language debut.

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The Turning of the Tide by Alan Jones @alanjonesbooks #historicalfiction #trilogy #publicationday #highlyrecommended #bookreview

It is an absolute delight to share my review today for The Turning of the Tide by Alan Jones. This is the final book in The Sturmtaucher Trilogy, so in some ways, it is also with sadness that I share this review.

I have read and loved each one of the books and it is a trilogy that not only to I Highly Recommend but also recommend that it is definitely read in order. You will find the link to Alan’s Amazon Page to order the books, a ridiculously cheap price and I for one would pay a lot more for these amazing books.

I have included Alan’s Website in the “About the Author” section of this post. There are so many items on this site that refer to his research and the book. Photo’s maps, glossary, documents and bibliography and these all add to the experience of reading the books.

Before I share my review of the final book, here are the two previous ones with the synopsis and a link to my full review…

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SYNOPSIS –

Book 1 in the Sturmtaucher Trilogy: a powerful and compelling story of two families torn apart by evil.

‘Kiel, Northern Germany, 1933. A naval city, the base for the German Baltic fleet, and the centre for German sailing, the venue for the upcoming Olympic regatta in 1936.

The Kästners, a prominent Military family, are part of the fabric of the city, and its social, naval and yachting circles. The Nussbaums are the second generation of their family to be in service with the Kästners as domestic staff, but the two households have a closer bond than most.

As Adolf Hitler and his National Socialist Party claw their way to power in 1933, life has never looked better for families like the Kästners. There is only one problem.

The Nussbaums are Jews.

The Sturmtaucher Trilogy documents the devastating effect on both families of the Nazis’ hateful ideology and the insidious erosion of the rights of Germany’s Jews.

When Germany descends ever deeper into dictatorship, General Erich Kästner tries desperately to protect his employees, and to spirit them to safety.

As the country tears itself apart, the darkness which envelops a nation threatens not only to destroy two families, but to plunge an entire continent into war.’ 

FULL REVIEW – HERE

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SYNOPSIS –

Flight of the Shearwater is the second book in the Sturmtaucher Trilogy: a powerful and compelling story of two families torn apart by evil.

‘With Poland divided between Hitler’s Germany and Stalin’s Union of Soviet Republics, the increasingly confident Third Reich flexes its military muscles northwards into Denmark and Norway, while the rest of Europe watches anxiously over its shoulders.

General Erich Kästner, in his key role in the Abwehr, is fast becoming aware of the mass expulsion of Jews and other minority groups from Germany and from northern Poland, to the new ghettos of the Generalgouverment area of southern Poland, and has an inkling of what the National Socialists’ have in mind for Europe’s Jews.

As Holland and Belgium fall, and the British are routed at Dunkirk, barely escaping across the channel, the seemingly impregnable France collapses under the Wehrmacht Blitzkrieg, sealing the fate of millions of Jews, now trapped under Hitler’s rule.

The Nussbaums, thwarted in their attempts to escape to Denmark, desperately seek other routes out of Germany but, one by one, they are closed off, and they realise they have left it all too late…’

FULL REVIEW – HERE

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SYNOPSIS

The Turn of the Tide is the third book in the Sturmtaucher Trilogy: a powerful and compelling story of two families torn apart by evil.

As Hitler’s greed turns eastwards to the fertile and oil rich Soviet heartlands, life for the Kästner and the Nussbaum families disintegrates and fragments as the Nazis tighten the noose on German and Polish Jews. Implementing Endlösung der Judenfrage, the ‘Final Solution to the Jewish Problem’, Hitler, Himmler, Heydrich and Eichmann plan to have Germany, and Europe, Judenrein, ‘cleansed of Jews’.
General Erich Kästner, increasingly alone, fights a losing battle to protect his friends, and their fellow Jews, putting himself and his family in jeopardy.
As the tide of war turns, he looks anxiously to the Soviets in the east, and to the Western Allies, desperately hoping, despite his patriotism, that Germany is defeated before there are no Jews left in the countries occupied by the Third Reich.
When an assassination attempt on Hitler and his henchmen fails, Erich Kästner himself comes under the scrutiny of the Gestapo, and his own survival, and that of his family, becomes uncertain.
As the war draws to an end, with Germany in ruins, time is running out for the Kästners and the Nussbaums…

MY REVIEW

This is the final book in The Sturmtaucher Trilogy and what a journey it has been. I have been absolutely blown away by these books and it is with great sadness that my time with the characters has come to an end. This is an amazing trilogy and one that will stay with me for a long time, and yes, it does need to be read in order.

