The New Doctor at Peony Practice by Christie Barlow @ChristieJBarlow @OneMoreChapter_ #NetGalley #romance #contemporaryfiction #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The New Doctor at Peony Practice by Christie Barlow. This is the 8th book in the Love Heart Lane series, it can be read as a stand-alone as all of the books can, but they are much better read in order as you get to know the community.

My huge thanks to One More Chapter for the e-copy that I requested via NetGalley.

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

All’s fair in love and…medicine?

Dr Katie O’Neil has only been in Heartcross a few hours when she finds herself already ruffling feathers – not least with medical school nemesis and new colleague Ben Sanders.

Katie’s the woman Ben loves to hate and until now he’d hoped he’d never set eyes on her again but now she’s back – and living next door!

When a charity boat race down the River Heart puts the two in direct competition, sparks fly. The winner takes it all, but who will it be? And will their prize be far more than they were expecting… 

MY REVIEW

This is the 8th book in the Loveheart Lane series, and I have read and loved every single one of them. Each book can be read as a stand-alone, and the series is set in the wonderful village of Heartcross.

The story is based at the Peony Practice surgery, taken over and is run by Dr Ben Saunders and receptionist, Helly. Since the retirement of Dr Taylor Ben has been working at full tilt, not any time for time off. He and Helly decide they need another doctor at the practice.

Dr Katie O’Neill was Ben’s nemesis at Uni, she was always top of the class, best of the best, and all-rounder achiever and he always played second best to her. He isn’t best pleased when it turns out that she is going to be the new Doc in the village and it doesn’t take her long to make herself at home.

If you have read any of the books in this series you will realise what an amazing community the author has created. Having read all the books I definitely look forward to returning, it is almost like returning to your favourite holiday spot and catching up with the people.

This story is one that has its share of serious topics, this time it is for family secrets and dementia that have a seat at the table along with the characters. The author has chosen and researched her subject well, as she always does. This one for me felt more personal as I work with the elderly, some of whom have different stages of dementia. The explanations and details the author includes are basic but important and it does give an insight into the different sorts of dementia. I liked how the author highlighted this disease but also mixed it with a storyline that works so well.

There are, as I mentioned family secrets, these were not ones I expected, but my goodness does the author work them so well into this story.

The highlight, or rather the focus of the story is the camaraderie and competitiveness between Katie and Ben, but since their time at Uni, they have changed. They manage a good working relationship, but will it last. How competitive are they really?

This is one for readers who love a heartwarming story, with a fabulous cast of characters and some serious topics. The community spirit is warm and welcoming and I adored this one a lot. I would definitely recommend it.

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The Forgotten Beach by Amanda James @amandajames61 @OneMoreChapter_ #NetGalley #contemporaryfiction #20booksofsummer #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Forgotten Beach by Amanda James. This is an author who writes some fabulous books, and I am really enjoying her latest ones that have a nice twist to them.

This is 2 of 20 in my #20booksofsummer reading challenge.

For Cornish artist Sennen Kellow that moment comes with the discovery of her late gran’s epic love story – a story that happened years before she ever met Sennen’s grandfather.

Now, as Sennen digs into her grandmother’s past and discovers a forgotten beach, a hidden poem, and a love that blazed brightly before Fate intervened, her search for answers leads her on a fated journey of her own. One which sees history repeating itself, and Sennen faced with a chance at the kind of once-in-a-lifetime love her gran experienced…but only if she’s willing to risk everything.

On the forgotten beach at the edge of the land,
lies a forgotten treasure beneath the sand.
A cup of kindness for Auld Lang Syne,
Sweeter than the finest wine.
In a parting glass from years gone by,
Dwells a magic strange to you and I.
Sup it down before you part,
to find the truth within your heart.
 

MY REVIEW

Oh, Amanda James, you have once again written a wonderful book. This one was absolutely fabulous.

Sennen Kellow is a local artist and shop owner. She is given a poem that her grandmother had written, there is a secret beach local to her. The only way to get to it is through the grounds of an old property, when her curiosity finally gets the better of her, Sennen decides to have a look and see what she can find out.

