The Unravelling by Polly Crosby @HQStories #contemporaryfiction #mysterious #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Unravelling by Polly Crosby. I read this book a while ago and loved it, the publication day was delayed and so now this gorgeous story is now available for purchase.

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Tartelin has been employed by Marianne Stourbridge to hunt for butterflies, but she quickly uncovers something far more intriguing. The island and Marianne share a remarkable past, and what happened all those years ago has left its scars.

The island has a strange effect on Tartelin, too, finally allowing her to confront her own, painful, memories. As she does, Marianne’s story begins to unravel around her, revealing an extraordinary tale of two girls, an obsession with pearls, and a truth beyond imagination.

Atmospheric and deeply emotional, The Unravelling is a captivating novel about the secrets we can only discover when we dare to look beneath the surface.

MY REVIEW

The Unravelling is such a great read, it has the haunting atmospheric feel that the synopsis mentions. The story is based on a small island, Dohhalund and only one house is inhabited, Dogger House. This island and house have been in the ownership of the Stourbridge family for generations. Marianne is the current resident, she has employed Tartelin to help her with her work documenting the changes don’t the island and of the butterflies.

Once a community of herring workers worked here, and the family also used to collect the pearls from the oysters. They then moved into the silk business. It is the silk that occupied a young Marianne’s time as she cared for the silkworms.

The story alternates between timelines and tells the life of a young Marianne and the people in her life at the time. What happened years ago and why was the island taken over by the military in 1955. This is something that nags a Tartelin’s conscience. As does the mystery of why a wheelchair-bound Marianne has returned after all these years.

This is really a stunning story that almost has an ethereal feel to it, the memories and events of the past just sit out of sight of Tartelin and she must indeed unravel the mysteries of the previous decades. Marianne is not forthcoming with information, but there are hints and clues. Marianne is not the only one to return to the island, there are visitors such as birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts.

This is one of those stories that I was able to completely lose myself in. The story and the characters flitted back, forth and around like the butterflies. There is a gentle ebb and flow to the story which is reminiscent of the tide as one thing is solved for another to take its place.

As Tartelin discovers more about the island and of Marianne she starts to see changes in herself, she is taking more risks and is coming into her own. For me, she was very much like a butterfly as it transforms.

This is a gorgeously written story, atmospheric and hauntingly beautiful. Captivating and totally immersive. It is one for those that like delving into mysteries of the past, to discover more about a family and to discover the secrets.

This is a book I would definitely recommend.

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

The Book of Sand by Theo Clare #NetGalley @CENTURYBOOKSUK #fantasy #dystopian #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Book of Sand by Theo Clare. This is a good-sized fantasy book that has a dystopian and mystery/ thriller feel to it. It is due for Publication tomorrow and I wish to thank Century Books UK for my e-copy that I received via NetGalley.

The Book of Sand: the first novel in an epic series created by the late Mo Hayder, one
of the UK’s finest and most inventive storytellers.

SAND. A hostile world of burning sun.

Outlines of several once-busy cities shimmer on the horizon. Now empty of inhabitants, their buildings lie in ruins.

In the distance a group of people – a family – walk towards us.

Ahead lies shelter: a ‘shuck’ the family call home and which they know they must reach before the light fails, as to be out after dark is to invite danger and almost certain death.

To survive in this alien world of shifting sand, they must find an object hidden in or near water. But other families want it too. And they are willing to fight to the death to make it theirs.

It is beginning to rain in Fairfax County, Virginia when McKenzie Strathie wakes up. An ordinary teenage girl living an ordinary life – except that the previous night she found a sand-lizard in her bed, and now she’s beginning to question everything around her, especially who she really is …

Two very different worlds featuring a group of extraordinary characters driven to the very limit of their endurance in a place where only the strongest will survive.

MY REVIEW

This is a book that completely caught me by surprise, I was aware that there were two stories involved here but how they connected was a complete curve ball!

