6 Ripley Avenue by Noelle Holten @nholten40 @RandomTTours @OneMoreChapter_ #crime #thriller #mystery #NetGalley #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for 6 Ripley Avenue by Noelle Holten. This is her first stand-alone book and I adored it. I have read all of the books in the DC Maggie Jamieson series and they are all excellent reads.

My huge thanks to Anne at Random Thing Tours for my spot on the Blog Tour. For arranging my e-copy of this book from the publisher, One More Chapter via NetGalley.

ONE HOUSE
EIGHT KILLERS
NO WITNESSES

Jeanette is the manager of a probation hostel that houses high-risk offenders released on license.

At 3am one morning, she receives a call telling her a resident has been murdered.

Her whole team, along with the eight convicted murderers, are now all suspects in a crime no one saw committed…

MY REVIEW

As the short but snappy synopsis tells, Jeanette is the manager of a Probation Hostel when one of their residents is murdered. Given the reason for the residents being in the hostel, it becomes a mystery as to who could have murdered Danny Wells. Some would say he deserved what was coming, others that he deserved a second chance.

I really enjoyed the way this story was laid out. Done in quick chapters alternating between Jeanette, the killer and also a reporter called Sloane. The chopping and changing worked really well and the author, in my opinion, moves effortlessly between the characters and the pacing of the story is maintained.

There are a few characters in this story, not too many as to get confusing and they soon become memorable. I wasn’t a huge fan of some of the characters and this is down to the way the author has portrayed them. Not fully knowing their backgrounds until later in the story meant I was wrong-footed a few times as my opinion of them changed. It also meant I never really had a clue as to who the culprit was and why he committed the murder.

This is a procedural story in some ways as the police are obviously involved, but for me, it was also a fabulous mystery as I was taken into the different aspects of the hostel, the staff, the residents and also the views of a neighbour. The hostel had been received by the local community with anger. It had appeared in the news and this is why Sloane is taking such an interest in it.

Sloane does her own digging and makes her own inquiries. This doesn’t sit altogether well with the Detective in charge of the case, it also means she isn’t entirely welcome at the hostel. But, having a reporter as one of the investigators of the story means you get a different side to the case.

This is a fabulous story and one that had me hooked within the first couple of chapters. As there are different agencies involved there are various anacronyms, they are something that at times annoy me as I have to try and remember what the initials refer to. The author does explain the meanings and where necessary she mentions refers to basic procedures.

I have to admit something here, I really, really adored this one and I preferred it more than the DC Jamieson series. I do think this change of direction to a standalone was a great move, and while I do still look forward to reading more about Maggie, I do hope the author continues to go off track and mix things up. A cracking read and one that I would definitely recommend, ideal for fans of crime, mystery and thriller readers.

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 – Twitter – Facebook

CHECK OUT THE OTHER STOPS ON THE BLOG TOUR…

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

The Skeleton Key by Erin Kelly @HodderBooks #NetGalley #mythery #thriller #psychologicalthriller #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Skeleton Key by Erin Kelly. This is the first time I have read a book by this author and it will not be the last. I am aware that this book is one that is dividing readers!

My thanks to Hodder & Stoughton Publisher for my eARC of this book via NetGalley.

THIS REUNION WILL TEAR A FAMILY APART…

Summer, 2021.
 Nell has come home at her family’s insistence to celebrate an anniversary. Fifty years ago, her father wrote The Golden Bones. Part picture book, part treasure hunt, Sir Frank Churcher created a fairy story about Elinore, a murdered woman whose skeleton was scattered all over England. Clues and puzzles in the pages of The Golden Bones led readers to seven sites where jewels were buried – gold and precious stones, each a different part of a skeleton. One by one, the tiny golden bones were dug up until only Elinore’s pelvis remained hidden.

The book was a sensation. A community of treasure hunters called the Bonehunters formed, in frenzied competition, obsessed to a dangerous degree. People sold their homes to travel to England and search for Elinore. Marriages broke down as the quest consumed people. A man died. The book made Frank a rich man. Stalked by fans who could not tell fantasy from reality, his daughter, Nell, became a recluse.