The Turn of the Tide, as I mentioned in the final instalment in this story of human determination, sacrifice, hope and love. The trilogy started in the run-up to WW II, it then followed key characters in their journeys as the war took hold. Now, they have the job of finding their way back to some semblance of life in the emotional and physical wreckage that is left.

There are two main families mentioned in this trilogy, the Naussbaum’s and the Kastner’s. They are a German Jewish family and a German family. The Naussbaum’s have worked for the Kastner’s for many years, both families children have been brought up together and are very close. It was when Hitler began to change the politics and the attitudes of people that peoples true feelings came out.

Obviously, in a trilogy of this size, there are also many characters. There are family members, friends, colleagues. associates, fellow prisoners, confidants, lovers, soldiers, spies, the list goes on. Given the huge amount of characters, the author has expertly and deftly woven them to create a masterpiece. Bringing facts, historical events, dates, numbers, and really shocking details to these books. The research that has gone into this is remarkable, just looking through the bibliography at the end is an eye-opener.

As I had already got a connection to the characters from the previous books, I of course had my favourites. Knowing the events from history though, I was expecting a loss or more! This made the reading hard, several times my heart was in my mouth and I almost didn’t want to turn the page in case I discovered the worst.

This sense of dread is balanced with a huge sense of hope, the hope that the characters I had grown to love would either find their way back or at least find peace. I have to say this book was so emotionally charged in so many different senses of the word.

This final book is just as heartbreaking as the previous two and also hard to read when the author details some of the abhorrent and evil conditions that people had to endure. It is remarkable that people did survive. WWII had such a catastrophic effect on many people, those that were persecuted because of their ethnicity, or their faith and also of their beliefs.

I am struggling to put into words how well written and amazing this trilogy is. Each book takes the reader on a journey, the final book brings the lives of the characters to a conclusion. I have laughed, cried and got angry as I have followed these characters. Even the last line of the book had me in tears.

This is a stunningly brilliant trilogy. The research is impressive, the storytelling is sublime, the characters are memorable and this is something that will stay with me for a very long time.

If you like historical fiction that has a lot of factual details woven in then this is one you really need to pick up. I would highly and absolutely, most defintiely recommend this book and the trilogy.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Alan Jones

Alan Jones is a Scottish author with three gritty crime stories to his name, the first two set in Glasgow, the third one based in London. He has now switched genres, and his WW2 trilogy will be published in August 2021. It is a Holocaust story set in Northern Germany.

He is married with four grown-up children and four wonderful grandchildren.

He has recently retired as a mixed-practice vet in a small Scottish coastal town in Ayrshire and is one of the RNLI volunteer coxswains on the local lifeboat. He makes furniture in his spare time and maintains and sails a 45-year-old yacht in the Irish Sea and on the beautiful west coast of Scotland. He loves reading, watching films and cooking. He still plays football despite being just the wrong side of sixty.

His crime novels are not for the faint-hearted, with some strong language, violence, and various degrees of sexual content. The first two books also contain a fair smattering of Glasgow slang.

He is one of the few self-published authors to be given a panel at Bloody Scotland and has done two pop-up book launches at the festival in Stirling.

He has spent the last five years researching and writing the Sturmtaucher Trilogy.

SOCIAL MEDIA – Amazon Author PageTwitter Website

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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.