One timeline is a group, or as they refer to themselves, a family who are surviving in an inhospitable desert. Each member has a different background and they have random memories from their previous life.

The second is of a young girl, fascinated by wind and sand. She lives in the US and is looked at as a bit of an oddity, her family don’t understand her and her obsessions.

I really don’t know how to start this review so it may be a little disjointed and most likely very vague! The two storylines don’t seem to have any connectors in them, two completely different worlds and people. One is a world we would recognise, as it has a present-day “normal world” setting. The other is definitely not, think of something like Dune but with scarier creatures that emerge at night and that has a time limit to it.

The two stories are very good in their own right, and it took me a while to realise how unconnected they both are. It is not until a lot later in the book that there is that sudden OMG moment when the author literally drops the bombshell. And it was a massive one that suddenly changed the story.

Given the slower and slightly disjointed storyline at the start of the story, I found something about this that kept me reading. I have seen very different reviews of this and some feel that it does go on a bit long. Others and I am one, think it is perfect. I thought it was a way of the author making sure we really get to know the characters. I also found that it very subtly ramped up the mystery and intrigue and I didn’t realise that until the bombshell moment.

This is a book that I really enjoyed, it is a mix of dystopian, fantasy, contemporary and mystery. It is from the pen of Mo Hayder who sadly passed away this year (July 2021) at the age of 59. This book is the first time I had read anything by her and I will be going through the back catalogue.

The Book of Sand is a story that I do think will divide readers, it is one that I found was really intriguing and it was the two separate timelines and the different worlds that really drew me in. The end section does change things a lot and it becomes darker and more dangerous.

I really enjoyed this and I would definitely recommend it if you are looking for something engaging, mysterious, dystopian and a little bit different.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mo Hayder

THEO CLARE left school at fifteen. She worked as a barmaid, security guard, filmmaker, hostess in a
Tokyo club, educational administrator and teacher of English as a foreign language in Asia. She had an
MA in film from The American University in Washington, DC and an MA in creative writing from Bath
Spa University, UK. She wrote crime novels under the name Mo Hayder, and her fifth novel Ritual was
nominated for the Barry Award for Best Crime 2009 and was voted Best Book of 2008 by Publishers
Weekly. Gone, her seventh novel, won the Edgar Allan Poe Award, and her novel Wolf was nominated
for Best Novel in the 2015 Edgar Awards and is currently being adapted for the BBC. Theo Clare was
diagnosed with motor neurone disease in December 2020 and passed away in July 2021.

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

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

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

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

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THE BREAKOUT SUPERNATURAL THRILLER FROM ICELANDIC WRITER JOHANN THORSSON

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

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

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

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

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

MY REVIEW

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

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

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

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

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

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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

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

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

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

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

Visit Johann’s Website HERE

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

The Hanging Tree by Misha Herwin @MishaHerwin #childrenfantasy #childrenadventure #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Hanging Tree by Misha Herwin. This is the 4th book in the Letty Parker series and it is aimed at 8-12year olds. It is a gothic style fantasy, magical and mystery series that this grown-up is also very much enjoying.

The Hanging Tree (Adventures of Letty Parker Book 4) by [Misha Herwin]

The power of the Dark Ones is growing once more. Watching from their rooftop perches, the gargoyles and dragons have all the gossip they could ever want. Deadly night eels slither through the city streets. The thief-taker is on the prowl. And Jebediah Hill is arrested for a crime he did not commit. Letty discovers that Jeb, her oldest friend, has been keeping secrets, yet refuses to reveal them even though he knows he will pay a terrible price. Letty Parker and Associates set out on a race to save Jeb from The Hanging Tree.
And time is running out…

Purchase HERE

MY REVIEW

I have been looking forward to seeing what the author has in store for young Letty Parker and her Associates. The associates are a group of misfits in some ways as there is Letty who used to sell pies, Jeb a one time pickpocket and scoundrel who is now legitimate, Hepzibah a well off young lady, Mango a sort of fixer and a go-to guy as well as other recurring characters.