But now the Churchers must be reunited. The book is being reissued along with a new treasure hunt and a documentary crew are charting everything that follows. Nell is appalled, and terrified. During the filming, Frank finally reveals the whereabouts of the missing golden bone. And then all hell breaks loose.

MY REVIEW

I adored this book and the twisted mystery that the author had woven into it. The basic premise of the story is one that the author explains at the beginning. She refers to the Kit Williams book, Masquerade. The idea of this book was that the reader had to solve clues to discover the location of a golden hare. The book was published in 1979 and I do have a copy of it, I never worked out locations but I adore the artwork.

Frank and Lal have known each other for years. The Golden Bones is a book that Frank is credited with coming up with, but there is more to it than that. The idea is that there are 7 jewels that when found will form a miniature skeleton of Elinore. The book is made up of clues, puzzles, equations and various other brain teasers that lead the treasure hunters to the locations of each of the bones. It has been 50 years since the publication of the book and as interest has dwindled, what better time to spark a resurgence? The final bone is still missing.

The story focuses not so much on the treasure hunt but on how the book has affected the families of Frank and Lal. Both men have had their highs and lows and the author does show these within this timeslip story. She also looks in detail at Nell’s story, she is the daughter of Frank and someone that has been on the negative side of the publicity that the book has had.

The families live side by side, and their children have grown up together and known each other all their lives. But Nell is one that has become more of an outsider, she moves constantly and is always looking over her shoulder. The reasons for this are made apparent in the story.

The author has woven a very twisted and mysterious tale around the book and the families. Things really come to a head when a grand unveiling does not go to plan and old secrets finally start to come out. This is when you finally realise how twisted the older generations in the families are willing to go, and little others are thought about.

This is a glimpse into two very dysfunctional families, based on secrets, fear and control. I really found this to be an addictive read and it was great to be able to see differences of opinion, and how things changed over the years as the author flits back and forth over timelines.

This was a fabulous read and one that I soon found myself very much wrapped up in. It is devious, sneaky and riveting. The pages just disappeared and I didn’t realise how long this book was until I came to write my review, it is 500+ pages and it took me two sittings. Brilliant book and one I would definitely recommend.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Erin Kelly was born in London in 1976 and grew up in Essex. She read English at Warwick University and has been working as a journalist since 1998.

She has written for newspapers including The Sunday Times, The Sunday Telegraph, the Daily Mail and the Express and magazines including Red, Psychologies, Marie Claire, Elle and Cosmopolitan.

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

Christmas Miracles at Hedgehog Hollow by Jessica Redland @JessicaRedland @rartraresources @BoldwoodBooks #NetGalley #contemporaryfiction #romance #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Christmas Miracles at Hedgehog Hollow by Jessica Redland. I have followed this series from the very beginning and adored each of the books. So it is with sadness that I read this final book, I will miss the characters and the Hedgehogs.

My huge thanks to Rachel at Rachel Random Resources for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of this book via NetGalley from the publisher Boldwood Books.

It’s the countdown to Christmas at Hedgehog Hollow Wildlife Rescue Centre, and everyone is gearing up for a festive season to remember…
It should be the most wonderful time of the year for Samantha and Josh as they prepare for the arrival of their first baby. But life at Hedgehog Hollow rarely goes to plan and the pair are faced with adversaries, old and new, and unexpected challenges to overcome.
Fizz’s job at the heart of the rescue centre is a dream come true but her personal life is more like a nightmare. With her love life a disaster and her past about to dramatically catch up with her, she needs the love and support of her Hedgehog Hollow family more than ever.
As the snow falls over Hedgehog Hollow, will Samantha and Fizz find the Christmas miracle they need to overcome their heartache and find happiness?


Purchase Link – HERE

MY REVIEW

Oh, this is such a bitter-sweet review as this is the final book in this series, although the author does mention the possibility of coming back to some characters mentioned. I for one hope that she does.

This has been a fabulous series and one that I have read from the very first when there was no rescue centre, when the house was run down and where an elderly man was alone. The author has created such a heartwarming series and each step of the way I have been hooked. Following the comings and goings of the people, the families and friends and obviously of the little prickle balls themselves.