Social Media Links – Twitter Bookbub Newsletter

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Hollywood Bilker by Leopold Borstinski @Borstinski   @ZooloosBT  #HollywoodBilker #AlexCohen #ZooloosBookTours #histfic #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Hollywood Bilker by Leopold Borstinski. I have loved this series from the very first book and following the journey of the main protagonist Alex Cohen.

My huge thanks to Zoe at Zooloo’s Book Tours for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of the book.

Is building another casino worth dying for?

Jewish gangster, Alex Cohen returns to America and settles in 1960s California to build a drug and prostitution empire in LA. When he gets a call from the mob to help the CIA invade Cuba, Alex must decide between family and his business associates.

If he helps Uncle Sam and the Mafia then he puts his life on the line fighting for freedom and the chance to rebuild his Havana casinos. If he refuses the favor then death will call on him, his ex-wife and their sons. Once he agrees to one accommodation then others are sure to follow, in a decade where even presidents, assassins and presidential candidates were whacked at a terrifying rate.

The sixth book in the Alex Cohen series is an historical thriller novel, which rips open Jewish organized crime involvement in Lee Harvey Oswald’s death and the assassination of Bobby Kennedy. Leopold Borstinski’s searing crime fiction lays bare the making of today’s USA.

PURCHASE LINKS – AMZON UK or US

MY REVIEW

This is the 6th book in the Alex Cohen series, a series I am loving and have with every book in the series. The series follows the life of Alex, his family, his friends, his enemies and his business associates. This 6th book sees Alex entering the 1960’s in America.

The previous book saw him high-tailing it out of Cuba, now the author has him rubbing the shoulders with the rich, famous and possibly infamous depending o which circles you mix within. With names such as Frank Sinatra, Marilyn Monroe, the Kennedy’s and Alex’s business background, well you know that these people are going to meet up in this authors series.

If you are new to this series then I would definitely recommend re4ading from the beginning, it gives you a better understanding of where Alex has come from, his background and his life growing up. Working his way up through the ranks of the racketeers and mobs of each decade of the 1900s.

With each book, the author uses names of new items that are relevant to the time, it sort of backs up Alex’s character and also keeps the reader in the time and moment.

Alex and his wife Sarah don’t see much of their family, and while Alex has hinted at retiring he has never done much about it. He is a careful man but also one that will take care of his own business. But, now as he is getting to the stage where he wants more family time he realises he needs to let some of his businesses go.

In this episode, the author has Alex rubbing shoulders with the rich and famous, glamorous parties, with special extras are his speciality. It gives him a chance to get in with the in-crowd of the time. While this story is full of action, dodgy deals, hidden agendas, it also had a slightly different edge to it. Alex still puts himself in the midst of things, still in danger and risking his life, but he has a future that he is now thinking about. I think this does show in this story, don’t think that Alex or the author have gone soft, they have not. Just pickier about what job is absolutely necessary.

This is yet another fabulous book that I loved, especially as it involves the golden era of Hollywood stars and politicians. If you are a fan of history in the US through the 1900s then this is a series that may very well appeal. I have loved it and look forward to reading the next book.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Leopold Borstinski is an independent author whose past careers have included financial journalism, business management of financial software companies, consulting and product sales and marketing, as well as teaching.
There is nothing he likes better so he does as much nothing as he possibly can. He has travelled extensively in Europe and the US and has visited Asia on several occasions. Leopold holds a Philosophy degree and tries not to drop it too often.
He lives near London and is married with one wife, one child and no pets.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

PURCHASE HERE

MY REVIEW

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Wilbur Smith

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

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Flight of the Shearwater by Alan Jones @alanjonesbooks #historicalfiction #mustread #trilogy #SturmtaucherTrilogy #bookreview

It is an absolute pleasure to be sharing my review today for Flight of the Shearwater by Alan Jones. This is the second book in his Sturmtaucher Trilogy. I read the first book, The Gathering Storm back in August and it blew me away. It still stays with me and I was delighted when the author offered me the opportunity to read these fabulous and powerful books.

You can read my full review of The Gathering Storm HERE.