Letty and Associates are a tight-knit group who have come together over the past books and formed a mystery-solving agency set in the dark port city of Bristol. It is not a Victorian-era Bristol you would remember from history, this one has monstrous eels, gargoyles, dragons and The Dark Ones!

The author has taken a slightly darker turn with The Hanging Tree as Jeb has been arrested, at one time this would have been sort of expected but not now and especially when he is innocent, yes he really is! Breaking Jeb out isn’t an option as he would have no way of clearing his name, instead, it is up to Letty and Co to dig and delve into the murkiness and the backstreets in this against the clock mystery.

I do adore these characters and the whole group works together really well. They bring their own special qualities and skills as they track down and solve mysteries. As I mentioned this one is a slightly darker feeling as there is more going on with the Count. He is a Dark One and has a bigger game plan in mind. He is a threat and not everyone can see it yet.

Once again the author has created a wonderfully dark and atmospheric mystery that has such a wonderful setting. This setting has been reimagined, adapted and the author brilliantly describes the sights, sounds and unfortunately the smells! There is adventure around every corner and page, with intriguing twists and I adored it.

This is aimed at 8-12-year-olds but is also a great series for any age even the grown-ups. It is a book and actually a series I would definitely recommend.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Misha Herwin

Misha Herwin is a writer of books for adults and children.
They vary from time-slip to contemporary women’s fiction, family saga and children’s fantasy adventures.
All her books are set in Bristol, whether real, imaginary or remembered from her childhood. 

Social Media Links – WebsiteTwitter

Here are the previous books in the series

Adventures of Letty Parker

From Book 1: Letty Parker lives by her wits. Estranged from her family, she sells pies on the streets of Bristol. But this is a Bristol full of dark secrets, peopled by gangs, monsters, dragons and gargoyles – and by creatures older than time. When her friend and stepsister disappear, when members of Jeb’s gang vanish, Letty is plunged headlong into a conspiracy where homeless children are being spirited away to a place where a terrible fate awaits them. These are the poor and the lost children of the streets whom no one seems to care about – except for Letty. But what if a rich child went missing? Would the authorities then act? Together, Letty and Jeb hatch a plan…

PURCHASE LINK – HERE

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

Three Little Girls by Jane Badrock @janebadrock @ZooloosBT @QuestionPress  #ThreeLittleGirls #QuestionMarkPress #ZooloosBookTours #bookreview

I am delighted to be one of the Book Bloggers opening the Tour today and to share my review today for Three Little Girls by Jane Badrock. This is the second book in the Karen Thorpe series, and while it is good to read a series in order, I do think it would work well as a stand-alone.

My huge thanks to Zoe at Zooloo’s Book Tours for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my copy of this book from the publisher Question Mark Press.

THREE COLD CASES ONE DETERMINED COP
Someone’s playing tricks on Karen at home and at work. When two cold case files about missing girls turn up on her desk, she’s fuming. When a third file arrives…
she blows a fuse.
Her boss demands she take a holiday leave just as Karen discovers her late father was involved in one of the cases. Now she’s compelled to investigate them.
Karen’s accompanied by sometime boyfriend John- but can she trust him or his friend and map keeper Mr Binks?
She has formidable detective skills but will they work in places where old-world magic is still powerful?
Karen’s life is in serious danger… but from whom…. or what?

MY REVIEW

This is the 2nd book in the Karen Thorpe series, and I have read the first book. I can say that they do work well as stand-alone. As I had read the previous book I immediately wanted to read this one, I didn’t read the synopsis so it was a very pleasant surprise to see the story that the author had in mind for our detective.

As I started reading this I remembered the main protagonist, Karen Thorpe, not particularly likeable. She is abrupt, short with people and very, very work-focused. She is a character that thrives on her work, it is all she thinks about and in her job she has no time for fools. It’s a good job that her on/off/maybe-boyfriend John understands her and the work, and his role plays out so well in this story.