This final book is another heartwrenching one, although it is also full of wonderful surprises and new starts. Yes it does have Christmas mentioned ( this book was released in September btw) and it was a refreshing book to read in the August sun.

Family and friends are looking toward Christmas, but it is going to be a strange one in some ways as things don’t remain the same. I did like the way the author didn’t make it excessively festive but concentrated on the close-knit family, extended family and close friends of those who have been part of Hedgehog Hollow over the years. Christmas is a time for remembering things and not all are good. there are some very tough times ahead for some of the characters as they have to admit things that they have kept hidden for far too long.

Sam and Josh are awaiting the arrival of their new baby, and this is one of the new starts I have mentioned. There is a sense of fear and excitement as they await the birth, but there is also plenty of other things going on in the story. It does have a feeling that the author has started to bring things to a close, but it has been done in such a wonderful and natural feeling way.

This book was a real emotional rollercoaster, there were so many moments when I had to swallow a lump in my throat or wipe away the odd tear so I could keep reading. I would love to share all these moments but I am deliberately avoiding this.

A vague-ish review as such as I don’t want to spoil any of the numerous and wonderful moments if you are still to read this one.

If you are a fan of contemporary fiction and romance with family and friends being the focus then you need to have a look at this series. There is romance, trouble, challenges, expectations and so many wonderful surprises throughout the series and also this final book.

This has been a fabulous reading journey and I have learnt more about hedgehogs and this has been incorporated into the storylines so well.

Fabulous series, with amazing characters and wonderful storylines that I would definitely recommend.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jessica Redland writes emotional but uplifting stories of love, friendship, family and community. Her Whitsborough Bay books transport readers to the stunning North Yorkshire Coast where she lives with her husband, daughter and sprocker spaniel. Her Hedgehog Hollow series, set in a hedgehog rescue centre, takes readers into the beautiful rolling countryside of the Yorkshire Wolds.


Social Media Links – Facebook Twitter Instagram Newsletter Bookbub

Check out the other stops on the Blog Tour…

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

The Dark by Sharon Bolton #20booksofsummer #crime #thriller #NetGalley #policeprocedural #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Dark by Sharon Bolton. This is the 5th book in the Lacey Flint series and it works very well as a stand-alone.

This is one I have had on my TBR for a while now and is why it featured on my #20booksofsummer list. This is 18/20 on my challenge.

ONCE, SHE SAVED HIS LIFE…
NOW, HE’LL TAKE HERS.

When a baby is snatched from its pram and cast into the river Thames, off-duty police officer Lacey Flint is there to prevent disaster. But who would want to hurt a child?

DCI Mark Joesbury has been expecting this. Monitoring a complex network of dark websites, Joesbury and his team have spotted a new terrorist threat from the extremist, women-hating, group known as ‘incels’ or ‘involuntary celibates.’ Joesbury’s team are trying to infiltrate the ring of power at its core, but the dark web is built for anonymity, and the incel army is vast.

Pressure builds when the team learn the snatched child was just the first in a series of violent attacks designed to terrorise women. Worse, the leaders of the movement seem to have singled out Lacey as the embodiment of everything they hate, placing her in terrible danger…

MY REVIEW

This is the 5th book in the Lacey Flint series and it works exceptionally well as a stand-alone. The synopsis for this book doesn’t really give much away but it does take a route that has an almost dystopian feel to it, it is an amazing psychological thriller that I absolutely adored.

Lacey Flint, a police officer for the Thames River Police. She lives, works, plays and essentially breathes on the Thames. It isn’t a shock when she happens to be on hand while off-duty with fellow work colleagues when a baby is snatched. The full repercussions of this crime are not known at this point and an elaborate search for the hidden and secretive members of a male-only group. The group is organised on the dark web, it takes experts within the department to try to uncover who they are, what their motives are and how they organise themselves. The limelight is on Lacey though as she is the one responsible for rescuing the baby.