This is where she meets the rather abrupt, aloof and brusque owner of the property. A London lawyer who isn’t exactly charming, but does grant her a tour of the house and grounds. Not wanting to discuss why she actually has an interest in visiting as he doesn’t appear to be very open or pleasant.

The author has woven a tale that spans the generations and gives a wonderful account of families of the past. A time when money and status were paramount and marriage for love was worth nothing. The story gradually emerges and it is one that has some wonderful heartwarming moments as well as moments marred by grief.

While the situation for Sennen is intriguing, the author twists a wonderful comparison between the past and the present. It drew me further into the story and at times left me nervously turning the pages wondering if history would repeat itself.

I loved this sense of tension and the uncertainty that the author injects into this story. Using the past and the present, with mystery and romance and then twisting certain things to create a captivating story.

This is one for readers who love to read a contemporary fiction style story, that has echoes of the past, with a complicated and not necessarily straightforward romantic angle. I have to say this is a fabulous read and I loved to see mentions of characters from other books mentioned. While this is part of a series, you could read this as a standalone. But, if you did you would miss out on some wonderful storytelling from one of my favourite authors.

A cracking read from the first to the last page and also the author’s notes add a wonderful touch at the end. I would definitely recommend this book. 

The books in the series are…

Each of these can be read as stand-alone books as they are stories in their own right.

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The Chemical Cocktail Fiona Erskine @erskine_fiona @PointBlankCrime @RandomTTours #crime #mystery #thriller #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Chemical Cocktail by Fiona Erskine. This book is the 3rd book in the Jaqueline Silver series, and yes, it is the first one I have read.

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

Jaq Silver is back with a bang in this high-octane third novel in the series

When Jaq Silver’s mother dies, she is handed a poisoned chalice. An inheritance more valuable to her than she could have imagined. Travelling from Portugal to Brazil amid conspiracies and corruption to get to the bottom of her family mystery, Jaq learns she is not the only one with an interest in her unusual inheritance. Racing against the clock as the threats to her life increase on all sides, Jaq must use her scientific know-how to save what matters most. 

MY REVIEW

This is the 3rd book in the series, and as I am prone to doing, it is the first book I have read. I will say right from the off that I think this worked really well as a stand-alone. I felt that the story and the main characters worked for me. It felt like a complete story and that any questions I had were answered.

Jaq Silver, well, she is a character I really liked. I also liked how the book was laid out. Chapters were chemical symbols and their headings were aimed at the content of the chapters. This does have a back and forth timeslip to it, the past has its own symbol so at a glance you are aware of the change as well as the obvious date.

Jaq hasn’t been close to her mother, so when Angie dies whatever hasn’t been bequeathed to various other parties is left to Jaq. This is in the form of a strongbox, leather, old and full of secrets. One of which shatters what truth Jaq had known. It also sets her on a frantic journey to retrieve secrets taking her from Brazil to Portugal and back. Time is of the element (pun intended 🙂 ) and lives are at stake.

As this is the first book I have read by this author I did have a quick peek at her profile, having read the book and now the profile I can see the author knows her stuff. “Engineer by day, writer by night” and I think that this makes this book all the more interesting.

As there is a stopwatch for Jaq, this injects a thriller vibe to the story as well as a mystery one. The back and forth fills in the gaps and this worked really well for me, I was able to discover more about Jaq as a teen and as an adult and this is why this particular book works so well as a standalone.

There are some brilliant hair-raising moments in this story as Jaq tried to stay ahead of the clock and also of her pursuers. More and more details are given, and more and more questions are answered but it is not until the end that the bombshell is released. I never saw this and I was so glad I didn’t. It made for an amazing reader reaction.