Flight of the Shearwater is the second book in the Sturmtaucher Trilogy: a powerful and compelling story of two families torn apart by evil.

‘With Poland divided between Hitler’s Germany and Stalin’s Union of Soviet Republics, the increasingly confident Third Reich flexes its military muscles northwards into Denmark and Norway, while the rest of Europe watches anxiously over its shoulders.

General Erich Kästner, in his key role in the Abwehr, is fast becoming aware of the mass expulsion of Jews and other minority groups from Germany and from northern Poland, to the new ghettos of the Generalgouverment area of southern Poland, and has an inkling of what the National Socialists’ have in mind for Europe’s Jews.

As Holland and Belgium fall, and the British are routed at Dunkirk, barely escaping across the channel, the seemingly impregnable France collapses under the Wehrmacht Blitzkrieg, sealing the fate of millions of Jews, now trapped under Hitler’s rule.

The Nussbaums, thwarted in their attempts to escape to Denmark, desperately seek other routes out of Germany but, one by one, they are closed off, and they realise they have left it all too late…’

PURCHASE FROM – AMAZON UK

MY REVIEW…

Once again I am absolutely blown away by the writing of this author. The five years he has spent researching this trilogy, in my honest opinion, was time very well spent.

I will admit to approaching this second book with some trepidation, I was so hooked by the first book, The Gathering Storm, and I wondered if I would like the second book as much. I have to say that it is another amazing book.

If you have read the first book you will be aware of the two main families. The Kastner’s are a well-respected family with links to the German Navy and Army. Their housekeepers and friends are the Nassbaum’s they are German Jews who have been under the protection of General Erich Kastner. As the Jewish are being persecuted more and more it is getting harder for them to remain safe. I would suggest that you do need to read these books in order.

Flight of the Shearwater continues the story of the Kastner and Nussbaum families. In some ways the writing in this second book feels a little different, and a very good different. While the author still keeps the style, the feelings and the observations, he also displays some wonderful descriptive passages. I won’t say too much about these passages and chapters, but the vivid imagery he builds up through his story-telling is simply amazing. I can close my eyes and I can see stormy seas, feel the chill, experience the dread and fear, I also got angry, frustrated and was appalled at what various characters find themselves experiencing.

While the story does focus more on the younger member of the families, there are some vivid and horrific events that are described. It keeps the reader up to date with events unfolding during the most turbulent time in world history. For families having to make decisions as to how best to give their children a chance for survival, when this chance also leads them into danger is an awful choice to make. It is working out which is the lesser of two evils.

Once again I am stumped for words when it comes to writing a review. Once again I want to shout about various aspects of the story, well the story as a whole actually!

This is a superb book in the trilogy. It held my attention as fully as the first one and in some ways even more so as I needed to know what was going to happen to the characters I have come to care about. This author knows how to bring several emotions out in a reader. Research is amazing and there is a good section at the end for further reading. The storytelling is sublime. It is another amazing read.

If you are interested in reading about WWII, the differing views of the Germans, the treatment of the Jewish people and how the war affected the lives of people then this is a trilogy you seriously do need to pick up. Yes, it is hard reading at times as you would expect, but there is a glimmer of hope.

A stunning first two books and it has left me wanting, no, needing to know what becomes of these two families and the others they have met. Again it is a book I cannot recommend highly enough.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR…

Alan Jones

Alan Jones is a Scottish author with three gritty crime stories to his name, the first two set in Glasgow, the third one based in London. He has now switched genres, and his WW2 trilogy will be published in August 2021. It is a Holocaust story set in Northern Germany.

He is married with four grown up children and four wonderful grandchildren.

He has recently retired as a mixed-practice vet in a small Scottish coastal town in Ayrshire and is one of the RNLI volunteer coxswains on the local lifeboat. He makes furniture in his spare time, and maintains and sails a 45-year-old yacht in the Irish Sea and on the beautiful west coast of Scotland. He loves reading, watching films and cooking. He still plays football despite being just the wrong side of sixty.