As the investigation proceeds, it becomes more twisted and Lacey, DCI Mark Joesbury and the rest of the team are up to their eyeballs in trying to work out what is going to happen next. The threat is real, they have already proved their intentions. The online group are going viral, their message is heard and it is being acted upon by many. They are men that hate women, they are happy to threaten and scare women, and they are getting bolder. Women should be at home, they should support the men and be subservient, and they should not hold responsible jobs!

the author has taken a brilliant approach with this storyline, actually, it is more than one story and these have been brilliantly twisted and incorporated into each other to provide a thrilling and addictive story.

As I have not read any other books in this series I found this particular book to be a good one to start with as it does take the reader back in time to the main protagonist, Lacey. An event in her past provides something that the author has linked and connected to the present-day setting.

There is a large psychological aspect to this story as the theme of males hating females and then acting upon it and being led by online content becomes very believable. As the group gains momentum it becomes even more believable and the sad thing is that there are occurrences of this type of violence in the news on a regular basis along with many other forms of hate crime.

This is a thriller that is fast-paced, following Lacey’s story, the investigation, the increased threats and how things progress are brilliant. Everything is linked but how that eventually plays out took me by surprise. There are subtle hints along the way, but I didn’t realise this until I had been led to the fabulous conclusion.

Brilliant read, addictive, thought-provoking and with some great plot twists. I really enjoyed this one and I would definitely recommend it.

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

The Lion by Conn Iggulden #20booksofsummer #historicalfiction #netgalley #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Lion by Conn Iggulden. I have read quite a few books by this author and I do adore how he brings history to life, making it interesting and exciting in his telling. Brilliantly researched and addictive reading for those who love their hist/fic.

This is 14/20 of the #20booksofsummer reading challenge.

Ancient Greece, 5th century BC

The age of myths and legends has given way to the world of men. In the front rank stands Pericles, Lion of Athens.

Behind Pericles lies the greatest city of the ancient world. Before him, on land and at sea, stands the merciless Persian army. Both sides are spoiling for war.

Though still a young man, Pericles knows one thing: to fight a war you must first win the peace.

It’s time for a hero to rise.

For his enemies to tremble.

And for Athens, a city of wisdom and warriors, to shine with glory . . .

MY REVIEW

When I pick up a book by this author I know I am going to be in for a treat. The Lion is fabulous reading and takes the reader back to 5th Century BC, Ancient Greece. This era is one people are most like aware of given the films such as The 300, I mention this as it is in a similar timeline to the story and his son, Pleistarchus features at the beginning of the story. While Sparta played its part in past battles, it stands apart for a few years. Athens, with other city-states, created the Delian League at Delos, a central island in the Aegean Sea,

The main characters in this story are Cimon and Pericles. They are childhood friends and their fathers had fought in the battles at Marathon against the Persians. The Persians have gone quieter of late, but that does not mean there is no danger. The city-states of Greece come together to form the Delian League, they amass a fleet that patrols the Aegean to keep a look out for potential Persian threats.

Pericles is a young man and isn’t allowed a responsibility as he is deemed too young until he is 30 years old. But, his friendship with Cimon grants him access to meetings. The two form a formidable friendship and when needed they will support each other.

Pericles takes over his father’s estate after his death. This means he is bound to the land, but his heart still yearns for the sea. He has different responsibilities from Cimon, but when he is needed Pericles will join back with Cimon.

This story is a brilliant one from start to finish. The author manages to create such a wonderful and action-packed story from history. As I read this I had to remind myself I wasn’t watching a film as the imagery the author creates with his words is exceptional. He really does bring history to life in the pages.

The battles of the past are still fresh in the memories of the current, this helps to fuel the need for a fleet and to have people with experience around those in control. There are politics that come into play, but this is not a main part of the story. Ancient Greece without its politics just wouldn’t be right! The author brings the characters to life with decisions, friendships, battles and pretty much from the point of Pericles who will have a larger role in history.

This is more the story of Pericles, his decisions and his thoughts as he makes the transition from a young man into an adult and all the responsibilities that come with it. His family, his personal life and made it a more character-based story. There are plenty of other characters but focusing on just one gave a brilliant insight into one of history’s figures.