When case files randomly start turning up on her desk, Karen is sure someone is taking the mick out of her. Then she starts to see something in them, something that reminds her of her Dad. The more she tries to work out the more bizarre things become, even the level headed John is puzzled. The three cases are from 50 years ago, unsolved and opened by various people over the years but never resolved. Karen and John team up to try and sort through the mysteries and the clues that will lead them to several cities.

This is the second time I have read a book by this author, so I am not familiar with her style yet. Given how much I enjoyed the first book in the series I was a little bewildered at how this story was going. There are definitely more sides to this author and I believe she may like to enjoy swapping genres and mixing things up. It was only when I finished the book that I actually read the synopsis, yeah I know it’s the wrong way around, but it has made this book a really interesting and unexpected read.

I am aware of this being a bit of a vague review, and now I have read the synopsis I do see that there is a mention of what this story was going to be. I am in fact rather glad that I came to this one blind, it made for a really interesting police procedural with a strong mysterious vibe to it. For me, it worked well and I did enjoy the journey.

One for those who like a crime and mystery read that is a little different but also very addictive reading. It is one I would happily recommend.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jane writes novels, short stories and poems, usually with a good dose of humour in them. She probably owes it all to her late grandmother who, she’s just found out, also wrote short stories and poems. She tends to get an idea and then run with it whether it be a 100-word short story or an 80 thousand word novel. It all depends on the voices in her head at the time…

Follow her at – Facebook Instagram Twitter Amazon Goodreads

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

Dead Mercy by Noelle Holten @nholten40 @OneMoreChapter_ @BOTBSPublicity #crime #thriller #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Dead Mercy by Noelle Holten. I love the Maggie Jamieson series and this is the 5th book. As always I would recommend reading in order, but you can read as a stand-alone.

My huge thanks to Sarah at Book On The Bright Side Publicity for my invite to join the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of Noelle’s latest book.

‘Hugely confident … harrowing, visceral … recommended’ Ian Rankin on Dead Inside

A brutal murder…

When a burned body is found with its teeth missing, DC Maggie Jamieson discovers that the victim may be the husband of one of her probation colleagues.

A dark history…

As the body count rises, the team becomes increasingly baffled by how the victims could possibly be connected until a clue leads them to a historical case that was never prosecuted.

A terrible secret…

In order to catch the killer, Maggie must piece together what happened all those years ago before it’s too late.

PURCHASE LINK – Amazon UK

MY REVIEW

I have read and enjoyed every book in this Maggie Jamieson series. The author deals with some tough and hard-hitting subjects in her books and this one is no exception!

AS the short but intriguing synopsis suggests, this is going to be a tough one especially as it may involve someone from another organisation. While this is a police procedural, the author weaves in other agencies. She does this very well and uses her own knowledge from working in the Probation service to expand on the storyline.

The team is still coming to terms with a tragedy from the previous book, it is mentioned but not enough to make it a spoiler if you haven’t read the series in order. Yes, these books can be read as stand-alone but as with all series, you do get to see a bigger picture and how the dynamics of the teams work.

The case is one that is addictive reading, it is a brutal murder that leaves so many questions for the team to work through. Bringing in specialists from various fields and agencies keep the pacing moving and the story progressing well. Things really start to heat up when a second victim is discovered and things begin to tentatively connect. This does not mean, however, that this is a simple case.

Having various other agencies and experts adds a nice touch to this series, I do like how they link in. I did however think there was a little too much explanation as to the policies and procedures. I do understand that they have their roles and some explanation is required. For me, though it did at times slow the pace and detract from the thrill of the investigation and felt just a little too much. It would however be very handy if you are reading the book as a stand-alone.