I really enjoyed this book and it is one that really had me hooked. It is a bit of crime, a lot of mystery and definitely a thriller feel to it. I am looking to reading more by this author and I would definitely recommend this book.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Fiona Erskine is a professional engineer based in Teesside, although her
work has taken her around the world. As a female engineer, she has been
often the lone representative of her gender in board meetings, cargo ships
and night-time factories, and her fiction offers a fascinating insight into this
traditionally male world. She is the author of The Chemical Detective and
The Chemical Reaction. The Chemical Detective was shortlisted for the
Specsavers’ Debut Crime Novel Award. Her second thriller in the Jaq Silver
series, The Chemical Reaction, was shortlisted for the Staunch Prize in
2020.

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The Mirror Man by Lars Kepler @RandomThingsTours @ZaffreBooks #crime #thriller #NetGalley #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Mirror Man by the writing duo of Lars Kepler. This is the 8th book in the Joona Linna series, and if you are a regular visitor to my blog, then you will probably know what I am going to say next…

Yep, this is the first one I have read, and yes it does work as a stand-alone.

My huge thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours for my e-copy of this book and my spot on the Blog Tour. My copy came via NetGalley from the publisher Bonnier Books.

The gripping new crime novel from global thriller writing phenomenon, Lars Kepler

IF YOU SEE HIS REFLECTION IT’S ALREADY TOO LATE . . .

Seventeen-year-old Jenny is abducted in broad daylight and taken to a dilapidated, isolated house where she is chained and caged along with several other girls. Their captor is unpredictable and as wily as he is cruel: he foils every one of their desperate attempts to escape . . . and once caught they rarely survive their punishment.

Five years later, Jenny is found dead in a public park, and the police are scrambling to find a lead among the scant evidence. But Detective Joona Linna realizes that this murder has an eerie connection to a death that was declared a suicide years before. And now when Mia, a seventeen-year-old orphan, goes missing, it becomes clear to Joona that they are dealing with a serial killer-and the murderous rampage has just begun.

As the police close in on the killer, Mia and her fellow captives are plunged into ever greater danger, and Joona finds himself in a seemingly impossible race against time to save their young lives.

MY REVIEW

So this is the 8th book in the Joona Linna series, and it is the first time I have read a book by this author, as is my norm it seems. I do wish I had started this series at the beginning, but to be honest there is enough detail from the author for me to focus on this one story. I am curious however as to mentions of past events!

Joona Linna is a detective who doesn’t always follow orders, it could be said that his actions cost jobs, especially as his previous boss is no longer around. A new boss, a new set of rules that Linna just seems to be able to wrangle his way around. It is just as well really.

The case is one that had gripped the Swedish newspapers 5 years previously, Jenny Lind went missing and hadn’t been seen, assumed dead. When her body suddenly turns up in an execution-style way. There is a witness, but he cannot remember anything.

This is a brilliant story and has a good length to it at around 480 pages. This was a book that had me hooked from the outset and it was definitely an addictive one as I read it in one sitting!

The story is about a missing girl, but this isn’t the only story. There are various other substories, well I say that but they are also stories in their own right if you get what I mean. Trying to work out what connects them is what kept me eagerly turning the pages.

There is the story of a man who has mental health problems and it tells why he cannot remember what he saw. There is the story of his wife, the story of the missing girl and of Linna who is trying to piece together the puzzles when he isn’t even supposed to be working on the case.

These stories do start to connect but I didn’t see the bigger picture until the author literally dropped the bombshell. I had ideas, I had theories and I was, as I usually am, wrong. I discovered that each character has a lot more to them than first meets the eye. Everyone has a secret or has something that they don’t like to let on, but his story had many of them. What was preventing people from telling all they knew… fear!

This was such an addictive story and fr me the pacing was perfect. It is a slow case as there are no real leads as such, the odd lead that there is could be seen as tenuous at best. But this is where Linna comes into his own. While he can be annoying to his bosses, he is also quite tenacious. AS this is the first time I have come across this character I am curious. Curious to know more about him and what he has been through, he is a bit of an enigma for me and I think this also added to the intrigue of the story.

This is a fab story and one that has some really awful moments in it. It is shocking reading at times at the brutality but somehow the details that the author does include sort of fit with the image that the author builds up throughout the story.