This author will probably already be known to you if you like your ancient history. It is a brilliant read and one that I would definitely recommend.

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

Rough Diamonds by Gillian Godden @GGodden @rararesources @BoldwoodBooks #crime #gangland #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Rough Diamonds by Gillian Godden. This is the latest in the series and the Diamond Ladies take the lead.

My huge thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on the blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy via NetGalley

Rough Diamonds
Flawed, tough, unbreakable…


In the aftermath of her husband’s shocking murder, Patsy Diamond wants answers. Who was Nick really? Where is all his money? And who killed the man she once loved? Patsy knows exactly who to go to first – Nick’s pregnant mistress, Natasha.


Natasha might seem young and innocent, but Patsy’s certain the girl is hiding something. And the only way to find out what is to keep Natasha close and make her part of the Diamond family.


With the two women forming an unlikely bond, they begin to dig deeper into Nick’s secret life and discover things that shock…and terrify them.


Because Nick Diamond played a deadly game and if the women in his life want payback, then they are going to have to follow his rules – or break them and make their own.


But the strongest diamonds are created under pressure and these women are no exception…


Purchase Link – HERE

MY REVIEW

This is the latest book in the series that focuses on the Diamond Family. Nick Diamond has been shot, and the repercussions of his death are far-reaching. Some will be pleased that he is gone, others though see an opportunity to take over his patch.

This latest in the series see’s the focus change to the women in the Diamond family, Mother – Victoria, Wife – Pasty, Mistress – Natasha and those who are close to the family who live in one of the rougher parts of Scotland.

Pasty is threatened and she starts to realise that there was more to her husband’s activities than just him being a solicitor and money launderer. She discovers that her husband Nick had more underworld business dealings than she had ever realised. Splitting her time between London and Scotland, Patsy desperately tries to discover the truth and where Nick had hidden the large amount of money that is missing.

Seeing the Diamond women step up and take charge was something that I really liked. The author didn’t change their characters at all but instead made them determined. It would have been easy to toughen them up, but this is not who they are. Now don’t get me wrong, they are not people to be taken advantage of and they do have a bite, so the author does just enough to give them what they can deal with at the right time.

While Patsy doesn’t come across as likeable, her character is determined, and she really isn’t a woman to be messed with. She has made decisions and will act on them, who they will benefit in the long run though, well we will have to wait and see.

While this is the next book in the series, it is also one that marks a new chapter in the Diamond family. New contacts, friendships and business partners are needed but who to trust to watch your back is something that you will discover as the story unfolds.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, it is one for those who like their crime thrillers with a gang-style kick to it, brutal at times but very addictive reading. It is one I would definitely recommend.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Gillian Godden is a brilliantly reviewed writer of gangland fiction as well as a full-time NHS Key Worker in Hull. She lived in London for over thirty years, where she sets her thrillers, and during this time worked in various stripper pubs and venues which have inspired her stories.

CHECK OUT THE OTHER STOPS ON THE TOUR

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MY REVIEW

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

New Beginnings at the Old Bakehouse by Christie Barlow @ChristieJBarlow #LoveHeartLane #contemporaryfiction #romance #NetGalley @OneMoreChapter_ #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for the latest book in the Love Heart Lane series. New Beginnings at the Old Bakehouse by CHristie Barlow is a gorgeous read. If you have read any of the books in this series, then you are going to adore this one.

My huge thanks to One More Chapter for inviting me to read this title via NetGalley.

This is the 9/20 book in my #20booksofsummer reading challenge. I really must get caught up with the rest of the reviews for this!

Love Heart Lane – where friends are there for you no matter what

‘A letter, a death, and a baby girl whose name will begin with “L”…’

When Heartcross’ resident clairvoyant tells Molly McKendrick to expect a whole lot of scandal and upset to blow in with the approaching winter storm, Molly doesn’t know what to think.