The case is intriguing, the body count creeps up and using the experience of a Profiler adds a psychological edge, while the Pathologist adds some interesting if occasionally morbid details. As well as the case there are also details in Maggie’s personal life as she finally admits to her own secrets.

This is another really good read, it is one for those who like a grittier Police Procedural story and it is one I would recommend reading.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Noelle Holten is an award-winning blogger at www.crimebookjunkie.co.uk. She is the PR & Social Media Manager for Bookouture, a leading digital publisher in the UK, and worked as a Senior Probation Officer for eighteen years, covering a variety of risk cases as well as working in a multi-agency setting. She has three Hons BA’s – Philosophy, Sociology (Crime & Deviance) and Community Justice – and a Masters in Criminology. Noelle’s hobbies include reading, attending as many book festivals as she can afford and sharing the book love via her blog. Dead Inside – her debut novel with One More Chapter/Harper Collins UK is an international kindle bestseller and the start of a new series featuring DC Maggie Jamieson.

Connect with Noelle on Social Media here – Newsletter Twitter Facebook Website Bookbub

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Dead Ground by M.W. Craven #crime #thriller #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Dead Ground by M.W. Craven. I adore this series and the two main characters of Poe and Tilly. This is the 4th book in the series, and if you haven’t yet come across one, then go grab a copy.

Detective Sergeant Washington Poe is in court, fighting eviction from his beloved and isolated croft when he is summoned to a backstreet brothel in Carlisle where a man has been beaten to death with a baseball bat. Poe is confused – he hunts serial killers and this appears to be a straightforward murder-by-pimp – but his attendance was requested personally, by the kind of people who prefer to remain in the shadows.

As Poe and the socially awkward programmer Tilly Bradshaw delve deeper into the case, they are faced with seemingly unanswerable questions: despite being heavily vetted for a high-profile job, why does nothing in the victim’s background check out? Why was a small ornament left at the murder scene – and why did someone on the investigation team steal it? And what is the connection to a flawlessly executed bank heist three years earlier, a heist where nothing was taken… 

MY REVIEW

I adore this series and especially the teaming of Washington Poe and Tilly Bradshaw. Poe and Tilly are total opposites but my goodness it works so well. This is the 4th book in the series and they just keep getting better and better with each one. I would suggest that you do read these in order as the character progression and the storylines do continue through each book.

Just as the relationship between Poe and Tilly is unique so is this next investigation that they have been asked to help out with. Not just any investigation, but one that tries to bind them within the red tape of the Official Secrets Act… as if! This is where reading the previous books is ideal for the character background of the characters comes in, because you will realise that both have their own way of doing things!

Poe is a determined, tenacious and at times bull-headed bloke, whereas Tilly is more reserved, cannot abide lies and is the tech genius in this pairing. They are called into what could be a potentially high profile murder but one that is being carefully managed.

I never read the synopsis for the books in this series after I had read the first book, I just know I am going to get on with them and indeed it has been the case with each book. Going in blind works so well as the author doesn’t take long before he goes from a quick what’s going on with the characters to a full-blown investigation.

The case is devious and calls into question a previous case, the more the team know the more they don’t know. Having assistance from the FBI in the form of Special Agent Melody Lee, known from the last book, was great as did this character. She is similar to Poe in some ways. While she has her part to play in this story, the main emphasis is on the work Poe and Tilly do, the way they piece the players, the clues and the chaos together until they see the bigger picture. Obviously, this is never going to be easy when you have politicians, the Feds and are dealing with Official Secrets and the people that decide who gets to see what. It all gives a feeling of not knowing who to trust and it is this edge that makes this book so addictive, as well as the banter from Poe and Tilly of course.

A brilliant 4th book in this fabulously addictive series. One for those who like a more complex case, with a deeper mystery aspect and some amazing characters. A police procedural in some ways, with conspiracy and so many secrets and one I would definitely recommend.

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

Witch by Mark Brownlees #horror #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Witch by Mark Brownlees. I had seen several book reviews for this book and decided to pick it up. It is a horror that I read at the end of October time.