This is one for those who like the longer mystery thriller, there are some brilliant clues and red herrings scattered throughout. Nothing can be taken for granted and I loved this. Brilliantly paced, fabulous characters and storyline and one for crime, thriller and police procedural fans. I loved it and would definitely recommend it.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Lars Kepler is the pseudonym of critically acclaimed husband and wife team Alexandra Coelho Ahndoril (b. 1966) and Alexander Ahndoril (b. 1967), authors of the No. 1 internationally bestselling Joona Linna series.

With seven instalments to date, the series has sold 15 million copies in 40 languages. The Ahndorils were both established writers before they adopted the pen name Lars Kepler, and have each published several acclaimed novels.

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Sweet Love and Country Roads by Camilla Isley @rararesources #romance #contemporaryfiction #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Sweet Love and Country Roads by Camilla Isley. This is the 7th book in the series, I have not read them all, but they do work as stand-alone.

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

Falling for the wrong cowboy never felt so good . . .

Samantha Baker is a high-flying movie producer living in New York City. She loves her shoes, drinking cosmopolitans, and wouldn’t trade the comforts of city life for anything in the world. But when her job is put on the line, Samantha has no other choice than to move to the middle of nowhere to straighten out the filming of her latest romantic comedy blockbuster.

Her new country home has no Starbucks, no Pilates, and the one pub in town has never heard of appletinis—only serves beer and whiskey neat. On the plus side, the views are scenic. And not just for the aerial shots, as the local eye-candy provides a welcome distraction.

At least until Samantha discovers a native cowboy, Travis Hunt, is the source of all her troubles…

And the battle begins.

Each has something the other wants, but as Samantha and Travis go head to head, they might discover the endgame has changed. When hate turns to heat, all becomes fair in love and war for these two sworn enemies who’ve been playing a game of hearts.

But will a roll in the hay be enough to make Samantha decide there’s no sex in the city and convert to country living? 


Purchase Links – Amazon Apple Barnes & NobleKobo Google Play

MY REVIEW

This is the 7th book in the First Comes Love series, they can be read as stand-alone and they are a lot of fun to read, not that I have read all of them btw!

The synopsis for this book is one that really sums up the atmosphere, style and humour that the author has injected into her characters and also the storyline. If you like fun, romance, and rom-com stories about battles of the wills and of the hearts then this is one for you.

Samantha is a city girl. all shoes, outfits, cocktails, everything on tap type of girl. While she has got her city smarts they don’t help her when she relocates to the middle of nowhere. Especially when it comes to Travis. Their first meeting is not good, a cow may have been at fault here! What Samantha lacks in country ways she more than makes up for in quick put-downs and retorts. Well, she thinks she does until she comes up against Travis. If a man had sass then he is full of it with cheeky smirks.

Little does she realise that they will have to work together to achieve the end results they are both hoping for. Travis has plenty going for him and is a busy chap indeed, but not that busy that he can’t find time to wind up Samantha.

This is a fabulously entertaining book, with quick-witted banter, innuendos and the fact they both find something interesting about each other. The author does throw the odd spanner in the works, and the romantic tension is definitely in the air, does it go further than that… well read the book!

The author has woven two different lifestyles and characters together to create a brilliant story. There are obviously other characters, and these are also great as well. They add their own opinions, banter and advice, adding to the fun of the story.

Overall this is a great lighthearted romantic comedy that had me chuckling several times. It has that fabulous “will they/ won’t they” scenario to it and it was one that had me hooked. I would definitely recommend this book.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Camilla is an engineer who left science behind to enter the whimsical realm of romantic fiction.

She writes contemporary rom-coms. Her characters have big hearts, might be a little stubborn at times, and love to banter with each other. Every story she pens has a guaranteed HEA that will make your heart beat faster. Unless you’re a vampire, of course.

Camilla is a cat lover, coffee addict, and shoe hoarder. Besides writing, she loves reading—duh!—cooking, watching bad TV, and going to the movies—popcorn, please. She’s a bit of a foodie, nothing too serious. A keen traveller, Camilla knows mosquitoes play a role in the ecosystem, and she doesn’t want to starve all those frog princes out there, but she could really live without them.