With a baby on the way any week now, and Christmas not far off, the last thing Molly needs is drama, but when she crosses paths with Bree, a sixteen-year-old homeless girl, and takes her in from the cold, secrets from the past flood the present and Molly, her partner Cam, and their son George, are soon experiencing a holiday season filled with unexpected festive surprises… 

MY REVIEW

This was a refreshing book to read as it has a right chilly feel as winter sets in at Heartcross in Book 9 of the Love Heart Lane series. Refreshing because I was sitting out reading this in a very hot garden at the beginning of July!

This book takes us back to the Old Bakehouse, obviously, the title gives this away and it was great to catch up with Molly and Cam. This is a lovely couple and they work together so well, but things are a little off with them and it’s not just down to Molly being pregnant. There is something more going on and things don’t improve when Molly brings in an unknown girl who was at the local shelter for those who are homeless. This is something that Cam normally would not have minded, but as I mentioned things are not quite as happy and rosy as they should be in the Bakehouse.

I adore this series and this latest book was great to read as it took us back to one of the couples featured in some of the earlier books. While getting the Bakehouse up and running has been tough, things could get tougher still and with the pressure of another addition to their family, he is a little wound up.

The community of Heartcross is a close-knit one, some families go back generations and some residents have lived there all their lives and have seen many comings and goings. There isn’t much that goes on without someone being in the know or at least noticing something that reminds them of things past.

Another story means getting to know the characters a little more and also a chance to introduce others. In this case, Bree, is a young girl who is homeless and a little edgy but has a heart of gold. The only thing is will anyone see past the stereotype of a homeless person image she has?

Once again there are a couple of very serious subjects tackled, there are some wonderful heartfelt moments and also a sense of dread. I will say that there are also a couple of damp-eye moments in this one as the story and the mystery of the past began to emerge.

If you have read any of the books in the series then you are going to adore this one. It can be read as a stand-alone but these are much better read in order. This is one for those who like a wonderful community, family and friendship feel of a story, some serious and fun moments and an all-around fabulous read. It is one I would definitely recommend.

About the Author

Christie Barlow is the international bestselling author of twelve romantic comedies including the iconic Love Heart Lane Series, A Home at Honeysuckle Farm and Kitty’s Countryside Dream. She lives in a ramshackle cottage in a quaint village in the heart of Staffordshire with her four children and two dogs.
Her writing career has come as a lovely surprise when Christie decided to write a book to teach her children a valuable life lesson and show them that they are capable of achieving their dreams. Christie’s dream was to become a writer and the book she wrote to prove a point went on to become a #1 international bestseller in the UK, USA, Canada and Australia.
When Christie isn’t writing she enjoys playing the piano, is a keen gardener and loves to paint and upcycle furniture.
Christie is an ambassador for the @ZuriProject alongside Patron of the charity, Emmerdale’s Bhasker Patel. They raise money and awareness for communities in Uganda.
Christie loves to hear from her readers and you can get in touch via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

www.christiebarlow.com

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

The Cliff House by Chris Brookmyre #NetGalley #PublicationDay @LittleBrownUK #thriller #crime #20booksofsummer #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Cliff House by Chris Brookmyre. This is a tense and fabulously addictive story set on a remote Scottish Island.

My thanks to Little, Brown UK for accepting my request to read this title via NetGalley.

One hen weekend, seven secrets… but only one worth killing for

Jen’s hen party is going to be out of control…

She’s rented a luxury getaway on its own private island. The helicopter won’t be back for seventy-two hours. They are alone. They think.

As well as Jen, there’s the pop diva and the estranged ex-bandmate, the tennis pro and the fashion guru, the embittered ex-sister-in-law and the mouthy future sister-in-law.

It’s a combustible cocktail, one that takes little time to ignite, and in the midst of the drunken chaos, one of them disappears. Then a message tells them that unless someone confesses her terrible secret to the others, their missing friend will be killed.

Problem is, everybody has a secret. And nobody wants to tell.

MY REVIEW

This was a very intriguing book to read. A group of women goes away together to a Scottish Island for a hen party weekend. This is not a close bunch of women and some don’t know everyone.

The author introduces each of the women and the story is told from their individual perspectives. This makes for a faster-paced story as there is a constant interchanging of characters. When the women first meet up there is some tension, but the bride-to-be, Jen, is hoping that things will settle and any past animosities can be put behind them.