His crime novels are not for the faint-hearted, with some strong language, violence, and various degrees of sexual content. The first two books also contain a fair smattering of Glasgow slang.

He is one of the few self-published authors to be given a panel at Bloody Scotland and has done two pop-up book launches at the festival in Stirling.

He has spent the last five years researching and writing the Sturmtaucher Trilogy.

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

The Collector’s Daughter: A Novel of the Discovery of Tutankhamun’s Tomb by Gill Paul @GillPaulAuthor @RandomTTours #histfic #ancientegypt #mystery #bookreview

I am delighted to share m review today for The Collectors Daughter by Gill Paul. this is a fabulous book and is about the discovery of Tutankhamun’s Tomb. I loved reading this book and wish to thank Anne at Random Things Tours for my spot on the Blog Tour and for organising my copy of the book.

An unforgettable discovery
In 1922, Lady Evelyn Herbert’s dreams are realised when she is the first to set foot inside the
lost tomb of Tutankhamun for over 3,000 years.


A cursed life
But the months after the discovery are marred by tragedy, when Eve’s father dies suddenly
and her family is torn in two. Desperate to put the past behind her, Eve retreats into a
private life with her new husband.


A deadly choice
But she is harbouring a dark secret about what really happened in Egypt. And when a young
woman comes asking questions years later, the happiness Eve has finally found is
threatened once more…

MY REVIEW…

I absolutely adored this book, a mix of historical mystery, ancient Egyptology and some real-life people that the author has fictionalised the story around. Facts, fiction and history are three things that I do adore in a novel.

As the synopsis suggests this is the story of Lady Evelyn Herbert. Daughter of the Earl of Carnarvon whose friend is Howard Carter. Anyone who has even a little bit of interest in the tombs of the pharaohs will be aware that it was Carter who discovered Tutankamun’s tomb. The author used documented evidence and facts to get the basics of the story d has then created a fabulous fictionalised account around Lady Herbert, known as Eve.

The story is one that flits back ad forth in time from the 1970s to the 1920s. Eve recounts her time as a younger girl and her interest in ancient Egypt, a fascination that she shared with her father and obviously Carter. Eve is one of the first people to have entered the final resting place of Tutankhamun and throughout the story she reminisce3s about her experiences, her travels and her adventures fr a few years before settling down to marry. Some of the chapters are from the perspective of her husband, but the majority are from Eve.

Rumours at the time of the discovery were rife, tales about a curse and also of objects going missing. The author includes all of this in her story and what a story it was.

Eve has had a fabulous life, and the author has created a warm, loving and eager woman of the real-life Eve. A young woman who had one of the most amazing experiences when she was able to enter the tomb, but also of her life after. A socialite who loved parties gave generously to friends and an absolutely lovely sounding woman. As I discovered more I found myself warming to Eve and her husband more and more. They are a perfect combination and the author really does bring out their love and loyalty.

This story is not all happiness, it does contain mentions of loss and death of friends and family. Eve herself has her own issues is during the 1970’s timeline I found her trying to piece missing memories together, trying to remember things in the past and fill in the missing chunks. She has had a series of strokes over the years and this has left her forgetting times, places, faces and events. It is a heart-breaking part of the story to read. It is this that gives the story its mystery element as Eve tries to remember the whereabouts of some artefacts.

I really adored this book and there is some great research materials that you can follow up on at the back of the book, as well as photographs and more details about those involved. Also as part of the story, there are mentions of politics, fashion, events and society of the time. It all adds up to create a wonderfully woven story that was an absolute pleasure to read. This is one for those who like historical fiction and it is one I would definitely recommend.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR…

Gill Paul is an author of historical fiction, specialising in the twentieth century and
often writing about the lives of real women. Her novels have topped bestseller lists in
the US and Canada as well as the UK and have been translated into twenty-one
languages. The Secret Wife has sold over half a million copies and is a book-club
favourite worldwide.


She is also the author of several non-fiction books on historical subjects. She lives in London and
swims year-round in a wild pond. The Collector’s Daughter is her tenth novel.

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