Social Media Links – Goodreads Bookbub TikTok YouTube (Free Audiobooks) – Facebook Instagram

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Fallout by Edie Baylis @ ediebaylis @Rararesources @BoldwoodBooks #boldwoodbloggers #crime #thriller #NetGalley #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Fallout by Edie Baylis. This is a fabulous book and the second book in the Allegiance series. The first book, Takeover was a brilliant story and this second book is just as good.

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.

If you want to check out my review of TAKEOVER click HERE

Fallout
Secrets. Lies. Revenge.

With the odds stacked against her, Samantha Reynold is determined to prove she’s tough enough to be the boss. But when a secret from the past threatens to ruin Sam’s reputation, she suddenly feels very alone in this dark new world. There’s only one man she can turn to – rival club owner, Sebastian Stoker.

Seb knows first-hand how secrets and lies can tear a family apart. He wants to protect Sam at all costs, but siding with her could threaten his own position as head of the Stoker family and risk accusations of betrayal.

With loyalties divided and two families at war – the fallout could be deadly.
Purchase Link – HERE

MY REVIEW

This is the second book in the series, the first book Takeover was brilliant and it saw Samantha Reynold taking over her father’s business. This second book continues the story as Sam and rival club owner, Seb work together to deal with what’s coming.

This book could be read as a stand-alone, but in all seriousness, I would consider reading the Takeover first as it introduces the characters and deals with things that make it easier to understand them. That being said the author does a great job of filling in the basics.

As Sam is still coming to terms with being adopted she has the support of Sam Stoker. Although they didn’t immediately trust each other, they have realised that they can not only work together but trust each other. Being rival club owners work for them, but not necessarily for those who work for them. Family’s can be tricky things and when they feel that things could be a danger or threaten them things get tricky. How can they convince their respective families and close family friends that this is all going to work out?

The author has once again provided a fabulous story that hit the grounds running. Working the suspicious natures of those around Sam and Serb has been wonderfully done. It adds tension and gives the overall feel of the story a good pace. Sam still feels as if she has to prove herself, which is difficult for a woman to do at the best of times. But, in this more male-dominated world she has to prove not only how tough she can be but also that she is resilient. Seb, well he is a fabulous character and is the rock that Sam needs. But, as much as she needs him he needs her as well. They make a great team.

This is a dangerous world that the author has created for her characters. The baddies are great as well as obviously the goodies! The author brings a sense of mistrust and intrigue that helps fuel the pace of the story, it kept me on my toes and eagerly turning the pages. The title Fallout is brilliant as for me it sums up this story very well.

If you are looking for a crime thriller story that has a strong gangland element to it then you really need this series on your shelf. Brilliant story, fabulous characters and an addictive read. It is one I would definitely recommend.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Edie Baylis is a successful self-published author of dark gritty thrillers with violent background settings. She lives in Worcestershire, has a history of owning daft cars and several motorbikes and is licensed to run a pub. She has signed a five-book deal with Boldwood.

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The Reckoning @KerryKayaWriter @rararesources @BoldwoodBooks #crime #gang #thriller #bookrewiew

I am delighted to share my review today for The Reckoning by Kerry Kaya. This is the 4th book in the Carter Brothers series and is one for those who like crime, gangland, and thrillers.

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

An eye for an eye…

Once the top dog, Danny Mckay has walked away from his old gangland life. He’s on the straight and narrow now, looking forward to settling down and living a quiet life.

But trouble seems to follow Danny. And when his own family is caught up in a shocking event, Danny is dragged back into the gangland world, hell-bent on revenge.

Danny’s determined to make someone pay, but the rules are different this time around – old friends are enemies, and Danny doesn’t know who he can trust.

And as Danny gets closer to the truth, he realises that the consequences of his own actions could destroy everything – and everyone – that he loves.
Purchase Link – AMAZON

MY REVIEW

This is the 4th book in this series and it does read well as a standalone as this is the first book I’ve read in this series. I have, however, read other books by this author and she writes some cracking g gangland thrillers.