Just check out this cover… 👻 💀😱

For Sale

We are delighted to present Ty Llun – Lake House – which is, once again, available.

A beautiful 400-year-old waterfront property in an idyllic Welsh village, the property has plenty of character and comes complete with the spirit of a long dead witch.
It’s the ideal place for a couple to move to, to start again, to try and forget the heartbreak of the past.

And we are sure that, this time, she will leave you in peace…

WITCH, the terrifying new horror novel from Mark Brownless, the author of The Shadow Man and The Hand of an Angel.

MY REVIEW

After seeing several great reviews for this book by other Book Bloggers I decided to see what the fuss was about. I am so glad I did because this book was brilliant and good on a spooky scale. Not quite the full-on heebie-jeebies, but one that I made sure I kept the light on while I read on my kindle 🙂

So, old Welsh cottage, by the lake, middle of nowhere sounds great, that is until the new owners get told about the rumour of the witch who doesn’t want anyone living in her cottage. For me, there would be one option… yep I’d be gone, and you wouldn’t see me for dust. Thank goodness the author’s characters are made of tougher stuff.

The new owners Gabe and Tor have come to Ty Llun (Lake House) to leave bad memories behind, start again with just the happier memories. The locals in the pub are an ermm, well interesting bunch. Not really welcoming as this new couple are English and this is a very Welsh area that they have moved to. A small close-knit and tight community.

The couple dismisses the rumour of there being a witch, and rightly so. Most people would, but the author’s description of this very secluded house and then the rumour on the top would make me extremely nervous. GRadually the author brings the story of Gabe and Tor out. The past heartache and the reasons for the move. He has them exploring around the lake and talking to a couple of people.

At the same time, he is gradually dropping in fleeting glimpses, odd noises and some great descriptions. Around the halfway point another couple of characters are introduced, this adds some intrigue, mystery and more weird spookiness.

This is a fab story that I read in one sitting, after all, I needed to get to the end before I could go to sleep. The ending has left something that could be continued and I do hope this is something the author has got in mind because I am not quite ready to let go of the characters quite yet.

A great story with a good amount of eerieness and yes I would class it as a horror, but not the massive blood and guts type. A story that I would definitely recommend.

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

The Survivors by Alex Schulman #NetGalley #mystery #thriller #literaryfiction #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Survivors by Alex Schulman. This was a title I saw on NetGalley and my request to review it was granted. This is a mystery, thriller story that I found to be very addictive.

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Years ago, they fled the lake house.

Now, the brothers have returned.

Three brothers return to the family cottage by the lake where, more than two decades earlier, a catastrophe changed the course of their lives. Now, they are here to scatter their mother’s ashes – young men, estranged but bound together by the history that defines them. Their lives have been spent competing for their father’s favour and their mother’s love, in a household more like a minefield than a home. What really happened that summer day when everything was blown to pieces?

The Survivors is a suspenseful, haunting novel about three brothers and their reckoning with the events of one disputed, disastrous summer.

MY REVIEW

This is one of those books that I think you are either going to like or not. A story of three brothers, their lives growing up and also of their lives as they are now and trying to recall certain events.

It was a book that I wasn’t too sure about, or at least that was what I thought, but there was something about the writing and the story that captured my attention. It kept me turning the pages and a few hours later I had finished reading the book!

The story is told in a past and present way, and the timeline of the story isn’t quite what I expected. The present time was told backwards and while this may sound a bit strange it really worked for the story. It is a story that is in some ways a mystery but I didn’t realise until further into the book.

The author uses a cottage in the woods for the main section of the story as the three brothers grow up, their parents are a strange pair and the main character of Benjamin, one of the brothers, is always aware of tensions within the family. Quite why it is mainly him does get explained further along with the story.