For a while, yes the women seem to hold it together, but then the cocktails soon alter the balance. Oh! and a dead body in the kitchen doesn’t help nor does the delivery of an email to each of them.

I really enjoyed the mystery of this story, yes there is a body, but this isn’t the main story. The story is about the women themselves, the email mentions there being one of the group that isn’t exactly who they say they are. This is actually quite clever, as the synopsis mentions, everyone has a secret!

Having secrets and trying to keep them, or letting them out as much as you dare is one thing, but when they impact those around you as they do in this story, then you need to re-evaluate. I liked how everyone becomes a suspect and while most of the group let some snippets out, not all do. There are some who have a grudge from when they were teens, others have a point to prove and some are definitely not what they appear. This adds to the suspense and the tense energy that surrounds the group.

While this is a crime story as such, I felt it was more of a mystery thriller and the author does gradually bring out the mysteries and secrets of each person. There is also the main question of who actually is responsible for the initial crime and who is the focus of the revenge.

This is a story that keeps twisting the more you read. I do admit that I did work out the who, but that was much later in the book. Up until that point I was flittering between characters and changing my mind.

This really was a fab story, it is addictive, and I do like the locked room feel of the island setting. This is one that like a story with multiple characters and perspectives, has a tense atmosphere and is a riveting read. It is one I would definitely recommend.

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

The Sanctuary by Andrew Hunter Murray #mystery #20booksofsummer #NetGalley #PenguinUKBooks #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Sanctuary by Andrew Hunter Murray. I had requested this book from Penguin Books via NetGalley as the title and synopsis interested me.

This is the 9th book I have read in my #20booksofsummer reading challenge.

In a disintegrating and increasingly lawless land, a young man is travelling north.

Ben is a young painter from the crowded, turbulent city. For six months his fiancée Cara has been living on the remote island of Sanctuary Rock, the property of millionaire philanthropist Sir John Pemberley. Now she has decided to break off their engagement and stay there for good.

Ben resolves to travel to the island to win Cara back. But the journey there is a harsh and challenging one, and when he does arrive, a terrible shock awaits him.

As Ben begins to find his way around Pemberley’s perfect island, he knows he must also discover – what has made Cara so determined to throw her old life away? And is Sanctuary Rock truly a second Eden, as the mysterious Sir John claims – or a prospect of hell?

MY REVIEW

When Ben’s fiance Cara doesn’t return from her work trip, Ben gets worried. She works on an island with no phone signal and communication is by letter. Cara likes her job a lot and she likes the importance that it offers her.

This story is set around a two-tier society, those that can afford to live in Villages, and those that can. The Villages are a new way of living. The main island is known as Sanctuary Rock, a remote island that has a strict and limited access system.

For Ben, this is a society or system that doesn’t quite sit well with him. He has visited Villages to paint portraits for the wealthier residents. He however is happier in the city in his small flat. There are benefits to these hubs as those who cannot afford to live in them can work in them. Travel and work are via permits.

Ben finally has enough of waiting for Cara so decides to make his way to The Sanctuary. A dangerous journey to undertake with no idea what he will find when he gets there.

Once there he is surprisingly welcomed as it seems that Cara is respected there. While he still waits for her to return from another job he is shown and welcomed to the island. It has a good feel, almost like a utopian society where everyone works together. There is however an underlying ominous feel, is everything as good as it seems or is it too good to be true?

This is quite an addictive story and it does have a dystopian feel to it, but not overly so and this makes it more accessible. THere are ethical questions raised within the story and this is a great way of interacting with the reader and made me think about options, dilemmas and principles.

The story unfolds further and you start to notice the cracks, things are not as they seem but quite what they are I wasn’t able to put my finger on, following Ben in this story finally led me to a truth that I didn’t expect.

This is a mystery novel that has a sci-fi or dystopian twist to it. The plot was a slower one but it gave all the information and explanations to set the reader up for the revelations to follow. I really enjoyed this one and I would be happy to recommend it.

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