Danny has been out of the crime and gang lifestyle for several years. He is a legit businessman and wants to remain that way. His daughter is celebrating her 18th birthday when there is a shooting. Due to his past, Danny tho is this may be linked to him. But who, why and what for is what takes some working out.

The author has created another fabulous read and one that definitely drops you into the murky and dangerous world of gangs and crime. Even though Danny has a past that he has put behind him, it still runs in his blood. The author gradually brings his older acquaintances to the fore didn’t and things become tense and full. of suspense. Throughout this story there is never a straightforward answer..people are out for themselves and are trying to keep out of trouble.

I like how the author twists and weaves the character and the storyline. Never knowing who is telling the truth or what their motives keep the suspense up right the way through. Even though the topic is gang crime there is a good amount of loyalty and respect. Having different generations, younger and old school is a great way of showing the different ideals. The impatience is shown and lack of experience is evident as are ideals. While they may not always be legal they certainly make for great reading.

If you are a fan of gangland crime thrillers then this is an author you should keep an eye for. This book is a so fearful twisted read, delving into family loyalties. This isn’t too blood and gutsy but there is some violence. I really enjoyed this one and I would definitely recommend it.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kerry Kaya is the hugely popular author of Essex-based gritty gangland thrillers
with strong family dynamics. She grew up on one of the largest council estates in the
UK, where she sets her novels. She also works full-time in a busy maternity
department for the NHS. She has signed a nine-book deal with Boldwood for both
new and backlist titles.

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Kiss of Death by Adam Croft @adamcroft #policeprocedural #RutlandCrimeSeries #PublicationDay #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review for the latest book in the Rutland Crime Series – Kiss of Death by Adam Croft. This is the 4th book and today is the Publication Day for this title.

My thanks to Joanne Croft for getting in touch to see if I would like to read and review this book. I have read several of Adam’s books and have always enjoyed them.

Book four in a stunning new crime series from 2m+ international bestseller Adam Croft.

An elderly woman collapses and dies during a Sunday morning church service in Oakham. But things aren’t quite as innocent as they seem.

Within hours, there’s a second unexplained death in Rutland. Then a third. But the victims appear to be completely unconnected.

With the body count rising by the day, DI Caroline Hills and DS Dexter Antoine need to uncover the link before more innocent people die.

Only one thing is certain: a killer walks the streets of Rutland. But no one knows who the next victim will be, when they will be killed — or why.

Purchase Link – Amazon UK

MY REVIEW

I have read a few of this author’s books and I really do like the Rutland Crime Series. Kiss of Death is the 4th book, yes you could read it as a stand-alone but this one has more details about DI Caroline Hills family life. It had been strained from her days working in the Met, so the change to a quieter rural area was supposed to ease the workload and give her more quality time. It’s a shame crime doesn’t stop when your local DI is on holiday with her husband and children!

Caroline isn’t the only one that’s in the small squad, she has her DS Dexter Antoine who is perfectly capable. However he isn’t happy when he is looking into sudden death, there is one thing that doesn’t sit right. When another sudden death occurs then things start to intensify. Trying to help Dex while on holiday isn’t the best idea. Neither is Caroline returning to work and leaving her family behind. The dilemma about what to do for the best is one that made this a more personal story. While I do like her as a character, she is very work centred, it’s all about the job. Things need to change.

The case is very random, and this is a good thing by the way. First one death and then a second but both are completely different as far as the victims go. So no links, and therefore some limitations as to how to progress. It is when a third death occurs that things start to link, but even then the links are tenuous.

For a short story, 226pages, the author once again adds loads of details. There are the victims, the procedures, the personal stories, the links and all the other juicy bits that make for a very fast-paced read. If you haven’t read any of these authors’ books then you really should pick one up. He does specialise in quick-paced, short crime thrillers and mystery reads. I should also add there is quite a lot to choose from.

As far as this series is concerned, I think this is the best one. I do like the more personal side of Caroline, and the way she has to battle to get the support she deserves. I liked this one a lot and I would definitely recommend it.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Adam Croft is one of the world’s biggest-selling authors of crime fiction and gripping psychological thrillers.