It is a story that isn’t happy, but as I mentioned earlier there is something quite magnetic about it. A slow burner that veers towards literary fiction that focuses on a family and what life brings. It is not until almost the end of the book when suddenly things slot into place and there is a Eureka moment as I realised what the whole point of this story was. It was a journey through the life of the family but the destination was something that had happened in the past.

I really enjoyed this one and I could not put it down, it was mesmerising, heartbreaking and I adored it. I would definitely recommend it.

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

The World Cup Mystery by Peter Bartram @PeterFBartram @RandomTTours #mystery #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The World Cup Mystery by Peter Bartram. I have read and thoroughly enjoyed several of this author’s books and I always look forward to catching up with Crampton and Shirley in this mystery series.

My thanks to the author for sending me a copy of his latest book and to Anne at Random Things Tours for my spot on the Blog Tour.

A KILLING BEFORE KICK-OFF…

It’s July 1966 – and England is football crazy as fans cheer their team on to win the World Cup.


There are millions who’d kill for a ticket to the final in London’s Wembley Stadium. Then café owner Sergio Parisi is found murdered in his own kitchen – and his World Cup Final ticket missing.


As Evening Chronicle crime reporter Colin Crampton chases down the story, he discovers the ticket theft could be part of an even deadlier crime.


There are laughs alongside the thrills as England closes in on victory – and Colin, with his feisty girlfriend Shirley Goldsmith, close in on the killer.

PURCHASE LINKS – AMAZON UK

MY REVIEW

Trouble follows Colin Crampton of the Chronicle newspaper no matter where he goes. Even when he and his girlfriend Shirley are on holiday trouble finds him. This leads to a shortened holiday and a rush back home to the UK.

Colin is an investigative journalist for a Brighton newspaper, Shirley is a model and together they are a great pair of characters. As much as I adore Colin, Shirleys ability to keep, well almost keep Colin in check, makes her another brilliant character.

This is a cosy mystery series and this story is set in 1966, the year of the World Cup. The author really does make it obvious of the football-mad time. As we have recently had a world cup, you are always aware of it in the news, in conversations and so it makes sense to have a good amount of references to it in the story, I will add that it is not overly done.

The story is a mix of murder, theft, cons and a certain rather famous Sicilian family. How the author has twisted all these threads together is great. Mentions of the theft of the World Cup trophy, the discovery of it have all been brilliantly woven together with the fictional to create an addictive murder mystery.

How Colin has not got into more scrapes than he has is beyond me, he definitely lives life by the edge of his pants, sometimes a little too close for comfort. Again Shirley has a part to play, after all, she is a model, and Australian so the author has given her the gift of the gab and she isn’t afraid to use her feminine wiles.

While this is firmly a murder mystery, it is also historical fiction but one that is almost light-hearted. Several times I find myself chuckling and this makes for such an enjoyable read. There are several twists, various threads and a nice array of characters that are not necessarily what they appear.

These books can be read as stand-alone books, but as with all series, they are better if read in order as you do get to build a relationship with the main or recurring characters. I do always enjoy catching up with Colin and Shirl, and this latest mystery is a fabulous one. It mixes fact and fiction giving an exciting and manic read, it is one I would definitely recommend.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Peter Bartram brings years of experience as a journalist to his Crampton of the Chronicle crime mystery series. His novels are fast-paced and humorous – the action is matched by the laughs. The books feature a host of colourful characters as befits stories set in Brighton, one of Britain’s most trend-setting towns.

You can download Murder in Capital Letters, a free book in the series, for your Kindle from http://www.colincrampton.com.

Peter began his career as a reporter on a local weekly newspaper before editing newspapers and magazines in London, England and, finally, becoming freelance. He has done most things in journalism from door-stepping for quotes to writing serious editorials. He’s pursued stories in locations as diverse as 700-feet down a coal mine and a courtier’s chambers at Buckingham Palace. Peter is a member of the Society of Authors and the Crime Writers’ Association.

Follow Peter on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/peterbartramauthor.

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