His books are known for their quick pace, thrilling plots and believable characters, and have sold in more than 120 countries around the world.

His books have topped the Amazon storewide chart seven times, and in February 2017 Amazon’s overall Author Rankings placed Adam as the most widely read author in the world, with J.K. Rowling in second place.

In March 2018, Adam was conferred as an Honorary Doctor of Arts, the highest academic qualification in the UK, by the University of Bedfordshire in recognition of his achievements.

Adam presents the regular crime fiction podcast PARTNERS IN CRIME with fellow bestselling crime writer Robert Daws.

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May God Forgive by Alan Parks @AlanJParks #HarryMcCoy @RandomTTours @canongatebooks #crime #histfic #policeprocedural #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for May God Forgive by Alan Parks. This is a brilliant book and series, although I do still have the first two to read!!! I do have them and I really must get to them.

My huge thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my copy of the book via the Publisher –

Detective Harry McCoy returns in the suspenseful, atmospheric fifth instalment in Alan Park’s internationally bestselling thriller series.

Glasgow is a city in mourning. An arson attack on a hairdresser’s has left five dead. Tempers are frayed and sentiments running high.

When three youths are charged the city goes wild. A crowd gathers outside the courthouse but as the police drive the young men to prison, the van is rammed by a truck, and the men are grabbed and bundled into a car. The next day, the body of one of them is dumped in the city centre. A note has been sent to the newspaper: one down, two to go.

Detective Harry McCoy has twenty-four hours to find the kidnapped boys before they all turn up dead, and it is going to mean taking down some of Glasgow’s most powerful people to do it.

MY REVIEW

Wow! Wow! And Wow! This is a brilliant read and if you like your crime to be dark, murky and set in the 70s then you really need to pick up this book. In fact, pick up the series so far!

Harry McCoy, well what a brilliant character he is. He is the epitome of the 70s style copper. He drinks too much and smokes too much and he is suffering because of it. When he is given a case there are those who don’t think he is up to it due to his health. If you have read the previous books you will understand more of McCoy as a character, this latest book however does delve a little further into his past. Does it have connections with his present case? Well, you know what? Read the book and you’ll find out!

This is set in Glasgow in 1974. Three young men, as the synopsis states, have just been taken from a prison van. They had been charged with arson and the death of five people. Tempers are high within the community and the city. When one of their bodies is found there isn’t much sympathy for them. Just what they deserve, is the overall opinion.

Whatever the opinion is though, McCoy has a job to do, discover where the remaining men are, discover the motives and also deal with an apparent suicide. Not bad considering McCoy has just come out of the hospital!

I really enjoy this author’s writing, he does slip in some dialect, but nothing that is not understandable btw. He also does such a brilliant job of showing the reader the darker, murkier side of Glasgow. The tenements, the alley and back streets are not the places anyone would want to be, especially a copper. But McCoy is different, he knows these streets and while he isn’t afraid to walk them he is very wary.

Using his knowledge of the area and the locals he gradually pieces things together, well he thinks he does! This is the part of the book I adored, as the author teases the reader just as much as he does McCoy. It feels like things are just in grasp, but the answers are just out of reach, tantalisingly close but slippery and elusive. As I was r4eading this book I kept thinking, “I wonder if it’s…” and ” Oh what if…”. It definitely kept me turning the pages.

The way the author moves in between procedural and, well let’s say, slightly off the book, is great. It introduces the criminal and gangs to the reader. Some very nasty characters to say the least. It is a credit to the writing skill of the author who managed to give a sense of unease, danger and doubt as McCoy carefully walked the grey line between legal and illegal activities on the streets.

This book, in case you haven’t realised by now, is brilliant. I didn’t want it to end. The story is so addictive and draws in some worthy moral dilemmas. McCoy isn’t alone in his search for the truth, he has Wattie, at times a bit of a hapless character, but one who does have McCoys back. He also keeps an eye on McCoy, and yes, he does need a bit of looking out from time to time.

If you are looking for a series or a book that allows you to wander vicariously, yet safely through the underworld of Glasgow during the 70s then you need to have a look at these books. I started this series with the March one (Bobby March Will live Forever) but I did buy the previous two… I still have them to read! So, yes you can read it as a stand-alone but I for one, wish I had started this series at the very beginning.

Gritty, with some not altogether likeable characters, dark, murky, full of tensions, public opinion and an all-in-all amazing book to read. I would highly recommend it.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

ALAN PARKS captures the dark beating heart of 70s Glasgow in his highly acclaimed Harry McCoy series.
Parks has spent most of his working life dealing with the production of images for Musical Artists, as
Creative Director at London Records in the mid-1990’s then at Warner Music. From cover artwork to
videos to photo sessions, he created ground-breaking, impactful campaigns for a wide range of artists
including All Saints, New Order, The Streets, Gnarls Barclay and Cee Lo Green. He was also Managing
Director of 679 Recordings, a joint venture with Warner Music. For the past few years, he has worked as
an independent visual and marketing consultant.
Alan was born in Scotland and attended The University of Glasgow where he was awarded an M.A. in
Moral Philosophy. He still lives and works in the city as well as spending time in London.

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Victory Bells for the Harpers Girls by Rosie Clarke @AnneHerries @rararesources @BoldwoodBooks #boldwoodbloggers #histfic #saga #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Victory Bells for the Harpers Girls by Rosie Clarke. This is the 6th book in this series and it has been one of ups and downs.

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

Can the Harpers Girls look forward to some happy times as a new dawn rises over London?

Sally Harper is busy juggling running London’s Oxford Street Store Harpers and looking after her beautiful newborn daughter, whilst her husband Ben is overseas on another dangerous mission, this time to rescue a friend in need.
Young Becky Stockbridge finds herself in a difficult situation which could bring shame to her and her family. Will Becky, with the help of her friends, find her happy ever after and keep her secret?
Marion Jackson is blessed with a son as she eagerly awaits the return of her husband Reggie. But all is not right when Reggie returns. Is Marion strong enough to save her family from yet another crisis?
As the war clouds retreat and the victory bells ring, tears and joy mingle with those of sadness as the world counts the true toll of war and celebrates peace.

MY REVIEW

Each of the books in this series follows the lives of key characters. The Girls made friends and have carried their friendships on through difficult times. Some helped nurses during the War and others did what they could to keep things going. The constant has been Harpers, an Emporium that has had its good times and its bad.

Set towards the end of World War I, this book is again such a wonderful read. It could be read as a stand-alone but I do think it is better to read in order as the lives of the characters have helped define them and their lives.

The war has had an impact on the country and also on families and friends, the constant worry as to who will get that dreaded telegram, who will have letters from family members, who will come back and also those that will never return. I really liked the emphasis the author took on some of the problems those who returned had to deal with, shell shock as it was known was dismissed by many. But for those fortunate to receive the proper care things could be easier for them over time. Encompassing the challenges of those returning as well as those lost gives a balance that felt right. While the obvious happiness of a reunion is evident, there was also a quiet sense of unease and nerves.

As I mentioned, the constant in this book is Harpers Emporium. For those who work and manage the store, there is a constant worry about getting stock and also keeping the business going so that those who work there can still get a wage. Things are in short supply, and there is a lot of moving around to make the shelves look full. Being a close-knit group friendships are as important as family. It is times of worry and distress having a non-judgmental ear is important.

There are changes afoot for a few of the characters and having the means and opportunity to talk things through really brings the closeness of the characters out. This is something that I have really enjoyed with each book I have read. The author has kept the characters moving, progressing, growing and learning. Families expand and unfortunately, families also reduce. Times of joy have a tinge of sadness as things for some will never be the same.

This is another gorgeous book to read. Keeping up with the coming and goings of the characters as they continue their lives is something I look forward to with each instalment. While there is sadness there are also things to look forward to, changes, developments, new plans and new beginnings. If you love your sags and historical fiction stories then this is one you are going to really enjoy. It is 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 a RNA Award winner. She lives in Cambridgeshire.


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